Hasegawa 1/48 F-16C Fighting Falcon 'CFT' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2016||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F-16C Fighting Falcon 'CFT'||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||07429||Primary Media||Styrene, white metal|
|Pros||Easy build, great external details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$59.99|
For a brief history of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, go here.
For a description of the F-16 family and the various differences between versions, go here.
Once upon a time, Hasegawa ruled the Viper market place with their series of 1/48 F-16 kits. They were the first to market with the late-model variants like the F-16CG and F-16CJ as well as representing the Pratt versus GE powered variants (Block 1-25/32/42/52 versus Block 30/40/50). They were even first with the two-seat variants (F-16B/D) and the unique Block 60. That changed when Tamiya entered the market with their 1/48 masterpieces which still remain the best Vipers produced in this scale, but for some reason, Tamiya has not expanded their Viper portfolio as did Hasegawa, so they are still missing a number of variants in their catalog. Kinetic came into the fight with their 1/48 Vipers and while they offered the best external stores of all in detail and variety, their airframes had some shape and surface texture issues.
In this release, Hasegawa renders an early F-16C Block 40A airframe used as a test workhorse at Edwards Air Force Base and captures the aircraft's appearance during its flight testing of the first conformal fuel tanks. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nice ACES II ejection seat (no belts or upper harness connectors)
- Optional pilot figure
- Basic cockpit
- Positionable canopy
- Optional boarding ladder
- Air data (flight test) boom
- Positionable speed brakes
- Positionable stabilators
- Wide-mouth and narrow-mouth inlets (wide-mouth used with this subject)
- Pratt and GE nozzles (GE nozzle used with this subject)
- Block 40/42/50/52 taxi/landing lights on the nose gear door
- Wide main gear wheels and bulged main gear doors
- Updated radome w/lightning arrestors
- New-tooled CFTs
The decals provided in this kit is for F-16C-40A 87-0353 which is continuously updated with the latest gadgets to see how they affect the aircraft (no doubt after receiving the corresponding flight computer OFPs). With a few minor glitches, this kit captures 353 as it looked during the CFT certifications (and publicity photos). The notable problem which is a consistent one with Hasegawa Block 40/42 subjects is the HUD - they provide the same HUD used in all of the other blocks where the Block 40/42 has that distinctive shape used in the early days of overlaying raster and vector images together.
While many folks prefer the Tamiya Viper, if you want to produce a wider range of Viper variants, you can look to the Hasegawa kits to get you closer in configuration without expensive conversions. This is the only kit of this unique subject to be released in any scale to date.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!