Kinetic 1/48 F-16C Barak Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2009||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Kit Number||48012||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Well engineered and options never before seen in a 1/48 scale Viper kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$59.95|
For a quick history of the F-16, look here.
For a look at the differences between F-16 blocks, look here.
Kinetic has released a number of F-16 Fighting Falcon variants and has touched on subjects that have previously gone overlooked by the 'other' 1/48 Viper kit manufacturers. The score to date includes:
- F-16AM Block 15 OCU or Block 20
- F-16DG/DJ Block 40/42/50/52 (previously done by Hasegawa)
- F-16D Block 52+
- F-16I Sufa (recently done by Hasegawa)
Now Kinetic has released their first F-16C but it isn't just any C-model, it is the F-16C Barak as configured and flown by the Israeli Air Force. While the aircraft is superficially a normal F-16C, you'll notice a few differences in this box (and on the full-scale example).
First, the kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 15 parts trees, plus two trees of clear parts. The kit comes with the widemouth inlet and GE nozzle, so you're looking at Block 30/40/50 potential. The kit also includes both panels ahead of the windscreen - the blank panel and the one with the advanced IFF system as fitted to MLU/CCIP Vipers as well as other 'advanced' airframes.
What is different in this box is a single tree of parts that have the alternative side nose panels with the distinctive sensor bulges that are larger than the standard F-16. There are also a set of four countermeasures devices that are fitted around and just forward of the engine nozzle. The kit also retains the standard side nose panels should you want to build a non-Israeli Viper. The kit also has the extended fin base with the parachute housing that is alternatively used to house additional avionics.
The kit cockpit is nicely done, though I can't wait to see some color photo-etch from Eduard for the instrument panels and side consoles. The ACES II ejection seats look good here as well though you'll want to grab some photo-etched belts and harness attachments from somewhere.
The kit features a full intake duct with some really nice details that go into the main wheel wells, as well as a nice afterburner chamber.
This kit molds the wheel hubs and tires separately. Finally, a set of wheels easy to paint! Two different styles of wheel hubs are provided, so check your references.
The leading edge flaps are molded separately as are the trailing edge flaps, so you can pose this model in-flight with everything 'hanging out'.
The canopy is as clear as I've ever seen in a kit. It does have the slight mold seam that plagues all F-16 kits, but this one will be easy to clean.
As with the previous releases in this series, this kit provides a wealth of external stores options:
- 2 x 370 gallon tanks for stations 4/6
- 1 x 300 gallon centerline tank
- 1 x AAQ-28 LITENING
- 4 x AIM-9M Sidewinder
- 4 x AIM-9X Sidewinder
- 4 x AIM-120B AMRAAM
- 4 x AIM-120C AMRAAM
- 2 x AGM-65 Maverick
- 4 x Mk.82 (slicks)
- 4 x GBU-12 Paveway II
- 2 x GBU-24 Paveway III
- 2 x GBU-31 JDAM
- 4 x GBU-38 JDAM
- 4 x CBU-87
This is a nice array of external stores that will leave you external stores to arm this F-16, an A-10, and still have left-overs! What might have been a nice addition to the Israeli versions would have been some Shafrir missiles and other distinctively Israeli armament.
Oddly enough, my sample didn't have painting/marking instructions included but you can see from the decal images that markings are provided for First Fighter and Scorpion squadrons.
This is another nice release from Kinetic Models and we now finally have production kits of a wide variety of F-16 variants. If you have several of these releases, you can mix and match the parts to render even more variants. I've been wanting to do the F-16C Block 50+ as configured for the Chilean Air Force (FACh) and this kit will do that straight out of the box. Cool!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!