Tamiya 1/48 F-16C/N Aggressor/Adversary Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2009
(Updated June 2017)
|Kit Number||61106||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Beautiful details, versatile kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$74.00|
For a quick history of the F-16C, look here.
For a look at the differences between F-16 blocks, look here.
For a look at the differences between F-16 kits, look here.
What we have in this box is what you might call a 'superset'. This is last release of the 1/48 F-16 series from Tamiya and the first time all of the intakes, nozzles, gear doors and main wheels have all been released together. No more need to buy two (or more) kits to create one of different Viper blocks. The kit also provides for the first time the Block 40/42 holographic HUD parts. In addition, this kit has some additional new parts that are noteworthy:
- New main wheel halves to replicate another wheel hub design used on the earlier Vipers
- Two ACMI pods carried by aggressors and combatants alike during training exercises as well as in combat operations over Iraq
- Two new AIM-9 missile rails - not the newer/larger types that can carry AIM-9 and AIM-120, these are the earlier pylons that have previously been in the kit, but for the first time, they've been molded with the rail detail so that they would look just as nice without a weapon or ACMI pod loaded
The instructions also show you where the scab plates go along the dorsal spine of the airframe, though this diagram is a shameless plug for their optional photo-etched detail set available separately.
What is not in this box is the wide array of weapons that have been available in previous releases since this release is about unarmed aggressor Vipers. What is in this box though:
- 2 x AIM-9L/M
- 2 x AIM-120
- 2 x 370 Gallon tanks
- 1 x 300 gallon centerline fuel tank
- 1 x ALQ-184 ECM pod
- 1 x ALQ-188 ECM Pod
- 2 x ACMI pods
- 2 x RHAW Pods (for the F-16N)
Decals are provided for four examples:
- F-16C Block 30, 86-0314, Red 14, 354 FW Wing Commander's aircraft, 2008
- F-16N, BuNo 163271, US Navy Fighter Weapons School, NAS Miramar, 1993
- F-16C Block 32, 86-0272, 64 AS/57 Wing, Nellis AFB, Squadron Commander's aircraft, 2008
- F-16C Block 42, 89-2148, 62 AS/57 Wing, Nellis AFB, 2006
So out of the box, this kit can build up into the F-16C Block 25, 30, 32, 40, 42, 50, 52 and the F-16CM block 40, 42, 50, and 52. What you won't have are the external stores and targeting pods for the mission-specific blocks without raiding another kit or going to the aftermarket. You can also backdate this kit to the F-16A blocks with the right vertical stabilizer (USAF versus NATO), smaller horizontal stabs for the block 1/5/10 aircraft, and the right markings. What's more, with the AIFF parts, you can also do the F-16A MLU or Block 20 aircraft, but again you'll need a Litening pod and pylon.
These Tamiya kits are still the best F-16 kits in 1/48 scale and would be the best in any scale were it not for their big (1/32) brothers, but those are limited to the F-16CJ or F-16CM Block 50 without aftermarket parts. If you want a good utility kit that has nice engineering, nice details, and the versatility to render a variety of variants, this is the kit you'll want to stash several copies away.