Hasegawa 1/48 F-16CG (Block 40/42) Fighting Falcon Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2008||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F-16CG (Block 40/42) Fighting Falcon||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||09826||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, great external details||Cons||Simple cockpit detail|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$50.00|
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.
While we've reviewed this kit before ( look here), one significant event has transpired since then. Tamiya has released their late-block Vipers in 1/48 scale as well ( look here). The Tamiya kit is definitely a nice model, but is it that much better than the Hasegawa kit?
When I hold the Hasegawa kit, I am still impressed with the engineering and detail in the kit, but when I put the Hasegawa fuselage against the Tamiya part, the difference is quite impressive. The Hasegawa surface has finely scribed details, but these are more representative in presentation than realistic. This is no-doubt due to the lack of up-close detailed photos at the time they engineered the tooling. As I understand it, Tamiya was assisted by Lockheed-Martin on this project and the additional detailing is instantly evident. The difference in the level of scribed detailing is quite stark. Tamiya is the clear winner on up-to-date details!
On the other hand, Tamiya has only released a few variants of the F-16 so far in 1/48, none of which include the F-16CG. If you want to build a night attack Viper, you can mod the Tamiya kit, or you can still rely on this nice model.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eleven parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. Since the F-16 molds are among Hasegawa's "bread and butter" offerings, they get quite a bit of use, so as you'll note in the images to the right, there is a hint of mold flash here and there typical of mold wear. Nevertheless, the molding is crisp and features finely scribed details. Of course these molds pre-date the current trend of exaggerated recessed rivets.
Upon opening the box, you'll find the standard trees used in every other F-16 kit previously released including:
- Single-seat fuselage
- Standard wings and Block 15 stabilators
- Underwing pylons and AIM-9L/M Sidewinders
- Narrow-mouth inlet and Pratt & Whitney F100 engine nozzle (Block 42)
- GE engine nozzle (Block 40)
- Accurate external fuel tanks
- Narrow mouth (Block 42) and wide mouth (Block 40) inlet
- The RWR antennas that mount on the leading edges of the wing
- Two detailed AIM-120 AMRAAMS
- Two wingtip launch rails for the AMRAAMs
- Nicely rendered LANTIRN pods
- Two new wide main gear wheels and bulged main gear doors
- Two new pilots heads w/the current issue lightweight helmets to replace the older "bone dome" helmets previously used (and still included in the kit). Again, only one is used (if at all), so there is at least one spare for another modern aircraft project!
- The Block 40/42 taxi/landing lights on the nose gear door
- The cockpit is representative of the older block F-16s. (This one is not a big problem as Black Box (now Avionix) released a beautiful replacement cockpit for this kit
The major feature that changes with each of Hasegawa's special edition releases is the decal sheet, and here we have three nice examples out of Osan AB to choose from:
- F-16CG, 89-2020, 51 Fighter Wing CC's aircraft, USAF, Osan AB, South Korea, Special Korean War F-86 Checkerboards on tail
- F-16CG, 89-2136, 36 FS/51 FW, USAF, Squadron CC's aircraft
- F-16CG, 89-2033, 36 FS/51 FW, USAF, Special Korean War F-86 Checkerboards on tail
This is still a nice kit and is still the only out-of-the-box option for the F-16CG in 1/48 scale (for now). With the parts included to do the Block 40 (GE) or Block 42 (Pratt) versions, plus all of the other extras in the box, the Hasegawa Viper is still a great kit.
My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!