Kangnam 1/32 F-16XL Kit First Look
By Sundiata Cowels
|Date of Review||April 2016||Manufacturer||Kangnam|
|Kit Number||18000||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Only model in this scale||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$50.00 (OOP)|
For more than thirty years the A-10 warthog has been one of the mainstays of U.S. aerial close support much to the chagrin of the USAF Generals who continue to demand its retirement and replacement. The chief argument against the continued use of the A-10 is that it is too slow and that it is a so-called “one-trick pony” since the warthog had no ability to switch roles beyond that of a tank-killer or CAS attack craft.
As the clamor for a faster, more versatile replacement began to echo in the network of defense aircraft manufacturers, General Dynamics, makers of the F-16, decided rework its design to possibly fulfill the role that the A-10 did and more.
Redesigned with a cranked arrow wing and lengthened fuselage, the F-16XL turned into one of the great “what-ifs” of aviation history. Presented as a technology demonstrator during the early 1980’s, it showcased great maneuverability and reliability in the many roles it performed. Ultimately the F-16XL, although never created out of a specific Air Force program, was turned down in favor of its bigger and more powerful stable-mate, the F-15E Strike Eagle. And, as luck would have it, the plane that both was intended to replace, continues to soldier on in two warzones.
The Kangnam General Dynamics F-16XL Fighter in 1/32 scale could have been a classic kit.
At first glance this 185 part kit, arranged on seven trees, appears to be a re-working of the Revell 1/32 scale F-16, the only difference being the cranked-arrow wings. As a result, the fuselage is not lengthened as it should be and this makes the F-16XL looks quite stubby. Even the clear canopy plastic is an exact duplicate of Revell’s.
This kit offers the following:
- Recessed panel lines
- Detailed boxed in wheel wells
- Multi-part ejection seat
- Detailed cockpit but no sidewall detail
- Solid plastic wheels (unlike Revell’s rubber wheels)
- An assortment of Mk 82 bombs, Sidewinders and Sparrow missiles
- Burner-can assembly
- FOD intake cover
- Boarding ladder
- Nose radar assembly with the ability to model the nose radome open/closed
Decals are for the F-16XL technology demonstrator that flew circa July 1982 with a compliment of wing markings, national insignia and placards.
Color callouts are basic descriptions (medium gray, white, dark grey etc) with no reference to a specific paint manufacturer or FS number.
It’s really a shame that Kangnam didn’t take the time to re-work the Revell molds a bit further and lengthen the fuselage to the correct size. It would have made a respectable kit (with some cockpit upgrades) sitting alongside a Tamiya F-16 in 1/32 scale. Some thirty years ago, I would have been happy that it had been released at all. As it is now however, the kit is more of curiosity than a must-build. Recommend for collectors and AMS modelers who won’t mind doing some serious reconstructive surgery.