Kinetic 1/48 F-16I Sufa Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2009||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Kit Number||48006||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Detail Media||Styrene, PE, turned brass|
|Pros||Well engineered and options never before seen in a 1/48 scale Viper kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$64.95|
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 the next installment in their impressive Fighting Falcon series. This release represents the Pratt-powered version of the F-16I 'Sufa' advanced strike Viper of the Israeli Air Force.
The kit is molded in medium gray styrene and presented on 20 parts trees, plus two trees of clear parts. Kinetic continues to mix and match its parts trees to render these different variants. New to us are the conformal tank sprues and the full length dorsal spine. The Kinetic F-16D Zastrzeb kit also has the dorsal spine, but it is different in detail than the Israeli version and kudos to Kinetic for getting those details correct!
Other new parts in this kit include the new conformal antenna plates that replace the RWR blisters on the sides of the nose, and the distinctive fairings that extend the navigation lights away from the sides of the inlet (also containing sensor antennas). Also new in the kit (and not imaged) is a tab inside the box that contains a turned brass pitot tube and a small set of photo-etched insets for the sides of the conformal fuel tanks.
Given that this is a Block 52+, the kit has the Pratt nozzle and narrow-mouth (NSI) inlet. It also has a set of LANTIRN pods on its inlets to support its advanced strike capabilities.
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.
For those of us who've been looking for aftermarket conformal fuel tanks, the search is over as these are now stock items in the appropriate Kinetic kits. Note that Kinetic didn't address the CFTs in their instruction book, they provided an additional sheet that shows you where to open some flashed-over holes in the upper fuselage part to allow for easy installation of the tanks.
The IFF antenna panel is an insert that goes onto the nose ahead of the windscreen, just like Tamiya's kit. Like Tamiya, the kit also has the plain panel if you really want to backdate the kit to a standard Block 52.
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
- 2 x Conformal fuel tanks
- 1 x AAQ-13 LANTIRN
- 1 x AAQ-14 LANTIRN
- 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.
Markings are provided for four examples:
- F-16I, 408, Negev Sqn, Israeli AF, 2007
- F-16I, 422, Negev Sqn, Israeli AF, 2007
- F-16I, 425, Bat Sqn, Israeli AF, 2007
- F-16I, 451, Bat Sqn, Israeli AF, 2007
The kit provides two sheets of decals including a nice set of stencils for the airframe, and one large sheet with the stencils and markings for the wide variety of weapons in this box.
This is another nice release from Kinetic Models and we now finally have production kits of really current production Vipers! While Hasegawa did recently release this same kit in 1/48 scale, you'd also have to stock up on the Hasegawa armament sets and find a set of LANTIRN pods to match what Kinetic includes in this kit.
My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!