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F-16C/D Block 52+ Kit

Kinetic 1/48 F-16C/D Block 52+ Polish AF Advanced Fighter Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2018 Manufacturer Kinetic
Subject F-16C/D Block 52+ Polish AF Advanced Fighter Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48076 Primary Media Styrene
Detail Media Styrene, PE Clear Media Styrene
Pros Versatile release Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $39.95

First Look

F-16C/D Block 52+ Kit
F-16C/D Block 52+ Kit
F-16C/D Block 52+ Kit
F-16C/D Block 52+ Kit
F-16C/D Block 52+ Kit
F-16C/D Block 52+ Kit

For a quick history of the F-16, look here.

For a look at the differences between F-16 blocks, look here.

Kinetic Models has reissued their Polish Vipers, this time in one box. The F-16D Block 52+ kit was first released almost 10 years ago and these parts trees look like fresh molds. Unlike many two-seater kits, the Block 50/52+ Vipers have the dorsal spine which is shared with the F-16I Sufa and the Singapore AF, which provide additional avioinics room and aircraft capabilities. In this release, Kinetic also provides the parts for the F-16C Block 52+ as well.

The kit is molded in medium gray styrene and presented on 19 parts trees, plus three trees of clear parts and one small tree of photo-etched parts for the conformal tank inserts.

Given that this is a Block 52+, the kit has the Pratt nozzle and narrow-mouth (NSI) inlet. This airframe also has the extended fin base parts to replicate the parapack housing. Parts for the non-parapack housing (standard) version tail are also included in the kit but not used for this subject. In fact, you'll have a number of parts for your spares box because of all of the options you can't use all at once in this box.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Choice of F-16C or F-16D
  • Nicely detailed cockpit(s)
  • Positionable canopy
  • Detailed wheel wells
  • Anti-static dischargers are molded on the trailing edges (caution required)
  • Updated radome w/lightning protection
  • Positionable speed brakes
  • Positionable stabilators
  • Positionable rudder
  • Conformal tanks
  • Dorsal spine for D-model
  • Extended vertical stab base with parachute housing fitted w/avionics
  • Heavy-duty mail landing gear and bulged main gear doors
  • Narrow-mouth inlet and full duct down to compressor face
  • P&W F100 afterburner nozzle

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-33 Sniper XR
  • 2 x AIM-9M Sidewinder
  • 2 x AIM-9X Sidewinder
  • 2 x AIM-120B AMRAAM
  • 2 x AIM-120C AMRAAM
  • 2 x AGM-65 Maverick
  • 2 x Mk.82 (slicks)
  • 2 x GBU-12 Paveway II
  • 2 x GBU-24 Paveway III
  • 2 x GBU-31 JDAM
  • 2 x GBU-38 JDAM
  • 2 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!

Markings are provided for four examples:

  • F-16D, 4082, Polish AF, 2013 Tiger Meet scheme
  • F-16D, 4084, Polish AF, 2014 Tiger Meet scheme
  • F-16C, 4062, Polish AF, 2013 Tiger Meet scheme
  • F-16C, 4055, Polish AF, 2013 Tiger Meet scheme

Notes:

  • 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.
  • The kit cockpit is nicely done, though you'll want photo-etched restraints for the ACES II ejection seat.
  • The canopies are clear for both the single-seater as well as the two-seater. The tinted canopies were used to reduce radar cross-section, but have been replaced on many Vipers because they were incompatible with night vision goggles.
  • 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.
  • 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 pre-CCIP 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.

All four options in this kit are colorful Tiger Meet schemes, though you can go to the aftermarket to render one of the later Tiger Meet or tactical schemes.

This is still a nice kit and now you have the choice of a Pratt-powered single or two-seater in one box. With a retail price of under $40 USD (directly from Lucky Model), this kit is also a bargain!

My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!

References:

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