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F-16C Block 25/42 USAF Kit

Kinetic 1/48 F-16C Block 25/42 USAF Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2022 Manufacturer Kinetic
Subject F-16C Block 25/42 USAF Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48102 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $39.95

First Look

F-16C Block 25/42 USAF Kit
F-16C Block 25/42 USAF Kit
F-16C Block 25/42 USAF Kit
F-16C Block 25/42 USAF Kit
F-16C Block 25/42 USAF Kit

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

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

One of the earliest kits ever released by Kinetic was the F-16 series. While generous in its packaging by providing a wealth of external stores, the fuselage was plagued by inaccuracies that pushed the Kinetic Vipers into obscurity. Fast forward many years and Kinetic has released its first new-tooled F-16s with this kit. Released under its Kinetic Gold series, this tooling is all new and provides details not seen in the previous releases. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on nine parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus a single tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in the kit:

  • Detailed cockpit w/decals for instruments and side console details
  • Nice ACES II ejection seat with crew restrains provided as decals
  • Correct HUD for Block 42
  • Correct HUD for Block 25
  • Positionable canopy
  • Correct dorsal spine for Block 25 and for Block 42
  • Correct main landing gear struts and doors for both Block 25 and Block 42
  • Narrowmouth inlet for Pratt power
  • Choice of wingtip launch rails
  • Positionable trailing edge flaps
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable stabilators

The kit provides the following external stores:

  • AAQ-13
  • AAQ-14
  • AAQ-28
  • Sniper XR
  • AIM-9M
  • AIM-9X
  • AIM-120B/C
  • AGM-88
  • ALQ-184
  • GBU-12
  • GBU-24
  • GBU-31
  • LAU-129
  • 300 gallon centerline tank
  • 370 gallon wing tanks

The decal sheets provide markings for three examples:

  • F-16C Block 25, 83-147, 147 FW/TX ANG
  • F-16C Block 25, 83-155, 148 FW/MN ANG
  • F-16C Block 42, 90-702, 112 FW/OH ANG

Here are some preliminary observations on this tooling:

  1. The plastic inside the box is the same for nearly all versions of the Pratt-powered F-16. The options really include Block 15 OCU, Block 15 ADF, Block 20, Block 25, Block 32, Block 42 and Block 52. The only parts missing from the rest of the timeline are the early stabilators for Blocks 1, 5, and 10, and the various updates for the Block 52+. The only thing to know is which parts combine to recreate each version.
  2. No parts are included for the GE-powered Vipers (Blocks 30, 40, and 50). Hopefully these will come in a future release.
  3. No parts for the two-seat Vipers.
  4. For building the Block 52, use the Block 25/32 HUD and the left or right-handed HTS pod (depending on the variant you're modeling)
  5. The forward fuselage ahead of the canopy has the five bird-cutter antennas that were added as part of the Advanced IFF interrogator on all Block 50/52, some Block 40/42, and a very few earlier F-16Cs. If you're modeling an F-16 that flew prior to receiving those updates, remove the AIFF from the nose. You'll also want to use the smaller/thinner missile rails on the wingtips and the Vipers didn't receive the LAU-129 modification to carry AIM-120 or AIM-9 on the wingtips until around those updates.

I'll revise this section as we go forward with building, but give this kit a good look as I believe this could the best F-16 in 1/48 scale!

My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!