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F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF Kit

Kinetic 1/48 F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2023 Manufacturer Kinetic
Subject F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48105 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $39.95

First Look

F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF Kit
F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF Kit
F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF Kit
F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF Kit
F-16D Block 30/40/50 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 ten parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus a single tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in the kit:

  • Detailed cockpits w/decals for instruments and side console details
  • Nice ACES II ejection seats with crew restrains provided as decals
  • Correct HUDs for Block 40
  • Correct HUDs for Block 30/50
  • Positionable canopy
  • Correct main landing gear struts and doors for both Block 30 and Block 40/50
  • Widemouth inlet for GE power
  • Positionable trailing edge flaps
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable stabilators
  • Positionalbe radome w/radar inside
  • Choice of wingtip launch rails

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-16D Block 50, 90-0838, 14 FS/35 FW, Misawa AB, 2006
  • F-16D Block 30, 86-0051, 523 FS/27 FW, Cannon AFB, 2004
  • F-16D Block 40, 89-2166, 35 FS/8 FW, Kunsan AB, 2006

Here are some preliminary observations on this tooling:

  1. With this release, we now have parts for the two seat F-16 as well as for the GE-powered airframes. If you have Kinetic kit 48102 (F-16C Block 25/42), you can combine the parts to render a single-seat Block 30/40/50 as well as a two-seat Block 25/32/42/52.
  2. According to the release notes from Kinetic, they'll release the parachute braking fairing with the F-16V ROCAF to compliment the F-16A MLU Viper as well as the F-16E/F Block 60 Vipers for the advanced configurations.
  3. 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!