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F-16C Kit

Tamiya 1/48 F-16C (Block 25/32) Fighting Falcon Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2008 Manufacturer Tamiya
Subject F-16C (Block 25/32) Fighting Falcon Scale 1/48
Kit Number 61101 Primary Media Styrene, White Metal
Pros The best F-16C Block 25/32 in 1/48, the only CCIP in 1/48, and has the ONLY AIM-9X missiles available in any scale (for now) Cons No provisions for Block 52 (Pratt-powered), no ALQ-131, seamline on the canopies
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $57.00

First Look

F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit
F-16C Kit

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

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

Here is Tamiya's second installment in its F-16 series - the Block 25/32. The first was the F-16CJ Block 50 Fighting Falcon (reviewed here) which was a scaled down version of their beautiful 1/32 F-16CJ Block 50 (reviewed here). Like the F-16CJ, this Block 25/32 was also previously released in 1/32 scale. In other words, Tamiiya is taking over the F-16 market, and quite effectively I might add.

Since Hasegawa previously ruled the 1/48 scale F-16 market, we can see that Tamiya has engineered this kit to not only backfill where Hasegawa has gone, but to provide versions (like the CCIP) where Hasegawa will probably not go. Rather than repeat the similarities and differences between the 1/48 and 1/32 versions of these kits, let's look at the possibilities that this kit and the Block 50 offer. If you are interested in the differences between scales, you can read the earlier Block 50 review here.

Like the Block 50 release, this kit is set up to be modular so they can swap parts to render other blocks in the future. It is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees, two new trees in dark gray styrene, plus three trees of clear parts.

If you note the box art, the ANG Viper depicted there is indeed an early block F-16C, but it also has the 'bird cutter' IFF antennas on the nose. These antennas are for the AN/APX-113 IFF system that is being retrofitted to the F-16C Blocks 40, 42, 50, and 52 Vipers as part of the Common Configuration Implementation Program, the F-16A/B as part of the Mid-Life Update (NATO and export Vipers), and also to the F/A-18 Hornet fleet. These are also standard equipment on new-production Block 20 F-16A/B and Block 50/52 and Block 60 F-16s.

These IFF units and other upgrades are also finding their way into the older Block 25/30/32 F-16s, especially for those units whose capstone mission is air defense and had traded their specially-modified F-16A/B ADF interceptors for 'newer' F-16Cs. The APX-113 provides better performance over the APX-109 system that first introduced 'bird cutter' antennas to the F-16 fleet. In short, these IFF antennas are correct on older C-models, just check your references to see if the machine you're modeling has been so-equipped.

The main differences between this kit and the Block 50 release:

Block 25/32:

  • NSI (narrow-mouth) inlet
  • Pratt & Whitney F100 afterburner nozzle
  • 'Flat' main gear doors
  • Landing lights on main gear struts
  • AAQ-28 Litening targeting pod
  • GBU-12 LGBs (4) on TERs

Block 50:

  • MCID (wide-mouth) inlet
  • GE F110 afterburner nozzle
  • Bulged main gear doors
  • Wider main wheels
  • Landing lights on nose gear door
  • HTS pod
  • AGM-88 HARM (2) missiles

Possibilities

You can see in the design of the tooling that the kit is very modular:

  • The upper section of the nose is molded separately. There are two-seaters in our future
  • The base of the dorsal spine is modular, we'll be seeing A/B models as well as parapack housings
  • The cockpit is modular. The HUD module can be changed so we'll have F-16CG Block 40/42. The instrument panel is also modular so it will support F-16A/B easily

You get the idea. But now that we have one GE-powered kit and one Pratt-powered kit, what can we do now?

  • Block 25/32 - this kit straight out of the box
  • Early Block 30 - this kit plus the GE nozzle out of the Block 50 kit (or an aftermarket nozzle). Check your references to see if your early Block 30 retained the narrow mouth inlet or was retrofitted with the widemouth
  • Block 30 - this kit plus the GE nozzle and the widemouth intake parts from the Block 50 kit
  • Block 40 - use the Block 50 kit with the Black Box F-16CG cockpit
  • Block 42 - use the Block 50 kit with the Black Box F-16CG cockpit and the intake and Pratt nozzle out of this kit
  • Block 50 - use the Block 50 kit straight out of the box
  • Block 52 - use the Block 50 kit plus the intake and Pratt nozzle out of this kit

You can also backdate this kit to an F-16A, but you'll need to have an A/B vertical stab base and these are available in the aftermarket. You'll also have to backdate the cockpit, but A-model resin cockpits are out there.

If you're patient, I'm sure Tamiya will offer all of these (and more) in the future, but AMS modelers can definitely start to mix and match parts to render versions that are not yet on the market. With the wealth of interesting aftermarket decals 'out there' for all of these blocks, it is nice to have options.

Decals are provided for three examples:

  • F-16C Block 32H, 87-0301, 144 FW, Wing Commander's aircraft, CA ANG, 2007
  • F-16C Block 25B, 83-1144, 144 FW, Wing Commander's aircraft, CA ANG, 2006
  • F-16C Block 32D, 86-0279, 188 FW, Wing Commander's aircraft, AR ANG, 2006

These Tamiya kits are still the best F-16 kits in 1/48 scale and would be the best in any scale were it not for their big (1/32) brothers.

Here is a list of paints Tamiya identifies for use with this kit and the equivalent colors from other brands (Note: the first two colors are matches to the early war colors applied to USAAF aircraft, the remainder are the Tamiya-recommended colors):

 
AMMO
AV
GSI
HAT
LC
MIS
MRP
REV
TAM
TES
XTRA
Gray
 
 
H022
N022
 
 
 
 
 
AS07
XF53
 
 
White
 
71.279
C316
H316
A049
C049
 
MMP104
099
 
AS20
XF02
1745
X141
XA1141
Gray
0203
71.312
C308
H308
A037
C037
UA026
MMP073
038
A065
32143
36143
AS26
1728
X136
XA1136
Gray
0211
71.275
C306
H306
A054
C054
UA094
MMP118
039
A064
 
AS28
XF20
1725
 
Black
0032
70.950
C002
H002
N002
A125
C125
LC002
MMP047
005
A012
32107
36107
LP01
X01
1747
 
White
0050
71.001
C001
H001
N001
A528
C528
LC001
MMP001
004
A014
32104
36104
LP02
X02
1745
X141
Blue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
X04
 
 
Yellow
0048
71.078
C004
H004
N004
A290
C290
UA042
MMP007
386
32112
36112
LP08
X08
1707
 
Metal Black
 
71.073
C078
H028
N028
 
 
 
 
 
LP40
X10
 
 
Silver
0195
70.790
C008
H008
N008
A003
C003
LC074
MMM006
003
32190
36190
LP11
X11
 
X038
Gold
0198
 
C009
H009
N009
 
LC025
MMC003
153
32194
36194
LP62
X12
1744
 
Metallic Blue
Aotake
0267
 
C057
H063
N063
 
UA136
MMP113
 
 
TS19
X13
2119
X355
Sky Blue
 
 
C034
H025
N025
 
 
 
 
 
X14
 
 
Cowling Color
N01
 
 
C125
 
 
 
 
 
X18
 
 
Smoke Gray
 
70.939
C101
H095
N095
 
 
MMP170
 
 
LP67
X19
 
 
Clear Green
 
70.936
C138
H094
N094
 
 
MMP169
 
 
X25
 
 
Clear Red
 
70.934
C047
H090
N090
 
 
MMP167
 
 
LP72
X27
 
 
Bright Green
Dilectric Green
 
70.970
C066
H026
N026
A327
C327
 
 
032
 
TS35
X28
 
 
Titanium Gold
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
X31
 
 
Titanium Silver
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
X32
 
 
Flat Black
0046
71.057
C033
H012
N012
A041
C041
LC002
 
017
 
LP03
XF01
1749
 
Flat White
 
71.001
C062
H011
N011
 
LC001
 
 
 
LP04
XF02
1768
 
Yellow
0125
71.078
C113
H413
 
UA140
MMP090
051
A036
32115
36115
XF03
2072
X213
XA1213
Flat Red
 
71.269
H013
N013
A132
C132
LC006
 
 
32131
36131
XF07
2733
 
Flat Blue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
XF08
 
 
Flesh
RAL 8031
 
70.843
C051
H044
N044
 
 
 
 
 
LP30
XF15
 
 
Aluminum
0194
71.062
C218
A078
C078
 
MMM003
009
 
LP38
XF16
 
 
Barley Gray
 
 
C334
H334
 
 
 
 
 
XF19
 
X017
Gray
0241
71.121
C315
H315
A048
C048
 
MMP069
 
 
AS28
XF20
1729
X137
XA1137
Light Blue
0063
71.257
C117
H417
A038
C038
UA509
MMP051
066
A050
 
AS05
XF23
2086
X208
XA1208
Deep Gray
 
71.314
C301
H301
A030
C030
UA030
 
241
 
XF24
1788
 
Khaki Drill
 
71.116
C055
H081
N081
 
 
 
 
 
XF49
 
 
Dark Green
RLM 83
0925
71.011
C123
H423
A022
C022
UA132
MMP054
072
A061
32168
36168
AS24
XF51
2091
X226
XA1226
Dark Earth
0070
71.323
C022
H072
N072
A009
C009
UA547
MMP078
108
32182
36182
AS22
XF52
2054
X002
XA1002
Metallic Gray
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
XF56
 
 
Tan
0200
71.327
C313
H313
A090
C090
UA201
 
226
 
XF59
1706
 
Panzer Gray
0008
71.056
H401
A224
C224
UA207
MMP014
034
A019
32109
36109
LP27
XF63
2094
X262
XA1800
Red Brown
 
70.984
C041
H047
N047
 
 
 
 
 
XF64
 
 
Green
0206
71.294
C309
H309
A016
C016
UA091
MMP058
101
 
AS13
XF65
1710
X114
Light Gray
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
XF66
 
 
Dark Green
Mitsubishi
H036
 
 
C124
 
 
MMP112
 
 
XF70
2116
 

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!

References: