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F-16C Kit

Tamiya 1/48 F-16C (Block 32/52) Thunderbirds Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2008 Manufacturer Tamiya
Subject F-16C (Block 32/52) Thunderbirds Scale 1/48
Kit Number 61102 Primary Media Styrene, Metal
Pros All the parts to render the Block 25, 32, and 52 Pratt-powered Vipers Cons Seamline on the canopies
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $66.00

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
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 third installment in its F-16 series - the Block 32/52. The first was the F-16CJ Block 50 Thunderbirds (reviewed here) while the second was the F-16C Block 25/32 (reviewed here). Between those first two kits, you could render just about any version of the F-16C out of the box, save for the Block 40/42 variants. We spent some time in the Block 25/32 review explaining how you could mix and match parts from the Block 50 and Block 25/32 kits to render more versions. Tamiya has stepped up with this release which provides parts for the early and late block Pratt-powered F-16Cs. Let's take a look:

Like the previous releases, this kit is set up to be modular so they can swap parts to render other blocks in the future. It is molded in white styrene and presented on eight parts trees, plus three trees of clear parts. Of course the main reason for these parts being molded in white is to make it 'easier' to render one of the USAF Thunderbirds' F-16C Vipers. I don't know about you, but white paint on white styrene is a bit of a challenge for me and I will have to apply gray primer so I can deal with any seams before applying the gloss white finish.

Like the previous releases, this kit provides your choice of standard nose and APX-113 'bird cutter' antenna nose. Where the first kit provided the GE-powered Block 50 versions (early and CCIP), the second provided the Pratt-powered Block 25/32 airframes.

This kit provides the first Block 52 in the Tamiya series to be released by combining the Block 25/32 kits with the unique parts out of the Block 50 kit to render the 52. These include

  • Bulged main gear doors
  • Wider main wheels
  • Landing lights on nose gear door

What's more, the kit retains the Block 25/32 parts, so now you can do an early or late Pratt-powered F-16C. You'll still need an aftermarket Block 40/42 cockpit and Lantirn pods if you want to do the night attack Viper, but I suspect Tamiya has that option coming. I also suspect that Tamiya may switch a few parts around so we have the GE-powered Block 30/50 in one box as well. These options will save you from buying two kits to swap parts if you're only going to build one Viper, but many folks will want two or more of these Tamiya kits to enjoy the variant possibilities plus the wide range of aftermarket Viper decals available.

Decals are provided for any one of the 2007 season Thunderbirds including the names of the pilots and crew chiefs. These markings are quite comprehensive, so other than some details on the airframe, all you'll have to do is apply a nice smooth white finish to the model and the rest of the work will be completed with Tamiya's nice decal sheets.

If you're building a Thunderbird, all of those nice external store options will be available for your spares box or other applicable contemporary 1/48 scale projects. And if you're wondering why this kit provides the parts for a Block 52 and only Thunderbirds markings, Tamiya indicates that the team will transition out of their Block 32s at the end of this season and begin demonstrations in the Block 52 starting with the 2009 season. Nice job Tamiya!

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: