General Dynamics F-16A Falcon “Dirty Diana” Monogram 1/48 scale
323 Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force celebrated its 50th anniversary in November 1998. The squadron decided to commemorate the event by adding artwork of its squadron emblem, Diana, the goddess of the hunt, to the tails of several of their F-16’s. The first scheme was started and was immediately vetoed by AF HQ before the airplane left the paint shop. A few months later, while on TDY to Goose Bay, Labrador, a second scheme was painted on aircraft J-230 on a blue tail that had been started for different artwork. A technical problem left the airplane stranded there, so another Diana was applied to ship J-642, which managed to make it to several airshows before HQ caught wind of it and ordered Diana to be covered up. J-230 was covered up as well, in anticipation of an inspection by hordes of high ranking officers, which did not occur, resulting in Diana’s “sweater” being quickly removed. The last aircraft, J-248, the subject of this model, was started in late 1998 but not finished until January 1999 due to NATO commitments in Kosovo. Having grown tired of attempting to get the squadron to cover up their Dianas, Dutch HQ did not veto this scheme and J-248 remained in all her uncensored glory until her retirement in 2001.
This the venerable 1980 boxing of the Monogram F-16. I got this one as a birthday gift from one of my kids a very long time ago, started it, then threw it back in the box and forgot about for a few decades. Another of my famous garage cleanups uncovered it, with the impetus to finish it being provided by the completion of my recent F4 kit. While surfing the internet, I happened upon the story of Dirty Diana and was quite happy to find that decals were available from Astra (sheet ASD-4818), which sealed the deal. The artwork and yellow tail add some very much needed color to an otherwise bland USAF low viz gray camouflage. The sheet contains markings for all three Dianas, which may prompt me to build another using a more modern and accurate kit. This one is out of the box, with pilot added because it waited long enough to be built and I was too lazy to do anything in the cockpit. Paint is Model Master FS enamels. I dirtied up the wheel wells a bit, but kept the weathering to a minimum to show off the tail art.
It was just a good low stress fun build.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.