Skunkworks 1/48 Scale F-16XL
April 2, 2016 in Aviation
I started this kit in early February with an April 15th deadline. I succeeded, but only just. It is completely Out-Of-the-Box, with only tape seatbelts added. The colours are all Testors Model Master Enamels. I finished the kit with a load out of twelve inert 500 pound Snake-eye retarded bombs, one inert GBU-12 500 pound laser guided bomb, one inert GBU- 24 1,000 pound laser guided bomb, four inert AIM-120A AAMRAMs, two inert AIM-9M Sidewinders, an AN/AAQ -13 Targeting pod, an AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod, and a 300 Gallon Drop Tank on the center line.
I found the actual build of the kit to be mostly problem free, with any real issues due to my own desire to build this quickly. If I do another, I will leave the flaps and vertical tail off until final assembly. This way, I won’t have to replace 90% of the static wicks on the trailing edges. There was a large amount of flash and mold seams on some of the parts, but I think that is due to the large amount of repeat parts from all of the other F-16 kits Kinetic puts out. This kit comes with no fewer than 5 weapons sprues, which will leave you with a decent selection of boom stuff for future builds. Fit was good to fair, cockpit is decently detailed, if maybe a little soft. The decal sheet is huge, and offers 5 different marking choices (3 of them totally fictitious) and Every. Single. Stencil. on the airframe. I did not use them all. There is a second, smaller sheet for all of the weapons and drop tanks.
The canopy was dipped in Pledge Floor Care Multi-Surface Finish tinted with yellow, orange, and black inks for a Gold/Yellow look. All decals were applied over an Alclad Aqua Gloss coat, then another gloss coat, Mig/Ammo wash for the panels, then Testors DullCote for final finish. Landing gear, wheel wells and the insides of the gear doors were treated the same way, just without the final Dull Cote Application. All of the broken off static wicks were replaced with .020 plastic rod and painted flat black. The pitot probe was added, three times, and I called it done. Two and a half months, start to finish. It’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but I like it. Hope you do too.
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