Matchbox 1/72 F-16A/B Falcon

KIT: Matchbox 1/72 F-16A/B Falcon
KIT #: PK-122
PRICE: $Out of Production
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Victor Scheuerman
NOTES: 1997 Chinese boxing, instructions and rub on decals.

HISTORY

I would think that most individuals are somewhat familiar with the prolific F-16 family and if not, please feel free to read one of the numerous articles on this site.

THE KIT

Matchbox offers the option of either the single or two-seat version of this small fighter. This is accomplished by having separate upper fuselage inserts and canopies. A total of 84 silver almost flash free parts make up the main kit with two clear canopies completing the plastic parts. There are few panel lines and but these are rather petit and look good; just too few. The simple cockpits consist of one or two tubs that have the side instrument consoles molded in place. Both cockpit inserts have the pilotís instrument coaming with the two-seater having the additional one at mid-station. Basic seat(s) and well sculptured aircrew complete the cockpit.  

 All of the gear bays are framed in, though all are shallow and all the gear doors could be sanded thinner to improver their appearance. Matchbox did include some minor detail on both the landing gear struts and tires and both the struts and separate retraction arms are thin enough to pass muster. 

 One area that Matchbox went to town on was the external stores. There are four underwing pylons, one lower fuselage pylon, wing tip racks and four MER. These can hold a combination of Sidewinder missiles, fuel tanks and iron bombs. I would hesitate to use the Sidewinders missiles as they are very poorly done.

 Assembly is covered over 12 steps with adequate drawings. While detailed colour notes are offered, this is a Chinese boxing so one will have to search for this information. There are two decal options. The first is an F-16A from the famous USAF Thunderbirds. An F-16B of the Dutch 332 Squadron in a more war-like finished is the second subject.  Both of these subjects are illustrated on the back of the box in colour. The one real interesting thing about this boxing is the decals. These are the rub-on variety that comes with some of the Chinese boxings. Interesting idea but some of the artwork is not great (the national flags for the Thunderbird).  

CONCLUSIONS

There is little one can recommend about this kit. If one wants a quick build 1/72 F-16, then I would recommend the old, but very nice ESCI kit.   

Victor Scheuerman

August 2008

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