Hasegawa 1/48 F-16A 'Belgian Special'

Kit Number: SP 101

Price: $27.50

Media: Injected Plastic

Decals : 2 versions:  Belgian A.F special schemes for 1 and 2 Squadrons, 1994

Date of Review: 4 May, 1996

Comments:  No need to cover the history of the F-16 suffice to say it is the most successful US fighter since the F-4 Phantom. While I do not know if it will exceed the F-4s 5052 units sold worldwide, it is getting close as 92-910 was the 3500th F-16:  1500 to go.

Hasegawa's 1/48 F-16 has also been around a number of years, but is still a superb kit.  It is designed in such a way that all the different variations can be modeled, although not in the same kit.  The Belgian A. F. F-16s are different from the standard A model in that there is an extension behind the rudder for a parachute or an ECM package.  The rest of the kit builds in the standard manner.  There is a reasonably detailed cockpit, with your choice of decals or painting for the instruments.  the fuselage goes together in the standard F-16 manner; top and bottom sections.  Be very careful when gluing them together as sloppy building means needing putty.  The biggest headache is the intake.  I have built three Hasegawa 1/48 F-16 kits and have had trouble in this area so beware.  The intake always sits higher than the surrounding under fuselage so needs to be filed down.  The various smaller intakes are all separate and easily lost in a rug; in particular an intake on the lower side of the engine intake will need putty as it does not fit at all well.  The other trouble spot is the afterburner section.  All F-16 kits have a problem in this area.  I can only suggest careful building and delicate use of files and putty to get it smooth.  The rest of the kit builds quite easily and gives no further problems.  

The reason I built this particular model was to do one of the special schemes.  I was at first leery of using the notoriously non-opaque Hasegawa decals, especially as I wanted to do the dark blue scheme with the red and yellow enhancements.  I was not disappointed.  The yellow was dulled by the underlying blue paint, but that was a price that I was willing to pay.  The decal sheets are quite complete and very large.  Fortunately, they are also quite tough as they require a lot of moving around.  They also react well to the Microscale system.  This scheme requires very little masking as the entire airframe save the radome is in dark blue. While the kit was not supposed to carry anything under wing, I could not just toss away a major portion of the plastic that I had paid for so added the pylons, fuel tanks, and AMRAAM missiles.

The results are very nice and the kit is worth building.  Recommended for anyone with intermediate skills.

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