Kit: ESCI 1/72 F-16B

Kit Number: 9028

Price: $7.50 MSRP when new

Media: Injected Plastic

Decals : four versions, all European users

Date of Review: 29 November, 1996

Comments: The F-16 is probably the number one choice for countries of the world outside the influence of the Russians.  Although production in the US is slowing down, there are production lines in Turkey, Western Europe, and Korea that are still going strong.  Japan's latest fighter is heavily based on the F-16.  

I would bet that almost everyone who builds aircraft models has built an F-16.  I have built well over a dozen over the years and this is one of them.  ESCI's version is one of the simpler, and while it does not have the degree of quality that the Hasegawa versions have, it is pretty close.  Detail is nicely engraved and the kit is engineered for both the single and dual seat versions.  The interior is relatively basic comprising of seats, instrument panels, floor and gunsight.  There are no control sticks, each seat has a huge sinkmark in the seat (maybe these are toilets), and the instruments are decals.  The rest of the kit is pretty good and goes together well with no problems.  Since I was doing a clean aircraft, I had to fill the large holes for the underwing pylons.  The other places that needed putty were the exhaust cone area and the area for the cockpit.

I built this kit to use DACO's decal sheet for the tenth anniversary of the F-16 in Belgian service. Other than decals, this required the spine and tail to be painted white.  The other colors were from the Gunze range and went on without a fuss.  This cannot be said of the decals.  As I mentioned in another review, DACO prints each color separately and requires you to stack them.  While it does prevent register problems, it makes for thick decals and are a real pain to apply.

The finished product does look quite nice.  I have always felt that the two seater looks better than the single seat version and this kit captures that look very well.  This kit is recommended to all, even the beginning modeller.

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