Hasegawa 1/72 F-16EŽ Fighting FalconŽ
|PRICE:||$33.55 at www.greatmodels.com (42.00 SRP)|
|DECALS:||Seven serial options|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Upgraded standard kit|
Let us just say that the F-16 is the most successful modern fighter since the F-4 Phantom. From the first plane in 1975 until last year, 4,450 aircraft have been built in the last 35 years. Still a ways to go to match the 5,057 Phantoms (which were all built within 20 years), but gaining ground.
As we are all aware of the basics of the F-16 (and if not, the reference link will fill you in), here is the short version on the F-16E/F. The F-16E (single seat) and F-16F (two seat) are newer F-16 variants. The Block 60 version is based on the F-16C/D Block 50/52 and has been developed especially for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It features improved AN/APG-80 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, avionics, conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), and the more powerful GE F110-132 engine.
If you have ever built a 1/72 Hasegawa F-16 kit, then you will recognize most of the sprues. They are quite unchanged since the kit was first released and while there is a bit of flash, the molding is in remarkably good shape. You do get new sprues for this version that include the conformal fuel tanks, new fin/rudder section, strike camera pod, AMRAAM missiles and a bunch of small lumps and bumps.
Naturally, you'll have to do some carving on the original molds to remove some small items that are no longer used. Hasegawa has been thoughtful enough to modify the inside of several parts (like the fuselage) to incorporate new parts location holes. The instructions will show you which ones are germane to this particular variant. As you can see from the parts layout diagram, there will be quite a few bits not used on this kit.
Markings are provided for seven aircraft, all in the same camouflage scheme that I've called 'glop' for quite a while. This is basically three greys and those shades are provided in the paint guide. Gunze paints, of course. Decals are provided for five UAE planes and two that are attached to the Arizona ANG as part of the training of pilots. These latter apparently do not carry US insignia, which is a tad odd. Aside from the tail numbers, there are two different heights of UAE flags for the fin. Decals are well printed with all the required data markings and look like they will work without any problems.
How far the Hasegawa F-16 kit has come. I have to admit that at $42.00 SRP, it is rather pricey considering that the base kit used to be less than $10 when it first came out. However, Hasegawa kits are frequently discounted to make the purchase more palatable and this one is a pretty cool looking aircraft.
I got this one at www.greatmodels.com where there are tons of kits and accessories.
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