Hasegawa 1/48 F-16CJ (Block 50)
|Scott Van Aken|
Putting the whole package in one airframe resulted in the F-16CJ. While one plane concentrated on the SAMs, the others in the flight could be used for AAA suppression or defense. Then the roles would switch. This meant simplifying the process as much as possible for with the F-4G there was a dedicated pilot and separate weapons system operator. Since only single seat F-16s are used, this puts a rather heavy load on the pilot. It is interesting that the Navy still uses multi-place aircraft and its upcoming EF-18G is also a two-place craft. Needless to say, it seems that the F-16CJ is able to function well as it has been successful in the times that it has been used.
Opening the box, one is immediately confronted by a huge package of parts, all sealed in one plastic bag and rubbing up against each other. I know Hasegawa will never change, but I do wish it would as putting all the bits in one bag only increases the change of breakage or having the parts scratched or gouged. At least the clear bits are in a separate pack with the decals. Speaking of clear bits, these are, indeed, clear and not the tinted canopies seen on some F-16s. There is also a seam down the middle of the canopy that will need to be polished out.
The rest is very familiar to anyone who has ever built a 1/48 Hasegawa F-16. The majority of the kit is identical to the F-16A of 20 years ago. Hasegawa just keeps adding sprues to take care of whatever updates have been made to the aircraft. This allows them to use as many common molds as possible to keep down overall costs. All the proper bits are there for the CJ version, including the AAMRAM rails, the ECM antennas and chin pods. In fact, you could do a standard Block 50 aircraft using this kit and not including some of the specific Wild Weasel materials. I don't doubt that many modelers are doing just that. The kit also includes the wider wheels and bulged wheel doors for the later model F-16Cs as well as an updated pilots head with the proper helmet! Thankfully, the kit includes missiles so there is no need to pay for a separate weapons set.
Using earlier kit parts means that the modeler will have to do some modification, such as removing the wing tip Sidewinder rails and replacing them with the proper AAMRAM rails. You could even do a 'small mouth' F-16C if you wished as the other intake is also included.
Instructions are well done, though a bit crowded. It took me quite a while to find the bit on replacing the wing tip rails, so one has to take some care when building the kit to be sure not to miss something. All the paint info is in Gunze and (where applicable) FS 595 colors. Markings are for two boss birds. One is the box art plane from the 20th FW and the other from the 35th FW. Decals are well printed and since this is a 2000 kit, will be a touch thick.
Another fine Hasegawa kit that has already spawned a number of reboxings and will undoubtedly do so for years to come!
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly by asite that has over 250,000 visitors a month, please contactme or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page