Hasegawa 1/72 F-16C Fighting Falcon
|PRICE:||$5.50 in 1987|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||1987 base boxing|
The F-16 is one of the most produced and most popular western fighters. The total number produced as of 2023 is over 4,550 with the production line for the F-16 block 70 still open. Initially designed as a lightweight fighter bomber to replace the A-7D and F-4E fleet in the USAF, the type has gone on to gain more capabilities which meant higher weight and so engine power has also steadily increased to keep up.
It is, or at least was until the introduction of the F-35, a staple of NATO countries and many nations outside of NATO have chosen it as their premier fighter aircraft.
This kit is based on their earllier F-16A offering and as such, the panel lines on the upper fuselage around the extended fin of the F-16C are incorrect for this version. It isn't something that most modelers will notice, but a die-hard F-16 enthusiast pointed it out to me several years ago.
Typical of Hasegawa kits even today, the cockpit is fairly Spartan and relies on decals for instruments. The kit does include a pilot figure so that is a nice touch. Fuselage is split horizontally and you'll need no nose weight. Inner main gear fore and aft bunkheads have to be installed prior to cementing the fuselage halves together. Hasegawa has you built up the intake and then add it and the exhaust to the fuselage assembly. The wings, tailplanes and fin are next with the fin being the only difference between this and the earlier F-16A+ kit.
Landing gear is well done with the nose wheel being molded in with the nose gear. Getting all the smaller struts attached to the main gear can be tricky so take your time with it. Gear doors are a piece of cake to attach. Openings in the wing are already provided for the three pylons. You are provided with a trio of external tanks; two for the wings and one for the centerline. The rest of the pylons are for a pair of bombs and for missiles. Note that the kit does provide ordnance so no need to dig through a weapons set unless you want something different.
Instructions are standard fare for Hasegawa with Gunze paint references. All three options are in the three greys scheme typical of early F-16s. The markings options are the box art plane with the 19th TFS, one with the 512th TFS at Ramstein and the first F-16C with the 314th TFTS at Luke. Despite the age of the decals, they look to be quite usable. Markings for the weapons are also included.
There are, of course, newer kits of the F-16 out there from folks like Academy and Kinetic and Tamiya, but this one still builds into a nice model and is one that is not difficult to find at a reasonable price.
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