Revell 1/72 F-16C

KIT #: 04633
PRICE: $12.00 'used'
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2002 boxing


Though initially designed as a lightweight, point defense fighter, the F-16 steadily grew in capabilities to where it is more of a medium attack aircraft with air to air capabilities instead of a straight-forward air intercept plane.

The F-16A/B as well as Block 25 and Block 30/32 F-16C/D variants have been pretty much withdrawn from USAF service. The early F-16Cs are being worked up as drones for expenditure as aerial targets. This leaves the Block 40/42 and Block 50/52 as the main Falcons in the USAF. These will be replaced by the F-35, despite all of the issues of ballooning expenses and poorly functioning systems that have plagued the F-35 over the last decade or so.

This model is one of those early Block 25 aircraft.


Prior to the release of the Tamiya F-16CJ in this scale, this was probably the best 1/72 F-16 produced. It went that extra step in detail from the Hasegawa Falcons (which are still very nice kits). First boxings were for the F-16 MLU that was previewed here several years ago. Careful examination of the sprues of that kit and this one will show many similarities. What this one has done is go the extra step and provide parts for the 'big mouth' versions of the Falcon.

It takes an F-16 aficionado to be able to spout of block numbers and such, but the biggest difference between the two is that looking at the front, the intake makes one look like it is 'smiling' while the other does not. This is due to the different engines in the 'big mouth' version. Later block aircraft also have bulged gear doors (which I didn't see in the kit)  and some other differences that I can't tell without a guild book of some sort.

With all those options, this is a kit from which you can build a wide range of different F-16 versions. You can see from the parts scan that there are quite a few areas blacked out as not used in this boxing. Interestingly, this looks very much like the same kit as in the Monogram boxing many years back, including an identical box art save for different unit. You get a full range of weapons as well as a nicely detailed cockpit and bits that are not used in this boxing such as the shorter A tail and the very early stabs. You could probably build a pre-plus F-16A with what's here.

Instructions are standard RoG of the time on near newsprint quality paper, but quite well done.  Colors are given in Revell paint number and some FS numbers as needed.

Two markings options are provided. One is the box art plane from the 52nd FW based at Spangdahlem at the time, a logical choice for a Revell of Germany kit. The other is for the 366 wing based at Mountain Home. Both aircraft are shown in the simplified two grey camouflage scheme. Decals are very nicely done and include quite a few stencils. You also get markings for all the weapons and the tanks.


The nice thing about the Revell kit is that it includes all the bits needed to make an earlier F-16C and even parts for an F-16A. I have a bunch of these kits and so decided that this one would be an early F-16C Block 25 as I had a nice decal sheet for an early bird that I wanted to use. This is my first Revell kit of this plane in this scale as all the previous 72nd Vipers had been Hasegawa.

So I started by gluing together and cleaning up the fuel tanks as I knew I'd be using them. I then assembled and seat and installed it into the cockpit tub. It was an incredibly tight fit. The HOTAS was installed and after attaching the decals to the instrument panel, I glued that in place. This assembly was then glued into the upper forward fuselage. With that done, the lower section and rear bit with the wings and such were glued on. Note that there are tabs on the forward and aft upper fuselage section that need to interlock in order to get the best fit.

With that done, I used the alternate intake bits for the small mouth plane and built up that assembly. As with every F-16 I've built, this piece is a bit fiddly and needed filler on the joins. When the small brace was installed, I then glued this to the fuselage. Next was the exhaust cone. Not the greatest fit and sanding was needed here as well. Again, this builds like every other F-16 and to be honest, it would have been a better fit were there some tabs around the join area. I then attached the fin assembly after a bit of scraping to get the best fit.

The ventral strakes were added and this was followed by the canopy, which I had already masked.

In most builds, this would be a tad early to consider painting as there was still much to be added. However, I have found that with the F-16, there is so much masking to get things right, that having a fairly complete airframe is the best time to start.

I began with painting all of the gear wells and intake with white. When dry, these were filled with Silly Putty, which I have found to be an excellent masking material for these areas and it is completely reusable. I also painted the landing gear and inner gear doors with white while I was at it.

Next up, the underside, nose section and fin were painted in FS 36270 neutral grey. I used Model Master enamels for this. The upper section was then painted FS 36118 gunship grey as were the outside of the strakes. The tailplanes were painted at this time as well. I also used a couple of metallic colors on the exterior of the afterburner.

Still more exterior painting to do, but I felt it was a good idea to attach the landing gear. This area is extremely fiddly to get everything in its proper position. This delayed the building by quite a bit as I did not look forward to fussing with it. Despite an incident involving feline trodding on model which broke the landing gear and a few pylons, I eventually got everything reassembled and painted. A gloss coat got the kit ready for painting after I attached and masked the canopy.

For this build, I did a 111FS, Texas ANG plane from Wolfpak Decals 72-111. These decals are printed by Fantasy Printshop so are well done and fairly thin. After getting most of the markings on and painting the ordnance, I simply lost interest in building, a situation that lasted about three months. This kit had already taken more than the normal amount of time so it sat in its box until I finally got motivated during the Christmas/New Year's break and decided to finish it up. I then attached all of the ordnance (some of them several times), plugged in the tailplanes and the nose probe and gave it a matte clear coat using Tamiya paint. I then realized I hadn't attached all the decals so brushed on some Vallejo gloss clear and finished up the decals. I tried using the stripe decals for the missiles, but they refused to conform to the missile bodies so I gave up on weapons markings. The ordnance was attached, the later decals were matte painted and that was it.

As usual with kits like this, the end result is passable and looks nice on the display shelf with the very few other modern jets in my collection. I have to say that I was not pleased with the general fiddly build and the unresponsive kit decals. While this kit is more detailed than the earlier Hasegawa offerings and includes a nice weapons suite, in general the Hasegawa kit fits better and for an early F-16C, would be my next kit for this sort of subject.


January 2021

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