NSAWC Viper: 1/48th Hasegawa F16B Plus Falcon
Originally released in 1989, this Hasegawa F-16B Plus was also re-released in 2006. The kit provides all of the parts for a standard Block 15 OCU (Operational Capability Upgrade) F-16B. Although showing its age a bit by now, the kit still builds up into a good rendition of a double Viper.
Notable Kit Features:
Appears to have an accurate Viper outline
Two pilot figures and one boarding ladder included
Nice engraved surface detail (although aging by today's standards)
Relatively straight-forward build
Separate exhaust part makes for simplified painting
Wing and center line tanks provided as well as baggage pod
A pair of AIM-120 and AIM-9 L/M weapons are included
I always liked the look of the Aggressor schemes and when I came across this desert scheme I knew I had my next project set (if I could reproduce it without available decals). I believe this scheme was a Pakistani paint job that was retained after a deal fell through over a political disagreement. The subtle all browns provide a unique subject matter that will stand out in my collection.
The molds are getting old now and you may encounter flash
Ejector pin marks are present on some parts
Cockpit is decent enough, but not great with exception of front panel
Ejection seat is basic and appears to be a bit large for the kit
Limited detail in wheel wells
Landing gear bulkhead must be installed level or aircraft will sit crooked
Careful with wing to fuselage join to ensure that wings are level
Fixed wing control surfaces LEF (Leading Edge Flaps) & TEF (Trailing Edge Flaps)
Intake fit is not good with 2 side seams that require clean-up and smoothing over
Pylons have an odd square cutout (which tanks fit in, however resulting join is noticeable & inaccurate)
Canopy has a seam down the middle that has to be carefully removed and then polished and dipped in Future.
Canopy fit is OK but not great (Note: Canopy is not tinted)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Markings were painted on using masks cut with a Silhouette Portrait plotter cutter (with the exception of the national markings and Top Gun badge)
I got the aircraft number incorrect after changing it at the last minute as I was trying to avoid cutting out more complicated numbers like 9, 8, 6, 4 or 0 ...I noticed later that 51 was in fact an "A" model - My bad
The paint scheme was the focal point of this F-16B aircraft build and I eventually settled on FS 33617 / 33448 / 30257 as the colours for this wrap around scheme. Variations of the tones were added during the paint spray process to give the paint a bit of a desert wear. The lettering and lightning bolt on the tail were sprayed on afterwards using masks cut out of clear vinyl adhesive sheets (to make accurate placement on the aircraft possible). After letting that all dry for at least a day I put the gloss coat on using Klear / Future and proceeded with the decals and weathering washes. A light coat of Model Master matt was used as the final coat to seal everything in and dull things down.
The After-Build Report:
The Hasegawa 1/48th scale F-16B kit is still a decent kit, especially considering it's comparatively reasonable price. Newer F-16 kits have been released however not many 2 seaters. The Kinetic 1/48th F-16A/B kit (K48004) has the aggressor markings in the box, although their kit does have some issues as well, it may be a better jump off point to build a NSAWC Viper.
Completed build #253 - June 2022 using the 1/48th scale Hasegawa #06105 / V5:1500 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers