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Wolfpack GunSmoke Viper: 1/48th Hasegawa F-16A

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Back in 1983 when Hasegawa released this kit it was definitely the best 1/48 model of the Fighting Falcon. Oddly, things did not get much better over the next decade or so, when you consider what a prolific aircraft this is, you may think that there would be lots of good kits to choose from for the F-16A. There are now better choices for the C/N series with Tamiya's release and Kinetic added their kit however I am hearing some disappointment from the builders of the Kinetic kit.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Decently accurate shape

  • Nice engraved surface detail

  • Relatively straight-forward build

  • Separate exhaust makes for simplified painting

Build Inspiration:

The F-16 was a definite departure, at the time, from typical U.S. aircraft which were built to do as much as possible all at long range. There was almost an aversion to anything less and the F-16 didn't seem to be well received at first... After seeing this set of decals at my local hobby shop, for a Viper of the 8th TFW "Wolfpack" based at Kunsan AFB Korea complete with special "Gunsmoke '85 Winner" tail markings, I had my project. Really, I was just looking for an excuse to build the Hasegawa kit as the 1/48th Revell version I had completed earlier left a bit to be desired.

Heads-Up Report:

  • The molds are getting old now and you may encounter flash

  • Ejector pin marks are common

  • Cockpit is mediocre 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 be crooked on the gear

  • 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 poor with 2 side seams that are difficult to clean-up and smooth over

  • Pylons have an odd square cutout (which tanks fit in, however resulting join is unsightly)

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Built out of the box with the exception of the trade up to the "Gunsmoke '85 Winner" markings.

End Result:

Painted in the then standard grey camouflage 36118 / 36270 / 36375 / 36320, topped off with a yellow & blue tail flash, it makes a nice looking build on the shelf. In truth I should have spent more time and effort on this one, at least repainting the 36118 demarcation (as my airbrush and talent at the time wasn't quite up to the task... and reworked the fuel tank joins.)

The After-Build Report on this F-16 kit is that I would only recommend it if you want to build a relatively inexpensive "A" model. The Tamiya F-16 kit is probably the best Viper, however it is based on the later "C" model. I would probably give the Kinetic (used in the Eduard release as well) kit a try if I wanted to build another "A" model (and yes, I know I am ignoring the Italeri F-16 kit... call me biased).

Completed build #34 - April 1988 using the 1/48th scale Hasegawa #HGW V001 1000 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 suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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