in 1/32 scale
F-16C of the USAF Thunderbirds using a Hasegawa kit with Tamiya decals!
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MAKING A THUNDERBIRDS F-16C USING THE OLD HASEGAWA F-16A "Plus"
From my modelling friend Bas I got a couple of old 1/32 Hasegawa F-16A kits. It looked nice to have Thunderbirds F-16 in the model collection so I swopped a decal sheet to get a Tamiya kit Thunderbirds decal sheet and would do a cheap simple kit build, combining an old Hasegawa kit with Tamiya decals!
This page provides information if you would like to make using an old Hasegawa kit a F-16C block 32 in USAF Thunderbird
As noted on this page, there is a very good Tamiya kit of the F-16C block 32 of the USAF Thunderbirds. If you are willing to buy it, use that kit.
(A) Block 32 F-16C
of the USAF Thunderbirds demonstration team should have:
The old Hasegawa F-16A "plus"
kit #SK-005:4800 has all these, EXCEPT for the
"thick base" vertical tail. The later block F-16's, like
the block 32 Thunderbirds F-16C, have a thick base vertical tail. This
area is the biggest required conversion to handle to get a F-16C Thunderbirds
NOTE: the older Hasegawa F-16A kits #S026 and F-16A kit #S20 have the smaller stabilizers in the box; these were soon not used anymore on later block F-16's types.
When you can, use the "plus" kit. For real F-16 info, look at the home F-16 page here....
(B) Some minor adjustments
for the Thunderbirds F-16 in addition to normal F-16's are also:
OK, let's start this simple build..... Steps are per Hasegawa F-16A "Plus" instructions.
A loose instruction page is in the
Hasegawa F-16A "Plus" kit. It shows the metal seat and some other details.
The ACES II seat shown in the instructions is a plastic assembly, but often a metal casted part is also supplied by Hasegawa. The metal one is very simple, but NOTE THAT THIS MODEL NEEDS A NOSE WEIGHT! So, the metal seat is welcome indeed. As I would install a demo pilot in the cockpit, the metal kit seat was used. Alternatively, get a replacement resin seat like from e.g Quickboost or True Details.
Use the HUD as desired, so either parts G3 or the metal parts and with G3, G7.
The Hasegawa pilot is discarded, a spare pilot from another 1/32 kit will be used (e.g. from the ACADEMY F-16 SUFA of F-18). The ladder is also not used.
Please note that the F-16A "plus"
and later F-16C kits have the correct larger horizontal stabilizers, parts
#B3 + B4 have the same numbering I believe but have been changed.
(F-16A kits S20 + S026 have only the smaller stabilizers).
The stabilizers were NOT YET installed. They would easily brake off otherwise. Small holes were drilled at the hinge points and metal pins used. This will enable a later and stronger assembly later on. Also, the rather vulnerable static dischargers were cut off.
Leave canopy installment for a later
stage. Note that the canopy colouring varied per almost each individual
F-16. Thunderbird F-16C aircraft has a smoke tinted forward canopy #G1
and a clear rear canopy part #G2. Some Hasegawa kits have a tinted smoke
glass parts, earlier kits the clear colour.
The earlier F100 exhaust pipe is correct. Ensure you position the mid ring part #C8 correctly, I made an error. The exhaust pipe itself , part C24 will be installed later after metal painting.
The wing halves have not a very positive fit, ensure the right dihedral is set! Glue carefully and align. Some filler is needed later on.
The vertical tail was replaced with
a "thick base" tail, see above. I had a spare Revell F-16C 1/32 tail, that
was used. There is no parachute pack fitted on the Thunderbirds F-16C.
So the kit parts #B7 + B8 were not used.
Some filler is needed to get a smooth assembly. The Revell tail also has the trapezoid on the top, also seen on the F-16C.
The kit pitot tube #D63 was not yet installed.
I added the two plastic basic fairing parts #D16 + D17 on the nose. These are still on the D sprue and are better for the F-16C Thunderbirds than the two metal parts "7".
The antennas #D7, probes #D8 are not needed for the Thunderbirds F-16C. On the nose gear leg, some tiny hydraulics/ brake lines were added made from stretched sprue.
The two anti-collision lights on the intake, parts #G11 and G12 , are not 100% correct for the Thunderbirds aircraft, but I used them nevertheless. They should be a bit simpler.
The model is now ready to accept the first base paint coats. The base colour used is white. As the model is very large, I used a spray can. Normally I don't do that but in this instance an acrylic gloss white spray can was used from Halfords (the well known bicycle- and car- stuff supply company).
The base model had been given a white
gloss coat. I also had the swopped Tamiya decals.
The Harder Steenbeck airbrush was used. A paper copy of the decals was made to act a a masking pattern. Particularly the red nose and the red thick base of the tail was airbrushed red. Masking was done with low tack masking tape, cut in the pattern of the paper decal copy.
I also found that Tamiya assumes the main gear doors and the inner ventral fins to be painted X-7 blue. The X-3 blue looks slightly to be different than the decal blue colour. A pity they don't supply decals for these.
OK, decal application was next. Using the Tamiya instructions, it all went surprisingly well. Although the decals were designed for the Tamiya F-16C, they fitted reasonably well also on the older Hasegawa 1/32 F-16!!
Thunderbirds No. "4" of USAF Major
Steve Horton was selected which flew the rear Thunderbirds slot position.
I had some "curling" in places, probably the large and thick Tamiya decals in some areas have a bit to much internal stress when dried. I had to cut out some curled areas and replaced these with the spare airbrushed sheets.
The decals around the main gear bay
and nose gear bay needed minor trimming. Note that the doors themselves
have been airbrushed blue.
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Created this page Sept 1, 2013