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Kinetic 1/48 NATO F-16A/M RNoAF

Kinetic 1/48 NATO F-16A/M RNoAF


A review of the Kinetic 1/48 F-16A/M (Block 15) Falcon "NATO Viper" by Chris Fleet.




Ever since seeing a Belgian F-16 perform at an airshow many years ago as a kid, I have had a preference to European Vipers over their numerous US counterparts. Up until recently it has been up to the modeller to research, convert and modify kits that have been produced as US variants. I have never been, and doubt I ever will be, an F-16 “expert” but there are so many differences between various blocks, it's a potential minefield to those eagle eyed observers among us.



On hearing that Kinetic were releasing a specific NATO variant of the mark it opened the doors for me to get going on only my second Viper. If you're reading this, you like me, probably do a little bit of research before ordering a kit to see if its worthwhile buying. As is always the case, there are those who break out the micrometer and scale plans to find that scale 1 inch flaw in the dimensions of the latest kit. Apparently there are flaws in Kinetic's offering, but I can't find anything glaringly obvious, and in fact looks like a mighty fine representation to me! The first thing that is noticed when you open the box (which is twice as big as a Tamiya F-16’s) is the sheer amount of plastic in the kit. On deeper inspection, the majority of this is quite frankly an overwhelming amount of ordnance. From GBU-12 to 3 types of recce pods, AIM-120 and AIM-9Ls, this kit has everything for your selected loadout and plenty for the spares box!





The airframe itself is split into three main parts. The top half split in two and a single piece underside. The join on the top is fantastic and needed no filler. In fact throughout the whole build I only used a tiny amount around the tail area. The kit also sports some nice detailing with the static dischargers on the wing tips, tail and elevators. Although the wicks are a tad over scale its easy to replace with some floral wire so no real problem. Another nice feature is the ability to drop the slats and flaps, I find it breaks up the lines of the model and adds a little more interest to these grey jets. The cockpit is pretty well detailed with MFD’s and raised switches etc. If required I’m sure some of the existing aftermarket products could easily be adapted to the Kinetic kit if required, but for this build I wanted to keep the canopy closed as I think it adds to that “Viper look”. I did however swap the ACES II seat out for an Aires replacement as I prefer the detail on resin seats...





The build itself was pretty straightforward with no major obstacles. My only gripe really is that there are a fair few pour stubs left on the inside faces of some parts. Although not difficult to rectify, it was something that got a tad frustrating near the end of the build. Once removed to the point where the panels etc fitted (mostly just trimmed with cutters) it fitted together very well.





Now onto my choice of markings. Kinetic provide Danish, Belgian, Dutch and Norwegian options in the box. The first three having the recognisable three tone grey scheme seen on US Vipers and then the Norwegian single all over grey. There's something about the single colour that grabbed my attention, and I think it makes it stand out from other Vipers usually seen at displays. Having decided to go for the RNoAF route, time to go through the instructions and see what specific parts need to go onto the model. In this case a light in the panel immediately behind the nose cone on the port side and parachute and ECM detailing in the tail housing underneath the rudder.





I painted the model with Xtracrylix Neutral Grey, a more accurate match over the FS numbers called out in the instructions, and mixed a tone of grey I liked that matched my references for the nose cone. Decals were placed and are perfectly in register and nicely opaque. Kit was given a clear coat, a wash and weathered using Tamiyas weathering packs. Finally a coat of Xtracrylix flat coat finished it off.





Overall a very enjoyable build to get a different subject from the norm. At nearly half the price as some others available, and with the amount of plastic you get, the kit is worth it for the ordnance alone. Another one will be on order shortly for my Dutch 2009 demo jet!




Chris Fleet