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Lockheed F-16A Fighting Falcon " Netz "
A multi-role fighter that serves Heyl Ha'avir in attack and interception missions. The first F-16A/B Netz fighters arrived in Israel during 1980 and were issued to 117 Squadron (Israel) of the Israeli Air Force. Netz 107 was the first F-16 to touch Israeli soil when it landed on 2 July 1980 at Ramat David Airbase.
Netz 107 scored its first aerial kill on 21 April 1982 when pilot Zeev Raz shot down a Syrian Air Force MiG-23. In Operation Peace for the Galilee they achieved air dominance by shooting down about 40 Syrian planes, in the course of the operation against the SAM's in the Beka'a valley.
2. The Kit
Hasegawa's F-16 models in 1/48th scale are getting old, but they still are pretty good. They build easily and are mostly accurate to the versions they portray (leaving the early-released "wide-mouth" versions out of the discussion).Typical of Hasegawa 1/48 kits, there are lots of weapons racks but only a pair of Sidewinders and AIM-120missiles. If you need bombs, you'll have to spring for the weapons set. One thing I'm not fond of is that Hasegawa has opened the holes for the racks. It is possible that some of us would like a lightly armed Falcon without the huge wing mounted fuel tanks, and to do that we'll have to fill in these holes. I am not going to go into a long description of the kit details. See some of the other reviews on the Internet, in magazines, and in various books for a complete review of the Hasegawa F-16 kits.
3. Opening of bulkheads for assembling M61A1 Vulcan Gun and Ammunition Drum.
First of all, I prepared the Vulcan housings on top of the fuselage. I opened the bulkheads by cutting along the lines that bound the panels. Along the edges I placed the sliding blocks in brass VP production, gluing them with Superglue. It is advisable to glue small segments one at a time, proceeding with very quite. So I tried the placement of the weapon. I used syringe needles to simulate the barrels.
At this point I assembled all the sections and colored the M61A1 in black. Then I applied the drybrush technique to the M61A1 Vulcan Gun group with metallic colors from metallic Testor colors.
4. Gear Bay.
The Hasegawa gear bays are very sparse and devoid of detail. So, I decide to mess around with the main gear bays. Instead of buying resin, I have added bits and pieces of etch, wire and plastic to try and emulate this busy area.
5. Wings and vertical stabilizer.
The Hasegawa model fits nicely and is very quickly assembled. Unfortunately it's a clean configuration with no possibility to lower the LEF (Leading Edge Flaps) or TEF (Trailing Edge Flaps). But due to the insertion of the cannon into the left wing must be realigned. In fact, due to the thickness of the Vulcan cannon base, a small crack is created on the left wing, which can easily be closed puttying and sanding required to have the side panels smooth. I decided to install the vertical stabilizer at the last stage of the model's construction.
6. Radome and avionics radar.
I used Verlinden F16 super detail set, Lockheed Martin F-16 detail set containing the cockpit and seat avionics radar and gun (designed to be assembled with model ).
7. Fuel Tanks and Weapons .
I decided to use only the tanks placed under the wings. As for the choice of armament, I opted for a variant of the Sidewinder, the AIM-9J, normally used by the Israeli air force.
8. Decals .
Before I applied a coat of polish sealed (Gunze Sangyo Hobby Color 030 clear gloss ) the paint in preparation for decals. I have applied many decals already included in the Kit. But, regarding the stars of David I have self-made Paint Masks. The masks are made from thin masking tape, which is easy to be peeled off and doesn’t leave any stains. The tape is tested on clear and painted model too, you must carefully removed after painting.
9. Canopy .
I had to remove a seam, which required a great deal of sanding. Toothpaste was used to polish out all of the sanding scratches after the seam had been removed. And after I used Johnson Wax Wood, Beeswax. After this phase, I fitted the Radome and the canopy in the fuselage.
10. Camouflage and Markings.
I used Gunze Sangyo Hobby Color paints for almost all of the painting, except for the main wheel, air intake and landing gear bays well ,with Tamiya Mini X-2 Gloss White Acrylic. Upper surfaces, with Sand FS33531, Red brown FS30219, and Pale Green FS34424 ( Mix G.S. H312 FS 34227 + 20% white ). Inside Radome I used XF-60 Dark Yellow Tamiya Color Acrylic Paint (Flat).
Marking is taken from an image of the book " Illustrated Guide to the Israeli Air Force by Bill Gunston " F-16A " Netz " No. 138 of the " First Jet Squadron "
The weathering of the model is very important and this entire task was undertaken carefully. In order to give prominence to the panel lines I added diluted Acrylic. The darker colors were added to the lower areas of the panel lines with the lighter shades along the edges. This latter operation will give a certain depth to the model and will eliminate the flat appearance of a standard paint scheme. For the lines between the panels I used colors I used OIL - MAIMERI PURO mixing with THINNER 5816604 - Petroleum essence (278 - Burnt Sienna - 535 - Ivory Black - 018 - Titanium White ).In conclusion you will paint all the surfaces with a semi-transparent paint (This is my technique (glossy acrylic G.S. COLOR 030 paint diluted with white spirit at 20%).
* Illustrated Guide to the Israeli Air Force [Bill Gunston]
* Verlinden Book Lock On No.2 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
* Mid-East Aces: The Israeli Air Force Today (Osprey Colour Series)
* Camouflage & Markings 7: The Israeli Air Force Part Three 2002-2012 Guideline Publications by Ofer Zidon