F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF
Kinetic Gold Series, 1/48 scale
S u m m a r y
||Kinetic Gold Series Item No. K48105 - F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF
|Contents and Media:
|| 450 parts in grey plastic; 30 parts in clear; markings for three aircraft.
plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
||All new - no parts at all in common with Kinetic's earlier generation F-16 kits; crisp and fine surface textures; high level of detail in cockpit, wheel wells, radar bay & engine nozzle; perfectly printed Cartograf decal sheets; full weapons fit; lots of useful options; clear instructions.
||BYO harness straps; a few ejector pin circles.
This is a lovely kit. Think Kinetic's excellent F-104 kits and in my opinion this new F-16 family has raised the bar even further. The model scores big in every category - its restrained surface textures, high level of detail, useful options, full ordnance fitout and gorgeous Cartograf-printed decal sheets. At just USD$39.99 it represents smoking hot value for money too. Kudos to Kinetic for comprehensively revisting this important modern fighter.
by Brett Green
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. More than 4,600 F-16s have been built since production was approved in 1976. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.
Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are being built for export customers.
The Fighting Falcon's key features include a frameless bubble canopy for good visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while manoeuvring, an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees from vertical to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system.
The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment.
In addition to active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard units, the aircraft is also used by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy. The F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations. As of 2015, it was the world's most numerous fixed-wing aircraft in military service.
The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two seat) variants entered production in 1984. The first C/D version was the Block 25 with improved cockpit avionics and radar which added all-weather capability with beyond-visual-range (BVR) AIM-7 and AIM-120 air-air missiles. Block 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52 were later C/D versions.
The F-16C/D had a unit cost of US$18.8 million in 1998. Operational cost per flight hour has been estimated at $7,000 to $22,470 or $24,000, depending on calculation method.
Background text courtesy of Wikipedia
Kinetic released a family of 1/48 scale F-16 kits in September 2008, debuting with their F-16A MLU Block 15 and a F-16DG/DJ Block 50 USAF Viper 2-in-1.
In mid-2019, Kinetic released their F-16I Sufa kit, which addressed a couple of the issues noted with the initial release including the angle of nose droop.
In late 2022, Kinetic launched all-new 1:48 scale F-16C and F-16A kits in its Gold series. These kits have no common parts with the earlier Kinetic F-16 kits at all and have addressed all of the issues noted from the original family.
Now Kinetic has added the two-seat F-16D Block 30/40/50 USAF.
Beneath the gorgeous box art you will find 450 parts in grey plastic, 30 parts in clear plastix and markings for three aircraft.
Although the parts count looks high, many of these are spares and options - around 250 parts are dedicated to ordnance alone - so you will only be using a relatively modest number of parts. Your spares box will thank you though!
The differences between Kinetic's F-16D and its new generation F-16A and F-16C predecessors are the deletion of Sprue C, which was the single-seater upper fuselage, the addition of Sprue H (new two-seater upper fuselage) and Sprue J (MCID "Big Mouth" intake and GE Engine), the revised clear sprue with the two-place canopy and three new decal options.
So we have both Pratt & Whitney and General Electric engines and intakes represented on these sprues. A bit of cross-kitting between this newest F-16D and the recent F-16C kits should permit a greater number of variants.
Surface textures are world-class - very fine and crisp panel lines supplemented with appropriate recessed rivets.
The cockpit is nicely fitted out with a new detailed two-place tub, integral side consoles and an instrument panel with raised screens, bezels and switches for both crew positions.
Optional overlay decals are offered for the panels and consoles.
The ACES II ejection seats look great, although you'll have to BYO harness straps.
The nose may be posed swung to the side to display the radar bay.
Undercarriage bay detail is also well done with separate forward and aft bulkheads plus raised hydraulic lines and cables.
The P&W rear engine pipe includes separate fan and flame holder parts as well as a crisp five-piece nozzle, detailed inside and out.
The GE engine nozzles look good. They are split into four sections with three feathers on each section. They are moulded closed.
You might like to fill and sand the ejector pin circles on the inside.
Undercarriage legs are well done. The wheels are not bulged or flattened, so you can choose whether to take to the bottom of the tyres with a sanding stick.
Undercarriage parts are different for the Block 30 compared to the Block 40/50, so take care to make sure you use the correct parts for your option.
Both styles of main undercarriage doors have nicely rendered interior detail. There are a couple of faint ejector pin marks on the inside of the undercarriage doors.
Alternative tabs are provided for dropped or raised flaps. You'll need to cut two tabs from each flap. The instructions are quite clear about this.
The elevators may be posed to taste and the rudder is a separate part.
Trailing surfaces are moulded with anti-static wicks. You might prefer to cut these off and replace them with fine wire or stretched sprue after the model is mostly complete (I can see myself knocking some of these off during assembly and painting).
Clear parts are thin and free from distortion.
The canopy may be posed open or closed. Both single and dual canopy parts are included.
A vast selection of underwing ordnance is on the sprues. These include:
Not all of these will be applicable to this F-16D but once again your spares box will thank you.
Three marking options are offered:
F-16D Block 50, 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AFB 2006, finished in two-tone grey.
F-16D Block 30, 523rd Fighter Squadron, Cannon AFB 2004,.
F-16D Block 40, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kusan AFB 2006, finished in two-tone grey.
The decals are designed by Fightertown Decals in co-operation with Bullseye Decals and printed perfectly by Cartograf.
A separate decal sheet for ordnance data is also included.
Instructions are supplied in a 24 page booklet across 27 steps plus weapons assembly and placement guides. Four-view illustrations of each marking scheme is included.
This is a lovely kit. Think Kinetic's excellent F-104 kits and in my opinion this new F-16 family has raised the bar even further.
The model scores big in every category - its restrained surface textures, high level of detail, useful options, full ordnance fitout and gorgeous Cartograf-printed decal sheets.
At just USD$39.99 it represents smoking hot value too.
Kudos to Kinetic for comprehensively revisting this important modern fighter.
Now I am going to test out whether the conformal tanks and dorsal spine from Kinetic's first generation of F-16s will fit this one...
Thanks to Lucky Model for the samples
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2023 by Brett Green
Page Created 22 March, 2023
23 March, 2023
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