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Tamiya F-16CJ 55th FS "Operation Unified Protector 2011"


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Hi there!


I recently started my big scale Viper from Tamiya. I had that sitting on the shelf for almost 8 years, and now I thought it was time to start the build.


I want to build it as a F-16CM (full CCIP update) from the 55th Fighter Squadron during Operation Unified Protector: https://i2.wp.com/fightersweep.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Aviano-August-31-2011-OUP801-F-16CM-91-0389.jpg?ssl=1


I really like the loadout combination of HARM, GBU-38 and air-to-air weapons, so I decided to build this jet.


Of course, there is some aftermarket involved as well:


Black Box Cokpit

Aires Exhaust

Wheeliant Wheels

Wolfpack Sniper pod

AMS left side HTS pod

Videoaviation GBU-38

Eduard Exterior PE

(To be extended...)  ;) 


The decals will be a mix of the new Speed Hunter Graphics "Big Scale Vipers" sheet and Afterburners "Shaw Shooters"

With those two sets the markings of 91-0389 from 2011 are possible.


I think I will scratch build the AN/ALE-50 towed decoy dispenser, which was used during OUP. The shape is not that complex, and there are good reference pictures in the Reid Air book.


What I don't know yet is, where I will get the BRU-57. But as I am a slow builder, who knows what will be available when the time comes to add the ordnance. ;-)


I started with the engine and the dolly. I did them OOB, without an further detailing.






It will be positioned outside the aircraft, because on the airframe itself, I will use the Aires exhaust. I ordered a second H sprue, so that I have a second fan face for the intake.


The F-16 itself was started with the intake. I used a trick from the 1/48 kits, where I first mate the forward and rear parts of the intake, fill and sand the gap, and then put together the top and bottom halfes.




A thin coat of flat white to check the seam:




Of course I checked, if I can get the assembled intake in position beforehand. I dry fitted the parts and held them together with tape. It needed some fiddling, but the test was ok, so I use this method to get a seamless intake.


That's it, so far.



Edited by Delayar
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Guest Peterpools


Terrific start on the Viper build and looking forward to following your progress. I recently finished my Tamiya Cj Viper and what a brilliant kit - enjoy and I'll be along for the ride

Keep 'em coming


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So, I glued the intake halfes together.




And then came a lot of filling and sanding, using various improvised sanding sticks to get on the inside of the intake. I thought it would be easier than in 1/48, but since the intake is not only wider, but also longer, it wasn't quite that easy.


After filling and sanding, I tried the pour in the paint method. I worked and provided a good base coat, but it wasn't very well covering, so I sprayed a final coat with the airbrush.


So after a lot of work, I had a smooth seamless intake:






At least it was worth the effort. The fine hairs on the intake lip will be removed.


I also made the engine bay, but didn't add any details, since it will probably be closed anyway.




To make something else during trying times of filler and paint and to get some break of tedious sanding, I painted and assembled the GBU-38s of Videoaviation.

They are not yet flat coated.




The next step will be the detailing of the wheel wells.




Edited by Delayar
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@MrPRRose: Thank you! It seems like a very nice kit so far.


@logical: The pouring technique is easy to describe, more so with some pictures. The pictures, however are from an 1/48 build, but the method is the same.


You prepare the intake with filler and rough sanding. Then you pot it vertically in a plastic cup and close the lower end off, so that the paint will not run through.




As far as I have read, most people use "latex paint". However, I also read that what is called latex paint in the US doesn't contain any latex. So it seems to be some kind oc acrylic paint, so that is what I used. Plain white acrylic paint from the hardware store.


The paint is poured into the intake, then you wait a little bit, lift the intake out of the cup and let the paint run out. You have to suspend the intake in a way that all of the excess paint can run out of the intake. To prevent paint buildup due to the surface tension at the end of the intake, you could temporarily extend the intake a little bit.


However, as already mentioned, I didn't achieve very good results using this technique, so maybe I am doing something wrong, because I have seen excellent results achieved with it.


Best regards,


Edited by Delayar
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  • 1 month later...

Hi folks!


I am back at my usual build speed (the weather gets warmer, so I am spending more time outdoors).


Also, I am a little afraid of the detailing of the wheel wells...  :unsure:


However, I continued with the nose landing gear. I polished the oleo strut and then prepared the Wheeliant front wheel. As it has no mounting hole, just gluing it on with CA glue didn't look like a good idea to me.

The rims are made of wo parts, so a little surgery was no problem.


I drilled out the hub of the resin part and glued the kit hub on:




That leaves a recess on the backside, where the kit screw can be used:




And here is a test fit on the nlg leg. The oleo strut is already masked for painting.




To make a break from the landing gears, I continued with some plastic surgery for the Black Box resin cockpit.


The upper fuselage was cut out according to the instructions.




On the lower fuselage, I removed the molded in sockets for the screws which are supposed to hold the kit pit. 




The forward socket was shorted, so that it doesn't protrude above the nose weight. I didn't remove it completely, because I will use the provided nose weight and the socket is a convenient attachment and location point for it.


With careful surgery of the resin tub, it is possible to use the provided nose weight. Only the edge of the backwards extension was beveled.




The casting block was removed from the tub, and the forward part was cut out to make room for the nose weight.

I removed a little to much from the underside of the tub, so the cockpit floor has a hole at its deepest part. I covered it with a piece of paper, but it will be underneath the ejection seat anyhow.




here you can see how it fits with the weight:




And a try fit with both fuselage halves closed and the weight in position:




The yellow area is the hole in the cockpit floor, covered with a yellow Post-It.

the sidewalls are not yet included in this try fit.


Best Regards,


Edited by Delayar
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Nice job fitting that cockpit, looks like a bear of a job to get right. Why did you not go for the Aires cockpit?


And while I'm pestering with questions, what's the benefit of using the latex dipping technique vs. just airbrushing the intake white (since you're already done a nice job sanding the seams)?





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Hi Marcel,


Actually, it was not very hard to fit the cockpit in. I had more difficult resin operations.

I didn't go for the Aires cockpit, because it actually is a little bit to short. To cover that up, it has the extension in front of the IP coaming, which isn't there on the real aircraft.

Furthermore, I like the molded belts of the Black Box seat better than the PE belts, and the Black Box seat has the correct late pop-up sensors on the headrest.


As for the pouring technique: the paint gets thicker, so in theory you don't have to sand the seams as fine as when painting it with the airbrush. Furthermore, I found it to be difficult to spray an even coat inside the whole length of the intake. That is the idea in theory, but in practice, I got better results with the airbrush. ;-)





Edited by Delayar
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there!


After some health issues, I continued with the build of the F-16.

Besides some minor sub assemblies, I painted the Black Box Resin pit.


I sprayed the tub and the seat with FS36270. The parts behind the seat and the IP coaming were also airbrushed, the rest was painted with brushes.






Jake's book provided good reference for the painting of the pit and the seat.




The seat still needs a wash, I forgot that...


Anyway here is all assembled:






The IP is missing the instrument dials. I just ordered Airscale's modern jet instruments decals.






Edited by Delayar
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