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Tamiya 1/32 F-16C CAS Viper - 50th Fighting Falcon Anniversary

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to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, I decided to build a rather particular F-16, which was probably one of the few if not the only case of “unsuccess” of this phenomenal and innovative multi-role aircraft.


In the second half of the 80s the USAF was looking for a replacement for the A-10 and so they thought of using a version of the F-16 equipped with ground attack devices, such as a FLIR, a laser tracker and a big cannon in an external pod derived from that of the A-10.

Another aspect that certainly makes the subject unique is the camouflage, the Europe 1 or so called "Charcoal Lizard", also derived from the A-10.


For the test phase, 7 F-16C Block-25 and a B two-seater were chosen. Before these there were some other tests with a couple of F-16As if I remember correctly.

The test did not go well, in particular the cannon hanging from the ventral pylon when it fired caused various problems, both structural to the airframe and to the avionics of the jet, in addition to the fact that the strong vibrations made it decidedly miss the target: anyway, USAF is still waiting for a replacement for the A-10 (...).


So, F-16 elegant shape + Europe 1 camouflage + external heavy weapon load has made this jet just spectacular and irresistible for me

For this project, I'm going to use the Tamiya 1/32 F-16C "Thunderbird" kit.

This kit contains the parts to make a Block-32 and with a few small adjustments it can be converted into a Block-25.

I decided to use few aftermarket for this because the kit parts are really good just adding some details.


The cockpit received instruments and consoles from Quinta Studio 3D set.

Other than this, all the other parts are from the kit, including the ACES II ejection seat.





Some electrical cables has been added on the back of the tube area.


The undercarriage wheel bays are from the kit after, to my unpleasant surprise, I discovered that the resin parts of the Aires set are definitely too short to fit the plastic parts of the fuselage.





Cables and pipes were added with some other small details.





Since I had decided from the beginning that I would put a FOD cover in the main air intake, I saved myself from having build and fit the air intake duct: the FOD cover has a yellow head of a falcon drawn in the center.





At that time these Block-25 F-16C didn't have the bulges above and below the wing roots and the "beer cans" RWR at the slats. These parts has to be removed from the plastic parts.

Same for the 2 extra chaff&flare box dispensers under the left side.





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Posted (edited)



some progress on the CAS Viper.

The ejection seat is now completed but will be installed only at the end.




The main fuselage has been assembled with the undercarriage bays and cockpit tube inside.




As you can barely seen due the white plastic, on the Block-25 the inner slat attachment point has 2 "finger" instead of 3 that you can find on Block-40/50.




Some progress also on the external weapon load.

The GPU-5/A gun pod came from the Revell's F-15E kit.

The plastic parts has been modified to obtain a good replica of the gun pod used under the F-16C.

At the same time, I made almost from scratch the Pave Penny laser tracker pod that will be installed on the right side of the main air intake.

You can also see a "black" undercarriage wheel with the correct design.




Here a first try of the Europe One 3-colors on an horizontal stabilator.




Colors are:


 - 36081 Extra Dark Grey Gunze H301 with some drops of Blue-Grey.

 - 34092 Forest Green Gunze H302

 - 34102 Medium Green Gunze H303




Edited by Piero
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here is the CAS Viper finally with the decals applied and a nice, truly matte finish.














All the black stencils come from the Uprise decal sheet printed with FFA technology.... simply fantastic and very easy to use... saved me so much time, without needs to apply layers of glossy and matt clear varnish and no danger of silvering because no clear film remains on the model.

The only "legacy" decals are the codes & numbers on the vertical tail that cames from a Two Bobs's decal sheet and the red outline around the ventral jet exhaust outlets.


Now it's time to work on the undercarriage legs.




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Looks very cool - Love those colors


Those Uprise decals are really nice to work with. I love them too I must admit. The guy who runs it is very open to suggestions. I suggested that he make a couple of Royal Danish Air force special markings in 1/32 so he went and did 3 full sheets for the F-16A and 2 sheets for the F-16B - gotta love that. 



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Spectacular result with the paint.  I remember seeing these as a kid and always liked the "lizard" scheme on the F-16.


I've got some Uprise Decals in the stash - it's great to hear/see how awesome they are!

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