1/32 Tamiya F-16CJ 

by John McCormick



Tamiya's 1/32 Scale F-16CJ is a beautiful model, and it goes together like a dream!  However, soon after I had completed it, I considered this kit my "ugly stepchild".  I finished it about a year ago, and I can honestly say that I was relieved when the model was done.  I think one of the biggest reasons I couldn't warm up to the finished product is that it's such a well engineered model, I wasn't challenged enough. 

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I used the Black Box cockpit set, but after I bought it, I realized that the kit's cockpit would have been just fine.  I was also very disappointed in the formation of the resin at the back of the cockpit tub, just behind the seat headrest.  However, Black Box replaced the tub with no problems whatsoever, and I appreciated their prompt response and resolution to my complaint. 
Other than that, the only additional work I did on the kit was to add some plumbing and electrical wiring in the wheel wells.

I finished the kit with Model Master enamels, and I used the two-tone gray scheme that is now the standard on F-16's.  When the model was complete, I took it to a model club meeting for show and tell.  There it was pointed out to me that I used the wrong shade of light gray for the camo (I used Dark Ghost Gray instead of Neutral Gray, UGH!!).  Then, after posting some pic's on the ARC Forums, someone told me that I used the wrong HUD.   That was enough for me.  I put the model in a cardboard box and went on to my next project.
Now that I look at the kit, it really isn't such a bad model after all.  I'm over the wrong color and HUD issues (almost!), and I've allowed myself to take it out of its box. 

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Photos and text by John McCormick