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F-16XL-2 Experimental Fighter Bomber by CDW - Kinetic - 1:48 Scale

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The F-16XL-2 is a derivative of the F-16, with a "cranked arrow" delta wing. This delta wing configuration allowed the F-16XL-2 to carry twice the ordnance load of the F-16 with a 40% greater range. The wing configuration provided 27 hard points for ordnance. The aircraft was entered into the United States Air Force Enhanced Technical Fighter (ETF) competition, but lost to the F-15E Strike Eagle. Subsequently, the two prototype models were turned over to NASA for research. Both aircraft were retired in 2009 and are stored at Edwards AFB.

 

I plan to build this model pretty much box-stock. The only aftermarket items I have purchased for it are a pair of Aires Aces2 resin ejection seats. I may add some home made plumbing/wiring here and there to give the model an enhanced appearance but I don't want to go crazy with extra details that bog down the progress of the build. This is a project I would like to finish within 2 weeks, maybe 3.

 

Provided here are photos of the kit box and the instruction pages. As I'm building the kit, I will refer to the step #'s I'm working on so you will have some point of reference.

 

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Heretofore, models of the F-16XL have been few and far between. Monogram did one in 1:72 scale a long time ago, then a company in Korea, Kangnam, did one in 1:32 scale in the 90's. 

According to experts (not I), neither kit was accurate and there was a massive resin correction set available for the 1:32 model that seemed cost prohibitive. Seems like Kinetic did a good job on their molds for the plane, again, that's according to experts and not me. I just think the molds look really nice. Engraving and detail looks super.

I've read the four-color camouflage is hypothetical. That being the case, I may decide to fly by the seat of my pants and create my own hypothetical paint scheme. I've got some nice decal graphics that are begging to be used.

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Saw it out at Edwards AFB in the prototype scheme, back the 90s. Liked it a lot, since it was a two seater. Saw lots of other cool stuff out there, too. Lifting bodies, an SR-71.

 

I'm in.

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This is steps 1 through 8, and most of step 9. I prefer to leave the landing gear assemblies until later in the build as there is more construction, filling, priming, and painting to do first.

 

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On both left and right wings, there is an annoying gap at the leading edge. Other than that, the model parts have been a pretty good fit to this point.

I'm using the "stretched sprue" technique to fill the gaps, as there is a row of fine rivet detail immediately adjacent to the gap that would be destroyed by filling with putty and sanding. After the stretched sprue, will carefully lay down some #500 Mr Surfacer with a small detail brush to finish off the seam. It should be almost invisible when finished and leave the rivet detail intact (as long as I don't fill them with Mr Surfacer).

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Just now, GrandpaPhil said:

I’ll have to remember the stretched sprue method of filling seams in plastic models.

If you try it, use Tamiya liquid cement to fuse the streched sprue into the seam. It softens the plastic sprue material and you can push it down into the seamusing a tooth pick or similar tool of your choice. Much less hassle than putty and easy to clean up afterward without sanding away surrounding detail.

 

PS: I should have added, back in the day, this was also a popular method of adding or re-establishing a raised panel line.

Edited by CDW

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Cool! My Son is crewchief to an F-16 mainly 803 at Misawa does others also but have one about 1/2 built meaning to do it in 803 maybe this will be the spark? ;) Kevin

 

The video is pretty old like 2016 he made E-5 about 2/3 months ago he joined in summer of 2015 needless to say I am proud of him he's done well.I sent the link via skype about F-16 Delta.

Edited by Javlin
video

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5 hours ago, mtaylor said:

CDW,

I read somewhere that those two birds were taken out of storage for "further testing".   I don't remember why though....

I'm guessing you watched the video I posted? It talks about the testing NASA did on the planes using laminar airflow technology, and the fact it gave the F-16XL airframes the ability to fly supersonic without afterburner. Other than that, I haven't heard about further testing, but would be interested in more information. Will be on the lookout for more.

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Life has really gotten in the way of modeling the past few days (more than a few actually), but it is what it is. Between other household projects, I've squeezed in some modeling time here and there, but not a steady pace the way I like to do it. Never the less, I finally arrived at the time for exterior paint. First step was giving everything a coat of Tamiya white primer using their bottled primer shot through my airbrush. If you try this cost-effective means of using Tamiya primer, be sure to use an adequate percentage of Tamiya lacquer thinner to primer, about a 60:40 ratio of reducer to primer. Any less reducer and you will likely have clogging issues through your airbrush. Anyway, the primer went on nice and smooth with no issues.

Next, I decided to use AK paints for the color coats as a while back, I bought a set of US Modern Aircraft paints that include a large selection of various shades of gray, perfect for my F-16XL. I got careless and forgot that Mr Color leveling thinner does not work with AK paints. I mixed the AK paint with the Mr Color thinner directly in the color cup of my airbrush and that made a huge mess inside my airbrush. Next I had to do a thorough tear down and cleaning of the airbrush before I could move forward. After doing all that, I then added the color to the cup of my airbrush again and then mixed in about 40% AK reducer as is my usual mix ratio for similar color coats of other brands such as Tamiya or Mr Color...wrong again. 40% reducer made the AK paint FAR too thin and I made a big mess with it. I took the model directly to the sink where I washed away the color I had just applied and brushed it all off with a wide soft brush. After drying off the model, I tried again, this time using the AK paint directly from the bottle, no reducer at all. This time it was perfect. The AK paint dries to a nice satin finish, but it DOES NOT LIKE THINNER at all! Even it's own brand of thinner was not needed, the paint is ready to spray straight from the bottle. I should have known better and practiced with it a bit first, as should be done with any paint we are not familiar with. 

Really and truly, I should not be making mistakes like this. I've been at this hobby long enough to know better, but sometimes I get in a rush and end up paying the price for it. Luckily, using acrylic paints makes it easy to correct a bad situation just by rinsing away the paint with water before it dries.

Soon, I'll post some photos of the finished paint scheme, but it's going to take a few days as there is lots of masking to do for this one and each coat needs to dry overnight before masking.

Until next time, Cheers!

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