Skunkmodels Workshop, 1/48 scale
S u m m a r y
||Skunkmodels Workshop Item No. SW-48026 - F-16XL Experimental Fighter
|Contents and Media:
||More than 300 parts in grey plastic; 15 parts in clear; markings for five schemes.
plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
||Complete detail; comprehensive weapons fit; good surface detail; excellent cockpit, wheel well and engine nozzle detail; nicely printed decal sheet; clear transparencies; concise instructions
by Mick Evans
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The F-16XL is a derivative of the F-16 with a cranked delta wing. The aircraft was originally conceived as a technology demonstrator and later entered as a competitor in the United States Air force’s Enhanced Tactical Fighter (EFT) competition but lost to the F-15E.
The prototypes were put into storage and several years later they were handed over to NASA for additional aeronautical research. The F-16XL could carry twice the payload of the F-16 and deliver it greater than 40% further in range. The enlarged wing area allowed for 27 hard points as opposed to the nine on the standard F-16. The F-16XL is also 2 metres longer in the fuselage but has a similar wingspan to the F-16C. The wing area of the F-16XL is 60 square metres which is over double the wing area of the standard F-16.
In 2007, NASA requested a study into the feasibility and cost of returning the F-16XL #1 to flight status and upgrading it with many of the improvements found in the USAFs F-16 Block 40 aircraft. This was studied while F-16XL #1 was taxi tested at Dryden Air Force Base and given systems checks. However both F-16XLs were finally retired in 2009 and put into storage at Edwards Air Force Base.
Early in 2009 I did a review of the earlier Kinetic release of the F-16C and most of these comments still are valid as the kit contains 7 common sprues with 5 sprues that are specific for the F-16XL. The Skunkmodels kit comes in quite a large box, and it is packed with more than 280 parts.
The surface detail has improved over the earlier F-16 kits and is very crisp and clear and I would rate the surface detail to be as good as the best kits on the market. The detail in the cockpit and wheel wells is very good leaving little requirement for an after-market detail set such as the standard Aires/CMK F-16 detail sets for the wheel well, cockpit and engine would all fit. The exhaust nozzle is excellent containing full internal detail even to the point that the afterburner flame holder ring is correctly positioned downstream from the turbine discs. My only thought is the petals are a bit thick but still look very nice. Full internal detail is provided on the speed brake petals allowing these to be displayed in the open position.
The transparencies are crystal clear but will need a coat of clear smoke or amber to accurately portray the gold impregnated tint colour of the real aircraft.
The kit is designed to allow the manufacturer to issue the sprues in the many versions of the F-16 with only minimal mould changes.
The range of weapons provided looks more like a dedicated weapons detail set rather than included options and the list provides for almost every weapons fit possible on an F-16. This list includes
2 x 370 gallon wing tanks
1 x 300 gallon centreline tank
1 x AN/AAQ-13
1 x AN/AAQ-14
4 x AIM-120B AMRAAM
4 x AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles
2 x AGM-65 Maverick
4 x Mk.82
2 x GBU-31 JDAM
4 x GBU-12 Paveway II
2 x GBU-24 Paveway III
4 x CBU-87
24 x 500lb retarded snake eye bombs.
Not all the weapons provided will be fitted to the F-16XL aircraft unless you model it as a “what if” scheme so most will go to top up the spares box.
The decals are nicely printed by Cartograf with good colour saturation and crisp detail.
Markings are provided for two actual in-service aircraft and three “What If” aircraft as follows;
F-16XL Prototype Scheme 1982. This aircraft is finished in the standard USAF FS36118 Gunship Grey, FS36270 Medium Grey over FS36320 Dark Ghost Grey. The fin and spine are finished in the F16 prototype Red, White and Blue.
F-16XL NASA Scheme 1992. This aircraft is finished in FS36038 Flat Black, FS36270 Medium Grey and FS36320 Dark Ghost Grey.
F-16XL Fictional Scheme 1995 of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Wing “Flying Tigers” USAF. This aircraft is finished in the standard USAF FS36118 Gunship Grey, FS36270 Medium Grey over FS36320 Dark Ghost Grey.
F-16XL Fictional Scheme of the 16th Weapons Squadron, 57th Wing USAF. This aircraft is finished in the standard USAF FS36118 Gunship Grey, FS36280 Dark Grey FS36307 Grey FS36270 Medium Grey and FS36320 Dark Ghost Grey diagonal band camouflage.
F-16XL Fictional Scheme of the Tayeset 101 Squadron of the Israeli Air Force. This aircraft is finished in the standard Israeli Desert Scheme of FS30219 Tan, FS33531 Sand and FS34424 Green over FS36231 Light Ghost Grey.
The instruction sheet gives a good level of breakdown and clear instruction while the painting and decal instructions are in black and white and provides excellent paint scheme and decal placement detail.
When complete the finished model will be an accurate and detailed F-16XL and a very nice one indeed straight from the box with no expensive aftermarket detail sets required to detail or to convert the kit to this version of the F-16.
This kit fills a very important hole in the line of F-16 kits available on the market today in 1/48 scale.
Overall the Skunkmodels kit represents great value for money.
Thanks to Lucky Model for the samples
Review Text Copyright © 2015 by Mick Evans
Images Copyright © 2015 by Brett Green
Page Created 5 August, 2015
26 August, 2015
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