Friday 24 April 2020

Falcon - Assembly

The Falcon has been a proud part of Belgian's airforce for decades. We started out with 160 of them, which is a lot, knowing the size of Belgium on a global scale.
As a child (we're talking about the eighties), I could count on them to take a wide turn right over my house every thursday afternoon. They were just raking up flying hours, doing standard training maneuvers. Their airbase (Kleine Brogel) was 150 km away but for this bird, that's peanuts.

I learned later that pilots often called the same restaurant in Koksijde (Belgian coast, 230km from the airbase), to let them know they were "on their way".

These pilots were heroes into the eyes of many little boys (actually, they still are). Around 12 (I think?), I visited my first airshow with my parents and brother. At a later age, I started going alone and also started training for the physical entrance exam to become a fighter pilot myself. It never amounted to anything, but it still aches when I see a fighter plane or a pilot at an event.
I was heavily into fighter planes for a long time, and honestly, still am :-). (I just expanded my interests to include tanks).

From that first airshow, we brought home two F-16 models (I don't recall which, but probably Revell as that is the biggest distributor here in Europe and available in all toy stores), one for me and one for my brother. As I recall, my brother never finished his and I finished it up.

I have a picture of both from an attic-cataloguing operation 8 years ago. With all the spare bombs and fuel tanks I created a "bomb-rack". (It also contains missiles from other models.)

Looking at it closer now ... why are the AIM-9 sidewinders yellow? 

The kit shown below, is a 1/72 scale Revell F-16 that was part of a second hand batch I procured years ago. It was sitting happily in the stash, while I was building tanks.

MLU stands for Mid-Life Update, basically the early 90's upgrade to the cockpit and avionics to be on-par with current technology.

My girlfriend's boss was a big F-16 fan, so I decided to build this to display it on her desk at work. To protect it from viewers and cleaning personnel, I would put it in a display case, for which I scoured the web to find something big enough AND affordable. I was going to add a small strip of tarmac and maybe some grass.

I hadn't counted on losing interest in the project after painting, and her boss has moved on in the meantime. BUT, that was last year, and I am now putting the finishing touches on the model. It should be finished in a week or so (famous last words, I know).

For some reason, some of the decals are missing, but there are like 6-7 decal options still to choose from and the only thing really necessary that was missing, were the Belgian roundels, which are easily found on the aftermarket in this common scale. (little decal sheet to the right)

Construction was simple and straightforward, the way one assembles airplanes. Assemble and fully paint the cockpit, close the hull, count the number of mini antennae that have gone missing and we're ready for painting.

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