F-16CJ Block 50 BigSin

Published: November 16th, 2015     
Product Image
Box art
Reviewed by: 
Paul R. Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard
Price: $55.00
Product / Stock #: SIN67205

Eduard's BigSin set for Tamiya's 1/72 Block 50 F-16CJ includes seven sets previously issued individually, creating a wonderful update set for the kit. The set includes resin replacements for the wheels, the ejection seat, the exhaust nozzle and open speed brakes. The set also includes two frets of photo-etch (one for the interior and one for the exterior details), a complete canopy mask set and a fret of prepainted remove-before-flight tags. As the sets were previously released individually, combining them into a single set results in some duplication, which is not a bad thing if you have another Tamiya F-16 kit in the stash.

The photoetch set for the interior provides a surprising amount of pre-painted parts to completely overhaul the kit cockpit including replacement side consoles and instrument panel, a new heads-up with a clear plastic combining glass and a lot of details for the sides of the cockpit above the consoles. The instructions tell you to first remove all of the molded on details from both the cockpit tub and the instrument panel before installing the photoetch replacements. I recommend you also lightly sand down these parts once you remove the kit detail to adjust for the depth of the added photo-etch, as the fit is tight in places. Since the instrument panel shroud in the kit has been designed so that it can be installed from top after the kit has been built, I built up this assemble separately, up to and including the heads-up display, and set it aside for installation at the end of the build. This set also includes a number of etched parts to detail the kit seat, which I have set aside for my next kit as I used the resin replacement seat instead. If you do use the kit seat, the instructions tell you to remove the molded on side panels before adding the photoetch. Don't - the side panels need to be sanded down and thinned, not removed, as the etch parts add to, but don't replace the side panels, but they do need to be thinner to work with the etched parts.

The second photo-etch fret includes an unbelievable number of parts to detail the main and nose gear bays, with representations of the piping and tubing that crisscross the main gear wells and run up each of the gear struts and retraction arms, as well as the textured roof of the nose gear wheel. Manipulating some of the wiring harnesses into place is a chore, but the end result is very striking. I am not the best at fine detail painting, but I painted parts of the photoetch that represent actual tubing or lines based on photos of F-16 gear wheels and this helped a lot. If you have a steady hand and a fine brush, you will be very pleased after you have painted these lines. The set also includes intake and exhaust covers that fit very nicely. I left them off for now as I wanted to show off the resin exhaust that is included. This set also includes photo-etch launch rails for the wingtips. But even though there is a nice square hole in each piece that appears to fit over the square missile attachment points on the kit, you will need to either remove the kit attachment points or reduce them in size as they are bigger than the holes on the photo-etch. The kit attachment points will either prevent proper installation of the photoetch, or stretch out the holes or the rail parts if you attempt to install the photoetch over them.

The resin replacement seat is a gem and when fully detailed with a little paint and the pre-painted photoetch harness, it really pops and stands out in the cockpit. For some reason the lower ejection handle is not pre-painted like the harness, so I used the pre-painted one from the self -adhesive set instead. Remember to paint the back of the handle yellow as it is visible in under the F-16's big canopy.

The set includes resin speed brakes which are molded in the open position. Their installation is very simple as once you assemble the fuselage, you simply cut off the kit speed brakes which are molded in the closed position and replace them with the resin ones. As I just completed another F-16 with the resin speed brakes installed (see my earlier Reviewer Corps review), I did not install them this time, but I have added them to the other Tamiya F-16 kit in my stash.

The Brassin Exhaust nozzle set is a real beauty and is designed to be a drop-in replacement for the kit exhaust. The set includes not only a resin nozzle, but also a small photoetch fret with three rings of the exhaust/afterburner assembly. These slot onto the resin part representing the aft end of the engine and add a lot of detail. Once painted and dirtied up slightly, they really look the part and add a next 3D effect to the insides of the exhaust. The resin nozzle assembly includes molded in detail of the inside of the exhaust, that while hard to see once completed, adds nice detail to the exhaust cone. My one gripe with this set is that I don't think the colors listed in the instructions are correct as they tell you to paint the inside of the exhaust nozzle and the exhaust cone burnt metal, but many of the photos I found online show a much lighter color with a lot of exhaust streaking instead, so check your reference photos first.

The last resin set are replacement wheels for the kit. These are very crisp and have nice tread and brake details incorporated. The set includes a full masking set for just the wheels making it very easy to paint the hubs and the tires. I had a slight problem when I went to install them as the mounting holes on the resin main wheels was smaller than the kit axles. I used a #55 drill bit to open the holes up a little bit and then they fit perfectly. Take care when installing the tires as they have a small flat spot molded in where they attach to the resin pour stub and you will need to make sure all of these flat spots are at the bottom of the wheel so that the airplane rests on all of them when the gear is installed.

The mask set provides the usual outline masks for the front and rear canopy as well as a set of masks for the kit wheels. Since I used the resin wheels and the mask set included with the wheels, I did not use the wheel masks on this kit, but saved for my next one.

The final item in the set is a neat fret of remove-before-flight tags. There are 38 tags in all (26 with white lettering and 12 with black lettering) in two styles (square ends vs. triangular ends) to give you lots of options of which ones to use. As my kit was the original issue of the Tamiya kit, it did not come with any pylons or weapons, other than the wingtip AMRAAMs/Sidewinders, so I look forward to using these tags on quite a few more kits in the future.

This is my first BigSin set and while it was a lot of work to get all of the tiny etched parts installed, the end result is really impressive and you will not find a more detailed set out there for this kit!

Most highly recommended!! My thanks to Eduard for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

  • Burner
  • Burner
  • Cockpit
  • Exterior photoetch
    Exterior photoetch
  • Main gear bay
    Main gear bay
  • Nose gear bay
    Nose gear bay
  • Gear wells
    Gear wells
  • Gear wells
    Gear wells
  • Interior photoetch
    Interior photoetch
  • Finished kit
    Finished kit
  • Launch rail
    Launch rail
  • Nose gear well
    Nose gear well
  • Nozzle set
    Nozzle set
  • Kit contents
    Kit contents

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