F-16C Alaskan Splinter Part II

Published: August 21st, 2018     
Product Image
Color Profiles
Reviewed by: 
Michael Novasad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/48
Company: Twobobs Aviation Graphics
Price: $15.00
Product / Stock #: 48-262

Note: Part II of my review for the Two Bobs F-16C Alaskan Splinter decal set 48-262 contains much of the information included in the original review, but has added information for the painting and decaling of a Hasegawa 1/48th scale F-16C. This is addressed under "Application" below.

Two Bobs

Two Bobs Aviation Graphics offers decals in 1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/32nd scales for most modern US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps military aircraft. There are also sheets for some Russian, Chinese and British modern jet aircraft. In addition, Two Bobs offers a 1/48th scale T-2C Buckeye and a T-45C Goshawk, a publication, and sanding sticks.

Their website supplies images of their decal sheets so the buyer will know what is being purchased. One nice feature that I really like is the inclusion of the FS numbers for the various camouflage color schemes on their full color instruction sheets.

Decal Sheet Contents

Two sheets of decals are provided with this set, along with three 8 1/2" by 11", double-sided glossy instructions for decal placement. The striking BDU Splinter, Blue Splinter, and the newest Arctic Splinter all follow the same schematic pattern as the previous Alaskan Splinter jets. Also included are two of the all black scheme, one with red and the other with yellow national markings ("star and bars"), as well as an all gray scheme with black national markings over a yellow background. The single-color schemes were on the aircraft during their ferry flights to Eielson.

Included on the sheets are complete markings and stencils for all the splinter jets. The instructions offer plan views, the undersides, as well as both sides of the aircraft. This information is especially useful when creating the complex splinter camouflage scheme. Also included are the FS designations for the various colors, plus paints from four different manufacturers.

Bonus markings on this sheet! 1/72nd scale markings for the all gray and all black schemes are included. Seven models can be decorated from these sheets: two at 1/72nd scale and five at 1/48th. The decals appear to be well printed with little carrier film around the edges of the markings.

I had the very old Hasegawa F-16C Block 30 1/48th scale kit number V4 that was gathering dust on the shelf for several years and that was the perfect choice for this set. The Academy, Tamiya, or Kinetic kits should also be suitable. I plan to model the "Blue Splinter" from the 354th Wing/18th AGRS, Eilson AFB, Alaska, January 2018.

Model Construction

This Hasegawa kit, being an early boxing, proved to be OK but certainly not the quality or detail of the Tamiya or recent Kinetic kits. I would recommend leaving the underwing pylons off the build until after the splinter painting is complete: this would make the masking much easier. Another lesson in life learned too late!

Painting

First, I used Tamiya acrylic paints formulated with the mix noted on the website http://ipmsrealcote.1fr1.net/. This is a French modeling site. Click on Recettes de couleurs Tamiya, then go to Tamiya Mixes for some FS colors . This has been a very useful tool for me especially when the particular color that I am after is not available. Each color was mixed and stored in a screw top glass jar, using Mr Color self-leveling lacquer thinner. The paint-to-thinner ratio was 3:7. Once each color was applied I allowed at least 24 hours for the paint to dry and cure.

Tamiya masking tape was used for the masking, with the edges sharply cut with a new utility knife blade guided with a metal straight edge. I wanted a crisp, clean edge to the masks.

Generally, when painting a scale model it is a standard practice to apply the light colors first, followed by the darker. This model was no exception. However, with the complicated splinter camouflage scheme there is merit in thoroughly studying the patterns to plan how to apply the individual masks. I started with the lighter colors, the first being FS 35450, the light blue tone. I wanted to minimize the masking applied to the model, and since this color covered the smaller splinters I started there. Once painted the model was set aside for 24 hours to allow the paint to cure.

Next, I applied the FS 36270 grey tone as this color appeared to cover the second smaller areas. Again, a 24 hour cure time was allowed.

The third color was FS 35109 dark blue, and the final color FS36251 was applied to the radome. A 24 hour cure time was allowed for each of those colors.

Once all the colors had been applied the masking was removed. The gloss coat was applied using Future floor wax thinned with 93% isopropyl alcohol with a Future-to-alcohol ratio of 1:1. Three coats were applied and the model was set aside to cure for 48 hours.

Decal Application

The instruction sheets offer top and bottom plan views, along with two side views of each aircraft. The placement of the small stencils are also noted. Some study of the decal sheet and instructions is required to locate each stencil as there are no numbers for the decals. Generally, when decal sheets include numbers to assist in placement the number floats off the backing sheet before the decal, and one or two of those pesky numbers end up on the model. No worry here.

Conclusion

The F-16C and its variants are always a great modeling topic. The inclusion of the three splinter schemes offers the modeler the opportunity to add a colorful Viper to their collection, while the all black or all grey offer unique subjects. The fact that these sheets include the markings for several aircraft makes this set of decals all the more appealing, and a real value for the price.

Highly recommended for the F-16 builder who wants to add some color and unique camouflage schemes to their collection.

Many thanks again to Two Bobs and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review and apply this set of markings.

  • Right front
    Right front
  • Right rear
    Right rear
  • Left rear
    Left rear
  • Left front
    Left front
  • Left front close-up
    Left front close-up
  • Top view
    Top view

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