General Dynamics F-16 XL


Stated scale:


Actual scale:


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Overall length:



Number of parts:

30; 29 gray, 1 clear dark smoke

Stand included?


Decals included?


My Source:

local shop

Cost (w/o s&h):


3/31/2010 - I got this kit when it first came out back in the 80s, put it together, gave it the "by the box" red, white, and blue paint scheme and called it good. Well, recently I wanted to re-do this, and do a better job of it. So, for something a bit unusual, I'm re-painting this in a scheme for one of the NASA research F-16XLs at Dryden circa 1990s.

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11/6/2010 -  I masked off the white areas before airbrushing over the black with model master flat black. The engine exhaust is titanium metallizer with a band of steel just forward of it. 

See also

 I noticed that the Dryden 16XLs did not have the wing gun that this kit has. Dremel time! I ground it off using a 1/4" round bit and then sanded it down, puttied the few gouges over and sanded again. Re-primed...

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11/18/2010 - ...and over the past couple weeks, re-painted again, masking off the white edges flanking the canopy and airbrushing black along that line. I also removed the weapon mount on the undersides of the wings - again, something not on the Dryden planes.

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I've been giving the model a wet-sanding to remove some of the paint build-up. Hopefully I'll not have many more re-paints on this. I still need to add the anti-glare panel fore of the canopy and yellow striping. The NASA tail logo, tail number, and Lock-Mart logo are home-made decals that will be applied over patches of white. My specific target for this model's look is plane #849 as liveried for the Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) tests starting on December 16, 1997.

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11/22/2010 - After 90 minutes of applying masking it took about another 10 to airbrush the insignia yellow striping along the fuselage and tail. A little touch-up work is still needed. After the yellow paint dried I wet-sanded it lightly with 600-grit paper.

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11/30/2010 - Pressing on to the decals and finishing touches - I applied the tail decals over patches of white paint, letting the paint show through the unprinted part of the decal. Other decals came from a Superscale sheet for F-16s. The refueling port needed a slightly gray shading in part of the decal - a small patch of flat there let that part of the decal silver a bit.

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I added the tail leading edge tube and nose tube. The nose tube is a short piece of guitar string wire inserted in a trimmed hypo needle. I also made a small air sampling tube from styrene to attach to the right side of the fuselage. Added the dummy Sidewinders to the wingtips. The finish coat is Micro Mask, diluted and applied with a cotton swab.

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The base is plywood (basswood) edged with black and topped with 3 coats of gray auto primer. After it was dry to touch I scored the primer for a concrete apron look and misted over it with a darker gray primer. I ran some black acrylic wash into the concrete joints. And finally, I sugerglued the plane to the base.

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