US decal designer Two Bobs now offers the means to represent three attractive and decidedly non-standard F-16s in 1/48 scale.
While the aircraft itself has always been a great modelling subject, most USAF F-16 schemes are, by necessity, rather drab. Two Bobs now has the answer for more colourful ‘Vipers’ though, with its new 1/48 F-16 Press to Test Anniversary decal sheet (48-281).
Read a review of Kinetic's recent 1/48 F-16 MLU NATO Viper kit
The theme is that of USAF Test Pilot School (TPS) F-16s, two being specially marked to celebrate anniversaries of ‘Chuck’ Yeager first breaking the sound barrier in 1947. Home of the USAF TPS, Edwards Air Force Base, holds it’s annual Open House event to coincide with the anniversary each year, and usually adds special markings to one of the aircraft in its fleet.
A riot of colour
Here, both single- and two-seat ‘Vipers’ wear colourful anniversary tails, marking the 70th and 75th anniversaries. However, the unrelated bonus option is that of the TPS’s F-16D Block 30 Variable In-Flight Simulator Test Aircraft (VISTA). This much-modified airframe has incorporated the MATV engine nozzle, as well as various software upgrades, in its use as a flying qualities test bed. On June 14, 2021, the jet received the Skyborg system for Autonomous Control of Simulation – and was redesignated as the X-62A. It’s new livery is provided here and it’s properly smart, with white, FS 15044 Insignia Blue and FS 12197 International Orange accents, plus special artwork on the vertical stabiliser, spine and air intake sides. The airframes in detail are:
• F-16D Block 30, 86-0047/ED, 70th anniversary, October 14, 2017
• F-16C Block 42, 88-0456/ED, 75th anniversary, October 14, 2022
• X-62 (F-16D Block 30), 86-0048 VISTA, July 2021
Any of these three liveries are great if you want a different-looking F-16 in 1/48 scale, but the VISTA option is arguably the star of the show. Besides the main sheet (which carries the main markings and various stencils, refuelling receptacle décor and national insignia), another smaller offering has walkway lines and more receptacle markings to cater for Kinetic’s F-16s. This collection costs US $16 direct from Two Bobs, but will also be available via Hannants in the UK.