Hasegawa 1:48 F-16A 79-0403 - 138th TFS "Cobras", 4th TFW(P)

The Story

In 1989, the 138th TFS of the 174th TFW New York ANG, transitioned from the A-10A to the General Dynamics F-16A. When called to active duty the unit deployed to Al Kharg Air Base in Saudi Arabia where they became part of the 4th TFW (Provisional). Designated a close air support unit, the squadron was equipped with the General Dynamics GPU-5/A Pave Claw gun pod. It was with this pod that the squadron began combat operations in January 1991. However, the pod proved to be a failure and its use unfeasible. It was during such a mission with the GPU-5 that F-16A 79-0391 was battle damaged. Use of the GPU-5/A was terminated and the squadron resorted to dropping unguided munitions.

The Kit

The Hasegawa F-16A kit represents a Block 15 version which needed to be backdated to a Block 10 version which the 138th TFS flew in Desert Storm. This meant shortening the horizontal stabilizers, adding an antenna to the bottom of the air intake, and an air data probe on the side of the intake. The flaperons were cut off so they could be reattached representing a downward position. The kit ejection seat was replaced with a seat from True Details. For the load out I decided upon: two fuel tanks, one ALQ-119 ECM pod, two AIM-9 missiles, and four Mk20 cluster bombs mounted on two TERs. Eduard "remove before flight" tags and missile covers were used. Painting was done with acrylics with Model Master for the Gunship Gray and Gunze Sangyo for the other colors. Weathering was done with enamels. For decals I used Afterburner Decals 480058 "Air National Guard Viper Wing Kings II" which includes decals for aircraft 79-0403. I thought the tail band decal was too bright so I lightened it with an over spray of very thinned white paint. Most of the generic aircraft stencils are from other F-16 decal sheets.