Hasegawa 1:48 F-16C Block 25 83-1145 "Death Dealer" 17th TFS/363rd TFW "Hooters"

The Story

Hasegawa 1:48 F-16C Block 25 After Iraq invaded Kuwait, the 17th TFS "Hooters" along with the 33rd TFS "Falcons" deployed to the Gulf on August 9th 1990. Flying from Shaw AFB, these planes flew to Al Dhafra, United Arab Emirates. These two squadrons were the first aircraft deployed that were capable of dropping munitions. Combined with the 10th TFS "Fighting Tenth" from the 50th TFW, these three squadrons were grouped together as the 363rd TFW(P). As Desert Shield became Desert Storm, the wing began bombing Iraqi targets in Kuwait and Iraq. To increase the number of sorties the wing could fly to drop bombs on target, aircraft would land at King Khalid Military City in Saudi Arabia to rearm in an Integrated Combat Turnaround. The shorter distance from KKMC to Iraq allowed the F-16s landing there to remove their external fuel tanks, and to replace with a bomb capable pylon. With this configuration, a plane could fly three quick-turn sorties and double their bomb load. During the war, the 17th TFS lost two planes in non-combat accidents. One pilot was killed while attempting to land. Another ejected in Iraq and was successfully rescued.

The Kit

The Hasegawa F-16C is a simple model to assemble. This one was built to represent a Block 25 variant which the 363rd TFW(P) flew. Some of the planes from the 363rd TFW had fuselage stiffeners just below the canopy; this was represented by a small piece of strip styrene. Flaperons were cut from the wings and positioned downward. The kit ejection seat was replaced with a resin seat from True Details. The kit wing fuel tanks were discarded and replaced with two additional bomb pylons from another kit. The four Mk.84AIR bombs are from Eduard. One pair of bombs received bomb fuses produced from Shawn Hull resin. The AIM-9M missiles and ALQ-119 ECM pod are from the Hasegawa Weapons Sets. Decals are from a variety of sheets. Elite Decals being the source of the plane specific markings such as "Death Dealer" art work. One thing I noticed about this plane is that the insignia is different from the other F-16s that deployed. To represent this look, I trimmed the outline of the roundel and removed the middle. The star on the decal was cut with a hobby knife and painted the appropriate colour before application. Not perfect job but satisfactory.