1/48 F-16 Aggressor

Happy New Year guys. I hope you had a great Christmas if you celebrated it.

For me, it’s a New Year and a new build. And, to go with them, a new approach. Looking back over the last year, I realized that I hadn’t finished many kits. For me, the journey is a good part of the fun, but I also want something to show at the end. I’m sorry if you were following a few dead ends posted here.

The problem was my choice of kits; picking those that needed a lot of work to bring them up to a standard I liked. So, to kick off 2023, I’ve unearthed Tamiya’s 1/48 scale F-16C from my stash; a kit that promises lovely detail without too much hassle. My intention is to finish it in the aggressor colours shown below, but otherwise, build it largely out of the box. I have the appropriate decals from Two Bobs. There’s an aggressor version of the kit out there, but I’m going to work with what I have. Any help and advice along the way will be very welcome.

I made a start already. Here’s the cockpit and pilot with a scratch-built air hose. The kit part was sacrificed to the carpet monster. The sandy-coloured object is one-half of the rear part of the air intake. I’m going to do some preshading and then go over it in white.

In the meantime, I hope you are looking forward to a whole year of modeling ahead.

Have fun.


There has been progress. I weathered the inside of the air intake, although I’m not sure this section will be seen. At least it was good practice.

The cockpit and pilot figure are being painted using techniques borrowed from fantasy painters, and Uncle Nightshift (check out his channel even if you are not an armour builder. It’s inspirational). The technique starts with getting the highlights and shadows sketched out with an airbrush and then moving on to thin glazes of translucent colours that work with the light sketch. That’s the next step. Here for now is the basic black-and-white painting. My simple lighting has struggled to show the more subtle transition in values, but I hope you get the gist.

Happy modeling, chaps.


Hi guys,

The last few weeks have been spent happily painting the cockpit and pilot. Airbrushing, filters, oil washes, and a bit of highlighting/dry brushing with oils got me here.

This is the first figure I’ve painted in years. I learned a lot in the process and reminded myself of things I’d forgotten. The end result satisfied me - especially as there will be a tinted canopy covering all this work - but with more practice, I could do better. Here are the painting steps I went through to get this result:

  1. Base coat in black
  2. Airbrushed zenithal highlighting in white to create the initial shadows and highlights
  3. Blocking in basic colours with filters. The aim is to tint the black and white, not cover it in opaque paint.
  4. Oil washes to reinforce the shadows. My amateurish pics, don’t really show that I used darker versions of each base colour, rather than a single dark wash.
  5. Accentuated highlights with oils.
  6. Final touch-ups with oils to correct mistakes.
  7. Gloss varnish on the visor.
  8. Putting the brushes down and cleaning them up thoroughly as a way of resisting the temptation to go too far.

The decals are taken from more spares box. They’re not F-16 labels but I took the ‘close enough’ approach.

What works and what doesn’t for you?

Next, it’s back to the aircraft itself.

Happy modeling guys.


can’t wait to see further developments!

Hi David and you guys looking in,

Thanks very much.

Progress is being made. Right now, that means filling and sanding the many small but deep ejector pin marks that festoon the details.

I’m tackling the holes by dripping Mr Surfacer 1000 into the recessed ones, and then smoothing with tiny bits of sanding sponge, repeating as many times as it takes (usually two to three). Luckily there are none on the larger parts, at least not in places that show.

Here are the main gear doors, as an example:

Happy modelling :slight_smile:

1 Like

Looks great … pilot is very good … :+1:

Hello chaps,

Given my track record last year, you could be forgiven for thinking that I’d abandoned this build. In fact, I’m still on it, but the not-so-interesting process of cleaning and preshading lots of white parts has been going on. I’ll show you the relevant stuff as it comes up for construction. For now here’s a look at the main wheel bay, pre-shaded and glued in place. White paint and weathering to follow. Nice fit isn’t it? You may also see my ejector pin filling fail. I’m living with it because correcting it would mean going back too many steps.

The cockpit is glued in place. It also looks like a good fit with the front upper fuselage dry-fitted.

What’s not so good is the pronounced step between the front and rear upper fuselage halves. Luckily some clamping and step-by-step application of glue seems to be aligning the parts.

More soon I hope.

Happy modeling,


Welcome back lol… Steady progress is better than none :+1: … The clamping seems to have done the trick.
The wheel bays are nice on these, I liked the Kinetic one on my F16, nicely detailed…