F-16I Sufa Part 1
Modelers rejoice! Finally, a 2-seat F-16 in 1/32nd scale! Academy comes to the table with an F-16I Sufa. The Sufa (Storm) is the Israeli Air Forces advanced tactical aircraft based on the Block 52 F-16’s. Visual differences between standard F-16’s and the Sufa include the addition of avionics in an enhanced spine and conformal fuel tanks.
On to the kit. Many of the kits parts are shared with Academy’s first release. I know some modelers had issues with the cockpit/coaming and nose on the first kit and Academy has listened and addressed those issues.
Inside the box, you get 18 sprues basically containing the entire first kit (minus the original fuselage) plus sprues for the CFT’s and new nose, complete new tool fuselage plus brass AOA and pitot probes, and a sheet of photoetch to add even more detail. There are two options for the canopy - clear and tinted and are both excellent. There are also two huge decal sheets perfectly printed - one for the airframes and stencils and the second for more stencils and full markings for the weapons. There are decal sheets which have options for the following planes:
- F-16I, 422, 253 Squadron 'Negev'
- F-16I, 494, 119 Squadron 'Bat'
- F-16I, 878, 201 Squadron 'The One'
- F-16I, 857, 107 Squadron 'Knights of the Orange Tail'
Last and certainly not least, we have 1/32 IAF weapons! Lots of them! There are also all the remaining weapons from the first release also:
- 2 x GBU - 31(V)3 JDAM
- 2 x GBU - 31(V)1 JDAM
- 2 x GBU - 38 JDAM
- 2 x GBU - 12 Paveway II LGB
- 2 x AGM - 130
- 2 x AIM - 120B AMRAAM
- 2 x Python - 4
- 1 x 300 gallon centerline tank
- 2 x 370 gallon wing tanks
- 2 x 600 gallon wing tanks
- 1 x AAQ - 13 LANTIRN navigation pod
- 1 x LITENING targeting pod
The build starts with the cockpit and the main wheel bay. The cockpit is straightforward and decently detailed. AMS builders will want a resin pit to add further detail. Same goes for the seats - they are well done and include seat belts but resin might enhance the seats, especially the seat belts.
The main wheel well is nice and detail is good but there are lots of ejector pin marks present that need filling and are in very difficult places to fill. Time and patience will win here.
This kit is definitely recommended - fit has been great so far and I the next part, we’ll get the rest of the airframe built and ready for painting. My thanks to Bob Lewen and Akiko Kimura and the great folks at MRC - Academy for the review sample.