The Scale Viper: A Modeler's Guide to Building the F-16
Different modeling books tend to have a “tools round-up” in their introduction chapter. This book includes which probably is the more important tool: “The modelers’ eye”. What is meant here is that you have to study the subject, look at it several times, noticing details each time you look at the subject in order to take notes and attempt to recreate and model whatever you “see” when you are looking at pictures or the real thing you are planning to model.
The following chapter briefly covers the basic techniques of model weathering and then the book dives into very well photographed and highly detailed construction of 11 models, ranging from 1/32nd to 1/72ndscale. Markings range from USAF, to Chilenean and Israeli Air Forces.
This book does not cover in detail the basic assembly or finishing techniques (it is assumed the reader has a basic knowledge to modeling techniques). Instead it focus on conversion (where appropriate) and detailing to assemble the correct block for the model that is being built.
Not all the models in this book have been built by the same modeler, but all of them are F-16s. The variety of modelers adds interest to the book, as you find different approaches on the same subject.
To wrap up the book, the last chapter includes a “kit round up”, listing all the modern kits for F-16s, from 1/32 to 1/72 scale, including the high and low points of each kit and what other blocks could be built with the parts included in the box.
Pete Fleischmann is not just a modeler, but also a former F-16 pilot and his deep knowledge and passion for the subject is found through the book. This book is recommended for all aviation modelers and in particular for those planning to build several F-16 for their collection.
I would like to thank Reid Air Publishing for the review sample.