Lockheed Martin F-16AM "50 Years 313 SQN"

Pride of the Dutch Air Force, the “Orange Lion” was the demonstration F-16 flown between 2010 - 2014 at airshows and displays. Sadly, my model wasn't up to standard for display. But as the "Orange Lion" bursts into flames like a phoenix, a new one emerged from the ashes. Say hello to J-366.

J-366 is a Dutch F-16AM based at Twenthe Airport, my old hometown base. She was part of 313 SQN, and to celebrate their 50th anniversary, she received an amazing paint scheme on her tail. I've seen this bird pass by many times while flying glider planes at the same base and decided this would be the best aircraft to have another go at building an F-16 model. Currently she's part of the RNAF flight school in Arizona, USA.

Since I'll be building this model as part of a group build competition, progress updates will be slightly different than normal. The entries will be copies of the build log I keep for the competition. Photos can be found in the usual albums (titled "50 years 313 sqn").

Model Info

Scale: 1/32
Manufacturer: Tamiya

Status: Completed
Date Started: January 01, 2016
Date Finished: May 04, 2016

The Making of "313 SQN"
The making of "Orange Lion"

Update 10: Final Reveal | May 04
Posted on May 04, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

Here is the final reveal of my Tamiya 1/32 F-16AM “J-366”, completed on May 4 2016 after 5 months of building, part of the “I must be an animal” GB.

Read more

Update 9: Finishing Details | April 27 - May 04
Posted on May 04, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

As mentioned in my previous post, I still needed to do a few items such as adding aerials and paint the afterburner-effect. I added the static dischargers and painted them black before adding the strobe light on top of the tail. I then masked and painted the exhaust with a slightly darker metallic in an attempt to recreate the areas that move when adjusting the exhaust-opening. The afterburner itself which is incorporated in the stand was painted with Tamiya X-26.

Now it’s time for the final reveal! Go have a look in the completed builds of this GB soon! Many thanks again for following and your comments throughout this project.

Update 8: The Final Push | April 02 - April 26
Posted on April 26, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

Time to write my last build update, as the next post will be the final reveal (scheduled later next week). While waiting for the new batch of paint, I used Tamiya clear (X-25 & X-27) to paint various lights on the aircraft. A few days later the paint arrived (LifeColor FS34087, FS37038 & FS37925) and I was able to continue and finish this project.

The tail (FS37925) and canopy (FS37038) were masked and sprayed in preparation for decals. The bombs were sprayed with FS34087 before I hand-painted the frame that holds them onto the aircraft. The upper half of the intake received its slightly darker "camo" paint (same as used on the nose) and the inlet itself was sanded again (still wasn’t happy with how it looked) and repainted.

Read more

Update 7: Time For Some Colour | March 22 - April 01
Posted on April 01, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

I’d like to begin with thanking everyone for your kind comments and tips, you’re really helping me to stay motivated throughout this project. Let’s get going with this update.

Thanks to the service of the Royal Mail, the F-16 has arrived safely at my home in the Shetlands. After I unpacked everything I did a dry fit with the stand (which stays “hidden” until the final reveal) and made sure the model and parts were ready to be prepared for paint.

Read more

Update 6: Ready For Paint | Feb. 19 - March 21
Posted on March 21, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

As I’m writing this update, the model is travelling through the UK to hopefully arrive later this week in preparation for painting.

The lower section of the tail, a resin part from PWMP, had already been added to the aircraft but I still needed to work on the top half. Out came the Tamiya saw and I cut the part as per instructions. Basically you cut it at the bottom of the vertical fin. I then added another resin bit on the top in order to match the AM tail. I won’t glue it on yet, as I need to check with the decals to make sure everything fits correctly.

Read more

Update 5: Assembly Has Begun | Feb. 01 - Feb. 18
Posted on February 18, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

I’ve spent the last week at my secondary modelling station and managed to get quite a few things done on the F-16.

Most of the work went into getting the new Dutch parachute tail to fit properly. The first resin part I received was completely wrapped, probably taken out the mould too early. I was send a second one which was a lot better, but unfortunately the front part had broken off during transport. I managed to glue it back on with some CA. This part was also slightly warped, but after a lot of sanding and bending I managed to get it pretty much straight again. Once that was done I had to align it with the fuselage and glued it in place with CA. I then filled the enormous gap around it with green putty before sanding it smooth using the FM sanding sticks.

Read more

Update 4: The Office Is Ready | Jan. 26 - Jan. 31
Posted on January 31, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

I’ve finally managed to fit the cockpit in the upper half of the fuselage. It wasn’t easy and as far as I’m aware the resin assembly is too wide to fit properly. I ended up sanding the sides in order to get it high enough without stretching the plastic. Once that was done I used Tamiya tape to hold it in place before gluing it with CA. I then removed the tape and started filling the gaps with grey putty. It needed a few layers and lots of sanding in between to make a nice flush transit between the plastic and resin bits. I covered the central part of the pit before spraying the front and back with Vallejo black grey. After drying for about 30 min. I followed with the grey Flory wash to blend it all in.

That’s it for this mini update. I’ve packed the parts and will continue work in a week time when back at my workstation. In the meantime I’ll be working on the King Tiger project.

Thanks for watching and your comments!

Update 3: A Bit Of Colour | Jan. 19 - Jan. 25
Posted on January 25, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

I noticed I missed a bit in my previous update and thought I’d mention it here. I’ve had a good think about the static dischargers that are fitted to the F-16. I’ve bought the upgrade items from Model Masters, but didn’t’ really like how they attach them to the kit. After staring at photos for probably much longer than is considered healthy, I concluded that they are too small to fit directly. So instead I’ve added the original plastic bits to the wings, which will then house the new dischargers. They might be slightly oversized but I can sand them down if need be. The brass parts themselves will be fitted after painting to prevent me from snapping them off during construction.

Read more

Update 2: A Real Mega Update | Jan. 02 - Jan. 19
Posted on January 19, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

First things first, photos of the sprues and aftermarket parts as promised in my previous post: *

An overview of the things I’ve been working on during this period:
- Cockpit
- Engine inlet
- Weapons
- Lower fuselage

Read more

Update 1: Let's Get Started | January 01
Posted on January 01, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

Since my previous F-16 model wasn’t such a success as I hoped, I decided to redo the kit but in a different paint scheme. Because I’ve never done a group build before, I thought it’d be nice to combine the two. I’ll be building the 1/32 Tamiya F-16, highly adjusted to match the Dutch F-16AM (Block 15 MLU update). The model will be depicted as J-366 of the 313 SQN in The Netherlands (based in my hometown) with their 50-year celebration paint scheme. Let’s get started!

Read more

Ashes to ashes
Posted on November 30, 2015 by Niek Nijsen

Sadly the Orange Lion will never roar. Due to the massive problems I've had with trying first paint the lion and then add it as a decal, I've decided to cancel this project. Despite being almost finished, I'm very unhappy with the result and do not feel it is good enough to be displayed alongside my other models.

I've added photos of the build so you can see for yourself. I haven't added any photos of the bottom, as it's even worse that the top halve.

Since my dad already made an amazing stand for this kit, I will be starting a new one, yet in a different paint scheme. As you can see from the image on the left, it will be J-366, painted in the 50 year celebration scheme of the 313 SQN, which was based in my hometown.

Phoenixes burst into flame when it is time for them to die and are reborn from the ashes. And so will the F-16.

The little lion cub
Posted on October 10, 2015 by Niek Nijsen

It seems like I’m building a lot of models at the same time, with work being done on the King Tiger, the BK-117 currently on hold and now another project. But I’m waiting on parts for the Tiger and still not feeling like working on the BK, so what to do in the mean time? Well, you start a new project indeed. I choose to begin on the F-16 because I’ve heard and read a lot about the ease of this kit fitting together and how quickly it can be build. So I wanted to give it a try and to be honest with you, most of it was together after a few hours work on a single night…! I’ll be displaying this model in flight, so a few changes will have to be made to the kit and sadly a lot of the detailed features won’t be visible.

Read more