Revell 1/72 Lockheed Martin F-16 MLU (03905)

The General Dynamics, now Lockheed Martin, F-16 Fighting Falcon is one of the world’s most successful supersonic multi-role fighters and, as of July 2016, over 4,500 have been built. The F-16 serves, or has served with 26 air forces across the globe including Belgium, which was the first, and largest buyer of four original NATO partners (Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway), to take delivery of the F-16 from 1979 onwards. With combined orders that totalled 150 aircraft by 1991, the Belgian Air Force’s F-16 fleet is today much reduced. The aircraft featured here is an MLU (Mid Life Update) which has a number of avionics upgrades to keep this long serving fighter on the front line further into the 21st Century.

Revell have been producing multiple variants of the F-16 since 1976 but in recent years (from 2011), the company have kept the kit fresh by offering the fighter in a number of dramatic colour schemes including the often glamourous anniversary birds. The latter is what we have here, the box art presenting the display aircraft celebrating the 100th anniversary (1917-2017) of the 1st Squadron ‘Stingers’, Belgian Air Component based at Florennes Air Base in 2017.

Inside the box we have five main sprues, two of which contain parts for the aircraft alone, a third for the canopy glass and the remaining two for a missiles, pylons and drop tanks. The standard A4 instruction 20-page booklet is in full colour for the 51 stage build plus three colour guides at the rear, one of them for the drop tanks and AIM-120B AMRAAM missiles. Because of the complex nature of the artwork, the decal sheet is very impressive and as long as you get the right shade under the decal, all will look good.  

Classed as a Level 4, I don’t think this build is to challenging even though the relatively low part count of 94 has been dragged out to a 51 stage build. That said, spacing the workload out is not such a bad thing and I think I would rather have the build stretched rather than compressed into an overly complex set of instructions. Once again this is a good value kit from Revell of an unusual display bird that usually only hang around for twelve months before returning back to their original dull grey.            

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Product: Construction kit

Ref: 03905

Scale: 1/72

Parts: 98

Price: £19.99

Manufacturer: Revell