Monday, October 17, 2016

F-16 Prototype Tweeks

Originally I was going to call this the F-17. It is based on the OOP F-16 Centuri Fighter Fleet model. I went back to the F-16 name after seeing some online F-17 fighter images. Where it is at now, it is closer to the F-16 design, as close as you can get to a model rocket styled jet. It's not a scale F-16 or even meant to be close.

Final kit designs never happen with a single prototype.
You can do ten different drawings, tweaking this and that, then start the first build.
The first attempt doesn't look quite like the drawing. You wish some angles were different, decal placement could be better.

On the left is the first prototype build. On the right notice the slight changes.
Some are obvious. Instead of being square, a trailing edge wing taper was added. The Stars and Bars was changed back to the original, correct five point star after I found out I could use it without paying to use it. U.S.A.F. stayed as the U.S.F.F. The "missile" wing lugs were cut at an angle.

The air intake was made larger without the long taper to the back end. This was changed for easier construction. The new cut easily slips and "locks"over the main BT-50H body tube against the wing root edges. It spreads out a bit and ended up more of an oval shape. 

I wanted this model to have a lot going on visually. Pieces overhang and under hang.
The nose cone will probably be plastic, longer and closer to the size used in the Centuri kit.

Now if I could just get the right thickness of clear plastic for the vacu-form canopies!


  1. Such a great looking rocket. A clear canopy would look pretty good but if the plastic canopy doesn't work out there's nothing wrong with a paper one or a decal.

    1. Hi Openroad,
      Well see - So far four attempts at vacuforming haven't given good results.

  2. Very nice; love the clean lines. Didn't Centuri offer a line of these kits? I remember building and flying an F15 with fiber wings in the days of my youth. Sort of a stand-way-back scale that was fun to look at. I don't remember how it flew.

    1. Hi Tim,
      this one is based on the Centuri fighter Fleet series, my favorite on being the F-16. This one has 3/32" thick balsa fins. I've already flown two different prototypes. Straight boost with no roll!

  3. If the main body is a BT-50 size then perhaps the nosecone from the Screaming Eagle kit (i.e. the F-15) might fit the bill (though this probably wouldn't work if you're producing kits). The nosecone is available in the "sci-fi" nosecone set (which sort of made my purchase of a bunch of the Screaming Eagle, Interceptor and Dark Energy kits -- just to get the nosecones -- sort of moot). That nosecone set doesn't include the nosecone used in the Interceptor II and Greyhawk -- but the Shuttle Xpress kits could be a source for it.
    As for vacu-form canopy... not only is there the tricky bit of fabrication (especially if you don't already have a vacuform rig), but some builders might have difficulty with it as well -- in that case forgoing the transparent canopy and using a folded piece of cardstock will probably be the way to go.

    1. Hi Naoto,
      The body tube is a BT-50H, a heavy wall BT-50. Regular BT-50s are too thin for me. If the kit proceeds I'll use the old Starlight plastic nose cones (Apogee has them now) almost a perfect match to the older Centuri NCs used in the Fighter Fleet series.
      I have a small vacu-form box bought on Ebay. I just have to get the temperature and timing right before molding. I might end up with a cardstock canopy - who knows?