"Vivacious Vipers" – The F-16 in international service,Zotz decals ZTZ480065 - 1/48th scale & ZTZ72006 - 1/72nd scale.
This very comprehensive and very colourful decal sheet contains decals for F-16s from Bahrain, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Pakistan, Portugal and Turkey. The decal set consists of three large sheets and two small sheets with a few corrected decals. The decals are very nicely printed and they are all in register. However, you will have to put one decal on top of another to make up some of the markings. This will of course make the decals a bit thicker but this will hardly be seen after a layer of satin coat. The colours are very good, and the colours underneath will not show through.The three sheets with instructions are very thorough, both when it comes to colours and interesting information regarding modifications and load-outs. The supplied information is correct apart from two small typos (see further down).
The contents are as follows:
- F-16C Block 40D #103 (serial 90-0029).
- F-16D Block 40D #154 (serial 90-0038).
Both aircraft are painted in an overall light blue-grey colour (a mix of FS36622 and FS32237). The only difference between the two aircraft – apart from the number of seats – is the tail number. These two aircraft are not impressively colourful but still quite exotic. Zotz provides us with the information that the aircraft have been upgraded to carry the LANTIRN pods, AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM, but I have only seen them carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder on pictures. Being Block 40 aircraft they have the wide main intake and ’beer cans’ on the wing leading edges.
- F-16C Block 40R #9969 (serial 93-0503), 262nd Fighter Brigade.
This aircraft is shown in the standard three-colour F-16 scheme; although this time with dark gull grey FS 36231 as the darkest colour. It is obvious in pictures of this aircraft that the contrast between the three grey colours is very low. Despite the grey colours and the low contrast it is a very colourful aircraft due to the large orange identification markings on the wings, the tail fin and the fuselage. Being Block 40 aircraft they have the wide main intake and ’beer cans’ on the wing leading edges.
- F-16C Block 30H #111 (serial 88-0111).
- F-16C Block 30K #127 (serial 88-0127).
- F-16C Block 50P #045 (serial 93-1045), 347 Mira.
- F-16C Block 52+ #501 (serial 99-1501), 340 Mira.
- F-16D Block 30J #149 (serial 88-0149).
- F-16D Block 52+ #601 (serial 99-1535), 340 Mira.
All six aircraft are painted in the Greek ’ghost’ scheme consisting of FS36251, FS36307 and FS35237. Only #111 carries special markings in the shape of a dark grey bird on a medium grey lightning on the tail fin.The Block 30 and 50 aircraft have the wide air intake whilst the Block 52 aircraft have the narrow air intake. The all have the ‘beer cans’ on the wing leading edges, and the Block 50 and 52 aircraft also have the AIFF antennae in front of the cockpit – the same type as on the Mid-Life Update F-16s. Greek F-16C/D Block 50s are often seen with either the LANTIRN pods or the AGM-88 HARM missiles. Note that #501 and #601 have conformal fuel tanks on the upper fuselage.
- F-16C Block 30E 87-0021, 143 Filo.
- F-16C Block 30E 88-0031, 142 Filo.
- F-16D Block 40D 89-0045 (called F-16C in the instructions), 162 Filo.
- F-16D Block 40F 90-0022 (called F-16C in the instructions), 161 Filo.
- F-16C Block 40H 91-0011, 141 Filo. F-16C Block 40H 91-0017, 182 Filo.
- F-16C Block 40P 93-0001, 181 Filo. F-16C Block 50 94-0078, 191 Filo.
- F-16C Block 50 94-0088, 152 Filo. F-16D Block 50 94-1560, 151 Filo.
- F-16D Block 50 94-1563, NATO Tigermeet 2002.
All 11 aircraft wear the standard colour scheme of FS36375, FS36270 and FS36118. The all have some sort of unit markings, either as a coloured band on the fin tip, or as a squadron badge on the fin. Some aircraft have both though. All 11 aircraft have the wide air intake and the ‘beer cans’ on the wing leading edges, and the Block 50 also have the AIFF antennae in front of the cockpit, however, this is not the same type as on the Mid-Life Update and Greek F-16s. All Block 30 and 40 aircraft have the brake chute container on the tail fin as well as a number of antennae on this container and on the air intake.
- F-16A Block 15 #84705 (serial 81-0903), 9th Sqn.
- F-16A Block 15 #84717 (serial 81-0915), 14th Sqn.
- F-16A Block 15 #85723 (serial 81-0921), 9th Sqn.
These three aircraft are painted in the Pakistani two-colour scheme of FS36270 and FS36118. Although not very colourful it still is a striking colour scheme. The national markings are grey – a green and white fin flash would have been welcome by the way. #84705 carries a tail band with the title ‘Griffins’ as well as a griffin on the tail fin, all in dark grey. Two of the aircraft have shot down Afghan aircraft, e.g. Su-22 Fitters, and #85723 thus carries kill markings.
- F-16A Block 15 ADF #15101 (serial 93-0465), 201 Esc.
- F-16A Block 15 ADF #15117 (serial 93-0481), 201 Esc.
Portuguese F-16s are a little special compared to other European F-16s in that they have some of the Air Defence Fighter (ADF) modifications of the late USAF F-16A/B ADFs. The most noticeable modification is the tail fin base with its large oval bulge on either side. As pointed out in the instructions the Portuguese F-16s do not have the AIFF antennae as seen on the USAF ADF models.
- F-16A Block 5 #E-180 (serial 78-0180), ESK723.
Without doubt the most colourful F-16 on this decal sheet, this F-16 was used to celebrate the NATO 50th Anniversay. The aircraft has large blue and gold areas and a drawing of Holger Danske on the tail fin. E-180 has worn this colour scheme since 1999, although with various minor modifications to the original paint job. This sheets gives you the colour scheme as it originally looked. See a later version of this scheme here. The three grey colours in the colour scheme are FS26373, FS26270 and FS26132 – both the lightest and the darkest colours are unique to the Danish F-16s. E-180 is a Block 5 aircraft brought up to Block 10 standard. This means you will have to remove the tail fin flood light mounted on the leading edge, as well as reducing the size of the horizontal tail planes considerably. There are a number of other minor modifications too.
All added up this makes a very comprehensive, colourful and interesting decal sheet. Highly recommended!!!