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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale
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BOOK REVIEW


How to Build Tamiya's F-16C Model by Glenn Hoover CreateSpace Publishing



As scale modelers, we all know that there can be glitches, oversights, nuances, and occasionally poorly thought-out elements to the instructions included in a kit.  Often, this owes to the manufacturer compressing assembly steps into as few steps as possible motivated by the need to make instructions short and inexpensive to print.  Personally, I always consult the instructions.  At the same time, it is also necessary to re-order, modify, or alter the sequence of assembly.  Sometimes this involves leaving off an antenna or two until the very end of the project (though the instructions might have you putting that on in Step 2), or it spans more significant issues regarding fit conflicts between entire subassemblies.  Deviating from the instructions can be a smart idea but may carry elevated risks and potential headaches.  In this series of books, Glenn Hoover takes a systems engineer’s look at kit assembly.  He considers all the potential issues in kit assembly and how to solve them – so you don’t have to.  Here, let’s take a look at his book on the 1:48 scale Tamiya F-16C Block 25 Fighting Falcon. 

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Glenn Hoover spent six years in the U.S. Navy followed by a 35-year career as a systems engineer in the aerospace industry.  Over that timespan, he has written hundreds of user manuals, test instructions, systems requirements, and system design documents.  He is also an avid scale modeler and brings systems thinking to the process.  This background led him to begin publishing this very helpful instructional series.

Hoover’s process begins by briefly summarizing the F-16’s history and design.  He then photographs the box and each individual sprue sheet along with any photoetched metal frets or other detail parts if they are in a kit.  Applicable aftermarket detail parts or sets are then added to the mix.  From this, Hoover carefully scrutinizes each instruction step as he builds a detailed and logical checklist illustrated by the pertinent element of the manufacturer's instructions.  Once the checklist is complete, he builds the kit, making any adjustments or further corrections as needed, from small little improvements to making sure you are aware of major fit issues or items omitted by the instructions.  Accompanying this narrative are lots of photos of the assembly process and the finished model.

Hoover’s 146 page-long F-16C volume takes on the 1:48 scale Tamiya version of the F-16 Block 25 jet as operated by the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard.  In this project, he includes as alternate building options the Eduard photoetched metal sets that are found in the Big Ed set produced by Eduard.  This set includes Eduard’s pre-cut masks, remove before flight tags, and their cockpit, exterior, gear and gear well, and ordnance detail sets.

The book’s contents start with a very brief summary and characterization of the F-16’s history.  This is followed by a detailed, sprue-by-sprue look at the kit’s contents, and that’s followed by sections called “Get Organized” and “Build Flow.”  He then lists all the paints one will need (nearly all in the Tamiya line), and lists the typical list of tools (and where you can get them) needed for the job at hand.  The next 104 pages of the book cover the sequential process of the modified build itself, illustrated by a mix of construction photos and annotated versions of the kit instructions.  The process itself, including the incorporation of relevant aftermarket parts, is broken down into 1,068 individual steps.  All these steps are there in the kit and aftermarket instructions, but they are broken down and reorganized into these single, individual processes.  Any incorporation of aftermarket parts (here, the Eduard PE sets) is highlighted in yellow, and if you don’t have those parts, just skip the highlighted steps.  There are also some valuable reference photos of the real thing added here and there.  The book is then capped off by informative photos of Hoover’s build of the kit itself and his completed F-16C model.

I found Hoover’s build guide on Tamiya F-16C Block 25 kit to be absolutely spot-on.  It’s a smooth build with virtually no problems.  I also really enjoyed the book as it demonstrates the most optimal way to incorporate all the great Eduard photoetched metal parts.   

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It’s not quite a shortcoming, but as an observation – the book is published in two formats - one spiral bound, and one spine-bound.  While it costs a little more, I suggest the spiral bound edition – it is FAR more workbench friendly.

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Glen Hoover has done a great job in producing this build guide for Tamiya’s F-16C.  Hoover’s book is clear, detailed, and consistent.  The logical flow is impeccable, and it really represents the most optimal way to not just build the quarter-scale Viper from Tamiya, but also how to incorporate the Eduard detail parts in the best way possible.  This guide will serve builders well as a rather valuable companion through their build.  Looking forward, I am glad I will have this book when the time comes (relatively soon, I think) to start working on one of the five copies I have of this kit…      

Sincere thanks to Glen Hoover for the review sample.  You can find out more Glenn Hoover’s other titles and more at https://glennhoovermodels.com/.  This book and the others in his series are available at amazon.com.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale


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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale
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Quick Links to Available Special Editions and Colors & Markings Series Publications.

Detail & Scale Special Editions

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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