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F-16XL 'SCAMP' Super Massive Conversion

Wild Hare Ass'n 1/32 F-16XL 'SCAMP' Super Massive Conversion First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer Wild Hare Ass'n
Subject F-16XL 'SCAMP' Super Massive Conversion Scale 1/32
Kit Number WHA32002 Primary Media Resin
Pros Converts the Tamiya 1/32 F-16 to the F-16XL configuration Cons Very limited production
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) OOP

First Look

F-16XL 'SCAMP' Super Massive Conversion
F-16XL 'SCAMP' Super Massive Conversion
F-16XL 'SCAMP' Super Massive Conversion

Wild Hare Ass'n is a new product line from Meteor Productions that encompass a series of rather breathtaking conversions. This conversion is a rather comprehensive transformation of the Tamiya 1/32 F-16C kit into the single-seat F-16XL delta-wing prototype. This set is release number two, but it wound up on the streets a little faster than number one, the even more awesome transformation of the Tamiya 1/32 F-4J Phantom II into the Phantom FG.1/FGR.2.

As those of you who've wanted a nice 1/32 F-16XL, the only kit that has come close has been a tooling that is essentially a stock F-16 fuselage with the new crank-arrow wings. This kit has been released under the brand names of Ace and Revell/Germany. What is wrong with that? The full-scale F-16XL was much longer than the stock F-16, so adapting a crank-arrow wing to the stock kit resulted is a rather awkward looking aircraft. In 1/32 scale, the XL fuselage is a little over 1.5 inches (not scale inches) longer than the Tamiya fuselage. The difference is quite significant.

So what do we have in the box? As you see in these images, there are two full-length fuselage halves that are completely compatible with the Tamiya kit. I fondled the parts for a while and am quite impressed with the quality of the casting. The parts are as thin as the styrene parts in the Tamiya kit and are clearly set up to use those kit parts without any problems. When you look through the box, I wondered what parts I really need out of the Tamiya kit since this is a rather complete conversion. You'll still use the radome, cockpit, main wheel wells, engine nozzle, and a number of other smaller parts to complete this aircraft.

In addition to the fuselage halves, the kit comes with the new wings, new vertical stabilizer w/parachute housing in the base, seamless intake molded in white (to simplify painting inside the duct), a few special bulkheads, new maingear tires and bulged gear doors, and a wide array of weapons pylons if you want to bomb-up your SCAMP.

On the envelope that contains the instructions, parts list, and decals is a phone number to a pre-recorded message. There, Dave Klaus (owner of Meteor Productions) urges buyers to inventory their parts just to be sure that they have everything since this is such a limited run release. He also wisely advises that you use 5-minute epoxy to attach the wings to the fuselage to achieve a stronger, more durable bond that can be achieved with cyano.

Rounding out this set are a set of decals and a large sheet of Black Magic masks to help you replicate any one of four schemes:

  • USAF 'delivery' scheme
  • USAF 'late' scheme
  • NASA early scheme
  • NASA late scheme

I've always wanted to build this aircraft and after reading the rather painful process required to make the Ace kit accurate, I simply put the idea on the back burner. When I heard that Meteor was producing this kit, I immediately ordered two. While these conversions were not inexpensive (around $350 as I recall), the casting is excellent and the molds are a work of art.

Note that this set is intended for the Tamiya F-16C Block 32 Thunderbird kit as this is the version that has the Pratt and Whitney engine nozzle. The Block 50 kit has the GE engine and wouldn't be appropriate for this conversion (unless you're doing a 'what-if' project).

Definitely recommended (if you can find one)!