Skunkmodels 1/48 IDF Weapons Set First Look
|Date of Review||June 2009||Manufacturer||Skunkmodels Workshop|
|Subject||IDF Weapons Set||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48001||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||The first IDF weapons set in 1/48 scale; four weapons types - four of each type in kit||Cons||None noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$13.99|
Skunkmodels Workshop first came to our attention with their nice 1/32 conformal fuel tank set for the Tamiya 1/32 F-16 Fighting Falcon. They have returned with this interesting weapons set and they are carried by the nice folks at LuckyModel.com.
We've recently had two releases of the F-16I 'Sufa' advanced attack aircraft based upon the late-block F-16D Fighting Falcon. The first was from Kinetic which had a wide array of weapons but none unique to the IDF. The second was from Hasegawa and it is only armed with AIM-9 and AIM-120, the basic weapons provided in most of their F-16 kits. In each case, we've hoped for some armament that would be as distinctive as the F-16I is itself. Skunkmodels Workshop to the rescue.
This set contains four different weapons types and four of each weapon are provided, so you get more that one project's worth of armament to work with. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 16 parts trees, plus four trees of clear parts for the seeker heads. The images below show two of the four weapons sprues of each type.
First up is the GBU-15 and yes, this isn't an Israeli-made weapon, but it is used by the IDF and finding good renditions of the weapon is a challenge. These will look good not only under the F-16I, but under the Gulf War F-111F and F-15E. The weapon is an improvement on the GBU-8 HOBOS which we usually find included in the various kits and weapons sets.
Next is the AGM-142 Have Nap which many of you have seen suspended under the wings of the B-52H. This is an Israeli weapon called 'Popeye' developed by Rafael and brought into US service over and above its duties with the IDF.
The third weapon is the Rafael Spice which is a recent Israeli derivative of the Popeye in that it comes as kit that converts a standard Mk.83 or Mk.84 'slick' bomb into an advanced Popeye missile that also incorporates GPS navigation. The additional fins on Spice provide additional glide range over Popeye for improved stand-off delivery.
The final weapon is the Rafael Python 4 dogfight missile which has a distinctive appearance and an impressive performance envelope.
This set is rounded out with a complete set of weapons stencils that are supported with color profiles and decal layout diagrams on the rear of the box.
This set will allow you to 'bomb up' your F-16I with distinctively Israeli load-outs for your next project. While the F-16I will carry the full range of US-produced weapons, there is nothing more eye-catching than the sight of unusual weapons stores to help your Viper stand out on the shelf or contest table.
For more information about this set and future releases from Skunkmodels Workshop, visit the LuckyModel website at www.luckymodel.com.