Wednesday, August 23

Read n' Reviewed - Aircraft in Detail 002 F-16 fighting Falcon

A We look at the second book the new series from publisher HMH today. Last week we looked at the first book in this series on the Jaguar, Today Andy has read and reviewed the new title giving a walk around and in-depth study of the F-16 Fighting Falcon from HMH. See what he thinks about it in his review...

Read n' Reviewed - Aircraft in Detail 002: F-16 Fighting Falcon
from HMH Publications
Authors: Nicolas Deboeck & Robert Pied
Book no# 002
108 pages includes 330 photographs
240 mm x 240 mm
Retail price: 22 euros
Today we've got the chance to look at the first of two titles from the new Duke Hawkins 'Aircraft in Detail' series from HMH Publications, and if you think you spot a familiar name in the info above, you'd be correct, as TMN's very own Nico Deboeck has co-authored these two books. This new series is primarily designed to provide the perfect visual reference guide for anyone starting a modelling project, whilst also including plenty of informative and interesting text to back up the photography.

HMH has big plans for this series, with more titles to come in the future, but for now, let's look at what they've given us in the second volume - this time focussed on the ubiquitous F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Both of the two books in this series follow a similar style to each other, taking the form of an extended walkaround, covering each area of the aircraft in detail with some stunning close-up photographs. For reference titles like these, the quality of the images is paramount, and you won't be disappointed here. The photography's not only clear and pin sharp, but also shows all those areas that, as a modeller, you really need to see. The accompanying text does a great job of explaining just what you're looking at in a very light hearted and conversational style.

The book starts with an intro explaining just how much of a personal project this and the sister title on the Jagaur are. The author's original intent was to produce a photo reference for his own modelling project, which would only be printed in a single copy. Fortunately for the rest of us, that idea was expanded to become the titles we're looking at today.
Moving on to the F-16 title, we get a similar layout the Jaguar book, but before delving into the walkaround sections, we're given a brief overview of the various F-16 types that have been developed over its lifetime.

After that, we're back in familiar territory with a detailed walkaround of the aircraft starting, as before, with a close up look at the forward fuselage. This covers the main external differences between the various models, such as IFF antennas and the different intake profiles depending on the engine fitted.

The remainder of the fuselage and wings are then covered, and the photos here show some very nice weathering patterns that would be great to reproduce on a model. Elements such as the arrestor hook and the various events are covered in detail.

There are some great photos in this section covering the newer F-16 variants such as the UAE F-16E and F Desert Falcons, clearly showing all the lumps and bumps that have appeared as the Falcon has evolved. I'm sorely tempted to order the Kinetic kit after looking through these shots of the Emirati Block 60 Falcons.
After dealing with the airframe, the next section moves on to the cockpit and, like the Jaguar title, we're treated to fantastic close-ups of the pilot's office. The instrument panel, side consoles, ejection seat and HUD are all covered in detail.
Even the canopy has two pages dedicated to it
The next two sections cover the front and main landing gear, and their respective wheel wells. Again, a field day for super-detailers. A lot of walkarounds often show these kinds of areas but often from odd angles that can make the images hard to interpret. Not so here; all the images show the wheel wells clearly, and make it easy to see where all the cabling and plumbing fits in.

As with the Jaguar book, the maintenance section is by far my favourite. Here again, we have a fantastic collection of images showing the Falcon stripped down, revealing just what's hidden away under the skin. Radar, avionics, fuel and hydraulics, armament and engine are all shown in extensive detail.
The book finishes off with a section on ordnance, and an 'in action' section showing some great colour schemes and markings.
If you get the impression from this review that I've really enjoyed reading this book, you'd be 100% correct. As a modelling reference, it and its sister title we have read are as good as anything out there (and better than most), with fantastic images and very informative text. The only slight downside is the perfect binding which can make the books hard to prop open on a modelling bench, but that's a minor quibble.
If you're planning a build of the F-16 fighting Falcon then do yourself a favour and get this book. You won't regret it.

Highly recommended

Andy Moore

You can get these books from the HMH Publications Website Directly. Thanks to them for sending Andy this book to read and review.