Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Aztec Models
Decal Sheet ID 72-068
Decal Sheet Title Venimous Vipers 4 - United States
Types Featured F-16C

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Aztec Models sheet 72-068 "Venimous Vipers 4 - 457 FS 75th Anniversary" provides markings for the extremely colourful anniversary aircraft flown by the Texas AFRC unit during late 2020.

F-16C-30C 86-0246 wore the standard two-tone grey scheme comprising Gunship Grey FS36118 over Neutral Grey FS36270.

From roughly level with the rear edge of the canopy bow back, the entire airframe was painted blue white and red to replicate the Texas state flag. The blue (upper and lower surfaces) extended backwards to the refuelling slipway, and then the port side was painted red and the starboard side white. A large white star was on the upper and lower fuselage blue areas, with white stars'n'bars on the red sections and black stars'n' bars on the white areas.

However, this was just the start of the anniversary scheme... The entire fin carried artwork, with "75TH 1944-2019" in red, white and black on the lower fin and white stylised areas on the rest of the fin containing full color artwork and 6 aircraft outlines on the fin representing the aircraft flown by the 457th FS. The vertical fins also carried white areas and the fin tip was blue, white and red with a white star (again representing the Texas state flag).

Looking at the sheet, it is clear that it has been something of a "labour of love" for Aztek. The sheet has been designed to be applied to either the Hasegawa or Tamiya kits and Aztek provide two different sets of the "75TH..." marking to cater for each kit.

Aztek also provide vinyl stencils with the kit in case the modeller prefers to paint the white areas and star instead of using the decals. They also provide additional masks for the canopy. And as if this is not enough - they provide TWO sets since the Hasegawa and Tamiya kits are different shapes.

Aztek provide full colour instructions, with four-views of the scheme, additional details and also call out where the Tamiya and Hasegawa kits differ.

The only downside to this sheet is that the artwork is a little "heavy" and is not as fine as it should be - but this scheme would really liven up a kit!

Review and images by Chris St Clair