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F-16 "Big Mouth" Intake
1/32 Scale Conversion


Cutting Edge Modelworks


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and  Description

CEC32114 - F-16 Big Mouth Intake Conversion

Scale: 1/32
Price: USD$19.99 from Meteor Productions Website
Contents and Media: 10 parts in grey resin
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent casting
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Dave Williams

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




Given the increased interest in large scale 1/32 scale modern jets by the likes of Tamiya, Revell, and Academy, it is surprising that no updated F-16 kit has been produced. The best of the available kits in 1/32 is the Hasegawa F-16C kit, available in the “Ramstein” or “F-16A Plus/C” boxings. Although the Hasegawa kit includes the exhausts for both the Pratt & Whitney and General Electric engines, one weakness is that the kit only includes the original “small mouth” intake, which limits the number of GE-engined aircraft that can be accurately built from the kit as it comes in the box.

From Block 30 onwards, F-16Cs were built with either the GE F110 engine or the P&W F100 engine. GE powered aircraft were assigned production blocks ending in a “0” (e.g. Block 30, Block 40, Block 50), while P&W-engined aircraft were listed in production blocks ending in “2” (e.g. Block 32, Block 42, Block 52). With the two engines came two types of intake: the original “small” NSI (Normal Shock Intake) and the “big mouth” MCID (Modular Common Inlet Duct). All P&W powered aircraft (except the F-16 VISTA) use the NSI as included in the Hasegawa kit. GE powered aircraft are a little more tricky as production swapped over to the MCID during Block 30 production, meaning that there are some early GE engined aircraft that use the NSI. Some sources state that the change to the MCID happened with Block 30D, starting at serial number 86-0262. Subsequent GE engined Blocks 40 and 50 all have the MCID.

For those wanting to do a later GE powered Viper, Cutting Edge has issued a MCID inlet made for the Hasegawa kit. This set also includes parts for the larger main wheels and bulged main landing gear doors of later production blocks. The instructions indicate that the large wheels and new main landing gear (MLG) doors are fitted to all MCID aircraft, but the majority of references I have access to indicate these are features of Block 40 and above aircraft only.




The main part of the CE set is the new one-piece intake, with embedded nose wheel well. This part is a direct replacement for the kit intake parts.

The difference between the kit’s NSI and CE’s MCID is graphically illustrated in two photos, one showing both intakes side by side (the kit intake is in the lighter gray and is shown with the kit intake cover installed), and the second photo which shows the kit intake cover inside the CE part.




Also included in the set is a one-piece section of the ductwork that leads to the actual engine and forms the top of the main gear bay.

Both the intake and duct are “seamless”, which avoids the long horizontal seam of the kit parts; however there may be a circumferential seam where the duct and intake are joined together. The small strut that sits in the middle of the intake is included as a separate part and small holes are provided in the top and bottom of the intake to assist in proper positioning. Rounding out the intake related parts is a new forward bulkhead for the MLG bay. This seems to be the same as kit part D5, with the exception of the ejector pin marks among the rib detail being removed and the detail restored.

The new wheels are very well done and even a small air valve is visible in the wheel openings. The brakes are separate parts and show a little flash, although cleanup should be straightforward. The new MLG doors have full interior detail. Although the photographs do not show the subtle bulge in the doors well, it is apparent when looking at the door from certain angles with the naked eye.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

As noted previously, the larger wheels and new doors included in the set appear to be appropriate for Blocks 40 and above, however some additional work will be needed for these later blocks. In addition to the new wheels and doors, Block 40 relocated the landing lights from the main gear struts to the inside of the nose gear door. In addition, the “beer can” RWR antennas were added to the wing leading edge flaps beginning at Block 30. This is not meant as a criticism of the set, as it is only advertised as the “Big Mouth” intake conversion, but is included as information for those wanting to build a Block 40 or 50 F-16C using this set.

Review sample kindly provided by Meteor Productions.

Dave Williams
IPMS/USA 19050

Cutting Edge Modelworks products are available from Meteor Productions website

Text and Images Copyright © 2003 by Dave Williams
This Page Created on 07 May, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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