When I started working on the
RAAF Hawk, I needed a test subject to try out various new techniques and
materials on. Given that only some of the techniques involved any actual building,
and that I wanted the test subject to be expendable, I grabbed a very obsolete
kit from the collection of built up planes. The victim of choice was a 1/48
F-16 from an awful long time ago. There were two of those sitting around not
being much use, an Esci and a Revell kit. I honestly don't know which one got
picked for finishing tests, and which one for somewhat more destructive paint
removal tests. Whichever it was, it was roughly cleaned up, and then airbrushed,
re-decalled, and coated with Floquil flat varnish.
I've heard it said that a great paint job can make a lousy kit look good, and that a bad paint job will ruin the best kit. I don't know about the second half, but this little experiment has certainly proven the first. At first glance and in pictures, this kit look entirely passable. Just don't look too closely, because then you'll see a lot of uglyness hiding behind the first impression.
The other F-16, by the way, still serves as a testbed for just about any surface finish, paint, or painting technique I feel needs testing.