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F-5A FREEDOM FIGHTER
I opted to make another ESCI
kit as a VENEZUELA CF-5A, these are ex-Canadian aircraft so the ESCI kit
is good for that as it has the typical characteristics like the slightly
larger intakes and other CF-5 / NF-5 features. So for the model use pointy
nose parts 73A and 74A. The flare dispensers parts #25C were not installed.
Also, the model would get no missiles but only the coke-bottle tip tanks
that are nicely provided with the kit.
First, the rear of the fuselage halves
the holes for the jet pipes were opened up. Also the exhaust pipes parts
#40C themselves were drilled open. As most parked aircraft show the leading
edge flaps drooped down, with a razor saw the edges were sawed and the
flaps bended donw a bit.
Some extra work regarding the canopy
to be set open was done as described
on the NF-5A kit. The remainder of the kit was simply assembled as
To add a little interest, the leading
edge slats, which are separate parts, were drooped a bit down. The rudder
was set a bit deflected by cutting the edges with a fine razor saw and
bending it a bit.
Decals for VENEZUELA came from the
AZTEC set 72050.
Acryllic colours were airbrushed and
green FS34079 using Gunze Sangyo
brown FS30219 using Gunze Sangyo
green FS34102 using Gunze Sangyo
the lower surfaces FS36622 for which
Gunze Sangyo H311 is nice.
Demarcations between colours seem
soft, this was achieved with free hand airbrushing
with the fine Harder Steenbeck airbrush using in place simple masks.
The tank boom is also nicely fitted.
Decals were applied after the model got a gloss base coat to prevent "silvering"
of Johnson Future/ Pledge..
The model got a semi-matt base coat
with the usual technique.
Some stretched sprue was added for
the "hydraulics" in the undercarriage bays and gear. A nose pitot tube
was installed made from a metal needle. A nice CF-5A model completed and
now in the World Air Forces collection!
military aviation started with the Air Academy in 1920 with some French
Caudron aircraft and Breguet aircraft. In the 1930's a first base was established
at Boca del Rio and aircraft purchased from France, England and the United
States. Venezuela had larger oil fiels and oil was exported, mainly to
the USA and the neighbouring Dutch Antilles islands of Aruba and Curacao.
During the Second World War more US support was obtained and locally in
the Caribbean Sea German submarines on some occasions attacked oil tankers
Aerea Venezuelana (FAV) was formally established in October 1947. Also
transport aircraft were used and aircraft like the Venom, Vampire,
Canberra and F-86 Sabre. Politics were not always stable and meanwhile
many air bases were established aircraft deployed. Forces were strengthened
also because of fears on Communism propagated in Cuba. Venezuela exported
large amounts of oil so financing was not an issue. Aircraft like Mirages
V, OV-10 Broncos, Jet Provosts and later the T-2
Buckeye and various helicopters were operated. From Canadair second
hand former Canada armed forces were acquired: 16 Northrop CF-5A and 2
CF-5D arrived from 1972. Most were based at Barquisimeto and local designation
was the VF-5. Two VF-5A were also converted to a reconnaissance version
as RVF-5A. From 1986 an additional 7 ex Royal Netherlands Air Force NF-5
aircraft were acquired. Soon some local VF-5 were upgraded as well with
Later on, also
and B aircraft were put in service as well as EMBRAER Tucanos. In November
1992 a coup was launched by the FAV general but that failed as some F-16
pilots still supported the existing government and shot down rebellian
The FAV was
renamed Aviacion Militar Venezolana in 2001 and later under the Chavez
government "Aviacion Militar Nacional Bolivariana" in honour of the South
American liberator Simon Bolivar. The last decade Russian "socialist" influence
became larger and the AMNB purchased Russian aircraft like Sukhoi SU-30
fighters based at Barcelona and El Sombrero. Also Chinese K-8 trainers
are used based at mainly the base Barquisimeto.
sometimes called VF-5A. Some 26 F-5A and B aircraft were obtained by the
FAV through Canada starting 1972.
CF-5A or sometimes called VF-5A with code "9456"
At Libertado air base, Venezuela
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