F-5 "Tigers" in 1/72 scale : kit modelling report
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(11) F-5EM Brasil
Many years ago I purchased the Italeri kit #136 of the F-5E Tiger II. It looks good in shape and dimensions.
The kit has raised panellines but under a camouflage paint they look still good. (more photos below for the similar newer release).
The cockpit has a nice seat but the stick #4 is shown incorrectly and reversed in the instructions.
The canopy, when set open, is a bit simplified with an angled part #12 to set it open. (see notes below how to improve this)
The rear bulkhead behind the seat is better opened up so this was done with a razor saw and knife.
The intakes #10 and #11 are a bit undeep, opening up the holes on the fuselage side fairings can be done, but I painted the area black at the rear. Sometimes antennas can be added: often an antenna panel sits atop of the vertical tail on real F-5E's, and an antenna on the spine. Also a probe on the lower nose side is missing. ECM fairings on nose and rear fuselage are also in the kit but not always installed. So check photos for the model you want. The lower speed brakes can be set open and drooped down, add a few actuators in that case.
The exhausts #31 are a bit undeep, if desired they can be opened up an deepened with some scrap parts.
The kit has appeared in various boxes with only new decals. The mould was also used for a F-5E/N kit with a modified nose, see below....
This kit will be made as a Brazillian
F-5EM using decals from the HobbyBoss kit #80207 (see page
6..). The scheme for the Brazil aircraft is shown here...
This Brazillian F-5EM aircraft has
a dorsal fin/ fillet and a tank boom.
The acrylic colours applied free
hand with just a little masking with the airbrush were:
The exhaust area was also airbrushed
after masking in aluminium but the exhaust pipes got a bit darker paint.
Inside the front canopy frame I added
2 tiny mirrors from etched metal. These came from a REHEAT mirrorset. The
insides of frames were painted medium grey.
The F-5E end finishing was also to
replace the nose pitot with a bit of a metal needle and adding a few hydraulic
lines from thin wire to the undercarriage gear legs. On the arrestor hook
part black stripes were painted.
A large UHF antenna on the fuselage spine is often seen on Brazilean F-5E's with also a tiny black antenna in front of that and aft of the canopy; these were made from card and rod.
After all dried, a
dull coat was applied with Future with 5% Tamiya flat base mixed in.
This gives an even sheen and looks good as well as protecting the decals
for years to come.
(12) F-5E Switzerland
The kit of Italeri has also been released as a F-5E/N as kit #1363. The F-5N is a version with improved avionics and systems of the F-5E but externally very similar. This kit has been released in a number of different boxes like #1333 for a Patrouille de Swiss F-5E.
A modification has been made on the kit parts for the fuselage nose: the kit got moulded in the shark like wider nose of later Tigers. This is seen below in the photo with the "protecting" ring sprue around the shark nose.
The kit was simply made mostly out of the box but only adding some details. The ECM fairing parts in the kit on nose #37 and tail #38 were applicable for the Swiss machine so fitted.
I opted to use the very nice Swiss decals in the kit with the "Swan on the tail". That was the reason I bought it kit, a very good price to model proposition.
After assembly a base grey coat (using
Revell Aqua 75 "steingrau" acrylic) was applied and showed some extra
sanding was needed at the nose sides.
The nose got a slightly darker grey colour and the rear fuselage areas an aluminium rear end.
The decals were applied over a gloss
varnish undersurface and the kit decals are VERY nice! The walkways were
also added. The tail looks great! The edges were painted blue.
The standard angle of attack vane/indicator below the windscreen on starboard (right) side was installed using kit part #49. Also a small sensing probe was added on the port lower side next to ehe nose gear bay made from a metal piece of rod.
The canopy was to be set open. I used the same method for detailling as described above...
The gun barrels were made from bits
of metal needle as well as the nose pitot.
The Swiss air
force was established in 1914 as part of the army and has used quite a
few different types despite the neutral position of Switzerland. In 1936
it became an independent air force. During the Cold War, it only used British
supplied aircraft like the Vampire, Venom and some Hawker Hunters. A local
fighter aircraft as the FFA P-16 was also manufactured but never ordered,
a few Mirage III fighters were purchased but with large budget overruns.
In the Seventies a modernization took place. Northrop F-5E Tigers were
purchased under the "Peace Alps" program. In 1978, the first of 13 F-5E
and 6 F-5F arrived manufactured at Northrop but Swiss FFA license made
the remaining aircraft. The Swiss air force eventually operated some 98
F-5E and 12 F-5F aircraft. The older Vampires did not retire until 1990,
long being obsolete and the last Swiss Hawker Hunter flew in 1994. The
F-5 Tigers flew from Dubendorf and Payerne, often flown by reservists pilots.
Local bases often situated in mountains in war time are also available.
In the nineties, 34 Northrop/Boeing FA-18C/D aircraft were ordered and
made under license. The F-5E still serves as fighter while the FA-18C acts
as multirole aircraft. To replace the fighter fleet a study has started considering the F-35.
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Created this page June 15, 2016;
updated Jan 31, 2017