F-5 "Tigers" in 1/72 scale : kit modelling report
... continued from
(11) F-5EM Brasil
Many years ago I purchased the Italeri kit #136 F-5E Tiger II. It looks good in shape and dimensions.
The kit has raised panel lines 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 of No.1 Grupo based at Sta.Cruz is shown here...
The Italeri kit was assembled as per instructions but with some smaller changes as described above. The cockpit as also already detailed.
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 Johnson Future/ Pledge 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.
air force ("Forca Aerea Brasileira") FAB was established in 1941 but the
Military aviation started much earlier in 1915 with French biplanes and
Saulniers. During the Second World War a Brazilian unit was fighting in
Italy as part of the Allied forces. Also, some German U-botes were sunk
off the Brazilian coast. After the Second World War, the first jets were
the British Gloster Meteors and later US supplied jets like the Lockheed
F-80 and T-33. Also, in the fifties Fokker S-11 trainer aircraft were ordered
and manufactured under local license. In 1961 there came a democratic but
left government and in 1964 there was a military coup.
(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.
[area: 41,285 km2 | population: 8,6 million | capital: Bern | GDP USD 87,000 per capita nominal ]
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 Second World War it stayed neutral. Any foreign aircraft that violated the air space was engaged and some shot down including German Luftwaffe aircraft. Many foreign aircraft either were forced to land or due to various reasons landed and some 245 aircraft of various types including USAAF B-17 bombers were interned. After the end of the war several of these were returned and some paid for and put into service such as 4 Me-109, 2 Mosquitos and several utility aircraft and trainers. During the Cold War, the air force acquired only "second hand" aircraft like the Vampire, Venom and some Hawker Hunters. A local fighter aircraft as the FFA P-16 was build 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 under the "Peace Alps" program were acquired. 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 F-5 Tigers flew from Dubendorf and Payerne, often flown by reservists pilots. The older Vampires did not retire until 1990, long being obsolete and the last Swiss Hawker Hunter flew in 1994. Twenty BAe Hawks were purchased and operated between 1999 - 2002. Local bases often situated in mountains in war time are also available. In the nineties, 34 Northrop/Boeing F/A-18C/D aircraft were ordered and made under license. The F-5E still serves as fighter while the F/A-18C acts as multirole fighter aircraft. To replace the fighter fleet it was decided Summer 2021 that some 36 F-35A's will be purchased.
A nice model of the Swiss
F-5E Tiger II of Fliegerstaffel 19
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Created this page June 15, 2016;
updated Jan 31, 2017