Northrop NF-5A in 1/32 scale
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 NF-5A model in 1/32 scale kit review ? modelling report

The next step now is to merge the forward kit cockpit section to the resin aft section. Unfortunately there is a height difference, the resin part is about 2 mm less heigh. I sorted this out by removing a slice at the upper rear spine on the two plastic fuselage left- and right- parts A1 and A2.

I also found that there would be less tension if you would make a cut and remove some plastic at the aft upper horizontal floor on part A8. 
A very strong joint as a lot of handling would be needed because sanding would be a massive effort. Using two-component glue and various plastic strips I managed to get a strong bond and also suggest not to fit part A11.

The joint area was sanded and puttied to get a smooth result. 

Next are the Belcher Bits resin intakes. These required removal of resin at the aft surfaces through sanding. I also had to remove height on the small side air intakes and boundary layer area moulded on the fuselage parts A1 and A2. It is essential to have a smooth joint on the visible intakes sides to the aft resin fuselage. I also found the height of the intakes to be a bit too heigh, particularly on the right intake. Some card was glued on the aft and lower area. Sanding and puttying was necessary here quite a lot.

The aft vertical tail consists of converted plastic parts C19 and C20 of the kit. It turned out that the depth needs some extra strip inside to match the resin tail fairing at the joint. I added metal wires glued into drilled out holes for strength and it took quite some effort to get the tail perfectly vertical. I ended up by having to add large amounts of putty to get a smooth result.


The next step is to fit the converted wings to the fuselage. Again to get a good joint and horizontally aligned wings, metal wires were used. The wing should be perfectly horizontal with no anhedral/dihedral. 

The wing-fuselage joint also needed obviously some putty.

Next, the supplied resin tip tanks were added; note these are quite different from those used on the F-5E. Make sure they are fitted horizontal and parallel. I also drilled out two holes on the rear fuselage to take the two horizontal stabilizers later on.

On all F-5 planes, customizing on the cockpits and instruments took place depending on the particular air force needs, so you will see a lot of different instrument panel configurations. 
For a Dutch NF-5A also the cockpit instrument panel is quite different from both the plastic F-5E part D24 and the resin CF-5A part supplied. I used a drawing from the NF-5 Flight manual.

All resin instruments were separated with a small razor saw, a new panel made from card, and re-arranged. For the Dutch NF-5 particularly you need to add the moving map display.  Here you will see what I mean...

The cockpit also needs more details on this scale. More on that later on.... 

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December 2, 2006