F-5E Tiger II Revell 85-5318 1:48 Scale Review

2012 August 14
by Doug

RoR Review 20120814* – F-5E Tiger II Revell 85-5318 1:48 Scale Review
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Developed by Northrop as a light supersonic fighter, the F-5E never attained combat service. The USAF had no need for a light fighter but specified a requirement for a supersonic trainer, procuring about 1,200 of a derivative airframe for this purpose, the Northrop T-38 Talon. The improved second-generation F-5E Tiger II was also primarily used by American Cold War allies and, in limited quantities, served in U.S. military aviation as a training and aggressor aircraft; Tiger II production amounted to 1,400 of all versions, with production ending in 1987. Many F-5s continuing in service into the 1990s and 2000s have undergone a wide variety of upgrade programs to keep pace with the changing combat environment.

The F-5E saw service with the U.S. Air Force from 1975 until 1990, serving in the 64th Aggressor Squadron and 65th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, The U.S. Navy used the F-5E extensively at the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) when it was located at NAS Miramar, California.  In it’s role as an aggressor aircraft the F-5E often serves as a MIG 21 or MIG 23 in combat simulations.

For the Modeler: I had originally planned to finish this model in a natural metal scheme until I saw the second decal option for an aggressor squadron airplane in overall semi-gloss black.  I just couldn’t resist the idea of the Stars & Bars in red as well as ‘NAVY’ while all other stencils and even the pilots name were in Russian! The model represents U.S. Navy F-5E, BUNO 160792 serving with VFA-127 the ‘Desert Bogeys’ at Fallon Nevada. The history of this aggressor version, cockpit detailing, using brass stock for cannon replacement, ejector pin location and filling, engine intake repairs, broken canopy frame repairs, canopy modifications, interior and exterior color selection, decal preparation and application, pilot finishing, and some component  scratch building are all fully explained in the Step-by-Step review   

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