Here is the 1/48 scale Monogram F-5E completed as a USAF
aggressor aircraft assigned to the 64th FITS, 57th FWW, Nellis AFB,
NV, circa 1980.
As issued, the kit features a full set of pylons and ordnance
though in its MiG-5 Humiliator guise only the centerline pylon and
occasionally the fuel tank will be seen on these aircraft. The
gunpods and laser-guided GBUs included in the kit were consigned to
the spares box.
One unadvertised feature of this kit is the numerous antennas,
sensors, and recce nose, which may be used to construct any number
of foreign-customer F-5s if the appropriate decals are used.
Construction and Detailing
The model was detailed by adding the various navigation and
position lights using a combination of colored Lexan and MV lenses.
Numerous cooling outlets on the fuselage were drilled out to add the
illusion of depth, while the centerline pylon received a set of
scratch-built sway-braces. I added brake lines to the main gear
struts while the nose unit got some additional detailing in the form
of a new torque link. Hypodermic tubing was used to replicate the
20mm nose guns, with a stainless steel sewing needle drafted for
duty as a pitot tube.
The simplified moldings include stabilators molded integral to
the upper fuselage. These were sawn off and reattached using brass
wire pins. I replaced the tailpipes with short lengths of K & S
brass tubing and used various scrap bits of photo-etched fret to
duplicate the AOA indicator and outside air temperature probe. To
present as clean an airframe as possible I elected to close the
canopy, thus concealing the rudimentary cockpit.
Painting and Markings
The model was painted in the ‘Snake’ scheme using a combination
of custom-blended Pactra enamels (FS 33531 and FS 34258) and
ModelMaster Field Drab (FS 30118) enamel. Bare Metal Foil was used
for the unpainted portion of the rear fuselage, while buffable Spray
‘n’ Plate (now part of the Testor line) was used on the
Testor’s Glosscote prepared the surface for decals and after
applying the salient items from MicroScale’s 48-53 sheet, a heavy
dusting of Testor’s Dullcote sealed the finish.