Matchbox 1/72 F-5B/CF-116D Freedom Fighter
|KIT #:||PK-39 (1989)|
|PRICE:||Currently Out of Production|
|NOTES:||OOP Mike Grant Decals used.|
While the American aggressors are well known, their Canadian counterparts were not. Until the premature retirement of this diminutive fighter, one of its roles in the Canadian Forces was that of aggressor. As per their southern cousins, these aircraft supported some interesting camouflage finishes. While the colour gauntlet ran from sprayed aluminum to ‘Lizard’, it was the ‘Ghost Scheme’ (Final) that was to become standard.
See the preview for more information. While the kit decals look good, this kit was built to use some
In addition to the
‘Ghost’ scheme dual modelled, the sheet offers three others. A ‘Ghost’ single
seater that lacks the white in the national insignia. A single seater, with wrap
around dark grey and green camouflage. This CF-5 belongs to 434 ‘Bluenose’
Squadron, and the latter’s schooner is featured in a dark blue tail band. The
last option is another CF-5D, but this is in sprayed aluminum with high
visibility red wing tips. There is a sheet of serial numbers in three sizes that
will allow you to model any CF-5, except for the ‘Bort’ aggressor number. Also
included were the canopy silhouettes in black for the fuselage bottom, for both
the single and dual aircraft. (Editor's Note: I believe that Leading Edge
also does a CF-116 sheet)
As stated, the basic cockpit was upgraded slightly. First off, remove the interior lettering and ejector pin stubs from the fuselage walls. Since the center console was short-shot on the one side, both sides were removed. Missing crewmembers were found in the spares box, and appropriately they came from the Matchbox Strikemaster kit. Improvements were made from .010” card and comprised; floor to the aft section, the back of the kit seats, new center console and instrument panel, main instrument panel and gunsight. The interior and figures were painted, with black dots made from a drafting pen fronting as instrument faces. One note here is the location of the rear seat. If you attach it to its locating lug; the seat sits so far aft, that the closed canopy will hide it. To correct this, mark on the sill where the aft framing starts, and mounted the seat so that it is slightly ahead of this.
The fuselage and main
wings were glued together, while the unused wing pylon locating holes were
filled in. The rear tailplanes come attached to a wide bar that fits into a
separate lower rear fuselage. This would have resulted in a tuff joint to fill
and sand. This bar was cut off and glued into place and then this whole lower
section, minus the tailplanes, was attached to the fuselage halves. The
tailplanes would be attached later. All the gear doors were glued in the up
position and fitted very well. Filler was only required on the bottom were the
wing and fuselage met, along the upper wing fillet, and the modified rear
fuselage. As this was to be a CF-5D, the missing intakes on the upper aft
fuselage were made from strip.
The cockpit opening was covered with a foam mask, and the model was sanded smooth and given a coat of primer. I decided to replace the removed raised panel lines with engraved ones. To this end, Testors Masking Tape was used as a guide for the OPHA P-Cutter blade. With engraving complete, the model was re-shot in primer. The masked canopy was attached, first with white glue, then five-minute epoxy; but only after repeated sandings to get a decent fit.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
Mike Grants Decals includes full colour side and top profile guides, along with FS numbers. Using this information, Floquil Primer was used as the base colour. Testors Model Master (MM) Neutral Gray, and MM Intermediate Blue did duty for the other two camouflage colours. These were all sprayed free hand, using a Badger 100 double-action, interior-mix, with a fine tip. When dry, the model was given a gloss coat of Micro Gloss.
The decals are covered
with a solid cover film; therefore they must be cut out individually. This was
done, and as recommended,
decals were applied using Micro Set/Sol. In my case
not all decals fully settled into the Matchbox trenches; but then some regular
decals will not either. Another thing that was noticed was the pattern in the
blue tail stripe – see photo. Over all the decals worked well.
With the decals in
place, the model was given a Raw Umber wash. Micro Flat was then misted on,
until the desired finish was achieved. The masking was removed from the canopy,
which was then polished. Next, the pre-bent brass tube was epoxied into the
opened port exhaust. When this attachment had fully cured, the model was then
attached to the base in the same method. Final additions like the nose Pitot
tube and clearance lights were added after the model was in place.
If you want an
accurate F-5, then build the superior ESCI/Italeri kit. However, if you, or your
child, want something that clearly looks like an F-5 and is an easy build; then
I heartily recommend this Matchbox version of this popular jet. As to the title
‘The Moose is Loose’, this is a phrase that was sometimes used when a 419
(Moose) Squadron aircraft was in the air.
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