FCM 48049: Northrop F-5B/E/F Tiger II

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

The F-5 has been a major success story wherever it has been used. It is a great point defense fighter and works well as a fighter bomber, able to carry a pretty decent payload. One of the largest users of the type is Brazil. These aircraft served for decades and were locally modified and upgraded to stay in service during times where funding for new equipment was tight.

This particular sheet is one of several from FCM in Brazil. They have produced a large number of sheets in all scales for aircraft of Brazil and the rest of Latin America. This one covers Brazilian planes plus one. There are no fewer than 14 different options on this one, covering all the major camouflage schemes worn by this aircraft in Brazilian service. You will notice that I've only shown four of them as the markings and placement guide is not conducive to showing them all. For that, visit their website at this link and page down to the bottom where the new stuff is posted.

As you can see, it offers schemes for all the various types. Notice that the bottom plane in this group has the extended dorsal fin and an air refueling probe. In addition to the F-5Es, there are a couple of F-5Bs. The B model was used as a trainer as I do not think Brazil bought the F-5F. There is one of these on the sheet, and it is from VMFT-401. Because of the way the camouflage is on this aircraft. FCM has provided masks for the MARINES and national insignia. That is the silver rectangle you see. These are not difficult to use and you get full instructions. 

I did not see a kit specified for this but you do have a number of options. For the F-5B you have the old Classic Airframes kit and the newer one by Kinetic. For the F-5E (and I think the F), Kinetic also has this kit. Monogram does the F-5E and F-5F. ESCI also did an F-5E in this scale and that has been reissued by Italeri at some time so there is no lack of kits.

The decals are superbly printed by Microscale and the instructions are very nicely done. These include upper surface views as well as underside ones where required. There are a number of places that sell FCM decals, so check the web for your nearest dealer.

January 2017

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