AZmodel 1/72 Shenyang F.5

KIT #: 7331
PRICE: $35.95 from GreatModels
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run kit with injected canopy


The Shenyang J-5 (Chinese: 歼击机-5; pinyin: Jianjiji-5; literally "Fighter-5"), originally designated Dongfeng-101 - (East Wind-101), and also Type 56 before being designated J-5 in 1964, is a Chinese-built single-seat jet interceptor and fighter aircraft derived from the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17. The J-5' was exported as the F-5. NATO reporting name "Fresco".

The MiG-17 was license-built in China, Poland and East Germany into the 1960s, the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) obtained a number of Soviet-built MiG-17 Fresco-A day fighters, designated J-5 in the early 1950s. To introduce modern production methods to Chinese industry the PLAAF obtained plans for the MiG-17F Fresco-C day fighter in 1955, along with two completed pattern aircraft, 15 knockdown kits, and parts for ten aircraft. The first Chinese-built MiG-17F, (serialed Zhong 0101), produced by the Shenyang factory, performed its initial flight on 19 July 1956 with test pilot Wu Keming at the controls.


AZmodel's kit is presented on two grey sprues and a single, one-piece injected canopy. No resin or photo etch with this one. The molding is actually quite good without all the 'rivet detail' that seems so prevalent in the larger scales. The cockpit consists of a six part bang seat, control stick, side consoles and instrument panel, that, with the addition of the floor and for and aft bulkheads, makes into a tidy cockpit tub. Rudder pedals are molded onto the forward bulkhead.

The kiit has no blocking plate for the forward end and so one will be able to easily see through the separate nose and splitter into the area ahead of the cockpit. As this area will also need some weight (none is shown in the instructions, but it will need it), it is up to the modeler to provide this blanking plate. This is basically a MiG-17F so has the threeseparate guns for the nose. Landing gear and their respective wells are nicely molded, though, like many of the parts, have some rather heavy mold seams that border on flash. Attachment points for the tail planes, drop tanks and cannon are all butt joins with attachment points engraved on the nose for the guns, but not on the wings for the drop tanks. The ventral strake on the rear is a separate piece and the tail cone is blocked off with compressor blade detail. The instructions would have you cut open the canopy, but this rather thick piece will probably break on you when trying to get the curved lower section cut. Much better to scrounge an aftermarket vacuformed one for the KP kit if you want to display the canopy open.

Instructions are well drawn with a nice four view included to show where everything fits. Color info is keyed to Humbrol paints. There are markings for three planes in the box. One is a Chinese version in light blue-grey and dark blue over light grey, a Somali version in dark green and earth over light grey, and the box art plane from Burkino-Faso in sand over light grey. The decals are very nicely done and I'm sure are very thin as well.


There have been many 1/72 MiG-17 kits produced from Hasegawa's overscale one to the generally accurate KP kit to the much maligned Dragon kit. There are probably others I've neglected. This one seems to be quite nice, though in my mind the SRP is a bit much. It does give 1/72 MiG builders another option.


May 2011

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contactme or see other details in the Note toContributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page