Authentic Decals 48-33: F-5N/F VFC-111 Sundowners


$13.50  at



Review By:

Scott Van Aken


Also available in 1/72 scale


This sheet from Authentic Decals covers six USN aggressor aircraft from VFC-111 'Sundowners'. This unit used to be VFC-13 det Key West, but several years ago, the unit put in a request to be renamed and renumbered so that the Sundowner tradition would be kept alive in the USN. This was after the disestablishment of VF-111 and their Tomcats with no Super Hornet unit taking up the name.

The F-5N is not a new plane, but are upgrades (avionics mostly) of 36 low time Swiss F-5E/Fs that were bought back in 2006. visually, I believe the main difference between a standard F-5E and the F-5N may be the 'shark nose' radome, but someone can correct me if this is in error. An interesting note is that when US designed aircraft are sold or even built overseas, they are given a USAF style serial number. When these planes returned to the US, the Swiss serial was removed and they reverted to their originally assigned serials, thus these are mostly in the 76 FY serial range, except for the F-5F which was not part of the buy back and originally built for the Navy.

Anyway, there are a number of interesting schemes on the sheet. The two aircraft with the full fin markings are in the 'glop' scheme of FS 36495, 36375 and 35237. All planes have this banded on the upper and side surfaces with the undersurface in what appears to be a solid color.

There are two in the Tan, 'Oak' and Mid Green scheme, one in the Tan pale Stone and 'Oak' scheme and one in the Gunship Grey, Dark Blue Grey, and Light Blue scheme.

The instructions provide profiles of both sides as well as an upper view in full color. There is a comprehensive color chart with several paint options, though not all paint companies carry all the colors. There are full data markings for one plane and if one chooses carefully, there are fin markings enough to do two of them. The first and last aircraft have an insignia that has a very light blue in it, and none of the planes appear to carry any wing insignia. Three different sharkmouth designs are also offered.

No kit is specified for this sheet, but in 1/48 you have Monogram for the F-5F and Monogram, ESCI (perhaps reboxed by Italeri) and AFV club for the single seat planes. I'm pretty sure the Monogram and ESCI kits will need the shark nose if that is required. I've not seen the AFV club offering so cannot comment on what comes in that kit. In all, a very nicely done sheet and one you should consider.

My thanks to Vagabond Decals, where you can get this and other fine decals and accessories.

November 2010

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