FCM 32019: F-5E Tiger II

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

Brazil has been a major user of the F-5E/F so it is nice to see this sheet offered in the 'big plane' scale for those who like to do their modeling in 1/32. Brazil has had a number of different types of F-5E, starting with standard versions and then modifying planes with the lengthened dorsal fin, shark fin VHF antenna and an air refueling probe. It seems to me that none of these are the later F-5EM which has the larger, squared off LEREX or the 'shark nose' radome as none of these features are shown in the plan views of the instruction sheets.

One thing about Brazilian Tiger IIs is that they carried a variety of camouflage schemes and the seven markings options offered with this sheet seem to cover most of them. These planes were operated by 1/1 G.A.C and 1/14 G.Av from 1988 to 2002. Some sport tail codes and others have unit badges.

The four camouflage schemes are a version with two browns and a green, one I'd call 'glop', an overall ADC grey and planes in an SEA scheme. The full color instruction sheet provides four view painting schemes of all of these along with a painting chart providing FS 595 references. No kit is recommended, but I'm thinking most will go for the Hasegawa version, which, while of the raised panel line era, is not only still relatively easy to find, but builds well and can be found rather easily. Both Kangman and Ace have done copies of this kit and from what I've read, both are subpar quality so go with the original. I'm not sure of any aftermarket for the upgrade bits, but they should be pretty easy to replicate with plastic card and spare bits. There are resin cockpits to be had if that is what you seek.

The decals are superbly printed by Microscale and so you know you are getting the best. From what I see, there are enough common markings for two planes, so you have no excuse not to do a couple of them!

May 2016

Copyright ModelingMadness.com

Thanks to FCM for providing the review decals.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.