FCM 48-033: Brazilian AF F-5B/E/F

Units: Various, see review




Scott Van Aken

Note: Printed by Microscale


This is the first sheet I've seen from FCM of Brazil in several years. There are several interesting things about this sheet. First kit is printed by Microscale in the US. This provides a known quality to the sheet that is quite welcome. Secondly the sheet includes some masks for insignia and a few other markings for one of the markings options. A very nice touch as it is often difficult to match colors on a decal to the paint that one might use. This is particularly true of some of the low visibility schemes that are being used by various air forces. I've shown a scan of the masks, but as usual, it is basically a blue rectangle!

So on to the sheet itself. There are seven markings options for Brazilian Air Force F-5B/E and F aircraft. First is one of the low visibility aircraft in green and grey, an F-5EM of 1/14 G.Av. 'Pampa' from 2006. This has an additional slogan on the centerline tank that is provided both as a decal and as a stencil. The next F-5EM is from 1/1 Grupo de Caca from 2007 and that is followed by another 1/14 G.Av plane, but this time an F-5FM. The M basically means that the aircraft has been upgraded with new systems.

Might as well discuss the masks for these three options. Included in the set are full instructions on their use. A section of clear vinyl is provided to help transport the masks from the sheet to the model. The clear section helps to align the mask before pressing it in place. Then one simply uses tape around it to paint the mask. It all looks to be a pretty straight-forward procedure. One can, of course, also use decals for most of the markings and for those you paint, there are outlines to be placed atop them.

Moving on, there is an F-5B of 1/1 Grupo de Caca from 1985 with an SEA inspired scheme and full color markings. Also in that scheme from the same unit is an F-5E.

Finally, two aircraft in the overall grey scheme, from 1/14 G.AV in 2005. One is an F-5E and the other an F-5F.

The instructions are very well done and show exactly where all the various markings are placed. Color information includes FS 595 references so you can use your favorite paints. It also includes a list of kits and kit numbers that have been recently available for the 1/48 versions. In all, an excellent set and seriously worth seeking out.

My thanks to Felipe Canuto Miranda for the review set. You can get yours by visiting FCM at www.fcm.eti.br

March 2009

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