Furball Decals FD48-065: Bandit Sundowners F-5N/F




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Review By:

Scott Van Aken



The Sundowners are one of the US Navy's older units, being formed during WWII and seeing action during most of America's conflicts since then. Their rayed sunset markings were very popular with pretty much everyone. However, unlike the USAF, who, as a fairly young service, strives to keep units in some sort of continual use (hence you get some rather odd tasks for what were famous squadrons), the Navy doesn't seem to mind simply disestablishing a historical unit. Sometimes they are gone forever, but other times they reappear. Such is the case with the Sundowners. They were one of the first F-14 units to go away, but a few years later, they reappeared as a reserve squadron in Key West. This time, as part of former VFC-13 det Key West, they were flying ex-Swiss Air Force F-5Es, designated now as F-5Ns. Since those F-5s were built under an Air Force contract, they all have USAF serial numbers. F-5F 810824 "AF-100" 2017 (3 tone grey scheme with full color shark mount and full fin/rudder markings).

Since these are Swiss planes, they have been upgraded to the 'shark' nose as well as the larger leading edge extensions (Thanks to Fred Krause who reserched this sheet for verifying that). This means you have to be picky on what kit you choose or get an upgrade set. I'm not all that much up on F-5E/Fs in 1/48, but I do know there is the venerable Monogram kit and also one by AFV Club.

So here is what is on the sheet (not in the order shown):

F-5F 810384 "AF-100" 2017 (3tone gray scheme with full color shark mouth and full fin/rudder markings)

F-5N 761531 “AF-104” 2017 (3 tone gray scheme with lo-viz shark mouth and rudder markings)

F-5N 761591 “AF-120” 2017 (brown, tan, & green scheme with lo-viz shark mouth and rudder markings)

F-5N 761532 “AF-116” 2017 (2 grays, & blue scheme with lo-viz shark mouth and rudder markings)

F-5N 761565 “AF-110” 2017 (3 tone sand scheme with lo-viz shark mouth and rudder markings)

F-5N 761575 “AF-101” 2017 (2 grays, & blue scheme with hi-viz shark mouth and rudder markings)

F-5N 761547 “AF-105” 2016 “WWII 70th anniversary retro scheme”

F-5N 761550 “AF-121” 2017 (PAK-FA scheme)

One thing I found a bit interesting is that none of these schemes are wrap around. Guess it is just too much work. The decals are superbly printed by Cartograf and you can do at least two if not three options from what is included.

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Review sheet courtesy of http://furballaero-design.com. You can get yours now at this link.

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