Superscale 72-135: F-5 Freedom Fighter

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

One nice thing about the F-5 family is the wide range of schemes it can be built in. Thanks to its wide use as an aggressor aircraft in US service as well and the huge number of air forces that flew the plane, we could easily build 40 models and not do the same scheme twice. Now this is one of Microscale's older sheets and so is for the F-5A and T-38. Recommended kits are Airfix, Hasegawa, and Matchbox for the F-5A and Hasegawa for the T-38/F-5B. Since then, ESCI produced an excellent series of F-5A/B aircraft that are currently being reissued by Italeri. These later one were also boxed by AMT, who bought ESCI in the late 1980s.

First up is a Dutch NF-5A in NATO camouflage (the old one of Dark Green/Dark Grey over Light Grey). Don't use RAF colors on this as they are NOT the same. You have the option of 314, 315, or 316 Squadron.

Next up is a Norwegian F-5B from 322 Sq in overall aluminum paint and the old unit code system.

From the South Vietnamese AF is this F-5A. It is in the then-standard USAF SEA camouflage.

A nice NASA NT-38A is next in white with blue stripes. This would be one of the early, unmodified planes.

From Spain comes this RF-5A from 212 Sq. Like the Norwegian plane, this one is overall aluminum paint.

Finally from the South Korean Air Force, and also in aluminum paint is this F-5A from an unknown squadron.

There are common stencils (including instrument panels) for four of the aircraft. You'll also note that there are enough extra serial numbers to do a variety of different Dutch NF-5As

Review copy courtesy of my ever growing decal pile!

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