Tandecal 48002 Northrop F-5A

Units: See review


$16.00 from www.tandecal.com


Scott Van Aken

Tandecal is a new player in the decal market. These folks are based in Turkey and like many, have their decals printed by Cartograf in Italy. They have chosen a very logical sheet for their first one and that is on the F-5A Freedom Fighter. Thanks to the recent kit by Kinetic, we have a superb early F-5 kit that can be built in several ways, which is perfect for this sheet as some of the Turkish F-5s are actually ex-Dutch NF-5As. However, none of those are on this sheet though there is an RF-5.

The decals cover seven subject from four different nations.

First up are the Turkish examples. One is the aforementioned RF-5A as with 8th air base, 184 Filo. This one is in a standard SEA camouflage scheme from 1989. The other is an F-5A-2000, a type that was upgraded with new avionics to be used as a fighter trainer. This one is from the 3rd air base, 133 Filo from 2011 and is in the new greys scheme.

Moving to Iran we have two aircraft. One a standard F-5A and the other an RF-5A, both from the 2010 time frame. Both are painted in the standard desert scheme given to those F-5s sold to countries in this part of the world.

Next are a pair of aircraft from Venezuela. Again, a choice of F-5A or RF-5A. Both are painted the same in a standard SEA camouflage scheme.  They are with an unnamed unit from the 2008 time frame. None of the markings guides show the planes with wing tip tanks, but I have to think they normally operated with them installed.

The last one is a Philippine AF F-5A from the Blue Diamonds aerobatic team. This one is in overall unpainted metal. The Philippines got their first F-5As in 1966 and retired the last of their F-5As in 2011.

Instructions are superb  and provide a complete color reference chart in both generic and FS 595 references. The full color painting and markings guide show both sides and the upper surface where applicable. A complete stencil guide is provided.

If you have the new Kinetic F-5A and are looking for something different from what is provided on the kit sheet, this is an excellent choice. These markings should work just as well on the older Classic Airframes and even the old Testors/Hawk version. You can look for more sheets that have Turkish and other subjects in them in the near future.

February 2013

Thanks to Tandecal for the review sheet. You can get this one now from the link.

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