Welcome To KGWings.com Scale Model Aircraft and Armor

Northrop F-5N Tiger II
Supersonic Light Fighter

VCF-13 Fighting Saints Red 23

"Red 23"
Serial# 761541
VFC-13 Saints
NAS Fallon, Nevada
August 2007


This model added to kgwings.com on March, 2020

Northrop F-5E Tiger II

In the late 1950s Northrop Corporation began a privately funded project to develop a low-cost, low-maintenance highly maneuverable supersonic fighter. That project would eventually produce an entire family of aircraft including: the F-5 Freedom Fighter, the upgraded F-5 Tiger II, the T-38 Talon (trainer), and the prototype F-20 Tigershark.

Northrop F-5E Tiger II

The F-5 was primarily designed for a daytime air superiority role, but during the Vietnam War it also proved to be a capable ground-attack platform.

Northrop F-5E Tiger II
More than 3,800 F-5 and T-38 aircraft were produced between 1959 and 1987 and hundreds of them remain in service today, an attest to their reliability and relatively low operation cost.
Northrop F-5E Tiger II

Because of its size and similar performance to the Soviet MiG-21, the F-5 is used extensively by the US Navy and USMC at the Naval Fighter Weapons School (better known as TOPGUN) in support of Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).

Northrop F-5E Tiger II

This is how aircraft serial# 761541 looked in 2007 while operating at NAS Fallon with Aggressor Squadron VFC-13. One year earlier it had been operating in a Swiss Air Force Reserve Squadron, and then in 2008 it was transfered to Yuma Air Station with Marine Aggressor Squadron VMFT-201 and repainted as "Red 03".

Northrop F-5E Tiger II
This Hobbyboss kit is a re-boxing of a Trumpeter kit from 1999, which might be retooled from an Italeri kit released in 1982. It includes an all-new decal sheet with options for 4 different aircraft. The decals are printed very well and include nice data markings.
Northrop F-5E Tiger II
I mixed Tamiya Acrylics to make the three-tone camouflage. Hobbyboss provides illustrations of how to apply the scheme but they don't appear to match up with the photographs I found so I mapped it out myself.
Northrop F-5E Tiger II

The kit comes with three external fuel tanks, two AIM-9 missiles, and two MK. 82 bombs with optional length stand-off fuses. My AN/APX-95 TACTS Pod (ACMI training pod) came from Hasegawa Aircraft Weapons: V (US Missiles and Launcher Set).

Northrop F-5E Tiger II
The kit manufacturer completely omitted the canopy lift hardware so prominently viewable in an F-5. I sacrificed parts from a Hasegawa Grumman X-29 and attached them to a True Details resin seat to make the cockpit much more believable.
Northrop F-5E Tiger II
Having forgotten my final step of assembly, I took all these photos before adding the two M39A2 20mm cannon barrels in the nose. There is no chance I'm going to retake them so you'll have to imagine them in place.
Northrop F-5E Tiger II
T-38 Talons are a fairly common sight in the area where I work so this kit was an especially fun build for me.

Northrop F-5E Tiger II
This kit could be better, some details are missing and some are too simplified. Overall it manages to capture the shape of the Tiger II well so it's still a pretty good kit especially in it's price range.

HobbyBoss F-5E Tiger II Fighter
Kit: Hobbyboss #80207
1/72 scale

Scale: 1/72

This kit often retails for as low as $10.00 (USD) which is what you might pay for the decals included in this kit if you bought them separate. Based on price it's a pretty good value even though many details are over-simplified.

The Kit:

Assembly instructions are printed in black and white on a large 6 page fold-out.
Painting and decal instructions are printed in 4-color process on a double-sided sheet.

1 sprue containing 4 transparent parts.
2 sprue molded in light gray containing approx. 80 parts.

Some parts have flash and require cleanup. Panel lines are recessed, a bit deep and soft in places.
Fitting ranges from fair to good. Some ejector pin holes will need to be cleaned up.

One decal sheet is provided, very good quality. Printed perfectly in register on a thin clear carrier using nice opaque ink. Reacted very well with Micro Sol.

Markings are included to make one of four options:

US Navy
VFC-13 Saints
NAS Fallon, NV

US Marines
VMFT-401 Snipers
Air Station Yuma

Schweizer Luftwaffe (Swiss Air Force)
Staffel 19, 1980

Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force)
1./1 Grupo de Caça
Santa Cruz, 1985


Step one starts with the cockpit tub, there is some nice raised detail here, with a three piece ejection seat and control stick, nothing to brag much about but adequate at least.
One major omission is the canopy lift hardware that is very prominent on an F-5, without these parts the kit will look very toy-like. I sacrificed parts from a Hasegawa X-29 and added a True Details resin seat to improve my cockpit.

No Heads Up Display is provided so I created one out of pearlized sequin and brass parts.

The rear bulkhead is incomplete and has no detail so I created one out of scrap styrene and wire.

Air intakes are molded too thick, I sanded and thinned mine to look more accurate.

The detail is all wrong on the main landing gear wheels so I returned to my Hasegawa X-29 again for replacements.

All landing gear and air brake doors are too thick for scale so I sanded/thinned down.

No details are molded to represent the auxiliary intake doors on either side of the fuselage, in hindsight I should have etch them.

Paints used:

Tan = Tamiya XF-57 Buff + Tamiya XF-2 Flat White
Yellow = Tamiya XF-88 Dark Yellow 2 + Tamiya XF-3 Flat Yellow
Brown = Tamiya XF-52 Flat Earth + Tamiya XF-2 Flat White

Aftermarket Parts:

True Details #45004 - Resin ejection seat
Custom Modifications:

Scratch-built rear bulkhead, canopy lifting mechanism added from Hasegawa kit, HUD made from pearlized sequin, ACMI pod added from Hasegawa kit, main wheels added from Hasegawa kit, intakes and gear doors thinned.


This kit is readily available and inexpensive, it's fairly simple to build so beginner modelers should have a good time with this one. Many details are simplified or missing completely so experienced modelers will want to make improvements. Although this kit is far from perfect, it's an improvement over most other F-5s in this scale and available at a great price, so I don't regret having built one.

KGWings Model Gallery

| What's New | Gallery | Reviews | Field Trips
Wing Tips | Hall of Shame | Links

               Search www.kgwings.com

Copyright © KgWings.com

Frisco, Texas, USA

Copyright ©1997-2020 All Rights Reserved

Powered by DFW Design Source