F-5A Freedom Fighter
u m m a r y
||485 (F-5A Freedom Fighter), 486
(F-5A NATO Allies Part I)
|Contents and Media:
Kit 485 - 74
parts and Kit 486 - 66 parts in grey styrene and 2 piece clear
injection molded canopy. 16 parts in gray resin. Instructions, decal
sheet, including stencils, and painting guide for 3 aircraft.
A fine 1/48
scale F-5A; includes auxiliary tanks and ordnance; full set of stencils
and excellent decal subject matter.
packaging of resin and clear parts
Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Airframes' 1/48 scale F-5A Freedom Fighter may be ordered online from Squadron
I was in for quite a surprise when I opened the box
from Classic Airframes and took out the pieces. First, it was not the
Caproni Ca. 101 that I had been wishing for. Second, it did not look
like a CA kit!
Classic Airframes’ F-5A looks more like a Hasegawa
/ Tamiya / Monogram kit than it does to any previous issue from CA. The
sprue gates are smaller than on prior kits, and the panel lines are fine
yet quite well defined. The styrene pour stubs are fewer in number than
on the Meteor, and much less intrusive. And do my eyes deceive me, or
are those alignment pins on the fuselage? All in all, it will be hard
for this kit to be referred to as a limited run kit, even though it is.
Clearly limited run (low pressure injection molding) has taken a
The other thing that makes this a departure from
previous CA kits is the inclusion of auxiliary tanks and ordnance.
However, the specific contents of the “ordnance” sprue is kit
dependent. Kit 485, “Freedom Fighter”, comes with the complete sprue.
This includes, wing-tip and center line auxiliary tanks, wing-tip
sidewinder missiles, 500 pound GP and napalm bombs. Kit 486, “NATO
Allies Part I”, does not include the GP and napalm bombs.
Yes, the speed brake, beautifully molded in resin,
can be shown in the open position, and there is very nice detail in the
speed brake bay. Of course, the speed brake may alternatively be
modeled in the closed position.
But not everything is perfect - there is a
packaging problem. The clear parts are in loose with the main sprues.
As a result, the clear parts are easily scratched. A little dip in
Future should restore it. The smaller resin parts are also subject to
damage, even though packaged separately.
Now for the big question. Is it accurate? I’m
certainly no expert on the F-5, let alone jets in general, but the
Classic Airframe’s F-5 captures the sleek, dart like appearance of the
F-5. I’m sure others will come forward, who have better documentation
than I have, to provide the specifics on shape and dimension. But
please permit me one throw away line at this point: - “It looks like
an F-5A to me”.
Each kit comes with markings and painting guide for
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
USAF, Bien Hoa,
South Viet Nam, 1965 – SEA Scheme
South Viet Namese
Air Force, Bien Hoa, 1967 –SEA Scheme
Spanish Air Force, early 1970s – Natural Aluminum Finish.
Kit 486 “NATO
Allies Part I”
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
Greek Air Force –
Aegean Blue Scheme
332 Squadron, Royal
Norwegian Air Force, 1970 – Natural Aluminum Finish
315 Squadron, Royal
Netherlands Air Force – Dark Green, Dark Grey and Light Gray.
No, the USAF national marking are not printed
incorrectly (WW-2 style)! The red bar is printed separately so neither
registration nor sharpness of the printing is compromised. Also, three
different blues are used in the national markings in the NATO Allies
boxing so that the actual national marking colors are accurately
represented. No cutting corners on these sheets. Finally, a set of
stencils is provided with wing-walk marking lines in both red and
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
modelers have been waiting for the release of the Classic Airframes
F-5A, B and RF series, and hopefully they will not be disappointed with
At the moment only the two F-5A kits have been
released in the United States. The RF5-A, which has been released in
the UK, will hopefully be released here in the U.S. in the not too
distant future. This appears to be an excellent kit, and from my brief
fondling of the pieces, it looks like a kit that even a relatively
inexperienced modeler can handle.
Considering the relatively small size of the molding
blocks on the resin pieces, this would seem to be a good kit for
introducing a modeler to mixed media kits.
Finally, it is a pleasure to see that amateur
modelers were actually involved in developing these kits. A few of them
are even frequent visitors to Hyperscale.
I have only one reservation about building this
kit. Will the gods of prop aircraft do mischief to me while I build
Thanks to Classic Airframes for the
sites on the F-5:
kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers and from
Review and Images Copyright © 2004 by
Page Created 20 April, 2004
Last updated 20 April, 2004
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