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modelling minion

AFV 1/48 F-5F Iranian Air Force. Finished!

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Well I've given up trying to resist joining in on this GB and thought I would throw my hat in the ring with an AFV Club 1/48 F-5F that I will build as an aircraft operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. Iran is probably the most important operator of this classic aircraft and has used every model from the F-5A through to the F-5F and is now producing it's own upgraded versions, in fact Iran (then the Imperial Iranian Air Force) was the first country to operate the aircraft when their F-5A's were delivered in February 1965.

The kit I will be using is the by now familiar AFV Club F-5F which seems to have some very good details both inside and outside the airframe. I will be building pretty much out of the box but will add a few homemade details to the seats and cockpit area. Anyway here are the ubiquitous box and contents pictures....

F-5%20Iran%20001_zpswwusxdrm.jpg

F-5%20Iran%20002_zpsxscp0hqv.jpg

The kit does come with markings for an Iranian machine (and a very tempting Jordanian one!) but I will be using a set from Hi-Decal which has markings for 3 F-5E's and one F-5F all in Iranian markings. The markings are for an F which is still in use today and has a large Tigers head one on side of the tail and an Eagle on the other, I am unsure whether to use these tail markings or to build an aircraft as it would have looked during the Iran-Iraq War, here are some pictures of the decals and the option on the sheet that I will use in one way or another....

F-5%20Iran%20003_zps4f9vxupn.jpg

F-5%20Iran%20004_zpsfvuptexf.jpg

Hopefully I will be able to get some work done tomorrow and be able to post an update either then or early next week.

Thanks for looking.

Craig.

Edited by modelling minion

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The 'wildest' options for an Iranian F-5F would be either one from IIAF times.... say: ALQ-171 pod 'around' the centreline hardpoint (this was really attached on the bottom fuselage around the hardpoint), two GBU-10s on outboards, and Zot Box in the rear cockpit... or the latest 'Kowsar-88', which is F-5F fuselage with two fins and few 'extra' antennas on the spin (and then perhaps in that Iranian variant of 'Blue Angels' scheme, originally applied on '3-7410'...sadly, meanwhile they repainted in more standard fashion, as visible here: http://www.janes.com/article/49727/analysis-iranian-fighter-programmes-bona-fide-or-bluff)

(An F-5B/Simourgh-related alternative would be either 3-7023 or 3-7025 with Zvezda 36M ejection seats, as seen here: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Iran---Air/Northrop-%28HESA%29-F-5B/1937749/L)

But, of course, I'm happy to see any other exotic example and therefore looking forward for results of your work, Craig.

BTW, does this F-5F kit come with 'proper' front ejection seats (i.e. with Martin-Baker Mk... can't recall the modell, with those 'punch-through rails' over the head-rest)...?

Edited by Tom Cooper

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Thanks for the advice Tom, always good to have your input and help.

I wasn't aware that the Iranian F-5F's had a different ejector seat in the front of the cockpit, I will have to do some research to try to find out exactly which seat was fitted.

I will probably try to build an F-5F from the Iran/Iraq War so any help you can give regarding armament options (other than the one you mentioned above) will be greatly appreciated.

Craig.

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Hi Craig, glad to see you have come along to join the fun, plus it's really nice to see the scheme you nice chosen.

As I mentioned, Tom is at hand to give some wonderful advice as usual!

Well good luck with your build, I do hope it is an enjoyable one and look forward to following your progress.

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Thanks Rich, glad to be aboard.

Had a check on which ejector seats were fitted to Iranian F-5's and it seems that if I want to build an aircraft from around the time of the Iran/Iraq War the I need a pair of Martin Baker IRQ-7A's and for later aircraft I need IR10LF's. Looks like I will have to decide quite early which time frame I want to build from, I will also have to try and source some replacement seats from somewhere.

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You're welcome, Craig (actually: I'm simply glad to help create authentic modells).

Talking about ejection seats: it seems this is either unknown or at least 'little known' in the public, but ALL of Iranian F-5E/Fs have got Martin Baker IRQ7A seats right from the start, i.e. right since their roll-out, in 1976 etc. That means: it was not only the front seat of their F-5Fs that was made by Martin Baker. But, it was only that seat that had such a big rails.

Now, don't ask me why 'IRQ': that was the official designation and it's mentioned as such in all of IIAF/IRIAF documentation.

Whatever... it seems that Iranians didn't have very good exepriences with original, US-designed ejection seats installed in their earlier F-5A/Bs.

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...ah yes: and many of IRIAF Simourqhs (which is a locally-manufactured variant created through conversion of single-seat F-5As into two-seat T-38A-likes) have the Martin Baker Mk.10 seat (with exception of two that have those Soviet/Russian made 36s).

...but don't ask me where have they got them..

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...ah yes, regarding armament options....

To a certain degree, this depends on what markings do you want to apply. An aid in finding this out is that black number in black circle usually applied between the fin flash and FY-serial. This number can only be 2 - denoting TFB.2/Tabriz - or 4 - denoting TFB.4/Vahdati (Dezful). This is so because no other bases ('wings' if you like) have operated F-5E/Fs (at least not during the Iran-Iraq War).

TFB.2 flew air-to-ground and air-to-air sorties, TFB.4/Vahdati (Dezful) flew almost exclusively air-to-ground sorties.

Then you might want to decide if you want to show one of aircraft involved in so-called 'special missions' (strikes deep into Iraq), or 'usual CAS' on the frontlines.

TFB.2 flew plenty of special missions, but very little CAS. Once again, TFB.4 flew almost exclusively CAS.

For special missions, armament almost exclusively consisted of four Mk.82 GP-bombs with Mk.15 Snakeye retarding fins ('Mk.82SE'). Plus 'obligatory' pair of AIM-9Js on wingtips (for self-defence purposes).

Otherwise, for CAS purposes almost everything available was loaded. Better said, usually it was 'four of almost anything available' (one on each of underwing pylons), including:

- BLU-1/B and BLU-27 napalm tanks (usually without fins)

- LAU-3/A or LAU-7 launchers for unguided rockets (usually with plastic aerodynamic caps, but often without any)

- Mk.82s or Mk.82SEs

- M117s

Heavier weapons were carried too, though then only in pairs (i.e. one on each of outboard underwing plyons), including:

- Mk.83s

- Hunting-Engineering BL.755 CBUs (UK-made)

- CBU-57/B and CBU-75/B (US-made).

Plus centreline drop tank, of course: this was something like 'obligatory', no matter what sort of mission. Curiously, and contrary to Ethiopian practices, it seems Iranians have never deployed any Mk.84s from their F-5E/Fs (whenever Ethiopians did so, they would load them under the centreline, instead of the drop tank).

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Wow Tom, there's more information in those three posts than I have managed to find on the internet! I will definitely be able to sort out my armament option from the info you have supplied, I think I am leaning towards an aircraft equipped for CAS and probably with a mixed armament of two rocket launchers and two Mk.82's with a pair of Sidewinders and a centreline drop tank. As such it will be marked as an aircraft from TFB.4.

Now I just need to source some ejector seats. I don't suppose you have any pictures of the extra rails on the front seat Tom?

Craig.

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Look forward to seeing this after what you did with your Phantom!

Thanks David.

Couldn't resist adding a stablemate for the RF-4E! There's something very appealing about the Asia Minor scheme in combination with Iranian markings.

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as I said Tom is the man!!

So you now have lots of ideas to play with.....he even made sound very tempting to build one as well!!

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Wow Tom, there's more information in those three posts than I have managed to find on the internet! I will definitely be able to sort out my armament option from the info you have supplied, I think I am leaning towards an aircraft equipped for CAS and probably with a mixed armament of two rocket launchers and two Mk.82's with a pair of Sidewinders and a centreline drop tank. As such it will be marked as an aircraft from TFB.4.

Now I just need to source some ejector seats. I don't suppose you have any pictures of the extra rails on the front seat Tom?

Craig.

Yup, such configuration sounds very good for TFB.4. Especially for the times of Battle for Khuzestan, in October 1980, when TFB.4 was launching 60-100 sorties a day - and stopped Iraqi invasion of south-western Iran.

Re. pictures of IRQ7A: I've got nothing better but what can be found here:

https://ixquick-proxy.com/do/show_picture.pl?l=deutsch&rais=1&oiu=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myaviation.ir%2Fimages%2F42tlatofk.145.jpg&sp=85d6adfabf2da6c05567a1e19b338b86

To me it looks like the head-rest was made similar to US-origin (perhaps for reasons of space?), these rails added at the top of it. Everything below the head-rest looks quite like 'vanilla' Mk.7 ejection seat.

(BTW, if building an F-5F from the times of the Iran-Iraq War, please DON'T add the GPS-antenna behind he rear cockpit.)

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Yup, such configuration sounds very good for TFB.4. Especially for the times of Battle for Khuzestan, in October 1980, when TFB.4 was launching 60-100 sorties a day - and stopped Iraqi invasion of south-western Iran.

Re. pictures of IRQ7A: I've got nothing better but what can be found here:

https://ixquick-proxy.com/do/show_picture.pl?l=deutsch&rais=1&oiu=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myaviation.ir%2Fimages%2F42tlatofk.145.jpg&sp=85d6adfabf2da6c05567a1e19b338b86

To me it looks like the head-rest was made similar to US-origin (perhaps for reasons of space?), these rails added at the top of it. Everything below the head-rest looks quite like 'vanilla' Mk.7 ejection seat.

(BTW, if building an F-5F from the times of the Iran-Iraq War, please DON'T add the GPS-antenna behind he rear cockpit.)

Thanks again Tom.

That is the clearest picture I have seen of the extra rails found on Iranian Martin Baker seats and will be very useful. I was surprised to see that the paint finish on that aircraft is as bad as mine!

Point taken on the GPS antenna, it will be left off.

Craig.

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I used a MB mk.7 ejection seat from the F-104G Aires cockpit when I did an IRIAF Tiger. If you can get your hands on one of these...

http://www.aires.cz/en/product/martin-baker-gq-7a-seats/8-1163/#lightbox/0/

Thanks Vesthepes that's very useful.

I shall have a look and see what I've got, I have a feeling I have a couple of seats destined for F-104's that I haven't got round to building yet. If not I can order some from somewhere.

Craig.

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Well I should have checked my resin stash more thoroughly! But thanks to Vesthepes I remembered that I have an Aries set for a TF-104 cockpit and that it comes with both MB and Lockheed seats so that solves that problem, anyway here they are....

Iran%20F-5%20001_zpsw03yxroz.jpg

One of them will need modifying to add the extra rails fitted to the front seat on Iranian F-5's.

I have started to do some basic work on the cockpit and airframe, the cockpit is well appointed straight out of the kit but I will add some cables etc. their are several optional parts in the kit which makes for more potential problems but so far things have fitted quite well with the exception of the separate gun bay access panel which will need some sanding. Here are a couple of pictures of where she is at the moment....

Iran%20F-5%20002_zpsszmccr7j.jpg

Iran%20F-5%20003_zpsujobuwre.jpg

Hopefully I will get some more work done this week and give an update towards the end of the week.

Thanks for looking and all help and advice is gratefully received.

Craig.

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I was surprised to see that the paint finish on that aircraft is as bad as mine!

...after 40 years without fresh paint, my face would look as bad too :D

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A very interesting subkject, learning a lot myself on this aircrafts from this thread

You're welcome, Craig (actually: I'm simply glad to help create authentic modells).

Talking about ejection seats: it seems this is either unknown or at least 'little known' in the public, but ALL of Iranian F-5E/Fs have got Martin Baker IRQ7A seats right from the start, i.e. right since their roll-out, in 1976 etc. That means: it was not only the front seat of their F-5Fs that was made by Martin Baker. But, it was only that seat that had such a big rails.

Now, don't ask me why 'IRQ': that was the official designation and it's mentioned as such in all of IIAF/IRIAF documentation.

Whatever... it seems that Iranians didn't have very good exepriences with original, US-designed ejection seats installed in their earlier F-5A/Bs.

Tom, this kind of designation fits well with MB way of designating the variants of their seats: Q7 refers to the type of seat, the letters before indicate a country specific modification, in this case IR likely stands for Iran. The ones used on the Luftwaffe Starfighters for example were designated GQ7

Edited by Giorgio N

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Nice what colors do you plan to use for the camo?

I was planning an Iranian bird but luckily I did not as I never knew the seats were different.....

Rgds

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Thanks for the interest guys.

Mr. B I have some colours that I used for my Iranian RF-4 that i built earlier this year for another GB, the sand colour I used was from Humbrol (237) but I have just bought a Revell Aquacolour Beige which may prove to be a better colour match, the Dark Green was Xtracrylix and the Red Brown was from a Lifecolour US Army Tank Brown. I know it's a bit of a hodge podge of manufacturers but it seems to work okay.

Right then on with the update!

I have assembled most of the parts for the rear fuselage and despite the many parts I have not had to use much filler at all, I have however needed to sand the area where the intakes are joined to the fuselage which has resulted in the loss of a small amount of surface detail which I will try to re-add later in the build. This is how the fuselage looks now....

Iran%20F-5%20004_zpskzztohdi.jpg

A lot of my modelling time has been spent assembling the components for the cockpit and painting them in preparation for joining the sections of the front fuselage together.

All of the cockpit parts were given a coat of Xtracrylix ADC Grey which seems to match the colour of the interior on a lot of the pictures I have looked at, I have then applied a wash to them and done the detail painting on them as well. The instrument panels were also painted and assembled (after removing the 4 strange lumps on each of the foot pedals which in no way resemble the Northrop logo which should be there). This is how things look now....

Iran%20F-5%20001_zpsst2v6fit.jpg

Iran%20F-5%20003_zpscduyed54.jpg

Here is a detail picture of the only addition I have made so far, some cabling which is visible on all the pictures I have seen.

Iran%20F-5%20002_zpsqkuvqsil.jpg

This was applied to both the front and rear cockpits.

I have not added the ejector seats as they are still being painted and modified and will be added after the cockpit parts have been glued together. I will also be adding any further details at that point as it will be easier to route everything and make sure it will not get in the way of the cockpit parts from the kit.

I have also had some extra research/inspiration material arrive in the shape of this book....

Iran%20F-5%20005_zps1jqg5lrg.jpg

Full of lots of useful and new (to me at least!) information I think I will be referring to it throughout the whole of the build. It has some very nice and well detailed colour profiles drawn by a certain Tom Cooper (never heard of him :winkgrin: ) who has also supplied some of the photo's used in the book, so you can be assured of the quality of the book.

Thats it for now, off to continue work on assembling the cockpit.

Thanks for looking and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received.

Craig.

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Not that I would know what are you talking about, Craig... :whistle:

Since you've got that book: you might want to check it for exact colours of F-5E/Fs at TFB.2 and those at TFB.4. Namely, I think to recall (sorry, I've written 5 other books since co-working on that one, and can't memorize everything), that there were some subtle differences - especially in regards of the green colour.

BTW, one of funniest aspects of co-working on Babak's book was cross-examining what F-5As were sold by Iran to Ethiopia - and then bought by Iran back from Ethiopia...

Namely, and by sheer accident, at the same time I was finalizing Wings over Ogaden too (I know, more of self-advertising but it might be important for any decent F-5-fan, then there was never any other air force with a six-MiG-kills-Tiger II service). So, there was some 'flow of info' going back and forth. Most amazing case was a F-5A that was sold to Ethiopia in 1974 or so, then flew combat sorties during Ogaden War, was stored, then sold back to Iran but overhauled only in the 1990s, then it served as advanced trainer by the IRIAF... and I think it was eventually re-built into a Simourq two-seater...

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Thanks Tom, I will check out the colour variations between the bases.

I am also aware of the irony involved in the Iran/Ethiopia F-5 deals, though at least the F-5's were serviceable when Iran sold them to Ethiopia! I would like to build and Ethiopian F-5 at some point so I can see myself investing in Wings Over The Ogaden before soon, Christmas present maybe?

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...sigh... if I would only have the necessary change... I would buy up the entire print run (perhaps order another one), and then distribute it to people like you, Craig (for free, of course).

Ah well...

BTW, those two green shades in question: one is 'original' Green FS 34079 from Minor Asia camo pattern. The other is rather 'olive green' - but kill me, can't find the exact shade right now...

EDIT: gauging by photos, things are quite complex because some aircraft (like F-5Es 3-7082 and 3-7083) have only that olive green, others (F-5E 3-7078) both shades applied.

So, in the case of F-5Fs, it's something like this (few, 'selected' examples):

- 3-7154: green (at least prior to her latest overhaul)

- 3-7155: mix (green at the front, olive green the other two areas, at least on the left side...)

- 3-7159: olive green

- 3-7160: olive green

- 3-7166: green

- 3-7167: mix (or her green wore out into olive green)

- 3-7169: green

- 3-7171: green

- 3-7172: olive green

- 3-7181: green (though again, rear areas appear to have either weathered out to olive green)

etc.

Shouldn't mean that there is something like 50:50 distribution, though: the 'olive green' examples mentioned above are the only ones I know.

Edited by Tom Cooper

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Tom once again I am in your debt.

Thank you so much for your research in to the two green colours for me, this will be extremely helpful for helping me to paint my F-5 in the correct colours, and save me from having to re-paint her later!

Thanks for the offer of supplying books, we all have to earn money some way and by buying your books it helps to fund more from you, which always seem to be on subjects I am interested in. On the subject of your Ogaden War book (and many of your others) have you ever had decal manufacturers contact you about the possibility of them producing sheets covering the aircraft in the books? I'm sure they would sell well, I know I would buy them!

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