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Mark

AFV 1/48 F-5E triple build, Patrouille Suisse, Singapore AF and USAF Aggressor

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So here I am once more....

Apart from being the opening lyrics on Marillion's debut album, it's also my trademark first words on a Group Build! Sadly I rarely get to the finishing line with something to show! But this time I've decided to take a look at the stash and see what I wanted to build and coincidentally the AFV 1/48 F-5Es that I have were staring at me just as I noticed this GB starting.

Coincidence? Maybe, but I prefer to call it fateful.

The two kits that I have of the F-5 are from AFV and are the following two releases:

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If I have a couple of the same aircraft in the stash, I prefer to try and do them simultaneously and this will be no different. The Patrouille Suisse release, although containing options for Swiss and Austrian Air Force, will be completed as per the box art. The U.S. Air Force Aggressor boxing contains decals for a Singaporean aircraft.

So, those will be the subjects of this GB and I could not wait to get started!

There are already sprue shots of this kit on this forum, but I just wanted to say that I was amazed at the detail on the parts. I thought the kit was a bit older than it is, Stalemates shows that the tooling was originally from 2010, but the moulded parts are certainly on a par with anything that is currently being released.

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There are plenty of after market sets available for this kit and the jury is still out as to what I think I might get. The kit's wheel wells are certainly shallow and the Aires set corrects this, but then am I too bothered about this? A resin cockpit would be a wiser choice of investment, as, maybe, would the Aires gun bay. AFV Club has already moulded the port forward fuselage section with the open area where the port gun bay could be displayed, so this might be an option on the camouflaged Singapore aircraft.

The construction of the kit is very cleverly engineered, with the main centre fuselage section as one piece. The only seams that would need cleaning are on the nose parts and even that will be minimal as the fit is very good indeed.

But first off, I started with the one-piece tailplanes. As these fit into the rear fuselage section, I decided to paint them first and this also gave me an opportunity to match the Patrouille Suisse decals to a suitable red paint. In the end I chose Gunze Sangyo H23, Shine Red, which is a bright red that matches the photos I have. The decals themselves are a darker red, but many areas that are decals, will actually be painted. I'm hoping to use as little of the red decals as possible in favour of paint.

The Singapore aircraft has a complex grey camouflage of Gunze Sangyo H306, H307 and H308.

In order to get as close as possible to the instruction's camouflage pattern, these were scanned and re-sized before printing out. Sheets of masking film were used in order to copy the pattern, which was cut out using a brand new scalpel blade.

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And that is where I'm at so far. There are actually three greys on the camouflaged tailplanes, the photo does not show it very well. I might re-do the Singapore tailplanes, though, as references show a softer demarkation.

Thanks for having me along to the party! The final 'Ready for Inspection' will be great to see, with lots of fabulous and colourful schemes from what I've read on the other threads.

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The camouflage shows up quite well Mark. I am looking forward to watching the Patrouille Suisse version come together, I love that scheme.

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On the picture the tailplane looks more orange/dayglo than red. But this could be due to you wb-settings on your camera. I like the double build.

Good luck on this one.

Evert

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On the picture the tailplane looks more orange/dayglo than red. But this could be due to you wb-settings on your camera. I like the double build.

Good luck on this one.

Evert

I've just checked and yes, you're right! The picture control on my Nikon D700 was set to 'Vivid'

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Nice, although I'd rather you did one of the other schemes and sent me the Patrouille Suisse decals!

bob

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Nice subjects, love the Patrouille Suisse aircraft in particular. I saw these aircrafts exhibiting a few times and also caught them training on the Alps. I'll never forget the sight of these vividly coloured F-5s flying between white snow capped mountains

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A quick update as I drink my freshly made veg/fruit juice that was thrust in my hand this morning. What? No coffee? Nope, replied my darling other half, we are on a "Special Regime" until Xmas.... Well, I already know what I want to say will get transformed by the swearing converter, so I'll just say it myself. Man vegetables.

So now I'm under strict orders. No caffeine, no booze, no meat (well, a massive reduction) and four weeks of a healthy lifestyle. I may be wrong, but I think she's secretly trying to kill me!!

Back to the F-5Es then. After having a hood look at the red on the tailplanes, they are a little too bright and so I resprayed them with Gunze Sangyo H3 Red. No that's better!! A much closer match to the decals and still very red. So that's that one sorted. I've also stripped and resprayed the camouflaged tailplanes as I will be using some very thinly rolled lengths of Blu-Tac to give a softer demarkation. The cockpits have been started and though I am still wondering whether to go of the Aires cockpits, the AFV Club ones are still very nice.

A quick question, are all F-5E cockpits painted in Dark Ghost Grey? That's FS36231 I think. The reason I ask is that the equivalents I have all look quite dark when compared to photos. And whilst I am asking questions, does anyone know the colour of the wheel bays of both the Patrouille Suisse and Singapore aircraft? A quick Google shows lots of photos of F-5E wheel wells, but all in model form! The only photo I could find of a real one during a quick search is this:

f5dp_31.jpg

The author, Dana Potts, states that they are white, but they sure look grey to me! But then I guess he should know...

Thanks in advance!

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Cockpit: in theory they should be in 36231, however I've seen some that look lighter, probably a result of repaints during the various maintenance cycles. I have a very good picture of a Patrouille Suisse aircraft cockpit and this is definitely 36231. Unfortunately the problem is that often the model paints representing this colour look dark when used in the confined spaces of a 1/48 (and even worse a 1/72) cockpit...

Wheel wells: generally these are in aluminum paint, this is not particularly shiny and can sometime look relatively dark so may look like a medium grey in pictures. The same paint is used on the interior of the wheel well doors with some exceptions (for example the Turkish Stars aircrafts have white).

For the Swiss aircrafts, there's a good walkaround on an italian website that confirms that the usual dull aluminum was used on these.

http://www.drivefly.it/walkaround/northrop-f-5-e-patrouille-suisse.php

The same aluminum paint was used also on the gun bays

Edited by Giorgio N

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Damn! I did not want to go 'after market' on these but I've decide to go OOB on the Patrouille Suisse airframe and bonkers on the Singaporean aircraft.

Next question. What would be a good armament load for a Singaporean F-5E? Something interesting please.

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Welcome aboard Mark with very nice choices!!

I do like both the colour schemes you have chosen especially the Swiss one, that is really colourful!

The moulding in the pictures you have show it to be superior to the Kinetic/Wolfpack versions, well at least to the later moulding ones!

Well glad you could join us, good luck with your builds and look froward to seeing them in the gallery.

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Cheers Rich! Thanks for the welcome. I've always loved the Patrouille Suisse scheme but I now have a problem. I'm loving this kit so much, it really is a great kit, but there are just so many schemes to choose from and I always wanted to do an aggressor scheme....

Anyway, cut a long story short. I've ordered another kit, a load of aftermarket bits and pieces and a set of Two Bob's decals for a Nellis AFB based aggressor. More to follow when the box of goodies arrives from the Big H.

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Nice stuff Mark. Great to see so many "multi-builds" in this GB - obviously a popular subject!

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great project!

especially looking forward to the PS one! saw them very very many time performing flawlessly! always a crowd-pleaser!

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looking forward to the singaporean bird

lovely work thus far

rgds

mr b

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Does anyone have any information about when Singapore upgraded their F-5E's avionics to include MFDs? Or were they supplied equipped like that? Here's the only photo I could find: Link

Edit: Found it!

In 1991, SAI was awarded a contract as the prime contractor to modernize all RSAF F-5E/Fs (including the 7 ex-Jordanian F-5Es); Elbit Systems was the sub-contractor responsible for systems integration. Upgrades include a new X band multi-mode radar (the Italian FIAR Grifo-F,[36][38] with Beyond-visual-range missile and Look-down/shoot-down capabilities), a revamped cockpit with new MIL-STD-1553R databuses, GEC/Ferranti 4510 Head-up display/weapons delivery system, two BAE Systems MED-2067 Multi-function displays, Litton LN-93 inertial navigation system (similar to the ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawk) and Hands On Throttle-And-Stick controls (HOTAS) to reduce pilot workload. Reportedly, the Elisra SPS2000 radar warning receiver and countermeasure system was also installed.[87] Additionally, the starboard M-39 20mm cannon mounted in the nose was removed to make way for additional avionics (the sole cannon on the two-seaters was removed because of this), and to improve maneuverability, upgraded aircraft received larger leading edge root extensions (LERX). The process began in March 1996 and was completed by 2001, receiving the new designation of F-5S/T. In 1998, the eight RF-5Es also received the upgrades (except for the radar) and were redesignated as RF-5S.[37] Each F-5S/T upgraded reportedly cost SGD$6 million.[88]

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Some nicer choices there. Got used to seeing Singapores flying around and above the city last year whilst there. Sometimes you almost see them landing at the airfield, especially if on the big wheel thingy.

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Hi Mark, I can confirm that the wheel well colors on RSAF (Republic of Singapore Air Force) F-5s are a light semi-gloss (tending to matt) aluminum, having climbed under them at airshows and air force open days. And perhaps because they were prepped for display, the wheel wells were very clean, hence the color looked bright (I hate to disagree with Giorgio, but a grey may have the wrong hue).

I'll be following your WIPs!

Cheers,
Eric

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Hi Eric and thanks for the information!

I've not been sitting idly by watching everyone else build their F-5s! There is progress on my own builds and so far the 'Out of the Box' version, which will end up as the Patrouille Suisse aircraft, is going quite well with most of the detail painting in the cockpit complete. But first I'll go back to the Singapore F-5E and show the repainted tailplanes.

New masks were cut and these were placed on the tailplanes using small rolls of masking tape. A picture paints a thousand words, so here's what I meant:

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The darker camouflage colours were sprayed on and the raised masks left a nice, soft demarkation.

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Back to the Swiss F-5 and disaster struck when I realised that I had spilled some cellulose thinner on the plastic seat! I had already ordered resin replacements, but this aircraft was going to be as 'Out of the Box' as possible. So a little surgery on spare seats from other, Singapore F-5 kit and I was back in business. You can see the damaged seat on the right, with the later model headbox sawn off and placed on top of the spare seat.

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The cockpit was painted as per the instructions, which stated different colours for the seat and cockpit tub. I went with the colours recommended, although my gut feeling was that they were wrong. Anyway, this is staying as it is and I'll just blame the maintenance staff who serviced the seat! The rear cockpit wall has some extra detail added which is quite prominent in the real aircraft.

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I will source some belts from somewhere, as they are very obviously missing. The cockpit itself has to be one of the nicest that I have painted.

I'm still waiting for the order to arrive from Hannants, which will include some resin bits and bobs, decals and the third kit.

I can't wait!

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The contrast of the two paint colours is very fine, I can hardly see the difference, and the detail in the cockpit of the other model is superb.

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there is some lovely work there Mark!!!!

The cockpit looks amazing, really nice detailing work, it really stands out.

I've used that tape/mask method before, gives you really nice soft even edges, a lot of mine of late required not so soft edges so have been going through a mountain of Blu-Tac.

I am looking forward to seeing the rest of this build as we going along, really lovely work!

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Thanks guys! I can only applaud AFV Club for their superb detailing in the cockpit area. The panels are very similar to photos. Where some manufacturers may have just gone 'Oh, let's create a generic panel' AFV Club have really done their research.

I'd really like to convert one to a late model Singapore aircraft with the MFDs, but there does not seem to be any decals or after-market cockpits for these.

Oh, and I've just noticed the huge ejector pin marks on the seat back! That will have to go and replaced by a Quickboost resin one.

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Oh my goodness!! I have amazing news.

I have, this morning, just received the Aires cockpit set (along with other bits and pieces) and I can state, unequivocally, that the piece of resin fits!! :)

More updates tomorrow.

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Sounds great, look forward to seeing what you can do with that lovely resin......have to admit I am a big fan of Aires resiny bits!!!

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