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Julien

F-5F tiger II (KH32019) - 1:32 Kitty Hawk

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F-5F tiger II (KH32019)

1:32 Kitty Hawk

 

t01.jpg&key=e7054637ff713981575ad99077a2

 

The original F-5 design was lead at Northrop by Edgar Schmued who previously at North American had been the Chief designer of the P-51 and F-86. The F-5 was designed to reverse the trend of bigger and heavier fighters to produce a small, agile, high performance aircraft. It was also recognised that life cycle costs, and the ability to upgrade the design needed to be thought out at the beginning.  Thus after winning the International Fighter Aircraft Competition in 1970 to provide a low cost effective fighter to America's allies Northrop introduced the F-5E or Tiger II.  More than 3800 aircraft were built and served with the US Forces as well as their allies. Indeed the F-5F & N still serve in the adversary role today.  The design of the F-5 would later go on to influence the YF-17 and F/A-18, as well as the late unsuccessful (is sales) F-20. 

 

The Kit

This is a complete new tool from Kitty Hawk, The kit arrives on 6 spures of plastic with a small clear sprue, sheet of PE and four decal sheets. The resin exhaust nozzles of the F-5E are not included in this boxin. There are two resin crew figures; one seated and one climbing the crew ladder, the crew ladders are also included in this boxing. Construction starts as one would expect in the cockpit. The seats are first put together each from an impressive 20 parts. Next up the cockpit tub is built up from another 20 or so parts not including the instrument panels and coamings. Once together the canopy raising parts are also added behind the seats. 

 

tiger1.jpg

 

Following this the complicated nose gear bay / gun bay is built up which goes on front of the cockpit. All the detail is there for the nose mounted 20mm cannon including its ammo box and feed chutes. Once built up this section and the cockpit can be added into the front fuselage halves after some PE detail is added to the sides first. The nose section can then be built up and added but the modeller will need to select the right nose for the airframe being modelled. The instructions are of no help here so you will have to check your references. If wanted the seated pilot figure can be added. The canopy is then added at this stage in the instructions though I suspect most will leave it until the end. The canopy retraction mechanism is only in the raised position so if you want the canopy down some surgery will be needed. There is then the option to display the gun bay panels open if you wish to show off all that detail. 

 

tiger3.jpg

 

Moving on to the centre fuselage two complete engines are built and installed. This seems a bit strange as no intake trunking is supplied and they will just sit there inside the fuselage. The main gear wells are made up and installed before the top of the fuselage is added. There are some optional vent panels to be installed but again its a case of checking your references as the instructions are of no help.  For the rear the modeller can choose to build up plastic exhausts or use the resin ones. The two fuselage sections can now be joined and at the front the intakes added. 

 

tiger4.jpg

 

tiger2.jpg

 

Next up the wings are constructed. The main gear bay walls are added to the inner parts and the outers then added over the top. The main gears are made up and added along with the leading edge and separate flaps. The wings, tail planes and vertical tail are then added to the fuselage. The tail has a separate rudder.  To finish off the aircraft the underwing pylons are added, and a whole range of missiles and bombs are provided. These include AIM-9 & AIM-7 missiles, Cluster bombs, dumb bobs and fuel tanks. 

 

tiger6.jpg

 

tiger3.jpg

 

Decals

The impressive large decal sheet (and smaller additional sheets) look to be well printed. There is minimal carrier film and the colours are sharp, everything looks colour dense. There is an impressive array of stencils present. There have been problems with the tail designs which have lead to some addendum sheets. In previous kits the instructions have been in colour these are only in black & white and they suffer from this. They also suffer from the fact you need to remove them from the centre of the book to use them, and that there appears to be no information what so ever on the decal options provided. 

 

 From the box as far as I can tell you can build one of these aircraft

 

  • F-5F Taiwanese Air Force - Tiger tail
  • F-5F Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
  • F-5F USMC VMFT-401 "Snipers" Aggressors. 
  • F-5F Taiwanese Air Force - Aggressor tail
  • F-5F Malaysian Air Force
  • F-5F Republic Of Singapore Air Force
  • F-5F Taiwanese Air Force - Sun Tail
  • F-5F Republic Of Singapore Air Force - Tiger Tail
  • F-5F Royal Thai Air Force - 30th Anv Tail
  • F-5F USN VFC-111 Sundowners
  • F-5F Swiss Air Force
  • F-5F Republic Of Korea Air Force

 

tiger4.jpg

 

tiger5.jpg

 

tiger6.jpg

 

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Conclusion

The plastic looks great, and there is an impressive array of marking options available. The addition of PE and resin parts including good figures makes this an all round exciting package from Kitty Hawk. The kit is let down by the total lack of information on the decal options and poor instructions for the painting & decaling of the model. Recommended if you want a large scale F-5F to your collection.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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Available soon from major hobby shops

 

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2 hours ago, Homerlovesbeer said:

Did you happen to do a test fit at all to see how things line up? 

No, this is just an "in box" review

 

Julien

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1 hour ago, Julien said:

No, this is just an "in box" review

 

Julien

Any chance you can tape parts together and check the fit? That adds a lot to any review.

 

Cheers

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Want to do this one but what l really want is a A/B versions as well

 

Hacker

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14 minutes ago, Homerlovesbeer said:

Any chance you can tape parts together and check the fit? That adds a lot to any review.

 

Cheers

Sorry not at present.

 

Julien

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