The Northrop F-5 was designed by Edgar Schmued, who had previously been at North American, and was responsible for the P-51 and F-86. The idea for the F-5 was to produce a lighter, less expensive and more maneuverable fighter, going against the 1960s trend of bigger, heavier fighters. The F-5 has been successful, used by more than 20 foreign operators, as well as the US Navy, as an F-5N aggressor aircraft.
Platz produces model kits, but they also sell a large number of “foreign” kits, ie not from Japan in their store. The web site says this kit is produced by Platz. The box says F Toys/Platz.
You get two aircraft in the box, and decals for 3 planes.
Assembly was fairly simple. Everything slid into place and stayed there. I did have some problems with some of the parts, as there was some flash on the holes or the insert parts, and it required some filing or scraping to get the parts to fit nicely. On the other hand, I used no putty on this model. Once I got the parts in place, everything lined up.
I did Step 1 of the instructions, and most of Step 2. I didn’t install the canopy or the exhausts until after painting.
The Swiss F-5E is painted with Light Ghost Grey, Dark Ghost Grey and Neutral Gray for the nose cone. I followed the instructions, but the Testors light and dark ghost grey don’t have a lot of difference, so it’s hard to see.
I did the rear area of the fuselage with Testors Aluminum metalizer, and the exhausts with Burnt Metal. After an application of Future, I painted the canopy and put it on. Then I was ready for decals.
The decals for the Swiss F-5E were wonderful. But that’s what we’ve grown to expect from Cartograf, who are a top decal maker. They came off the paper nicely, allowed some adjustment, and stayed where I put them after I used a tissue on the excess water.
The only things I needed to do for the last step was the landing gear. I think the main gear legs and nose gear are less detailed than I’ve gotten used to on other Platz kits. But they went on nicely and were strong and straight.
Recommended. The kit is simple, but goes together well. Some work is needed to get all the parts to fit cleanly, because the parts are designed to stay together without glue, which compromises some of the parts fit. The decals are so very good. Also, this kit will stand up to pretty rough handling. I managed to paint and decal the whole model without damaging the two prongs at the tops of the vertical stabilizers.
Many thanks to Platz/F-Toys for this nice kit, and thanks to IPMS USA for providing me with a Swiss F-5 for my display.
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