If you are looking to add a figure to your F-5 Freedom Fighter, you may want to investigate the latest offering from the Aires Aerobonus line. The figure is posed in his ejection seat with his hands resting on the throttle and stick. With a little care in removing the parts from the pour plug, and some painting, this figure is an easy addition for most modelers to place in their aircraft.
The packaging for this figure is simple with a clear plastic bag containing the ejection seat and majority of the body of the pilot (the arms and head are separate) as well as a folded sheet of paper that provides drawings of the assembled figure as well as painting recommendations. The build was quick and easy, as the arms and head are set into position without issue.
After giving everything a coat of Stynylrez Gray primer, I used Vallejo Grey Green, Natural Steel, Black, and Tank crew Highlight as well as Model Master Acryl Gloss White and Light Gull Gray. The flesh was painted with colors from the Andrea Flesh set as well as the AK Oilbrusher Basic Flesh. I used Tamiya Black and Dark Brown Washes to add some depth and the figure received Vallejo Matt Varnish to flatten the flight suit and g-suit.
My hit of this figure is that it is nice to add a sense of scale to our models for the non-builders who enjoy looking at them. Think of it as an easy reference point for the person looking at your work that does not know the dimension of the real plane they are looking at in your scale representation. As you may have noticed in the photo of the kit contents, my sample had a broken rail for the ejection seat, but the piece broken off was in the bag, and I was able to reattach it. I did not have any misses for this figure.
I would like to thank Aires for being gracious enough to provide this figure to the IPMS-USA for review! I also like to thank John Noack and Phil Peterson for their time and efforts in running the Review Corps as well as allowing me to perform this assessment. I also appreciate the folks behind the scenes in the Review Corps who keep the review machine running so well, and finally my most sincere appreciation to all who take the time to read this.