1/32 Hasegawa F5E 

“Patrouille Suisse “ Edition

Swiss Airforce Tiger F5E

by Sinuhe Hahn  




Late last summer my wife dragged me along to her favourite nursery – not that I minded coming along. Why? Because this nursery is directly next to Emmen Airforce base near Lucerne, and it gives me a great chance to see some of our tax money in action.

During our visit I happened to see a very spectacular F5E taking off in what looked like a neat Tiger scheme.  A quick perusal on Christoph Kugler’s excellent website: www.airpic.ch, confirmed that an F5E had indeed been painted in a special scheme as a mascot for the coming fall military manoeuvres.  These culminate in the spectacular display at Axalp, where those fit enough to hike up the mountain can witness some live firing exercises (www.airshowaction.com/axalp/axalpb.html). Unfortunately, following 9.11, the display was cancelled, and I never got to see this aircraft in the air again.

Fortunately a short while later a set of excellent photos were published by the Swiss aviation magazine Cockpit, which showed the top and bottom views. Additional information, in particular regarding the exercise badges was kindly provided by Hofstetter marketing following an enquiry to the Swiss Airforce, who financed the painting of this particular aircraft. The use of Swiss tax money for such issues is a strict taboo.  

Having discussed Swiss topics with Mike Grant at Mike Grant Decals previously (e.g. the Fieseler Storch), I sent him some photos and enquired about his interest. Well, the rest is history. Mike was VERY enthusiastic, and in no time at all Mike had produced an excellent decal set.  I spent the last 3 odd months completing this rather special bird.  

Click on images below to see larger images


The Kit

I chose to use the reissue of the Hasegawa 1/32 kit in the current Patrouille Suisse guise, as this is basically quite accurate concerning the modifications found on Swiss F5E’s: shark nose and extended LEX as well as chaff dispenser. The small flat winglet on the tip of the fin is incorrect but I only discovered this after completing the kit. All other kits would require some surgery. I also felt that this scheme needed quite a large canvas.

Even though this kit has been revamped, it does show its age, and on my example I encountered a moderate amount of flash. In general the fit was quite good.  


Painting and decals

I decided to follow my standard method: build the model as completely as possible, spray a grey primer, fix imperfections and them proceed from there, by doing the white belly first then the yellow uppers and then darker orange fuselage section. In hindsight this was not the best approach, as it now meant that I had to mask the entire model in order to spray the black tiger stripes. I felt these were too thin and precise to be attempted free hand. After trying out various methods, I ended up masking the entire beast with Tamiya tape, and then cutting out the individual stripes. As the pattern is very symmetrical and quite tricky, especially on the nose,  where I am not entirely happy with my work, this was a very tedious task. If I had to repeat it, I would chose the following route:

After cleaning up the model, spray it completely black. Using a piece of folded frisket film I would cut out the individual stripes and place these on the model. This would simplify the symmetry considerably. Then I would spray the model with Alclad silver which would provide a much better base for the white/yellow than the grey I used as a primer. The deep orange would again be sprayed free hand.

As there are no detailed colour references for this model, I mixed Tamiya and Gunze paints to what I considered the best approximations.

The model was sprayed with a few coats of Future and allowed to dry before application of the decals, which were superb and settled down very nicely, and were sealed by another coat of Future. As I was  worried that the black stripes may shine though these, I had masked off the areas where the roundels were located prior to spraying the black stripes. This was probably a worthwhile effort.  

In summary: 

This has been a rather complex and challenging build for me, but also a lot of fun. It has been the first large scale model in a long time, and while the airbrushing work may be a bit more tedious, it is a very attractive addition to my display.


Thanks to Christoph Kugler and Hofstetter marketing for their input and to Mike Grant for the tremendous set of decals and for having so much patience in allowing me to build this model at my own pace. 

Decals can be ordered directly from Mike Grant Decals in scales from 1/72 to 1/32.



Click on images below to see larger images

 Photos and text © by Sinuhe Hahn

Graphics and decals: Mike Grant, copyright 2001