1/48 Monogram F-5F

by Everett McEwan



    I had started on this kit a long time ago and then put it aside after 80% of the construction was done and then picked it up again this past winter. I actually fished this kit right away as it only took a week or two to complete what was left, and it was fun and easy.

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    It is typical of 1980s Monogram kits, quality details, raised panel lines and simple parts break downs. I like banging out these kits after an intense Hasegawa build as I don't have to worry about 100+ parts rattling around in the box and all the seam work  that ensues. The downside is the poor surface detail (their A-10 kit excluded) and the rescribing that will be needed. This kit though was an easy rescribe since the real jet has few panel lines anyways. 

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    I started with the cockpit and kept it simple using the kit pit (I know Black Box has a great set) but I wish I had known that the Radar display in the back seat does not belong, oh well. The rest of the build was cake, I do remember the wing/ fuselage joint on the the bottom of the wing needed some filling but other than that easy. I put the kit away around this point (lost interest).

    After picking it up again I rescribed the detail and then reshaped the nose to represent the shark nose modification that helps with high Alpha flight.


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I found two photos of this plane (the kit decals that is) in an old book I had since I was a kid called "Top Gun" one was a wider shot in Black and white (no help on the colors of the camo but showed the tiger nose) and a tight shot of the pilot and rio in the cockpit, this was in color. It was from that photo that I came up with the colors for the camo, especially the green (helo drab) which was much darker than the medium green the kit instructions call for. I used Model Master paints and sealed with Future for decal prep and Testors flat coat for final seal. I put on a blue inert AIM-9 and a range data pod on the wings and an empty center line pylon.

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   It's nice to have a colorful aggressor on my shelf and it was a fun build.

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    I also want to include a few pics of my other projects sitting on my shelf that I have yet to write an article about. First are my two 1/48th Hasegawa F-16s of the Colorado Air National Guard (I live in Denver where they are based) and my super detailed but  frustrating Italeri 1/48th F/A-18F that is 95% complete but taking a break before I mash it into a million pieces. I will give full write ups of these in the future along with my 1/48th Hasegawa AV-8B+ (painting now) 1/72nd Has F-15J (painted- waiting for a new canopy) my 1/32nd Academy F-18 (just started) and my 1/48th Has F-4E in IAF colors. Keeping busy!

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Photos and text by Everett McEwan