Royal Thai Air Force 50,000 hours Anniversary
This model depicts an F5E that was given special nose markings to celebrate 50,000 hours flying the type. The aircraft belonged to 711sqn based at Suratthani Air Force Base.
The Italeri F5E is a pretty old kit, but it knocks together well enough with only a little putty needed along the horizontal fuselage join at the nose and rear. It's not at all bad and has recently been re-issued with Swiss Air Force all-over tiger markings. However it has nowhere near the intricacies of the ESCI F5A/B at the same scale, having minimal detail and raised lines, but the shape looks good enough. Italeri do however provide additional 'lumps and bumps' for the Swiss version. If only they could produce a kit of the F5E version the Mexicans use with the additional fin and wing fairings, just about all marks would be covered for modellers.
The model was painted by hand using standard Humbrol enamels; it's an interesting colour scheme for which little references can be found. That's a pity because the decal sheet instructions only give paint guides for the port side, top and undersides. Careful study shows that these diagrams do not match up, so there is a certain amount of 'artistic license' involved on this particular model. The decals are by Siam Scale which I have only ever been able to find in Thailand. Although rather thick (possibly printed by Hasegawa - I don't know), they go on well enough and respond better when using Microsol. The decals include loads of data and options for 5 other F5E's in both the blue/grey and 2-tone grey camos for 102, 701, 231 and 403sqns.
Steve 'Cloggy' Cladingboel (special markings nut!!)
Photos and text © by Steve 'Cloggy' Cladingboel