1/72 ESCI F-5A & F-5B

Botswana Defence Force

by Daniel PerezVertti

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I promised you esoteric, so here goes! Botswana received 12 F-5s from Canada in 1996, 9xCF-5As and 3xCF-5Ds. Later on in 2000, they received a further two more family models for a total of 14 F-5s. Ever since then, they have been based at Thebephatshwa AB, near Molepolole, Botswana. The Ever since I saw the article in International Air Power Review (Vol.9), I went bananas over this scheme. I recently purchased the ex-Esci, now-Revell F-5B kit, which is an excellent little kit, and fit the bill perfectly. 

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The F-5s were painted in the former 'ghost' aggressor scheme that were applied to Canadian aircraft of FS36307, FS35237, and FS36251, all Testors MM. The decals are from a modified sheet that custom made by Mike Grant of F-5B numbered OJ25, which was one of the newer aircraft received in 2000. I built up the F-5B in about 6 weeks, and was so happy with the result that I just had to fish out the ex-Esci, now-Italeri F-5A. Since both kits share 80% of the tooling, I flew through the F-5A build and in 9 short build days, I had both the F-5A and F-5B in their gorgeous markings. Special thanks to Piet van Schalkwyk for the excellent pics he sent me of OJ25. Enjoy!

The 'Tswana Twins', Interesting thing I found out during my research....if you want to use an adjective to describe something from Botswana, the correct term is 'Tswana'. Also the people of Botswana are the 'Batswana', and a single person is referred to as a 'Motswana'. The native language is called 'Setswana'. Learn something new everyday! :-)

Daniel

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Photos and text by Daniel PerezVertti