1/48 Classic Airframes CF-5A

by Dan McWilliams



This is my second version of this kit.  I built it to represent an aircraft that I flew while undergoing Basic Fighter Pilot training in Cold Lake from 1985 to 1987.  I used Leading Edge wraparound green camo decals for this kit; everything else was OOB.  As you can see from the photos below, there are some incredible faults in this kit (such as the missing drag chute door - there is a gaping hole in the fuselage above the tailpipes that requires filler).  The air refuelling probe came from the LE decal sheet.

I have posed my little F-5 next to its big brother Hornet  (which was the plane that quickly replaced the F-5 in my heart).  

Click on images below to see larger images




I did a light weathering job; some of these jets were kept pretty clean.  I also had trouble with the instruction sheet for the camo from LE.  The colour coding for camouflage changed from top to side view, and caused me to omit some of the green just ahead of the windscreen on top of the fuselage.  Luckily, there is a 1:1 scale example here at the Bagotville Air Defence Museum, from which I could get the colours better (but not perfect).  Having said that, the LE decals are excellent, and add a lot to the kit.  I used a technique from ARC for the tip tank lights (which are solid plastic on the kit).  I painted some white where the lights go, then used green and red magic markers to create the illusion of a transparent light.

I am happy to have an example of this aircraft in this scale for my collection.  Now whenever I look at it, it takes me back to my first solo in a fighter.  Next project - trying to make a CF-5D in natural metal.

Photos and text by Dan McWilliams