1/48 Italeri F-5E Topgun

by Jacey Guo



Hi all, after years of enjoying articles on this extremely informative website I have decided to try and give something back.  Although this model is no where near the caliber of others and the photos hastily taken by my cell phone camera, I hope this posting will nevertheless provide some coverage on this topic i.e. U.S Navy Adversary fleet.
This is my F-5E in 1/48 scale by Italeri and I would have to say it is not as accurate as the Revell/Monogram, the lines/shape of the nose of the plane extending all the way to the engines is not as realistic as its counterpart and several other areas are a little off in terms of measurements, but I won't dwell on this.

This is however merely a reboxing of the old Esci's kit with the US Marines adversary decals flying out of Yuma. The decals however appear to be too Orange rather than Red, and the Marine emblem inside the Soviet Star does not have a globe, which seems quite odd.

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There is a severe lack of producers of the F-5E in 1/48 scale.  However even more so is the F-5F 1/48, I have been trying to stock up the OOP F-5F model which is extremely hard to find.  I find the F-5F accentuate the beautiful lines of the F-5E and extending what makes it beautiful esthetically beyond the F-5E.  Revell/Monogram's F-5E is the most realistic in its scale 1/48, however one area which I find disappointing (as it is not hard to replicate) is the infamous F-5E canopy opening mechanism which is so prominent in the real jet but replicated in the Revell model by 2 rods.  I think 2 rods hardly do the complicated opening mechanism justice, and that is why the Black Box F-5E cockpit/with the opening mechanism is selling for around 60-70 USD.
It is quite interesting to note that it is in this area where the Italeri kit exceeds the Revell, the Italeri kit replicates the Opening mechanism in 2 simple parts, however simple it definitely beats 2 round rods.

My model carries partly fictitious markings attempting to replicate the Black F-5E which was inspired after the Topgun movie in the mid 80s.  I have actually now obtained the proper decals for the actual black aircraft and hopefully you will be seeing that on here in the near future.
The model was built straight out of the box.  Decals were a combination of Twobobs Desert Cats VFC-13 decals and some old decals I had.  Paint used was Gunze Acrylic gloss (I know the real aircraft was matt).

The Topgun decal was from the Hasegawa F/A-18 1/72 Black Topgun NSAWC aircraft.  I thought it would be fitting for it to be worn on the venerable adversary aircraft.

Thanks for reading and I will bring you more adversary aircraft in the near future!


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Photos and text by Jacey Guo