Unfiltered shots of the F-5E

I am not happy with the final result, over did the weathering in my opinion but as the kit was only ever to get my hand back in I’m not too bothered. The ladder needs a touch up too, the list goes on.

F-5E Tiger II fail but finished

So the F-5E Tiger II is complete, of a fashion. The weathering like everything else on this build went horrible, so in the end I figured I simply wasn’t going to waste time trying to get the finish I was looking for when there were so many other issues and gave up, so there we have it, the complete what not to do when building a 1/48 Revell F-5!

Never mind though, its done. It can leave the bench, never to be seen again. To be honest due to my love of the F-5 airframe I do plan on doing another in 1/48 scale, but next time I wont be going anywhere near a Revell/Monogram kit and instead i will be using a Kinetic Kit with all its associated photo etch goodies. There is a filter on the above photo just incase you were wondering, just so as to hide as much as possible lol!

On the home straight!

Decal work is finished and thanks to the wonderful Decalfix solution it went without a hitch (at least something has at last on this build). Load out attached. Ready for another coat of clear gloss prior to weathering

The Build Continued As Did The Problems

So after the cockpit incident I started to build the kit up as per normal
but there were some terrible fit issues, the lower and upper wing
sections are actually part of the main fuselage sections and were warped
pretty badly, so much so that they originally broke the fully cured
cementing when I took of the clamps!

After sorting this issue out the intakes didnt really fit properly either and it was at this point I also noticed the massive steps between the upper and lower fuselage. The
difference was actually that bad I wondered if I had put the parts
together correctly again after opening it back up to insert the
cockpit,(the difference was almost the full thickness of the kit
material, so through lack of self confidence I opened the fuselage back
up again and checked the fit again.

Satisfied that I hadnt actually gone mental and had put them together incorrectly I cemented them back together again whilst squeezing the sides in as much as I
could to reduce the difference as much as possible. I pondered what to
do with the step for a while and in the end I decided to buy a tube of
filler and try to apply it, remembering I had already painted the parts I
then had to strip the paint from the area as best I could.

Much sanding, lost detail and frustration later I had one side almost level
but it just didnt and to an extent still doesnt look right as I had no
rescribing tools or templates so I literally free handed and few panel
lines etc with my scalpel from memory and reference photos but am really
not happy with the finish, but it got worse.

I was handling the model to try and attach the nose cone and attach the bottom ariels
etc and I can only assume that fitting the nose applied pressure along
the joint along the front of the fuselage. This combined with the
pressure already in the joint from me cementing the fuselage together
whilst squeezing in the sides to reduce the step as best I could must have been too much as the cementing failed and caused the filler to crack.

Much swearing later i decided simply to ignore the problem, quite literally.
I decided at this point I no longer cared too much what the end result
looked like and that this kit was only to get my hand back in and
practice with my airbrushing etc.

I assembled the rest of the kit and applied a gloss coat to protect the paint and began applying the decals. I had never used decal fix before either and this stuff is
awesome, even if it does smell of cat piss. I had already decided to build the swiss agressor f-5 as i had never seen these decals with an F-5 kit before.

Playtime over!

Having realised my mistake with not fitting the cockpit I decided to continue practicing with airbrush and put the darker Grey on after masking with blu-tak (didn’t have any play dough and besides blu-tak doesn’t smell funny haha). I think the result was OK considering I had never done this before.

Once I had finished playing with the airbrush I decided it was time to actually get back to this build and cracked the assembly open and fitted the cockpit.

The First Mistake of Many!

So it really didn’t take long for me to make my first mistake when building this kit. As is almost always recommended for model aircraft I started with the cockpit. Sub assembly wasnt without issue due to the poor quality of the moulding with my kit, some parts clearly hadn’t had enough plastic resin injected into them and were actually incomplete!
But the whole point of this kit was too blow off the cobwebs and I knew I was going to make many errors on the way so I wasnt too fussed. The parts were assembled and detail painted.

As I mentioned its been a fair few years since I have built a kit, and I pretty much have always been a brush painter. The last kit I built which was an F-117 I did play about with a couple of cheap airbrushes running on cans of propellant as a tool for mass coverage but thats about it. Well being at the Model Show and seeing peoples results from using an airbrush and I was a convert.

I managed to convince my better half to buy me a small compressor and airbrush (more about which can be found in the equipment section soon) so of course I needed a booth with extractor naturally. Well it all pretty much arrived at the the same time.

So I’ve taken my time getting here but here was mistake number one, all my
new toys arrived and I was just itching to give them all a go so no sooner was I home from work that everything was unboxed, set up and ready to go. I cemented the fuselage together (ignoring the horrific fit and step between the two halves) and got to airbrushing on a primer and then the base grey coat.

It wasn’t until after this though that I noticed, sitting on the desk in front of the new spray booth and the freshly painted carcass of the F-5, was the cockpit sub assembly, you can actually see it in the photo above, sitting next to the craft knife on the right. In my rush I had forgotten all about it and had to crack the fuselage back open to install it!

The Build!

So as I mentioned in the previous post the kit I picked up at the Scottish National Scale Model Show was the one above. The Revell 1/48 F-5E Tiger II, probably not the best kit to choose to get myself back in to building after such a long time away.

I picked up this kit as I love the subject matter, I have had a soft spot for the F-5 since the eighties. I first came across them in Top Gun (F-5s played the part of the fictional MiG-28s) and I thought they were fantastic. I used to go to the library a lot as a child and I would spend hours in the aircraft section looking at pictures of many aircraft but the F-5 always had that something special for me.

It turns out the kit is a re-boxing of the old monogram kit and comes with all the associated fit, flash and warping issues that should be expected with a kit of that age. The fit especially was terrible, and I have never done much with modelling fillers etc so it was going to be a particularly frustrating build.