Northrop F-5 was a light supersonic aircraft designed in early 60s and became a base point for developing similar categories airplanes. Its production was ended during 1987.
Hellenic Air force received its first F-5 A/B planes in March 1965, while during 1968 and 1969 it also received 16 additional photo reconnaissance planes of the type RF-5A. The last edition of this planes flying with Hellenic Air Force colors was in 1991 from the Dutch Air force depots ; NF-5A/B which had an updated equipment kit in relation with the old American F-5A/Bs.
F-5A/B was withdrawn March 2001, after faithfully serving all assigned roles, from day interdiction to fighter-bomber, while it was used as an acquaintance instrument for new pilots designed to serve in jet fighter planes. At the same time F-5 equipped for a short period (1967-1968) Third Aerial Demonstration Swarm, New Hellenic Flame ( Nea Helliniki Floga).
Analytically F-5s equipped the following squadrons
– 337 Day Interdiction Squadron ( Moira Anahaitisis Imeras) “Ghost”( Fantasma) 1967-1978 (Larissa AB)
– 341 Day Interdiction Squadron “ Arrow” (Velos) 1965-1993 (Nea Aghialos)
– 343 Day Interdiction Squadron “Star” ( Asteri)1966-2001 (Nea Aghialos)
– 349 Day Interdiction Squadron “Saturn” (Kronos)1967-1975 (Larissa AB)
At 36 serviced years in Hellenic Air Force these planes completed 364.647 flight hours. 23 pilots lost their lives flying them.
A few words for the kit
This is an old and known kit from Classic Airframes which has a poorly detailed panel line on its surface and really bad fit. So when I started it, I decided I had to add some missing detail on wings and fuselage and also add some rivets totally missing from the kit surface.
A unique exception is the resins provided with the kit for the cockpit, the airbrake and its base, the wheel wells and the jet exhaust of the plane.
Starting from the cockpit which was easily fitted in position, I replaced the C2 ejection seat which is included in the kit but never used in a Hellenic airplane. Therefore I placed the MK7HRQ resin from an F-104 which is quite similar with those used in F-5s. The only alteration made was in the piliot’s pillow head in order to look correct with the type used in this plane.
I corrected the flaps lines in the wings which were totally wrong and I had to cut the direction flaps in order to provide a light downwards inclination.
At the airplane nose I left open the left machine gun hatch using an Aires after market set in order to show the guns interior.
Generally the whole building process went smoothly even if some extra patience was needed due to bad construction fit of the kit. Had to do it in order to get a good result.
I decided to go for the sea camo scheme and used acrylic based colors; Codes H303, H309,H310 and H311 from this so nice color series from Gunze.
The three camo colors had to be lightened enough in order to create its natural weather from extensive flight use and weather conditions. Therefore I added in every color H311 light gray with some white, in order to achieve the desired result. Local sprays in various tones from each color were necessary in order to emphasize on weathering contrasts in various spots of the model. Finally oils were used in order to show depth to the panel lines and some marks were made to the flaps and to the rear fuselage, as to present patchworks in the plane
I used the very good Icarous decals sheet and Winsor and Newton gloss and matt varnishes for the final result.
By Nikos Koletis
Translation by Dimitris Tsitsopoulos