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Greg Kittinger
117 articles

Malaysian RF-5E Tiger Eye – Airfix 1/72

April 3, 2019 · in Aviation · · 17 ≡

When I saw a pic of the Malaysian scheme in a magazine, I had to build it. I ordered a couple different sets of after market decals (none for an ), but they didn't fit the size of the model. I was surprised when I opened the box that it included decals for the Malaysian version, as the box art showed a Saudi Arabian jet, though they were poorly registered. I made them work, along with some decals from my spares for additional stencils.

Externally, I replaced the gun with a brass barrel from my spares box, and added the blade aerial, the fin top, and took the belly tank from my Hasegawa F-20 kit, as it matched the Malaysian reference photos - I just had to extend the pylon to make it fit.

Internally, the camera bays were totally empty, and with such large glass panes I was afraid they would look that way. So - using some reference photos, I scratch built the camera bays. They are hard to make out unless you use a flashlight, as the clear parts are so thick. I thought about trying to replace the kit glass, but due to the v-shape decided not to attempt it.

Looking at reference photos, I used pastel chalks to "model" around the edges of the tan and lighter grey shades. I was happy with how it came out. In hindsight I wish I had used one more interim step to do some oil dot fading, but all in all I love the scheme of this bird. I'm just a s...ker for colorful camo schemes! I included a few pics of the inspiration for this project.

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

18 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. Another nice one, Greg! A great scheme choice.

  2. Fantastic build Greg, love the camouflage, fantastic.

  3. As Robert stated...another nice piece of modeling, Greg.

  4. Another winner Greg! Beautiful finish and nice scratchbuilt details!

  5. Lovely work. Another one of Greg’s Greats.


  6. i love the F-5 with a passion...that's pretty close to the USAF "grape" scheme...fine job

  7. Nicely done and detailed Greg, Looks good.

  8. Greg, Nice work on this very attractive paint scheme. I always thought the F-20 look kind'a cool, its always nice to see and good looking model of one. Well done !

  9. Nice scheme! The camera bay turned out great, even if it's not too visible, you know it's there!
    How about the kit regarding fitting, detail and so on?

    • @magrus It's an old Airfix kit, so not perfect by any means. Raised panel lines, and the fit of the wing-to-fuselage took lots of filler and shaping to work. Also the nose section didn't fit well to the rest of the fuselage - I shaped the connection as much as I could but it is still not great. Also had to add some blanking pieces and shims where the two burner cans insert into the tail section, and even then it's not a real tight, clean join. No detail in the cockpit at all, but I decided not to mess with it. Sidewinders I took from an armament set, as the box ones had the typical "v" cut out of them (and sanded off the inverted "v" from the missile rails). The glass for the camera bays didn't fit down into their settings flush with the fuselage - in hindsight I should have filed back the flanges so they would fit more flush. However - I expect all this with old kits - it's kinda part of the fun!

      • Yeah! I know what you're talking about as I've been doing some 30+ years kits.
        They've their charm, and are quite a challenge, but...
        I'm trying to shorten my stash and then buy some new, better ones 😀

        • @magrus I guess I'm a glutton for punishment! When I go to shows and find old kits dirt cheap at the vendor tables, I just can't pass them up if they're a subject I want!

          • eheheheh, that's make two of us! I've received another (old) one from eBay TODAY, lol
            I want to try some of the new generation, but can't leave the ones from my youth

  10. Excellent build and camouflage scheme!

  11. Fantastic work Greg. The colour scheme is really nice and I love the detail work you've put into the camera bay.

  12. Very nice modelling Greg.

  13. Your RF-5 is impressive ! Excellent 1/72 work, i love it, especially colours.

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