Italeri (Hawk) 1/48 F-5A
Small and highly aerodynamic, focusing on performance and a low cost of maintenance, smaller and simpler than its contemporaries, it is not surprising that the F-5 is quite a few times referred as “the F-16 f its time”.
Designed for a day air superiority role, the aircraft proved to be a capable ground-attack platform and was furthermore developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. It also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the F/A-18 Hornet.
A huge export success, the F-5 is still serving with many Air Forces (as of 2021), exhibiting a long and very interesting operational history. A total of 2246 have been built.
Hellenic Air Force (HAF), started receiving the F-5A in 1965. In the same year, the 341st Day Interception Squadron (MAH) was declared operational, followed by the 343 MAH.
Offering their services for 36 years, including their later use as “introductory planes” for F-16 and Mirage 2000 pilots, HAF “Freedom fighters” clocked a whopping 364,647 flight hours, while 23 memorable pilots lost their lives flying with them.
This is the old Hawk mold, reisued by Italeri almost 25 years ago. The kit is simplistic and, at places, toy-ish, but the Italeri decals (printed by Zanchetti-Bucchinasco), were really good. I performed some scratch built in order to liven/busy up some of the kit's lesser areas.
Should you wish to read the full build review, you may do so by visiting my beloved site Modelingmadness: