This review looks at the Platz/F-Toys
1/144 F-5E/N Tiger II
, kit numberFC-13
When doing a little research of the Northrop F-5E Tiger II for this review, I was shocked that its design stretches back to the mid-1950’s. The F-5A was introduced in 1962. The F-5E Tiger II was released in 1972. It easily looks 20 years ahead of its time. This elegant and nimble fighter was designed to be cheap and reliable. It was primarily purchased by allies of the United States, but the USAF did order many variants, the T-38 advanced trainer.
Being that they were so widely used there are many finishes available; Brazil, Ethiopia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore and Switzerland all used them. This kit offers decals for three versions, a grey Swiss aircraft, and two U.S. Navy “Fighting Saints” planes — one black and one in tri-camo.
IN THE BOX (two complete jets)
17 parts (2x) in grey styrene
1 clear sprue with canopy and nosecone
Black and white instructions
Full color paint and decal guide
The last kit I reviewed of a Platz/F-Toys
collaboration (Panavia Tornado) was pretty bad and I could not recommend it. This one however is fairly…OK? It is not quite to the level of the Platz P-47 Thunderbolt
or P-51 Mustang
, but still a quick fun build. It is difficult to tell when this kit was first made. It is almost certainly not manufactured by Platz
. Both Revell and Dragon had 1/144 scale Tiger kits, and both originated back in the 90’s. This is probably one of those toolings.
Instructions, Decals, Paint
As always with Platz
, the box art and color illustrations are gorgeous. What little build instructions there are perfectly clear. Paints are called out for Model Master and Mr. Color.
I almost forgot to mention that there are two complete Tigers in the box, with plenty of room left over. Decals are printed by Cartograph and they are still legible despite how tiny they are. There are not enough markings to build two of the same plane though. There are only enough Swiss crosses to build one of that scheme. The same is true for both Navy jets.
Test fitting showed nice tight-fitting parts. There will still be some seams along the fuselage if you want to bother filling them, but the air intakes fit much better than I anticipated. Each kit only has 14 parts, so you’ll be to the painting stage pretty quickly. There is nothing in the interior. It’s nice that you can choose to build with the gear down or in flight, though no stands are included. This would be a nice quick kit to build with, or for, a child. There are not many parts that can get broken off while being played with.
VEDICT: If you love the Tiger and need one in Braille scale, go for it. Otherwise there are better 1/144 kits to choose from.
Thanks to Platz for supplying this kit for review.