1/48 Northrop F-5E Tiger II

 product # AFV48102 from HobbyLink Japan

Product Article by Nick Moore on Aug 27 2010


This kit from AFV has been out for a little while now and they are already well into their follow up variants. There’s something about this little aircraft – it has seriously good looks and AFV seem to have made a very good choice of subject in which to enter the aircraft kit market.

The real F-5E represents some nice design work given its subsequent long life in one form or another. Small and relatively economical to manufacture it still looks hot even by today's standards. Given that it has been sold to a diverse number of airforces world wide you get some great choices in exotic markings and then on top of that there's the aggressor squadron choices. Already the after market suppliers are providing enhancements to the kit – good times.

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I've tried to provide quite a few close-ups here so you can get an idea of how crisply molded this kit is. There is plenty of surface detail present which really compliments the model as it is such a clean uncluttered airframe. High quality tooling is what people are coming to expect as standard and this kit is no disappointment. There’s not much in the way of extra attention to what’s going on under the surfaces though, with empty gun bay and unresolved intakes but hey there has to be something for the resin guys to do doesn’t there? And I can imagine AFV was feeling a little pressured to get this kit out to market…


There have been plenty of comments on the net regards inaccuracies in shape and overdone this or that but what you have here is a great effort by AFV in a highly competitive and demanding market and we are already seeing some fantastic built up examples by people giving the kit a good go. It’d have to be a great rut breaker of a model – small and relatively straight forward – and what could be a very attractive end result.

As stated above you will have a vast array of markings options in which to pimp out your F-5 but out of the box your options begin with:

  • US Navy VFC-13

  • Royal Malaysian Air Force 12 Squadron

  • Singapore Air Force No 144 Squadron

  • US Air Force 64th FWS 57th FWW

So in summary I’d say most F-5E fanatics will already have this kit but if you’re thinking about picking it up – then do so because it’s reasonably priced and will look fantastic built up – and yes you may actually finish it.  

This kit can be purchased here:  

Nick Moore

My thanks to HobbyLink Japan ( for providing this review sample.

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Photos and text © by Nick Moore