1:00 Scale Metal Die-Cast – Northrop F-5E Tiger II – Length: 6." Wingspan: 3.5”
This F-5E model is a single seat model and does not include a pilot figure. The cockpit can not open. There is no option to display the landing gear. Attached to the wings are a pair of AA missiles at the wing tips, a pair of bombs and a pair of external fuel tanks. A stand where the model can be attached for display is included and the model's info (type of airplane, squadron name, base and country).
The maker of the model, Italeri, really did a good job with the model, the panel lines and details are very clear and crisp.What really caught my attention, however, is the way the markings and coloring are done. At 1/100 scale, these models are in the range of 5.5 to 7 inches long, and although not as big as their 1/72 cousins, the details in the markings is very impressive. I looked at them under a magnifying glass (just out of curiosity) and one could actually read the text in the markings.
These models come in what could be described as a blister pack (sandwiched between two transparent plastic shells and then glued/attached to a piece of cardboard with the branding info. Some bigger models (say the A-10 or F-15) will have the same blister pack inside a simple box, but at the end, the packaging is supposed to be disposable and with the sole function protecting the model.
Unlike bigger models, there is nothing to assemble for these models. All weapons and fuel tanks are already attached to the model. One just needs to open the pack and display it (or play with it).
The packaging labels these model as "Collectible Product" and "Not suitable for children under 14 years". I say these are PERFECT to collect and play. At 1/100 scale, space will not be a limiting issue (nor will price, for that matter) and the size and weight is almost designed to be played with, since it can be securely held with one hand. Could it survive a 7 year old? I say yes. Maybe the antennas and weapons might detach but the model itself should remain in one piece.
The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a supersoniclight fighter family, initially designed in the late 1950s by Northrop Corporation. Being smaller and simpler than contemporaries such as the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, the F-5 cost less to both procure and operate, making it a popular export aircraft. The F-5 started life as a privately funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The design team wrapped a small, highly aerodynamic fighter around two compact and high-thrust General Electric J85engines, focusing on performance and low cost of maintenance. Though primarily designed for the day air superiority role, the aircraft is also a capable ground-attack platform. The F-5A entered service in the early 1960s. During the Cold War, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies. Though the USAF had no acknowledged need for a light fighter, it did procure roughly 1,200 Northrop T-38 Talon trainer aircraft, which were directly based on the F-5A.
After winning the International Fighter Aircraft competition in 1970, a program aimed at providing effective low-cost fighters to American allies, Northrop introduced the second-generation F-5E Tiger II in 1972. This upgrade included more powerful engines, higher fuel capacity, greater wing area and improved leading edge extensions for a better turn rate, optional air-to-air refueling, and improved avionics including air-to-air radar. Primarily used by American allies, it was also used in US training exercises. A total of 1,400 Tiger IIs were built before production ended in 1987. More than 3,800 F-5 and T-38 aircraft were produced in Hawthorne, California.
The F-5 was also developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in theNorthrop YF-17 and the F/A-18 navalized fighter aircraft. The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced variant to succeed the F-5E which was ultimately canceled when export customers did not emerge. The F-5N/F variants are in service with the United States Navy andUnited States Marine Corps as an adversary trainer. Approximately 500 aircraft are still in service as of 2014.[N 1]