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RF-5A
Recce
Freedom Fighter

Kinetic, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Item No. Kinetic Model Kits Item No. K48137 - RF-5A/ Recce Freedom Fighter
Contents and Media: 159 parts in grey plastic; 12 parts in clear; 11 parts on one photo-etched fret; markings for four aircraft.
Scale 1/48
Price: USD$29.98 plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality moulding; well detailed; finely recessed panel lines; canopy may be posed open; boarding ladder supplied; straightforward parts breakdown; plenty of ordnance options; spectacular decals and marking options designed by Crossdelta and printed by Cartograf.
Disadvantages: No harness straps.
Recommendation:

Kinetic's 1/48 scale RF-5A Freedom Fighter is a very nice model with subtle surface textures. This is a welcome addition to Kinetic's Freedom Fighter family with its new clear shovel nose and new decals.

Reviewed by Brett Green

FirstLook

 

First flying in 1959 and entering service in the 1960s, the F-5 Freedom Fighter was designed as a lightweight, low-cost jet fighter and ground attack aircraft.

The F-5 Freedom Fighter was exported widely via the U.S. Military Assistance Programme (MAP) to countries including Iran, South Koream the Philippines, Turkey, Greece and Taiwan. It was a fast and capable aircraft with a top speed of Mach 1.4, but was ideal for small air forces as it was cheap and easy to maintain.

 

 

Canada undertook local production of the Freedom Fighter as the CF-5A. In addition to local use, Canada sold the CF-5A to the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

The RF-5A was a single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter with a four-camera nose. Approximately 120 were built


 

The F-5A and RF-5A in 1/48 scale

Although AFV Club released a very well detailed F-5E around a decade ago, the story of the F-5A in 1/48 scale has not been so bright. Hawk offered a very basic kit dating from the 1960s (later reboxed by Testor); Fujimi had an undersized and underdetailed F-5A in the 1970s; and in 2004 Classic Airframes released an F-5A. Classic Airframes added a couple of RF-5A kits to their range in 2005.

Although these kits featured a beautifully detailed resin cockpit, they presented all the usual challenges of a limited-run kit and in any even are long out of production.

Kinetic debuted their 1/48 scale F-5A Freedom Fighter in 2012 and it was re-released with new decals in 2021.

Kinetic has now added the reconnaissance RF-5A version to the family .

Kinetic's 1/48 scale NF-5A Recce Freedom Fighter comprises 159 parts in grey plastic; 13 parts in clear; 11 parts on one photo-etched fret and markings for four aircraft from three air forces.

Apart from the decals, the difference between the standard F-5A and the RF-5A recce version is one new plastic part. This is moulded in clear plastic and represents the "shovel nose" with the cameras in the lower nose.

 

  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic Model Kits 1/48 RF-5A Freedom Fighter Review by Brett Green: Image
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Kinetic's 1/48 scale RF-5A Freedom Fighter features crisp, consistent panel detail and selected rows of rivets. These are all very subtle.

 

 

The sprue attachment points are also quite fine, so removal and cleanup of parts should not present any problems.

Cockpit detail is okay, but no harness straps are supplied for the seat. Raised switch detail is moulded onto the side consoles.

 

 

The plastic instrument panel looks good with raised bezels and switches. However, Kinetic and Eduard offer colour photo-etched for the F-5A. This will spruce up the front office for super-detailers. They also include harness straps, side consoles and a replacement instrument panel.

 

 

I like that the mount for the open canopy is moulded directly to the top of the ejector seat rails. This will ensure a positive and strong fit for the canopy. If you want to display the canopy closed, the instructions advise where to cut off these mounts.

Apart from the split fuselage halves, parts breakdown is conventional.

The flaps and leading edge slats are all provided separately and may be posed dropped if desired.

Plenty of option are offered including the refuelling probe, photo-etched slime lights and other attributes of the RF-5A, a boarding ladder, open or closed side fuselage vents, alternate bottom fuselage sections and more.

In addition to the slime lights, the small photo-etched fret supplies a couple of airframe detail parts.

 

 

The characteristic Coke bottle wingtip tanks look good, and a useful selection of optional ordnance is supplied.

 

 

These include two styles of drop tank (four drop tanks in total), two rocket launchers, two AIM-9B missiles, two AIM-9J missiles and two MK82 iron bombs.

The canopy and windscreen are separate parts.

 

 

The nose is moulded entirely in clear plastic so all you need to do is mask off the lower camera port.

 

 

The clear parts are well moulded and quite thin.


 

Markings

Markings are supplied for one Greek, one Norwegian and two Spanish subjects.

Decals are perfectly printed by Cartograf.

 

 

Artwork was designed by Crossdelta.

Stencil markings are included.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Kinetic's 1/48 scale RF-5A Freedom Fighter is a very nice model with subtle surface textures. This is a welcome addition to Kinetic's Freedom Fighter family with its new clear shovel nose and new decals.

Thanks to Lucky Model for the sample


Review Text and Images Copyright 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 3 April, 2023
Last updated 3 April, 2023

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