Following the retirement of the Sabre jets (donated by RAAF), RMAF purchased 14 F-5E and 2 F-5B from USAF for its air force in mid 70s. The aircraft were delivered using the Lockheed Galaxy C-5 from USA.
However, the F5-B were later sold to Thailand in September 1982. For reconnaissance duty, 2 RF-5E were added in 1983 while 2 F-5E and a F-5F were procured in 1985 as attrition to replacement to those that had been written off or crashed. It has been noticed that some aircraft aircrafts have a larger LERXs with fin antenna and flattened nose radome or also known as "shark nose"
Besides, performing its primary role as an interceptor and it has the capability to deliver air to ground ordnance as well. Back in the 80s, the F5s were assigned to two squadrons, namely 11 (Cobra) and 12 squadrons (Scorpion) which operated along side with two RAAF Mirage squadrons, the 75 and 3 Squadron using the RAAF base in Butterworth, Malaysia.
On numerous occasion, 12 squadrons emerged as champion in the local "Top Gun" excercise or locally known as "Ex Jaguh" before the induction of the MIG-29 and FA-18D Hornets. The 12 squadrons maintained the three tone grey camouflage identity while the aggressor blue scheme camouflage were applied to some of the F5s flying with the 11 squadron. In addition to the recce role played by the RF-5E, 11 squadron also carried out the night intercepting and maritime role.
Modeling TUDM Tigers :
F-5E : Italeri/Tamiya/MHM/Airfix/Heller
F-5E : Monogram/Italeri/Esci
RF-5E: Actung Hobby Japan Conversion
VFA Decal/ Scalenutz Decal
F-5E M29-01 No.12 Skn by Thomas Ng
This is the 1/72 Italeri F-5E that was build OOB, The kit raise line was re-scribe by using sawing needle in pin vice. I added the canopy opening mechanism, the actuators was taken from the Italeri F-5A kit and I added a section of F-18 tank. the hornet's tank match the F-5 canopy perfectly. Also added a pilot from the Hasegawa Hornet's kit in place in the office
The camo pattern chosen is the 80's scheme where 3 tone camo on the top and gull gray at the bally, and with roundel national insignia, paints are from Gunze colors range, Decal used consists of VFA decal and some left over F4Dable hornet no step decals. After painting, the panel line washed with Tamiya German Gray. and I spray Future + Tamiya Flat base as the final coat
F-5E M29-12 No. 12 Skn AIDY
This model was built using a 1/72 Tamiya-boxed Italeri F-5E. Simply OOB, with just the ugly kit AIM-9's replaced with a pair from an Academy F-8. Decals are VFA's 1/72 sheet, and Gunze paints (the trojan type) used all round. I used FS36375 instead of the elusive FS36373 though.
I also tried something new to me... a simple sort of filtering. I messed up the colour sequence in the camo and it didn't look quite right. Not wanting to re-paint the whole thing, I decided to mist on several layers of highly diluted FS36495 in hope of covering up my mistakes a bit. I think the final effect is quite OK, though it might still be inaccurate.
F-5E M29-12 No.11 Skn Brian Param
This is the 1/48 Staler kit based on the old Esci Mold, this kit was build OOB and decal from VFA decal "Malaysian Tiger" sheet. The camo scheme chosen was the 11 squadron Aggressor Scheme.
F-5E M29-10 N0.12 Skn Brian Param
This Monogram F-5E was build with the excellent Black Box cockpit set and various panel doors and control surface ware reposition and open. The panel line was completely rescrib.
Decals used include a mixture of kit decal, Scale Nutz "Malayan Tiger" sheet and custom printed decal.
RF-5E M29-19 No.11 Skn By Brian Param
The RMAF was the first customer to purchase the RF-5E. A total of two were purchased in the eighties and went to No 11 and 12 squadrons. They wore serials M29-19 and M29-20. They were purchased to give the RMAF recon capability. As compare to the older TUDM F-5 fleet, the RF-5E are came with the NEW E configuration, Meaning externally, beside the camera nose, it was fitted with the forward and rear radar warning antenna, Fintip antenna fairing and AN/ALE-29 chaff/flare dispenser.The RF-5Es played multiple roles with the RMAF as they actively flew and fly other then recon mission. Today both tigereyes belong to 12 squadron and still are seen in the sky over Butterworth Malaysia.
The kits used is the Italeri/ESCI F-5E. A basic kit with poor cockpit detail and raised lines. Kit was rescribed and built. The camera nose was from Achtung Japan Hobby RF-5E Conversion , providing all the necessary external items to make a tigereye. Fitting the nose onto the ESCI kit was a bit challenging but was achieved. The enlarge LERX was the most trouble area as it was hard to sand it smooth in that area.
Painting and Finishing
The aircraft depicted is from 11 squadron circa eighties with round national markings and cobra insignia on the tail. It was painted following the ghost scheme using Gunze colours with the darkest blue grey a custom mix. Paint was airbrushed on using blue tac for masking. Decals were from the VFA sheet on Malaysian Tigers. To dress up the cockpit a bit, I added a pilot which was from the Monogram A-37B kit. Weathering took the form of pen ink and a mixture of thinned down acrylics into the panel lines.
RF-5E M29-20 No.12 Skn ByThomas Ng
This Kit was build very similar to Brian RF-5E, the base kit is 1/48 Italeri F-5E, Kit's raised panel line was rescribed and built, the E nose was saw off and replace with the Actung Japan resin RF nose, the new RF nose was attached by CA glue, then sanded smooth, other modification including replace the ejection seat with Monogram F-5 Seat as the Italeri seat is really something else, and the LERX was enlarge with plastic card.
Other items added are the UHF antenna on the spine, rear radar warning antenna, Fintip antenna fairing and AN/ALE-29 chaff/flare dispenser, these items came with Italeri kit.
The marking chosen for this model is the current TUDM marking with small square national marking. The wraparound camouflage was painted with the aid of the blue tac for masking. Paint is from the Gunze range, the decal used were a mix of Kit’s, Scalenutz and VFA production.
F-5F M29-16 No.12 Skn By Brian Param
This kit is OOP now and very hard to find, It was build OOB and Camo painting was done freehand, the decal is from ScaleNutz.
By Brian, Aidy & Thomas