Author Topic: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force  (Read 1120 times)

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Offline DogfighterZen

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RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« on: July 25, 2021, 06:04:21 am »
"The Royal Moroccan AF operated 2 RF-5A airframes, which were both lost in the early 1980s, during the Western Sahara war so, when the acquisition of 16 F-5E and 4 F-5F was made, another 2 RF-5E Tigereye airframes were also purchased to replace the lost aircraft."

So, i'm going to give this GB a shot by building the AFV 1/48 RF-5E in Moroccan markings following the scenario i described in the short text above. The Moroccan F-5s have a nice desert camo scheme so, that's what i'm going with. I already have the necessary markings in the Chilean F-5E Tiger III box so, this shouldn't give me too much trouble.



I have a few of the AFV F-5 kits in my stash but, when i bought the Saeqeh-80 kit, i bought it without the notion that it didn't come with the sprue that had the flat Platypus style nose neither the extended LERX parts in that box and i want to include those to make it a whiff version of my own, on top of it being for a different operator.

I already had the Swiss F-5E edition for a normal version with different markings, the Chilean Tiger III edition, which comes with both the flat and the pointy nose types and early and late type LERX parts so, i went through the available reviews and decided that, instead of buying another normal F-5E kit and then steal the parts i want for the Saeqeh, i'd buy one more but of a version that i'd probably not want to build for a long time.
That was the solution for the problem i had, allowing me to build the Saeqeh exactly like i want to.
This tradeoff would leave me with a donor kit that i wouldn't mind building with the minor difference of the early LERX parts so, it was worth it because now, i have a good kit to build in this GB, for which i didn't even vote.

The early style LERX parts and a different antenna from the Saeqeh-80 kit...



It took me a while to decide between Iranian and Moroccan but seeing that the Iranians would've had a very hard time buying more F-5s after the 1979 revolution, i chose the Moroccan markings because they also have a nice camo scheme and it's a more plausible idea.
Work on the kit will probably begin today after lunch.

 :cheers:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline kitbasher

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2021, 08:43:26 am »
Oooh, interesting  :thumbsup:
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Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2021, 02:53:50 pm »
Oooh, interesting  :thumbsup:

 :thumbsup:

Well, i started the build today but only got as far as assembling the ejection seat and spraying some dark sea grey onto it but i get a feeling this is going to be an enjoyable build. The seat's parts almost didn't need glue, the fit is that tight.  :thumbsup:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2021, 06:27:19 pm »
More Tigereyes = more better!  :mellow:

<...> seeing that the Iranians would've had a very hard time buying more F-5s after the 1979 revolution,  <...>

It certainly didn't stop them from trying! They tried to buy Tigers and spare parts from lots and lots of operators. Apparently they managed to get spare parts from South Korea (who also supplied some F-4 parts), Taiwan and Singapore. All three were license-producing their own Tigers and had spare spare parts. Pressure from the US put an end to that. The Iranians did get some actual Tigers from Ethiopia (also under a US arms embargo at that time), a handful of F-5Es and a dozen F-5As (including an RF-5A). The Ethiopians were keen to get rid of them because the were unserviceable due to lack of spares (although I think they loved them when they were still in running order). The Tai AF was interested, but turned them down upon inspecting them. The CIA then tried to get them off the market and offered the Ethiopians cash. The Iranian offer via an Israeli arms dealer was much better, though. This all from Middle East@War 4 - Iranian Tigers at War by Babak Taghvaee.

Not saying you shouldn't built a Moroccan Tigereye (you should! Its gonna look great!), but there's definitely a spy thriller backstory worth a novel in  Iranian quest for the "acquisition" of some Tigereyes. Think Jack Higgins' "Exocet".
Cheers,
Moritz


Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter?

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2021, 12:38:56 am »
Hum... That's very interesting, Moritz.  :thumbsup:
You're right, there's space for a very good story there but I'll stick to the Moroccan one. They also used a very cool camo scheme on their F-5s so I think it'll look good.  :mellow:

"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2021, 12:40:10 am »
That's a nice and plausible idea.  :thumbsup:

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2021, 05:35:49 pm »
That's a nice and plausible idea.  :thumbsup:

 :thumbsup: I thought so, too. When i was reading about the Western Sahara war, it was easy to find a scenario where the Moroccans could've bought the RF-5E to replace the 2 RF-5As lost in combat. ;)
Besides, it's a good opportunity for me to do something for a different air force and not another PoAF bird. :rolleyes:

Well, regarding the build, all i've done was paint and assemble some cockpit parts...



Sincerely, the kit looks so good in terms of detail on the outside that i almost feel obligated to do some scratchbuilding on the seat or else, buy a resin seat or put a pilot in the seat... :unsure:
Not in the mood to spend money so i'll probably add some scratched-up details on the seat and see if i have a suitable pilot for the Tiger in the stash.

 :cheers:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2021, 03:11:41 pm »
Work has been done on the cockpit parts but no scratch built details. I don't wanna get bogged down with details on this build so i just paintes everything and dug out a pilot from a Hasegawa US pilot and ground crew set to cover the simple seat.



I'll have to do something about the pilot... Now, i must say that i'm a bit disappointed with the pilot cause i really don't understand why Hasegawa molded the oxygen hose connected to the poor pilot's neck... maybe some secret technology of direct oxygen transfer into the pilot's airways through the neck instead of the nose? :unsure: :rolleyes:



Anyway, i'll drill and carve that excess plastic around the neck and oxygen hose to separate everything that shouldn't be attached to the pilot's body.

An interesting fact is that last night i turned on my compressor to spray some nato black in the camera compartment  and found out that there's a big leak on the pressure gauge, which is making the compressor turn on quicker than it should... Worst part is that i don't have a wrench of the right size and width to fit in the space available to unscrew the gauge and try to put some Teflon sealing tape in the thread to see if it stops the leak...
Will have to deal with this soon or i'll be painting the RF-5E the old fashioned way... something i'm not looking forward to cause i really suck at brush painting... :banghead:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2021, 05:57:28 pm »
Well, failed another GB deadline and this was even worse than the previous fail, only got as far as modifying the pilot and painting it so i'd like to ask if the mods can move this one to the current/finished projects.
It will be finished, i just don't know when. :banghead:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline NARSES2

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2021, 05:43:15 am »
Moved as per request
Decals my @r$e!

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2021, 07:58:32 am »
Thanks, Chris.  :thumbsup:

This is where i'm at with this build, got the pilot fixed by drilling a hole between the oxygen hose and the pilot's neck so i could get in with the tip of a blade and take out what was not supposed to be there.
The pilot's arms were configured to depict the "hands up" position, which i believe is to show the ground crew that his hands are off the controls so, i had to adjust them to the controls by cutting the arms at the elbows and then gluing them back on and filling the resulting gaps with sprue goo.



Then it was just a matter of painting it and giving it a bit of a wash with some AK paneliner to enhance the detail.



After i took the last pic i brushed on a bit of matte varnish to kill the sheen on the clothes.
As it's obvious, i haven't been doing much modelling lately because of real life affairs which have been draining my mojo once again but, hopefully these issues have recently been solved and i'll be getting back at the bench more regularly.

"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2021, 05:05:26 am »
Well, i am feeding off of Brad's R-29 for this build and seeing the beautiful nose job he did on it, i decided to get some work done on this fella's nose section too.

I have to say that i'm a bit disappointed by the kit as there are several sink marks and mold defects on the nose parts... too many to do anything to try to get rid of them... This kit is expensive and by what i'd read in the reviews, this wasn't mentioned and shouldn't be seen on a kit of this price range. :banghead:
I'm not sure if it's just the RF version's nose section or if it's something i'll find on the other 3 AFV Club F-5 kits i have in the stash.

Maybe not clearly visible on these pics but they're obvious when i run my finger over them...




The sink marks aren't too bad and i guess i could get away by calling it "stressed skin" effect but i was under the impression that the AFV Club kits were of a better quality, seeing that the details like panel lines and rivets are beautifully done... :-\ Can't do much about it now so i might as well shut up and just do my best. I won't be trying to fix these sink marks because i'm almost sure i'd end up erasing a bunch of panel lines and rivets and i don't feel that confident with my resribing skills. I think it'd be more work than it's worth so i'll just let it be.

With that said, in the pics you can see that i've closed up the tub in the fuselage halves and also got the gun bay doors and underside of this section glued on.
Fit is not perfect but not bad either so i'll just have to do some clean up on the seams and maybe a bit of light rescribing of the panel lines.

May be getting a bit too ambitious but if i don't get too distracted by real life, i might even have a complete airframe by the end of the day but there's no way i could ever finish this before the GB's deadline... unless there was another 14 day extension period... :rolleyes: ;D
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2021, 05:38:37 pm »
Well, this one has been progressing a bit.
After dealing with the problems of the nose section, which included a bit of sanding to tone down the sink marks and to engrave the lost panel lines and rivets, i have to say that i'm starting to think that the biggest issues of this kit are behind me now as the rest of the parts i've used so far have only needed a quick clean up and they just dropped in place without need for putty or extreme sanding like the wings, LERX and rear fuselage section.
Air intakes on the F-5 kits are normally a problematic area but on this kit, while it took a bit of dry fitting and minor adjustment, the parts went together very well.
The PE parts are very thin but easy to work with and so, today i added the grills on the intake splitter plates and then proceeded to assemble the intakes.









Now i'm starting to really enjoy this build. :mellow:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline NARSES2

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2021, 06:14:56 am »

Now i'm starting to really enjoy this build. :mellow:

And that's what it's all meant to be about  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: RF-5E TigerEye of the Royal Moroccan Air Force
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2021, 03:44:18 pm »

Now i'm starting to really enjoy this build. :mellow:

And that's what it's all meant to be about  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Sure is!  :thumbsup:
And because i'm having fun, although i didn't have much time for the bench today, i did glue the nose section to the main fuselage.



Gonna need some work on that seam but should be too hard to get it to look good.

 :cheers:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"