Cybermodeler Online

Celebrating 24 years of hobby news and reviews




The appearance of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Defense, or NASA imagery or art does not constitute an endorsement nor is Cybermodeler Online affiliated with these organizations.


  • Facebook
  • Parler
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • YouTube


Monogram 1/48 F-5F Tiger II Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2006 Manufacturer Monogram
Subject F-5F Tiger II Scale 1/48
Kit Number 5441 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Best two-seat F-5 in any scale Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


Northrop developed the F-5 as a small, twin-engine, light-weight, multi-role fighter for the export market with hopes of interesting the US military as well. First flown in July 1959, the supersonic fighter entered service in Canada, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands. Other countries would adopt the agile and easy to maintain aircraft as development continued. The USAF would finally operate the aircraft in limited quantities in Vietnam and later as an aggressor aircraft due to its similar size and maneuverability as the MiG-21.

The F-5F was a major improvement in the series featuring more powerful J85 engines that required the unique 'Venetian blind' styled auxiliary air inlets just behind the trailing edge of the wings. The F-5F was also the first two-seat version of the series to be considered combat capable rather than just a trainer. For more on the F-5E/F series and the nations that operated the aircraft, go here.

This kit has been released a number of times, this one appearing in 1985. Despite the kit's age, nobody has produced better kit of this aircraft in any scale.

Molded in tan styrene, the kit is presented on two parts trees and a single tree with the clear parts. The kit represents Monogram's philosophy of lots of details with the fewest parts. The cockpit kit is a very simple affair, but when painted properly, you'll have a very detailed cockpit to the eye.

The cockpit tub goes into the upper fuselage half along with the 20mm guns and the lower fuselage half drops into place. The wings and horizontal stabs are pre-molded to the upper fuselage half, so there is little to mess up with this project.

While the kit shares much of the same engineering as the single-seat F-5E version, this kit more realistically provides a pair of AIM-9s for the wingtips, and your choice of 20mm gunpod or external fuel tank on the centerline pylon. I'd be curious if anyone has actually flown this 20mm gun pod on the F-5 outside of flight test.

The canopies can be posed open or closed. The speed brakes are likewise positionable.

Markings are provided for one aircraft:

  • F-5F, BuNo unknown, 47, Top Gun, NAS Miramar