F-5F Tiger II Cockpit Set

Published: December 21st, 2020     
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Product
Reviewed by: Chris Smith - IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/48
Price: $37.50
Product / Stock #: 4551
Product provided by: Aires Hobby Models

This set was incorporated into my build of the AFV F5-F ROC Aggressor (Kit #AR48S07) presented in a separate review. While the base kit is nicely done, it is lacking a few details that need to be addressed to produce a finished model. Most notably, there are no seat harnesses on an aircraft with a lot of canopy to see them through. As it turns out, there are a few options, you can get resin seats or as in this case, a complete cockpit replacement. This set consists of resin parts for the cockpit tub, seats, instrument panel pedestals and shrouds, control sticks, canopy actuators and multiple fine detail parts.

A PE fret includes: seat harnesses, instrument panels, rudder pedals and various fine details for the canopies including rear view mirrors, locks and a wet compass for the windscreen frame. A small clear sheet holds the instruments and HUD glass parts.

Separating the parts in most cases was a simple pass with a sharp knife as the resin has a pliable consistency. The cockpit tub as a block of material on the bottom to remove. I did that by wet sanding it off. Once that is removed the tub fits the kit parts beautifully. A nice feature is the rear bulkhead fills the space that the kit part would leave open. The seats are more substantial than the kit parts and include fine seat rails and a canopy breaker on the front seat. Harnesses are then installed and include a central buckle point that is built up from several parts giving it a great finished look. The instrument panels are a sandwich of resin, clear sheet and a PE panel. Very nice when done. The rudder pedals include the Northrop bird symbol and look much better than the kit part. The canopy actuators replace the kit parts and while they don't provide as positive a mounting system as the kit parts, the refined detail makes them worth the extra effort to install. AIRES molded some very fine actuating arms as separate parts several of which were broken when I opened the set. The ones that were intact, fit perfectly into slots provided as long as you had the magnification to them. The bow between the front and rear canopy also has very fine detail but I had some difficulty fitting as tightly as the kit part. There is a clear blast shield provided in the kit and I had to file it in order to install it. This set wraps up with PE mirrors for the canopies and locks that you have to fold before installation.

Overall, this set adds an incredible amount of detail to what is already a great kit. Especially impressive are the seats that have more bulk to them and refined detail of all the parts. Highly recommended if the AFV F-5 is on your build list. I picked up the tab for this set but I do thank AIRES for producing a great set and IPMS the AFV kit to install it in.

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