Canadair CF-5A Freedom Fighter, 419 Sqn.; CFB Cold Lake

The CF-116

Arguably, the CF-5s greatest contribution to the Canadian Forces came not from its abilities as an operational fighter-bomber, but later on in its life when it was pressed into service as an "aggressor" type to hone the skills of Canadian fighter pilots. Despite the mixed feelings members of the Canadian Forces may have had about this aircraft as an operational fighter-bomber, there is no denying the fact that the CF-5 performed the role of an adversary for our CF-18 pilots very, very well. The model that is the subject of this article has been finished to portray just such an aggressor.

The Model

This model is based on a mid-1980's Italeri release of the old Testors / Hawk kit of the F-5A Freedom Fighter. While this kit is excellent from a shape and scale point of view, the absence of detail in the cockpit and wheel wells belies its age. Still, it makes an excellent basis for a model of this important type, and can often be picked up at swap-meets for just a few dollars. For my model, I combined this kit with detail parts from a Monogram F-5E, plus a few aftermarket goodies.

Model and photos by Dave Askett.

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