Spotlight on Northrop F-5E and F-5F Tiger II...

... from MMP Books

Title:  Spotlight on Northrop F5E and F5F Tiger II

Author: Alexandre Guedes

Publisher:  MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65281-59-3

Another in the Spotlight series from MMP books and this time tackling the Northrop F5E and F5F Tiger II.  It started with the two seat T-38 'Talon' being used as a basic trainer by the US Air Force and the single seater version was the F5A 'Freedom Fighter'.  The use of the upgraded version, the F5E had an extended wingspan and more powerful engines.  It is perhaps best known for its' use as an  Aggressor Squadron aircraft for air combat training, used to represent the performance pilots would face from enemy aircraft such as the MiG-21.  The single and twin seaters proved to be an effective and successful lightweight fighter and at a cost that proved to be very successful in the export market and these have been built under licence in a number of countries and many upgraded by various upgrades over the years.

After a one-page introduction of background text, the rest of the book consists of first class full page colour profiles, with each aircraft covering two pages, including port and starboard profiles.  That in itself is a feature I like as especially with camouflage patterns we see one side but not the other.  In this case we get to see both sides of each aircraft covered.  A total of 21 aircraft are features and they provide a wide variety of different camouflage and marking schemes from an equally wide variety of countries who operate the types.  There are both single- and twin-seat versions and these also include some upgraded to Tiger III standard plus one of the RF5E Reconnaissance variants.  I won't attempt to list all the individual aircraft featured but to give you an idea there are examples showing an all bare-metal finish, the Green/Tan/Dark Green camouflage typical of the Vietnam era, Grey air superiority camouflages, Tan and Brown camouflages typical of desert areas, as well as the splinter camouflage or overall black used on USAF Aggressor squadrons.  A few also feature special commemorative tail markings.  I think my favourite is the entry for an F-5T Tiger II of the Royal Singapore Air Force, aircraft 853 of the 144th Squadron at Paya Lebar air base in 2016.  A grey tiger stripe pattern with a black tail that features the head of a snarling Tiger, a real eye catcher.

As a collection profiles this is not only of interest to aircraft enthusiasts, but for modellers I think it could well tempt you to have a go at a collection of F5Es displaying the variety of colour schemes seen within this set of profiles.  The Brazilian author,  Alexandre Guedes has done a super job with the artwork and it clearly reflects a passion for the subject as well as his artistic ability.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.

Robin