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Monogram's 1/48 scale F-20A
Eagle Fodder?

by David W. Aungst


F-20A Tiger Shark


Revell-Monogram's 1/48 scale AV-8B including reference book and resin nose
is available online from Squadron




Occasionally I like to play "what if..." games and this is one example.

I really like the lines of the F-5/T-38 family and the F-20 is just an extension of those lines into a newer generation fighter. There was a brief period where the US Air Force considered the Tigershark for use as an aggressor aircraft to replace the aging F-5E's that were in use at the time. In the end, the F-5E's soldiered on and were eventually replaced by the F-16. This model is my guess at what a production F-20A would have looked like, camouflaged in the markings of the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing.

With its F-5 looks and F-16 performance, would the F-20 have really been Eagle Fodder?





The Monogram F-20 kit is not a bad model, but it leaves room for some improvements. The kit is easy to build and has raised scribing. The cockpit is well molded with a nicely detailed main instrument panel and multipart ejection seat. The landing gear, speed brakes, and cockpit canopy can all be built either open or closed. Unlike the older F-5E kits from Monogram to which this kit shows definite lineage, the canopy actuating mechanism is better molded and even looks somewhat like the real thing.


Model Picture


When I built this model, I was in the stage of modeling where no kit could be built simply out-of-the-box. I just had to change something. I made the following changes and updates to the model.

  • I added minor cockpit detailing using fine brass wire.
  • I "production-ized" the airframe.
    • I added various antennas using thin sheet styrene.
    • I scribed the spillway for an aerial refueling point on the aircraft spine.
    • I added the aerial refueling flood light (like on the F-16) in the leading edge of the vertical tail.
    • I added reinforcing bulges to the upper wings that match the same details seen on the Hasegawa 1/72nd scale F-20 kit.
  • I drilled out the ECS intake on the front of the vertical tail base and opened the ECS exhaust ports on either side.
  • I added a Hasegawa weapons set AIM-9J Sidewinder to the wing tip. I wanted to add an ACMI pod to the other wing missile rail, but at the time I built the kit there were none available (and I did not feel like scratch-building one).



Painting and Markings


The model is painted mostly in Testor's Model Master enamel paints.

The camouflage is my personal favorite of the various early aggressor schemes, known as "Blue Glop". The colors are Dark Blue (F.S.35109), Intermediate Blue (F.S.35164), and Medium Blue (F.S.35414). The Dark Blue is a Humbrol color. The rest are Model Master. Since the time when I built this model, Model Master now includes the Dark Blue color in their paint line.

The decals come from SuperScale decal sheet #48-053, F-5E Tiger II Aggressors. The markings represent how aircraft were marked in the 64th and 65th Tactical Fighter Training Squadrons (TFTS) of the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing (FWW) based at Nellis AFB, Nevada, circa 1988. I decided to use low-visibility national insignia, but retained the rest of the markings as seen on the F-5E's. The aircraft data markings come from various sources including a SuperScale sheet on the F-15.

As is common for me with my models, I added my own name as the pilot. This was done one ... letter ... at ... a ... time using N-scale railroad lettering decals. It is amazing how easy it is now to just print up a pilot's name on my computer and apply it as a single decal. Time and technology certainly do march on...


Model Picture


For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry brushing to pop out the surface details. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on "Weathering Aircraft".





The pictures seen in this posting are from a few years back. This model was a part of the "great avalanch of 2002" where I slipped on the steps and tossed five models to the base of the steps. Three of the five faired OK, are already fixed, and are again sitting on my display shelves. However, the F-20 was not one of those "lucky ones".

The F-20 currently looks like this...


Damaged F-20 Picture


... waiting for me to repair it.

Because of some deep scuffs in the paint and major damage to the landing gear, I am leaning on just stripping the kit as part of a more extensive rebuild and creating a different paint scheme. A fellow HyperScaler graciously sent me his spare F-20 landing gear to assist in the rebuild. Time will tell what I end up doing, either just fixing the damage or completely rebuilding the kit.



Additional Images and Project Summary


Click the thumbnails below to view images full-sized.
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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

November, 1988

Total Building Time:






Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):


Decals / Markings (includes creating and printing custom decals):


Extra Detailing / Conversion:


Model, Description and Images Copyright 2004 by David Aungst

Page Created 27 December, 2004
Last Updated 27 December, 2004

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