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ALF18

CF-104 Tiger Bird 1976

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Hello, dear reader.

I will be building one of my favourite subjects - a Tiger 104.

This is the aircraft I will be representing:

104756tigerrearquarter2.jpg

It was the 439 Squadron Tiger Bird from the 1976 Tiger Meet, held at CFB Baden Soellingen. More pics:

104756tigerfrontquarter2.jpg

These are scans from the original prints of pictures I took of this aircraft. I was about to turn 17, and my father (a CF-104 pilot at the time) took us to the Squadron Family Day, where 756 was freshly painted in its tiger scheme in prep for the Tiger Meet. In this picture, you can see my father (far right), my mother, another 104 pilot, my little sister, and my brother coming the other way.

104756tigerfamilycrroked2.jpg

As you have guessed by now, this particular subject is very important for me. I have seen many CF-104 Tiger schemes, but this one I very clearly recall walking around and photographing; looking at those pictures now it takes me right back to that warm summer in Germany so many years ago. Dear old Dad isn't around any more; this build is dedicated to his memory (as are the other CF-104 builds I have done in the last few years).

Here is a little tip of the hat to Serge Dompierre, who posted a finished version of the same tail number, done up in this scheme:

104756green.jpg

This build will take a while. We are taking a family vacation in a few weeks, going to Europe. I will take a side trip away from the castles of the Loire Valley and away from the attractions of Paris to visit the Rhine Valley, and show my family where I lived for 4 years around Baden. Doing this build at this time, and visiting the site of where these wonderful jets flew for so many years, is a happy coincidence.

In a few days, I'll post the components I'll be using, and some slow progress.

Hope you tag along for the ride on this one!

ALF

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I'm with you for the ride :thumbsup: , the 104 is one of my fav jets, and this scheme in particular really does it for me. :)

Hope your visit back brings back floodfilled happy memories...that's what they meant to be for :)

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I'm with you for the ride :salute: , the 104 is one of my fav jets, and this scheme in particular really does it for me. :whistle:

Hope your visit back brings back floodfilled happy memories...that's what they meant to be for :doh:

Totally agree! Thanks for the comments, and glad to have you reading along.

ALF

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Now to the modeling stuff.

The kit is the excellent 1:48 Hasegawa one. Several versions are available of this, and the Starfighters edition is perfect because it has the Canadian-style Lockheed C2 seats. Turns out, though, that I won't be using the kit seat, so I'll set it aside for a future build if required.

I am using some AM on this build; more than usual. I tend to only use AM decals when necessary, but in this case I was lucky to be the beneficiary of a generous gift from an anonymous donor of some key items.

The resin sets are for the exhaust and cockpit, plus the RHAWR antennae. I'm happy the cockpit set came with the RHAWR nubs, because you can see them installed on this particular tail number in its Tiger scheme.

P1060138.jpg

The decals are from Belcher Bits, who supplies enough to make every possible CF-104 Tiger scheme. This is a great decal set; I've used it before on a Hasegawa 1:48 kit.

Resin is something I have little experience with. I find the most challenging is to shave off the extra stuff, especially big casting blocks like the one under the seat. Here you can see I am using vice grip pliers to hold onto the casting block. I used an exacto knife to slowly scribe line after line into the block's sides, ending up with the chopping through of the block. I find it really hard to chop stuff off without snapping off tiny bits from the resin.

P1060139.jpg

I tried some test-fitting of the seat into the cockpit tub. Believe it or not, it doesn't fit! Looks like I'll have to shave off some detail from the seat sides, which will be invisible anyway.

P1060140.jpg

Progress will be slow on this build, so please be patient. I will take my time with the cockpit resin stuff, because it takes a lot of patience to trim and glue in place properly, plus the abundance of detail make for complex painting.

ALF

Edited by ALF18

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Dan,

A few words of warning about the Black Box CF-104 pit - none of the pieces seem to fit! It's been several years since I built mine but here's what I remember:

- The pit and sidewalls needed a LOT of sanding width wise to get it in

- The instrument panel was way too tall, I had to take a good chunk out of the centre pedestal to shoe horn it in.

- The glare/instrument shield under the windscreen needed to be sanded to near obscurity to get it to fit under the kit windscreen plus a lot of trimming in width, too.

I admit I'm not the greatest modeler when it comes to fit but this pit seemed to be sized for a completely different kit.

Good luck!

Sean

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Wow, this looks great. You have my full attention Alf. Personal and emotional builds are some of the best builds ever. A great majority of your builds are personal anyways (I think that's why I'm often drawn to your projects)....but this one seems a bit nearer and dearer to you.

Enjoy,

Tilt

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Oh, I wanted to add - I share your challenges on the large casting blocks that need to be removed from some AM pieces. I have a hobby saw that I use to remove some larger bits, but I find it just comes down to having to VERY slowly carve away with a hobby knife to get the best results. In the past when I've tried to speed that process up, I've messed up some parts when they break. Take'r slow.

Also, resin dust is kind of nasty stuff too. If you're sanding a lot of it, wear a mask.

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Oh, I wanted to add - I share your challenges on the large casting blocks that need to be removed from some AM pieces. I have a hobby saw that I use to remove some larger bits, but I find it just comes down to having to VERY slowly carve away with a hobby knife to get the best results. In the past when I've tried to speed that process up, I've messed up some parts when they break. Take'r slow.

Also, resin dust is kind of nasty stuff too. If you're sanding a lot of it, wear a mask.

I agree on the slowly but surely im doing my first experiment on this stuff too but from what ive read resin for after market casting is made from non toxic materials

this might help i asked arcer's their tricks HOW TO REMOVE CASTING BLOCKS

Cheers

Neo

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Cool, adding this to my subscribed threads.

Glad to have ya here, Charlie!

ALF

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Dan,

A few words of warning about the Black Box CF-104 pit - none of the pieces seem to fit! It's been several years since I built mine but here's what I remember:

- The pit and sidewalls needed a LOT of sanding width wise to get it in

- The instrument panel was way too tall, I had to take a good chunk out of the centre pedestal to shoe horn it in.

- The glare/instrument shield under the windscreen needed to be sanded to near obscurity to get it to fit under the kit windscreen plus a lot of trimming in width, too.

I admit I'm not the greatest modeler when it comes to fit but this pit seemed to be sized for a completely different kit.

Good luck!

Sean

Sean

At first blush, I totally agree that things don't seem to fit. I chopped out part of the windowsill from one side of the cockpit area, and one sidewall seems to fit there, but it doesn't look easy to get it right. Here you can see where it should go (I think).

P1060141.jpg

P1060143.jpg

Before glueing in the sidewall, of course I wanted to see how the cockpit tub would fit, to ensure it was in the right spot. Starting to get frustrated... :thumbsup:

First attempt - locate the tub using the 90 degree angled guide at the lower bottom. Tab at the front of the cockpit (little tab like on the kit part) doesn't fit into the little slot at the front if you do that (see two pics right here).

P1060144.jpg

P1060146.jpg

So I tried the other way around. Fit the tab at the front into the slot, and see what happens at the back.

P1060147.jpg

P1060148.jpg

The cockpit looks too short to fit the little right-angled holders, but this angle looks better to fit the sidewalls in place. Encouraged slightly, I then looked at the bottom:

P1060149.jpg

Clearly, the block at the bottom will need to be narrowed down, and depending on the fit of the underside piece, may need to be sanded thinner height-wise. The resin instructions say to sand the bottom under the seat to the point where the bottom of the cockpit is gone directly under the seat, leaving the forward floor in place. Not going to happen on my build! I'll be happy if I get the seat to actually fit into the cockpit without (as Mike said above) managing to knock off all of the tiny detail parts in the process.

ALF

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Wow, this looks great. You have my full attention Alf. Personal and emotional builds are some of the best builds ever. A great majority of your builds are personal anyways (I think that's why I'm often drawn to your projects)....but this one seems a bit nearer and dearer to you.

Enjoy,

Tilt

Tilt

You're right that when an aircraft triggers memories, it is easier to put more care into the build - glad you appreciate that. And excuse me a minute... :crying2:

Must have gotten something in my eye... Oh, that's it - it's just resin! :rolleyes:

ALF

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I agree on the slowly but surely im doing my first experiment on this stuff too but from what ive read resin for after market casting is made from non toxic materials

this might help i asked arcer's their tricks HOW TO REMOVE CASTING BLOCKS

Cheers

Neo

Neo

Thanks for the tips; I am trying to be patient and every trick I can find helps.

I've already broken the instrument panel, and have glued it back together with dollar-store superglue. Compared the kit and resin panel, and the differences aren't very big (with the exception of the very large attitude indicator top centre on the Canadian instrument panel - this shows up well in the resin, but not on the kit part). I remember my father talking about the huge CF-104 attitude indicator and how easy it was to fly on instruments with - it even had headings on it! Kind of like a bronze-age HUD, only look-down instead of up! He told me about this being so easy to use as he did my 'ticket ride' (instrument rating check) in a Tutor enroute from Thunder Bay to Sudbury/North Bay, where I had a tiny black 'bowling ball' attitude indicator in the right seat of the Tutor, the same instrument as the T-33. Totally unreliable, prone to precessing, and needed constant cross-checking against the other instruments to ensure it wasn't lying to you.

Sorry, got side-tracked... memories again! Bottom line on the glare shield and instrument panel is that I like the parts, but if they prove too problematic (especially the instrument panel), I won't be using it and will go with the kit part.

ALF

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I'll be following this build as well, Dan. I like the scans you posted. Nothing like seeing the subject of your model in it's true form in the original venue. Thanks for sharing that. I'm sure dad will be looking on with appreciation. Maybe he'll curse right along with you while attempting that cockpit assembly!?

Good luck with the resin bits but more importantly, enjoy your time 'back home'. I hope you're able to relive some great memories of your childhood, along with making some new ones, and enjoy sharing them with the rest of the family.

Take care and have a great holiday.

Mike

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I'll be following this build as well, Dan. I like the scans you posted. Nothing like seeing the subject of your model in it's true form in the original venue. Thanks for sharing that. I'm sure dad will be looking on with appreciation. Maybe he'll curse right along with you while attempting that cockpit assembly!?

Good luck with the resin bits but more importantly, enjoy your time 'back home'. I hope you're able to relive some great memories of your childhood, along with making some new ones, and enjoy sharing them with the rest of the family.

Take care and have a great holiday.

Mike

Mike

Thanks buddy! I showed your pics in your Sabre thread of Grostenquin and Vimy Ridge to my wife, and we talked about how different it is in Europe. Here, you can drive for 200 km or more and see literally nothing but trees and lakes, with one appearance of a few buildings at a roadside service station, on the way to Quebec City. In France and Germany, it's hard to go more than 3 km without ending up in another village like Grostenquin.

The kids are pumped, wife is excited as well, and so am I. Will attempt to get some pics of gate guards and other things around Baden and Lahr, where this Tiger bird flew for so many years.

ALF

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Got more done on the cockpit area and fuselage.

Being new to resin cockpits, I am working from trial and error. I figured it was important to make sure the cockpit side wall parts fit well with the installed cockpit, and quickly realized I didn't have enough hands and/or fingers to hold everything in place at once. Out came the sticky stuff (can't call it blue tack, because it's yellow), to hold the side wall in place.

P1060159.jpg

This allowed me to check the newly trimmed tub for fit.

P1060158.jpg

P1060161.jpg

Buoyed by that success, I then glued the sidewalls in place, and the tub afterward. Note that the main instrument panel is not yet installed. That will have to be inserted before glueing the fuselage halves together, because it won't fit otherwise. I also had to trim some sidewall out on either side of where the instrument panel goes.

P1060166.jpg

P1060162.jpg

Finally, some fuselage dry fitting to see what else needs fixing up.

P1060163.jpg

P1060165.jpg

ALF

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Next was cockpit painting. I used Tamiya XF-19 for the grey, and had to retouch a few spots (was all brush-painted) after it dried. Did some weathering with metallic silver pen, and used some dry-brushing as well.

P1060170.jpg

The seat needed some detail chopped off to fit in the tub - still quite a tight fit.

P1060171.jpg

Instrument panel just propped up for now - will glue just prior to putting fuselage together.

P1060172.jpg

More dry-fitting. Working now on exhaust tube (resin and photo-etch parts). Leaving the nozzle off for now, until after model fully painted, because it will simplify masking.

More pics to come after I get the fuselage together. This is the part of the build where it starts to go faster.

ALF

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Now thats a great looking office!

Thanks Charlie!

ALF

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Great work on that cockpit, Maestro. I look forward to seeing everything installed and closed up.

Keep it up ALF.

Mike

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Nice work Alf. Your skills are improving dramatically from model to model!! Little bit of touch-up needed on that seat head-rest where the red bled onto the grey. Can't wait to see the next set of photos on this one. I have a Hasegawa 104 sitting in the stash.....and you're making me want to crack into that one. :(

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Hi ALF18,

Thanks a lot for sharing with us your memories of this great summer, and thanks for these personnal photos.

Good work with the cockpit ! I am looking forward to see more !

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Nice work Alf. Your skills are improving dramatically from model to model!! Little bit of touch-up needed on that seat head-rest where the red bled onto the grey. Can't wait to see the next set of photos on this one. I have a Hasegawa 104 sitting in the stash.....and you're making me want to crack into that one. :thumbsup:

Thanks Tilt.

I'll have to get out the maginifying glass to touch that up... there ARE benefits to dimming vision as you grow old (such as not seeing your own wrinkles in the mirror).

So dig out that 104, and get cracking - I know you want to!!!

ALF

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Just a quick update after a late soccer game for my daughter.

Considerable progress made - pictures to follow tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's one of my favourite pictures of my father. It was his hero shot, taken shortly after we got to Germany in 1972. Note the dark green camouflage on the aircraft (it was likely one of the first ones painted at the time, because many were still silver when we arrived). Also note the Tiger helmet.

P1060492.jpg

More tomorrow.

ALF

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Armed with the knowledge that the resin cockpit was not going to fit well, I did lots of test fitting, and ended up chopping even more out of the canopy side rails in the forward cockpit section, to make room for the main instrument panel (MIP). Here it is with the fuselage finally glued together. There will be some filling to do later, but I'll cover the cockpit over with tape for the airbrushing and finish the rest of it much later.

P1060484.jpg

The nose gear bay and its fore/aft panels fits tightly on this kit. I have always had to use an exacto knife blade to pry the fuselage (similar to using a shoe horn) and get it to seat. Once in, the fit is very good. In this case, because of the thick resin cockpit bottom, it didn't want to fit (the forward panel wouldn't go all the way in, and bulged out in front). Rather than chop the resin (and risk destroying the glue bond holding it in place within the fuselage), I chopped some of the walls of the bottom piece out (the parts that don't show once installed). It then fit nicely. Here you can see it glued in place, with the engine intakes painted flat black, ready for installation.

P1060485.jpg

The intakes are now installed.

P1060486.jpg

Front and rear views of the fuselage.

P1060487.jpg

P1060488.jpg

The resin exhaust burner tube and metal flame holder look pretty good, but they are similar to the already decent kit pieces. It took some precise positioning of the light to actually see them well enough to photograph; in practise this is not an AM part that I find essential. Given that it was a gift from another ARCer, I wanted to use it on this kit and see how it looked.

ALF

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