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1/48 CF-101 Voodoo 409 Squadron 1967


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So, after considerable internal debate, I decided to make the Voodoo for my next entry into this GB. I see-sawed between a CF-104 and 101, because my father was aircrew on each of these aircraft - you can say they defined his career in the Air Force. As a Navigator, the Voodoo was the aircraft he enjoyed the most, and after he cross-trained to pilot after his tour on the Voodoo, he went to Germany and flew the Starfighter, which he always loved.

What made the decision for me was the Voodoo is in 1/48, while the 104 models I have for now are 1/72 and 1/32. The 1/72 is not a scale I want to do right away in this GB, and the big CF-104 comes with some aftermarket goodies that make me want to take my time with it. Maybe later!

Here is my father, taken sometime between 1964 and 1967, in Comox, British Columbia. For those who don't know the place, it is about as close to paradise as you can get in Canada (shields up! waiting for the backlash)...

BillMcWilliam48.jpg

Dad was a navigator on the Voodoo in Comox. I remember the place distinctly, because I was aged 5 to 8 while we lived there. Beaches, mountains, woods, beautiful breath-taking vistas - the place had it all. For this thread, permit me to delve a bit more into the lives of our NORAD aircrew back in the early to mid 1960s. When my father was posted to Voodoos, we were living in Mont Apica, Quebec - a radar station about 45 nm southwest of Bagotville. He had finished a tour as a Nav on CF-100s, and had asked for a transfer to the West Coast (Comox) on Voodoos. As is often the case in the Air Force, you don't always get what you want... He got assigned to the Pine Tree Line radar station at Mont Apica. We lived there for 2 years, from 1962 to 1964. My memories of the place are a bit vague (ages 3 to 5), but I do remember steep hills and lots of snow.

Bagotville was close by, and Voodoos would often fly by the radar station, as would CF-100s. At the time, the training unit (410 Squadron) for the Voodoo was in Bagotville, so when Dad finally got his wish to go to Comox, he did the training in Bagotville on the Voodoo while we lived at the radar station. So what were these places like? Think isolated. Think small. Think esprit de corps and "make the best of it", which was the motto for military personnel in places they didn't necessarily want to be. Here are some summer shots of the place:

The town site where we all lived.

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Looking down from the radar antenna building toward the town site (which was halfway up the hill). These are the northern continuance of the Appalachians, called the Laurentian mountains.

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A foggy day in Mont Apica.

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Here is a Bagotville-based Voodoo, overflying the downtown area of Chicoutimi, which is the city just northwest (about 10 km) of the base. At the time, there was an old rickety bridge that had a swinging centre section, for big ships that would go up river. Today, that bridge is pedestrian traffic only, as part of the touristy area downtown.

BTW, most pics here are scans from old colour slides that my father took. I know for a fact that the vast majority of them have never been posted on the internet before, especially the aerial formation shots of Voodoos.

CF-10147.jpg

Next post: more about life at a remote radar station.

ALF

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So why talk about a radar station, in a thread about Voodoos? It's because the air defence system of NORAD back then, and even today, relies heavily on Air Weapons Controllers (AWCs) who provide information and guidance to fighters. Not like the old Soviet system where fighters were very closely controlled by the Ground Controlled Intercept (GCI) radar... (joke: In Soviet Russia, radar controls YOU). When you launch off in a NORAD fighter, especially back in the Voodoo days, your own radar coverage is very limited. Short range, small search volume.

Huge GCI radars like Mont Apica provided the long-range detection needed for the fighters to close in enough to pick up the targets on their on-board radars. Sadly, the Pine Tree Line sites are all gone now. The radars are now deployable, and in different locations. The Bagotville site is just north of the base, and the old place I used to live (Mont Apica) has been demolished. The houses were carted off and sold as cottages, and other installations were destroyed for scrap. When I first got to Bagotville in 1988, I made it a point to fly by the site (which had not yet been destroyed) early in my time here. It was amazing how seeing the old buildings brought back flashes of memory for me, even from so long ago.

I remember snow - lots of it. At these higher latitudes and elevations, we got snow in mid September or earlier, and it stayed on the ground in late September. It melted in May - sometimes late May. Here are some winter scenes.

Town site.

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Different view, town site.

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A very young ALF, eyeing the pretty blonde in the cute red snow suit (Christa). She now lives in New Zealand, and doesn't know I exist. :-)

We used to hold hands in the sand box. The girl in the background, behind my first love, was one of my sisters.

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Winter carnival was a big deal. All the sections at the station built snow sculptures, some definitely not Politically Correct!

Mont-Apica%2032_zpscea8ee20.jpg

ALF

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More winter carnival. Some of these folks were very talented.

Mont-Apica%2033_zps7eaea542.jpg

There was fierce competition between the various messes (Junior Ranks, Warrant Officers & Sergeants, Officers) at the winter carnival. They formed teams to compete in various sports.

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The whole station would come out to watch the games, including family members living on site.

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My Dad told me that inside the Ops Control room it was just like Dr Strangelove. No, not everything was in black and white... they had the plotting boards with people moving the little air assets around, and there was a transparent wall where the young airwomen would write the information (backwards, so it could be read on the other side!) in grease pencil. Apparently, there were some pretty young women working there - but Dad was busy with his kids and his training on the Voodoo.

Our last winter in Mont Apica:

First snow - note how well-used the toboggan hill is.

Mont-Apica%2037_zps6d44c314.jpg

Then spring came along, meaning we were about to drive all the way across Canada in our little black VW Bug.

More shortly - Photobucket is freezing up my PC!

ALF

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Hey ALF,

Mont Apica is the old site of 12 Radar. We have a book on the history of Mont Apica from its creation until it was stood down in 1990. I'll check it out tomorrow and see if I can find your dad in there. Also, thanks for posting pics. Since this year is the unit's 70th anniversary I have been digging into the history of the unit.

I will be watching this build closely. If you need any extra decals I have lots left over from the Belcher Bits set that I used in 2009.

Cheers,

Denis ("Mister" in the AWC world)

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Hey ALF,

Mont Apica is the old site of 12 Radar. We have a book on the history of Mont Apica from its creation until it was stood down in 1990. I'll check it out tomorrow and see if I can find your dad in there. Also, thanks for posting pics. Since this year is the unit's 70th anniversary I have been digging into the history of the unit.

I will be watching this build closely. If you need any extra decals I have lots left over from the Belcher Bits set that I used in 2009.

Cheers,

Denis ("Mister" in the AWC world)

Denis

Nice to hear from you. And honest, I wasn't trying to butter you up with those comments about how essential GCI and AWCs are to NORAD operations... seriously! So I gather you decided to spend the winter here? Not a good time to be visiting the sand box right now.

Thanks for the offer of decals. I have a Belcher Bits set, but it's kind of old - I'll definitely hit you up if I need some spares. I might try to do the tail number 409, as in this pic taken near Comox:

CF-101%20409sqn%20ai_zpsb0458032.jpg

ALF

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Our last winter in Mont Apica:

First snow - note how well-used the toboggan hill is.

Mont-Apica%2037_zps6d44c314.jpg

Hey glad to see that timeless kid tradition of the cheap crazy carpet...... Card Board Boxes. :woot.gif:

Going to be lurking in this thread also.... Loved those First Batch Voodoos had that gold tinge to them...

Cheers

Emil

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Hey glad to see that timeless kid tradition of the cheap crazy carpet...... Card Board Boxes. :woot.gif:

Going to be lurking in this thread also.... Loved those First Batch Voodoos had that gold tinge to them...

Cheers

Emil

Emil

Crazy carpets - boy you must have been rich growing up if you had one, or knew someone who had one! :rolleyes:

Actually, it's a darn good thing they probably hadn't been invented yet. With the size and slope of those hills, I think we would have lost a few kids if their speed had been any higher while sliding.

I've been looking at that gold tinge in my ref pics. I plan to use Alclad for the NMF - my big question is how am I going to tinge some of the silver a gold colour. Smoke paint? Very diluted yellow as an overspray? Any ideas, Emil?

ALF

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I don't know where I got this photo, but I think it shows the close relationship between the radar sites and the Voodoos. Here is one overflying a site, passing by at about the height of the radar, with the town site below. I remember seeing this as a kid.

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So, back to Mont Apica. Spring came, revealing how meticulously people took care of their little radar station. Those painted rocks outlining the small area make me think of MASH - not surprising, given that the photo was taken barely 10 years after the MASH era, and Mont Apica was a remote, austere location.

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On that note, we say goodbye to the Laurentians, and hello to Vancouver Island. My father grew up in various places on the West coast - a small logging camp on the West side of Vancouver Island, and the city of Nanaimo (mmmmmm - Nanaimo bars!). Here he took a picture overflying the harbour in Nanaimo. The ferries from Vancouver (the only way to reach the island) come in here many times a day. In later years, my parents moved to Nanaimo after Dad retired. It gave me an excuse to visit the west coast often, sometimes by CF-18.

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Here is a view of a more conventional aspect, taken from the upper floor of 409's hangar. It looks like a mid-winter scene to me.

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Two more shots around the base at Comox. First, taken from the back seat, showing the base on its plateau near the strait between the island and the mainland.

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Here is a rare shot, taken during a turn toward "Initial" at Comox, for landing. This kind of close-formation turn, where the aircraft do not stack up or down, but rather remain at the same height, is quite challenging. It's called a "flat turn".

CF-101409sqn22.jpg

ALF

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That gold Tinge has been on my mind for years and I'm thinking Tamiya smoke But very light ..... also not every panel would have it so you would have NMF on some panels. I guess it was some protective top coat that the RCAF did on the NMF Voodoos...... but some panels might have been replaced and not coated. ???

Before you try I'd have to try on a spare piece of sprue.

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Emil

Crazy carpets - boy you must have been rich growing up if you had one, or knew someone who had one!

Actually, it's a darn good thing they probably hadn't been invented yet. With the size and slope of those hills, I think we would have lost a few kids if their speed had been any higher while sliding.

Yes I was very rich knowing someone with a crazy carpet. :rofl:

Grew up knowing ice Hockey and street Hockey..... Football in High school and girls..... :blink:

Then I am transported to my life now..... 11 years to full retirement and a partridge in a pear tree..... :rofl:

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Mont-Apica%2032_zpscea8ee20.jpg

Created by former members of 421 or 422 Sqn!? :whistle:

ALF,

A wonderful tribute to your dad. Class act, my friend. Your background story is both interesting and informative and the photos are excellent. They bring the story to life. I look forward to your build. Good luck with it as a few steps can be a real PITA.

Mike

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That gold Tinge has been on my mind for years and I'm thinking Tamiya smoke But very light ..... also not every panel would have it so you would have NMF on some panels. I guess it was some protective top coat that the RCAF did on the NMF Voodoos...... but some panels might have been replaced and not coated. ???

Before you try I'd have to try on a spare piece of sprue.

Emil

You may have a point about a possible anti-corrosion or other coating. I think I'll post a ref pic or two in Jet Modelling, and see if anyone knows.

ALF

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Created by former members of 421 or 422 Sqn!? :whistle:

ALF,

A wonderful tribute to your dad. Class act, my friend. Your background story is both interesting and informative and the photos are excellent. They bring the story to life. I look forward to your build. Good luck with it as a few steps can be a real PITA.

Mike

Mike

Thanks - you know how important my father was to me, as we've discussed. I can't take credit for the quality of the pics - most are my father's, and he was definitely a good photographer.

I know the model will not be easy. There are a few things I'm not looking forward to, such as removing the raised markings for the formation lights (not present on any Canadian Voodoo, except for the black "electric jet" that 414 operated in the 80s), and removing the IR sensor from the nose.

ALF

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HeyALF

for that gold tint maybe try alclad pale burnt metal maybe mixed in the base color

this might help click on the red dots

Really love the historry your sharing with us. I love those vintage pics!

Neo

That's it! I've never seen that reference. It's by far the best way to choose colours in Alclad that I've seen. For sure, the pale burnt metal colour looks good, as do the steel and copper for the areas around the afterburner exhausts. My search for what to do is over!

Merci encore!

ALF

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, so enough bla-blah, and on to the building. Here is the box:

P1150711.jpg

It was old and yellowed, but the parts were in bags. I will be using Belcher Bits decals on this one. The kit decals are for the ANG version, plus a late-era 425 Squadron jet. The roundels on the Canadian one are laughable - they look like a child drew them with crayon.

This is a view of the box that shows the area I've always liked on the American Voodoos. Big, bold markings.

P1150712.jpg

Unlike most kits, this one starts with the fuselage and wings, not the cockpit. The cockpit will slide in underneath the fuselage later. Before starting, I needed to get rid of the formation lights. Only one Canadian Voodoo ever had these; the "electric jet" or "black Voodoo" that was used for electronic warfare training by 414 Squadron well into the 80s.

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Doing my best not to scratch up the surface or get rid of the raised panel lines.

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After studying some ref pics, the bumps aft of the cockpit will have to go (2 out of 3, anyway). One looks like an antenna, and the other is a mystery to me. Chop chop!

P1150715.jpg

ALF

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The nose section needs more surgery. Not only do the formation lights need to disappear, but the IR sensor bulge must go.

P1150716.jpg

Of course, the IR sensor left a gap that will have to be filled later.

P1150717.jpg

The wings build up quickly. I will spray the white inside the intakes after this dries. This part of the model is not terribly visible, anyway. I love the shape of these wings. I used to draw silhouettes of this and the CF-104 over and over when I was a kid.

P1150737.jpg

The wheel wells and flap insides are nice and detailed. One thing about this kit is the surprising amount of detailed moulding. The downside is that when I built one with gear and flaps up in flight for a friend, it took lots and lots of hacking and slashing to get rid of this detail and make the flaps fit, then I had to chop off the gear doors and make them fit as well. Not easy for the in-flight version.

P1150738.jpg

Here's what the fuselage looks like glued together. The fillings (cockpit, etc) will go in later.

P1150741.jpg

ALF

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I built a wheels up last year. Not easy as you say. My reference suggests your seat might be a tad dark.

As you can see the massage cushion on the ejection seat is after market. :wierdo:

DSC_0845.jpg

Edited by phantom
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Nice progresss ALF

Now Phantom youve got to be kidding me you have a bang seat in your basement??!!! how do you ever come around to buying one of those???

Cheers

Neo

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