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1:32 scale CF-104 in Natural Metal

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Hi Everyone.

Here are a few photos of my latest build, the Italeri CF-104 in Natural Metal 'Symmetrical Era' scheme.

Overall I think the kit is quite good. Not perfect but I’ve found very few (read none) kits that are. I started this build in October of 2014 and finished up this past weekend.

The cockpit is rather basic and not accurate to a CF-104. The Lockheed C2 ejection seat looks okay although I have lots of photos of CF-104 cockpits and none of them show seats with back padding so you might want to leave off the moulded padding part. Also, the kit seat is missing the quite noticeable oxygen hose on the right hand side. I pilfered the part from an old Hasegawa kit but in the past I’ve used guitar string for this. Had I known how well the NMF was going to turn out on the exterior, I would have used one of my resin cockpit sets that are intended for the Hasegawa kits. Besides decals, adding the oxygen hose was the only modification I made to the kit parts.

I cannot speak to the accuracy of the model as a F-104G, but as far as CF-104’s go there are some minor issues. The moulded in canopy release ‘RESCUE’ latch on the left hand side under the forward windscreen is too large and too low on the fuselage. This needs to be filled in. Just use a decal to represent that latch as the real thing was always painted anyway. Also noticeable is that the grey panel on the forward portion of the vertical fin is too tall. The Hasegawa and Revell kits get this about right, but the over size of the panel on the Italeri kit throws off the perceived placement of markings such as the flag and ‘Cold Lake’ band because they don’t look to be in the right place.

The really frustrating thing with this kit is that Italeri spent who knows how many man-hours researching and 3D modelling a full engine that nobody will ever see, the engine cradle that likely nobody will ever use, but they didn’t spend the hour and a half to include three small RWR sensors that were fitted to CF-104’s late in their service. If you’re building a European based variegated camouflaged Canadian CF-104, or any CF-104 as flown by other nations, these need to be scratch built as I don’t know of any aftermarket company that sells them.

Given the cost of the kit I would also liked to have had the landing gear in white metal. I know that you can get aftermarket metal replacement parts, but the kit parts, especially the nose gear, are just too flimsy. Even the 30 year old Hasegawa kit provided a metal interior rod for the main landing gear.

The model itself was painted using Alclad lacquers. Various shades of Polished Aluminum, Aluminum, White Aluminum, and Steel. These were accented here and there with Bare Metal Foil brand peel-and-stick foil. Wings were painted in Tamiya flat white but the Future gloss coat brings them to the correct sheen. The wing tip tanks are partially painted in Red-Orange. This might be a little bit of fiction but I have vague memories of seeing photos of tip tanks painted like this. I also have a photo in my collection of a NMF finished Starfighter with overall olive green tanks. So I figure as those tanks would obviously get swapped around, someone could have put the Red-Orange tanks on a standard service aircraft. Maybe it’s not accurate, but I think it adds a bit of extra colour. All decals come from my line of Canuck Models decals (1:32 CF-104 Symmetrical Set). There are no kit decals used anywhere on the model.

Weathering was kept to a minimum. Starfighter's about this time were starting to show their age, but I've always had a hard time making a NMF look aged. Some preshading was done on the wings, and a light coat of Flory Models black wash applied over the whole thing. But 95% of it was removed. Still, it shows up the details here and there which is really what I was after.









Edited by RiderFan
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Really, really nice David! I love the finish, it's beautiful, congrat's. Where did you get the decals from? :woot.gif:/>

Not sure if sarcastic or not, but as you asked! These are my line of decals. No kit decals were harmed in the making of this model.

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Simply an outstanding build with a flawless finish. Your Alcad NMF is just about perfect. The best compliment I can give you about your decals, is that they look like they were painted on. Their that good. Thanks for sharing.


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