RCAF CF-104 'Starfighter', 1/48th scale.

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by Airframes, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #1 Airframes, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
    CF-104 '771', RCAF No3 Wing, Zweibrucken, November 1964.

    Cory's recent question regarding CF-104 decals has given me the jolt I needed to get back to the bench after such a long absence due to pain and stiffness in the shoulder. Since I had an injection in the troublesome area a fortnight ago, things have improved slightly, although there's still some pain and discomfort, so I've decided to ease myself back into things, before getting back to the long-overdue commission builds I had been working on.

    I've wanted to do a 'Starfighter' in the original natural metal finish of the RCAF for many years, and memories of seeing, and hearing that unique sound, of the Canadian examples at Prestwick, Scotland, fifty years ago (!!) are still fresh in my mind. Consequently, after receiving some great info from Geo (Fubar57), I was pointed in the right direction, and was able to carry out preliminary research and, fortunately, borrow some original 'Kodachrome' 35mm slides from my older brother, taken during our visit to Prestwick in November 1964, less than three months before the markings changed, with the introduction of Canada's current flag.
    I've included some rather poor scans of a couple of the shots (the originals are beautifully clear and hold their full colour), with CF-104 serial number 12771 being prominent, and others parked outside the Scottish Aviation facility at Prestwick.

    I've since established that '771' was with RCAF No.3 Wing, at Zweibrucken, Germany, when the Wing included 427 ("Lion") and 434 ("Bluenose") Squadrons, both in the Strike/Attack role, where 'Strike' = nuclear delivery, and 'Attack' = conventional weapons. As the aircraft were shared within the wing, and, at that time, didn't carry Squadron or Wing badges or Crests, it hasn't been possible, to date, to trace the Squadron in which it served at the time.
    (This aircraft was Struck of Charge with Canadian Armed Forces in November 1971, going to the Royal Danish Air Force, as 'R-771', and is preserved today at Aalborg, in North Jutland, Denmark - which means I've seen it twice, as I was last there in 1990 !! )

    Prestwick at the time was still a 'first stop' for many trans-Atlantic flights, as it had been during WW2, when a huge depot and base was maintained on one of the busiest airfields in the UK. All major servicing, overhaul, repair and up-dating for RCAF Europe Starfighters was contracted to Scottish Aviation, who's main base was on the airfield, and there were numerous 'movements' during our visit, all those years ago. Also, 'around the back' of the airfield, there was a huge storage depot, where lines of F-86 Sabres stood cocooned, along with some Avengers and, from memory, some F-4 Corsairs, awaiting either scrapping or shipping back to Canada, or disposal elsewhere.

    So, on to the build, which will be using the recently re-released Revell F-104G kit, in its current boxing including the later CAF markings for a Cold Lake based aircraft.
    The kit is reasonable, considering its age, but there are a few areas which need attention or modification, and I'll be using a resin exhaust and a brass pitot, plus a little scratch-building to correct a few details for a RCAF bird, along with a decal sheet from Canuck Decals, which Cory told about.

    The first few pics show the kit box art, resin exhaust and the pitot tube, and the 'Canuck Decals' to be used, plus three shots of the aircraft seen at Prestwick.

    The build shots show:-
    PICS 1 and 2. The gun port and gas vents for the 'Vulcan' gun need to be filled, as the CF-104 at that time did not carry the gun, the space being used for extra fuel, and the port and vents fared over.This was done here with 'Milliput'. The slot to the rear of the nose wheel well also needs to be filled, as this is for the spent case ejector chute, again, not fitted at the time.
    PICS 3 and 4. Some basic sidewall detail has been added to the cockpit, working from photos of an actual Canadian aircraft, rather than the inaccurate photos shown in some books, and a hole drilled, and backed with plastic card,ready for improvements to the HUD.
    PIC 5. The kit tail pipe has been cut off part way, ready for the fitting of the excellent 'Aires' resin and PE parts, of which more later.
    PIC 6. The kit parts for the cockpit, which have raised, but soft, detail, and an incorrect instrument panel for a CF-104. The seat shown is the C-2 type, included in the kit, although the kit instructions call for the Martin Baker type, also included, which again, is incorrect for a Canadian aircraft.
    PICS 7 and 8. Filing off some of the raised panel detail, and adding the beginnings of a more accurate layout.
    PIC 9. Some basic detail has been added to the cockpit tub, including a throttle lever, and the remainder will be completed with paint.

    That's it so far, and apologies for a somewhat long-winded introductory post. It's been good to get back to the bench, but I now hurt like stink, so need a long rest !
    All being well, I'll post some more, hopefully tomorrow evening.
     

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  2. SANCER

    SANCER Active Member

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    Hi Terry, first of all, I wish your shoulder discomfort improves. :thumbleft::thumbright:

    As for your preface, let me say that it is very interesting to learn more about this beautiful and stylish fighter '60s. :idea:

    In good time you start and I will continue with attention to your work (... I'm taking notes !! :shock: )

    Saludos, felicidades y mucha suerte!! 8)

    Luis Carlos
    SANCER
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Great to see you back into it Terry and a nice start. I have this kit so I'll be following though mine is going to be the 441sqn. black and white checkerboard.

    Geo
     
  4. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Sweet Terry! Really caught the bug on this one huh?
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks very much for the kind words chaps !
    Hopefully, this build will get me back into things properly, although I'll admit I'm finding it a bit difficult, due to stiffness and some discomfort. But I need to crack on and get some builds done - otherwise Karl will be inheriting the majority of my stash when I pop me clogs !!

    Geo, from what I've seen so far, I anticipate some problems when joining the fuselage halves - not uncommon with horizontally-split parts. This is why I haven't yet fitted the gun hatch, as the opening might allow a tool to be inserted to 'spread' the joints if needed. Let me know when you're going to start, and I'll send you some colour cockpit shots, and matching line drawings, plus a couple of both of the checkerboard schemes.

    Jim, yep - been wanting to do this bird for fifty years. Just hope I get it finished before that becomes fifty five years !!!!
     
  6. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Terry, it's refreshing to see you shake off the cob webs and get back to some modeling. I'm watching with interest.

    Here's another picture of your bird, taken later with updated insignia.

    medium_wm_9985562.jpg

    ...and a little one, both sourced off the net.

    12771.png
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Andy, and great pics. That's the 3 Wing crest on the nose - though I'm sure you knew that.
     
  8. Bustedwing

    Bustedwing Member

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    Love the CF 104 ! They along with the CF 101 were always the big hit here at our local air show until they were replaced by the CF 18. There's a great article on the CF 104 kit in this months FSM magazine. As some one who has had a few bouts with frozen shoulder I can relate to the difficulties !! Good luck stay well !!
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks BW. I may yet have to have surgery on the shoulder, as there is definite damage to the rotator cuff, possibly from hard parachute landings, and now aggravated by arthritis. But at least the injection has eased the pain a bit.
     
  10. Tracker

    Tracker Active Member

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    Terry,
    Glad you were able to trace 771. Here is a picture in Danish livery.

    Danish 771.jpg

    Here is a cockpit view of a 104 just in case you needed it.

    104 cockpit.jpg
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff Gordon, thanks. That's how '771' looked when I saw it at Aalborg, in the early grey scheme, although at the time I hadn't realised it was the same ex- RCAF/CAF bird.
    Good shot of the cockpit, although the main flying instrument layout differs from the CF-104. I managed to find some good colour pics of a preserved RCAF/CAF aircraft, and there are diagrams from the CF-104 manual in the book I bought, which confirm the panel configuration, hence the changes I've made.
    I'll post an update very soon - just sorting out the pics.
     
  12. Tracker

    Tracker Active Member

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    Terry, The instruments were not from 771 another 104. You search was spot on have the following from a ident doc of RCAF aircraft id numbers.


    R-771 104771 29.11.71 27.12.83 Gate Guard Aalborg display June 2014 last noted
    first flight April 6, 1962, ready at Canadair on October 3, 1962; taken on service by RCAF on November 9, 1962; assigned to 6 ST/R OTU at RCAF Station Cold Lake on November 19, 1962; November 26, 1964 to 3 Wing, Zweibrucken; June 30 1966 to 4 Wing, Sollingen; May 3, 1967 to 3 Wing; July 3, 1970 last operational flight; struck off service by CAF on November 24, 1971;sold to Denmark on November 24, 1971 with 1.837 flight hours; November 29, 1971 IRAN for MAP modification; coded R-771 with Esk 726 August 16, 1973-December 1983 with sn 12771; last flight December 27, 1983; struck off service January 1, 1984; BDRT at Vandel AB on February 18, 1986; to Aalborg AB as a air base decoy on December 4, 1991; January 8, 1993 at Aalborg AB as Gate Guard in green camouflage scheme; restoration at Aalborg AB in 2003; on pole at a roundabout near the Gate at Aalborg AB in grey/white camouflage scheme in April 2003; May 11, 2008 noted; June 2014 last noted.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    So, after completing the first mods, some construction and painting has begun, with the cockpit completed and installed, the fuselage halves joined, and, as I expected, some remedial work being carried out on the horizontal fuselage joint.

    PIC 1 Shows the modified instrument panel fitted to the cockpit tub, which had some extra switches and other bits added. The tub detail is painted, whilst the panel is a mix of scratch-built instrument bezels, stretched sprue, decals, PVA glazing and paint, with a shroud made for the radar screen. Certainly not my best work, but it's more accurate for a CF-104, compared to the kit parts, and should look OK when buried in the fuselage, especially if I decide to add the rather neat pilot figure.
    A note for Geo here - the control column as provided in the kit, sits far too high if used without modification, masking the entire instrument panel, up to the coaming. The best solution is to reduce the height of the base and 'gaiter' in the cockpit tub, but this was a tad awkward, so I reduced the depth of the faring on the base of the column, by trial and error, until the top of the stick grip was roughly level with the upper quarter of the radar screen.
    PIC 2. Although the geometry of the undercarriage suggests that the model would not require any weight up front, to hold the nose down, there's going to be a big chunk of resin attached to the Rs end, in the form of the new jet pipe and afterburner can, and probably some filler inside the tail assembly too, which will add some weight. So, rather than risk a 'tail sitter', a couple of chunks of lead, held in place with 'Plasticine', were pressed into place on and around the nose wheel bay.
    PIC 3. As I expected some movement of the fuselage joint, possibly causing a nasty 'step', the fuselage was clamped in various places, using the excellent 'Berna' clamps Andy sent me (thanks again mate!), in order to at least minimise the problem.
    PIC 4. As can be seen, there was still a slight ridge, and a couple of tiny gaps, which is why the gun bay cover was left off for now, as this allowed a 'poky thing' to be inserted into the fuselage, to 'spread' the fuselage halves as required. The thinner area around the top of the open gun bay was particularly troublesome, but was addressed later. That gun bay cover is also going to cause a minor fit problem later, which will need sorting.
    PICS 5 and 6. Once the fuselage halves had fully set, the seams were scraped, filed, sanded and checked, before polishing the entire joint area, to obtain, as far as possible, a smooth, scratch -free surface, essential for the bare metal finish later. The polishing was done using 'T-Cut', a normal car body colour restorer, which works very well indeed, especially on clear parts, and is a fraction of the cost of the same stuff sold as 'plastic polish'.
    The few small blemishes remaining will be treated with 'superglue', then sanded and polished, once the air intakes and rear fuselage assembly have been fitted, as they are bound to need attention too.
    PICS 7 to 9 Show the cockpit as it looks so far, although they're not very good pics. The seat (and possibly the pilot figure), will be added near the end of the build, after the model has been painted and polished, and the seat detailed.
    PIC 10 is how it looks so far.

    Next step is to clean-up, paint and fit the air intakes and shock cones, before moving on to fitting the resin exhaust and afterburner can.
    PICS 11 to 13 show the horrible sprue attachment points, together with the ejector pin marks and part numbers inside the intakes, which need to be removed, along with the rough moulding 'slugs', as these would just be visible inside the intakes when fitted.

    Thanks for your interest and kind comments to date, and I hope to post some more tomorrow.
     

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  14. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads-up Terry and the build has been bookmarked. You certainly making up for lost modeling time, wonderful job on the innards. Gotta love those clamps.

    Geo
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Geo, it's still a bit difficult for me, but I'm enjoying it.

    Gordon, sorry, I was composing my post as you posted yours, and didn't notice it. Thanks for the detailed history of '771'. It seems the one I saw at Aalborg must have been a different one, as I was last there in February 1990, flying to/from Kastrup, Copenhagen. The RDanAF base uses the same airfield as the civilian 'domestic' services, and my route from Aalborg to Hjorring took me past some decoys, and a gate guard, but I was unable to see the serial numbers of the (then) overall green '104's.
    But it's still great to see the same aircraft again in the photo, a copy of which I've sent on to my brother.

    Here's one of the pics I found of a CF-104 cockpit, which corresponds exactly with the diagrams from the manual. Notice the difference in the main flying instruments, and some differences in the weapons and armament panels etc. These are totally different to the moulded detail, and the decals, in the Revell kit, which is more like a cross between a 'C' and a 'G' model.
     

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  16. Tracker

    Tracker Active Member

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    Terry,
    Have not had a chance to ask my friend as we were supposed to head south today but about 4 inches of snow so were are going tomorrow. Found the following from 783? that may help.
    Cf-104 C2 seat2 783.jpg
    Cf-104 C2 seat3.jpg
    Cf-104 canopy1.jpg
    Cf-104 canopy2.jpg
    Cf-104 canopy3.jpg
    Cf-104 cockpit.jpg
    Cf-104 C2 seat1.jpg

    Have a great holiday,
    Gordon
     
  17. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Great work so far Terry and I'm glad to see you using those clamps.
     
  18. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks chaps, and thanks for the extra pics of '783' Gordon. The one showing the top of the seat is better than the example I have, and should prove useful.
    In the photo of the instrument panel I posted, also from '783', those explosive cylinders I mentioned are not in place, although the attachment sleeves for them are visible, with the one on the port side arrowed in white in the photo below.
    I've since established that there wasn't a 'tube' from the top of the cylinder - on closer inspection of the photo in question, I realised that the 'tube' was a lamp standard in the background, directly in line with the top of the cylinder !!
    So, it's just the colour I need, which I suspect is either 'gold', yellow, or more likely, red. No rush though, as these will be among the very last items fitted, after painting and decals.
     

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  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'm beginning to think I may have picked the wrong kit to get me back into the swing of things.
    I was hoping for a reasonably straight-forward build, with minimum scratch work or corrections, so as to be able to concentrate on the paint finish, but the fit of some parts leaves a lot to be desired - the risks to be expected from an older kit.
    However, I'll persevere and, hopefully, I'll still be able to obtain a good bare metal finish when done.

    PICS 1 and 2. The air intakes have been assembled and fitted and, as can be seen, there's going to be some filling of joints and sanding, particularly around the rear joint. There should be a slight gap at the forward edge of the intakes, where they blend into the fuselage, but not the entire length of the intake. The black 'lines' are paint from the internal painting of the rear 'wall' of the intakes.
    PIC 3. The radome is a fairly crude moulding, being around 2mm in thickness, and will need some sanding and re-shaping around the tip, to accommodate the brass pitot tube later. The fit to the fuselage is again poor, and will need some filler and careful sanding to achieve a clean joint, and hopefully eliminate the 'step' that's visible in some areas. With a bit of luck, the colour demarcation between the grey of the radome and the bare metal fuselage might help here.
    PIC 4. The kit seems to be a testing ground for ejector pin marks, as they are all over the place, and the inside of the tail fin needed to have the pin marks, and the moulded part numbers, filed and sanded, in order to obtain a clean joint.
    PIC 5. The under-side joint needed careful aligning, but still required some work with the file, wet 'n dry, and polish, to eliminate a slight 'step' caused by different thickness of plastic.
    PIC 6. Likewise, the inner, rear section of the joint also required filing and sanding, again to equalize the thickness of plastic, and obtain something approaching a circular opening. The gap between the parts inside the fin area will also be filled in, before painting the interior colour.
    Test fitting shows that once again, the fit between the rear section and the main fuselage will need a lot of attention, and again, variation in paint shades should help here, as the kit joint corresponds to the transport joint on the real aircraft, where various alloys and stainless steel are employed in the construction.

    That's all for now, but I hope to make a bit more progress over the weekend, when I'll post more pics.
     

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