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Canadian Hornet in Germany


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If one were to make a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet to represent one based in Germany in the 80s, what are the recommended kits in 1/48?

 

A two-seater would be even better but probably prohibitively expensive! Any decent aftermarket decals, was it 444 Squadron at Bad Söllingen?

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The best kit in 1/48 Scale is the Kinetic offering and they do both single and two-seat versions. IIRC the two-seat version includes decals for a CAF option.

 

The 1st Canadian Air Group (1 CAG) was based at CAFB Baden-Sollingen and consisted of the following CF-18 Hornet Squadrons:

 

409 'Night Hawks'

421 'Red Indians'

439 'Sabre Toothed Tigers'  

 

The CAF CF-18 Squadrons did not stay at Baden-Sollingen very long. Having replaced the CF-104s in the mid-late 1980s they were 'victims' of the peace dividend that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact and the so-called Cold War. 409 Sqn redeployed to CFB Bagotville, Quebec, 421 Sqn disbanded at Baden-Sollingen in June 1992 and 439 Sqn also disbanded at Baden-Sollingen but was reformed as a rotary wing unit back in Canada in the mid-1980s.

 

444 Sqn was never equipped with the CF-18 Hornet

 

HTH     

 

P.S. I just checked the Kinetic two-seater boxing and it contains standard Squadron markings for 409, 410 and 425 Sqn jets in CAF Service but these are all for jets operated in the 2015-16 timeframe. As Creepy Pete has said Leading Edge do a very comprehensive sheet for the CF-118 (coincidentally I have just received a copy of this through the post this weekend !) and this provides a large number of options, although most are for single-seat aircraft since it mainly covers operational jets from the Gulf, the Balkans, Libya etc.    

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Thanks gents, extremely helpful info! I'll have a look around and see what I can find then.

 

Sounds like 1 CAG only had Hornets for about five or six years then. 

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30 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:

Thanks gents, extremely helpful info! I'll have a look around and see what I can find then.

 

Sounds like 1 CAG only had Hornets for about five or six years then. 

The first Hornets arrived in Germany in 1984 with the aim of completing the transition from CF-104 to CF-118 by the end of 1986. The 3 Germany based CF-118 Hornet Squadrons continued to operate throughout the rest of the 1980s and into the early 1990s with at least two of the Squadrons involved in deployments to the Middle East in support of Desert Storm in 1991. The Canadian ceased flying NATO declared operations from Baden-Sollingen from 1 January 1993 and the last 26 aircraft departed for Canada some three weeks later.   

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3 hours ago, Tiger331 said:

The first Hornets arrived in Germany in 1984 with the aim of completing the transition from CF-104 to CF-118 by the end of 1986. The 3 Germany based CF-118 Hornet Squadrons continued to operate throughout the rest of the 1980s and into the early 1990s with at least two of the Squadrons involved in deployments to the Middle East in support of Desert Storm in 1991. The Canadian ceased flying NATO declared operations from Baden-Sollingen from 1 January 1993 and the last 26 aircraft departed for Canada some three weeks later.   

The is no such thing as a CF-118.  They are CF-18 and the serials are in the 188 range.  It is incorrect to use "CF-188".  The first based Hornets arrived at Baden in April 1985.  Four aircraft from No.410 Squadron did visit Baden in May 1984 to check hangar fit etc.  No.409 did not move to Bagotville, No.439 actually folded at Ottawa, later reforming at Bagotville with Silver Star and Griffon.

Patrick Martin

 

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My understanding, and that of much of the aviation press and the official website of the Royal Canadian Air Force, is that the Hornet is officially designated CF-188 (F/A-18A) and CF-188D for 'dual' (F/A-18B) by Canada, hence why serials are in the 188xxx range, and does not use the name Hornet as it is not bilingual. CF-18 is a popular description only.

 

I would be grateful to know why the RCAF at least itself is incorrect when it uses the designation CF-188.

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Also which time frame do you plan on going with as the lex fence mods were not in place early on and squadron markings were not applied as all the a/c belong to the 1st Canadian Air Group and were shared between the squadrons, especially the duals 918 and 919. This was early on and even though some squadrons did apply the tail markings, like in the pic below, they were as quickly painted over:

 

EarlyYears_RCAFGermany_CF-18B_188919.jpg

 

some singles here:

 

http://rcaf-arc-images.forces.gc.ca/gallery/caf/detail/?filename=787-IMG0017&assetId=12266

 

Jari

Edited by Finn
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3 hours ago, Patrick Martin said:

The is no such thing as a CF-118.  They are CF-18 and the serials are in the 188 range.  It is incorrect to use "CF-188".  The first based Hornets arrived at Baden in April 1985.  Four aircraft from No.410 Squadron did visit Baden in May 1984 to check hangar fit etc.  No.409 did not move to Bagotville, No.439 actually folded at Ottawa, later reforming at Bagotville with Silver Star and Griffon.

Patrick Martin

 

Apologies for getting the CF-188 designation wrong (it should read CF-188 rather than CF-118). As the other correspondent has confirmed (and based on my Service with the CAF) CF-188 is the correct designation.....CF-18 is rarely used within military sources although it is oft quoted 'outside' hence the confusion. My other information came from an official 1 Canadian Air Group/Division website so please take up any other inaccuracies with them.

 

Thanks 

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2 hours ago, Truro Model Builder said:

My understanding, and that of much of the aviation press and the official website of the Royal Canadian Air Force, is that the Hornet is officially designated CF-188 (F/A-18A) and CF-188D for 'dual' (F/A-18B) by Canada, hence why serials are in the 188xxx range, and does not use the name Hornet as it is not bilingual. CF-18 is a popular description only.

 

I would be grateful to know why the RCAF at least itself is incorrect when it uses the designation CF-188.

Correct

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Thanks for the input guys. I'm hoping to add one to my stash, the Kinetic kit looks great but is very expensive, so I'm wondering if the Hobbyboss F/A-18A kit (with aftermarket decals) would be suitable for a 1st CAG jet circa 1986-89? 

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1 hour ago, Lord Riot said:

Thanks for the input guys. I'm hoping to add one to my stash, the Kinetic kit looks great but is very expensive, so I'm wondering if the Hobbyboss F/A-18A kit (with aftermarket decals) would be suitable for a 1st CAG jet circa 1986-89? 

The Hobby Boss kit should do it, but it's worth shopping around. The Kinetic kit will provide you with Canadian markings, albeit later than you would like. Alternatively, if you decide to get the superb Leading Edge set, Kinetic have a new US aggressor boxing coming out which is not much more than the Hobby Boss kit. The Kinetic kits also give you the option of two seater aircraft.

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There is also the Hasegawa kit....

Realy cheap is non of them!

If you want cheap, but still decent shape go for a Monogram one! ( raised panel lones though!)

 

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While yes, you can officially call the Hornet a “CF-188”, in all my years I have yet to be on a ramp and have anybody point out a “CF-188”.  It’s always been a “Hornet”, “18”, or a “CF-18”.  More to the point, in building a model of Baden-Soellingen based CF-18, there are a couple of interesting differences.  The aircraft were far dirtier (after use) than those based in Canada.  The European skies provided the sootier environment – at least back in the eighties.  Also watch for the port side lamp (the real name eludes me now) that was generally not used (but can be seen every now and then) behind the glass.  As mentioned there were changes over the ‘European years’ – such as the LEX.  If you want to get into Baden based specials – there were two ‘tigers’ (spot the headless naked lady anyone?) and the 409 coloured special…..  All the finish and markings for the Baden years can be found in Canadian Military Aircraft, Finish and Markings 1968 – 2004.

PM

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CF-18s in Baden were 'pooled' assets.  Aircraft were allocated to squadrons as needed.  If an aircraft went 'hard-down' it was usually passed off to 1 AMS (Air Maintenance Squadron),

It often took a long drive to another dispersal to find your aircraft.

It would not be uncommon to deploy with aircraft carrying other squadron's markings and not your own.

Patrick is correct.  The European weather was brutal on our Hornets.  Especially the newer aircraft. 

There was a definite difference in the thickness of the paint on later aircraft, I suppose MacAir was learning how little paint composites needed.  The weave pattern was more discernable the younger the aircraft was.

As aircraft rotated from Canada it was shocking how much cleaner a 5 year older Hornet looked to a Baden bird.  And it wasn't thru lack of proper washing either.

The search light was a rare option in Baden.  It was mostly a grey blanking plate behind the plexiglass porthole.

When we first received the Hornet in Cold Lake we were not to refer to the aircraft as CF-18s nor as the Hornet, apparently not bilingual.  Naturally every badge, patch, sticker, ballcap and t-shirt was blazoned with CF-18 Hornet Handler.

And for your modelling fun - I parked the 7th Hornet we received direct from St. Louis.  They forgot to paint CANADA on one side of the aircraft :)

 

Dave

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2 hours ago, sabre0 said:

They forgot to paint CANADA on one side of the aircraft :)

 

Dave

It was missing on the right side, the jet came to Baden like that. 

 

Jari

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If you plan on doing a Baden CF-18 in the 85 or 86 time frame some things were not available at the time, the first Alert load i did was 2 AIM-9s on the wing tips and one BL-755 on each outboard pylon (no inboard pylons) and a c/l tank as we didn't have any VERs, no  extra pylons, or extra fuel tanks, no chaff/flare, we couldn't even do a gun load as the parts weren't available. By the time i left Baden in the Summer of 87 we pretty much had everything for full loads except AIM-7s which arrived after i left.

 

Jari

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Thank you Jari, that's great info! I always want to try and build an accurate loadout on my kits rather than hanging everything on there.

 

I'm pleased to have bought the Hobbyboss kit for under £30 on ebay, including postage! Bargain! Although it's an F/A-18A that will do me, the reviews said it's a decent kit and one I think I could make as a Canadian CF-18 circa mid-80s. Just need to find the decals cheap now.

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Having searched a bit online, would I be correct to deduce that 1st CAG Hornet colours would be:

 

FS35237 medium grey (Tamiya spray AS-28),

FS36375 light ghost grey (AS-26), and

FS36118 medium gunship grey (TS-48)?

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

Having searched a bit online, would I be correct to deduce that 1st CAG Hornet colours would be:

 

FS35237 medium grey (Tamiya spray AS-28),

FS36375 light ghost grey (AS-26), and

FS36118 medium gunship grey (TS-48)?

 

 

 

 

Spot on. The tip of the radome is FS11140 cream.

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21 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

FS35237 medium grey (Tamiya spray AS-28),

FS36375 light ghost grey (AS-26), and

FS36118 medium gunship grey (TS-48)

 

3 hours ago, Truro Model Builder said:

 

Spot on. The tip of the radome is FS11140 cream.

 

If I can ask a question, where is the FS36118 used? I think that FS35237 is the colour on the top and FS36375 for the bottom, but I can't really seem to see a third tone of grey. Then they were so filthy I guess it's just hard to see.

 

I looked earlier on the IPMS Canada site and they have a table and against FS36118 it doesn't mention the CF-18.

 

IPMS-Canada-CF-188-greys.jpg

 

However, AK Interactive's CAF CF-18 Hornet paint set does include it along with the other two colours.

 

Aircraft and paints - eternally confusing for me!

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Ah, of course. I'd just assumed that was black and I also thought it was almost always issued as a decal/transfer due to the near impossible task of painting it precisely (I expect that there are aftermarket mask sets available but kit manufacturers tend not to assume that the builder can or will buy them).

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