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Academy CF18 1/72nd scale with Leading Edge decals. Finished


Mr T
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My entry for this GB is the rather nice looking Academy F18. I am using the F18A+ boxing that has all the bits for a CF1, and  plan on using PE meant for the Hasegawa kit for the wing tip missile  rails, as the model will be unarmed. It is going to be finished in a Leading Edge Decal sheet for the RCAF 75th Anniversary colour scheme, which was bought at a Duxford Airshow some years ago. Just finishing off an Airfix Harrier GR1 and so full steam head with this and a Siskin for the Matchbox GB nest week.

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I've got that set. Its one I fancy doing.  But I have other tempting ones.  Looking forward to seeing progress with yours.  BY the way, does your kit have the small extra parts frame with additional fins? If so, they are the fins you need to make the CAF CF-18 as the fin tops have slightly differing fairings.

And, beware of the decals check the date and test how they perform by using the LEM logo decal or other non essential item to see if they don't crack or curl up and not stick down.  The one I am doing is an old set and there was a note inside stating that they may crack and suggest coating with a clear lacquer first. I didn't do that with the set I am using and luckily they are perfect.

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check Yes, it has the separate sprue. I have the overseas boxing and the contents are identical, just different decals 

and instructions. There were no warnings with the Leading Edge decals and do keeping fingers crossed and I will check on them. Thanks for the heads up. 

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11 hours ago, Paul J said:

I've got that set. Its one I fancy doing.  But I have other tempting ones.  Looking forward to seeing progress with yours.  BY the way, does your kit have the small extra parts frame with additional fins? If so, they are the fins you need to make the CAF CF-18 as the fin tops have slightly differing fairings.

And, beware of the decals check the date and test how they perform by using the LEM logo decal or other non essential item to see if they don't crack or curl up and not stick down.  The one I am doing is an old set and there was a note inside stating that they may crack and suggest coating with a clear lacquer first. I didn't do that with the set I am using and luckily they are perfect.


All the A, B and A+ boxings have that sprue, as it's necessary to do any A/B or upgraded A+/B+, the tails for the CF-188 are standard A/B tails.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Now that the Harrier is finished and, the Siskin cockpit has been scratchbuilt. I have been able to turn my attention  to the Hornet. Most of the fuselage has been assembled. It went together fairly well, apart from the join between the front fuselage and the main section. I have cleaned up the undercarriage, door etc. but any more priming will have to wait for the wind to drop a bit more. It is a nice kit and I am enjoying building it. There will be no missiles or fuel tanks to worry about, which should speed things along.

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On 12/01/2022 at 04:20, Adam Maas said:


All the A, B and A+ boxings have that sprue, as it's necessary to do any A/B or upgraded A+/B+, the tails for the CF-188 are standard A/B tails.

As far as I know, the CF of the RCAF have the fins which lacks a small fairing near top trailing edge of the fin and mid way between the other two fairings and the reinforcing fish plates at the base insides.  All these are on that extra sprue frame 

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The instructions for the Canadian/Australian/Spanish Hornet boxing use the fins on the extra sprue with the reinforcing plates. I hope to be at stage by the weekend all being well. 

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The fins on the extra sprue are the A/B fins, any A/B needs them.

The fins on the main sprue are C/D fins, so you can build a C/D from the A/B/A+/B+ boxings, but not vice versa.

The number of ECM fairings on the vertical stabs are different between the A/B and C/D.

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The wings and tail are on and it awaits filler. The build has gone so well so quickly that I forgot to do any photos, as it has been done between work on the Siskin. I will put some up beginning of next week. We are away for a few days as off down to Duxford and up to Ely as part of my birthday. 

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Refreshed from a break and looking at real aeroplanes, this is the current state of play with the Hornet. I was hoping to prime it, but the rain has put paid to that for today. The tailplanes will go on when all the joints are sorted, as they are going to get in the way.

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Further work on the Hornet. Intakes and tailplanes on, as well as various lumps and bump, and so  near some serious paintwork. The ejection seat from my diminishing stock of Aeroclub goodies has been painted and is ready to go unto the cockpit, which will be a job for this evening. The undercarriage and wheels are painted, but still need some touching up etc. I feel I am making some real progress on this kit after a slow start.

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I feel I am making some real progress on this kit after a slow start.

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Ready for paint, which went on after this pic. I am leaving the Light Compass Ghost Grey to harden before the Dark Blue Grey upper surface paint is  added. Looking the part a little more with canopy on and fully primed

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  • 3 weeks later...

A slight hiatus in this build occasioned by me decorating the dining room (which also has my model corner, a bureau with a fold out desk top). Before this, I was able to paint the CF18. The blue paint is a bit ragged on the edge, which will be covered by decals and is darker than the photo suggests. Should be back on track this week.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Decalling now. The Leading Edge decals are nicely printed, but reluctant to leave the backing paper unless the water is quite hot, they are also a bit brittle and not very 'bendy'. After three and a bit sessions of adding lots of stencils and lining, we are here.

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Tonight will see the pretty stuff go on. I have also found some decals on the kit sheet for the undercarriage. It is such a nice kit that it deserves them. They are printed by Cartograf, and so I expect no problems

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Looking nice. What blue are you using for the spine and wings. It looks right.  The LEM decals, generally  are really good but some that get really old tend to be tricky to use as I have found out. Its a case of ' the luck of the draw' I think. I sincerely hope the rest will work OK for you

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The blue is a Vallejo colour just called blue, it seems to be fairly decent match. The decal sheet is from 1999 and so is a bit old. The decals work reasonably well once they are parted from their backing paper, but are not very flexible and can be a bit brittle. A bit of Microscale Liquid Decal Film seems to help. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This will be the last update before the model goes into the gallery. The photos show all the decals are on, except for the wing leading edge protective strip, which broke up for some reason. The undercarriage and bits and pieces are on, and I am waiting for the final varnish coat to harden before any handling.

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Very much looking forward to seeing this in its finished state. The blue fuselage and wings and massive squadron crests on the tails are very eye-catching! 

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  • Mr T changed the title to Academy CF18 1/72nd scale with Leading Edge decals. Finished

The CF 18 is now complete and going into the Gallery.

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