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1/144 Airfix F-104 Starfighter with Canadian Markings


ErikT
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This is a very old kit, which I bought perhaps 20 years ago and squirreled away under the garage stairs with all the other 1/144 aircraft I intend to build eventually.  It was a poor kit, with minimal detail and several fit issues, but I've put some time and effort into it to bring it up to snuff.  I wanted to have a tiny CF-104A in the all-metal scheme, so that's what I hope will happen with this one when I'm finished.  I found some nice CF decals from Above & Below Graphics in the correct scale, so those will be furnishing this little beast soon.

 

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The kit went together fairly easily, but there were a few areas that required some filling and sanding.  And I'm no fan of raised panel lines, but I didn't want to spend the time polishing them off and re-scribing them, so we'll see how well they turn out later...

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A lot of the seams and fit on the bottom surfaces needed filling.  It's going to be a static model on a tarmac base, so these surfaces won't ever be seen, but I had to do them anyway or else I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

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A little less filling and sanding on the top:

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The cockpit consisted of an ejection seat, which is more than I can expect in this scale.  I attempted to build a proper instrument panel with thin styrene, but I wasn't too pleased with how chunky and basic it looked.

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So I decided to give 3D modeling a try, and designed this simple instrument panel on Fusion 360.  I printed it out, and it seems to look a lot better.  Bear in mind that the entire panel you see is 5mm wide by 4mm high.

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Blurry photo of the panel installed, blended and primed.  I also had to build the forward panel casing beneath the windscreen, as that area was flat.

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Here's a better view.  We'll see how she looks with some paint next time.  And hopefully my photos improve.

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Got it all primed and painted over the weekend, and it's starting to come together.  Of course, I dropped the canopy on the floor and my Great Dane immediately got up and stepped on it, shattering it into many small pieces and scattering them to the winds as I yelled at her to stop.  So now I have to come up with a canopy somehow.

 

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Got the cockpit painted up.  I think I'll try a light wash next time for the tiny little dials.  Trying to paint inside a 0.2mm hole isn't the easiest.

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Now some masking instead of the canopy.  (Grumble)

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And the glorious bright aluminum, or aluminium for my cousins across the waves.

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We all know what masking looks like, so why bother to show it?  Here's the final result after a few different colours on some panels:

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All glossy and ready for decals.  I'm happy to see how it's looking already.  I hope the Canadian decals work well.

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I managed to get the decals fitted and settled down this weekend, and not much else.  They do look nice, though.

 

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Just a final bit of assembly to go with the landing gear doors, and figuring out how to make a new canopy.  I'm planning to display this one next to my CF-18 that I built for the Canadian group build.

 

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