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1/144 Airfix F-104 Starfighter with Canadian Markings


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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.




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...



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.



A little less filling and sanding on the top:



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.





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.



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.



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.






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.





Now some masking instead of the canopy.  (Grumble)



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





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:



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.








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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