Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
Lockheed CF-104D Starfighter
104651, Canadian Armed Forces
417 Squadron, CFB Cold Lake, Alberta
Production Limited 600 Units
November 2014 Release
In addition to 200 Single Seat CF-104s built by Canadair in Montreal, the RCAF acquired 38 "Duals" built by Lockheed in the United States. Canadian Starfighters entered service in 1961 with Eight Canadian Squadrons based in Germany and France in the Nuclear Strike and Reconnaissance roles as part of the Nation's commitment to NATO. Eventually under the Trudeau government the CF-104s were reduced to just three squadrons and converted to the conventional attack role in 1972. A role they fulfilled until replaced by the CF-18 Hornet in 1986.
The model represents aircraft #104651 based at CFB Cold Lake with 417 Squadron, which was the Canadian Operational Training Unit (OTU). This particular aircraft crashed in June 1980 when the engine failed after ingesting several large birds at low level. Both pilots ejected safely (Pilot in Command - Canadian Air Force Captain Rick Wall and Second Pilot - Luftwaffe Hauptmann H. Riedel).
The Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, Alberta chose this aircraft to be represented when they restored their Ex Dutch TF-104. The restoration was completed and revealed to the public in August of 2013 with the last pilot to fly #651, Rick Wall in attendance.
Alberta Aviation Museum Edmonton
Below: Alberta Aviation Museum's "Ghost of 651"
The Museum chose to restore their aircraft with bright red wing tip external fuel tanks. While definitely attractive, the red tanks were never typical for Canadian CF-104s after the early 1960s. Technically red tanks would not be correct for the "symmetrical" markings scheme that was adopted on CF-104s beginning in 1973. Plain Silver Tip tanks were universally carried by CF-104s during this era and have been correctly modelled by Hobby Master.
The following corrections were made to the initial artwork and the following errors avoided on this model.
1) The Maple Leaf Roundel on the forward side of the fuselage was too small. The actual roundel measured 24 inches across.
2) The Red Turbine Warning Stripe at the rear of the aircraft - needed to be moved further aft.
3) The Fuel Cap on the port side of the fuselage was missing.
4) The "CANADA" marking on the sides of the jet intake needed to be moved further forward.
5) The Alberta Aviation Museum's aircraft has the entire top portion of the Tail Fin painted red. The Hobby Master artwork had that area entirely silver.
However, in reality the aft portion of the top of the fin was red. Most CF-104s had the entire tail silver - but some (including #651) had red there.
Below: Actual Aircraft #651
After Hobby Master's Pre Production photos appeared there were some additional minor corrections made for the final product. This included reinstating the port side fuselage fuel cap and including both ejection seat warning triangles under the canopy on the port side.
Quality control was good on this release. All the parts fit together well and there were no paint issues to speak of. The wing tip tanks in particular seemed to have a better fit than previous releases. Separate parts are provided to display the canopies either open or closed. Also (compared to the single seat version) the pitot probe is a part of the nose cone and as a result does not have any join line.
Overall another excellent Canadian model by Hobby Master. Easily recommended for any Canadian or Fast Jet collector.
Below: Seen with the previously released RCAF Single Seat CF-104 (HA1011) circa 1962.
Below: If one insists (and you have both models in your collection) - you can display the model with red tip tanks like the Alberta Aviation Museum. Just trade tip tanks with the previously released HA1011.