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RAAF CAC Sabre. Finished. Thankyou Brick!


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So after I finished the Meteor, I felt like I wanted to do something a bit easier. I dearly wanted to join the Korean War group build, but a gap existed in my collection where I want to depict the heritage of the RAAF jets. You certainly cant talk about Meteors and Mirages without talking about the Sabre as well. I will build this one in conjunction with the Super Hornet and should have one or the other or both ready for the upcoming show.

I have become friends with an ex RAAF Sabre pilot through my dealings in my Mirage 1:1 scale stick grips (he also flew Mirages) and I wanted to depict his aircraft as flown in Ubon, Thailand. This model will be of Kevin Bricknell's A94-967 and I hope to be able to do it justice. Kevin is one of our own here on LSP and goes by the name of Brick. The fact that there is no kit of the CAC Sabre is a minor inconvenience and I will use the Italeri F-86 kit as a basis for a conversion.

I am certainly not the first to attempt the conversion of an F-86 to the Aussie version, they do share a lot in common but a lot of the fuselage is changed to accomodate a bigger donk and there are a few schools of thought about how it should be done. There is a resin conversion available to tackle some of the changes but after inspecting it I found that more work would be involved fixing the resin parts than actually doing the conversion. There is an excellent build of a Master modeller (Mike Prince) build on the web (link below) in which he combines both the Hasegawa and the Italeri kit drawing on the best of both kits to make one. I have loosely based my conversion on his build but will only use the Italeri kit and fix the problems with that rather than kit bash it.


I was considering casting my conversion and offering copies, but after the work I have done on the kit I have come to the conclusion that it is easy enough for someone to do, if they have the ambition to do it.

The first part of the conversion is getting the shape of the intake lip right. By cutting it in half and adding a 3mm spacer, you will get a shape that the rest of the fuselage mod will be based upon.


The next part involved cutting along the already engraved panel lines of the nose and adding 3 mm to each cut. You will also notice that I have filled the existing 50 Calibre gun ports.


I added a tapered shim to the intake assembly, so that it correctly meets the shape of the new intake lip. to fit the Aires cockpit, I also carved off the floor of the kit cockpit which is attached to the top of the intake part. Of note in this picture is the Aires Nose gear bay which has also been incorporated into the intake assembly.


both intake parts loosely fitted together. I will finish this part off just like any other jet build, now that it has been corrected.


I have started a new cannon port and will duplicate it in resin. Once fitted to each side I will then be able to blend them into the nose and then scribe around the resin to form the panels that make up the ports.


Taped together, it looks a bit rough but it is starting to look like it should.


The Aires cockpit straddles the intake assembly and should be heavy enough to prevent the addition of extra weight on the nose. You can see that I have already started to mod the cockpit to RAAF spec.


The Aires Airbrake wells were quite hard to fit. As the Italeri plastic is very thick, just removing the kit wells took a lot of time. Each resin well has been recessed into the plastic such that there is only a tiny sliver of plastic that you can see light through between it and the outside skin of the fuselage (it looks quite realistic actually)


As the front half of the nose has been dropped by 3mm, there is a large step between it and where the wing mates to the fuselage. The italeri kit is noted for having a overly large bulge in front of the main wheel bays. The CAC Sabre had the deepened fuselage blended as far back as level with the rear edge of the canopy when closed. I was able to fix the bulge, and also blend my modification in at the same time, and as far back as the real thing as well. I used laminations of plastic card followed by filler to rough out the correct shape. The parts as seen in this picture are not glued together and will be further refined once joined.


As can be seen the bottom of the fuselage is one continuous curve.


Edited by ericg
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Guest Peterpools


You're turning into a RAAF conversion machine. Brilliant start on the Sabre, as all the modifications blended together perfectly.

Keep 'em coming


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Some more progress.


The CAC Sabre is covered with vents and grilles, most of which will need to be Scratchbuilt.


Firstly the two NACA vents either side of the fuselage. I needed a solution to easily replicate the rather difficult shape of the NACA vent into the surface of the plastic on both sides of the fuselage.


Here is the panel, which is bare on the kit.




I fashioned a template from brass plate. I figured this would allow me to get the shape sort of right without digging into the plastic.




By scribing the shape with a pin into the correct location, I then started digging out the shape with different shaped microchisels.






The completed NACA vent. Just needs a bit of Mr Surfacer applied inside it to even it out.




Just above each airbrake, is another vent. I scratched these out of 3 pieces of plastic on each side.




As I intend to fit Sidewinders to the model, I have started work on the pylons and rails. I replaced the kit Aero 3B rails with some resin House brand ones that had laying around. A small upgrade in detail.




Upon advice from Mr Bricknell, I have discovered that the Aires seat will need a fair bit of work to convert to RAAF standard. Some of the conversion work can be seen here as well as some extra work that has gone into the cockpit. Lots more to come here.




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A small update, but important one at that. I originally planned to cast a copy of the cannon port that I had made but ran out of silicone. I ended up scratching another one. I have now mounted both sides in the nose. You can see the extra work that has gone into the conversion on the left compared to the primed plastic on the right. I made the cannon ports slightly smaller that required so that I was able to scribe the panel line around them into kit plastic, which was a lot better than having to scribe it into the scratch built part. There is still a it more to go on each nose part, as the CAC Sabre had many different panels in this area.



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