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Italeri CF-104 Starfighter "Kicked up a Notch": Mar30/21, DONE!


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Thanks Guys!  Checking out the metallic finish again this morning, I'm pretty happy with the results which as Marcel pointed out, are subtle, but it gives the finish that little extra "Oomph" I was looking for. 

 

While I always appreciate all of your comments and compliments, I got the very best one from my wife last night.  Like most modeling spouses, my wife sort of just puts up with my hobby and my laser focus on it, which sometimes can be all consuming to the detriment of more important things in life.  Guilty as charged.  Anyway, when she was in my work area looking at this model she commented, "I think this is the best model you've ever made.  I really like the metal.", which is very cool since it's still far from finished.  To me it's not my best model by a long shot, mostly because the wide kit panel lines hold it back, but I think it will look killer when I get all the control surfaces, landing gear, canopy and wingtip tanks attached. Fingers crossed!

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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I love everything you have done there, the difference in realism imho is huge between this finish and a solid block of Alclad colour. We 'weather' normal camo paint so for me the same ideas should apply to bring scale realism. Looking at real NMF F-104 pics, I don't think the grain is very obvious in most photos on the panels compared to other types such as a NMF Mirage III, so not going all out and adding the more prominent scratches all over is the best call. Top work. 

 

David

Edited by Marine104
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38 minutes ago, Marine104 said:

I love everything you have done there, the difference in realism imho is huge between this finish and a solid block of Alclad colour. We 'weather' normal camo paint so for me the same ideas should apply to bring scale realism. Looking at real NMF F-104 pics, I don't think the grain is very obvious in most photos on the panels compared to other types such as a NMF Mirage III, so not going all out and adding the more prominent scratches all over is the best call. Top work. 

 

David

 

Thanks David!

 

For those who may be interested, below is the Prime Portal website of images by Luc Colin that I used the most for this build.  While not a CF-104 but a F-104G, it shares many of the same characteristics of the Canadian version, although likely much more weathered than it would have been circa 1965 or so.  This is the main reference I used for rivet placement and where the dark wash idea came from, because this bird is quite weathered and dark overall.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

Prime Portal Luc Colin Photos of F-104G

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1 hour ago, chuck540z3 said:

Anyway, when she was in my work area looking at this model she commented, "I think this is the best model you've ever made.  I really like the metal.",

 

 

 

I knew I was finally starting to gain some skill at modeling when my wife, who knows nothing about either models or airplanes (she's a virologist), commented without prompting: "It looks just like the real one, but small..."   You have to imagine it with the Russian accent to get the full effect.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

March 30/21

 

 

I hate the end of any modeling project, but this one more in particular.  So many of the tiny details are left off the model until the very end for fear of breakage, but this is also usually when the model is the most difficult to handle at the same time.  At about 21” long not including the needle-like pitot tube on the nose, it’s hard to work with this jet without it banging into everything, damaging the paint.  All the hard work you put into a model can come crashing down at the end if you’re unlucky or not careful.  In any case, this model is DONE!

 

I do, however, have some recent challenges that I'd like to share as follows;

 

-  I left off the control surfaces for ease of handling and painting, which worked great.  With no tabs to use to attach them to the wings and tail, however, they are tough to glue using CA glue without making a mess, especially after painting.  I pulled it off OK, but it was unnecessary stress to do so and if I built this model again, I would glue them on early before paint with Tamiya cement.

 

-  The open Avionics Bay cover and Canopy are likely the most vulnerable parts of any build I’ve dealt with before, because again, there are no tabs to slide them into.  They just sit there and presumably other modelers have used CA glue to secure them, risking pretty much everything as they hang over the side defying gravity.  For this I figured out a better way, using small drill bit pins to hold them in place without any glue at all.  It was risky drilling the holes into the sides of the thin fuselage walls, but I’m pretty happy with the results.

 

-  Gluing a painted canopy rail inside the canopy was also tricky, because there are only 2 contact points at the rear, leaving the front and one side unsecured.  This was also accomplished with thin CA glue without a major mishap, but it too was risky and stressful.

 

-  My method of attaching the landing gear at the end worked like a charm, but then again, I did trim and dry fit everything before paint to make sure that happened.  Landing gear doors, however, also without attaching tabs, were a real pain to attach cleanly.  Did I mention that this was stressful as well?

 

-  I weathered the model with pastels to show that this was a working jet and not a museum piece, but still not filthy like maybe a Greek Starfighter.  I think it added just the right amount of realism and made it more interesting to look at, which changes from every angle with different lighting.

 

 

 

One last step I would like to show is final assembly of the landing gear and other items, starting with this:

 

 

5m7E94.jpg

 

 

Not only do the ResKit wheels look great on the kit legs, you can align the wheels perfectly with them off the model which is a first for me.  I added the main hydraulic brake line down the legs according to references and not much else, other than tie-down hooks which is found on the left and missing on the right (it fell off, since fixed).  While the wheels are circles going over square pegs for the legs, they still fit nice and tight with a little trimming.

 

 

VfZUMJ.jpg

 

 

These wheels are directional and according to references, that bulbous notch feature on the wheel should be at the rear on either side, while the brake line goes into the side of the coupling at the top of the wheel.

 

 

M8QG40.jpg

 

 

With everything attached that hangs on the bottom, plus a little weathering with pastels.

 

 

i8PzoJ.jpg

 

 

And now a few pics of the completed model.  This metallic finish was really hard to photograph, because on a flat light background, it reflects nothing, dulling the look of the finish.  As a result, I retook a few of them from many different angles with my go-to blue background, which shows the metallic sheen a lot better.

 

Here’s what I mean…

 

 

J6Obn0.jpg

 

 

VS.

 

 

2FDd1E.jpg

 

 

HuMHzv.jpg

 

 

L5Ztx2.jpg

 

 

vKaltC.jpg

 

 

ROD3vd.jpg

 

 

023NZJ.jpg

 

M4zrHM.jpg

 

 

Fdlz25.jpg

 

 

BFVSfv.jpg

 

 

eqCZBw.jpg

 

 

RBSmF6.jpg

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

 

This kit is a real mixed bag of some good features and many challenges, but overall can be made into a pretty accurate looking F-104.  The deep and wide panel lines are the weakest part of the fuselage which are very hard to mitigate, so you pretty much have to just live with them.  While the Black Box (Avionix) resin cockpit made for the Hasegawa kit fit fairly well, the Aires Avionics and Ammunition Bay was a very tight fit and is not recommended to beginners.  The ResKit engine/exhaust and CF-104 wheels are outstanding, while the VideoAviation SUU-21 (converted to MN-1A) bomb dispenser was pretty good.  The biggest surprise was the kit decals, which I would also consider outstanding, but I understand that decals in earlier versions of this kit are not very good.  The HGW decal rivets worked much better than I thought, but with over 9,000 of them, you really have to want to put in the time to get the desired effect.  Overall, a very good modeling experience, but I’m really glad it’s over with!

 

 

The rest of the pics will be in the Ready for Inspection Forum.  See you there!

 

Ready For Inspection

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

Edited by chuck540z3
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  • chuck540z3 changed the title to Italeri CF-104 Starfighter "Kicked up a Notch": Mar30/21, DONE!

That is simply superlative work, Chuck. It actually looks real. Quite masterful, actually. I thoroughly enjoyed following this thread and learning from your tutorials. Thank you for sharing this wonderful build with us. 

Cheers!

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2 minutes ago, LSP_Kevin said:

Superb work, Chuck! If I'm honest, though, I think I prefer the photos against the white background. They just seem a little more realistic to me, even if they don't quite show the metallic effect the way you were hoping.

 

Kev

 

Thanks Kev, that's why I took both types of shots.  To my human eye, the metal finish is stained and weathered a bit, but still quite shiny.  The white background looks like the paint is dull and quite dirty, while the blue background shows that it looks shiny with not much weathering stain.  It's somewhere in between, honest! ^_^

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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