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Canadian Armed Forces CF-104 Starfighter 
417 Sqn Special


Leading Edge Models



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 72.041, 48.041, 32.008
Scale: This review is of the 1/48 set.
Contents and Media: One colour sheet, one instruction sheet, One (3/4 size) decal sheet.
Price: USD$9.25
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: A bright set of markings to do yet another of the many colourful Canadian special schemes; sharply printed; minimal carrier film; thin; perfect registration; clear instructions.
Disadvantages: No specific kit of the CF-104 available in 1/48 scale (Note: This is a *VERY* minor point though).
Recommendation: Highly Recommended 


Reviewed by Darren Mottram

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com


First Look


If there's one thing that the Canadian Armed Forces have become known for, it is striking and colourful paint jobs on their aircraft. Whilst most modellers may be familiar with the more recent schemes seen on the Hornet fleet in particular, the Canadians have actually been been painting up their aircraft like this for many years. This sheet depicts the scheme applied to CF-104 serial number 104763 to mark the closing of 417 Squadron (the Operational Training Unit) in 1983.



The scheme itself is quite simple and, as such, doesn't require many decals to replicate it. This is immediately apparent by the fact that the decal sheet is only about 3/4 the size of the standard A5 sheet. This is by no means a reflection of the quality of the decals though. They are beautifully printed with bright, solid and crisp colours, they seem quite thin and have the absolute minimum of carrier film. The registration is spot on and the white seems solid and opaque (admittedly the real test would be application though).

Notes in the instructions indicate that, on the 1/72 scale sheet, decals have been included to reproduce a distinctive series of vents on the underside of the fuselage, next to the nose wheel well, which are (apparently) missing from the Hasegawa kit. Extra colour blocks have been included to aid in colour matching but they would also be useful as extra decal to cover any gaps or splits which might occur when applying the decals over some of the compound curves. There are some extra potions of the striping included to allow for the option of opening the air brakes (although the instructions do point out that Canadian CF-104s were parked with them locked closed). The stencilling on this jet was minimal but what there was is included on the sheet, again, crisply printed and clear.

As with most Leading Edge sets the instructions include a colour "title sheet" which gives an overall impression of the colour scheme and decal positions and one, A4 size, black and white decal placement and painting guide sheet. The instruction sheet gives very clear and helpful information to help reproduce this scheme. Templates are even provided for each scale to help the modeller accurately mask the red area around and under the rear fuselage so as to match up with the red and white "pin stripe" decal applied in that area. Some tips are also included to help achieve the best results when applying the markings to the model.

Whilst Hasegawa has not yet released a dedicated CF-104 in 1/48 scale, the only external difference of the Canadian jets were some Radar Warning Receivers fitted under the nose and tail on later examples. The bonus is that this jet doesn't even have those fitted so all the modeller requires is an F-104J (Japanese) boxing or remove the main gear door bulges from an F-104G kit. 

Once again, Leading Edge have produced a high quality set of markings which allows the modeller to produce one of the ever increasing number of Canadian special and attractive colour schemes. If you're after something to set your Starfighter kit apart from the usual, drab, camouflage schemes, then this set is for you.

Thanks to Dave Koss at Leading Edge for the review sample

The full range of Leading Edge Models products can be viewed at www.lemdecal.com

The product range can be ordered by contacting Leading Edge at lemdecal@telusplanet.net or by snail mail (E, 83 Skyline Cres., N.E. Calgary, AB, T2K 5X2 Canada)

Review and Images Copyright © 2002 by Darren Mottram
Page Created 21 July, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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