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George Schembri
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CF-104 CAF Starfighter ‘1971 Tiger Bird’ – Academy 1/72

April 14, 2021 · in Aviation · · 17 · 2.2K

This build was a testing stage for painting this scheme after seeing a similar paint scheme at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
The biggest concern was being able to completely separate the Yellow from any Black overspray while trying to achieve a tight blending or feathering effect, using modeling clay for the first time as a mask.
I figured the kit would be a great kit to mess around with as it's not a difficult build - it just has a seat for a cockpit, no wheel wells and empty air/speed brakes.
Having build the Hasegawa and ESCI kits, this Academy kit is a definite 3rd place finish. The Air intakes don't look right and the forward section looks bulky and the canopy is no way near accurate.

The 'Belcher Bits' Decal Set#BD7 is top notch though, very nice. I did need some white background on the white insignia decals though, but that has happened with other decals also.
The decal set allows multiple version of the Canadair with various insignia from different eras spanning years from 1962 through 1983.
The decals indicated the '71 (#104823) paint scheme matched that of the '72 (#104770) scheme.
I could not find any photos of this '1971 Tiger Bird' as it was lost due to an in-flight contact incident with another during its first flight with the new paint scheme.
I did find the Incident Report at which indicated Maj. M.I. Chesser did safely eject from the aircraft.

Things workout fine with the masking, although my actual layout is not too accurate - but since I could not find any photos of #104823, I guess there might be a chance that I am closer than I think 😉
Thanks for checking my post.

Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. Great job on this, I don't think that i would ever attempt this scheme.

  2. You performed a great job on this one, George.
    The masking has done its job perfectly.
    Fantastic tiger meet scheme.

  3. Congratuilations on your tiger scheme, my friend @georgeswork!

    You did a great job there, the clay providing a nice, tight bordering.

    You are right about the Academy kit (which is a clone of the ancient Hasegawa first edition one): it's very basic. However, for a wheels-up version it might be acceptable, as the bays cannot be seen and a charming pilot can fill the cockpit emptiness!

    I read the accident report: good that both pilots made it! Catching up a formation is not as easy as might be considered: overshooting the formation can happen very easilly, as was the case with your Tiger.

    Looking forward to your next project!

  4. Well done George, your your attempt at painting Tiger stripes turned out quite well in my opinion.

  5. Nice Tiger, George!

  6. That bumble bee looks like it has quite the sting! Nice job on the painting - came out great!

    • Thanks Greg, next Tiger Bird will probably be from the '76 (104756) or '77 (104838) Tiger Meets using either ESCI or Hasegawa Kits.
      Found some nice photos of '838 and Hamilton has an aircraft painted as '756 on display.
      The number of stripes seems to reduce as the years advance.

  7. Fantastic tiger scheme on this, I can't believe it's 1/72, it looks more like 1/32 on my computer screen, definitely liked.

  8. Very nice Tiger scheme. Well done. Amazed you pulled it off so well in this scale. Doesn’t look like a third place finish at all. Looking forward to your next Tiger.

    Your build Inspired me to get out the reference books and look at a bunch of fantastic paint jobs from previous Tiger Meets over the years.

    • Thanks Eric (@eb801), I appreciate the great comments.
      There are definitely a few beauties - some masterpieces actually from the recent years.
      This was a nice kit but it has it's issues when compared to the Hasegawa and the ESCI kits. The other kits just catch the Starfighters lines so well.

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