1/48 Revell CF-118

Cougar Squadron

by Pablo Calcaterra



After arriving in Canada as new residents, I decided to build one of the planes of the RCAF when I saw the very cheap (CAN 15) Revell Blue Angels Hornet.

It is molded in blue and decals are only for the US Navy acrobatic team so I bought a set of decals for RCAF planes (“Balkan rats”) made by Leading Edge and a resin kit by a company that now, almost 4 years after I bought it, I have completely forgotten (sorry!).

Building the cockpit was quite straightforward, lots of little details and knobs painted here and there. The radar screens were covered with a couple of drops of Future.

The harnesses were made using foil paper.

There were several areas that I had to improve using putty and also acrylic base.

The extra support for the vertical surfaces and their strengtheners were scratch built using white plasticard.  

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After painting in light grey some areas to check for imperfections I gave the whole plain a coat of protective green (primer).  Then the plane was preshaded with black paint and the airbrush.

The two tones of grey (FS 36375 and 35237) were applied after the wheel wells and doors were painted in gloss white. The demarcation of the two greys was done by the airbrush free hand, masking some areas with tape to prevent some over painting.

The project lost steam and I built other planes until…Jetstream in Discovery Channel! This show is about the training of Canadian pilots in Alberta at 410 Sqn and broke the ice…I decided to finish the plane almost 3 years after leaving it aside. Instead of going for a Balkan Rat, I wanted to make one of the planes of 410 Sqn. As the paint job was finished, then I had to look for a plane of that squadron that had the same demarcations lines along the tail and nose!

Using information supplied by Steve, walkaround from this website and Airliners I decided to heavily weather (probably too much) my CF-18. I used dry pastels, sanded and the dust was applied with a brush.

The kit was given a generous hand of Future and then the nightmare with the decals started.

They cracked and broke in tens of pieces upon hitting the water! The cracks would already been seen on the paper. Something was really wrong.

Upon talking to the people of the hobby shop in London, I was told that they should be old and that that happens when it’s the case. So I bought a decal solution to make them stronger. It worked better, but still some of them were very hard to set on the kit, even after repeated treatments of Set and Sol! A true nightmare. For instance, the triangles in the intakes, even with the solution mentioned above, still broke in 7 pieces, which were extremely difficult to align. It took me one week of work with the stencils and numbers to finish this tortuous process.

But finally I prevailed.

Other details I worked on where the formation lights on the fuselage (a couple of drops of green paint and Future on the base of the clear parts), the lights on the nose landing leg, the gunsight painted in blue and Future, the reflector on the nose (made with Chrome silver), the actuator legs also in Chrome silver, grids and moveable surfaces highlighted with black pencil and many others that you can appreciate in the pictures of the finished kit.

Thanks to Steve, Charlie Arsenault and Colin Kunkel for their support and help to finish this tribute to the Canadian fighter pilots.  


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Photos and text © by Pablo Calcaterra