1/48 Hasegawa CF-18 Demo (2003)

Gallery Article by Dan McWilliams on May 12 2009



A friend gave me this beautiful decal sheet from Leading Edge Models, so I couldn't resist building the jet.  I knew it would be a challenge given the large size of the decals, and the complex curves they would have to bend around.  Painting would also need to be precise, because the decals require some underlying black patches atop the spine and upper areas of the vertical tails.  The decals were already several years old, so I was also worried about splintering - which turned out not to be too big a problem, except for one or two minor accidents that could be repaired by nudging the splintered decals together and letting them set in place.  This was also my first attempt at using an after-market resin seat.  Very nice detail, but talk about delicate!  I managed to knock off some tiny bits while hacking and sawing to get rid of the block at the base of the casting.

Click on images below to see larger images




I studied some reference photos and found that the left-hand inboard leading-edge flap actuator leaked quite a bit of grease, so I made sure to weather it a bit with pencil.  The rest was left quite pristine, given that this airplane was a demo jet.  These are the only pics I have, and minor technical problems with the camera (don't ask!) led to me not having any with the canopy or boarding ladder in place.  

The large decals on the nose upper portions wouldn't sit quite right, no matter how hard I tried.  When I got more persuasive, they started to fragment, so I left well enough alone.  I had similar problems with the big white decals sitting in place on the drooped trailing edge flaps. My favourite moment with this model was the day that the demo pilot himself (Dano Bélanger) came into my office here at the CF-18 Simulator training centre, and oohed and aahed over the finished kit.  When I pointed out the weathering on the wing, he told me how many times he had the techs clean it during the show season, and how the actuator would just leak again the next day.  This colourful little model is great when admired from a respectful distance, and looks great on my shelf next to the duller non-demo examples of CF-18s.

Dan McWilliams

Click on images below to see larger images

Photos and text © by Dan McWilliams