1/32 Academy CF-18

Gallery Article by Dan McWilliams on May 20 2009

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Here is the 4th 1:32 scale CF-18 I have built from Academy's F/A-18C kit.  The first 3 were commission builds for friends with the gear up (in-flight).  This is my first that I get to keep, and also my first with gear down.  I decided to make a version that represents an air to air configuration that was used during the Gulf War; 3 AIM 7s, 4 AIM 9s, and 3 tanks.  This aircraft (759) actually flew in the Gulf, then it was repatriated to Bagotville Quebec post-war.  That's where I flew it many times (see 08.jpg - that's me in the aircraft). 

I've made the paint scheme like the Gulf-War timeframe (they were just starting to use the post-office style Canada markings, vice the early CANADA block letters).  The decals were the brand-new Leading Edge Models CF-18 standard markings, and the seat is an after-market Legend resin seat.

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The Academy kit is fantastic; it comes with lots of weapons, and is beautifully detailed.  I chopped off the requisite antennae, and scratch-built a few details for fun (the orange Gun safety switch 'beer can', the yellow canopy jettison handle by the canopy bow, and the remove before fight flags).  There is an in-progress build on another site - mail me if you want the link to it; that's where lots of detail is explained about this build.  I've used pencil to weather the paint job.  Aircraft like this one that flew several years in Germany got quite filthy - no amount of washing would remove the air pollution from the light gray.  I didn't do any pre-shading, just pencil and a wet finger.

This aircraft will take a proud place in my office at work.  One day I will build its brother - a modern (fully upgraded) CF-18 complete with laser guided bombs and a brand new Sniper targeting pod.  Thanks for looking!

Dan McWilliams

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Photos and text by Dan McWilliams