In-Box Review
CF-104 symmetrical scheme; Natual Metal, Olive Green and Varigated Camouflage schemes
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by: Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]


The CF-104 Starfighter was selected in 1959 to serve in the tactical nuclear strike role as part of Canada's NATO commitment. The first Canadair built starfighter flew in 1961 and by 1962 the Starfighter had entered squadron service. In 1971 the fleet was transitioned to the conventional strike role, a move which saw the addition of the M-61 Vulcan 20mm cannon which had previously not been fitted. The CF-104 could also carry the Vinten Vicon camera pod on the centreline fuselage hard point.

This decal represents the “symmetrical” bilingual markings the Starfighter fleet wore between 1973 and 1987

First Impressions

This is a very comprehensive sheet, offering representative service aircraft from all four squadrons which flew the starfighter in all 3 of the common operational colour schemes: natural metal, olive green and disruptive green/grey with subdued markings.

CF104s were first not painted except for the wings and tailplanes. In Canada, the tailplanes and tip tanks were painted red for visibility. Operational aircraft in Europe had white tailplanes and bare metal tip tanks. The upper wings were white and the lowers were 501-109 grey. The radome was also 501-109 with a black anti-glare panel. The rest of the fuselage was unpainted. Canadian-based aircraft wore this scheme right up until retirement.

In the early 1970s, after the switch to conventional strike, the Europe-based Starfigher fleet was painted in an overall olive green 503-322, which was similar to US olive drab, especially after fading in the weather. The national markings were reduced in size, but still contained large areas of white which rendered them fairly conspicuous.

The fleet was repainted in a disruptive grey and green camouflage scheme very reminiscent of the RAF day fighter scheme of World War II in the late 1970s. The white in the national markings was removed, making them much less conspicuous. The fleet was retired in this scheme.

The printing is very sharp and the carrier film is as limited as possible, most often not extending past the printed outline of the marking. The decals look very thin. These are traditional silk-screen printing, not ALPS nor laser printed.

decal sheets

There are four sheets in this set.

The first sheet contains the basic markings; roundels, flags and rescue markings. The second has many of the coloured stencils and servicing marks, plus a few roundels which didn't fit on the first sheet. The third sheet has generic numbers sufficient to do any aircraft the modeller wishes, plus an anti-glare panel and a few stencils. The last sheet has black panel outlines/stencils sized to fit either the Italeri or the Hasegawa kit.

A small supplemental sheet contains the lettered maple leaves worn by the team at the NATO Tactical Air Meet in 1978

Completing this set is a sheet of kabuki tape with masks for the canopy, wheel hubs and position lights in a style very reminiscent of the masks produced by Eduard. It is accompanied by a small instruction sheet.

instruction sheets

The instructions come on three 8 1/2 X 11 sheets printed in full colour. The first has complete 4-view drawings of a typical natural metal aircraft of 417 Squadron, with full stencil placement details overleaf.

The second sheet details the overall olive scheme for an aircraft of 439 Squadron, with stencil placement overleaf. The stencils are applicable to both camouflaged versions.

The third sheet shows the disruptive camouflage scheme, and overleaf has four side profiles of two active service Starfighters of 439 and 441 Squadrons and also the 1976 and 1978 NATO Tactical Air Meet special schemes.

The instruction sheet mentions that the decals may be harmed by strong setting solutions. I did a test using portions of the incorrect fuselage flash and my poor old knocked-about Revell 1/72 Voodoo.

  • 1. Solvaset
  • 2. Micro Sol
  • 3. Micro Set
  • 4. No setting solution

The results show that used carefully, Solvaset did not damage this decal, and that used without any setting solution at all, the decal still conforms to the moulded detail.

This and all other Canuck Models decals may be purchased directly from the Canuck Models website.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: A comprehensive decal set which will allow for an accurate CF-104 of your choice.
Lows: None to speak of
Verdict: This set is just what the Doctor ordered to replace the inaccurate Italeri kit decals. Fans of the RCAF will love it.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 030-32
  Suggested Retail: C$25.00
  PUBLISHED: Mar 11, 2015

Our Thanks to Canuck Model Products!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Is a secret (Jessie_C)

Copyright ©2021 text by Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Nice review, Jess!
MAR 11, 2015 - 10:26 PM
Jess, Another outstanding and well detailed review. the CF-104 is one of my favorite jets. Joel
MAR 22, 2015 - 03:31 AM

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