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 REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4305 RCAF Canadair Sabre Mk.6, 434 Squadron, Zweibrucken, West Germany

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Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4305 RCAF Canadair Sabre Mk.6, 434 Squadron, Zweibrucken, West Germany   Sat Feb 18 2017, 21:46

Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
RCAF Canadair Sabre Mk.6
23707, 434 "Bluenose" Squadron, No.3 (Fighter) Wing
RCAF Station Zweibrucken, West Germany

Production Limited 600 Units

In 1957, the RCAF's 1 Canadian Air Division consisted of twelve Squadrons (over 300 aircraft) of Canadian built F-86 Sabre 6s and was a major contribution to NATO's deterrence against Soviet Aggression during the Cold War.

The Canadair Sabre 6 was the ultimate version of the F-86 and was powered by the Canadian designed Orenda 14 Engine which had 43% more thrust than the American J-47 powered variant (while the aircraft was also lighter in weight). The Sabre 6 had the “6-3 Hard Wing” of the F-86F but reintroduced the leading edge slats for improved low speed handling. As a result, the Canadian Sabre 6 Squadrons were virtually unbeatable in a dogfight and were unmatched by any other NATO Air Force.

The model represents a 434 “Bluenose” RCAF Squadron aircraft from No.3 (Fighter) Wing based at Zweibrucken, West Germany in 1959. This is the second RCAF Sabre 6 to be released by Hobby Master.

This Sabre was a suggestion of mine as my father was a Navigator with 434 Squadron on Halifaxes and Lancasters during the War.

434 was the last of 15 RCAF Bomber Squadrons formed in 1943. The squadron was adopted by the Rotary Club of Halifax, Nova Scotia and to show its connection to the city adopted the nickname "Bluenose Squadron", the common nickname for people from Nova Scotia and a tribute to the famous racing schooner Bluenose; an image of the schooner appeared on the squadron badge.

Canadians will easily recognize the Bluenose Schooner as it has appeared on the Canadian dime since 1937.

The squadron was reformed flying the Canadair Sabre and stationed as part of 3 Wing at RCAF Station Zweibrücken, West Germany on 7 March 1953, but was stood down on 16 June 1962. It was re-activated on 8 April 1963 as a Canadair CF-104 Starfighter unit in the strike/attack role and disbanded again on 1 March 1967.

434 Operational Training Squadron formed at CFB Cold Lake as the Canadair CF-5 operational training unit on 15 February 1968. The squadron later gave up OTU duties to 419 Squadron and became an operational squadron, moving to CFB Bagotville on 15 July 1982 later moving to CFB Chatham in July 1985.

The unit became 434 Composite Squadron and reformed at CFB Shearwater on 4 July 1992. The name was changed to 434 Combat Support Squadron and the unit moved to CFB Greenwood in mid-1995, flying the CC-144 Challenger and Canadair CT-133 Silver Star in the electronic warfare role. The squadron was finally disbanded there in May 2000.

The Model

This model was produced at the same time as HA4309 which was the Grostenquin, France based 421 “Red Indian” RCAF Squadron version released in 2014. As a result, all of the correct hard fought for details (that were included for the previous release) have been incorporated on this model as well. Since both models were painted at the same time the paint matches both models perfectly.

As with the first release the wing leading edge slats are in the deployed position which is correct anytime the aircraft was parked, taxiing, taking off, on approach, or basically anytime the aircraft was flying below an airspeed of 210 knots (including during the hard maneuvering of a dogfight). Both models have the additional engine inlets (“sugar scoops”) underneath the fuselage that were unique to late model Canadair Sabre 5s and 6s due to the higher thrust Canadian Orenda engines. Previously these inlets have only been available as aftermarket parts in the plastic kit world.

There are some minor differences between the two models however. The Bluenose Sword has a raw fiberglass coloured range finding radar rather than black on the previous release and the external fuel tanks are PRU Blue in colour rather than silver. I also asked for and got the additional “No Step” stencil located on the leading edge of the Vertical Fin. The only other difference is that the markings reflect a later standard with "RCAF" titles along the rear fuselage rather than the previously used two letter squadron codes.

Overall the model is a very pleasing and accurate representation of a Canadian Sabre 6 during the height of the Cold War. Highly recommended.


Below: Seen with the previously released (HA4309) 421 "Red Indian" Sabre 6.

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REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4305 RCAF Canadair Sabre Mk.6, 434 Squadron, Zweibrucken, West Germany
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