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 REVIEW: Hobby Master CAF McDonnell Douglas CF-18, 425 "Alouette" Squadron, Libya "No Fly Zone" 2011

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PostSubject: REVIEW: Hobby Master CAF McDonnell Douglas CF-18, 425 "Alouette" Squadron, Libya "No Fly Zone" 2011   Sat Jul 15 2017, 19:55

October 19, 2011



Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
HA3502
McDonnell Douglas CF-188A (CF-18)
188769, 425 (Alouette) Squadron, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)
"No Fly Zone" in Libya, Trapani, Sicily, April 2011

Production Limited 1,600 Pieces

This is the very first diecast CF-18 issued in 1/72 Scale by any manufacturer and I would have to say that it has definitely been worth the wait. I don't think I have ever had this much anticipation regarding a diecast model before.

When I heard that Hobby Master was working on its' F-18 tooling I suggested to them something current for a Canadian version.
William agreed and as a result we have a fully modernized CF-18 (CF-188) depicting a 425 "Alouette" Squadron example that was deployed on March 18th of this year to enforce the UN mandated "No Fly Zone" over Libya. Seven CF-18s and two CC-150T Polaris AAR Tankers were deployed to Trapani, Sicily forming Task Force Libeccio as part of the overall Canadian contribution known as Operation Mobile. Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s continue to operate over Libya even today.


This flight line picture shows 6 of the 7 Canadian CF-18A(M)s being readied for operations. The CF-18 (IMP) Incremental Modernization Project was only recently completed (June 2010). 80 CF-18s were modified with new Radar (AN/APG-73), Communications, New Mission Computer, Link 16 Data net system, Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), upgraded electronic warfare suite, ability to carry AMRAAM and AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, and the Advanced Sniper Targeting Pod was acquired as part of this program. After the IMP the CF-18 is equivalent to current F/A-18C/Ds.



Since the beginning of Op MOBILE, TF Libeccio has flown more than 800 CF-18 strike sorties, employing GBU 10- and 12-series laser-guided bombs against Gaddafi’s forces – 10 per cent of the total NATO airstrikes. CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refuellers have conducted more than 200 air-to-air refuelling sorties, continuing to prove critical to coalition fighter operations.

The first thing I noticed about this model is that the Hobby Master F-18 really is a "cut above" the competition (I have both Dragon Wings and Witty F-18s in my collection as well). The Nose gear and both main landing gear come as complete assemblies and fit perfectly (no glue required). There are two canopies included for both the open and closed options as well as two Speed Brakes again to display open or closed . Armament includes two GBU-12 500 lb Paveway IIs as well as 3 AMRAAM missiles (one for the starboard fuselage station and another pair for the dual launcher on the starboard wing). Sidewinders come pre-attached at the wing tip stations. We also have another first in the diecast world with the SNIPER Pod included for the Port fuselage station. There are also 3 external fuel tanks included.

When Canadian CF-18s first arrived in Theatre they were used in the Air Superiority Role. For this they were armed with the 3 AMRAAMS and two Sidewinders (the three externals and the SNIPER Pod were also carried). I have chosen to display my example armed with the dual AMRAAM launcher starboard and both GBU-12s under the port wing (replacing one external fuel tank). This armament option was used fairly early in the conflict when Canada switched to the Strike role and the Libyan Air Force was not yet completely elliminated. Later, when the Libyan Air Force was no longer a factor all three external fuel tanks were carried and the GBUs were divided between each wing and the dual AMRAAM launcher was not used.



Overall I highly recommend this model. Only 1,000 are being made so get one while you can!

Dan
Cool  

P.S. Demand for this model was so high that Hobby Master increased production to 1,600 units.






























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REVIEW: Hobby Master CAF McDonnell Douglas CF-18, 425 "Alouette" Squadron, Libya "No Fly Zone" 2011
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