Time to revive this kit from the backlog hell! It one of those oh it would be easy project but somehow it stuck in the box for almost 3 years!
CAC Sabre or also known as “Avon” Sabre was the Australian variant of the North American Aviation F-86F Sabre that is modified and built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC).
The major difference comparing to to US Sabres is the use of Rolls-Royce Avon R.A.7 that in theory produce double the trust to weight ratio and maximum thrust compare to General Electric J47. However the different dimension of the engine require 60% of the fuselage modified and increase the air intake by 25%.
Other changes including replacing the armament from the F-86F’s six machine guns with two 30mm ADEN cannon plus minor changes to the cockpit and increase fuel load.
The production version designated Sabre Mk 30 powered by Avon 20 engine started to deliver to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1954. Between 1957 to 1958 wing slats removed from the planes and redesignated as MK 31. The final variant, Sabre MK 32 have upgraded the engine to Avon 26 and come with underwing pylons.
It saw a few operation under the RAAF in Malaya/ Malaysia operating from RAAF Butterworth (Now RMAF Butterworth), firstly by doing ground strike mission against communist insurgents during the Malayan Emergency from 1985 to 1960. Later after the Emergency, they responsible for air defence for Malaysia during the Konfrontasi against Indonesia from 1960 until 1966.
In 1964, RAAF began to replace the Avon Sabres with Dassault Mirage III which official retired from RAAF service in 1971-1972. 10 of them donated to Royal Malaysian Airforce (RMAF) and 23 planes to Indonesia Airforce (TNI-AU) after the relation improved between 1973 to 1975, which 5 of them from RMAF.
In RMAF, the 10 Avon Sabres placed under No.11 squadron in 1969 until 1975. The No.11 squadron reactivated in 1983 with RF-5E Tigereye recon plane. Later the squadron then transfer from RMAF Butterworth to RMAF Gong Kedak in 2007 now equipped with Sukhoi SU-30 MKM.
The initial plan was to use the CAC Sabre conversion kit by High Planes Models, that include the two halves of the fuselage, air intake parts and most importantly, the RMAF decal of this plane. I use Fujimi 1/72 F-86F30 Sabre kit as the base of the conversion. I quickly fine out the fuselage from the conversion kit is quite rough and require alot of putty, cutting and sanding just to make the two half stick together.
Later on i just decide to use the Fujimi fuselage and transfer the 30mm cannon from the conversion kit to it. I know there some a few difference on the fuselage surface between the US and Avon Sabre but i rather have it finish than just dump it.
Alot of the picture of the Avon Sabre under RMAF don’t have pylon on them, and those that do have only equipped with drop tanks. I not sure if Sidewinder even in service on RMAF Sabre but i decide to just add on it as a what if.
As i want to pair it with my recently finish RMAF F/A-18D Hornet, so i throw in some crew and equipment from Hasegawa US Pilot/ Ground Crew Set plus pilot figure from Aero Bonus.
As for painting, there a few variants of color to choose from but i stick with the most common paint scheme of the era. The color that is used in this project are:
- Modo MK-12 Surfacer Black – Primer
- Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green – Upper fuselage
- MR.Color 325 Gray FS26440 – Lower fuselage
- WarPaints Matt Black
- WarPaints Dragon Red
- WarPaints GunMetal
- WarPaints Uniform Grey
- WarPaints Deep Blue – Ground crew
- WarPaints Tanned Flesh
And then disaster hit when the canopy broken in half so i decide to go through it and make canopy cover on it. Not sure if i want to buy another kit to just get the canopy tho especially it appear to sold out everywhere on my usual shopping place.
With the Hornet