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CT-114 Tutor Upgrade Set



Uncle Bill's Hobbies, 1/48 scale


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

Uncle Bill's Hobbies - CT-115 Tutor Upgrade Kit


Available online from Uncle Bill's Hobbies



Contents and Media:

47 Resin parts cast in grey resin plus 2 vacform

Review Type:

First Look


Much needed item – completely replaces cockpit plus parts for speed brakes, light housing, flaps and nose wheel; big improvement over kit parts; good detail, well cast; accurate.


Instructions could be better


Highly Recommended


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com

Reviewed by Tom Sime





First flown in 1961 and introduced into Canadian service in the 1964 with the final aircraft being delivered in 1967, the Canadair CT-114 Tutor has now been in service with the Canadian Air Force for over 40 years. Much of this time was in the role as a trainer for basic and advanced pilot training until it was replaced by the CT-156 Harvard II and CT-155 Hawk in 2000. No longer used in a training role, the Tutor still continues in service to the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment. as well as with the CAF aerobatic team “The Snowbirds” with whom it has been in service since 1971.

Base Kit

This resin kit is designed for use with the Hobbycraft 1/48 scale Tutor which is available in two version: the “ ‘ Military’ Tutor” and the “Tutor ‘Snowbirds’”. Parts and instructions for both boxing’s of this kit are basically identical, the only difference between them being the decal sheet. The “Military” Tutor has decals for 4 aircraft: these include 2 Canadian Machines (an early1965 and a late 1995 Tutor) and 2 Malaysian Tutors (one in early markings 1967 and a late version 1985).

The Tutor “Snowbirds” has sufficient numbers to do any of the Snowbird aircraft. Since its release, this somewhat basic kit has been crying out for an improvement set to address its numerous shortcomings: the “CT-114 Tutor Upgrade Set” goes a long way in doing this.




CT-114 Tutor Upgrade Set

Mastered by the talented Wayne Hui, this resin kit contains 47 finely detailed and 2 vacuum formed parts resin - see the image above you’ll find that for the sake of clarity I have numbered the castings to correspond with kit’s parts list. Wayne’s fine pattern making ensures the fit, finish and detail of the parts are first rate throughout.



The kit includes 26 parts that make up a much improved cockpit with additional parts that including a new nose light housing with a clear vacuum formed late model beak shaped cover (two of these are included-just in case) as well as 6 parts for the speed brakes. You’ll also find inside two new flaps with actuator connectors totaling 11 resin parts this includes 3 spare actuators, as these are very small and delicate. The inclusion of spares is a great idea that other manufacturers should feel free to mimic. Finally this is all rounded-off with a new nose wheel well. Complementing Wayne’s work in creating the masters is mold maker and cast master Steven Sakulic of IFactory. Steven has done remarkable work both in preparing the molds and casting this kit. IFactory is a small company and it doesn’t have access to the same high tech equipment that the major manufacturers use. As a result of this you can expect some flash on some of the smaller parts; larger parts are flash free and clean up with a few light strokes of a sanding stick. Steven’s attention to detail has resulted in castings that are sharp, clean and completely bubble- free, with pour blocks that are commendably small and can easily be removed in seconds using a number 11 blade. The overall quality of this kit compares very favorably with the current range of similar products from the “big boys” and stands as a testament as to what can be achieved by a committed skilled individual.


I found the only real weak point to this kit is the instructions. These are printed on standard A4 format paper, could have been clearer and the diagrams would have benefited from being larger. Parts 16 handles X2 are not illustrated however there are location holes for them outboard of the ejection seats between the seats and the cockpit walls. The landing gear handles parts number11 location points are not clearly defined. These parts should each be located at the bottom end of two keyhole shaped “slots”; you’ll find one of these on the small panel that is at the front of and to the starboard side of the centre console and the other goes on the inboard angled part on the portside of the main instrument panel. The inertia real control levers-the two small handles with the round balls on the end- fit into the top of the raised box that sits on the upper edge on the left side frame of each seat where it transitions from seat to backrest. You will only require one canopy actuator (part 9) but will find castings of two: spares never go wrong!

Assembly started in the usual manner, with a clean up of parts. First I removed the small membrane of flash that you’ll find on some of the fine delicate parts. Ironically, the flash which is traditional regarded as a nuisance helps to prevent these parts from damage/breakage during transportation/postage. You can make flash serve a very positive purpose to help facilitate clean up the mold lines on smaller parts, which I always find a fiddly task. I have found that to clean the small parts-and some of these kit parts are indeed very small parts-the best way is to remove the flash from along one side and above the part with the tip of a new number 11 blade. When doing this the flash on the opposing side of the part will help support the part and make cleaning of that side easier. Once you are happy with the one side take a small piece if masking tape and attach this to the cleaned-up side and to the poring block: this will help to brace the part during clean- up as well as reduce the “sproing factor”. In the unlikely event that a part does in fact “sproing” then there is a good chance that-being stuck to the tape- it won’t go far. If it does fly, it will take the tape with it- making it easier to find after launch and so solving the age old problem of rug burn to the nose as you search for those little thingamabobs! Pour blocks are minimal and the only pour blocks that required the use of a saw where those on the ejection seat, these are extremely small and it’s the work of only a few moments to remove them. Unlike the castings of some of the major manufacturers of resin kits, with IFactory you don’t end up with more resin in poring blocks than you do parts.

Assembly started as per the kit instructions and follows the “usual” assembly sequence for building a tub, ie: glue cockpit side panels to fuselage interior, build/detail floor and seats etc. However, after I’d glued the side panels on, I quickly changed my mind on this and I decided that the “Tutor upgrade set” deserved a better Tutor! I therefore decided to upgrade the Hobbycraft parts and to scribe the panel lines and bring the rest of the kit up to the standard of the cockpit set. Off came the side panels and I assembled the tub as a separate entity so that it can be fitted to the plastic once those parts have been brought up to a higher standard.


The cockpit side-walls were attached to the floor after a few strokes with a sanding stick along the sides of them to remove the finest of mold lines. These are wonderfully thin parts. The fabric quilted panels on the cockpit sides and on the rear bulkhead are faithfully reproduced. The kit’s cockpit floor has obviously been the base for the master pattern for the new floor, as the kit part lacks detail but is a very good fit then this made a good foundation for the master pattern. However there are a couple of ejector pin marks on this that have been carried over on the master and these require a light sanding to remove them. The distinctive shape of the Tutors ejection seats have been faithfully captured and include separate inertia real control lever handles and separate canopy breakers. It should however be noted that the canopy breakers are left and right- handed, with their highest point being to the centre line of the cockpit. The canopy breakers have three lightening points in them and on the kit castings these are represented as round recesses, I opted to drill these out. The main instrument panel paints up well and looks good oob, I did however use Mike Grant’s decals to further enhance instrumentation as well as adding two more handles. These are the ones painted in yellow as these were present in almost all of the images of Tutor instruments panels that I could find. I broke the work on the cockpit down into five sub- assemblies: tub, seats, instrument panel, instrument panel cover and finally the levers handles and actuators which I left on their pore blocks. I then painted these separately after painting the major components I then added the pre- painted small levers and handles and completed the cockpit assembly.


Between painting stages, I worked on the nose wheel bay, the speed brakes and the flaps. The nose wheel bay was the only part that I found to be difficult to install. Installation requires the removal of the kits cast wheel wells and of a mass of soft thick Hobbycraft plastic from the inside of the lower fuselage wall. After this has been done, you have two choices; the front of the resin part extends below its sides and this either has to be trimmed back to fit inside the fuselage or you must extend the wheel well opening forward then fill and sand this part to conform to the nose shape. The latter method became my “method of choice” when- in an overenthusiastic moment- my Mini Dremel punctured the plastic in this area. The installation of the speed brakes requires the removal of the cast on closed Hobbycraft speed brake doors. This was done scoring over the Hobbycraft engraved panel lines scoring along all four sides until the doors popped out then the engraved hinges were removed in the same way. The new resin speed brake wells walls are very thin and this helps make their insertion into this opening an easy task.

In addition to the wells, you also get new speed brakes and actuators for them. With the flaps, I once again deviated from instructions and instead of removing the kit parts and extending and reshaping the area where the flaps attach, I opted to handle this in another way.



I cemented the wing halves together and once the cement had set, I removed the kits flaps and- using a rasp- I reshaped the exposed hinge area to the profile of the flaps hinge face. I then drilled holes in each wing to take the new flaps as I wasn’t sure that the three thin locating pins cast on the resin flaps would be strong enough ergo I replaced these with brass rods. As the flaps extend under the fuselage then when the flaps are in the lowered position it is possible it look into the fuselage, I therefore boxed this area in.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


If you decide to do your Tutor as a Snowbird it should be noted that Snowbird aircraft headrest are different from the standard pattern. Snowbirds planes have one red and one blue headrest and these are emblazoned with a white Snowbird emblem. All odd numbered Snowbirds have the red seat on the port side of the cockpit and even number birds have their red seat on the starboard side. The reason for this is that odd number birds fly to the leaders starboard and even numbers to the team leader’s port side. By alternating the pilots port and starboard when in formation each pilot is positioned to the centre of the formation and this helps them to maintain a tight group.


The instructions recommend the use of Mike Grant instrument decals to finish off the instrument panel .I have wanted to try these decals for some time and decided that this would be a good opportunity to do so. An email to Mike Grant resulted in me taking delivery of 4 sets of his exquisite decals: 2 in 1/72 for the smaller dials and 2 in 1/48 for the larger dials. One of the reasons that I hadn’t tried these decals before is that I don’t own a punch and dye set and popular opinion seemed to imply that this was a “necessity” for the removal of the decals from their backing. I pondered this for a time and came up with the following inexpensive solution that worked well for me. Taking some small diameter brass tube, I sanded the outer walls towards the centre until I had a sharp edge. I then used a reefer file on the inside of the tube and this gives the brass tube a nice knife- edge. I cut the tube into a 1 ½” section and inserted this into a 3” length of dowel. I now had a punch tool that when positioned over the decal and given a short sharp tap with a hammer cut a perfect circle.



I applied the decals to my resin instrument panel and was pleased with the results-this quickly changed to delight when I added a spot of Future to each of the dials and the detail just popped out.

The Calgary Connection

This build has had a very distinctive and unusual connection in that everyone involved with the Tutor upgrade set, the decals and the build are all from Calgary Alberta:

Rick Chin is the proprietor of Uncle Bills Hobbies and the source for this kit.


Wayne Hui –master pattern maker


Steven Sakulic of IFactory: independent mold and cast master.


Mike Grant of Mike Grant Decals: graphic artist.


Tom Sime: model-builder and reviewer.

Review and Images Copyright © 2006 by Tom Sime
Page Created 22 May, 2006
Last updated 21 May, 2006

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