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Well here is something that you don't see everyday!


My name is Rich Faulkner and I am a pastor, private pilot and volunteer with the Peterson Air & Space Museum. For the past couple of years I have been assisting on the build of a 1:10 Lockheed F-4-1-LO -- the very plane flown by 1Lt. Edward J. Peterson for whom Peterson, AFB is named for. Here's a little background history:

1st Lt. Peterson was the Operations Officer for the 14th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron and a native of Colorado. On August 8, 1942 he crashed while attempting to take off from the airfield when the left engine of his twin engine F-4-1-LO (s/n 41-2202 -- a reconnaissance variant of the P-38 Lightning) failed. A base fire department crew rescued Lt. Peterson from the burning wreckage. Unfortunately, Lt. Peterson sustained significant burns and died at a local hospital that afternoon, thereby becoming the first Coloradan killed in a flying accident at the airfield. Consequently, on 13 December 1942, officials changed the name of the Colorado Springs Army Air Base to Peterson Army Air Base in honour of the fallen airman.

We're a couple years into the build of the scale model of the F-4 he lost his life in and are nearing the end of the project. The plane itself is a MONSTER at 1:10 scale and will feature "working" aerial cameras -- in this case a pair of Fairchild K-17's (one of which to have an embedded CCD camera). The model is to hang in the entry to the museum wing housing the exhibit honouring Lt. Peterson with a camera that will capture guests as they pass by.

This is my first project posted on Britmodeller and will be a challenge as it is 100% scratch-built and being built by a guy who already has a plate that floweth over!

Forgive me if I don't post on a daily basis -- I will be pressing forward as best I can and will be pleased to field any questions.


PR - "Pastor Rich"

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As a matter of fact I do have the entire build of the F-4. It is now a complete airframe and down to the details (canopy frames, camera bay, panel lines, access panels, etc...) Would be pleased to post some of them as well.

The F-4 is being built by another volunteer and is based upon a scaled-up paper model just as the current running 1:24 scale F7F Tigercat (N7654C) also featured on BRITMODELLER. I am a close follower of that build and a fan of Pete's work. His build of that Tigercat inspired me to do this build here...

Stay tuned for photos of the Lightning,


Edited by Pastor Rich
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It crossed my mind that the greater build may be of interest; so if you are interested in seeing that in sequence, please let me know (by posting your vote in this space).

Here is a milestone photo recently taken as the last structural piece of the airframe was being placed. You'll get an appreciation for the true size of this plane by this photo!


10-JULY-15 - A major milestone, the last structural piece of the airframe is fitted!

The last piece of structure on the F-4. Much to go, but this pretty much completes construction - many parts to attach yet, but they are basically done and finished, such as tanks, radiators, rudders, scoops, props. With this last piece - its on to detail finish and decals. That's not to say it's ready to go - there's a lot of work yet to do - but it DOES look like an airplane!

Here is a look at the CCD camera to be placed in the port oblique camera station. Here you see the actual camera and a slug that will be used to check for fit during construction of the camera body. Only one of the three K-17's being build will have a CCD installed. The power lead for the camera attaches through the airframe to the horizontal stabilizer to an attach point which doubles as a hanger for the model.

All exterior lightning on the kit is functional too. The CCD will be relayed to a monitor that shows guests as they walk up to and by the exhibit.



Looking straight into the lens of the CCD camera -- don't mind the dander; there be cats living there too!


Basic measurement of the CCD camera for reference

One of my next steps is to complete artwork on the interior camera bay door structure so that these features may be rendered in the scale bay door. I will be posting that in my next instalment as it includes the oblique window which the CCD will be looking out of...

Thanks for looking!



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  • 4 weeks later...

G'day all,

Sorry for the latency and low frequency of posting but duty has called and my time on the bench has been greatly curtailed as of late. Such is life...

But, I am back working on the F-4 and working-up the drawing for the interior of the camera bay door. Here is what is being built: The static model will be hung as part of the museum exhibit with the starboard side camera bay door closed. In reality, this door was never built and will be marked-out with a demarcation line for the seam. The port-side door is to be rendered in the open position so that the cameras may be visible to guests. This door is a separate part as seen below:


Construction is basic balsa building technique for RC types and will be skinned in wood, covered in filler, sanded, filled, sanded, filled, sanded filled until it looks something like this:


Here the port oblique camera window has been roughed into position with a recessed area for the frame created. The OD is a give-away as to the final colour of the build as #2202 was almost certainly one of the FIRST F-4-1-LO's to be shadow shaded in OD/Grey -- not Haze.

With the decision to display the model with the camera bay OPEN, we needed to resolve the internal structure of the bay door. A study of photos and kit parts shows a VAST difference in inner door pattern; making me think that certain model manufacturers are a bit off on this detail. (No worries, I am defaulting to working with period photos). Here is a shot of the internals as roughed-out:


After comparing what has been built vs. photos of the door interior; we have a bit of work to do. This led to the idea of doing a bit of reduction and filling the interior surfaces to prepare the way for the stamped pattern of the internal camera bay door. Here is a photo of the roughed-out door interior; now awaiting the artwork template for the formed interior:


Now I am working-up the artwork for the bay door interior...will post that effort next.

Thanks for looking........Cheers!


Edited by Pastor Rich
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...one more thing:

Sorry that I've neglected to show-off the overall airframe. Here is a recent photo -- although it has come along quite a bit more since this shot:


May I also introduce you to the craftsman who is behind the build of the airframe. Meet Terry G. seen here hard at work turning-out one of the spinners for the F-4 in his workshop:


Closing for now. Hope you have enjoyed this little update and that it has helped whet your appetite for content! (It drives me buggers not seeing regular update on my favourite builds) I will try to do better!!!


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  • 6 months later...

Greetings All,

A VERY long time since an update. My work schedule has made it impossible to work on the F-4; but a crack of daylight has been found in my schedule and I'm working on it again. Thus far it takes the form of research, but I am moving toward starting on the camera themselves. I will also be doing decals (stencil set) for this plane.

At present the stencils are being cut to apply the cocardes, tail code and giant "US ARMY" on the underside of the wings. I hope to have photos of that soon!



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  • 2 weeks later...

very much looking forward to this PR :)

I just LOVE large scale!


Hi Peter!

Thanks for stopping in! I have to say your work has been an inspiration for this project. Thank you again, again and again for sharing your imaginative skills. Simply realised yet so effective!


Today I was working on the project however it is only preparing my workspace. Not much to see there; BUT I have recruited one more member for our little model club. Members now consist of myself (age 51), my middle son (age 10) and youngest son (age 8) and our new neighbour's son (age 14)! Having others to enjoy time with is a lot of fun and helps me get more work done!

So it's been a productive day (sans photos!)

I am going to have to start thinking about ordering litho and getting some balsa to make the core masters. Remember, these are WORKING CCD camera systems in a fully lighted scale aircraft. I should get the soldering iron out too as I need to brush up on my skills before I tackle the camera mounts. (I could do some materials testing while I'm at it -- see how CA does for areas I cannot solder).

This is very much a learning project for me -- pushing the envelope well beyond what I've done in the past, so we'll see how it goes!

Thanks for stopping by...........PR

Edited by Pastor Rich
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