Blue Jay 4

By:  Nowhere Man  •  2 years ago  •  30 comments

Blue Jay 4
I've Decided what I'm going to build next...

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Hobbies and Crafts

Star Trek's Blue Jay 4.... 


Yes that picture is capped from the opening sequence to the Star Trek episode " Tomorrow is Yesterday " Season 1, Episode 19....

The film was taken from the US Airforce's movie report on the 1962 William Tell fighter meet at Nellis Airforce Base... 

The aircraft is 57-0914, a Lockheed F-104C-10-LO Starfighter of the 435th Tactical Fighter Sqn, and is the only F-104 unit in the competition...

The aircraft was lost on a bombing mission over the Plain of Jars, Laos, Oct 20th 1966...

The Pilot, Capt. Charles E “Chuck” Tofferi , won the meet that year... Becoming a US Airforce "Top Gun"... Sadly while the 435th was deployed to Thailand in support of the Vietnam War, Capt. Tofferi would meet up again with his meet winning aircraft, and lose his life...

One of the Air Force's best... 


jrGroupDiscuss - desc
Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
1  author  Nowhere Man    2 years ago

I'm going to be using the Italeri Kit #2515 F-104A/C for this build, it is the latest offering of this Iconic airplane... Building a model is a journey thru history and technology...

Everyone is free to join in and ask questions or offer commentary as long as it sticks to the theme of the article and specifically the subject...

Anything political at all, including the Vietnam War is off topic and will be deleted automatically without question...


Greg Jones
Professor Participates
2  Greg Jones    2 years ago

These RC models are awesome.

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
2.1  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Greg Jones @2    2 years ago

Stunningly realistic....

Split Personality
Professor Guide
3  Split Personality    2 years ago

Pilots are a very particular breed, (especially USN). They like speed.  The F104 gave them that.  Sustainable Mach 2 speed.

It was essentially a drivable missile, fun to fly fast, never slow.

At one point the F104 held the top speed and highest altitude records simultaneously

making it a very important step in aviation evolution.

Unfortunately, while they could intercept "in a heartbeat" they could not turn due to the small wing surfaces.

However, the F101, F102, F106 and the F4 Phantom were all flying lead sleds with a variety of limitations.

Former President Bush highlighted the difficulty in landing 102s during his service.

The venerable F4 introduced in '61 was not limited to the Air Force but first introduced by the USN

and was still in use in Japan as recently as 2021 and the US still maintains a limited number for

"historical purpose" most recently using them as pilotless target drones due the amount of inventory on hand.

The F104 was not so lucky.  It entered service in 1958, retired by 1969 and only lasted 6 more years in the ANG.

I think this is a more flattering picture.  


Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
3.1  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Split Personality @3    2 years ago

Nice Pic... I like this one myself....


Split Personality
Professor Guide
3.1.1  Split Personality  replied to  Nowhere Man @3.1    2 years ago

lol, anything that diminishes the 'huge ass' on these monsters.

As noted previously, the cockpit ( which was super simple ) is located right behind the nose improving

a pilot's ability to land cleanly.

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
3.2  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Split Personality @3    2 years ago
However, the F101, F102, F106 and the F4 Phantom were all flying lead sleds with a variety of limitations.

So what do you think about the F-110?

Split Personality
Professor Guide
3.2.1  Split Personality  replied to  Nowhere Man @3.2    2 years ago

That's just the USAF designation for an F4 Phantom that the Navy had already proven was the best fighter in the

early 60's.

After losing the arresting gear, the Air Force version racked up record after record in the early 60's 

Terrible cockpit, loud smoky engines and very high maintenance

but their raw power at any speed made dog fighting the  lighter more maneuverable MiGs

possible in the vertical plane

After McDonald and Douglas merged in the late 60's the unreliable gun pods were ditched for an internal gun.

Improved versions rolled out routinely forcing the Soviets to keep rolling out better MiGs

until the F15 arrived and forced the Soviets to counter with the SU27 Flanker (probably built with stolen technology.)

I am really an A-10 fan, or basically anything with redundant controls and 2 engines.

I prefer low slow quiet ground support that can land in a field like a DC3 and kill tanks.

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
3.2.2  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Split Personality @3.2.1    2 years ago

The original Navy designation was F4H-1 Phantom II...

The US Airforce acquired 2 of them for evaluation from McDonnell aircraft and designated them the F-110A Spectre, they liked them so much they acquired 27 more...

The 27 were different than the Navy's F4H-1's incorporating several changes to meet airforce requirements... (all of them, airforce and navy, retained the arrestor gear)

As explained by  Peter E. Davies in his book Gray Ghosts, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps F-4 Phantoms , a small number of the first F4H-1 to enter Navy service also eased the Phantom II’s introduction to the USAF. Faced with the incontrovertible fact that it was better than any of the Air Force’s own fighters  Tactical Air Command (TAC)  borrowed two F4H-1s (BuNos 149405 and 149406) in 1962 for a seventeen-week evaluation. They toured USAF bases, including Bentwaters in the UK (BuNo 149406) during 1962 to show the troops what their new fighter looked like.  The F4H-1 had already made an impressive debut  at the Paris Salon the previous year. Both were formally transferred to the Air Force and given new serials (149406 became JF-4B 62-12169).... In 1962 None other than the Secretary of Defense Robert S McNamara ordered that all aircraft should have a common designation system and the Aircraft became the F-4A/B in Navy service and the F-4C in Airforce service...

The plane was not designed with a gun and had no provisions for mounting one.... Vietnam showed them the error of their ways on that one... The Navy going to the unreliable gun pods (eventually improved) and the airforce having the aircraft re-engineered to incorporate the M-61 Vulcan Gatling Gun under the nose... (the aircraft nose was lengthened by 6 feet to accomodate the gun this this variant was designated the F-4E) The Navy versions never had an internal gun...

The Israelis still fly a version of it today, the F-4E-2020 Terminator ... 54 ex Turkish F4-E's were modernized and 30+ of them will be in service until at least 2030...

Here is my model of the predominate Navy version, the F-4J.....

original original original original  

Split Personality
Professor Guide
3.2.3  Split Personality  replied to  Nowhere Man @3.2.2    2 years ago

I was involved in taking a donated USMC F4 ll  and overhauling it for the PA ANG in Willow Grove. circa 1991

Getting permission to fly it became a nightmare. 

We lived about a half mile west of the south end of the runway ( my street was 90 degrees to the runway.

with a clear view of the take offs, landings and touch and go reps and Harriers hovering.)

One Saturday I heard the unmistakable roar of a GE J79 engine test several times.

As the sun set and I was finishing cutting the grass I could hear the roar again but muted and changing as the bird

was taxiing into position. I waited, expecting them to head off to the South as is normal

but at about 100 feet he put that beast straight down my street, climbing in FMP, perfect blue exhaust cones

with multiple red rings and no smoke.

Set off car alarms, home alarms, barking dogs, rattled pictures off the walls and set a record for complaints called in to base security etc.

Still makes me misty.

It was reported as an unauthorized flight but disappeared from the logs. 

Johnsville NADC was only a few miles away and shared base housing with Willow Grove.  

Many of the O5s and O6 astronauts were training there and at the time, many had flown F4s.

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
4  author  Nowhere Man    2 years ago

Anyway, all of these start with the seat... The F-104C used the C-2 Lockheed Ejection seat...

Here is my 1/32nd scale rendition...


Professor Principal
5  Kavika     2 years ago

For combat ground troops the greatest plane ever built was the AC-130, Puff the Magic Dragon, AKA Spooky.

I would hope that they have model kits for that beauty.

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
5.1  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Kavika @5    2 years ago
.... AC-130, Puff the Magic Dragon, AKA Spooky. I would hope that they have model kits for that beauty.

Puff the Magic Dragon was the AC-47 as used in Vietnam, the C-130 version is named "Spectre" they all go by the nickname "Spooky"

They most certainly do brother in several different scales....

AC-47D, 1/48th scale...


                1/72nd scale...

AC130H, 1/72nd scale...

AC130U, 1/48th scale...

With tons of detail sets to upgrade them.....

One of the most terrifying ground attack aircraft ever devised.... (if you were on the receiving end)

Professor Principal
5.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Nowhere Man @5.1    2 years ago

Remember it well and the sound of it was devasting, you never forget the sound.

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
5.1.2  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Kavika @5.1.1    2 years ago

Yeah, you would have had to have been there to appreciate it... They did a good representation of a live fire support mission of an AC-47D in the movie "Green Berets" the movie was meah, but what was shown of the results of a Spooky attack was pretty right on (if toned down a bit).... Absolutely devastating to massed infantry and soft skinned vehicles...

Split Personality
Professor Guide
5.1.3  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @5.1.1    2 years ago

When you are around them all the time you can always hear the low whine of the GE T34 turbo fan engines

attached to an A-10.  But you don't know where they are 

and the GAU8 projectiles hit way before an enemy hears the aircraft.

The current "Spooky" AC130J is lighter and has extended range over the retired AC130U (2019).

By 2023 there will be 37 in active status.

They currently have a single barrel 30mm cannon and a 105mm cannon

Professor Principal
5.1.4  Kavika   replied to  Split Personality @5.1.3    2 years ago

Did they drop the 25mm Gatling gun?

Split Personality
Professor Guide
5.1.5  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @5.1.4    2 years ago

Yes, for a single barrel 30MM canon that fires the same ammo as the GAU8.

There are a couple of studies that show a 30MM round is many times more effective than the 25MM rounds.

A CG study found that the 25MM rounds could not penetrate 1/4 inch hardened Aluminum hulls/

This is old. It goes back to 1992, but if they knew the results here, it raises a question, why are we still equipping the Mk38s with 25mm guns instead of 30mm (or 35mm or   40mm ) guns which also fit the same mount? The results are discussed beginning at time 8:00. The 30mm does nine times the damage to the hull and five times the damage inside the hull.

At the very least we need to make sure we have available rounds that do not detonate on impact. The 25mm rounds, exploding on impact, failed to even penetrate the 1/4 inch aluminum hull of the   Mk3 target boat .

Chuck Hill's CG Blog (chuckhillscgblog.net)
Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
5.1.6  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Split Personality @5.1.5    2 years ago

As an aside, the only reason they went to the 30mm over the 40mm was the costs associated with the 40mm... Parts are scarce, they were scrounging around for old guns to scavenge parts from to keep them serviceable, and the ammo, no one makes it anymore and they were down to the last of the WWII reserves which had to be remanufactured before it could be used... The 40mm Bofors is the better gun but it's way too expensive to keep... Hence the choice to go with the modern 30mm... they can carry twice the number of rounds, only a 5% loss in penetration, and a 25% longer range.... Much slower rate of fire though than the 40mm but more accurate...

The 20 & 25mm's aren't even in these weapons class for range and penetration power...

Professor Principal
5.1.7  Kavika   replied to  Split Personality @5.1.5    2 years ago

Having seen first hand what the 25mm Gatling gun can do I hate to see it go and at 4200 RPM it was devastating. The 30mm you stated is a single barrel and in researching it there is a 7 barrel and 3900 RPM...I hope it's the 7 barrel.

It's all about hitting heavy armor and in Nam that wasn't the case. 

Split Personality
Professor Guide
5.1.8  Split Personality  replied to  Split Personality @5.1.5    2 years ago

military intelligence is an oxymoron and every one has their faults.

California in the 1940's. Marin County Army Corps of engineers used a particular evergreen to mask gun Naval gun batteries and anti aircraft emplacements to hide them from the Japanese or Russians.

Because the peninsula is basically a desert environment, the land scape was dead vegetation 10 months out of twelve, except for the well marked military installations.

Similarly the same faulty logic had the Corps install eucalyptus trees around the Presidio, and other San Fransico and Oakland military targets to dry out low lying areas ..

those tress burned mightily in the big Oakland fire of 1991 which I watched from across the bay.

I have lived on bases that had in excess of 14 years supply of toilet paper

as IF we were at war and fully staffed.

The TP was disintegrating from old age.

At Hamilton AFB in CA the locals had a use it or lose it water usage law.  We watered everything, housing, golf course, every Admin building and spent a fortune cutting grass daily, again making the base an easy target for an air attack.

I suspect that we have 100s of thousands of 30mm rounds for the GAU8 stored in multiple countries around

the .

At some point, somewhere, someone in love with Gatling gun technology bought too many

25mm GAU Equalizers and decided to use them in the Coast Guard and the AC130U which were retired in


We tend to use what we have in our vast inventories.  Because we have it and it's paid for.

Why fight Congress for new financing?

We have many, many millions of rounds of 30MM,  much of it depleted uranium rounds.

As it runs out, the new darling, 40MM will eventually replace the 30MM.

Don't worry though, there's always someone willing to stand up for the citizens rights to use

25mm explosive rounds for hunting or self defense./s

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
5.1.9  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Split Personality @5.1.8    2 years ago

The largest bore weapon of modern manufacture that civilians can legally own is .50 cal and in the historical weapons .70 cal cap and ball.... (almost 20mm)

I don't think anyone is going to be running around with 25mm exploding ammo anytime soon...

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
5.1.10  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Split Personality @5.1.8    2 years ago
the new darling, 40MM will eventually replace the 30MM.

It won't be the Bofors I know that, a new weapon of much more modern design...

Split Personality
Professor Guide
5.1.11  Split Personality  replied to  Nowhere Man @5.1.9    2 years ago

I know people with 30mm target rounds (live) and you can buy inert ones on the internet,,,

People are crazy.....

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
5.1.12  author  Nowhere Man  replied to  Split Personality @5.1.11    2 years ago
People are crazy.....


Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
6  author  Nowhere Man    2 years ago

Ok working on the cockpit now.... 

What it looks like in real life...


My attempt to replicate it in paint..


Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
7  author  Nowhere Man    2 years ago

Finished Cockpit....

original original original original original

onward to the next step....

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
8  author  Nowhere Man    2 years ago

Next Step is the Main Landing Gear Bay...

original original

Nothing real spectacular here, it all gets painted aluminum even the photoetch details....

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
9  author  Nowhere Man    2 years ago

Main Gear Struts complete...

original original

Next up the Main Gear Bay itself...

Nowhere Man
Junior Guide
10  author  Nowhere Man    2 years ago

And we have an engine.... J79-GE-7

original original


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