Author Topic: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale  (Read 508 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« on: March 23, 2018, 12:25:11 AM »


The Republic Thunderbolt is one of the truly iconic fighters of W.W. II which culminated in the long-range P-47M.



Less well known is the prototype it spawned, the YP-48XLR Thunderclap.



In 1941, the U.S. Army became interested in the Extra Long Range escort fighter concept and a small contract was tendered to Republic to build a fighter that could traverse the vast distances of the Pacific.



Republic tweaked their XP-47 Thunderbolt by enlarging it and adding additional fuel tanks. However, engines of the day weren't up to the demands of the concept so the design languished until the four-row Wright R-4450 Quadruple-Super Cyclone was developed.



A prototype was built and the Army, horrified at the intial flight characterists, balked, calling the machine a death-trap. The aircraft was far too large for the Navy, but Australians are braver than most so an improved service-test batch of five YP-48XLR were sent down under for evaluation.



Known as the "Thunderclap" due to its large ventral gun tray housing four automatic cannon, crews shortened the name to just the 'Clap. Since there were only five of these, flying assignments were rotated and an oft-heard double-entendre was when one RAAF pilot would ask another, "So did you get the 'Clap today?"



Despite the concern this may have caused RAAF medical personnel, the Thunderclap performed well enough that in 1946, it was green-lighted to perform a war-critical mission. Intelligence confirmed a key enemy commander would be taking a flying inspection tour and it was up to the Thunderclaps to get him.



Even though the range of the mission was daunting, the five RAAF Thunderclaps took off on the morning of March 22, 1946 to shoot down the Japanese general.



Initially, all went according to plan, but when the Thunderclaps came close to their intercept vector, it suddenly became stormy.





The RAAF pilots pressed on but never spotted General Hamashita as he was able to evade them in the heavy weather.



The Thunderclaps all returned safely to base and with the Japanese surrender on March 24, the mission became pointless anyway. Just another forgotten footnote at the end of a long, bloody conflict. No more Thunderclaps were ever built and those five were soon replaced by more capable aircraft. The type remains almost unknown in aviation circles and the so-called "experts" insist the YP-48XLR must all be the ravings of a stormy mind.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 08:23:19 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2018, 12:53:38 AM »
This one is another bit of scale-o-rama that started with a venerable 1/72 Frog Canberra as the base. Isn't that box art something?



What's inside the box is vintage 1970's molding, very crisp and not at all overly-complicated.



Of course, I was going to take this in a different direction. After sorting out a spare 1/72 P-47 engine, prop & cowling as well as 1/48 F-84 wings and Typhoon horiz stabs, I had all I needed to bring this bird to life.



A bit of rolled card stock was used to get that big Thunderbolt cowling to meet with what was left of the Canberra nose. The canopy is a refugee from a P-80 Shooting Star but seemed to look close enough to a P-47 to work.



I added a P-47 antenna and a spare RDF football up top. Exhaust fairings for that monster four-row Wright R-4450 Quadruple-Super Cyclone were cut from nibs of sprue.



I was thrilled the Frog Canberra came with a large ventral gun tray which was perfect for this aircraft and its mission.



Here's how it all looked before paint.





Speaking of paint, the old hairy brush was brought out and loaded up with acrylics. The uppers were done in Model Masters Light Sea Gray and a custom mix of green.



The undersides were done with some of my dwindling Polly Scale RAAF Sky Blue.



The engine that you can barely see was painted with cheap craft-store metallic acrylic and the props with Model Masters Black and the tips with Insignia Yellow. The Canopy was tinted on the inside with Model Masters Insignia Blue.



Decals were a mix of 1/48 & 1/72. All the markings were from a 1/48 sheet Mr Gimper gave me during a meet-up but the black BNA codes are from a sheet for a 1/72 Airfix Mosquito.



The entire project took me about five days from start to finish and was a group effort in that Bill sent me the Canberra and F-84 kits and Carl provided the Typhoon parts and decals. I can't thank you gentlemen enough! I couldn't have done it without you!



Before I forget, here's a couple of "money shots" with U.S. currency for scale.





I'd like to thank Mr Tomcat for bravely moderating this GB, Bill and Carl for making this build possible and the rest of you playing along or even just stopping by to look.







I hope you enjoyed the RAAF Republic YP-48XLR Thunderclap and reading a bit more aircraft history that's been lost in the stormy mists of time.



Brian da Basher

A tip o' the pin to Mr Fontaine for catching I had the wrong sprue shot. Thanks a million, Jeff!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 08:26:27 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Tophe

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2018, 01:29:02 AM »
Thanks for the explanation: it was so much looking like a P-47, I did not understand how this was possible. But I understand now. Thanks!

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2018, 03:29:28 AM »
Great work Brian but I must advise you that your two images showing the parts on the runners are for the 1:72nd scale Italeri (Testor's) B-57B Canberra kit.  Other than that, fantastic as always. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2018, 03:34:16 AM »
Great work Brian but I must advise you that your two images showing the parts on the runners are for the 1:72nd scale Italeri (Testor's) B-57B Canberra kit.  Other than that, fantastic as always.

Good catch Mr Fontaine and rather ironic as I was initially going to use one of those Italeri kits you sent me way back when but the Frog kit's wing roots were easier to deal with.

Thanks for the eagle-eye and will try to fix.

Brian da Basher

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2018, 03:38:16 AM »
Hi Brian, not sure if the Frog kit has any kit reviews on-line to show what was in the box.  Still a great WHIF you have created regardless and that four-row Cyclone is a great idea.
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2018, 03:49:23 AM »
Hi Brian, not sure if the Frog kit has any kit reviews on-line to show what was in the box.  Still a great WHIF you have created regardless and that four-row Cyclone is a great idea.

I'm really glad you like the 'Clap and you're not kidding about a lack of online reviews. I found something passable but I'm regretting not having taken any pics of the sprues. Once I have it all figured out, I'm so keen to get it built that I find it hard to even take in-progress shots.

Thanks again and I think of you and the rest of the Seattle Crew when I'm at the bench.

Brian da Basher

Offline finsrin

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2018, 07:23:03 AM »
Your propensity to build special aircraft is commendable.  YP-48XLR does have Republic appearance. :smiley:
Fine work with rolled card stock.  Another aircraft appropriate color scheme too. :smiley:
This big boy did need Wright R-4450 Quadruple-Super Cyclone to be viable.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 08:31:13 AM »
Love it
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Modelnut53

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2018, 09:33:55 AM »
Love the model and the concept.
Makes me wonder what a Canberra would look like with the jets replaced by 2 P-47 units. 
I seem to remember seeing one completed with Griffons. 
Maybe a build for the future. 
Certainly managed to collect enough spare kit over the years to do it.

Offline Kelmola

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2018, 07:31:21 PM »
A good reminder on just how big the "Jug" really was, as the engine does not look at all too small for the Canberra fuse. :o Inspired choice of parts produces another natural-looking whiff! 8)

Offline buzzbomb

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 03:55:54 PM »
Well that is treat.

Nice work

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 12:49:35 AM »
 Nice one Brian - Hilarious presentation, too! ( Wrong Stormy, indeed... ;D )

Offline mundster

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2018, 01:09:12 AM »
Very clever! Excellent work and a fine and quite compelling build. The kind that actually makes you think twice ... "is that ...?"

Nice pictures of the jugs.

(ohhh, bad John ... terribly sexist ... have I learned anything?)

all best
John

Offline pigflyer

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2018, 11:58:53 PM »
Deserving of thunderous applause Sir.  Another build that I am sure many will hold close to their bosom,  well done.


 :icon_beer:

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Offline John Howling Mouse

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Re: The RAAF Republic YP-48XLR - A Stormy Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2018, 09:04:56 AM »
OMG, Thunderclap.  You really went there, didn't you?  You know, I was counting down the posts to see how long (and in what hilarious way) it would take for you to insert the 'get the clap' phrase in this super build.  And you did not disappoint.
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