Author Topic: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale  (Read 1832 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« on: January 24, 2018, 06:18:16 AM »


The U.S. Navy has had many long-range patrol aircraft, but perhaps none were more famous than the P2V-1 Truculent Turtle.



Less well-remembered is the Navy's prototype Boeing XP3B, the Petulant Penguin.



It all started as World War II was coming to a close and the U.S. Navy sought the increased performance of jet-propulsion.





Boeing engineers are among the most innovative in the aircraft industry and quickly responded to the Navy's request with a twin-engine design for the next-generation of patrol aircraft and a prototype was ordered right off the drawing board.



The Boeing XP3B completed flight testing and was seen as ideal for making a long-range flight to test out the Navy's new system of world-wide direction-finding beacons.



This was officially dubbed the Polar Enhanced Navigation Global Unified Information Network or PENGUIN for short, so it was only natural that the Boeing XP3B prototype testing it out would also be called the Penguin.



This test flight would not only be record-setting but would also take things in a new direction. While most 'round-the-world flights followed the equator



this one would run pole-to-pole.



Even though requisite clearances had been obtained from most of the countries being over-flown, it was deemed wise to emblazon the Boeing XP3B, now given the name Petulant Penguin with extra-large U.S. insignia to avoid any embarrassing incidents.



The dawn came early and bright as the XP3B Petulant Penguin took off on June 31, 1951 from NAS Salton Sea in California.



The Petulant Penguin headed north and once it was far from civilization, it was guided flawlessly by the Polar Enhanced Navigation Global Unified Information Network.



Despite suffering a few 20 m.m. "bird strikes" as it briefly over-flew Trashcant Oblast S.S.R., the Petulant Penguin continued on its odyssey and eventually made it back home after crossing both poles.



Even though the flight was a great success, the Boeing XP3B would never enter service with the U.S. Navy due to an inherent design flaw. While enlisted crew liked that it was impossible to take verbal orders in the aft cabin due to high noise levels caused by locating the engines in the wing-roots, this would doom the type to ignominy as all U.S. Navy brass insist on being heard as well as seen.



Nothing exists of the Boeing XP3B today except some faded newspaper clippings and the fond memories of a few old salts who were lucky enough to fly the Petulant Penguin.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 06:26:07 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline ysi_maniac

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 06:23:04 AM »
So beautiful!

I would try to convert it to liner by deleting arrestor hook.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 06:53:30 AM »
This all started with the venerable, if antique, 1/72 Frog Hawker Sea Hawk. Isn't that box art great? You can almost smell the kerosene! The paint guide on the back is nice, too.



That box opens up into a work tray so you can enjoy spilling all the parts into your shag carpet. While what's inside the box is a bit basic, it was perfect fodder for my purposes.



Originally, I was going to just chop off the front and add a large radial for mixed power, but then a good friend sent me two 1/200-ish 737 fuselages (thanks a million, hamsterman!). After a little surgery, my Sea Hawk was now a jet-powered patrol plane.







I had to putty over those tiny windows and add a couple of 1/72 Revell Hawk 75 wheel hubs as burner cans as well as a bomb half as an ECM fairing to dress things up in back.



This is how it all looked before paint.





Speaking of paint, the old hairy stick was used along with a lot of Model Masters acrylic Insignia Blue. The intakes were highlighted with Insignia Red and a cheap craft-store metallic was used on those burner cans. Here's how it all looked before I enhanced the intakes and put decals on but after I added a navigation blister swiped from a classic box-scale B-36.





Decals can really make a model like this and I was lucky to find some post-war U.S. Navy markings on sale for that famous all blue scheme.



The cockpit decal was for a 1/200 DC-9 and the windows are from a 1/144 after-market sheet, both found in an online bargain bin.









The penguin mascots were taken from 1/144 Minicraft R4D5s  (U.S. Navy C-47/DC-3) sheets backed with a white decal so you could see it against all that blue.



I had a lot of fun building the XP3B which took me the better part of last week.



I'd like to thank the usual suspects for their support during this project and especially Bill & Jeff for meeting up with me at the Renton Spring Show a while back which is where I picked up the Sea Hawk kit for all of $2. Gotta love those end-of-day vendor deals!



I hope you enjoyed the Boeing XP3B Penguin and reading a little more forgotten, if somewhat petulant, aircraft history.



Brian da Basher

« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 07:04:24 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 08:23:46 AM »
Wow! That's an amazing and perfect fit. I love the sleek lines, too.

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 08:48:34 AM »
Great backstory, and a really sweet build. The contours of the two different fuselages are a near perfect match.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 09:02:31 AM »
 :smiley: :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 10:14:53 AM »
Well done Brian!  Really like how it all fit together for your project. 
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Offline Tophe

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 12:11:57 PM »
This is a delicious piece of scaleorama art... from 1/72 to 1/200 :-* :-\ :-*
Congratulations! I clap my hands loudly (lol) ;)

Offline finsrin

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 05:48:32 PM »
In USN speak XP3B is "AJ Squared Away" all the way to "PP"on tail.  Plus love it in '50s dark blue and markings covering '50s design. :-*
Seeing that fuselage match is another example of kit-bashers instinct.

Offline AXOR

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 06:57:59 PM »
What a lovely scaleorama example! :-* :-* :-*
Alex

Offline Camthalion

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 07:25:01 PM »
very cool

Offline finsrin

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 09:07:50 PM »
Wondering how big XP3B was.
Please measure model length and wing span.
Then can do 1/200(?) conversion.
Thanks.

Offline Story

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 12:07:59 AM »
 Chainsaw reconstructions conducted off the edge of any known map are cool.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 02:34:15 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2018, 05:55:34 AM »
Wondering how big XP3B was.
Please measure model length and wing span.
Then can do 1/200(?) conversion.
Thanks.

Length is 6 1/2 inches and span is 7 inches.

Oops looks like I forgot to add a "money shot" (U.S. penny for scale):



This shot is pretty close to actual size. Most of the others were 150-200%.

During the build, I thought of it as 1/144 scale instead of 1/200 but now I'm leaning towards 1/172.

At 1/144 it's not too far off from a P2V-1.

Glad you guys liked the Penguin. Will have to make a Joker or Riddler next...  ;D

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 06:01:20 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline apophenia

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2018, 06:29:26 AM »
Oh that is lovely ... and funny :)

Originally, I was going to just chop off the front and add a large radial for mixed power...

Okay, that someone has to do that! And your work-in-progress shots scream for a full airliner version too!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 07:53:36 AM by apophenia »
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Offline finsrin

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2018, 08:14:10 AM »
At 1/172:  length 93ft 2in   wing span 100ft 4in    Sensible dimensions !

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2018, 03:47:34 AM »

Oops looks like I forgot to add a "money shot"

You owe me for the cost of cleaning up my keyboard, desk and computer screen.  One should not read such things with a full mouth of coffee! ;D
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Robomog

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2018, 10:38:51 PM »
Brilliant model Brian, you put the scale in Scale-O-Rama.

I've always liked Midnight Blue on an aircraft so win-win for me

Mog

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Offline apophenia

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2018, 07:54:33 AM »
Couldn't resist ... here's BdB's Boeing XP3B Petulant Penguin as an airliner. Passenger Penguin, perhaps?
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2018, 02:42:37 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2018, 01:42:02 AM »
Couldn't resist ... here's BdB's Boeing XP3B Petulant Penguin as an airliner. Passenger Penguin, perhaps?

Oh my you've totally taken this to the next level, apophenia!

While I like Passenger Penguin maybe Passenger Pigeon is more appropriate?

I have a soft-spot for extinct species.

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2018, 06:15:10 AM »
Ooo ... I like Passenger Pigeon. So, does that mean that 3 billion Boeing 377 Passenger Pigeons were built but there's none left alive?
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Offline finsrin

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2018, 07:59:27 AM »
OOOH,,, that absolutely works.  :smiley:
Boeing 377 already taken by Stratocruiser.  Thatz a nit.
Different configuration: Have 1/32 Sea Venom in stash to try 1/72 liner.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 09:57:18 AM by finsrin »

Offline b29r

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2018, 01:38:14 AM »
Very nicely done, Brian!  There is absolutely everything to like about this one, and a great story to go with it.  Thanks for sharing this moment of history  ;).

Best regards,
Kem

Offline Acree

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2018, 01:58:30 AM »
Brian,

This is absolutely fantastic!  It's definitely a contender for best WHIF of 2018!  (and I don't just mean "so far")!! 

Interesting backstory.  In the early-90s when I was flying B-52s, our unit considered a similar record attempt.  It was a challenge because of setting up air refueling from bases where we don't normally have tankers (e.g., Santiago, Chile); but the biggest technical challenge was oil consumption.  The 50+ hour flight would have used oil to the point of being right at the edge of safe.  In the end, it was a political difficulty that killed the plan - the Antarctic Treaty prohibits any "militarization" of the Antarctic continent.  Air Combat Command determined that our simple overflight with politically sensitive nuclear bombers would draw too much negative attention, and so they denied permission.  Still, it was an interesting exercise in mission planning.  Had we known the Petulant Penguin did it already, we wouldn't have bothered!

Offline TimJ

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2018, 01:10:03 AM »
Brilliant build and backstory.  8)

Offline pigflyer

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2018, 05:13:08 AM »
WOW, one of your very best, and that's saying something.   And that goes for the airliner version too. Brilliant stuff.
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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2018, 05:29:50 PM »

that scale shift is very neat


Offline Haemon

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2018, 03:05:55 PM »
that looks gorgeous in that deep blue. i can just imagine how hard the enlisted crew would have to listen for orders stuck between those howling engines!

Offline Antonio Sobral

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2018, 05:19:55 PM »

Great story (Could have fooled me for sure :)) and a sleek design!

Offline PALG

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2018, 06:06:30 PM »
Jesus, I bloody love this thing.  Anything that early jet-age whiffery is good but this is top shelf.  love the form on it.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2018, 10:44:35 PM »
Stay tuned. I've got plans to build a similar passenger version.

Glad you enjoyed the Penguin! It was wicked fun putting it together!

Brian da Basher

Offline PALG

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Re: The Boeing XP3B Penguin - A Petulant Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2018, 08:44:20 PM »
Civilian version?  I bloody hope so. Circle windows or are u going for a later look?