Author Topic: The Reggiane Re 2000-47 "Italian Thunderbolt" - An Owl-ish Tale in 1/72 Scale  (Read 1368 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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The Italian aircraft industry in W.W. II could be called derivative, almost imitative. The Reggiane Re 2000's obvious P-35 pedigree is perhaps the most famous example.

Less famous is another Reggiane aircraft, this time inspired by the legendary Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

the Reggiane Re 2000-47 "Tempessimo".

The name Tempessimo is a colloquialism in the local dialect for one who is both tempestuous and temperamental which are appropriate adjectives for this mercurial aircraft.

Powered by a poor knock-off of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp, the key to this fighter's performance was actually its turbosupercharger, a byzantine contraption manufactured by the I.T.C. (Italiano Turbo Compressore) concern.

This device was such a plumber's nightmare that mechanics swore I.T.C. was really short for "Itta Too Complex".

The prototype Tempessimo was rolled out early in 1942 for flight tests. Once discovered by Allied intelligence, it was quickly dubbed the "Italian Thunderbolt" or "Italian Jug" for its similarity to the Republic P-47.

The testing program was a protracted, drawn-out affair mostly due to engine and turbosupercharger problems. By 1943, the prototype Tempessimo had only logged 12.35 flight hours, hardly enough for a realistic evaluation.

However, that would have to be enough when the aircraft was called on for its only combat sortie in June, 1943.

On the 23rd, Il Duce was having another sleepless night, tossing and turning in his official residence, il Palazzo per le Persone Pi¨ Importante di Lei (Palace for People More Important than You). For the third evening in a row, an unwelcome visitor had kept the Duce awake.

Something had to be done and as the Tempessimo was the nearest air asset to il Palazzo per le Persone Pi¨ Importante di Lei, it was ordered to evict the interloper. True to form, the Tempessimo suffered engine failure just as it reached altitude and the pilot was barely able to make a dead-stick landing. The Duce would continue to suffer insomnia until the end of the war.

Shown here wearing co-belligerent markings,  these 1944 photos were taken on the ground where the aircraft ironically spent almost the entirety of its service life. Not long afterwards, the Tempessimo was designated as an instructional air frame and transferred to the Basic Mechanics' & Fitters' school in Parma.

While only one Tempessimo was ever built, it still played an important, if forgotten role in Italian aircraft development even if the so-called "experts" refuse to acknowledge it, thinking the whole thing was just a hoot.

Brian da Basher

« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 05:06:14 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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This all started with a vintage 1/72 Fujimi D4Y3 "Judy" a good friend sent me a while back (thanks a million, hamsterman!). Isn't that box art great?

The sides of the box are nice too even if the Japanese isn't very helpful.

They sure don't make 'em like this anymore.

Initially, this was just built OOB except for swapping out the fin and rudder for one from my spares box. The plan was to just paint over the rear of the kit canopy to convert it to a fighter.

I kept looking at it and I knew I could improve things if I could get over my fear of cutting clear canopies. The rear 2/3 of an F-84 wing tip tank was drafted into service as the new rear canopy.

Along with the new fin/rudder and rear canopy, I also added a turbosupercharger outlet made from some nameless part I found rattling around in my spares box.

It took me about two evenings at the bench to get this far. Here's how it all looked before paint.

Speaking of paint, the old hairy stick was trotted out again and loaded up with a custom Olive acrylic mix on top. The canopy was tinted on the inside with Polly Scale RLM-something Lichtblau.

The undersides were given a coat of Polly Scale Gravel Gray and the landing gear struts were done with Model Masters Steel. The engine that you can't see was painted with a cheap, acrylic craft-store metallic.

Decals were a mix, the Italian markings coming from a Roundels of the World sheet Mr Fontaine sent me years ago (thanks again for these, amigo!). The fuselage codes were from a sheet for an Italeri CANT Z 501 and the wing guns from an Airfix Hurricane.

Before I forget, here's a couple of "money shots" (U.S. penny for scale).

I had a blast building this model which took about four days from start to finish.

I hope you enjoyed the Tempessimo and reading a little more forgotten aircraft history even if it leaves you a bit owl-eyed.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 05:29:24 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline GTX_Admin

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I thought I could see a Japanese element there. :smiley:
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 02:16:01 AM by GTX_Admin »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline elmayerle

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Beautiful conversion!!  It most certainly looks the part.

Offline deathjester

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That's real nice Brian - love the backstory!

Offline finsrin

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Insightful use of F-84 wing tip tank to italianize canopy combined with tail, scoop, paint, markings to yield the Re 2000-47.  You have an eye for this. :smiley:

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Being acquainted with both the Di Evio archives, and all elements of the secret history of the West, I can state that the real reason the Tempissimo was cancelled had more to do with the accountants of the Regia Areonautica's procurement branch, horrified at the discovery that the Reggiane aircraft's armament would cost THREE TIMES that of a standard Re 2000... ;)

Nifty build as always, Brian!

Offline Camthalion

  • The man has done a pink tank...need we say more?!
very nice

Offline John Howling Mouse

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How do you keep coming up with such believable airframes which so perfectly match the nationality?
Now, returning to read the back-story...
A big 'thank you' to whoever it was that invented the OptiVisor!