Hobbycraft FICON GRB-36D/RF-84K 1/144-scale kit review

Part 3: Completed GRB-36D, 49-2694 and RF-84K, 52-7258


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49-2694 was assigned to the Limited Phase IV Performance Evaluation of the GRB-36D at Edwards Air Force Base. It was flown by Major James Rudolph and Captain Charles Neyhart. It made four flights without the RF-84K between November 1955 and March 1956. The future Bell X-2 pilot Captain Milburn Apt hooked RF-84K, 52-7258 onto its trapeze on March 23, 1956. 49-2694 made two more flights with the RF-84K on its trapeze in April 1956. The trapeze was damaged by turbulence, so the Thunderflash was never launched from 49-2694. It was unloaded on the ground after the evaluation.

completed GRB-36D

completed GRB-36D

completed GRB-36D Note the intricate black striping on the upper surface of the wings. The upper turret bay doors should really be flush with the skin of the fuselage.

completed GRB-36D The wings of the Hobbycraft B-36 models droop slightly from the proper position.

completed GRB-36D

completed GRB-36D

GRB-36D, 49-2694 with RF-84K, 52-7258

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze My model commemorates the hook-on accomplished by Mel Apt on March 23, 1956. It took him over ten attempts to hook the nose probe onto the receiver. He came away with the opinion that the task of hooking onto the trapeze in any level of turbulence was too difficult for an average jet fighter pilot.

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze Note the red turbine warning stripes on the underside of the Thunderflash.

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze

completed GRB-36D with RF-84K on trapeze

Part 3: Completed GRB-36D and RF-84K Modifications to the kit include the open lower turret bay, the addition of the radome for the AN/APX-29 rendezvous radio anntenna to the top of the fuselage, the removal of the boom from the right side of the trapeze, the addition of a fixed faring at the front of the bomb bay, the unequal length of the bomb bay doors, and the smaller radome on the tail.

GRB-36D, 49-2692 and RF-84K, 52-7266 via Wings Over the Rockies Museum The notches in the bomb bay doors were meant to provide clearance for the yoke of the trapeze. The main jack and trapeze yoke should line up with those notches in the doors.


Part 1: Republic RF-84K Thunderflash and McDonnell XF-85 Goblin Part 1: Republic RF-84K Thunderflash and McDonnell XF-85 Goblin

Part 2: Building the GRB-36D Part 2: Building the GRB-36D


More Hobbycraft B-36 kit reviews:

Patrick Hawkey built the B-36D

Warpcore.org review of B-36D

Rollmodels.net review of unbuilt FICON GRB-36D kit

Richard Marmo reviewed the Hobbycraft B-36B and B-36D/RB-36H kits for Scaleworld.

Ken Duffy converted a Mongram 1/72-scale RB-36H kit into a GRB-36D.


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