by Randy Kloko
No back story here-just a pun on “Republic Thunderbolt”.
It's also something of a backhanded homage. When I was a very small tyke in the 60's, a “starfighter” was a Lockheed F-104. It epitomized what a jet plane was supposed to be, in that it was silver, had red-white-and-blue insignias, and had wing tanks. In my mind, this definition extended to most of the planes of the late 40's and early 50's, including Republic Aviation's “thunder” series that started with the P-47 Thunderbolt and culminated with the F-105 Thunderchief.
Hence the Banana Republic Thunderpeel 2, a rocket-propelled suborbital interceptor. (It must be rocket-propelled-no air intakes!) It's armed--since the contest rules demand armament--with two wingtip-mounted POPguns. (POP: Pod of Obscure Purpose. Highly classified…I could tell you the technical details, but then I'd have to POP you one.)
The model is obviously the unholy splicing of a 1/72 F-84 Thunderjet with a plastic banana. The display stand is a banana bunch holder. Check the produce section of your local supermarket.
It's depicted with its forebear, the Banana Republic P-47 Thunderpeel 1 in 1/48. As for the FSAF, think of it as some yet unformed future agency involving either a global federation or Florida State University (Go Noles!), which was formed when both my Czech-manufactured U-decals disintegrated.
(“Banana Republic Aviation” is affiliated in no way with that other company, which sells all those fishing vests and such.)
Image: Left/front view
Image: Proud lineage