During WW2, the Grumman Corporation was the main builder of fighter aircraft for the United States Navy. At the start of the war, they built the classic F4F Wildcat. This was only the second US Navy fighter with then novel features such as a fully enclosed cockpit and a retractable undercarriage, but it was outperformed by the Japanese Navy’s A6M Zero. To counter this threat, the Wildcat was followed by the larger and more powerful F6F Hellcat.
Sydag has now built the ultimate Grumman prop fighter: the F8F Bearcat. For this Grumman fitted the Hellcat’s R2800 Double Wasp engine to a much lighter and smaller airframe. The result was a bit of a hot rod, with far superior performance. The aircraft also incorporated a bubble canopy, greatly improving the pilot’s view to the rear. Bearcats entered service too late to see combat in WW2 and, with the advent of jet aircraft, they were transferred to the US Navy Reserve, where they received the orange fuselage stripe visible on Sydag’s model. The aircraft were retired from US service in the fifties, but their performance made them an attractive choice for air racing and Rare Bear, a much-modified Bearcat, still holds several world records for propeller-powered aircraft. I obviously like the aircraft, but I like how it is presented even more, with part of a hangar as the backdrop and surrounded by maintenance equipment and aircraft parts, including a spare engine. The classic hot rod (the kind with wheels) is the proverbial cherry on top.
Everything Jon Hall builds is blogworthy. But it’s not often that I run across one of his builds while looking for something to post and I have my breath taken away. The beautiful use of olive green, bulbous shape, and signature custom decals all combine for a strong impression.
Tomorrow is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I hope we see many moon-themed LEGO models over the next couple of days, but we’ll start with this fantastic microscale version of the lander by Ted Andes.
Ted has been building one vignette a week this year, and this is his 31st. Check out his photostream for the rest.
Brian Kescenovitz (mondayn00dle) brings us a fantastic little mecha. The first thing that struck me was the bulbous cockpit area, shaped out of bionicle pieces, it’s an awesome shape and great use of parts. The mecha also features some great piston-like details along the legs, interesting weapons, and an overall futuristic military feel I enjoy.
Welcome back fight fans, to Sin City Nevada for another round of Friday Night Fights. Since large parts of this blog’s ancestral homeland (Washington State) seem to be going up in smoke this week, we thought it appropriate to turn our attention to mini-fig scale fire trucks.
In the shiny red corner, we have Isaac Mazer and his super-accurate Rescue 134, inspired by an engine from an actual ladder company of the same name, in his native Toronto:
In the even shinier redder corner, Galaktek takes a step away from the real world and goes future-retro with the FutureCity Fire Engine from the planet Incendia XII (which sounds like it probably needs a lot of fire trucks).
As usual, constant reader, you are tasked with deciding, by way of comment, which truck is destined for glory and which is destined to rust in the fire house. On the last edition of Friday Night Fights, Concept Art Ships, Jake nailed it to the wall in an 11-4 showdown against Alexander. Tune in next week for another action packed edition of Friday Night Fights!
It’s a “Summer of Korra” for Avatar fans, with the 3rd season of The Legend of Korra now in full swing on Nickelodeon. We’ve seen Korra go through some big changes in the first two seasons, and the title of the new season is ‘Change’ …go figure.
Letranger Absurde hasn’t wasted any time getting in on the action with this exquisite vignette featuring a minifig Korra demonstrating multiple bending techiques, while her trusty steed Naga looks on. The construction of the water spout (or could it be a Sharknado, I wonder??) is particularly nice.
The Naga model appears to be fully posable (…thankyou Mixels!) and ready for Korra to ride. The Avatar has also been given the perfect sassy expression: “I’m the Avatar, and you gotta deal with it!”
Alexander (Malydilnar) brings us a cool space fighter. This ship caught my eye, as I recognized it as inspired by the work of one of my favorite concept artists, Karanak. Ironically, this is one of my least favorite illustrations, and I thought I didn’t like the style of the ship. Seeing it assembled in Lego, though, my opinion has changed. Great job Alexander!
I have a special place in my heart for a fun fleet of microscale LEGO spaceships — it’s a challenge maintaining a consistent visual style that ties the fleet together, and it can stretch your LEGO collection in your chosen colors. Chris Boen (Mos Doomsday) succeeds rather well with his fleet of six substantial ships clearly inspired by the stripy Homeworld aesthetic.
Granted, the sleek, striped skin around a dark gray “technical” core is nothing new among LEGO space shipwrights, but the central battleship has some interesting shaping and I like the brutish-looking destroyer near the back. Regardless, it’s an impressive fleet with a clear common theme.
Should an emergency arise, the Varys medical/rescue vessel is ready to provide aid.
I knew I had to blog these when both appeared in my “to blog” folder…
This crazy conglomeration of tiny twee turrets and giant crazy treads, all decked out in a blindingly yellow color scheme is somewhere in the middle of terrifying and adorable. Huib Versteeg calls it the Obnoxiously Yellow Landship. I call it awesome.
Individually, Star Wars, chibi-fication, rock music and dark humor will make everything 20% cooler. Scientific fact. But combine all these things together and that’s, er… Ok, well math is not my strong point. But it’s clear what Kevin Ryhal‘s strong point is: