We have previously featured large airliners, but few (if any) of them built to minifig scale (Ryan McNaught’s A-380 is technically only half an airliner). Calum Tsang started designing his minifig scale Boeing 777 back in 2006, shortly after one of the real aircraft set a new long-distance record for commercial airliners. He started building in 2011 and has recently fitted new wings and engines. This dedication has paid of, because it is big and it is beautiful.
The model is a whopping 200 studs long and has a similar wing span. With that size, Calum has had to use wood to strengthen the fuselage spine, as well as a few metal struts to support it, but it’s a very nicely sculpted model. One of my favourite bits is the tail fin, with a brick-built version of the logo that LEGO use for the aircraft in recent City sets.
Most of the older models by Everblack are essentially his own refined versions of models that were already out there. They are very nice and I’ve blogged a few, but with his new F-16 he has moved into completely new territory.
The F-16 was developed in the seventies as a lighter and cheaper alternative to the F-15 Eagle. As such, it’s relatively small for a modern jet. Everblack’s model isn’t small, however. Its scale is a whopping 1/18, which is about twice as large as his previous models. This large scale has allowed him to do some beautiful sculpting on the jet, skillfully using curved slopes. Judging from the way the undercarriage and the wings bend, the large size does come with a few penalties, but my word, it looks stunning.
Peter Dornbach (dornbi) has built a very neat model of a Cold War classic: the British Sea Harrier. The Harrier has a somewhat odd-ball appearance, which is captured beautifully in the model. The odd shape is largely due to the aircraft’s unique Rolls Royce Pegasus engine, which allows the aircraft to take off and land vertically. This ability is why it is sometimes known as the Jump Jet.
During the Cold War, many air forces worried about the vulnerability of their airfields to enemy strikes. Fighters that can operate from a much smaller strip, at a time of crisis, can be dispersed to smaller and better concealed locations away from their main base. Building a jet that can take off and land vertically is a big challenge, however. A whole range of different ideas were tried, including having additional lift engines mounted vertically inside the aircraft. This obviously was a very heavy solution. Using rocket boosters to launch a conventional jet from a short ramp worked, but left the jet in question with no place to land. The only successful design was the British Harrier, whose Pegasus engine has four jet nozzles that can be swiveled down to direct the jet’s entire thrust upward. Despite its diminutive scale of only 1/48, Peter’s model has these swiveling nozzles.
Its ability to operate without long runways made the Harrier an attractive choice for shipboard use. British Harriers gained most of their fame (or notoriety) in the 1982 Falklands War, where Royal Navy Sea Harriers, operating from small aircraft carriers, racked up about 20 air-to-air kills against the Argentinian Air Force and Navy, including against far faster Mirage fighters.
It’s no secret that I like the F/A-18 Hornet (albeit not as much as I like the F-14 Tomcat), so I’m always happy to see a nice model of this US Navy strike fighter.
Ryan Harris (Shep Sheppardson) has built a fine example in the markings of US Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 113, better known as the Stingers. This was the first US Navy combat squadron to start flying Hornets back in the eighties and is still active today. Some elements of the model aren’t all that different from other Hornets (including my own), but looks very much like the real deal and has a few interesting features. I’m primarily very curious to find out how the intakes are held together.
Sometimes LEGO builders drop off the map all of a sudden. Real life priorities take over or they lose interest. If the only way you followed the stuff that Ed Diment (Lego Monster) built was via flickr, you might think that the same at happened to him. To some extent it has. Ed’s real-life priority, however, is LEGO-related: he has become a professional LEGO builder, who, together with Duncan Titmarsh, runs a company called Bright Bricks. They also built the jet engine we blogged a while ago. Today, for the first time in a long while, Ed has posted one a new model on flickr.
It is a 1/55 scale model of an Airbus A-380 airliner, commissioned by a toy shop in Heathrow Airport. I already saw pictures of this a few weeks ago, whilst visiting the Bright Bricks workshop, and have been eagerly anticipating blogging them ever since. I know from Ed that being a professional LEGO builder means often spending time building things that aren’t necessarily all that interesting as well as dealing with a lot of red tape, such as health and safety rules and planning permissions. Ed is an airplane buff, however. Back when his LEGO-building was just a hobby, he built a model of Concorde, for instance. It is no surprise then, that the Airbus was one model that he himself was looking forward to building.
The real aircraft is a bit of a blimp, but the way the difficult compound curves on the fuselage were sculpted, the way the wing profiles and engines were built and the wonderful Brick-built British Airways markings on the tail make this model a thing of beauty.
I’m starting to think that LUGPol either doesn’t have any sub-standard builders within its ranks, or they kill them off before they can embarrass the group publicly. Either way I’m delighted to present Polish Air Marshall mrutek’s latest effort, a fabulous single-engine biplane called the Antonov An-2. The An-2 was a large, slow flying utility transport used as both a crop-duster and for the deployment of paratroopers. The Guinness Book of World Records states that the 45-year production run for the An-2 was for a time the longest ever, for any aircraft, but it was recently exceeded by the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
Come fly with me, constant reader, before the weekend draws to a close and the Monday factory whistle blows. Our conveyance is provided by the always impressive David Roberts and his “Albatross“, while the soundtrack is provided by Iron Maiden, who I had the great fortune to see recently on tour here in Vegas. Rock on David, way to bring the clean lines, bold colors and snappy presentation. I’ll see the rest of you next Friday at the fights.
I don’t think I’d want to be on the wrong side of this one. It’s not often that I see a helicopter design that looks original, but this one by flickr user piratesxlovexrum is awesome. It’s aggressive and bold, and looks vaguely Soviet-inspired. And I have to point out that great bit of photography.
This sweet mobile fighting platform by Garry features the same cockpit and hull, and then adds legs, rotors, and whatnot onto it to turn it into different weaponized vehicles, all of which look totally BA.
From French builder 74louloute comes this amazing diorama of 1930s aviator Henri Guillaumet, a mail pilot in South America who crashed in the Andes and lived to tell the tale. The scene here is brilliant, and the builder is the first I’ve seen to use tiles and the new inverted tiles together to make a super thin smooth wing, and it works marvelously.