I’ve lost count of how many LEGO versions of Porco Rosso’s iconic seaplane we’ve featured here on TBB, going way back to Uspez Morbo’s Savoia S.21 I wrote about in 2008. And yet I enjoy every version we’ve highlighted, not least this fantastic microscale version by Marcin Otreba, complete with stand and tiny Adriatic seascape. A miniature Porco pilot may try to steal the show here, but the details I love most are the little contrails emerging from the engine exhaust and the rounded cowling on the seaplane’s bow.
Check out this excellent LEGO microscale cove built by Flickr user Pixeljunkie. The heavy use of slopes laid upon their sides provides an organic, rocky backdrop for a tiny beach scene. But it’s not just any beach! This is the hideout of Porco Rosso, the Italian flying ace slash anthropomorphic pig from the Studio Ghibli film of the same name. You can see his iconic red plane, a Savoia S.21, sitting in the water. On the coast are his tent, chair, and radio, where Porco would relax between bouts with the sky pirates of the Adriatic. The shaping of the plane in such few bricks is inspired, and immediately recognizable to someone familiar with the movie. Also of note, the 1×1 plate with tooth used as a dock is some great parts usage at this scale.
We’ve featured half a dozen or so Savoia S.21 flying boat from Porco Rosso over the years, but it remains one of my favorite LEGO aircraft whenever I run across a new version. This latest incarnation of the racing plane from the 1992 Hayao Miyazaki film is brought to us by Volker Brodkorb. The airplane’s huge engine mounted forward of the cockpit makes this plane instantly recognizable, as do the striping on the angled wings.
Volker uses curved slopes attached studs out to achieve the sloping shape of the boat-plane’s hull, and the pop of yellow on the front of the propeller is a lovely touch.
One of my favorite Miyazaki characters is Porco Rosso, and we’ve seen many LEGO versions of Porco’s iconic red plane before. But this character portrait of the gruff pig himself, in all his metaphor and charm, is something special. It’s no surprise that it comes from the hand of Eero Okkonen, whose fantastic brick characters regularly grace our blog.
Stephen 趙(Chao) (obscurance) makes his first appearance since 2009 on this venerable blog, with this gorgeous “Savoia S.21“. The S.21 is a fictional seaplane / fighter that appears in the anime Porco Rosso, directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
According to Wikipedia: “While the plane depicted in the film never existed, Savoia was an actual Italian aircraft maker which produced a considerable number of flying boats in the 1920s, during which the film is set. An actual Savoia S.21 even existed, though the fictional one does not closely resemble it—the Cant.Z 501 “Seagull” is probably the closest real-life match. As a matter of fact, Hayao Miyazaki is said to have drawn his Savoia S.21 from his childhood memories of Macchi M.33.”
Constant readers of the blog will no doubt be familiar with this model, as 4 outstanding builders have taken a shot at the Savoia over the years. When I discovered how often the Savoia had been featured I was tempted to send the draft to the trash can, but I enjoyed seeing the unique approach used by each builder over the years and hope that you will too.
I was looking through flickr user’s Sydag’s new aircraft models earlier, and was shocked to discover that we’ve never featured any of his stunning airplanes here before. Sydag has been building some of the best small aircraft to be found, including this latest pair of Hawker Sea Furies, decked out for the Reno Air Races. Be sure to check out the other photos of them, as Sydag’s included lots of terrific details like folding wings and a de-cowled version.
While I’d love to highlight all of his planes, this lovely version of Porco Rosso’s plane from Miyazaki’s film grabbed my attention in particular. It looks spot on, and the display is wonderful.
Previously on The Brothers Brick:
Hayao Miyazaki’s Porco Rosso never saw theatrical release here in the United States, and since it was released after I left Japan, I had to wait 13 years to see it (when it was released on DVD in 2005). The movie was worth the wait, and I just love Uspez Morbo‘s interpretation of protagonist Porco Rosso’s seaplane.
See lots more pictures on MOCPages, including the highly detailed cockpit (complete with foot pedals!). Great stuff.