Tag Archives: 1950s

‘Peacemaker’

Is there a more ironically named aircraft than this? The Corvair B-36 ‘Peacemaker’ was introduced in 1948 as an intercontinental strategic nuclear bomber, originally conceived to bomb Germany from the U.S should Britain fall during the Second World War.

With the largest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built (a truly enormous 230ft), the B-36 could travel for 10,000 miles carrying a nearly 40,000kg payload and is still the largest mass-produced piston engined aircraft in history, a title it will likely always hold.

Those piston engines were often not sufficient however, and four turbojets were later added to help the giant bomber get airborne. They didn’t help enough though, and the arrival of the jet age meant the Peacemaker was phased out just ten years after its introduction, replaced by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress with all bar five of the nearly four-hundred aircraft built scrapped.

This amazing recreation of the short-lived yet still slightly terrifying nuclear-carrying monstrosity is the work of previous bloggee BigPlanes, whose magnificent Boeing 747 Air Force One appeared here last week. BigPlanes’ astonishing B-36D measures 6ft across, includes a complete mini-figure scale cockpit, and features functioning bomb bays, and there’s loads more to see at Big’s photostream via the link above.

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Car Surfing

Car surfing is Darwinism in action, and long may it continue. Still, if you’re not a complete moron you can still surf in your vehicle, and all without ending up as a thin veneer on the asphalt, thanks to Versteinert‘s ‘Aedelsten’ classic convertible. With surfboards for doors, binoculars for side-lights, and a windshield mounted, er… kinda diagonally upside down, Versteinert’s creation is bursting with brilliant building. See more via the link.

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Bullet the Blue Sky

This is the Lockheed U-2 ‘Dragon Lady’, an aircraft from the 1950s that is still in service today, flying on the edge of space. Designed for the Cold War, but carrying no weapons, the U-2 is able to operate at an altitude of over 70,000ft, taking photographs of the ground beneath it.

Believed to be out of range of ground-to-air missiles, the U-2 was flown extensively over the Soviet Union, supplying the United States with information on nuclear development, missile locations, and airbases.

Unfortunately for the U.S this theory proved inaccurate when, on May 1st 1960, a U-2 flown by Francis Gary Powers was successfully shot down. The Soviets had been tracking the aircraft from 15 miles outside of the border, and an indirect missile-hit brought the U-2 down, with Powers miraculously surviving.

The U.S didn’t believe that a pilot would survive a crash from 70,000ft and thus stuck to a pre-written cover story that the U-2 had drifted into Soviet airspace after the pilot became unresponsive. The Soviet Union cleverly let the U.S release their lie to the world before revealing that Powers was alive and had admitted spying under interrogation. Oops.

Powers spent a year and a half in prison before being swapped in a prisoner exchange at Glienicke Bridge between East and West Germany. He subsequently returned to the U-2 programme working for Lockheed before losing his life in a helicopter crash in 1977.

Amazingly though, the Lockheed U-2 is still in service today, with the United States Air Force taking over operations from the CIA. This splendid recreation of their incredible aircraft was constructed as a commission by Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) whose brilliant H145M rescue helicopter featured here earlier in the week.

Jonah’s model captures the iconic Cold War aircraft in stunning accuracy and there lots more to see of his superbly built and presented Lockheed U-2 spy plane at his photostream. Click the link above to fly to 70,000ft and take a look.

*Today’s excellent title song.

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Cache of Classics

We have a bumper haul for you today! These wonderful classic creations all come from previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott, who has turned his considerable talents to building a range of beautifully photographed and presented vehicles spanning four decades.

From a Fiat Abarth 1000TC (top) via a 1950s panel van (below), a gorgeous 1960s supercar (above), and finally a superb replica of the iconic 1980s Audi quattro (bottom), each has been created using a wide variety of brilliant building techniques and some stunning attention to detail.

There’s more to see of each of Jonathan’s builds featured here, plus a loads more 6-wide vehicles that form his ace back-catalogue, by visiting his photostream on Flickr. Click the link above to take a closer look at the Abarth, ’50s van, ’60s supercar and Audi quattro and much more besides.

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56

Following on from his Mellow Yellow 1960s sedan publicised here last week, Flickr’s Tim Henderson has followed it up with a classic from the decade earlier. Tim’s 1950s sedan includes all the hallmarks of era’s styling including a chrome grill with prominent fenders, side stripes, and tail fins, and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link above.

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Czech Mate

We are SO BORED of Brexit. Every day, all day, people shouting at one another. Racism, classism, elitism… every ‘ism’ you could wish for in one painfully tedious and never-ending argument.

So whatever your political persuasion (and as Americans make up the largest nationality of our readership we suspect the answer is probably this), here’s a celebration of European achievement in the face of considerable adversity.

This is the Tatra T600 ‘Tatraplan’, an almost spectacularly futuristic design produced by Tatra from 1948 from within a country battered by war and then shackled by the yoke of Communism thanks to a coup d’état that took place in the same year the car launched.

Unfortunately Czech Communism lasted considerably longer than the T600 (right up until the Velvet Revolution of 1989), by which point Tatra had almost completely wound down car production to focus on its (excellent) heavy-duty trucks, but we look upon the quirky Tatra with considerably more favour than the Communist regime that ruled during its production run.

The T600 was a large (six seat) family car powered by a 2-litre flat-four engine, featuring a monocoque chassis and with a wonderful streamlined body. Just over 6,000 units were produced during its three-year production run and the whole TLCB team would take one over a typical modern family car (which are mostly as boring as Brexit) in heartbeat.

This lovely Technic recreation of the Tatra T600 comes from Kent Kashiwabara of Flickr, and not only has he captured the car’s beautiful lines rather well in Technic form, he’s also given his model a flat-four engine, working steering, and full suspension underneath. There’s more to see of Kent’s excellent T600 on Flickr via the link above, which is where we’ll be pretending we live somewhere else other than the UK right now….

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Constellation

This gorgeous Lockheed Constellation airliner was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today. Built by the aptly-named BigPlanes it’s a fully fitted mini-figure scale replica of the iconic triple-tailed aircraft, complete with a highly detailed cabin including cockpit, toilets and even a kitchen!

The Constellation first flew in the early 1940s and was produced until 1958, by which point jets were quickly replacing piston engined aircraft. The ‘Connie’s four piston engines were eighteen-cylinders each, and allowed the plane to fly at over 375mph (faster than a Mitsubishi Zero fighter!) and for 3,500 miles.

The Constellation was also the first mainstream aircraft to feature a pressurised cabin, and saw deployment by both the military and civilian airlines with carriers including Air France, Pan-Am, and – as shown here – Trans World Airlines.

Still in limited service today we think the Constellation is one of the most beautiful airliners of all time, and BigPlanes’ Lego recreation certainly does it justice. Head over to his photostream via the link above check out more images of his spectacular model including some wonderful interior shots.

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Caddy Powered Classic

We like usual cars here at The Lego Car Blog, and they don’t come much more unusual than this.

‘This’ is a 1954 HWM Cadillac, built for amateur racer Tony Page and raced across England in the mid 1950s. Page took the Cadillac engine from his previous racing car, an Allard J2, and fitted it to a chassis and body from Hersham & Walton Motors of London, who built competitive Jaguar-engined sports and Formula 2 cars in the early ’50s.

After racing successfully for a few years Page sold the car, whereupon it raced in New Zealand until 1970 when it disappeared into storage. The car surfaced again in 2012 when it was acquired by a new owner and fully restored.

This gorgeous recreation of the HWM Cadillac comes from Tim Inman of Flickr who has done a stellar job of recreating the one-off classic, complete with a detailed replica of the Cadillac engine that powered the car. There’s more to see of Tim’s excellent build at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump to the full gallery.

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Marion 5760 ‘The Mountaineer’ | Picture Special

This might just be the most impressive thing you’ll see today. Yes, even more so than whichever bottle cap challenge video has gone viral. This is the Marion 5760 mining shovel known as ‘The Mountaineer’, the first giant stripping shovel ever built and still the eighth largest to be constructed.

Completed by the Marion Power Shovel Company in 1956 The Mountaineer had an operating wight of 2,750 tons, working until 1979 before its scrapping a decade later. This spectacular fully functional 1:28.5 scale Lego replica of the 5760 is the work of Beat Felber of Flickr, powered by nearly twenty electric motors, with twenty-two pairs of LED lights, and controlled by several SBrick bluetooth bricks.

Weighing an estimated 35kgs (over 5kgs of which is steel ballast), Beat’s incredible machine can move and work just like the real thing. Each of the four crawling bogies is powered by a separate Medium Motor, with eight tracks being driven in total. These are steered by four linear actuators driven by another pair of motors, whilst another seven power the huge digging arm’s ‘crowd motion’, ‘swing gear’ and bucket. The drum hoist requires a further four XL Motors on it’s own, whilst a final micro motor powers a little passenger elevator that moves between The Mountaineer’s three floors.

Beat hasn’t just stopped with working functionality though, giving his creation a wonderfully detailed appearance afforded by its immense size, with hundreds of tiles and plates covering every surface to smooth the aesthetics, accurate railings, stairways, machine rooms, control rooms and cabins, plus authentically recreated decals to replicate the shovel’s original livery.

The’s much more to see of Beat Felber’s astonishing Lego recreation of the Marion 5760 on Flickr, where almost twenty superb images are available to view, each of which contains an in-depth description of the build. Head to Beat’s Marion 5760 ‘The Mountaineer’ album by clicking this link to Flickr, and see just how brilliant a LEGO creation can be!

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MiGnette

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 is perhaps the defining fighter aircraft of the 1950s (sorry America…). It had a career a lot longer than just the 1950s though, with an estimated 18,000 units built – making it one of the most-produced jet aircraft in history – some of which are still in active service in the air forces of the Republic of North Korea and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. This neat MiG-15 vignette (hence our genius title!) comes from BigPlanes of Flickr, who is making his TLCB debut. Custom mini-figures and decals add to the build’s authenticity and there’s more to see at BigPlanes’ photostream via the link.

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The Fake Prince of Bel-Air

The ’50s Chevrolet Bel Air is a regular here at TLCB. A favourite in the classic car scene it’s become an icon of its era, more than the sum of its parts and possibly a bit over-hyped. Not that car fans ever do that (cough Toyota Supra A80 cough). However it’s not the only great-looking Chevy from the period, as the Bel Air had a smaller, slightly more affordable brother.

Always in the Bel Air’s shadow the Chevrolet 210 was just as pretty if slightly less glamorous, and it too could be had with the same ‘Blue Flame’ I6 and V8 powerplants. And a two-speed automatic transmission, Seriously, two. Shortage of gears aside we rather like the 210. It was comprehensively outsold by its larger Bel Air sibling too, so it’s more of a rarity these days.

This 1:18 Model Team recreation of the ’57 Chevrolet 210 4-Door Hardtop comes from TLCB debutant Tenderlok who has done an excellent job of replicating the classic Chevy in Lego form, helped by the application of a lot of custom chrome. Head to Eurobricks via the link above for more images of Tenderlok’s build and a full description.

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Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB | Picture Special

This beautiful recreation of a beautiful car has just become our favourite creation of 2019 so far. The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB was launched in 1959 for road and GT racing, fitted with both steel and aluminium bodies and with between 240 and 280bhp. Just 176 GT Berlinetta SWBs were produced and it became an instant classic, consistently rated as one of the best Ferrari’s of all time.

This wonderful Model Team replica of the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB comes from previous bloggee Noah_L (aka Lego Builders) who has absolutely excelled himself with this stunningly accurate recreation of the iconic historic racing car, complete with a beautifully detailed engine and interior, opening doors, hood and trunk, and the coolest stripes we’ve ever seen.

An extensive gallery of fantastic imagery is available to view at Noah’s Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Flickr album via the link above or via MOCpages here – click the links to make the jump to our favourite creation of the year so far.

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It Looks Like a Giant…

We’re linking to that childish Austin Powers sketch today for good reason. Firstly because penis jokes are funny. Secondly because this Atlas-F inter-continental ballistic missile looks like one. And thirdly because it, and all the other fantastically pointless atomic weaponry developed during the Cold War, amounted to little more than chillingly dangerous willy waving.

The SM-65 Atlas was one of the USA’s numerous ‘my dick’s bigger than yours’ taunts, and being 85ft high and weighing 260,000 lbs it was admittedly pretty massive. But still completely pointless.

The Atlas-Fs were the first ICBM’s able to be deployed from underground silos, taking just ten minutes to launch. Six squadrons were armed with the F, with seventy-two of the things deployable at their peak (plus another fifty-seven of other variants), each armed with a warhead over a hundred times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

This marvellous recreation of a horrendous machine comes from Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist, who is perhaps living up to his name with this build), and is – somewhat unbelievably – mini-figure scale. A neat launch pad, silo, and two mini-figure missile boffins are included and there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link above to wave your willy.

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Double Horse Goodness

This is an F-82F Twin Mustang long-range fighter, and it really did look like this. Effectively two P-51 Mustangs bolted together (only apparently the USAF couldn’t do math), the F-82F wasn’t ready during the Second World War, but it did see service in the Korean War before the rapid advancements in jet engine technology ended its career. This excellent Lego recreation of one of America’s weirder aircraft comes from John Lamarck and there’s more to see on both Flickr and MOCpages. Click the links to view the full photo set, and for more double horse goodness click this secret link.

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A Busload of Books

Lego 1959 Salem Ameriliner Library Bus

Public transport is a depressing place these days. Only inhabited by people staring zombie-like at the screens clutched in their claw-like hands, endlessly scrolling through mindless drivel and self-promotive imagery, without having a clue what lies outside the windows or if the old man two seats in front is having a heart attack. Still, talking of mindless drivel they could be reading The Lego Car Blog so it’s not all bad.

This is much more our thing though, a gorgeous 1959 Salem Ameriliner bus re-fitted as a travelling library, with over sixty mini-figure books, a gramophone, and probably containing more than a few hipsters. It’s the work of Chris Elliott and there’s more to see of his beautifully presented creation at his Flickr album – click the link above to hop on board and open a book.

Lego 1959 Salem Ameriliner Library Bus

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