Tag Archives: Aircraft

Air Pirate

Is there anything cooler than a fighter jet with a skull and crossbones painted on it? The answer is no, and thus here’s Lennart Cort‘s Grumman F-14 Tomcat resplendent in VF-84 ‘Jolly Rogers’ livery. See more at the link!

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Return of the Mav


This is an F/A-18 Super Hornet, and it is definitely not a car. But it is awesome, and it comes from Lennart Cort, who has recreated Maverick’s training aircraft from the upcoming Top Gun 2 movie in beautifully smooth fashion. There’s more of Lennart’s F/A-18 to see on Flickr – head into the skies over the Navada desert via the link above.

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Black Ace

This is the Grumman F-14A Tomcat, as flown by the U.S Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 41, the ‘Black Aces’ until he mid-’00s before being superseded by the F-18 Super Hornet.

First flying the in the early ’70s, the F-14 is a twin engine variable-sweep wing fighter that saw deployment in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and is – somewhat oddly – still in service with the Iranian Air Force today, despite the U.S destroying its retired aircraft to prevent spare parts ending up in Iran.

This spectacular replica of the F-14A resplendent in ‘Black Aces’ markings is the work of Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) of Flickr, who has recreated the supersonic fighter in breathtaking detail.

Featuring working flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudders and air brake, plus an opening canopy, functions landing gear, and an array of explody things slung underneath, Jonah’s F-14A is so realistic we wouldn’t be supposed if Iran try to buy it for spare parts. Which they can do, as Jonah is making his model available for purchase in kit form!

There’s more of Jonah’s incredible Grumman F-14A to see on Flickr, including detailed photos of the underside and all the explody things too. Click the link in the text above to visit Jonah’s photostream, where a few Iranian aviation maintenance people may also be snooping about…

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Silver Bird

American Airlines have a great paint scheme. Both retro and futuristic, their shiny silver overlaid by a tri-colour stripe is surely one of the best liveries in the industry. This particular TLCB Writer was most excited to get on an AA aircraft for the first time, newly painted in the shiniest of silvers, before realising the interior was last refreshed in the American Civil War. It was a l.o.n.g flight…

Perhaps that’s a metaphor for much of American produce; shiny on the outside, shit underneath. Anyhoo, equally shiny, yet wonderful underneath too, is this spectacular Boeing 757-200 airliner from Flickr’s BigPlanes, complete with the iconic American Airlines livery and a fully-fitted mini-figure interior.

BigPlanes’ 757 also features beautifully working landing gear, moving flaps, and lighting, which – admittedly – worked fine on this writer’s real-world American Airlines flight, but the interior wasn’t a patch on this! There’s much more to see of BigPlanes incredible creation at his ‘American Airlines Boeing 757-200‘ album; click the link to head to the departure gate, before wishing you’d flown Virgin Atlantic instead.

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Flying Wing

This is the Northrop XB-35, one of America’s amazing ‘flying wing’ experimental aircraft that would, eventually, lead to the modern B-2 Spirit ‘Stealth Bomber’.

But 1946 was a long time before the B-2, and the ‘flying wing’ idea was still in its infancy. The much smaller N-9M proved the concept enough (despite crashing quite a lot) for Northrop to build a version three times larger, the XB-35, initially powering it with four huge contra-rotating ‘pusher’ propellors driven by Wasp R-4360 radial engines.

The vibrations were awful though, so as the design entered the jet age it was upgraded with eight turbojets, becoming the YB-49 – although the aircraft was still far slower than conventionally winged bombers like the B-47.

It’s the original mid-’40s propellor-powered XB-35 we have here though, created in astonishing detail in 1:40 (mini-figure!) scale by Flickr’s BigPlanes. The detail is beautiful on the inside too, with a complete four-seat cockpit and accurate landing gear underneath.

BigPlanes’ incredible creation is due to go on show at the 2021 Virginia Brickfair event (COVID-19 depending), but you can see it via the spectacular imagery at his ‘XB-35 Flying Wing’ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to take to the skies c1946, and watch the horizon go all blurry and your tea jump out of your mug as four enormous contra-rotating props start shaking the world’s weirdest wing to bits.

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BAE EAP & LR

Today’s acronym is the British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (or EAP for short), the prototype air-superiority fighter that would eventually, via a cross-European collaboration, become the amazing Eurofighter Typhoon. Recreated here in its natty testing livery, Ralph Savelsberg has captured the aircraft brilliantly in mini-figure scale. A 5-wide RAF Land Rover Defender is on hand to assist with the testing programme and there’s more to see of both at Ralph’s photostream via the link.

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C-Plane

The prizes from TLCB’s Lockdown B-Model Competition are winging their way to the winners, but we haven’t seen the end of B-Model building. Tomas Vic (aka Tomik) entered several high-scoring models into the competition and has added another to his excellent back-catalogue of alternate creations.

His latest is technically a ‘C-Model’, seeing as the 42106 set upon which it’s derived already has a B-Model, but we call all alternates ‘B-Models’ here at TLCB so we don’t end up with a list as non-sensical as Mercedes’ model range.

Tomik’s rather splendid aircraft looks good enough to be a Technic set in its own right, and uses the donor set’s Pull-Back Motor to simultaneously drive both the landing gear and the propellors.

Instructions for Tomik’s build are available and you can find a link to them along with the complete image gallery on both Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum. Click the links above to take off.

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Ekranoplan

The Soviet Union was a miserable place of oppression, fear, and poverty. Unless you were at the top spreading the aforementioned oppression, fear and poverty, and then it was marvellous. However for all of its ills – and there were many – the Union did create some truly incredible feats of engineering. One of which is this, the amazing ekranoplan.

Well, not this one exactly, but Flickr’s General 尓àvarre has taken Rostislav Alexeyev‘s ingenious design to its ultimate conclusion, with his ‘MARK II Shiryokan Ekranoplan’ pictured here flying a test run over the waters in Bay 57.

Travelling just over the surface of the water below enemy radar, the General’s not-quite-a-plane-not-quite-a-boat is sure to surprise a few enemy mini-figures when they finally see it coming. We suspect their surprise will be brief though, looking at the various weaponry the MARK II is equipped with.

There’s much more to see of General 尓àvarre’s creation at his photostream – click the link above to head to the waters within an alternate Soviet Union.

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Hippocampus Helicopter

The seahorse is a funny little animal. Delicate looking but with bony armour, they swim upright, have no scales, and the female gives birth to eggs which the male then carries before giving birth live young. That’s shared parenthood right there. It’s also not like a horse in any way, but most things in the sea seem to be named after things on land that they aren’t really like.

Cue the Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse, which isn’t really like either the sea or land based versions of it’s namesake either. But it is quite a cool device, being one of the last piston-engined helicopters in use in the U.S Navy, operating from the mid-’50s to the 1970s. This one, built by [Maks] of Flickr, is in a rather fetching (and highly visible) orange due to its use in the arctic, and has been quite wonderfully recreated.

Finding the orange parts needed to construct this model must have been tricky as it’s a rather rare colour, and you can see the excellent fruits of [Maks]’s efforts at his photostream. Swim over to Flickr in an upright fashion via the link above.

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Race to the Bottom

The early days of flight were perilous ones. Aeronautical understanding was limited and building materials more so, meaning things that operated a long way from the ground were made out of bits of wood and chickenwire. However by the late 1920s mankind’s incredible rate of progress (no doubt helped by the otherwise totally pointless First World War) had made flying relatively safe and normal. Except in one area; Speed.

Like racing cars of the era, racing planes were fantastically dangerous, pushing the limits of physics and effectively working by trail and error, when error often meant death. This is one example from the time, the bonkers Savoia-Marchetti S.65 racing seaplane, designed for the 1929 Schneider Trophy race. With two 1,050bhp V12 engines mounted fore and aft of the pilot, the S.65 proved so unstable it didn’t get airborne at all and the Italian team behind it returned to Italy for more development.

On Lake Garda in 1930 the trails continued, and on the forth attempt the seaplane took to the air in a glorious rush of wind and noise. Whereupon it stalled, crashed into the water, and sunk to the bottom taking its young pilot with it. Thankfully although recovered the S.65 did not attempt to fly again, but a failure though it was it did look rather wonderful, as does Henrik Jensen‘s marvellous mini-figure scale recreation, pictured here in a neat diorama depicting the plane before its fateful flight attempt.

There’s more to see of Henrik’s excellent Savoia-Marchetti S.65 at his photostream – head to Lake Garda in 1930 via the link in the text above, but maybe watch from a distance.

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My Other Helicopter’s an Aston Martin

We’re sure that many helicopter owners also have an Aston Martin in the garage. Flickr’s Serge S thinks so too, having turned the 10262 Aston Martin DB5 ‘Goldfinger’ set into this rather neat helicopter for TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model Competition. There’s just two days to go to get your entry in, which is how long Serge took to build this one. Head to Flickr to see more of his ‘Bond’s Helicopter’ by clicking here, and you can see the original LEGO set from which this model has been built via the link above.

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LEGO Technic H2 2020 | Set Previews

Summertime is here at TLCB Towers, when skirts get shorter (the pedestrians outside, not TLCB staff), it doesn’t get dark until 10pm, and a select group of Elven ‘volunteers’ are fired over the walls of The LEGO Group’s HQ tasked with bringing back the second half of the year’s new Technic sets.

Those that successfully dodged LEGO’s guard dogs (who surely look forward to this biannual event), have returned with their finds which – thanks to the magic of the internet – we can share with you today! So here they are; the three brand new for H2 2020 LEGO Technic sets…

42112 Concrete Mixer Truck

The first new addition to the Technic line up is an interesting one, being hefty eight wheel concrete mixer truck that adopts Technic’s recent more detailed aesthetic and includes a brand new bespoke mixing drum piece. Whether this giant single part is a welcome addition or is at odds with the very point of LEGO is open to debate, but the model itself does look rather excellent, with almost Model Team levels of detail yet also retaining decent Technic functionality.

The front two axles offer mechanical steering via a roof mounted gear, whilst that new mixing drum can rotate either as the truck is pushed along or via a gear on the side, allowing it to ‘unload’ its contents all over the kitchen floor. 42112 also adds a few more dark blue pieces to range, with its attractive colouring enhanced with a few neat decals, and it’s expected to cost around €100 when it reaches stores in August.

42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey

The second set to join the 2020 Technic line-up is as interesting as the first, and it adds another officially-licensed partnership to LEGO’s impressive list to date. It’s also a partnership we never expected, as this awesome looking tilt-rotor aircraft is based on the real (and amazing) Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.

LEGO have dabbled with tilt-rotor aircraft only once to our knowledge, back with the 8082 Multi-Model Control set from 1993 (come to think of it, why don’t LEGO make multi-model sets anymore? They were great), making 42113 one of the most unusual and original Technic sets in years.

It’s also the first set to feature LEGO’s new ‘Powered Up’ battery box, which when combined with the ‘Powered Up’ Motor drives the set’s two rotors and (we hope) the tilting mechanism that converts the V-22 Osprey from helicopter to plane. An opening cargo door and working landing gear also feature, as do a few orange panels to break up the military grey.

42113 will place towards the top end of the Technic range upon its arrival (although the mid-point definitely seems to be shifting upwards), is aimed at ages 10+ (as per the 42112 Concrete Mixer Truck above), and is estimated to cost around €130 when it reaches stores later this year.

42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler

The final new addition to the 2020 line-up is another complicated and expensive set, meaning that all three of LEGO’s H2 sets cost upwards of €100. 42114 sits at the top of the trio, costing an enormous €250. It is itself rather large though, which helps off-set some of that eye-watering cost, and it brings an old favourite back to the range; Volvo Trucks.

Often the ‘B-Model’ (which is ironic, as all three of the new sets don’t seem to offer a B-Model at all), articulated haulers have appeared a few times in the Technic range, but never on this scale. The 42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler is huge, and packed with LEGO’s latest components, chief amongst which is the Control+ bluetooth brick, which enables the set to be operated remotely via a mobile phone or other bluetooth device.

42114 includes three of LEGO’s new ‘Powered Up’ motors, which deliver the all-wheel-drive, articulated steering, and power the massive linear actuator-driven tipping bucket. High levels of visual realism are present once again, with the set enhanced by both accurate decals and a level of detail that was only present on Model Team sets not that long ago. It’s an impressive combination, and one that has created a set that looks to be both a fine display piece and gloriously playable. But it still looks mightily expensive…

42114 is aimed at ages 11+ and joins 42112 and 42113 in stores later on this year. Better start saving. A lot!

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Flight of Fiction

This incredible looking co-axial(?) helicopter is not a recreation of a real aircraft. But it is ridiculously cool. Flickr’s Robson M (aka BrickDesigners) is the designer behind it and there’s more to see of his superbly built and presented concept helicopter gunship at his photostream via the link.

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T’was a Telehandler

There are three weeks to go in TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model Competition and there have been so many brilliant entries so far! Eurobricks’ Tomik has entered several builds in the hope of bagging an awesome SBrick Plus Pro Pack, with his latest B-Models both coming from the parts found within the 42061 Technic Telehandler set.

An off-road buggy with working steering and a mid-mounted piston engine, and a light helicopter with simultaneously turning main and tail rotors are the products of Tomik’s ingenuity, and there’s more to see of both creations by clicking here, where you can also find a link to building instructions if you’d like to rebuild your own 42061 Telehandler set too!

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Sukhoi Su

Russia may have a current political direction as backward as America’s, but – like America – they sure know how to make a fighter jet. This is the Sukhoi Su-35, a multi-role air-superiority fighter conceived as the Soviet Union collapsed around it. The design survived though, and the first iteration entered service in the early ’90s whilst an updated version (this one) followed in 2007. In service in the Russian Air Force and the ‘People’s Liberation Army Air Force’ (aka the Chinese Air Force), just over 100 Su-35s are in use, with Egypt and Indonesia placing orders too.

This superb Lego recreation of the Sukhoi Su-35 comes from previous bloggee Lennart C aka Everblack, who has captured the real aircraft beautifully with some seriously smooth building techniques. There’s more of Lennart’s Su-35 to see at his photostream, where it joins a wealth of other excellent builds. Click the link above for some Russian air-superiority.

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