Tag Archives: Aircraft

A Red Wolf

ta

The Ta-152 was the ultimate expression of Focke-Wulf’s Fw 190 fighter aeroplane of WW II. The particular version built by Maelven on Flickr is the Ta 152H, optimised for high altitude flight. The modifications included a pressurised cockpit, an increased wingspan and a Junkers Jumo 213E V12 engine with two speed, two stage supercharger and intercooler.

With methanol-water & nitrous-oxide boost, the engine could produce 2,050PS and made the Ta 152 one of the fastest piston engined aeroplanes of the war with 472mph at 41,000 feet. Maelven has displayed his model with its cowling open, displaying the mighty engine. What was the aircraft like to fly? This was described by the world’s most experienced test pilot and fluent German speaker, Capt. Eric Brown RN is this article. For more views of Maelven’s model, click this link.

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You Don’t Know Man… You Weren’t There

Lego Bell AH-1G Cobra Helicopter

We weren’t there, or even born, but we do know that the outside contributors to the Vietnam War (China, the Soviet Union, Australia, South Korea, Thailand and, of course, the United States) were embroiling themselves completely pointlessly.

The Vietnam War raged for twenty years from 1955 to 1975, with heavy U.S involvement from the early ’60s until ’73, yet the conflict should have simply been an internal civil war between North and South Vietnam. However, when one side was Communist and the other Capitalist, the world’s superpowers decided that they could use the unrest to further their own ideology, split as they were along the same lines. Yay imperialism.

This dramatic escalation meant that up to 4 million people died in the conflict, the majority of whom were Vietnamese civilians, and the U.S pulled out having needlessly lost nearly 60,000 personnel. Still, lessons were learned and the superpowers never again involved themselves in foreign wars to further their own agenda. Wait, that’s not right…

Oh yeah, the model! This superb mini-figure scale Bell AH-1G Cobra helicopter in U.S Military Vietnam specification is the work of previous bloggee Daniel Siskind and you can check it out via his excellent photostream by clicking here.

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Sub Hunter

Lego SH-60F Seahawk

This superb SH-60F Seahawk as used by the anti-submarine unit aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt comes from old favourite Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist on Flickr. With beautiful detailing and custom decals it’s a fine way to kick off 2017’s aircraft here at The Lego Car Blog. There’s more to see, including photos of the nifty sliding cabin door and folding rotors, at Ralph’s photostream via the link above.

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5591 Mach II Red Bird Review

Lego 5591 Mach II Red Bird

The Lego Car Blog Review My Set Competition is drawing to a close, but we have just enough time to squeeze in a couple more reader reviews before the end of the year deadline. Today’s set review comes from a TLCB reader, and also one of our Master MOCers, the brilliant Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74, and things are getting decidedly 1990s. Over to Andrea…

This Red Bird is ready to fly.

My love affair with the set No. 5591, also called ‘Mach II Red Bird’, started during a very cold Sunday morning of a past winter when I saw the big truck displayed on a flea market counter. I immediately bought it even though a few yellow pieces were replacing the missing originals, red train doors in place of the white ones, and other things like that were afflicting it. But for the price it was on offer for I got it with no hesitation! Without difficulty I replaced the incorrect parts with the right ones and the set is now restored in all its glory alongside the other Model Team sets in my collection.

Let’s step back. The Red Bird is the eighth set of the Model Team series, released by LEGO in 1994. Model Team was the large scale vehicle line that LEGO produced from 1986 until 1999, with a total of 15 sets, plus a re-release of the 5541 Hot Rod in 2004 as part of the Legends series.

Model Team vehicles were characterized by realism, although whilst there is no doubt they were detailed and charming models the techniques used are fairly basic by today’s standards.

Lego Model Team Range

5591 Red Bird is a big set and it’s rich in pieces, an impression I had the first time I looked at it. Despite the basic colours – white, red and black – the livery is really spot on, reminding me of the “B.J. and the bear” colours. The wide usage of stickers makes the set more appealing too.

The set is composed by three parts: the tractor truck, the low loader semi-trailer and the Red Bird jet aircraft. Let’s take a look.

The tractor truck is probably the best part of the set. It’s based on a typical US truck with the cab behind the engine and a long front nose. The truck has a very well balanced design and it’s rich in details, among others: side mirrors, windshield wipers, opening doors and many auxiliary lights, with the side ladders located on the lateral fuel tanks.

You can open the hood to reveal the cool looking engine which was probably influenced by the first LEGO Model Team engine ever, found in the 5580 Highway Rig. The hood is wedge shaped too, which I really like as it helps to make the front of the truck more streamlined. 5591’s interior is quite simple featuring two yellow seats, a steering wheel and the dashboard constituted of two printed slopes. The front wheels can steer by turning a knob located on the roof and the Hand of God control works well – all good so far.

However, the back of the truck is a little bit poor without a realistic fifth wheel and with a simple bumper featuring only rear red lights. We’d have to wait until 1996 for the 5571 Black Cat to see a decent rear to a truck with a convincing fifth wheel.

Lego 5591 Mach II Red Bird

The second part of the set is the semi-trailer, which is quite simple and it perhaps looks more Technic than Model Team. Naturally the trailer can be hooked unto the truck by a plate modified with a towball socket. Continue reading

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Ho Ho Ho…

Lego HH-3E Jolly Green Giant

…Green Giant. We’re not convinced that the marketing department at Green Giant canned vegetables were being completely original when they came up with their tagline, but in fairness if Father Christmas hadn’t trademarked it first it was a bit short sighted of him. Anyway, it does allow us a tenuous link to Christmas with this blog post title, so we’re cool with it.

This superb military helicopter, complete with some of the best brick-built camouflage that we’ve ever seen, is a Sikorsky HH-3E ‘Jolly Green Giant’. Launched in the early 1960s the big Sikorsky has been in continuous use ever since, with both it and the UK variant (the Westland Sea King) forming the backbone of American and British search and rescue fleets.

The brilliant Lego recreation of the Jolly Green Giant featured here comes from Flicker’s [Maks] and it’s without doubt one of the finest Lego helicopters that we’ve come across since this site was founded. There’s lots more to see at [Maks]’ photostream – click the link above to take off.

Lego Sikorsky S-61R

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Sukhoi Su-35

Lego Sukhoi Su-35

This superb recreation of Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 fighter, exquisitely detailed in an usual tundra-camouflage, is the work of previous bloggee Lennart C of Flickr.

The real Su-35 is currently in operation over Syria, where it’ll be wearing an altogether more drab paint job to blend in with the desert beneath it, and unfortunately it’s not exactly been hitting purely military targets.

Russia’s offensive against the dick-bags in Islamic State (a good thing) is sadly masking a greater politicised conflict, and one in which civilians and rebels – themselves fighting ISIS – are dying daily at the hands of Russian airstrikes and President Assad’s trigger-happy forces.

To see how you can help those trapped in the conflict click this link to the UN Refugee Agency’s Syrian Crisis Appeal, and for more details on this magnificent but sobering recreation of one of the causes click the link above to visit Lennart C’s photostream.

Lego Su-35 Fighter

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Convert-A-Car

Lego Wacky Races Convert-A-Car

And now here they are! The most daredevil group of daffy drivers to ever whirl their wheels in the Wacky Races, competing for the title of worlds wackiest racer! The cars are approaching the starting line… there’s ingenious inventor Pat Pending in his Convert-A-Car!

Redfern1950s has added another brilliant Wacky Racer to his portfolio. There’s more to see of Professor Pat Pending’s clever contraption via the link above, and you can check out all of Red’s Wacky Races builds by clicking here.

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Russian Refuel

Lego ZIL 130 Tanker Truck

Ugly, low, and brown – this ZIL 130 fuel tanker could be any number of our Elven workforce. But like them it is useful, as without ground support vehicles such as these, airforces and airlines would operate for about 5 minutes.

This tidy recreation of the Russian truck comes from previous bloggee Dornbi, and he’s included a wonderful MiG 21 for it to refuel too. Head over to Flickr via the link above to see more.

Lego MiG 21

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2017 LEGO Technic Preview!

Lego Technic 42066 Jet 2017

Yes it’s that time of year again, when a crack team of Elves ‘volunteer’ to be fired over the perimeter wall of The Lego Company’s HQ, tasked with bringing back the brand new Technic sets due for release next year. Elves that manage to successfully navigate the maze of air-conditioning ducts and dodge the guard dogs return as heroes, by which we mean they get fed, and we get to reveal LEGO’s newest Technic sets before they hit the shelves in the new year. On to the sets!

42066 – Air Race Jet

Pictured above, the LEGO Technic 42066 Air Race Jet puts the Technic line-up’s on/off relationship with aircraft back into the ‘on’ position. Clearly based on a well-known military aircraft, 42066 covers up its death-from-above intentions with some jazzy stickers, but they look passable if nothing more than that. The set features working elevators and tail rudders, folding landing gear, and an opening cockpit, and will sit in the middle of the 2017 Technic range when it’s launched early next year.

Lego Technic 42065 Tracked Racer RC

42065 – RC Tracked Racer

We have absolutely no idea what this is. None. Built purely for play value rather than a demonstration of technical engineering, 42065 does – admittedly – look like a hoot to drive with twin Medium motors and skid-steering. We’ll leave that to someone else though, as its aesthetics are about as appealing as the Elves that make up our workforce. Next.

Lego Technic 42062 Container Yard

42062 – Container Yard

This is more like it. 42062 is the first double-vehicle set of 2017, and it looks like a lovely way to introduce Technic to builders stepping up from City and other simpler themes. The neat articulated truck features working steering whilst the heavy-duty forklift includes rear-wheel-steering and a mechanically operable boom lift and grab. Good stuff.

Lego Technic 42060 Roadwork Crew

42060 – Roadwork Crew

2017’s other multi-vehicle set also sits towards the bottom of the Technic range and it too looks like a good introduction to more complex building. The truck features working steering and a tipping load bed, whilst the excavator includes a mechanically operable shovel. Both vehicles feature a few stickers and more visual detailing than Technic sets of old, and should be priced well within pocket-money ownership.

Lego Technic 42058 & 42059

42058 – Stunt Bike  &  42059 – Stunt Truck

Pull-back motors. Nothing else. Next…

 Lego Technic 42057 Ultralight Helicopter

42057 – Ultralight Helicopter

An unusual vehicular streak seems to be running through the 2017 Technic line-up, as a second aircraft joins the range. The 42057 Ultralight Helicopter actually looks more like a gyrocopter to us, but as we assume both the main and tail rotors are connected to the inline two-cylinder engine 42057 is indeed technically a helicopter. More stickers abound and the tail fin steering, controlled via a hot rod style pitman arm, looks novel. Expect 42057 to be priced under $20 when it arrives in stores next year.

Lego Technic 42064 Ocean Explorer

42064 – Ocean Explorer

Things are starting to get really weird now. This attractive looking ship, complete with a helicopter and submersible, looks more like a City set rather than something from the Technic line. And it may as well be, as so far as we can tell it does nothing more than the equivalent City set would. If it wasn’t for the superb-looking BMW R 1200 GS Adventure set revealed here earlier in the month we’d be wondering what the hell’s happened…

Lego Technic 42061 Telehandler

42061 – Telehandler

Finally, some redemption. 42061 is a long way from being the best Technic set ever made, but it is probably the best non-licensed Technic set of the 2017 H1 line-up. All-wheel steering, a mechanically extending boom, and a tilting bucket all feature, and its simple construction should mean 42061 is reasonably priced too.

So there you have it, all nine 2017 Technic sets due to reach stores in the new year. Aside from some decent starter sets in 42060 and 42062 we’re somewhat underwhelmed, although there are three empty spaces in the 2017 range due to be filled later in the year. At least there’s that brilliant BMW…

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Catching Clouds

Lego Flying Boat

Today’s post is not a car. Or even a boat. Or an aircraft. In fact we’re not really sure what it is, but we know we like it. The delightfully strange Dwalin Forkbeard is behind this floating weirdness and you can see more at his wilfully odd photostream here.

Lego Flying Boat

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Seek and Destroy

Lego Mi-24 Hind Helicopter

This has got to be one of the ugliest vehicles that we’ve ever posted. It’s even uglier than this. But it’s also one of the most beautiful examples of LEGO building we’ve posted too. It’s a Russian Mi-24 ‘Hind’ helicopter gunship, in service (and production) since 1972, and it’s a gloriously inventive build. The work of TLCB regular Daniel Siskind, there’s more to see on Flickr – click here to take off.

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Buzzin’ Hornet

Lego McDonnell-Douglas F-18C Hornet

Much like the news, TLCB seems to be quite military focussed currently. We’ll try to rectify that and send some Elves further afield to happier places, but in the meantime here’s today’s military creation – Dornbi’s 1:22 McDonnell-Douglas F-18C Hornet in Swiss airforce specification. Grey and warfare-y it may be, but it’s also an absolutely superb build, with working landing gear, aeronautics and an opening cockpit. There’s loads more to see at Dornbi’s photostream which you can access here.

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Big Cat

Lego F-14A Tomcat

We don’t blog planes all that much here at The Lego Car Blog, but sometimes a model arrives that is so stupendously brilliant that we forget our car bias for a bit. This is one of those times.

This magnificent creation is a 1:15 scale, 8,000 piece replica of the formidable carrier-based F-14A ‘Tomcat’. It’s been built over the last 9 months crash_cramer of Flickr, and it’s a truly remarkable build. With LEGO Power Functions operating various aeronautical functionality, custom LED engine sequencing, custom decals, and a vacuum-formed canopy, the attention to detail, even if it’s not quite all LEGO, is astonishing.

The whole model measures well over 1.2 metres long and it’s really worth a closer look. You can see all of the incredible images on Flickr – click the link above and wind the catapult back.

Lego F-14A Tomcat

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My Beautiful Balloon

balloon

When a scorched & smouldering Elf staggered back from Flickr with this magnificent flying machine we immediately kicked him straight back out of The Lego Car Blog offices. Sadly, we weren’t quite fast enough and the smoke detectors triggered the sprinkler system. We’ve spent the rest of the morning hiring an industrial dehumidifier and hanging 169¾ Elves out on the washing line. This looks quite pretty and is really rather decorative. We might just leave them there. Then we got quite excited, as we thought that we’d never blogged a hot air balloon before. It turns that we have, but we have blogged a lot of stuff since the start in November 2011.

This particular balloon was built by Pete Strege. It’s a brilliant assemblage of all shapes and sizes of plain, angled and curved plates. The neat way that the basket is attached is obvious from the photos but not so much the internal structure of the balloon itself. Follow the link in the text and see if you can zoom in to the detail and figure it out.

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Tough Transport

Lego Sci-Fi Transport Shuttle

As regular readers will know, we are not a sci-fi blog, and frankly we struggle with anything that doesn’t have wheels in multiples of two. However this brilliantly designed Transport Shuttle is too cool for us to pass up, and it’s staffed by some of the meanest-looking mini-figures that we’ve ever seen. Flickr’s Horcik Designs is the creator behind it and you can see more via the link above. Just don’t ask what’s in the briefcase…

Lego Shuttle

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