Disney’s ‘Pirate’s of the Caribbean’ managed to successfully* combine both pirates and ghosts, which – to any 8 year old or TLCB Elf – made it the coolest thing ever.
Their piratical spectres were beaten by a few decades however, by the U.S. Navy, whose ‘VF-84 Jolly Rogers’ squadron operated Phantom II jets from the USS Roosevelt in the 1960s.
Featuring a variety of pointy weapons, superb building techniques, and a ‘skull and crossbones’ tail-fin motif (which – to any TLCB writer – makes it the coolest thing ever), previous bloggee [Maks] has captured America’s ’60s fighter in stunning detail, and there’s more to see of his airborne ghost pirate via the link above.
*Ok, maybe not by the third one. Which was (and still is) one of the worst sequels of all time.
After over 50 years of service, Boeing’s mighty 747 is starting to be retired from fleets around the world. The 747 first entered service with the now defunct Pan Am airline in 1970, after they commissioned Boeing to build a plane 2.5 times larger than their existing airliners.
The aim was to reduce expenses by a third per passenger to bring long-distance air travel to the masses, and the 747 fulfilled its brief so well that over 1,500 have been produced to date, with the design single-handedly defining the ‘jumbo jet’ era.
747 production finally ceases next year, as the industry has moved away from ‘jumbo’ aircraft in favour of smaller more fuel efficient airliners, with two-engined planes now capable of flying just as far as their ageing four-engined counterparts.
Anything that reduces air travel pollution is a good thing, but we’ll miss the old ‘jumbo’. Flickr’s saabfan2013 will too by the looks of it, and has created this neat brick-built homage to the 747 in double-decker configuration and Iberia livery.
There are more images of saabfan’s excellent Iberia Boeing 747 to see on Flickr, where you can also find a link to the model on LEGO Ideas should you want the opportunity to place the iconic Jumbo Jet on your desk too. Click the link above to take off.
Surprisingly we don’t think we’ve ever blogged a horse truck here at TLCB (and we’re reluctant to go into the Archives to check properly as there are rumours of a feral band of TLCB Elves inhabiting them).
Today doesn’t change that though, despite the title, as this lovely Dodge M-37 truck is not a horse truck per say, rather it’s here as ground support for [Maks] previously blogged UH-34D Seahorse U.S Navy helicopter.
That means no attractive horsey girls called Arabella, but still an ace scene that would have been commonplace in the 1960s U.S Navy. There’s more to see of [Maks] Dodge M-37 truck and superb Sikorsky Seahorse on Flickr – click the link above to take a look.
The Douglas DC-3 ‘Dakota’ revolutionised air travel before the jet age. And after it to some degree. Originating as a 1930s military design the DC-3 could fly 1,500 miles at 200mph, taking off and landing on short runways, and carrying 6,000lbs of cargo.
The Dakota was so versatile and reliable that it is still in service all around the world, although not in Denmark where just one unit remains airworthy. Previous bloggee Henrik Jensen has built this aircraft, as operated by a non-profit preservation, recreating it beautifully in brick form.
Wonderful techniques and authentic decals add to the realism and there’s more to see of Henrik’s Douglas DC-3 on Flickr – click the link above to fly in Denmark’s last Dakota.
We love a ’50s MiG. Sure they were a symbol of the oppression of millions, a regime seemingly intent on causing nuclear annihilation (not on their own we might add), and the terror of the Cold War, but they looked so cool!
In service from the early 1950s, almost 11,000 MiG-17s were built for use by a wide variety of scumbag dictatorships, and – somewhat unbelievably – three militaries still operate them today, some ’70 years after the design first flew.
This particular recreation of the Soviet fighter is an Egyptian Air Force unit, as built by John C. Lamarck, and it looks every bit as cool as the real thing. A removable tail-section reveals the jet engine inside, there’s working landing gear, accuarate Egyptian Air Force decals, and a range of exciting-looking weaponry that was used in Egypt’s defeat of the British, French and Israelis during the Suez Crisis in 1967.
What were we saying about the MiG-17 and scumbag dictatorships? Yeh, in this case TLCB’s home nation might not be able to hold the moral ground…
Head to John’s ‘MiG-17F’ album on Flickr via the link above to blow something British up in 1967.
Supercharged Chinchilla stumbled across the aforementioned creation and decided to create it for himself in Lego form. Cue this, um… thing, which we want to own more than almost any vehicle that this site has ever published.
There’s more of Chinchilla’s off-road Cessna to see on Flickr; take a look via the link above whilst we scour TLCB Towers to see if there’s anything we can fit to the office Rover 200 that’ll make it as cool as this…
The United States of America very much proclaims itself to be the greatest country on earth. And it’s true the U.S economy is still (presently) the largest. America also manages to top the world in gun ownership, prescription drug costs, incarceration rate, and by being the only developed nation (and one of only three countries in the whole world) not to mandate paid maternity leave. However in almost every other respect it’s China that’s No.1.
China’s incredible progress over the last few decades is astounding (if a little frightening) to see, with the People’s Liberation Army now around 50% larger than the U.S. military by number of personnel.
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has also upped its game somewhat, with third-generation all-weather fighter aircraft like this, the Chengdu J-10 ‘Vigorous Dragon’.
Not only does it have a great name, the Vigorous Dragon is equipped with air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, laser-guided bombs, glide bombs, satellite-guided bombs , 90mm unguided rockets, and a gun. All of which it can use in the People’s Republic of China’s mission to be as much of a dick as possible.
Still, what’s the point of spending $260billion on a military annually if you’re not going to use it?
China’s budget – unfathomably colossal though it is – does mean that America remains No.1 at something though, with a military expenditure greater than the next ten largest budgets combined (of which China are a very distant second). If only the U.S would spend some of that on maternity pay…
Oh yeah, we’re a Lego blog… this excellent mini-figure scale recreation of the Chengdu J-10 -complete with accurate decals and a variety of explody things mounted under the wings – comes from John C. Lamarck, who has captured the Chinese fighter brilliantly. An opening cockpit and working landing gear feature too, and there’s lots more to see at John’s ‘J-10B’ album on Flickr.
Click the link above to threaten an East Asian nation of your choosing.
This is an English Electric Lightning, and it is the coolest fighter aircraft ever made.
Firstly, because it’s called the English Electric Lightning and secondly, because it was powered by two Rolls-Royce Avon axial-flow jet engines stacked vertically, one atop the other.
Such immense power a gave the Lightning a top speed in excess of Mach 2, making it the only fighter of the time able to catch Concorde, and it is to this day still the only U.K designed and built interceptor to achieve twice the speed of sound.
It was also capable of an exceptional rate of climb, reaching 33,000ft from take-off in under three minutes, with an operational ceiling well in excess of double that – an important ability given its brief to intercept Russian nuclear bombers during the Cold War.
This brilliant Lego recreation of the English Electric Lighting comes from previous bloggee Dread Pirate Wesley, who has constructed a 1:55 F.3 series aircraft as operated by RAF Squadron 56.
This particular Lightning is a preserved surviving example available to see on display, but if you can’t get to RAF Bruntingthorpe you can check out the next best thing via Wesley’s photostream. Click the link above to get to Mach 2 very quickly indeed.
This TLCB writer has learned something today; the Royal Australian Navy uses little red kangaroos in place of the red dot more usually found in the centre of the RAF roundel! Kangaroos!
Entering the rabbit hole he has now learned that South Africa’s insignia features an eagle, Trinidad and Tobago a hummingbird, Papua New Guinea the mythical phoenix, and Luxembourg an extravagant lion.
If we ever start a military campaign against The Brothers Brick perhaps we should outline an Elf for the centre of ours?
Following that somewhat tangental start to this post, the aircraft depicted here that features the kangaroo-in-a-circle markings is a Hawker Sea Fury, in this case flown by the Royal Australian Navy.
Based on the Hawker Tempest, the Sea Fury entered service at the end of the second world war and flew until the early ’60s, operating first a pure fighter and then as a fighter-bomber as its suitability for multi-role use became apparent.
This particular Sea Fury is a F.B.11 that operated with Squadron 724 from the H.M.A.S. Albatross, most notably serving in the Korean War, and it’s been recreated beautifully by John C. Lamarck, complete with folding wing-tips, retractable landing gear, an opening cockpit, and – of course – accurate Royal Australian Navy markings including kangaroo roundels.
There’s much more to see of John’s superb Hawker Sea Fury F.B.11 on Flickr – hop on over via the link above!
This beautiful aircraft is a PBY-6A Catalina, as built by Henrik Jensen of Flickr. Introduced in 1936 over 3,300 Catalina were constructed, making it one of the most widely used flying boats during the second world war. The Catalina saw service in maritime patrol, night bombing, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue, with some still in use today as fire fighting water bombers.
The PBY-6A Catalina depicted here was operated by the Royal Dutch Air force, and has been recreated wonderfully by Henrik using a myriad of clever building techniques, with a few stickers enhancing the realism too. There’s more to see of Henrik’s Catalina at his photostream – click the link above to head there and take a look.
President Trump is going to have to return to his own helicopter from February. Whilst we’re sure this will still offer plenty of toupee-glue testing moments, incoming President Joe Biden’s numerous cosmic alterations seem not to include a wig, more’s the pity.
Anyhoo, whichever cosmetically enhanced face is in the White House, it will be flown about in this, the specially adapted Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King ‘Marine One’.
Often a feature on the White House lawn, doing its best to drown out whatever spur-of-the-moment nonsense is being spouted to the press, Marine One has been a Presidential fixture for decades, with almost twenty (Marine One and Twos) in operation the current Presidential fleet.
This superb mini-figure replica of the world’s most famous helicopter comes from BigPlanes of Flickr, who has recreated the real VH-3D Marine One beautifully, including custom decals and a fully-fitted interior, although there’s no angry orange mini-figure shouting from underneath it, which is surely a missed opportunity.
This is a Fieseler Fi-156 Storch, a short take-off and landing aircraft designed in Germany in the late 1930s. Oddly, despite Germany being a bit of a bad neighbour at the time, it was also built in the Soviet Union (before the German invasion) and France (during and after the German invasion).
One country not invaded was neutral Switzerland, which is where this Fi-156 Storch (or Stork in English) hails from, being used in the Alps for search and rescue.
Built by Flickr’s daviddstone, this brick-built recreation of the Swiss Stork captures the design brilliantly, including wing and landing-gear struts, skis for snow landings, and a lovely Swiss Cross tail-fin.
There’s more to see of daviddstone’s creation at his photostream – click the link above to fly over the Alps in the 1940s.
This glorious McDonnell Douglas F-4N Phantom II was found by one of our Elves on Flickr today, and it proves – at least in USS Coral Sea livery – that more was more for the U.S Navy when it came to applying stickers.
Of course ask any 7 year old (or TLCB Elf) if stickers make something faster and you’ll get an answer along the lines of ‘Duh… Yeah.’ or whatever it is 7 years olds say these days.
The Phantom II confirms this entirely scientific fact as it was phenomenally fast, setting multiple world records during the ’60s and ’70s. Of course this speed was in no doubt helped by the addition of a shark’s mouth, US Navy motifs, red racing stripes, and rising sun/rainbow/gay pride arrangement on the tail.
Flickr’s Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) has captured all of that stickerage brilliantly, applying them to his beautifully constructed F-4N Phantom II model that comes complete with opening cockpits, under-wing armaments, and folding landing gear.
There’s much more of Jonah’s impressive Phantom II to see at his photostream; click the link above to take a closer look, whilst we see if applying some stickers to the office Rover 200 can work the same magic…
Are three things better than two? Engines? Yes. Beer. Yes. Stool legs? Yes. Wings? Er… no, probably not. However, whilst the triplane idea was abandoned by 1920, it was a widespread aeronautical design before then, being used by pretty much every plane-building nation of the time.
Most notably triplanes were the mainstay of the German Air Force in the First World War, with aircraft such us this extravagantly painted Fokker Dr.1. used extensively (and successfully) throughout the conflict.
This superb small-scale recreation of the Fokker Dr.1 – made famous by the ‘Red Baron’ Manfred von Richthofen – comes form Flickr’s Henrik Jensen, and there’s more to see at Henrik’s ‘Fokker Dr.1’ album via the link above.
Three engines are better than two. They might even be better than four, just because of how cool they look. This is the Boeing 727-200, the brand’s 1960s narrow-body airliner and its only tri-jet. Over 1,800 727s were built between 1962 and 1984, with a handful still in use today by some airlines it’s probably best to avoid.
This marvellous Lego recreation of the 727-200 comes from a time when they were in regular service with mainstream airlines however, being recreated beautifully in Southwest’s 1980s livery.
Previous bloggee Big Planes is the builder, and like his past work there is a complete mini-figure interior, retractable landing gear, and functioning flaps too, with much more to see at his photostream. Head south by Southwest via the link above.