Tag Archives: Aircraft

Flight of the Phantom

It’s Halloween, the season of pumpkins, candy, spooky household ornaments, girls wearing literally nothing, and tenuous TLCB links.

TLCB Towers doesn’t feature any of the first things, so we’ll try to make up for it with the last one on the list, beginning with this; the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II.

Constructed by Flickr’s Juliusz D., this incredible recreation of the U.S military’s 1960s long-range supersonic fighter-bomber captures the aircraft in Vietnam War livery, as flown from the USS Constellation aircraft carrier in 1972.

With working flaps, folding wing tips, retractable landing gear, an opening cockpit, and a variety of scary weaponry, Juliusz’s Phantom is spookily accurate. Top quality decals and beautiful presentation make this a ghost that’s worth a closer look, and there’s lots more to see at Juliusz’s ‘McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II’ album. Click the link to go ghost hunting.

Dananananana…

…is the sound a helicopter makes. Also Batman.

This is the ‘Batcopter’ from the Batman TV series, which was a little more, er… ‘festive’ than the dark and secretive Batman we know from the 2010s. Still, if every time you fought crime giant bubble writing appeared shouting ‘KAPOW!’, there was probably little point being stealthy.

Andre Pinto’s ‘Batcopter’ captures the camp flamboyance of the ’60s caped crusader brilliantly, and there’s more to see at his ‘Batcopter TV’ album on Flickr. Dananananana…

Where Eagles Dare

1968’s ‘Where Eagles Dare’, starring Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton, is widely regarded as one of the finest war movies of all time. That’s despite it featuring hairstyles, make-up, pharmaceuticals, and a red bus from a decade (or even two!) later than the time of its setting.

Said bus, a 1952 Steyr, stars prominently in the closing scenes, as the characters make their escape to an airfield where a Junkers JU-52 is waiting.

This brilliant brick-built recreation of that iconic ‘Where Eagles Dare’ scene is the work of SirLuftwaffles, who has captured not only the wrongly-cast Steyr bus and Junkers JU-52 from the movie wonderfully, he’s placed them within a stunning forced-perceptive alpine setting that looks so good we feel as though we’re making the escape too.

Style your hair for the ’60s, climb aboard a ’52 bus, and head to a snow-covered European airfield in 1944 via the link above.

Depositing a Floater

Sorry, we mean ‘Depositing by Floater’. The first is something else. Anyway, this delightful scene depicting a De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver floatplane comes from Flickr’s Slick_Brick, and it looks beautiful! From the dog in the boat by the jetty to the forest and snow-capped mountains beyond to the wait… what’s that lurking in the water? Whatever it is the scene is still somewhere we’d love to be, and you can join us there at Slick’s photostream via the link in the text above.

LEGO Technic H2 2022 | Set Previews

Our Elves have been sneaking again! Although we forgot to write about their discovery of the new H2 2022 Technic set until we saw that LEGO had released them for sale on Monday. Never mind…

So, although you can find these on LEGO.com for sale right now, here are the two new LEGO Technic sets for August 2022!

42144 Material Handler

First up (above), and looking excellent, is the brand new 42144 Material Handler, an 835-piece recreation of those giant grabby crane things that operate in scrapyards. And seeing as literally everyone wants to have a go at smashing a giant grab through the roof a scrap car, LEGO’s decision to create a fully working Technic version looks rather inspired.

The new 42144 set returns proper pneumatics to the Technic line-up, with a boom extending to 35cm courtesy of two large pneumatic cylinders pressurised by hand, whilst a small pneumatic cylinder opens and closes the grab.

A decent level of mechanical functions are present too, with 42144 including working outriggers, steering, a rotating boom superstructure, and an elevating cab.

It all looks rather good, but so it should do, as the new Technic 42144 Material Handler costs an enormous £105 / $150.

This sizeable price-tag generates a figure of 13p / 18c per piece, which is exactly double that of the 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 from five years ago, and 50% more than the 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set from just two years ago.

Perhaps you might not want to scrap that old car after all…

42145 Airbus H175 Rescue Helicopter

LEGO’s second new arrival for August 2022 brings a helicopter back into the Technic range, a vehicle type that always seems to translate well to the theme. Unlike past iterations though, 42145 is an officially licensed replica of a real-world helicopter, in this case the Airbus H175.

Now as a car blog we have no idea what an Airbus H175 is, and would have been just as happy with a ‘generic’ helicopter, but aircraft fans are likely to enjoy its real-world basis as much as we do LEGO’s officially licensed cars and trucks.

Measuring over 70cm long and aimed at ages 11+, 42145 includes a motor that powers both the main and tail rotor, the rescue winch, and the retractable landing gear, whilst also spinning the engines too, which is a nice touch.

42145’s mechanical functions are limited to opening doors and a working swash plate to control rotor pitch, but seeing as the latter is fiendishly difficult to create that’s probably sufficient.

On sale now, the new Technic 42145 Airbus H175 Rescue Helicopter costs £180 / $210, making it even more expensive than the 42144 Material Handler above. However with a far more reasonable price per piece figure (even with a motor included), it 42145 looks to be the much better value of the two.

Both new Technic sets are available now via LEGO.com and other retailers, alongside all of the Technic sets from H1 revealed here at TLCB earlier in the year.

Seasprite

This is a Kaman SH-2 Seasprite, a U.S Navy ship-based anti-submarine and search & rescue helicopter. Introduced in 1963, the Seasprite saw service in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, and flew until 1993 with the U.S Navy, as well as being operated in small numbers by a several other nations.

This excellent (and rather wonderfully liveried) SH-2 Seasprite is the work of Robson M (aka BrickDesigners), who has captured both it and the rather exciting looking weaponry slung underneath beautifully.

Top quality building techniques and presentation abound, and there’s more to see of the SH-2, including its folding landing gear, opening doors, and cartoonesque missiles, at Robson’s photostream. Click the link above to get airborne.

Skytrain

‘Skytrain’ might be a slightly ambitious title, but nothing moved as many troops about during the Second World War as the Douglas DC-3 / C-47. In fact so reliable is the DC-3 that many are still in use today, some eighty years on from when the plane first saw service, ferrying people and objects to and from the world’s most inhospitable places.

This lovely recreation of the iconic aircraft comes from SirLuftwaffles of Flickr, and – full disclosure – it’s digital. But you can’t tell, as SirLuftwaffles has used only readily available pieces, real-world construction methods, and produced a render that is really very good indeed.

There’s more to see including full build and digital design software details at SirLuftwaffles’ photostream – take to the skies with 27 other troops via the link in the text above.

Future Fuelling

Uh oh – cyberpunk! A genre about which we know less than your Mom does about portion control.

Still, despite this incompetence, we absolutely love this scene by Flickr’s Slick_Brick, which is packed with so much brilliant detail even TLCB Staff have stopped to take a look. And usually that only happens for some obscure car from 1976.

See if you can spot; the jet bike, the tracked robot helper, the pot plant, and the ingenious dog water bowl with the rest of TLCB Team at Slick’s photostream.

Military Monday

War is once again raging in Europe. However despite the shock of one country invading another in 2022, Europe has been involved in conflict almost constantly. From fear of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War (which this TLCB Writer fears may be about to return) to involvement in far-away combat, war is sadly never distant.

Today’s models remind us of this past, with the first (above) the undoubtedly beautiful but rather sinister Handley-Page Victor nuclear bomber.

Built as part of the UK’s nuclear defence in the late 1950s, the Victor was part of a long line of V-Bombers (that also included the incredible Avro Vulcan), before it was repurposed for high altitude reconnaissance and later air-to-air refuelling.

This wonderful recreation of the Victor comes from previous bloggee Henrik Jensen, who has recreated its amazing shape beautifully in brick form. A full description of the build and further imagery can be found at Henrik’s photostream, and you can bomb on over via the link above.

Today’s second military creation (below) recreates a scene from countless Vietnam War movies, with a Bell ‘Huey’ helicopter in front of a (superbly built) shell-damaged building. The Bell and background come from Nicholas Goodman, who – like Henrik above – has deployed a few custom pieces to enhance authenticity.

There’s more to see of Nicholas’ ‘Battle of Hue, February 1968’ on Flickr. Click the link above to fight a pointless war that ends in failure and retreat. In that respect we hope that history is about to repeat itself.

Tomcat

Not a car, but rather brilliant nonetheless, this glorious Grumman F-14A Tomcat was found by one of our Elves on Flickr. It comes from previous bloggee [Maks], and – unusually for a brick-built fighter jet – it’s mini-figure scale. Tremendous detail abounds though, which [Maks] has enhanced via some excellent custom decals, and there’s much more of the build to see at his ‘F14A Tomcat’ album via the link.

Floating Fiat

Fiat, like many of motoring’s earliest names, began as much as an aircraft manufacturer as an automotive one. By 1969 though, the aircraft division had been separated from Fiat’s vehicle group, which – as anyone who has owned a 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, or even 2000s Fiat will testify – was probably a very good thing indeed. Fiat electrics at 30,000ft don’t bear thinking about…

Bravely returning Fiat to the clouds however is Brick Spirou, who has modified the official LEGO 10271 Fiat 500 set into something rather more airborne. Four funky repulser engines equip Brick’s Fiat for the skies, whilst the giant engine-lid-mounted rear wing is presumably mounted upside-down for lift rather than downforce.

There’s more of Brick Spirou’s 10271 Fiat 500 hovercar to see on Flickr via the link above, plus you can click here for a bonus LEGO set that has also received the hovercar treatment.

Travelling the Globe

What better way to travel the globe than in an, er…. travelling globe! Suspended beneath the LEGO Ideas 21332 Globe set, Kristof has created a beautifully well-matched steampunk ship, complete with a variety of appropriately whimsical steampunk accompaniments. Take flight on Flickr via the link above!

Retro-Future

The past was very futuristic. This is a CF-104 Starfighter, essentially a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter built under license by Canadair for the Royal Canadian Air Force, and exported to several NATO allies during the 1960s. And it’s very shiny indeed.

The Elves are rather transfixed by it, as – honestly speaking – are we. Perhaps we’re not so different…

There’s more to see of this artfully recreated replica of the ’60s supersonic fighter courtesy of Ryan Harris, and you can join us staring in wonder at his ‘CF-104 Starfighter’ album by clicking here.

Pre-Raptor

Today’s instrument of brick-built death is this, the Lockheed/Boeing YF-22, a 1990s prototype that would eventually become the formidable F22 Raptor, beating the more interesting looking Northrop/MocDonnell Douglas YF-23 to the contract.

Two YF-22s were built, and regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg has added a third, with this stunning Lego recreation. Spectacular surfacing, an opening cockpit, working landing gear, and some explodey weaponry make this well worth a closer look, and you can do just that via the link above.

Show Your Metal

This astonishing creation is a the uncovered airframe of a First World War Sopwith Camel F.1 fighter, and it’s not quite, entirely, all LEGO.

But it is wonderful, and the use of supporting metal throughout not only replicates the structure of the real biplane, where wood and canvas were tensioned by wires, it proudly showcases the metalwork that is doing exactly the same job for the plastic bricks surrounding it.

Builder Crash Cramer details how and why the metalwork is used, including for the functional control surfaces which are steered via the cockpit, at his Flickr photostream, where a host of beautiful images are available to view.

Join us in taking a closer look via the link in the text above.