Tag Archives: Airplane

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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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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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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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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The Crimson Haybaler

Lego Wacky Races Crimson Haybaler

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 The World’s Wackiest Racer!

Redfern1950s made us a happy bunch when the Army Surplus Special appeared in the office a few weeks ago courtesy of a grubby Elf, and we immediately issued a challenge for more. Challenge accepted, as right on their tail is the Red Max (driving the half plane, half car Crimson Haybaler)! Check it out here

Lego Back Races Red Max

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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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Not a Car

Lego Vought F4U4 Corsair

But lovely nonetheless. This beautiful recreation of the Vought F4U4 Corsair is the work of Flickr’s Dornbi, making his return to TLCB. You can check out all of the images at Dornbi’s photostream – click the link above to make the trip.

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French Fighter

Lego Dassault Rafale-M

This magnificent Dassault Rafale-M complete with carrier-deck was found on Flickr today. Previous bloggee Kenneth Vaessen is the builder and he’s recreated France’s current maritime fighter beautifully in brick-form.

Designed to replace France’s various military aircraft with a single multi-role fighter, the Rafale was introduced in 2001 and it’s been in action over Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan since, most notably launching strikes on the utter shitbags that are Daesh (otherwise known as Islamic State).

There’s lots more to see of Kenneth’s top-quality recreation of the French fighter at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to take off.

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Thunderbirds Are Go!

F-16 Thunderbird

Neither Brains nor Lady Penelope but the United States’ Airforce aerobatic display team feature in this model from Jme Wheeler. Whilst other militaries use lightweight trainer aircraft to equip their teams, the USAF and the US Navy have traditionally used front-line fighters. At one point, both teams displayed using the large, heavy McDonnel Douglas Phantom II, a machine not exactly noted for its manoeuvrability.

This model is neatly chibi version of the current mount of the Thunderbirds: the Lockheed-Martin F-16. Jme Wheeler has captured the shape of the Viper in compact form, including its chines. He’s made a good choice in the big, bubble canopy that has allowed him to squeeze a minifigure into the cockpit too. It’s all topped off with a suitably abbreviated version of the Thunderbirds’ distinctive markings. Sadly, a group of Elves has got hold of the model and are busily trying to fly it across the TLCB offices by launching it from a high shelf. To get a view of the ‘plane when it was still in one piece, click this link to Flickr, where you can see more of Jme Wheeler’s Lego cars and ‘planes.

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Skyence Fiction

Lego SkyFi Aircraft

If there’s one thing we understand even less than sci-fi here at The Lego Car Blog, it’s sci-fi that isn’t really sci-fi. This is sky-fi, where the laws of physics are only very loosely respected. This particular sky-fi contraption comes from Flickr’s Sylon-tw and there’s more to see at the link.

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Tiny Lego Wonders – Book Review

Tiny Lego Wonders Review

‘Where can I get instructions / How do I build it?’. It’s the single most frequently asked question that we receive here at TLCB – so just how do you start ‘MOCing’?

It’s a question we raised in our review of the superb No Starch Press produced ‘Art of Lego Scale Modeling‘ book last year, and one that, since LEGO discontinued their brilliant Ideas Books, has gone unanswered. Now though, No Starch Press have created a book aimed squarely at fulfilling this need.

Tiny Lego Wonders, written by LEGO-Ambassador Mattia Zamboni, features 200 pages of clear instructions for 40 wonderfully realistic miniature vehicles, from cars to buses via trains, aircraft, construction equipment and more. The book is divided into sections that categorise these models according to where you might find them in the real world, for example the airport, the harbour, and the construction site.

Each location section features a double-page spread showing all of the vehicles within it in a large brick-built scene. It’s a simple yet brilliant addition that’s very reminiscent of LEGO’s old annual catalogues and it’s sure to provide a huge amount of inspiration.

Lego Instructions Book

Every set of instructions starts with a high quality image of the finished model, just as any official LEGO set does, along with a parts list and a difficulty level. The instructions themselves are beautifully clear and the build process will be familiar to anyone who has constructed an official LEGO set.

There are perhaps slightly fewer steps and marginally more complicated sub-assemblies than you’ll find in LEGO’s own work, but if anything LEGO have over-simplified their instructions in recent times and Tiny Lego Wonders seems to have struck a good balance between conciseness and difficulty.

Lego TGV Train Instructions

Where Tiny Lego Wonders scores huge points is with its inspiration potential. All of the models featured use common non-specialist parts, but even so it’s unlikely that most builders will have the exact part and colour combinations to recreate the model piece-for-piece as per the instructions. However the instructions are so good, and the models so thoughtfully designed, that changing the colours or design slightly is really easy. And once you’ve done that, you’ve started MOCing!

Some sections also include images of additional variations of the model detailed in the instructions, showing what can be done with a few simple changes. Again, these are really easy to replicate (even though they aren’t included in the instructions) and having a go yourself will instantly turn you into a ‘MOCer’.

Lego Car Instructions

Are there any disappointments? Nope, not really. Perhaps a few of the large double-page scenes look a little over-polished / too digitalised to these eyes, but other than that Tiny Lego Wonders might be the perfect MOCer’s book. Which gives us a bit of a dilemma in giving a rating because, despite the general ineptitude in TLCB office, there are some talented builders here who would have limited use for such a book. However, Tiny Lego Wonders isn’t aimed at the microscopic demographic of ‘Lego Blogger’, and thus we can ignore our usage and rate it accordingly;

Tiny Lego Wonders

Buy this book! Even at just £13 / $17 for the hardcover on Amazon, Tiny Lego Wonders is as beautifully produced as all No Starch Press publications, but for it to remain pristine on a bookshelf or coffee table would be a great shame. Tiny Lego Wonders needs to look dog-eared, shabby and worn out, because the value of this book is in its use; Tiny Lego Wonders could be the launchpad you need to start your MOCing journey.

From now on when anyone asks us ‘How do I build it?’ we’re going to give the same answer; You start here.

✮✮✮✮✮

No Starch Press

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Tignado

Panavia Tornado ECR - Tigermeet

We’re not sure why this Panavia Tornado ECR is wearing a tiger-stripe paint-job – if anything it’s more conspicuous – but we must admit that it looks ridiculously good. It’s the work of previous bloggee Kenneth Vaessen and you can see more at his photostream by clicking here.

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What’s in a Name?

Lego SAAB 39 Gripen

Company names are bit weird these days. Saab automotive died a few years ago when General Motors killed it off, but the Saab Aerospace and Defence business, which separated from the automotive company in 1990 (in the same way that the Rolls Royce aero engine and vehicle companies used to be one business until 1973) is going strong.

Powered by an RM12 after-burning jet engine produced by Volvo Aero (which no longer has anything to do with Volvo cars. Or trucks for that matter, although Volvo trucks do own Renault trucks, which have nothing to do with Renault cars… This is getting confusing…) the Saab JAS 39 Gripen can reach Mach 2 and is currently in service with four national air forces. Around 250 Gripens have been produced since launching in 1997, with several other air forces recently placing orders for the latest versions.

This superb Lego recreation of the Swedish fighter comes from previous bloggee Stefan Johansson, who is continuing his chronology of Saab aircraft. There’s lots more to see at his Flickr photostream at the link above, and you can see Stefan’s past Saab (aerospace) builds to feature here via this bonus link.

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Flatpack Hot Rod

Lego Saab 21R Aircraft

The Swedes; famous for their flatpack furniture, attractive blondes, and – as we can see here – their fighter aircraft. This is a 1950 Saab 21R, and it does look a bit like someone read the instructions upside-down when they opened the box to assemble it. Fear not though, it is supposed to look like that, and being one of the very earliest jet-powered aircraft the Saab’s twin-boom tail design was actually a common solution back in the late ’40s and early ’50s.

The Saab 21R was developed from the earlier piston-engined Saab 21 as an attack aircraft to help Sweden quickly catch up with the other airforces’ jet-engined counterparts. British jet maker de Havilland supplied their ‘Goblin II’ engine from the magnificent Vampire fighter, and Saab shoved it in the back of their 21 to jump them into the jet-age, making the 21R one of only two aircraft in history to be retro-fitted with a jet engine.

The 21R saw service for only six short years before it was replaced by the Saab 29 Tunnan, which was designed as a jet from the outset, and only around 60 were made. Nevertheless we quite like the 21R – shoving a much more powerful engine into something clearly never designed for it is the hot rodder’s way!

This brilliant Lego recreation of Saab’s ’50s airborne hot rod is the work of previous bloggee Stefan Johansson, and it’s a wonderfully intricate build. You can see more of it and Stefan’s other historic Saab aircraft at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to take off.

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