Ah, ‘Orient Expedition’, one of the ‘Adventurers’ sub-themes that we had completely forgotten about. Still, Kevin J. Walter hadn’t, and as such he’s recreated the 7420 Thunder Blazer set from 2003, only his is much, much better.
Johnny Thunder’s wings will no doubt help him to plunder some valuable antiquity of great significance from a vaguely far-eastern culture, and return it to its proper place in the British Museum, where it belongs.
Join the expedition somewhere in the Orient via Kevin’s photostream at the link above.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
This blueish greyish entity is a McDonnel Douglas F-15C Eagle, constructed rather neatly by Dornbi. Detailed landing gear, an array of exploding thingies under the wings, and custom decals are all included, and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link.
This is not a car, and nor is it a real aircraft, instead coming from the video game ‘Ace Combat’. It’s also a bit nonsensical, being Japanese but named after a Welsh dragon, however… it looks so cool!
Built by Corvin Stichert of Flickr, this beautifully detailed mini-figure version of the fictional ‘X-02 Wyvern’ fighter captures the variable geometry design brilliantly, and there’s more to see at Corvin’s ‘X-02 Wyvern’ album. Click here to fly over to the complete gallery.
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!