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.
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.
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 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…
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!
This is an F/A-18 Super Hornet, and it is definitely not a car. But it is awesome, and it comes from Lennart Cort, who has recreated Maverick’s training aircraft from the upcoming Top Gun 2 movie in beautifully smooth fashion. There’s more of Lennart’s F/A-18 to see on Flickr – head into the skies over the Navada desert via the link above.
This is the Grumman F-14A Tomcat, as flown by the U.S Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 41, the ‘Black Aces’ until he mid-’00s before being superseded by the F-18 Super Hornet.
First flying the in the early ’70s, the F-14 is a twin engine variable-sweep wing fighter that saw deployment in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and is – somewhat oddly – still in service with the Iranian Air Force today, despite the U.S destroying its retired aircraft to prevent spare parts ending up in Iran.
This spectacular replica of the F-14A resplendent in ‘Black Aces’ markings is the work of Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) of Flickr, who has recreated the supersonic fighter in breathtaking detail.
Featuring working flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudders and air brake, plus an opening canopy, functions landing gear, and an array of explody things slung underneath, Jonah’s F-14A is so realistic we wouldn’t be supposed if Iran try to buy it for spare parts. Which they can do, as Jonah is making his model available for purchase in kit form!
There’s more of Jonah’s incredible Grumman F-14A to see on Flickr, including detailed photos of the underside and all the explody things too. Click the link in the text above to visit Jonah’s photostream, where a few Iranian aviation maintenance people may also be snooping about…
Today’s acronym is the British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (or EAP for short), the prototype air-superiority fighter that would eventually, via a cross-European collaboration, become the amazing Eurofighter Typhoon. Recreated here in its natty testing livery, Ralph Savelsberg has captured the aircraft brilliantly in mini-figure scale. A 5-wide RAF Land Rover Defender is on hand to assist with the testing programme and there’s more to see of both at Ralph’s photostream via the link.
Russia may have a current political direction as backward as America’s, but – like America – they sure know how to make a fighter jet. This is the Sukhoi Su-35, a multi-role air-superiority fighter conceived as the Soviet Union collapsed around it. The design survived though, and the first iteration entered service in the early ’90s whilst an updated version (this one) followed in 2007. In service in the Russian Air Force and the ‘People’s Liberation Army Air Force’ (aka the Chinese Air Force), just over 100 Su-35s are in use, with Egypt and Indonesia placing orders too.
This superb Lego recreation of the Sukhoi Su-35 comes from previous bloggee Lennart C aka Everblack, who has captured the real aircraft beautifully with some seriously smooth building techniques. There’s more of Lennart’s Su-35 to see at his photostream, where it joins a wealth of other excellent builds. Click the link above for some Russian air-superiority.
War isn’t won just with planes, tanks and ships. Behind the scenes a huge machine needs to operate to keep the frontline moving, from medical care to mechanics and cookery to construction.
With shifting territory and short aircraft ranges in both world wars, runway and hangar building was as important to the war effort as the aircraft that used them. Often overlooked by Lego builders we have two builds today that recognise the behind-the-scenes heroes of the Allied victory in both wars.
First above (above) is Dread Pirate Wesley‘s superb First World War diorama, set somewhere in Northern France and featuring wonderful SE5a and Sopwith Camel biplanes alongside a brilliantly recreated canvas and wood hangar. It’s a stunning scene and one that you can see more of via the link to Wesley’s photostream above, where you can also find a trio of German Fokkers ready to meet the British fighters in the skies over France.
Today’s second wartime hangar (below) jumps forward around twenty-five years to the Second World War, with the canvas and wood replaced by concrete and tin, and the biplanes by the far more sophisticated Supermarine Spitfire, very probably the greatest fighter of the conflict. Builder Didier Burtin has curved LEGO’s grey baseplates under tension to create the impressive hangar, equipping with everything required to keep the pair of Spitfires airworthy.
There’s more to see of Didier’s beautiful Second World War diorama at his photostream via the link above, where you can also see what happens when a part fails on a 1940s fighter plane, and therefore why the heroes behind the scenes were as vital as those in the cockpits.
This is a Eurofighter ‘Typhoon’, a multirole fighter developed across several countries in Europe. The UK is the largest operator, and a key engineer of the aircraft, hence the ‘Typhoon’ bit added to the name, as UK military aircraft tend be named after violent weather.
This incredible recreation of an RAF Typhoon is the work of crash_cramer of Flickr, who has recreated the Eurofighter in 1:15 scale with stunning attention to detail. A vacuum-formed canopy and 3D-printed nosecone join the LEGO bricks that make up this metre long replica, which is complete with two Meteor and two Asraam air-to-air missiles plus six slightly terrifying Paveway IV laser guided bombs.
There’s much more of this spectacular (and huge) replica of one of the world’s most agile fighter jets at crash_cramer’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.