Military things, like cars, are often named after exciting or deadly animals. Unless they’re from the Soviet Union of course, in which case an array of numbers and letters was sufficient.
Cue the Sikorsky RH-53D ‘Sea Stallion’, so called because ‘Sea Horse’ was already taken by another Sikorsky aircraft, but mostly because ‘Stallion’ sounds far more masculine.
The RH-35D was operated by the U.S Navy Marines from 1975 until 1997, primarily for mine clearing and heavy lifting, and it’s been recreated in incredible detail in Lego form by previous bloggee [Maks].
At 1:40 scale, [Maks]’s Sea Stallion measures 80cm across, and took almost a year to complete, with his spectacular attention to detail further enhanced by some beautifully authentic decals.
There’s a whole lot more of the Sikorsky RH-35D to see at [Maks]’s ‘RH-53D Sea Stallion’ Flickr album, including imagery showing those enormous rotor blades cleverly folded, and you can take a look via the link above. Just don’t call it a horse.
The early marine biologists of the world were not inventive in the naming department. It seems many marine animals are simply named after a land animal, but with the word ‘sea’ added before, or ‘fish’ added after, even if there are no similarities whatsoever between the two. The humble seahorse is a case in point. With a mass of just a few ounces, no legs, and reproduction via eggs, the seahorse and regular horse are about as far apart on the animal spectrum as you can get. Lazy marine biologists, lazy…
Military engineers however, are far better at naming things. This is a SikorskyH-34 Seahorse helicopter, and whilst the weird little fish doesn’t have rotor blades, it really does look quite a lot like the H-34. The Seahorse’s strange looks come from the huge 1,500bhp radial engine mounted in the nose, as back in the fifties most helicopters were not powered by the more compact turbine engines that are now fitted to almost all rotorary-wing aircraft.
This enormous power plant meant the cockpit needed to be raised above it in order for the pilots to see, giving the Sikorsky H-34 and the many variants that followed their unusual seahorsey shape.
This particular version of the Sikorsky H-34 is a UH-34D from 1962, deployed by the US Marines in the Vietnam War and recreated beautifully in Lego form in all of its weirdness by Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist). Ralph’s superb replica of the famous American helicopter includes a side opening door and some simply awesome detailing, enabled by the range of ingenious building techniques that Ralph is known for.
Head over to Flickr via the link above for all the photos, and you can read our interview with the builder as part of The Lego Car Blog’s Master MOCers series by clicking here.