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.
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.
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…
The Rolls-Royce Phantom isn’t just for new money. In fact it’s been around almost as long as the brand itself, with this example being the Phantom II, launched way back in 1929.
The Phantom II came powered by a 7.7 litre straight-six mated to a four-speed gearbox, with semi-elliptical spring suspension and servo-assisted brakes. At the time Rolls-Royce only made the chassis and running gear for their cars, with the customer choosing a body from one of several ‘coachbuilders’, including Park Ward, Mulliner, Hooper and others. We don’t know which bodywork this example by Flickr’s Lennart C (aka Everblack) is wearing, but it looks lovely whatever it is.
There’s more to see of Lennart’s beautiful Rolls-Royce Phantom II at his photostream – click the link above to see how they rolled in the 1930s.
The news is making for pretty grim reading at the moment. Russia is on the war path again (yay…), albeit covertly and surrounded by furious Kremlin denials, and America is too, although this time they have the support of forty countries including some unlikely middle-eastern allies (even Iran).
Unlike the era from which today’s models originated, the two great nuclear powers are currently fighting on different fronts, and merely throwing testosterone fuelled political doctrine at one another in regards to their respective conflicts. Of course during the Cold War it was only strong words that were exchanged too, but it could have been so very different.
The awesome F4-B Phantom was the cornerstone of America’s air attack in the 1960s-’80s, and this incredible recreation of the multi-role fighter is the work of the brilliant Bricktrix on Flickr. Featuring custom decals, working flaps, air-brakes, tail rudder, tail hook, folding wing tips, retractable landing gear and flashing nav lights, you can see the Phantom’s full gallery via the link above.
To defend the Soviet Union from the likes of the Phantom the Soviets responded with this, the Tunguska 9K22/2S6 Tracked Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft System. D-Town Cracka‘s perfectly recreated Lego version is detailed right down to the eight 9M311 surface-to-air missiles that would have been used to defend the motherland’s air-space.
Thankfully the two giant (and moronic) superpowers never exchanged fire. Just two decades earlier they had stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the Second World War to defeat Nazism too. How quickly we forget the lessons of history…
It’s unusual for us to feature MOCs that aren’t built in real bricks on The Lego Car Blog. The Elves prefer something that can be disassembled and used as weapons for beating up their annoying colleagues, something that they can climb all over and into as well. It was with great satisfaction that we heard a “Thump!” as the first Elf who tried to leap into the cockpit of this US Marines AV-8B, fell through the digital bricks and landed on the floor. The we had to get out the airhorn and blast away his co-workers as they tried to pile on top to smush him even further into the carpet.
Justin Davies has an impressive catalogue of LDD builds, many rendered to a very high standard, both on Flickr and MOCpages. His latest build is a Harrier II, very accurately shaped and complete with the working functions you’d expect such as undercarriage, control surfaces, vectored thrust nozzles etc. It’s worthwhile visiting Justin’s galleries to see the view of the underside of this aircraft which shows how he used different plates to achieve an accurate wing planform. The rear of the fuselage has also been very neatly, smoothly and accurately shaped, including the vertical stabiliser.
This Harrier also features a load-out of Sidewinders, rocket pods, LGBs and the cannon pods which form an essential part of the aircraft’s aerodynamics. If Justin’s previous builds are anything to judge by, we can expect to see further versions of this aircraft with a variety of weapons and colour schemes. Justin has also started to put his builds into scenes. The picture below shows an F-4J Phantom II of VF-96 “Fighting Falcons”, hunting for MiGs over Vietnam in May 1972. “Showtime 100” was flown by Cunningham and Driscoll, the first American aces of the war and the first aces to have achieved their five kills using only missiles. Although the lettering on the MOC has been added afterwards, it does feature a nicely brick-built squadron badge on its tail. You can see more of Justin’s aircraft by following these links to Flickr or to MOCpages.
Note: As these are virtual creations, the Elves who found them were rewarded with virtual Smarties, which is another reason why the Elves prefer MOCs to be in solid bricks.