The Bell Huey UH-1 was used for all sorts of things during the Vietnam War. Other wars too (in fact the UH-1 is still in widespread service today), but it’s the pointless Vietnam conflict for which it is most famous. From medical evacuation – the role the aircraft was originally designed for – to troop carrying, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and an attack gunship, the ‘Huey’ proved to be an incredibly versatile design, and it’s the latter variant that has the Elves most excited today.
Modified with the addition of machine guns, plus rocket and grenade launchers, the UH-1 made for a fairly terrifying gunship, especially when a giant pointy-toothed smiling shark mouth was painted on the front. A smile we don’t think the Vietnamese locals would’ve returned…
This superb recreation of the Bell Huey UH-1 in U.S Army gunship configuration is the work of Robson M (aka Brick Designers) who has replicated the real aircraft beautifully in brick form. With top-quality custom decals, a highly detailed interior, opening doors, and super-accurate brick-built weaponry, Robson’s Huey is well worth a closer look. Head to Flickr via the link above to see all the photos and give it your best smile.
Jungle cat, 1960’s political movement, comic-book hero (and slightly overrated movie), and U.S Navy attack squadron, the name ‘Black Panther’ has seen varied use over the years. It’s the latter usage we’re focussing on here, and the squadron that adopted the name from the 1930s until its disbandment in 1995.
The Black Panthers were a carrier-based air squadron that flew combat missions in the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War and the First Iraq War, with all of those bar the first using this aircraft, the Grumman A-6 Intruder. This spectacular recreation of the A-6 comes from Master MOCer and TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist), who has constructed the Intruder in A6-E Black Panthers specification in glorious detail.
With folding wings, a sliding canopy, custom decals and a full armament there’s a whole lot more to see. Take a look at Ralph’s A6-E Intruder Flickr album by clicking here, where over twenty high quality image are available.
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.
We weren’t there, or even born, but we do know that the outside contributors to the Vietnam War (China, the Soviet Union, Australia, South Korea, Thailand and, of course, the United States) were embroiling themselves completely pointlessly.
The Vietnam War raged for twenty years from 1955 to 1975, with heavy U.S involvement from the early ’60s until ’73, yet the conflict should have simply been an internal civil war between North and South Vietnam. However, when one side was Communist and the other Capitalist, the world’s superpowers decided that they could use the unrest to further their own ideology, split as they were along the same lines. Yay imperialism.
This dramatic escalation meant that up to 4 million people died in the conflict, the majority of whom were Vietnamese civilians, and the U.S pulled out having needlessly lost nearly 60,000 personnel. Still, lessons were learned and the superpowers never again involved themselves in foreign wars to further their own agenda. Wait, that’s not right…
Oh yeah, the model! This superb mini-figure scale Bell AH-1G Cobra helicopter in U.S Military Vietnam specification is the work of previous bloggee Daniel Siskind and you can check it out via his excellent photostream by clicking here.
This spectacular replica of the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier was discovered on Flickr today. It’s been built by Jon and Catherine Stead and it’s… well, bloody massive!
The real Theodore Roosevelt was launched in 1984, measuring over 1,000ft long and weighing over 100,000 tons. The ship first saw operational duty in 1991’s ‘Operation Desert Storm’ during the first Gulf War, the same year as today’s second US Navy-themed post ended its active service.
The LTV A-7E Corsair II first entered service during the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, flying until it was retired in 1991. Over 1,500 Corsair II aircraft were manufactured between 1965 and 1984, with 98 lost during the Vietnam War.
The neat carrier-based A-7E Corsair II pictured below has been constructed by Flickr’s Dornbi and there’s more to see of his recreation at the link above.
The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) carrier is currently in operation off the Yemen coast as part of a weapons interception programme. You can read more about the people who are being affected by the ongoing Yemen Crisis by visiting the Red Cross Yemen Crisis page here.
Before Charlie ‘Tiger Blood’ Sheen went completely insane he starred in one of the greatest movies ever made; the incredible 1986 Vietnam War epic ‘Platoon’.
The Vietnam War featured fairly limited wheeled vehicles, such was the nature of the combat, and it was aircraft that played the pivotal role. The most famous is probably this, the Bell UH-1D ‘Huey’ transport helicopter.
Bigboy99899 has recreated the iconic aircraft (and one of the typical scenes from the Platoon movie) brilliantly over on Flickr – you can click on his name above to see all the photos.
The largest single engine, single seat plane ever made.
The Elves have been watching war movies again. This leads to much noise and many objects being thrown in the office, but also the chance of them finding something rather special when out on patrol across the interweb.
Something like this in fact. TLCB favourite, Ralph S (aka Mad Physicist) returns with this huge F-105 Thunderchief. Originally designed to carry nuclear bombs (its payload was greater than the four engined dedicated bombers of World War 2) it was pushed into service during the Vietnam War fulfilling a number of roles. Unfortunately for the pilots, a large and unwieldy supersonic bomber is not the best weapon for fighting light and agile MIGs, and almost half of the 800 F-105s built were lost during this single conflict.
Due to the loss ratio approaching 50% the F-105s were rapidly withdrawn from service, to be replaced by the F4 Phantom. To see more of this aeronautical relic take a visit to Ralph’s Flickr page at the link above.
[Maks] is back with another tank, this time a Russian WWII era T-34. As with much Russian hardware, this was sold to a variety of regimes and used around the world long after the Russians were done with it. Yay for the arms-trade. Here we see the tank in Vietnam War spec.
Apocalypse Now (another film we should have probably removed from the office DVD shelf before the Elves got hold of it) is one of the greatest war films ever made. The Bell UH-1 ‘Huey’ features prominently throughout (there’s a particularly memorable scene in the extended version where one stars alongside some Playboy Bunnies), having first seen combat in the Vietnam War. Legohaulic is the creator behind this superbly recreated mini-fig scale version. You can view more of his Huey on Flickr.