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MOC: WW-II US Navy Wildcat fighter


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#1 Ralph_S

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 06:26 PM

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Lately you may have seen mainly car models and a few buildings by my hand. but I still tend to think of myself as a military aircraft builder first and foremost. It's been a while since I last built one, mainly because I couldn't work out how to chose and build the aircraft I wanted

I've had the intention of building a minifig scale WW-II fighter aircraft. I started thinking about it when there was a build contest on the flickr military group. I couldn't figure out how to do it at the time, so I built a twin engined B-26B bomber instead. It ended up winning, so I had nothing to complain about, but I hadn't given up on the idea to build a fighter.

It would need to be a model with a fairly chubby fuselage to provide enough space for the pilot. In the months since I also worked out a way to make an aft-sliding cockpit canopy. I narrowed down my choices to three possible aircraft models: an early 'Razorback' P-47 Thunderbolt, a Grumman F4F Wildcat or a Grumman F6F Hellcat. When I worked out how to do the landing gear for the Wildcat my choice was made. It isn't as famous as the other two aircraft, but it has charisma!

The specific model I built is an FM-1 Wildcat, built by General Motors. When Grumman, the company that designed the Wildcat switched their production line to building Hellcats, General Motors took over production of the Wildcat.

The model has a number of working features: the already mentioned sliding cockpit canopy and retractable undercarriage, as well as folding wings (for stowage aboard aircraft carriers) and a retractable arrestor hook for landing aboard carriers.  

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The pictures are links to flickr, as usual, but you'll find all 12 pictures here:
http://www.flickr.co...t/tags/wildcat/

Cheers,
Ralph

Edited by Rufus, 02 July 2011 - 03:51 PM.
Indexed

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#2 Nich Artri

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 06:37 PM

Most impressive! It's nice to see a carrier based fighter, and done in a non-SNOT design to boot!  :grin:  I'm liking all the little details, and the vignette you made to show it off is quite nice as well!

Just one question, how swooshable is the model? I'm thinking the folding wings are a bit problematic in that regard.
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#3 lightningtiger

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 09:41 PM

I'm very impressed by your 'Wildcat' even cover in studs it looks excellent. :thumbup:
From the folding wings to the machine guns mounting in those wings - very good ! :grin:
Keep up the sweet and cool builds, 'Ralph_S'. :sweet:

#4 Ralph_S

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:32 PM

View PostNich Artri, on Dec 13 2009, 07:37 PM, said:

Most impressive! It's nice to see a carrier based fighter, and done in a non-SNOT design to boot!  :grin:  I'm liking all the little details, and the vignette you made to show it off is quite nice as well!

Just one question, how swooshable is the model? I'm thinking the folding wings are a bit problematic in that regard.

Thanks. I think you may be confusing 'studless' and studs-not-on-top building here. My model obviously isn't studless, but it's full of SNOT techniques. Never mind. I don't swoosh my models any more, but it holds together reasonably well. The construction of the wings is fairly sturdy and I have used the stiffest technic pins I could find to hold the hinges together.

View Postlightningtiger, on Dec 13 2009, 10:41 PM, said:

I'm very impressed by your 'Wildcat' even cover in studs it looks excellent. :thumbup:
From the folding wings to the machine guns mounting in those wings - very good ! :grin:
Keep up the sweet and cool builds, 'Ralph_S'. :sweet:
Thank you. I obviously don't care about showing studs. It's LEGO after all.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#5 The Crazy One

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 12:45 AM

Wow, all I can say is Stunning.  :thumbup:  :thumbup: Everything is great.

#6 Legostein

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 05:50 PM

Hello Ralph!

The plane looks outstanding! I like your construction style with only plates and basic bricks giving the shape of the plane. :classic: Of course that retractable landing gear is spot-on, a detail that is hard to design. And the cockpit is my favourite as I am particularly fond of transparent pieces. A unique cockpit shape out of bricks, and even very rare 2x3 trans clear plates. :sweet:

Cheers,

~ Christopher
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#7 Dennimator

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 09:37 PM

Wow!
So this was your 'special' project. I love it! :wub:
It´s THE best MF-scale plane I´ve ever seen! just what Brickville needs  to keep my pesky sis outta my LEGO room... :devil:  :skull:

I also like the vig, where´d you get those long fence pieces`I recall having one in red when I was younger, but I can´t find it on BL... :sceptic:

#8 Milan

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:10 AM

Another nice one!
I prefer your ground vehicles, but this is nice refresment, altought you have a nice collection of AIR mocs.
I like everything on it, mainly because my knowledge of flying vessels is somehow limited, so I cannot notice mistakes or thing to improve.
Again, good model :thumbup:
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#9 Fumoffu

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:21 AM

Very nice MOC.  Looks very close to the real thing.  Thanks for sharing.

#10 LEGOMAN132

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:00 AM

Very nice work.

#11 simonwillems

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:08 AM

This aircraft really does the trick for me!
Of all the Pacific WW II airplanes this one is (along with the Hellcat) the most renowned and it's distinct bulky and short fuselaged shape is captured perfectly. I for myself instantly recognised it as a Wildcat, being interested in the Second World War planes quite a bit.
The details are great, especially made in this small minfig scale.  :thumbup:  

This plane reminds me of a little computer game (which used the similar looking Hellcat) for the old Amiga computer in the 1980's called "Wings of Fury" Some people have restored it so it can be played and downloaded on modern computers as well. Great fun!

Anyway, thanks for sharing this creation.

#12 Batbrick

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:14 AM

As always Ralph S you make a fantastic aircraft that looks entirely accurate. I remember the Wildcat that was featured at the Avalon air festival, and this is certainly very much like it and all the pictures I've seen of them. Thanks a heap for sharing and be sure to build a Focke Wulf Fw190 some time  :tongue:

Batbrick Away!  :devil:
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#13 Darth Legolas

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:07 PM

Brilliant! I can't even begin to tell you how cool it looks! My all time favorite part though, it how the wheels perfectly fold in to that little shaft. That cockpit must have taken planning!

Great job! :thumbup:
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#14 PittSOB

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:48 AM

wow that is AMAZING

#15 Wouwie

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:10 AM

Ralph, you amaze me again! The functionality...Man, it's awesome! Great work as always :wink:
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#16 Ralph_S

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 06:28 PM

Thanks for all the comments guys. I really appreciate them.

View PostLegostein, on Dec 14 2009, 06:50 PM, said:

Hello Ralph!

The plane looks outstanding! I like your construction style with only plates and basic bricks giving the shape of the plane. :classic: Of course that retractable landing gear is spot-on, a detail that is hard to design. And the cockpit is my favourite as I am particularly fond of transparent pieces. A unique cockpit shape out of bricks, and even very rare 2x3 trans clear plates. :sweet:

Cheers,

~ Christopher
Thank you.I've been building aircraft (and cars) for a long time, much before there were all kinds of curved elements available. The only option I had to create complicated shapes was by sculpting them out of basic plates and the odd slope here and there.  It works for me, so I've stuck with it.  :sweet: Curved bits might make the model look smoother, but they're not necessarily more accurate.

I actually had some even rare parts in mind for the canopy. 1x4 trans clear tiles. They would have looked smoother, but the canopy would also have been too long. If only there were trans clear 1x3 tiles  :wub:

View PostDennimator, on Dec 14 2009, 10:37 PM, said:

Wow!
So this was your 'special' project. I love it! :wub:
It´s THE best MF-scale plane I´ve ever seen! just what Brickville needs  to keep my pesky sis outta my LEGO room... :devil:  :skull:

I also like the vig, where´d you get those long fence pieces`I recall having one in red when I was younger, but I can´t find it on BL... :sceptic:
Indeed. This is the project I was working on. If you want to protect your town against your sister you might consider somewhat heavier weaponry. Perhaps something nuclear? :wink:  The 'fence pieces' are 'train signal masts' and I'm sure mine come from old train sets. They apparently did appear in red in a single set, a race car transporter. Looks like a pretty rare part!  

View PostMilan, on Dec 15 2009, 01:10 AM, said:

Another nice one!
I prefer your ground vehicles, but this is nice refresment, altought you have a nice collection of AIR mocs.
I like everything on it, mainly because my knowledge of flying vessels is somehow limited, so I cannot notice mistakes or thing to improve.
Again, good model :thumbup:
I do have a lot of fun building cars and trucks and have plans to build quite a few more, but aircraft are really my thing. Generally speaking they are more challenging builds. The shapes are more complicated and they tend to have lots of fiddly bits. I also love adding working features, even though they tend to complicate things (or possibly because they complicate things).    




View Postsimonwillems, on Dec 15 2009, 12:08 PM, said:

This aircraft really does the trick for me!
Of all the Pacific WW II airplanes this one is (along with the Hellcat) the most renowned and it's distinct bulky and short fuselaged shape is captured perfectly. I for myself instantly recognised it as a Wildcat, being interested in the Second World War planes quite a bit.
The details are great, especially made in this small minfig scale.  :thumbup:  

This plane reminds me of a little computer game (which used the similar looking Hellcat) for the old Amiga computer in the 1980's called "Wings of Fury" Some people have restored it so it can be played and downloaded on modern computers as well. Great fun!

Anyway, thanks for sharing this creation.
I'm not familiar with the game, but I googled for it and found that the plane in the game was a Grumman Hellcat. This was a larger and more powerful development of the Wildcat that indeed looks similar. By the way, I found that there's an on-line flash version of the game
http://www.rastaduck...ingsOfFury.html

View PostBatbrick, on Dec 15 2009, 12:14 PM, said:

As always Ralph S you make a fantastic aircraft that looks entirely accurate. I remember the Wildcat that was featured at the Avalon air festival, and this is certainly very much like it and all the pictures I've seen of them. Thanks a heap for sharing and be sure to build a Focke Wulf Fw190 some time  :tongue:

Batbrick Away!  :devil:
FW190. Nice. I'm not sure I can manage that on this scale though. There are reasons why I want for a little chubby fighter rather than a really sleek one. I do have the intention of building a German WW-II aircraft, but it is most likely going to be a twin-engined night fighter.

View PostDarth Legolas, on Dec 15 2009, 02:07 PM, said:

Brilliant! I can't even begin to tell you how cool it looks! My all time favorite part though, it how the wheels perfectly fold in to that little shaft. That cockpit must have taken planning!

Great job! :thumbup:
Thank you. The landing gear sealed the deal on my decision to build a Wildcat rather than either the P-47 or the F6F, because they have gears that retract into the wings. The F4F's gear retracting into the fuselage made it possible.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#17 Fires-storm

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 12:50 AM

Wow, a beautiful moc of one of my favorite aircraft! The actually folding wings, the cockpit opening like it does, just so many detail make this moc perfect! beautiful job! :thumbup:
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