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[WIP] TBF-1 Avenger


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#1 gcanik

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 07:48 PM

Posted Image
After visiting a local air show in Colorado for the past two years where they have always had a static disply of a TBF-1 Avenger, I decided to try my hand to build one to go along with my other WWII airplanes. I started the planning/build in late August early September of 2010. I tend to work slowly on building MOCs, taking a lot of time off in between building phases as I like to think and plan alot but also cause of several different builds I'm always juggling, waiting on bricklink orders to arrive and being a full time dad plus work.
  So this is a Grumman TBF-1 Avenger, a torpedo bomber used in World War II.
  Dimensions - Length: 40' 11.5" Wing Span: 54' 2" Height: 15' 15" I'm going to use the basic ratio 1 lego stud = 1 foot as I do with all plane MOCs.
  I found the hardest (and most expensive part) was getting the fuselage to have a rounded appearance. But after much sketching out ideas and trial building I settled on curved 3x1 no stud bricks. Still need to work on recessing the landing gear into the wings and finish the hinge design on the bomb bay so the torpedo fits into the bay. Plus adding some more interior details and machine guns mounted in the bubble canopy areas. Progress is moving forward slowly but surely. All comments and suggestions more than welcome please.
A series of pictures over time to show how the build progressed can be found at my MOCpages website:
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/223855

Posted Image

The red round and silver brick is a fire extinguisher that will be mounted in the interior.
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"Pilot to ground control, I'm ready to fly but my builds not done - get a move on it!"
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Edited by Rufus, 29 May 2011 - 12:02 PM.
Still a WIP? This is pretty nice. I've indexed it anyway.


#2 Fuzzylegobricks

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 07:57 PM

Cool! And great Scale! :classic:
Won as Bianca Lamb in Hinckley's Mafia School Fabuland Housewives!

#3 Ralph_S

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:56 PM

I've got ambiguous feelings about this model. On the one hand I love the TBF and your model is a recognisable recreation of this classic and I really like the way you used the curved bricks for the fuselage sides.

On the other hand, I do think the tail section (aft of the gun turret) should be more tapered. I'm also struggling with the scale a bit.

The TBF is big -certainly for a carrier aircraft from that era. At a first glance, the size of your model struck me as rather big for minifigs. However, you mention the scale. One stud to one foot equates to a scale of about 1/37. I have my own TBF model and it is scaled as close as I could get it 1/40. I think this already fairly large for minifigs, but the difference with yours shouldn't be all that big. In terms of length and span they indeed are similar.

So, what is going on?  Yours looks so much bigger and I think it is cause by the size of the cockpit canopy and the cross-section of the fuselage on your plane are too big for the wings and length of the plane. It looks as though the fusleage belongs on a plane that is built to a bigger scale, except for the length. For a comparison, the fuselage on your model is almost 7 studs wide vs. 5 on my model. I suppose I could have made a mistake, but I've built my model working out most of the dimensions using blueprints, so I don't think so.  

You could lower the cockpit canopy somewhat, but there's not much you can do to reduce the width of the fuselage without giving up on the curved sides and I do like those. I think that the best way to get it into proportion would be to forget about using minifigs and going for a larger scale -making the wingspan a bit larger and lengthening the fuselage.

Cheers,
Ralph
For LEGO jets, cars, and trucks, please check out:
http://www.flickr.co...os/madphysicist

#4 gcanik

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:06 PM

View PostRalph_S, on 06 February 2011 - 08:56 PM, said:

I've got ambiguous feelings about this model. On the one hand I love the TBF and your model is a recognisable recreation of this classic and I really like the way you used the curved bricks for the fuselage sides.

On the other hand, I do think the tail section (aft of the gun turret) should be more tapered. I'm also struggling with the scale a bit.

The TBF is big -certainly for a carrier aircraft from that era. At a first glance, the size of your model struck me as rather big for minifigs. However, you mention the scale. One stud to one foot equates to a scale of about 1/37. I have my own TBF model and it is scaled as close as I could get it 1/40. I think this already fairly large for minifigs, but the difference with yours shouldn't be all that big. In terms of length and span they indeed are similar.

So, what is going on?  Yours looks so much bigger and I think it is cause by the size of the cockpit canopy and the cross-section of the fuselage on your plane are too big for the wings and length of the plane. It looks as though the fusleage belongs on a plane that is built to a bigger scale, except for the length. For a comparison, the fuselage on your model is almost 7 studs wide vs. 5 on my model. I suppose I could have made a mistake, but I've built my model working out most of the dimensions using blueprints, so I don't think so.  

You could lower the cockpit canopy somewhat, but there's not much you can do to reduce the width of the fuselage without giving up on the curved sides and I do like those. I think that the best way to get it into proportion would be to forget about using minifigs and going for a larger scale -making the wingspan a bit larger and lengthening the fuselage.

Cheers,
Ralph

Thanks for the comments. The dilemma I have always had with building my military models is making them scaled for LEGO minifigs. I resigned my self a long time ago that everything I build would be around the minifig for several reasons (love the minifig, ability to display in a diorama or vignette along with other planes I have made, and as a challenge to myself to create and build in that scale). Your comments and views are much appreciated. The width of the fuselage is 6 studs wide, it may be possible to shorten it to 5 but that would require a major redo of the fusleage design (which I may do if and when I do a version 2). The thing that always attracted me to this plane was its iconic fuselage, slightly curved but very tall compared to its width and its overall largeness as compared to other figthers and bombers of the WWII era.
Posted Image A picture I took two years ago that reminds me of just how massive this torpedo
bomber is when compared to people.
I agree about the cockpit canopy appearing to tall. The canopy as far as I can figure now is limited because I want to have a minifig sit in it to fly the plane, thus I have to use trans-clear panels for the canopy sides that are 3 bricks high. After your note I figured out a way to lower them by one plate (just need to implement the whole idea to the entire canopy). That small amount may not seem like much but should help. I also agree on the taper of the tail. An area that does need some help and adjustment to make it slimmer as it tapers down to the tail. I have an idea floating around in my head to use hinges (an idea that I have used in the past in making a Viper from Battlestar Galactica) another design to the airframe to rework when I find time.
Again thanks for the thoughts,
gcanik

#5 Ralph_S

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:21 PM

Thanks for your reply. It isn't my intention to be harsh. I love the Avenger and the more people that build them, the merrier and I can appreciate that it is difficult. It is a big beast and I didn't have a particularly easy time building mine. The canopy was a bastard! Can't you lower the canopy on your model even more? The space between the curves that make up the sides is four studs wide, so you could in theory lower the whole canopy to sit between the curved bricks. It would also reduce the difficulty of matching the canopy to the gun turret, because there is less of a difference in height between the two.

Cheers,
Ralph
For LEGO jets, cars, and trucks, please check out:
http://www.flickr.co...os/madphysicist



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