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MOC: Blue Angels F-18 Hornet


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#1 Rufus

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:43 AM

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Formed in 1946, the Blue Angels is the US Navy's Air aerobatic demonstration squadron.  They currently fly F-18 Hornets redecorated in the distinctive yellow and blue livery of their team.  Here I have attempted to recreate one of these beautiful aircraft.

This was created for a special project.  My goal was to build a recognisable rendition of the aircraft from the parts we have - no expensive Bricklink orders; though I did buy the blue Ninjago jet for parts!  Also, I make no claim on accuracy or scale; it's designed to seat two minifigures and fit into a minfigure scale layout.  If it were built to scale with the real thing and minifigures, it would be several times larger and would dwarf the rest of the layout!


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Here we see the crew - navigator Lt. Osmond Imhoe and pilot Lt. Cmdr. Isobel Tepp preparing climb on board.  It's also a good viewpoint from which to see how I attempted to recreate the split vertical stabilisers.


Here she is from the top:

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The two-tone blue colour scheme was a conscious decision; the real jet's blue is somewhere between the regular and earth blues used here.  You can also see here the brick-built front cockpit window, which caused me quite a headache!  There are six trans-clear headlight bricks in there, all pointing in various directions.


A view from the rear:

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The back end isn't as tidy as I'd like, particularly the horizontal stabilizers, as we'll see.  Ideally I'd have used two Technic driving ring pieces for the jet nozzles, but there was no way R2-D2 would be sacrificed for this, despite his useful store of dark blue!


From the side, you can see she has a nice 'hump' behind the cockpit ...

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... however, the limitation of scale becomes apparent here:  the whole should be longer, or the cockpit smaller.  But I'm pleased with the overall look.  :blush:


For a small model she's acutally a very complicated build, with an awful lot of SNOT going on.  Take the underside:

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While the cockpit sides are achieved quite simply with SNOT panels, the centre between the engine intakes has studs facing up, down, and both sides!  :laugh:  The rear wheels are attached via technic axles in 1x2 bricks with cross-axle holes; sadly, they don't retract.  I could possibly make the rear wheels fold away, but there isn't room to do that for the nosewheel.


Here's a look at the workings of the engine nozzles and horizontal stabilisers:

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See!  A use for flick-fires!  :snicker:  I could have attached the stabilisers via technic pins, so that they would move; however, they'd keep getting knocked (or fall off) and it would leave a few unsightly gaps.  I've used a rather over-complicated solution instead, which gives strength at the expense of the ugly black SNOT bricks showing.


Here's a reference image:

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In memory of Glenn.


Hope you like it!  Thanks for reading.  


Rufus


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If you like this model, please consider supporting it on CUUSOO.

Edited by Rufus, 26 May 2012 - 08:55 AM.
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#2 andhe

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:44 PM

Wow! That looks really nice. I guess the they are the US version of the UK's Red Devils display team. It looks like a great build, and I like that you've kept it minifig scale rather than 'real scale'. The only bit that looks a bit odd is the trans slopes in front of the cockpit. I don't know if there's a windscreen/shield piece that would complete the curve instead.

Looks very swooshable!

#3 Rick

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:01 PM

View PostRufus, on 18 May 2012 - 11:43 AM, said:

This was created for a special project.  My goal was to build a recognisable rendition of the aircraft from the parts we have - no expensive Bricklink orders; though I did buy the blue Ninjago jet for parts!  Also, I make no claim on accuracy or scale; it's designed to seat two minifigures and fit into a minfigure scale layout.  If it were built to scale with the real thing and minifigures, it would be several times larger and would dwarf the rest of the layout!
I'd say mission accomplished. :wink:  Great build and I really like the overall look you managed to achieve with all those SNOT techniques. :sweet:  It looks like a nice cross-over between Town and Creator building style. I actually like how having to use two shades of blue turned out. Together they approximate the real colour of the aircraft pretty well.

#4 lightningtiger

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:08 PM

Totally smegging AWESOME 'Rufus'......I  :wub: it !
Here is it's soundtrack.....even though they weren't flying F-18's back then.....

You should front page yourself for it.....one of the best F-18's ever in Lego. :wink:

#5 Rick

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:08 PM

View Postlightningtiger, on 18 May 2012 - 01:08 PM, said:

You should front page yourself for it.....one of the best F-18's ever in Lego. :wink:
That won't be necessary. :wink:

#6 Solscud007

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:16 PM

Are the mini fig bodies a custom decal or pre existing bodies?

#7 lightningtiger

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:22 PM

View PostSolscud007, on 18 May 2012 - 01:16 PM, said:

Are the mini fig bodies a custom decal or pre existing bodies?
I say they are custom for sure they have the Blue Angels patch on them.....I want those pilots ! :grin:
And 'Rick'.....great minds think alike ! :iamded_lol: (you front paged as I posted :innocent: )


Edit - 'Rufus'.....Cuusoo it, who wouldn't want a Blue Angel F-18 on their shelf eh ? :wink:

Edited by lightningtiger, 18 May 2012 - 01:23 PM.


#8 Rufus

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:32 PM

View Postandhe, on 18 May 2012 - 12:44 PM, said:

Wow! That looks really nice. I guess the they are the US version of the UK's Red Devils display team. It looks like a great build, and I like that you've kept it minifig scale rather than 'real scale'. The only bit that looks a bit odd is the trans slopes in front of the cockpit. I don't know if there's a windscreen/shield piece that would complete the curve instead.
I presume you mean the Red Arrows.  :wink:  But the Americans got there first!  There's no windscreen piece in our collection that would do the job, hence the slightly cumbersome brick-built bit!

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Looks very swooshable!
It is!  :laugh:

View PostRick, on 18 May 2012 - 01:01 PM, said:

It looks like a nice cross-over between Town and Creator building style.
Probably needlessly over-complicated for either style, but I'm pleased with the effect!  Thanks (again) for frontpaging it!  :wub:

View Postlightningtiger, on 18 May 2012 - 01:08 PM, said:

Totally smegging AWESOME 'Rufus'......I  :wub: it !
Here is it's soundtrack.....even though they weren't flying F-18's back then.....
Ah, good old 80s rock!  :cry_happy:  Thanks, lightningtiger!  :sweet:

View PostSolscud007, on 18 May 2012 - 01:16 PM, said:

Are the mini fig bodies a custom decal or pre existing bodies?

View Postlightningtiger, on 18 May 2012 - 01:22 PM, said:

I say they are custom for sure they have the Blue Angels patch on them.....I want those pilots ! :grin:
Actually, no!  They are the police pilots from the stupidly oversized helicopter set.  Well, one of them is.  I think the other is being used for something else, so Osmond actually has the CMF mechanic torso.  :blush:  That's why his back is to the camera!  :laugh:

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Edit - 'Rufus'.....Cuusoo it, who wouldn't want a Blue Angel F-18 on their shelf eh ? :wink:
I thought about it... but I'm sure it'll get shot down pretty quickly for being too military.  Not literally shot down!

#9 lightningtiger

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:38 PM

Oops, my bad.....just that torso looked different, but yes it's from that big police copter.  :blush:  
I don't see Lego having a problem with a stunt jet....they have made for the creation theme sets so why not a Blue Angel...it has no weapons on it ? :blush:

#10 TimH

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:54 PM

Very nice F-18 Hornet rufus. :thumbup:

#11 andhe

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:22 PM

View PostRufus, on 18 May 2012 - 01:32 PM, said:

I presume you mean the Red Arrows.  :wink:  But the Americans got there first!  There's no windscreen piece in our collection that would do the job, hence the slightly cumbersome brick-built bit!

Oh yeah, the angels/devils thing confused me. The Red Devils are actually the parachute display team!

Still, great build.

#12 PMJ

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:09 PM

I still prefer the Wonderbolts
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#13 Peppermint_M

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:17 PM

Look! Over There *DISTRACTING THINGS*

*Swooops in and pinches MOC, Innocent whistling follows*

What?


Maaan, Ru, you said you got that jet to build a blue plane and by jove you weren't lying! Now I need to go buy a few more to make some SkyFi.

Those are great figures too, I am loving all the fantastic pilot designs coming out in sets these days.

All in all, a stunning MOC.  :thumbup:

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#14 Masked Builder

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:26 PM

Quite a pretty MOC Rufus! :thumbup:  I didn't notice the scale to badly, I think it works pretty well.  I've always loved planes, now you're making me go build one.
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#15 SeanM

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:46 PM

This belongs on Cuusoo. We need this as an official set!

#16 sharky

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:47 PM

I'd really like to see this in whatever color is closest to a military low-viz grey.  Great looking MOC.  :thumbup:

#17 Younge

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:49 PM

Yep, definitely Cussoo it!!!
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#18 WhiteFang

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:25 PM

I love this! It's awesome and it is better than this version!  :tongue:

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Very nicely done with realistic touch. I am a huge fan of F-18 hornet.  :wub:

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#19 CallMePie

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:44 PM

Really cool! I could see TLG releasing this, as the Blue Angels, if I understand right, are primarily for aerobatics and flight demonstrations. I would definitely support this should it be put up on CUUSOO.

I personally really love the scale - I'll take your word for it it's not entirely accurate, but it looks really amazing, and more in-scale than most any LEGO aircraft. The front of the cockpit is well-done, and the entire craft manages to maintain a distinctly LEGO feel while streamlined enough to look like a real jet. Fantastic work.  :thumbup:
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#20 GLVBrick

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:53 PM

Very nice MOC. One down, six to go. I drive by a real one in BA livery frequently (parked on display outside of the Naval Air Station here in Jacksonville, FL) and you have captured the look very well. An official set could certainly provide a cleaner canopy and a blue nose piece.

One advantage to modeling craft used for carrier operations is that the prototoype landing gear is intentionally beefier so LEGO gear will not look too off-scale.

One final note, the plane's actual designation is the F/A-18A (or 18B), for Fighter/Attack (the plane's dual mission capabiliity), with the A denoting single-seat version and B dual-seat. Blue Angels plane 7 (pictured in your first post) is the B version.

- Greg

Edited by GLVBrick, 18 May 2012 - 06:58 PM.


#21 Dakar A

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:14 PM

View PostGLVBrick, on 18 May 2012 - 06:53 PM, said:

Very nice MOC. One down, six to go. I drive by a real one in BA livery frequently (parked on display outside of the Naval Air Station here in Jacksonville, FL) and you have captured the look very well. An official set could certainly provide a cleaner canopy and a blue nose piece.

One advantage to modeling craft used for carrier operations is that the prototoype landing gear is intentionally beefier so LEGO gear will not look too off-scale.

One final note, the plane's actual designation is the F/A-18A (or 18B), for Fighter/Attack (the plane's dual mission capabiliity), with the A denoting single-seat version and B dual-seat. Blue Angels plane 7 (pictured in your first post) is the B version.

- Greg
Wow! Another Jacksonville FOL! Nice to meet you, I'm Dakar! :thumbup: I've gone by that one a few times too, it looks great!

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Rufus, you should be proud of this little guy. The scaling is done quite well, and I like all of the SNOT variations all over the body. The landng gear is also good, and I especially like the Mad Phyiscist-esque cockpit front. Altogether an A+ MOC! :wub:

Edited by Dakar A, 18 May 2012 - 08:16 PM.

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#22 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:49 PM

WOW Wonderful MOC!  :wub:
Very inspiring ...now I want my copy of this beauty!  :tongue:
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#23 JackJonespaw

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:24 PM

Amazing MOC, Rufus! I love any dark blue MOCs, and this one is amazing! It could fit right in with the Agents! Nice detailing, and nice use of Flickfires!

#24 nebraska

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 12:31 AM

I really love this!  Outstanding job and I agree it needs to go up for votes!

#25 dr_spock

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 01:17 AM

Very nice MOC.  I remember when the Blue Angels used to fly A4 Skyhawks.



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