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!
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:
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:
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 ...
... 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.
For a small model she's acutally a very complicated build, with an awful lot of SNOT going on. Take the underside:
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! 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:
See! A use for flick-fires! 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:
In memory of Glenn.
Hope you like it! Thanks for reading.
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Edited by Rufus, 26 May 2012 - 08:55 AM.