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Moc: Century Fighters


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#1 Ralph_S

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:44 AM

I've long had an interest in building jet fighters out of LEGO, as some of you may know, and in the last four weeks I've turned to building two cold war classics from the late 'fifties, early 'sixties. I haven't posted new mocs on EB for a while, but for these two I'm making an exception.

One of the jets I've wanted to build an F-105 Thunderchief, also known as the 'Thud'. After I saw a real one at the National Air & Space Museum last year, I couldn't wait to get started.
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F-105D Thunderchief by Mad physicist, on Flickr
One of the difficulties was that I wanted to build it in proper USAF South-East Asia camouflage. Thunderchiefs were delivered in natural metal (with dark grey/green anti glare panels), but the aircraft is mostly associated with camouflage and camouflage makes it a much more interesting build as well. It was a challenge, as the best match I could come up with for the real scheme, involves unusual colours. Old dark grey is getting rare and lots of nice new parts, such as cheese slopes, don't exist in this colour. The parts palettes for dark tan and dark green are very limited. Still, I managed to make it work. In fact, not just the colours, but the camouflage pattern itself quite closely resembles the pattern on many of the real aircraft. The jet carries the markings of a particular Thunderchief, called 'Top Dog' whilst serving with the Virginia Air National Guard in 1978-1980. This aircraft was one of a fair number of 'Thuds' that served during the war in Vietnam and shot down a MiG-17.

The second jet is an F-106A Delta Dart, a supersonic interceptor used by the USAF's Aerospace Defence Command, to defend American airspace from Soviet bombers. The jet carries the markings of a particular Delta Dart, called 'Thunder Chicken' whilst serving with the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Langley AFB in Virginia in 1978.
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F-106A Delta Dart by Mad physicist, on Flickr

Both of these will be featured in an article in an upcoming issue of brickjournal, so for the time being I'm only posting these two pictures. My photostream on flickr does have a few WIP pictures of both fighters. I hope you like them.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#2 Matn

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:05 PM

Amazing work, Ralph_S. I really like your work and this is no exception. The shapes and the angles are top-notch. You've done a great job on the camouflage pattern, especially keeping in mind the limited amount of parts in those specific colours. It looks very realistic. All of your work is always very realistic and has your distinctive style all over it. The exposed studs is something well appreciated, some try everything to cover them up.

I'd love to build something like this, but I wouldn't know where to start. :tongue: I'm not able to build realistic things. Those work-in-progress pictures are very interesting, thanks for sharing those.

#3 lightningtiger

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:24 PM

Nice F-106, but even more AWESOME F-105D 'Ralph_S'.....you really like your fighters and bombers don't you ? :grin:
Brick On Fly On Fight On ! :grin:

#4 CallMePie

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:55 PM

Never ceases to amaze me when someone can pull of both a fantastic build and color it in such an astounding way. Really fantastic work, on both models.  :thumbup: :thumbup:
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#5 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:21 PM

Superb!  :thumbup:
The camouflage totally rock here!  :wub:
A true masterpiece!  :blush:
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#6 Imperial Shipyards

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:39 PM

Excellent, as always!  :wub:

I'm esspecially fond of the F106 since the cockpit shapes seems so perfect. The Thud has probably been a bit more tricky, and the camo looks very much like Vietnam:

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The service history of the 105 there wasn't quite glamorous though.  :look:

How long does it take you to make one of those? Do you disassemble MOCs after posting?

Thanks for sharing!

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#7 Ralph_S

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:07 PM

View PostMatn, on 18 June 2012 - 12:05 PM, said:

Amazing work, Ralph_S. I really like your work and this is no exception. The shapes and the angles are top-notch. You've done a great job on the camouflage pattern, especially keeping in mind the limited amount of parts in those specific colours. It looks very realistic. All of your work is always very realistic and has your distinctive style all over it. The exposed studs is something well appreciated, some try everything to cover them up.

I'd love to build something like this, but I wouldn't know where to start. :tongue: I'm not able to build realistic things. Those work-in-progress pictures are very interesting, thanks for sharing those.
Thank you very much for your very nice comments. At AFOLCon earlier this year somebody said to me that what he liked about my models is that although I build things that LEGO never would, I make them look as though they could be sets. I was very flattered by the comment and I can see where he was coming from. Even though most of my models and certainly these two incorporate a lot of SNOT building, I do like to have visible studs on the upper surfaces.

The South-East Asia camouflage pattern has long eluded me. Old dark grey for the olive colour is OK, but regular green is too bright and tan is too light for the other two colours in the camouflage. Luckily I was able to source a decent quantity of small plates in dark green (1x2, 1x3 and 1x4 plates, mainly) and LEGO have released 2x4 wedge plate in both dark tan and dark green this year. That finally made it possible to build something like this.



View Postlightningtiger, on 18 June 2012 - 12:24 PM, said:

Nice F-106, but even more AWESOME F-105D 'Ralph_S'.....you really like your fighters and bombers don't you ? :grin:
Brick On Fly On Fight On ! :grin:
Thanks. Yes, I do like fighters and bombers and helicopters too :wink:


View PostCallMePie, on 18 June 2012 - 06:55 PM, said:

Never ceases to amaze me when someone can pull of both a fantastic build and color it in such an astounding way. Really fantastic work, on both models.  :thumbup: :thumbup:
Thank you. Much appreciated.

View PostLEGO Train 12 Volts, on 18 June 2012 - 08:21 PM, said:

Superb!  :thumbup:
The camouflage totally rock here!  :wub:
A true masterpiece!  :blush:
Thank you. I did my best to not only match the colours, but also to make sure that the pattern on the model was similar to the pattern on the real aircraft. I am glad you like it.

View PostPerfectionist, on 18 June 2012 - 08:39 PM, said:

Excellent, as always!  :wub:

I'm esspecially fond of the F106 since the cockpit shapes seems so perfect. The Thud has probably been a bit more tricky, and the camo looks very much like Vietnam:

Posted Image

The service history of the 105 there wasn't quite glamorous though.  :look:

How long does it take you to make one of those? Do you disassemble MOCs after posting?

Thanks for sharing!
Thank you. Both aircraft had their own challenges. In terms of the complexity of the construction, the F-106 was the most complicated. Building the cockpit without too many awkward gaps was tricky, as was getting the wings to sit at the right angle, the doors for the internal weapons bay (you can just see the doors and two of the missiles under the aircraft's belly), the 'coke-bottle fuselage, and the SNOT work required for the leading edge of the vertical tail. It took a lot of fiddling.
The F-105 came together much more quickly. The main challenge on that was the wing, which I mounted at the proper angle using a Pythagorean triple, the main undercarriage and the afterburner section with the airbrakes mounted around it.

I don't keep track of how much time it takes me to build these, but I would guess something between 20-30 hours of actual build time and a similar amount of time making plans, buying parts and searching for and looking at reference material beforehand. After that sort of investment, I don't like taking the models apart. I keep most of them indefinitely and rarely take any of my aircraft models apart.

Cheers,
Ralph

Edited by Ralph_S, 19 June 2012 - 12:08 PM.

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#8 Commander_Rob

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:59 PM

Love them both, the camo on the Thud is spot-on and the canopy on the Dart looks great, considering the sharp angles and tricky shapes there.

Looking forward to more pictures later.
Just call me Rob.

#9 jonwil

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:46 PM

Always nice to see realistic looking models of aircraft done in LEGO and you have nailed it with these 2.

#10 Imperial Shipyards

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 08:39 PM

View PostRalph_S, on 19 June 2012 - 12:07 PM, said:

Both aircraft had their own challenges. In terms of the complexity of the construction, the F-106 was the most complicated [...] and the SNOT work required for the leading edge of the vertical tail. It took a lot of fiddling.


I just saw how you made the vertical stabilizer in your photostream and I must say it's a superb very and creative way to use headlight bricks and cheese slopes!  :cry_happy:

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#11 The Blue Brick

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:18 PM

I love the "Thud". The camo makes it even more amazing and so realistic.  :wub:

#12 TimH

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:26 PM

Awesome work Ralph_S!  :thumbup:  love that camouflage!  :wub:

#13 Ralph_S

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:33 PM

Thanks guys. Until today I didn't actually realise I never replied to your comments. I still can't post any new pictures, but the model will be in Brickjournal Issue 22, which will be out later this year.

Cheers,
Ralph

Edited by Ralph_S, 10 September 2012 - 09:33 PM.

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#14 GabryS

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:13 PM

Top work here.
I love the camouflage.
Also, I must say, that I really like, that uoy are making your models' canopies with bricks, it definately shows your commitment in making them as perfect as possible.
What scale are they?
Regards,
Filip



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