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Everything posted by Ralph_S

  1. That's a strawman argument. The relevant question is whether it is more creative to build with existing parts or to modify a part here and there to suit one's purposes. Chrome bricks or not, Bricksonwheels' models are still LEGO models and so are my aircraft with custom canopies. The printed 3D model is not. Cheers, Ralph
  2. That wasn't science fiction, but the way they actually did it. That's just a cop-out. Since you agreed with the comment that building within the limitations of LEGO parts requires more creativity, Bricksonwheels' comment that it is narrow-minded can also be directed at you. Trying to recreate something using a limited set of bricks requires creativity, but so does coming up with new parts or modifying parts to suit your purpose. Saying that the former requires creativity and the latter doesn't is narrow-minded indeed. I prefer to build things using just LEGO elements. However, in the non-too-distant past, I used non-LEGO plastic for aircraft canopies. I felt this was perfectly acceptable at the time, since useful trans clear parts were so hard to get hold of. Cheers, Ralph
  3. I've not been very active on EB for a while and haven't posted any MOCs for a while either, in part because I haven't built all that many new ones. However, the last one I built is pretty big. With a wingspan of 196 studs and a legnth of 170 it's the biggest single model that I ever built. It was about three years in the planning. Buying parts took a long time, but it also took me a long time to find the time to build it and the confidence that I could do. I didn't want to start this and fail. So, here goes: my B-52. It's built to a scale of 1/36, like most of my other aircraft and helicopter models. The B-52H I decided to model is 61-0062, nicknamed 'Cajun Fear', in the markings it wore around 2001, when it was assigned to the 20th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. (The aircraft currently still serves with the 2nd BW, but with the 96th BS.) B-52H Stratofortress (1) by Mad physicist, on Flickr The shape wasn't particularly easy, but the main challenge in this project was the sheer size, in particular of the wings. The wing carry-through structure is a very complicated piece of kit. I took great care to make it as strong as possible and also took great care when mounting it in the fuselage. Because the wings are swept back so much, most of the weight (including that of the engines) is located behind the carry through structure, which could easily cause the whole thing to be ripped from the fuselage. So far it is holding up really well. The outrigger wheels don't even touch the ground. B-52H Stratofortress (8) by Mad physicist, on Flickr In the 'seventies, the B-52 was slated for replacement with a new supersonic bomber, the B-1A. The latter was cancelled, but resurrected as the B-1B in the 'eighties. B-1Bs never did replace all the B-52s though, and they currently both serve with the USAF. Until I completed the B-52 model, the B-1B was the largest model in my collection. They're both built at the same scale and the B-52 isn't much longer than the B-1B. The difference is only 16 studs. It does have a much taller fuselage, however, and much larger wings. USAF heavy bombers (1) by Mad physicist, on Flickr It's hard to convey the size of the model in photographs, but perhaps putting a few objects next it will help: a minifig, a standard 2x4 brick and a CD. B-52H Stratofortress (26) by Mad physicist, on Flickr Then again, perhaps swooshing it (or, more accurately, heaving it into the air) gives you a better impression. The picture also shows the undercarriage (which is retractable), the internal weapons bay and the 12 JDAM bombs it carries under the wings. Swoosh! by Mad physicist, on Flickr Cheers, Ralph
  4. Ralph_S

    MOC: B-52H Stratofortress

    Thank you very much, Flavio. I've never seen a B-52 in the air myself, but have seen one in the Wings over the Rockies museum in Denver. Last year, whilst I was in Washington for Brickfair, a B-52 flew over the apartment I was staying at, but unfortunately I was sat on the toilet at the time (with some intestinal discomfort due to Korean food I'd eaten the night before) and missed all the fun Cheers, Ralph
  5. If you make that "enjoy your LEGO" full stop, I'm with you. This is the LEGO Technic, Mindstorms & Model Team forum, after all. Ralph
  6. This sort of discussion always strikes me as a bit pointless. I personally don't glue or paint or cut parts (with the exception of flex tube and stickers), but I do use custom stickers and plenty of so-called illegal connections. I stress elements all the time. I couldn't build a B-52 with a 5ft wingspan otherwise. Some people stick to 'legal' connections. Custom tyres are OK for some people but not for others. Some people may think that all parts should be made by LEGO, but are also OK with using Brickarms or other 3rd party vendors. I know people who will only cut flex tube to lengths that LEGO has made in sets or who feel that cardboard is fine as long as it used to be part of the box that LEGO came in. I think you may be getting the picture: we all have our own sets of rules that we apply to our MOCs and they are always largely arbitrary. The only exception is the rule that somebody else should be able to build it from instructions (and even that allows cutting flex tube), but frankly I don't give a toss about whether or not somebody else can build something I came up with. It's my hobby and I make my own rules and I am certainly not going to change the way I do things for the sake of somebody else's largely arbitrary rules. Cheers, Ralph
  7. 64 processors with 1 TB of memory sounds pretty good to me. I think you'll find that many so-called supercomputers are clusters. Coincidentally, I used to work at Southampton University in the aerodynamics and flight mechanics group. Some of my colleagues had a collaboration with Prof. Cox and he was a semi-regular visitor to our coffee-room in the morning. It's fun to see him like this, with his son. Cheers, Ralph
  8. Ralph_S

    MOC: B-52H Stratofortress

    Thanks guys. I want to push my own boundaries a bit with every new project. I think that with this one, I pushed them a bit more. Seriously, the dark grey 3x12 wedges I used for the leading edges were the bits that took me the longest to source. There were some in a Star Wars several years ago, but they only became available in larger numbers this year. I used about 50 on each wing. Thank you. Sadly, no. I will be at STEAM, but I cannot get this behemoth to the show. Since I don't live in the UK any more and don't drive, I have to limit myself to stuff I can fit in my suitcase. At approximately 15 kg and with a span of 1.6 m, that's not an option for this model. Perhaps some time in the future. I have no intention of taking this model apart any time soon. That said, I think I've got some pretty cool stuff to show. My display at the National Railway Museum (1) by Mad physicist, on Flickr (and perhaps something new.) Cheers, Ralph
  9. Ralph_S

    MOC: B-52H Stratofortress

    I'm not about to build anything bigger than this any time soon. I did manage to make it work, but this is already a bit larger than is sensible, really. I didn't have to put in any bricklink order once I started building, although I did raid a friend's collection for a few small bits and bobs. I didn't have the slopes I used for the engine pylons, for instance, and didn't actually know they existed in dark bley until I saw them at his place. I started buying parts more than three years ago, initially with a B-2 Spirit in mind, but later thinking of a B-52. I was well prepared and my LEGO-room well stocked. There are a few parts that I have run out of (dark bley 2x3 plates, 2x8 plates, 2x10 plates, 1x6 tiles) but I've got lots of others left over. Thanks. Obviously some thought went into making it strong, but I think it's also a testament to how strong LEGO actually is. I seriously didn't expect the structure and the material to be stiff enough for the outrigger wheels to not hit the ground. I know you mean the comment in a humorous way, and I am glad you like the model, but if I had too much time on my hands, I'd have built it much sooner. I got the final parts I needed for this about half a year ago, and this summer was the first time where I actually had more than two days to work on it in a row. Apart from the carry-through structure, which I do think is pretty cool myself, the rest of the structure is really quite simple. there's basically a box structure of interconnected Technic beams running through the fuselage. This was one of the advantages of building a B-52 rather than, say, a cargo aircraft. The upper fuselage of the real aircraft is filled with fuel tanks, so i could easily use that space for the structural bits. Thank you. I worried about the detail when building it. It's a big jet and I was afraid that it would look like a big grey sausage with wings if I didn't get it right. Since I'd been thinking about building one of these for a long time, I'd gathered a lot of reference pictures that I could pour over for the details. They were a big help. Much appreciated. Any such list is undoubtedly somewhat arbitrary, but it is undoubtedly a classic. It's amazing to think that the newest aircraft in the fleet was delivered 50 years ago. I did look at a B-52D briefly, because the Vietnam camouflage is interesting, but with dark green and dark tan only being available in small quantities (and with me already having bought a lot of grey, as mentioned above) I decided to go for more current B-52H. There are lots of other B-52s that would probably look more interesting than this one. The NB-52A used as a mothership for the X-15, for instance, would also have been neat. Cheers, Ralph
  10. Ralph_S

    Moc: Century Fighters

    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. 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. 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
  11. Ralph_S

    MOC: B-52H Stratofortress

    Thanks guys. the amount of building time was actually not that bad. I built it spread out over a month, during which I also built a van (which I didn't post here because it doesn't fit anywhere), went on holiday for a week and spent another weekend away from home. I'd expected it to take longer. It's bigger than minifig scale IMO. My face in the picture where I swoosh it shows the strain of lifting this thing. It's heavy and its size makes it awkward. I didn't want to hit the ceiling (I almost did), I didn't want to poke my eyes out with the wings and I didn't want to drop it either. Cheers, Ralph
  12. Ralph_S

    MOC: B-52H Stratofortress

    Thank you. It's scaled 1/36, which is actually bigger than what I would consider minifig scale. Cheers, Ralph
  13. Ralph_S

    MOC: B-52H Stratofortress

    Thanks for all the flattering comments. It's cool to see it made the front page. The wings were the main challenge. The length caused some worries. There are Technic beams running down the length of much of them and the stacked plates (11 layers thick at the wing root) mean the wings themselves don't actually bend all that much. the real difficulty was getting them to sweep back at the proper angle. LEGO don't make wedge plates with the right angle, so I couldn't build the wings perpendicular to the fuselage. To get the angle I needed, I mounted the whole wings at a non-normal angle to the fuselage and chose to do so using a Pythagorean Triple. It is something I've done before (on my F-105, for instance), but never on something this big. Also, as soon as you start mounting heavy structures on hinges, you run the risk that the construction becomes to weak or that there is too much play. The key to getting the whole thing sturdy was building the wing-carry-through structure, which is the bit that connects the wings to each other and to the fuselage, as strong as possible. B-52 Work In Progress -wing carry-through structure by Mad physicist, on Flickr Thank you. I always try to model a particular jet. I enjoy reading about them and looking at pictures, in order to choose a particular one. It also makes my life easier. I'm a stickler for details and since there almost always are subtle differences between individual planes, choosing a particular one at a particular time means I can get everything right. B-52s in particular have undergone so many upgrades and modifications that this becomes important. Jets that can carry cruise missiles are slightly different from the ones that can't, for instance, with extra antennae on the aft fuselage and vortex generators on the upper wing surfaces. Also, back in 2001 not all B-52Hs had been modified for the Heavy Stores Adaptor Beam used to carry the JDAMs. Thank you. I haven't kept track of how many parts I used, so I can only give you a rough guess of a bout 15000, based on the size and past experience. Cheers, Ralph
  14. Ralph_S

    Moc: Century Fighters

    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
  15. I thought that since this thread is about a realistic-looking Aston Martin model, it would be clear I wasn't talking about Technic cars, but cars in a similar style as the Aston Martin, which for lack of a better word you could call Model Team or LEGO system. There's very little of that here, and having posted similar cars on EB (in the Technic, Mindstorms and Model Team forum) in the past, I can understand why. Most of the Technic builders aren't particularly interested in them because they're not Technic and the people who might like them, mostly people who are into the city theme, don't see them because they're not in the city forum. Cheers, Ralph
  16. It is a nice car indeed, but I think that you perception that people rarely get cars to look right may be a bit biased if you only see the ones posted on EB. There are a few exceptions, but most of the people that that I'd consider decent car builders aren't active here. The gathering place for many of the world's best LEGO car builders -at least the ones active on-line- is LUGnuts over on flickr. Cheers, Ralph
  17. I don't organise contests here, but I do on flickr (the annual flickr LEGO military build contest) and the intention of the contest is to inspire people to build new and exciting stuff by enticing them with prizes . Consequently, contest entries ought to be new. In practice this means that the entries may not have been posted anywhere before the contest starts. Building a MOC and then waiting and hoping that a contest comes along for which it is fitting strikes me as a somewhat funny way of going about your business. If this MOC is something you wanted to build anyway, just enjoy doing that and sharing it with Eurobricks. Cheers, Ralph
  18. Ralph_S

    Moving House

    Indeed. The sets are already in box. Put the set boxes into larger boxes. Job done. It doesn't get much easier than that. Try moving several dozen fragile MOCs from one country to another (which is what I did a few years ago). That's when things get interesting. Cheers, Ralph
  19. Ralph_S


    I've been looking forward to meeting you guys again for months now and I am pretty disappointed that I can't make it. For a while I felt as though my vacation was ruined. Fortunately I have been able to come up with a backup plan. I will be going to the UK for a week, getting together with friends there and displaying models at a show with Brickish on the 4th and 5th of August in York. It will have about 20 participants rather than 1100, but still promises to be fun. I hope to make it to Brickfair next year. Cheers, Ralph
  20. Ralph_S


    Things are a bit different in the Netherlands than in the US and the UK for instance, where student dorms (or halls, as they're often called in the UK) seem to be the norm- certainly for 1st year students. In the Netherlands most students either live at home and commute or they rent private accommodation -typically a smallish room in a (shared) house. For most of my student years (which arguably already are a fairly long time ago, 1993-1999) I lived in smallish rooms and, apart from a MOC or two, I never had any LEGO there. I didn't really have enough space and during term times I rarely had the time to build anything. I also didn't have all that much money to spend, so I didn't buy LEGO during this time either. The money that didn't go into necessary things such as rent, books, food and whatnot, went into my social life. I didn't have a full-blown dark-age though. I still built stuff during holidays and weekends spent at home. My parents lived about two hours away, so for a long time I frequently travelled home during weekends. More recently, I've been away from my LEGO for a while because of work and I gave building on my computer a go. It wasn't quite to my liking, but I know some people consider it a decent alternative when they're away from their collections. Cheers, Ralph
  21. Ralph_S


    Bad news guys, I've had to cancel my travel plans due to personal circumstances that I don't feel like sharing with the rest of the internet. Not to worry, I am disappointed and sad, but otherwise I'm fine. I'm sorry that I won't be seeing you. I hope to make it next year. Cheers, Ralph
  22. Ralph_S

    Sluban Tank MOC

    I don't know what changes you made, as I don't know the original set. It's not a bad-looking tank, but was putting the engine in the back your idea? The reason I ask is that the Merkava is an unusual tank, with the engine actually mounted in the front. Cheers, Ralph
  23. Here's my Scania wrecker truck. I'm not much into Technic and the Technic aesthetic. I more of a system builder. I wanted an RC vehicle on the same scale as my other cars and I wanted it to be built in the same style, with the fact that it is an RC vehicle not obvious from the outside. Scania R500 recovery truck (2) by Mad physicist, on Flickr Power functions wrecker truck chassis WIP by Mad physicist, on Flickr The end result is not as small as some of the models in this thread, but also not as big as some of the others Getting everything to fit inside was tricky. Cheers, Ralph
  24. Ralph_S

    City Taxi

    I'm no stranger to building five-wide cars, including a taxi and I have mixed feelings about this. There's some clever stuff going on in terms of techniques, but apart from the colour and the checkers, there's nothing about it that makes it look like a taxi. There also are no headlights and there's no radiator. I think the design would work better for something like a rally car. Cheers, Ralph
  25. Oh yes, but they are a minority in my experience. I've displayed models at events for model builders in general, both in the UK as a member of Brickish, at Brighton Modelworld for instance, and in the Netherlands with builders from LowLUG. Other people there would have train layouts, dolls houses, scale models of trucks and cranes, RC cars etc. They're generally a friendly bunch who are amazed at the sort of things we do with what's essentially a children's toy. Of course, there are exceptions, who don't mind telling us that we're not 'proper model builders' like themselves. I can't help thinking there's a bit of envy involved. The organisers at Brighton love us and always seem to give us a nice prominent spot for our layout because we're one of their show's big crowdpleasers. Cheers, Ralph