Hawker Typhoon MkIb


Two years ago I built the Spitfire MkIIa. It remains one of my more popular builds, and one of which I am still quite proud. It was not my first large plane, though when I completed it, I said it would be my last.

As my father would say, “never say never.”

Typhoon

The full gallery may be seen here.

I learned a lot of great things from the Spitfire. Large scale building is exciting, and challenging in that you have to think about significant structural considerations, placement, and shaping before and while your build.

With this in mind, I wanted to develop what I have learned, but allow myself the ability to take a large scale aircraft to the next level. I wanted to improve the function of the control surfaces, design my own propellor, use four Power Function channels, and use the boatload of Dark Green parts that I had recently acquired. I considered a number of airplanes, including doing the FW-190 again, but I finally settled on the Typhoon. Time to get building.

After some planning, I had my scale. 1/13 was an appropriate size for me to replicate the plane and its functions, while still keeping the plane from getting too large. This scale would also allow for LEGO wheels for the landing gear, and a worker able propellor spinner design. As I learned from the Spitfire, placement of large components needed to be done early, and placed in the MOC to its exact final location. As the structure of the fuselage and wings would be stressed heavily, large components could not get in the way. Once I placed the engine block, the landing gear, the power functions, and the control surfaces, I was able to start putting together the robust structures that would support the final plane. One of the major challenges of this plane was the outset landing gear on the wings. Because they were located 42 studs apart, the wings needed to be strong. But due the the space taken for the control surfaces, and the massive 24 cylinder power pack, the wings still sag a little under load.

The control surfaces were activated with strings with studs on each end. I found this to be a better system than the axle controls for the Spitfire. It kept the controls more smooth, and reduced the amount of play in the controls. The elevator and ailerons were controlled with the joystick, and the rudder was controlled by two foot pedals in the cockpit. The remaining functions were controlled via Power Functions. An XL motor powered the massive 38 stud diameter propellor, as well at the 24 cylinder Napier Sabre engine. A M motor controlled the pitch of the propellor. Another M motor powered the landing gear, and still another  adjusted the flaps. All four motor were mounted in the chin of the aircraft; I had to use that huge chin for something. The two IR receivers were mounted in under the windscreen, and the rechargeable battery was mounted behind the cockpit.

Finally, I had to make sure all the markings were accurate. Again, due the limits of dark green parts, it was not an easy task. I started with wings, and made sure to add invasion stripes, and work my way out to the tips. The roundels were a little different than the Spitfire, but were a little larger. The fuselage took a little work to make sure the panels could be easily removed, but I eventually got there. The fuselage roundel should have a yellow ring around the outside, but the strip is so small, I could not figure out a good way to do it.

The plane worked almost perfectly. The ailerons were a little sticky, but other wise everything else managed to work for an 8 hour shift at Brickworld. The plane was liked enough to be nominated for Best Air Ship. While it did not win, it was validation that the the model was a success.

Happy Building.

Focke-Wulf FW-190 a5


I start most of my projects because I see something brilliant by another builder, and then I decided to develop this idea, or give the idea little more substance.  After discovering a great two row radial, I wanted to give the engine a body.  It had also been a long time since I had done a large project.

I chose to make the FW-190 for a couple of reasons.  First, it had a radial.  OK, 14 cylinders in the plane, and mine would only have 12, but it was close enough.  Second, it was one of my favorire plane of WWII.  Third, the body work would not present too many challenges.  I set to work.  I had to get the scale right, and start placing some of the plane’s extremities, so I would have a good idea where to place all the parts that I would build.

Once everything was placed, I had to figure out how I was going to do all the control surfaces.  This started with figuring out the joystick, and the rudders.  The joystick was a simple design driving side to side movements out the front by an axle to gears for the ailerons.  When the joystick was moved front to back, a link all the way to the rear elevator was activated.  I mounted the foot pedals on a simple pivot connected by gears to the rear rudder.  Flaps, with a simple activating lever, were also installed.  The cockpit was pretty full.

With a project this size, it took a great deal of work to get the shaping of the plane to work right.  I used half stud offsets to get the fuselage correct, and spent a lot of time on the wings.   Because the cockpit had a lot of activating levers, a lot of work went into the area around here.  Adding the opening canopy did not help things.  I added brick built markings, worked on the coloring, and spent some time adding guns and other details.  The model was done.

Brickshelf.com gallery is here.

It’s been three years since I have built this plane, but I needed a little motivation to help me with another similar project.  It was good for me to remember how much I enjoyed this project, even though it took a lot of time and energy.  Stay tuned for the next big plane.

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