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Avro Lancaster B Mk. 1 Dam Buster
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Here is my LDD model of an Avro Lancaster B Mk. 1 Dam Buster. It is built to minifig scale.
About this creation

The Avro Lancaster was a four-engined, British heavy bomber used during World War II. It could carry 14,000 lbs of bombs and had a combat range of 2,530 miles. It used four Rolls-Royce Merlin XX liquid-cooled V12 engines, each producing 1,280 hp. These were basically the same engines used in the Hurricanes and Spitfires. The Lancaster was the most prolific of the RAF's night bombers.


23 Lancasters were converted during the war to carry the "Upkeep" bouncing bomb, designed for dam busting air raids in Germany. The bomb was designed by the scientist and engineer Barnes Wallis, known for his Vickers Wellington geodetic airframe and the Vickers R100 airship.


The bomb bay doors were removed and a series of struts were installed to hold the massive, cylindrical bomb.


A hydraulic motor was fitted to spin the bomb backwards, which helped the bomb maintain stability in flight and its ability to bounce. But the primary reason for the backwards spin was to allow the bomb to remain close the dam wall once it sunk. Once released, the intention was to have the bomb hit the dam wall and allow its backwards momentum to hug the wall until it reached the required depth and then explode. Exploding the bomb underwater and close to the wall amplified the explosive shockwaves, increasing the bomb's effectiveness against the massive dam walls.


On the night of May 16-17, 1943, RAF No. 617 Squadron flew 19 Lancasters into Germany to bomb three dams: the Mohne, Edersee, and Sorpe. Known as Operation Chastise, No. 617 Squadron had to fly in and out at tree-top level to avoid radar detection and skirting enemy airbases and anti-aircraft installations. The wingspan of the Lancaster was 102 ft and flying at less that 100 ft off the ground didn't leave the pilots with a lot of room to maneuver.


For the bomb run, the Lancaster had to fly at an altitude of 60 feet and at 240 mph. Because the altimeters of the day were not very accurate, the aircraft were fitted with downward-directed spotlights whose beams of light would converge on the surface of the water at the correct altitude.


The Mohne and Edersee were breached, flooding the Ruhr valley, while the Sorpe suffered only minor damage. Factories and mines in the Ruhr were damaged or destroyed. Eight of the Lancasters were shot down. No. 617 Squadron continued on throughout the rest of the war as specialist bombers, dropping the enormous "Tallboy" and "Gran Slam" earthquake bombs on U-boat pens and, more notably, sinking the "Tirpitz" in Norway.


The Lancaster on a low-level approach. Getting the bend in the wing was difficult. Admittedly, the transition could be smoother. Something to work on...


The tail gun was interesting to build. It was tricky to get the shape and scale right. For the Dam Buster variant the top turret was removed in order to use the hydraulic system to spin the bomb.


I wasn't going to put the Royal Air Force insignia roundel on the wings but I was able to get the shape and the colours pretty close. In the end, it doesn't look too bad.


The biggest attraction for me when considering whether to make the Lancaster or not was a chance to do night camouflage. Thankfully, lego made the right camo colours and I decided on a brick and plate orientation to allow a fairly fluid camo scheme.


Here is a close-up of the Lancaster's nose and canopy. I thought about making the canopy in clear bricks but it is difficult to get the structure right. I opted for an open design, like in my B-29, to emphasize the canopy frame instead. I like the result: its different and fairly realistic.



Comments

 I made it 
  February 22, 2014
Quoting Matt Bace Wow! I don't know how I missed this one earlier. It's fantastic. The details and shaping are superb, and I love the camouflage scheme and the roundels.
Thanks for your comments Matt. I appreciate your interest in my works. Feel free to check my other projects as well, as I think we share a similar design philosophy. I hope you find something that interests you.
 I like it 
  February 22, 2014
Wow! I don't know how I missed this one earlier. It's fantastic. The details and shaping are superb, and I love the camouflage scheme and the roundels.
 I made it 
  December 30, 2013
Quoting Marty Fields Nice to see this version of the Lanc in Lego. You clearly are the master of plane building in this scale. Well done.
Thanks Marty! I really appreciate your compliments. I'm glad you enjoy these models.
 I like it 
  December 27, 2013
Nice to see this version of the Lanc in Lego. You clearly are the master of plane building in this scale. Well done.
 I made it 
  December 23, 2013
Quoting Bill Ding WOW! nice! that plane was great, but i still favor the B-17. I hope that you dislike the B-24, because I do!
Thanks Bill! I am also working on a B-17 and I hope to have that ready sometime soon. I do actually like the B-24: it was the real and unrecognized workhorse of the US Army Air Corps during WW2. I would one day like to make a model of it as well.
 I like it 
  December 22, 2013
WOW! nice! that plane was great, but i still favor the B-17. I hope that you dislike the B-24, because I do!
 I made it 
  December 8, 2013
Quoting Kenji King Nice! BTW: I saw a doc on dam-busting called Bombing Hitler's Dams. Have you seen it by chance?
Thanks for your comments Kenji. I have seen the Nova documentary you mentioned: its good! Check out the 1955 film "The Dam Busters" if you haven't already. They flew four real Lancs!
 I like it 
  December 6, 2013
Nice! BTW: I saw a doc on dam-busting called Bombing Hitler's Dams. Have you seen it by chance?
 I made it 
  November 28, 2013
Quoting Starscream Soundwave Excellent work. I knew what it was at a glance!
Thanks for your comments. The proportions turned out well. I just need to work on the wing joint!
 I like it 
  November 27, 2013
Excellent work. I knew what it was at a glance!
 I made it 
  November 26, 2013
Quoting Michael K. Fantastic! This is one of my favorite stories of the war.
Thanks for the comments. A great airplane and a daring operation.
 I like it 
  November 22, 2013
Fantastic! This is one of my favorite stories of the war.
 I made it 
  November 20, 2013
Quoting Gabor Pauler Excellent styling, proprtions and colour scheme. But try to refine propellers, there are more realistic and aerodynamic looking solutions (eg. I saw in som MOC part 'ice cream'-based propeller blades, which are reasonably small but more aerodynamic)
Thanks for your comments. I am curious to explore your propellor suggestions. Do you have a lego part number in mind?
 I like it 
  November 20, 2013
Excellent styling, proprtions and colour scheme. But try to refine propellers, there are more realistic and aerodynamic looking solutions (eg. I saw in som MOC part 'ice cream'-based propeller blades, which are reasonably small but more aerodynamic)
 I made it 
  November 7, 2013
Quoting Florida Shoooter Very nice!! I like the camo you used. Def have not seen many of these in LEGO before. Well done. Any plans to build IRL? :)
Thanks for the comments. Lego Lancasters are rare indeed. I would love to build on in real life but trying to acquire all of the requisite parts would conflict with my child's college fund! While I enjoy playing in the digital realm there is something special about building with real pieces. Who knows, maybe in the future?
 I like it 
  November 7, 2013
Very nice!! I like the camo you used. Def have not seen many of these in LEGO before. Well done. Any plans to build IRL? :)
 
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