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Martin JRM-3 Mars
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My entry for Jerry Temple's WWII Contest, Round 1: A 1:75 scale model of a Martin JRM-3 Mars military transport seaplane.
About this creation
My entry for Jerry Temple's WWII Contest, Round 1.

The Martin Mars was one of the largest aircraft involved in World War II. It was used during the last few months of the War to shuttle troops and equipment from mainland USA to Hawaii and other Pacific islands. With a payload of approximately 30 tons, it could carry 133 troops or 7 Willys MB Jeeps. In 1949, one of the Mars aircraft, the Caroline Mars, set a world record by carrying 269 passengers.

After the war, several Martin Mars were purchased by Forest Industries Flying Tankers (now Coulson Flying Tankers) and converted to firefighting water bombers. The conversion included a 7,200-gallon (27,250-liter) internal tank and a pair of retractable scoops. These scoops enable the Mars water bombers to skim the surface of a body of water and fill the internal tank in just 22 seconds. The Mars aircraft were instrumental in containing several large forest fires, including the California wildfires of 2007 and the Okanagan Moutain Park fire in BC, Canada in 2003. Although Flying Tankers lost its contract with British Columbia in 2013, there is still one Mars in active status.

The US Navy had placed an initial order for 20 Mars aircraft in 1942, but only 7 Mars aircraft were ever built, including the prototype. The first Mars was delivered in June 1945. There were few enough of them that each was given a unique name, e.g. Phillippine Mars or Marshall Mars. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only LEGO model of a Martin Mars that has ever been built.

I have chosen to build the Mars in the Flying Tankers red-and-white color scheme, since, in my opinion, it looks much better than its wartime color scheme -- solid dark gray or dark navy blue.

I have submitted this MOC to LEGO Ideas. If you like it, you can support it by following this link.







If your view looks something the following picture, you're probably about to get very wet.






Comments

 I made it 
  September 2, 2014
Quoting Kurt's MOCs Great model! I remember seeing them at Sprout Lake when I was young. My uncle was an airplane mechanic and worked on them. Seeing your model brings back a lot of fond memories! Nice and inventive details, such as the props and outboard floats. Great work!
Thanks! It's pretty neat that your uncle worked on these aircraft. Does that mean that you got to see them in person? I'd love to get that chance -- so far, I've only seen them in pictures and videos.
 I made it 
  September 2, 2014
Quoting Maxime MaxSamAlex Great plane you have there, I am impressed by the smoothness of the body! Really love all the building techniques, especially to gove it such a realistic shape.
Thanks! I think getting that smooth boat-hull shape is critical for making a seaplane look like a seaplane, so I went through quite a few iterations before I settled on the design.
 I like it 
  September 1, 2014
Great model! I remember seeing them at Sprout Lake when I was young. My uncle was an airplane mechanic and worked on them. Seeing your model brings back a lot of fond memories! Nice and inventive details, such as the props and outboard floats. Great work!
 I like it 
  August 30, 2014
Great plane you have there, I am impressed by the smoothness of the body! Really love all the building techniques, especially to gove it such a realistic shape.
 I made it 
  August 30, 2014
Quoting Jimmie Martinez 10/10 Absolutely fantastic MOC I am absolutely blown away by the detail. Bravo and well done sir.
Thanks! I did my best to get the shaping right, including the "boat hull" bottom, which, I think, really helps to make a seaplane look good.
 I made it 
  August 30, 2014
Quoting Yann (XY EZ) I am, as every time, pretty impressed by your mocs! They are all so cool!! 5/5
Thanks! A Mars aircraft is something I have wanted to build for a long time. I think they are pretty cool, too.
 I like it 
  August 30, 2014
10/10 Absolutely fantastic MOC I am absolutely blown away by the detail. Bravo and well done sir.
 I like it 
  August 29, 2014
I am, as every time, pretty impressed by your mocs! They are all so cool!! 5/5
 I made it 
  August 29, 2014
Quoting Elk Guard Great work, nice history lesson too, really interesting!
Thanks! The Mars definitely does have an interesting, if somewhat obscure, history.
 I like it 
  August 28, 2014
Great work, nice history lesson too, really interesting!
 I made it 
  August 28, 2014
Quoting matt rowntRee My apologies for not commenting on this earlier, Matt. Looks like it would have helped advance you to the next round. Alex' was fantastic, but this is fantastically unique. I've only seen a pic of this plane decades ago at an airshow in Chino, CA and was always fascinated by it. Didn't strike me as all that useful in a wartime theatre, seems the general staff thought so too with only a handful built. ;) The shaping of the fuselage under the tail is outstanding and distinctive. Love it's wing floats as well. Outstanding!
Thanks, matt! This aircraft was indeed somewhat of a "solution in search of a problem". It was delivered too late in the war to have much of an impact, and there was not much military use for it after the war. But it absolutely excelled as a water bomber. Time has finally caught up with it, though. It is becoming more expensive to maintain and operate, so forestry agencies are opting for less expensive (but sometimes less effective) solutions, like the C-130/MAFFS or the AT-802 Fire Boss (i.e. the plane that Dusty Crophopper is modeled after in Planes II).
 I like it 
  August 28, 2014
My apologies for not commenting on this earlier, Matt. Looks like it would have helped advance you to the next round. Alex' was fantastic, but this is fantastically unique. I've only seen a pic of this plane decades ago at an airshow in Chino, CA and was always fascinated by it. Didn't strike me as all that useful in a wartime theatre, seems the general staff thought so too with only a handful built. ;) The shaping of the fuselage under the tail is outstanding and distinctive. Love it's wing floats as well. Outstanding!
 I made it 
  August 27, 2014
Quoting Nick Barrett I'd never heard of this plane, thanks for sharing. It looks superb.
Thanks! It's not too surprising that you were not aware of this aircraft. With only 7 ever in existence, it you'd probably have to live in western North America to ever see one in the media.
 I made it 
  August 27, 2014
Quoting Cheryl P A great build. I like the last picture with the clouds. Now on to the next round.
Thanks! Unfortunately, my very capable opposition, Alex Sonny, beat me by 0.5 points in this round, so he'll be the one moving on.
 I like it 
  August 27, 2014
I'd never heard of this plane, thanks for sharing. It looks superb.
 I like it 
  August 27, 2014
A great build. I like the last picture with the clouds. Now on to the next round.
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Henrik Jensen A beautyfull rendition of this spectacular aircraft. I would have liked a picture showing the side profile more clearly, but my initial assessment is that you have hit the shape really well. A small, but in my eyes quite important detail is that the nose should have tapered a little bit more. Gabor has already mentioned the other thing. But all in all, everything looks good, and I am convinced that if you have had more time the issues have been solved too.
Thanks! I am rendering the side view as I type this response and should have it posted in a few hours. You have a very good eye -- I made a conscious decision to start the taper of the nose farther forward than in the real aircraft and not to taper it to as narrow a width. I did that for two reasons: (1) I couldn't really go below 2 studs of width at the tip of the nose and maintain any structural integrity, and (2) having more taper probably would have required that I use a "stepped tile" technique on the sides to match the taper angle, which might be more accurate in terms of the overall shape, but it wouldn't look as smooth as using curved and straight slopes.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
A beautyfull rendition of this spectacular aircraft. I would have liked a picture showing the side profile more clearly, but my initial assessment is that you have hit the shape really well. A small, but in my eyes quite important detail is that the nose should have tapered a little bit more. Gabor has already mentioned the other thing. But all in all, everything looks good, and I am convinced that if you have had more time the issues have been solved too.
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Jerry Temple Awesome plane, time to judge! Creativity/Effort: 5/5. This model looks huge and couldn't possibly have taken a short time, especially with the difficulties you say you had. Originality: 5/5. Yours is one of only two Martin Mars on the 'Pages! Conformity: 5/5. Popularity: 4/5. 22 likes and 13 comments is pretty good! Overall: 19/20. So close, but Alex beat you by just half a point!
Thanks! I had fun participating, and I knew that Alex's entry was going to be very tough to beat. In case you are curious, the model is made of 1725 parts and has a length of about 60 studs and a wingspan of exactly 100 studs. I really did build it in just 5 days (a hectic 5 days), although I had some of the background research done prior to that.
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Sean-Thomas Mahoney Nice work!
Thanks!
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Tom Simon A very lovely job!
Thanks!
  August 26, 2014
Awesome plane, time to judge! Creativity/Effort: 5/5. This model looks huge and couldn't possibly have taken a short time, especially with the difficulties you say you had. Originality: 5/5. Yours is one of only two Martin Mars on the 'Pages! Conformity: 5/5. Popularity: 4/5. 22 likes and 13 comments is pretty good! Overall: 19/20. So close, but Alex beat you by just half a point!
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
Nice work!
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
A very lovely job!
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Dr. Monster Very nice. Your model looks amazing from every angle. Great subject choice.
Thanks! It was definitely a challenge to match the contours in some places, and I did have to make a few compromises (e.g. the wing should slope downward a little toward the rear), but overall I am pretty satisfied with how it came out.
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting arwenromel hanna EXCELLENT WORK
Thanks! I figured that as a builder of large aircraft, you might appreciate this one.
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Dennis B Nicely done! A wounderful plane with a great history!
Thanks! I agree -- the Mars has an interesting history. Hopefully, that history won't be lost as the Mars aircraft now appear to be approaching retirement. At least one Mars, the Philippine Mars, is being preserved at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
Very nice. Your model looks amazing from every angle. Great subject choice.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
EXCELLENT WORK
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
Nicely done! A wounderful plane with a great history!
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Ngoc Truong This is really neat!
Thanks! I have always that the Mars aircraft were pretty neat, too.
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Peteris Sprogis 5/5
Thanks!
 I made it 
  August 26, 2014
Quoting Gabor Pauler Very nice tail and rudder solution, cool SNOT wings! I would reconsider using thin lego system wall elements in pillars of floats, instead of building them from bricks. Otherwise it is just perfect.
Thanks! I did consider using the wall elements as you suggest, but they had two drawbacks: (1) they are actually a bit too thin (but they are probably still closer to the right thickness than the bricks), and (2) more importantly, using bricks allowed me to represent the forward angle of the pylons. As always, unless you are building at an enormous scale, some comprises are going to have to be made, and I felt that the angle of the pylons was more important to the overall look than matching the thickness.
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
This is really neat!
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
5/5
 I like it 
  August 26, 2014
Very nice tail and rudder solution, cool SNOT wings! I would reconsider using thin lego system wall elements in pillars of floats, instead of building them from bricks. Otherwise it is just perfect.
 I made it 
  August 25, 2014
Quoting Clayton Marchetti Phenomenal work Matt! I just love the old seaplanes. The shaping of the fuselage, from bow to tail is fantastic. I like the use of the Popsicles as blades. Good luck in the contest!
Thanks! I have an appreciation for the old seaplanes as well -- there is definitely something unique about them. It's doubtful that aircraft like the Mars will ever again be built.
 I made it 
  August 25, 2014
Quoting Alex Sonny Wonderful! Albeit rare in lego, this graceful beast is really special, and I didn't know it still serves! You were underestimating yourself, my friend, this is a real feat. Good luck!
Thanks! I still feel that you may have the upper hand in this match, with your superb IS-2, but we'll see how things go. I already have some good ideas for subjects for future rounds, which I may still build even if I lose this round.
 I made it 
  August 25, 2014
Quoting Graeme Straughn Great work!! LOVE the colors and shaping!
Thanks! Shaping was indeed everything for this model, since there are not as many interesting details as there would be on other WWII vehicles, e.g. tanks.
 I made it 
  August 25, 2014
Quoting David Roberts A very nice build, coupled with a fascinating bit history. I like the smooth lines of the fuselage: I think that it was a good choice to go with the fire tanker livery too. I love the lollipops on the brick-built propellers!
Thanks! I, too, really like the red-and-white color scheme (maybe that's why I've done so many US Coast Guard builds as well). The lolli-props are an idea that I borrowed from my HC-130 model. They work very well at this scale and have the added bonus of providing variable pitch.
 I made it 
  August 25, 2014
Quoting Stephan N A great aircraft, the shape is 100 per the original. The colors you've chosen here fit well my friend. good luck
Thanks! The shape was definitely a bit tricky to get right. Like most seaplanes, it is a combination of a boat hull on the bottom and an aircraft on the top, which makes it twice as challenging.
 I made it 
  August 25, 2014
Quoting Joe Ramlet Very nice, Matt! I hope that this will get you far in the competition, it sure looks like it!
Thanks! My competitor, Alex Sonny, certainly has done a great job as well. We'll see how things turn out.
 I made it 
  August 25, 2014
Quoting Mark McPeek Awesome work! The shaping is great!
Thanks! Shaping was definitely key for this build. I wanted to make sure that I had captured that seaplane look, even if I had to distort the dimensions slightly in some places.
 I like it 
  August 25, 2014
Phenomenal work Matt! I just love the old seaplanes. The shaping of the fuselage, from bow to tail is fantastic. I like the use of the Popsicles as blades. Good luck in the contest!
 I like it 
  August 25, 2014
Wonderful! Albeit rare in lego, this graceful beast is really special, and I didn't know it still serves! You were underestimating yourself, my friend, this is a real feat. Good luck!
 I like it 
  August 25, 2014
Great work!! LOVE the colors and shaping!
 I like it 
  August 25, 2014
A very nice build, coupled with a fascinating bit history. I like the smooth lines of the fuselage: I think that it was a good choice to go with the fire tanker livery too. I love the lollipops on the brick-built propellers!
 I like it 
  August 25, 2014
A great aircraft, the shape is 100 per the original. The colors you've chosen here fit well my friend. good luck
 I like it 
  August 25, 2014
Very nice, Matt! I hope that this will get you far in the competition, it sure looks like it!
 I like it 
  August 25, 2014
Awesome work! The shaping is great!
 
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