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Tupolev Tu-95D Bear
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Here is my LDD model of a Tupolev Tu-95D Bear. It is made to minifig scale. The Bear was one of my very first large scale LDD models. I have certainly learned a lot since its creation and I've thought many times about going back and correctly some design issues but I have a soft spot for its humble origins!
About this creation

The Tu-95 is a long-range, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile carrier. It was first flown in 1952 and is still being flown today. Here is a minifig for scale. Notice the crew ladder in the front landing gear bay.


The Bear uses four Kuznetsov NK-12 engines that power contra-rotating propellors. The Soviet jet engines at the time were not powerful enough to power a bomber to the speeds and distances required. Turboprops were more efficient, offered more power, and had a greater range than jet engines but they were not as fast.


Each turboprop engine was good for 12,000 eshp (equivalent shaft horsepower).


The Tu-95 had a small tail landing gear to prevent the tail of the aircraft making contact with with the runway on an aggressive take off.


The wing was swept to 35 degrees. This was different from Tupolev's earlier Tu-85 prototype, which was basically a scaled-up version of the Tu-4.


The Tu-85 was abandoned in favour of the turboprop Tu-95.


I tried to get the main landing gear to retract into the landing gear wing pods but due to the way the wings were swept and the size of the main gear, it was an exercise in futility.


I opted for a cleaner profile on this model rather than making it fully articulating.




The profile and sweep of the wings were difficult to get right.


The wings pivot in the centre fuselage since it was impossible to get the right lego plates to match the original profile.


Attaching the turboprop engines to the angled wing was tricky.


The wings on a Tu-95 are massive!




I didn't use clear lego pieces for the cockpit glass but the angled pieces are a better representation of the original cockpit design and allow the minifig pilots to remain in place.


Nothing so definitively states "Cold War" than an unpainted, all metal Tu-95!


The swept wing and larger fuselage distinguish the Tu-95 from the Tu-4 and the later Tu-85, which was a prototype long-range strategic bomber concept that was abandoned in 1951. The first turboprop Tu-95 flew a year later.


I saw a Tu-95 at the Monino Air Museum outside of Moscow. It was much larger than I expected!


The Tu-95 is expected to serve the Russian Air Force until 2040, a service life of almost 85 years!


The Tu-95 is an elegant response to the demand for a long range strategic Cold War bomber. I wanted to capture that elegance in my model.


Here is my Tu-95D Bear with its predecessor, the Tu-4 Bull. The two aircraft are built to minifig scale and thus at the same scale.



Comments

 I made it 
  November 4, 2014
Quoting Seaman SPb Great!!!
Thanks!
  November 4, 2014
Great!!!
 I made it 
  March 7, 2014
Quoting Michael K. So slim, beautiful!
Thanks for your comments Michael!
 I like it 
  March 6, 2014
So slim, beautiful!
 I made it 
  February 25, 2014
Quoting Matt Bace I don't know how I missed this one earlier -- it's fantastic. Great overall shaping and details, and I like you solution for the 8-blade props.
Thanks for your comments Matt. In my opinion, the contra-rotating props are the best feature of the Tu-95; what a great solution to the long-range dilemma!
 I like it 
  February 25, 2014
I don't know how I missed this one earlier -- it's fantastic. Great overall shaping and details, and I like you solution for the 8-blade props.
 I made it 
  December 23, 2013
Quoting Lego 4 Life Thank you! I'll try this
Good luck!
 I like it 
  December 23, 2013
Thank you! I'll try this
 I made it 
  December 23, 2013
Quoting Lego 4 Life I love this! How did you make the rotor?
Thanks for your comments! I used two 1x1 bricks with 4 knobs (part number 4733) on their side for the base of the propellor. I rotated one of those bricks 45 degrees to off-set the blades. I then attached four 1x1 plates with upright holders (part number 2555) to each brick and then attached each propellor blade. Its not the most elegant solution but it gets the job done!
 I like it 
  December 23, 2013
I love this! How did you make the rotor?
 I made it 
  December 23, 2013
Quoting Bill Ding very nice. i think that the bear would look very cool if the two outboard engines were removed and the other two engines were made slightly bigger and moved out a bit.
Thanks for taking an interest in my projects!
 I like it 
  December 22, 2013
very nice. i think that the bear would look very cool if the two outboard engines were removed and the other two engines were made slightly bigger and moved out a bit.
 I made it 
  December 16, 2013
Quoting john lamarck Very nice.
Thanks for your comment John!
 I like it 
  December 15, 2013
Very nice.
 I made it 
  December 2, 2013
Quoting arwenromel hanna excellent work 5/5
Thanks for the high rating! I've always loved the Bear: contra-rotating turboprops say it all! It was such an innovative design solution during the jet bomber era.
 I like it 
  December 1, 2013
excellent work 5/5
 I made it 
  November 26, 2013
Quoting Henrik Jensen I think you've rendered the BEAR really well. It´s truly a huge aircraft, compared to the minifigure. Especially the nosesection and cockpit looks good, but also the engine nacelles and landing gear hits the spot. And you havn´t forgotten the tail wheels.
Thanks for your comments Henrik. The nose section came together pretty easily but the engine nacelles were tricky, especially attaching them to the wing at the right angle.
  November 23, 2013
I think you've rendered the BEAR really well. It´s truly a huge aircraft, compared to the minifigure. Especially the nosesection and cockpit looks good, but also the engine nacelles and landing gear hits the spot. And you havn´t forgotten the tail wheels.
 I made it 
  November 20, 2013
Quoting Gabor Pauler This is a model where excellent proportions fully compencate limited functions. Congrat!
Thanks for your comments. I opted for aesthetics over functionality with this model. At this scale, its sometimes difficult to get both. I truly admire those who can pull it off.
 I like it 
  November 20, 2013
This is a model where excellent proportions fully compencate limited functions. Congrat!
 I made it 
  November 18, 2013
Quoting World Of Recreation Excellent build, I also added you as one of my favorite builders so I can see more exciting MOCs you will create in the future. If you have the time please check out my stuff.
I am glad you enjoy my work. I will definitely check out your work as well.
 I like it 
  November 18, 2013
Excellent build, I also added you as one of my favorite builders so I can see more exciting MOCs you will create in the future. If you have the time please check out my stuff.
 I made it 
  November 11, 2013
Quoting Julius D Really nice job,very good proportions, nice techniques. Without doubt the best lego Bear I've ever seen.
Thanks for your comments Julius. I've always admired the Tu-95 but its been difficult to replicate well in lego. I've made other attempts at a fully articulating version but they always ended up bulky and disproportionate. In the end, I opted for a closer visual representation of the Bear that followed the logic of lego assembly. Some may not like that it is not fully articulating but I like the result. Thanks for your support!
 I like it 
  November 10, 2013
Really nice job,very good proportions, nice techniques. Without doubt the best lego Bear I've ever seen.
 
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