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Douglas DC-3
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Douglas DC-3 is a project on LEGO CUUSOO created by Ssorg on May 23rd, 2012.  The model is based on a fixed-wing propeller-driven airliner which was used in World War II, although this is a passenger model. Ssorg is collaborating with GlenBricker on this project.

The project uses shiny chrome piecies, but Ssorg urges LEGO not to use it in their offical model becasue they can be expensive, driving up the costs for production, which, estimated by Ssorg, is already at around $160.

This message was written by the creator of the project. Do not modify the message in any way.

TIP! Click the HTML links to view project images in higher resolution and to see MORE of this model!

Click this to see the main image above in higher resolution.

Click this to see from a slightly different angle.

Here it comes and conquers, in Lego form and in minifigure scale, the Douglas DC-3!

For long I've wanted to build this fascinating and famous, if not even legendary airplane "the speed and range of which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s" and which is considered "one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made" (Wikipedia), and after all this time hundreds of them are still in limited use today!

In addition to long and honored service in the real world, the DC-3 has had its appearances in many works of fiction, like recently when James Bond himself flew one in this air fight scene in Quantum of Solace! :D (Not my YouTube video).

And before you ask... I got the chrome pieces from Chrome Block City store on BrickLink. Note to everyone: occasionally Lego sets include some chrome parts, but an official DC-3 set quite likely would not come with this many chrome-coated elements because of production costs. More likely the set could include loads of parts in "metallic silver" in addition to the regular light bluish grey.

More pictures of my model! Close-ups on the front: Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3

A few views from the back: Photo #1 Photo #2

Here's a comparison between the real thing and my model, plus model dimensions in both centimeters and inches:

Click this to see the image above in higher resolution.

I designed it with MLCAD, here's a screencap showing finished design.

Click this to see a cross-section demonstrating how the fuselage & wings are made.

Here's the model being constructed!

And just don't think I let you miss some of its neatest functions...

It would be easy to make rigid landing gears, but I wanted to venture into the challenge of making retractable gears still strong enough to carry the weight of the model. I was lucky to find this YouTube video showing the landing gear of the real plane in action, offering me a model to imitate here. So here it goes, watch this video demonstrating the landing gear function!

Here's a photo and another one showing how the landing gear system is made. The key is this piece which allows one-way-only gear function, preventing the landing gears collapsing by themselves.

As for the another function shown in the pic above, the top of the fuselage is easily detached to access the interior. Click this to see the said image in higher resolution.

To note, even though the model is roughly in minifig scale (or even slightly bigger), still there isn't so much room inside as in the real plane (for instance, only one figure can fit in the cockpit). This is naturally due to three facts: Lego pieces are relatively thick; minifigs have sort of fatty body structure; and a Lego model requires all kinds of supporting structures taking space. These realities have unavoidable effects when building with Lego. Also the pilot must sit further back than in the real thing, because the nose of the model is so filled with internal builds keeping it all together. Regardless, this model has a nice interior including seats for passengers, and in the back we have room for cargo!

Pondering on a possible price of a set like this... This model is made of around 2,500 pieces! It'd likely be a licenced product. Perhaps a good set for comparison would be 10177 Boeing 787 Dreamliner, another detailed and licenced airplane model from LEGO. That one was $80 with 1197 pieces making price-per-part ratio $0.067. If this came out with a similar PpP, still observing the general LEGO fact that bigger the set is lower the PpP goes, then, licence included, this might cost somewhat near $160.

Which, in my opinion, would not be much for a LEGO set this special, this unique, and this BIG:

Click this to see the image above in higher resolution. Click this to see another photo of me holding this beauty, to further demonstrate the scale.

The price estimation there concerns only this kind of design. Everyone please keep in mind that with every CUUSOO project the final design is up to LEGO, and the price is then determined by the production costs of the final product!

Also remember, that unlike the above-mentioned Boeing set which is only for display, this one is minifig-compatible and has playability in addition to making one mighty display piece!

Speaking of that playability... I made this fine crew dedicated to their beloved DC-3! Among others, minifigs include a mechanic keeping this aging airplane classic in good shape, and an aviation official of some sort making sure this old bird is good to go (apparently the Steven Spielberg head has once again found himself a new profession in the Lego City).

And here they are preparing for their next adventure:

Click this to see the image above in higher resolution.

The real DC-3 is long out of production and offers ride for the lucky few in the world. But this Lego DC-3 can become available to everyone! So let us make it happen by supporting this project! :) Indeed, no minifigure should be left without this ride in the sky! Just be careful, once you go near a DC-3 she might take your heart!

Known web coverage: --- Thanks to Eurobricks for featuring this and mentioning my other CUUSOO MOCs on their front page! :) --- Many thanks to Brick Fanatics for featuring this project! :) --- Huge thanks to BrickQueen for making a promotion video on YouTube for this project! :) --- Many thanks to GlenBricker for featuring all my projects on his blog! :)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Collaboration notification! The renowned CUUSOO user GlenBricker is collaborating with me on this project, taking care of promotion work in his BLOG and via other means. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

P.S. Please see and consider supporting my other projects too! :) - So versatile log cabin! - This cute sailboat! - Also the grand airship! - And the ultimate Titanic!

And allow me to recommend just some of the finest projects on CUUSOO (in alphabetic order): Architecture : Space Shuttle crawler transporter by Teazza AVATAR! - Scorpion gunship - by ALKIDO The Bat Rises by velociraptor Bricklyn Borough Courthouse by sonicstar BTTF - UCS DeLorean Time Machine by m.togami Corellian Defender with Satele Shan, Qyzen Fess, & C2-N2 by GlenBricker Desktop Series: Agile Hawk by rongYIREN Female Minifigure Set by Alatariel Futra CS Concept car by erthandfiya Hummer H1 Soft Top by Paliason It's a Brick World after all... by RobertBlok James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 by JJOttens Labyrinth Marble Maze by Touthomme LEGO Bird Series by DeTomaso Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria by t-brick Police Patrol VTOL Valkyria by RuiQuintas Posable 22" Skeleton by ChokingHaz RESEARCH LAB SUBMARINE (Modular with interiors) by GRusso Vampire GT Supercar by Crowkillers

Willys JEEP by suzuki

This message was written by the LEGO CUUSOO Team. Do not modify the message in any way.

Congratulations on 1,000+ Supporters!


This is a really brilliant model of a DC-3, one of the most recognizable airplanes from the 20th century. You've captured all of the little details into something that looks like it would make a great display model. We wish you good luck on your journey to 10,000 supporters!