Hardware security for your homelab….

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WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Bahaha! Good old tomcat. Shame it and the A-6, S-3 were retired well before their time.
Yeah, it’s the Tomcat - right now it’s the F-14B with the GE F110 - I am getting parts to convert it into an F-14D Bombcat with LANTIRN pods and Paveway/JDAMs, then the ASF-14 Super Tomcat (proposed but never built). Technically this is the Brickmania F-14B design by Cody Osell - I bought the plans from them and the parts from Bricklink - the decals are still in the mail. It was supposed to be based on the VF-31 Tomcatters scheme, but it can also be used for the VF-84/VF-103 Jolly Rogers scheme. Here’s what the VF-84 version might look like:

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And here it is with its big brother on my server rack…

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The Brickmania version is 1:35 and the plastic model is 1:144. The plane took about 7 post-work evenings to assemble and the parts from Bricklink were about 330 USD for about 1400 authentic new Lego bricks from 7 sellers (the original Brickmania retail set was closer to 750). The design looks good and comes with retractable gear, moving flaps/all moving tail, wings that swing, and a fleet air defense loadout of AIM-54C Phoenixes, AIM-7M Sparrows and a pair of AIM-9M sidewinders.

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It looks the part but it is fragile compared to official Lego sets. I'll need to engineer some fixes and buy parts later to reinforce it down the line if I expect it to survive normal manhandling.

And in case anyone has further need for speed, here’s Maverick on his F-18E Rhino. That one is off a 50 dollar Cobi Top Gun 2 set. Cobis are a Polish Brick maker that creates some high quality parts. They make some good stuff but they are actually just as expensive as Legos on a part-by-part basis…and often even more so.

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Eeeeeh. The A-6, F-14s and the S-3 were pulled for reasons, and I can tell you that if Grumman did build successors to 2 of those planes (A-6F and the F-14D/ASF-14) I would most probably be working for Grumman Calverton today as an engineer rather than in IT. Dick Cheney seemed to have a thing against Grumman and Naval Aviation - he considered Grumman to be an expensive jobs program for downstate New York. He was instrumental in killing the F401 engine (the Navy version of the F100 Turbofan), and then called the Tomcat a turkey when the TF30 failed to work properly. He was also responsible for killing the Tomcat 21 (ASF-14) program, limited the scope of the 14B and D upgrade program, and cancelled the A-6F, even though it’ll be a decent A-12 alternative. The Grumman draw-down in the early/mid-90s put many Long Islanders out of work, and it dimmed the prospects of getting a gig as an airframe engineer in New York, what with both Republic and Grumman no longer building planes on the island. It prompted me to switch my undergrad major from engineering to CS many, many moons ago. People certainly remember the Tomcat, not that many people find the McD/Boeing Rhino/Super Hornet sexy,.

The S-3 was pulled mostly because the Navy needed money to pay for itsGreyhound/Hawkeye airframe replacement program (which was also cancelled, and the Navy was strong-armed into taking the Osprey), and the Soviet boomer threat was no longer a concern after the cold war ended, so that carrier borne sub hunter is...excess to requirements.
 
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Samir

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This is awesome! Very cool that some of us are into Legos. :)

I really like that 'Danger' sign. I want to remake one with the word 'Marriage' instead of 'Danger' with the same wording, haha. But I probably shouldn't as the wife would be upset even though its just a gag.
 

WANg

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Well, the Tomcat was recently replaced by a MiG-23MLD Flogger-J (also a swing-wing design) as my server guard, but that's due to me taking the cat down so it can be reworked/redesigned. That Flogger will get a reworking later since it's a bit too long to be correct to 1:35 minifig scale.

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The fleet has also been significantly expanded...

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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23MLD (Soviet VVS Euro scheme, before it was repositioned)
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21bis (VPAF colors)
Suhkoi Su-7BMK (Egyptian Air Force Colors)
SuhkoiSu-22M4 (Polish Air Force modern/post-2015 colors)

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Space Shuttle Discovery with the Hubble space telescope (that's a Lego retail set)
AMX International A-1 (Brazilian Air Force Colors, mostly obscured)
Dassault Super Etendard Modernise (French Navy 11F colors)
Douglas A-4E (lacking decals, should be one based on the USS Ticonderoga)
 
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WANg

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always thought homelab security was more AR than DC ;)
Well...there is that 1:1 scale Mould King motorized P90 PDR in a box somewhere that I didn't put together yet, but...eh, putting it near a server rack would be a bit...ridiculous.