MOC: Porco Rosso's Savoia S-21

Here's my newest big project finished, Savoia S-21 flying boat from my favorite movie ever, Hayao Miyazaki's Porco Rosso, in miniland scale.

I saw Porco Rosso for the first time in around 9 years ago when our local cinema featured old Ghibli films on their smallest screen. I instantly loved it, like every other Miyazaki film (expect Howl's Moving Castle. Never liked that one much.), but with time it grew better and better. It's undoublty one of Miyazaki's lighter movies, compared to Mononoke or Nausicaä for example, but also one aimed more to mature audiences; it worked perfectly on me when I was 11 or 12, with air pirates and dogfights and all the humour, but it clearly has references to facism, The Great Recession on so on. And every character is just so natural, they have clear sense of who they are. At least on the Finnish translation; English dub keeps explaining obvious things a bit too much for my liking, haven't seen it but there's the screenplay on Art of Porco Rosso book which I used as a reference material here.

    I've built Porco's seaplane two times before. The first version was built immendiately after seeing the movie and there is no photos taken. The second version was built in 2009 and the photos can be found in the Brickshelf folder if old good 'shelf isn't down. Those were somewhere between minifig and miniland scale. This one was built in Miniland scale because the engine worked the best on it and it made it possible to build an accurate fig of Porco to the cockpit. Accurate pig minifigs do not exist.

A word or two must be said of Porco's plane here. It is Savoia S-21, though the name doesn't appear in the film. The plane model is not real, but Savoia is actual Italian plane manufacturer. The design of Porco's seaplane, despite looking a bit odd, isn't that far from the reality; Miyazaki based it on Macchi M.33, which lost to American Curtiss R3C-2 in 1925 Schneider Trophy race, as referred by Porco at Hotel Adriano's club. Donald Curtis, Porco's rival, flies modified Curtiss R3C-2 in the film. Savoia S-21 has water-cooled 12V 12 600 hp Isotta-Fraschini Asso engine, its maximum speed is 330 km/h and it is armed with two 7.92 mm Spandau machine guns. My MOC represents the plane as it is at the beginning of the movie. It get a major overhaul at Piccolo's in Milano.
 I began working on this last summer. I whipped up the engine, most of the fuselage and a prototype of the wings in rather short time, and then the project halted. A few moths later I made a Bricklink order and bough the curved sloped for the wings. The project halted again. It was announced that Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo would have an exhibit on an anime convention in Kuopion, medium-sized Finnish city 150 kilometers from me. I would naturally take part. Our theme was "popular culture overall" (con's theme, "Sport in anime" was a bit too small...) but I though it would be nice to have some anime stuff too, especially when Miyazaki's art has always had so huge influence on me. So I decided to finish Porco's flying boat. It took two Bricklink orders more and painly designing with pontoons, which are a bit offset to put them on line with the fuselage; The support cords were tricky too. This is not super sturdy, but stays on one piece with some swooshing and basic handling. The angled wings were challenging. The rest on two 4x4 plates with four studs.
 I had worked on things based on reference photos before with my Hobbit project, but this was quite different. It was more shape and measure-based model than those dwarves. Fortunately Art of Porco Rosso book had plenty of photos, including the blueprints of the plane. I managed to make it rather polished and aerodynamic. There are some studs on the sides, but I'm not bothered by them as there isn't much substitutes for those 12x3 wedges. The wings and the rudder took lot of curved sloped, but it was totally worth it. The details populate the engine, which was a pleasing bit to build. The propellor was a tricky bit: Two minifig hammer go inside the 2x2x3 cone, 1x1 cones are connected to them. There weren't any proper yellow propellor pieces so I had to built it. It doesn't spin freely.

I also built the pilot himself, Marco Pagotti, the Crimson Pig. I have been fiddling with character builds a lot lately so it was just natural. Not easy though, as it was challenging to make aviation goggles, snout and the handlebar moustache in such a small space. It came out quite well. It's also fun that the handlebar moustache is actually a handlebar...
 Savoia S-21 also needed a base. It needed to be slightly angled to make the display dynamic. I first tried to build it in white, but didn't have enough TECHIC bricks of liftarms, so I made it black and tiled it nicely. The plane was just small enough to fit in my photo studio and the pictured turned out nice.

It's better to be a pig than a facist pig. Remember that, boys and girls all over the world.



Bryce said...

This is glorious. Have you pitched this as a set on LEGO ideas?

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