When visiting the beautiful island paradise of the Maldives, you’ll often be transferred to your destination with one of these awesome seaplanes.
The Twin Otter is a small Canadian propellor plane, that can be fitted with landing wheels, floats or skis. At the Maldives, the company TMA (Trans Maldivian Airways) has an amazing amount of 60 of these exciting vessels in their floats configuration.
When you ever get the chance to get on board of one of these aircrafts, you’ll never forget that ride! Inside they are tiny, and people need to duck and squeeze though, to get to one of the available 15 passenger seats (1 + 2 configuration). When starting, the force pushes you in your seat, the plane tilts backwards and water sprays at the windows. Depending on the number of passengers, starting may just take a couple of seconds or quite some time, until the aircraft is fast enough to lift off the water.
Once you’re airborne, you immediately get a smile on your face, seeing all those little islands and coral reefs passing by directly below you. As the seaplane flies at very low altitude, you can enjoy this view for the whole flight. This view is just stunning and I still remember when seeing it for the first time made me speechless!
Landing these aircrafts seems to be super simple. The pilots just pull the throttle to 0, set the flaps to landing and then the plane glides slowly towards the ocean. The touch-down is usually super-soft. Once the plane is on the water, the pilots initiate reverse thrust what makes the engines come back to life and roar at you, before the plane comes to a halt.
These planes and the rides with them are one of the most memorable experiences of traveling for me. As I couldn’t find any proper Lego model or MOC of a Twin Otter, I decided to create an own one. As this is my first true MOC of a vehicle, it really took some time until it was finished.
The model is true to scale in minifigure scale. However, it doesn’t fit minifigures well inside. The scale is about 1 to 45 what makes it the correct size in relation to a minifig. But minifigs can’t be squeezed as humans do, when they try to get inside the super-small aircraft interior. Nevertheless, the interior is fully fledged out and can be easily accessed by removing the roof panels.
- True to scale minifig scale de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter with floats, starting/landing at an island resort of the Maldives.
- Using the current (red & white) TMA paint pattern as seen at the Maldives.
- Accurate model including some neat building techniques to achieve that level of detail.
- Using a good mixture of some large parts and smaller parts to achieve a fluent but accurate look.
- Proper danger-zone markings on the floats. (Where the propellers are rotating). Don’t have your minifigs stand there, when the engine starts! 😉
- Fully fledged interior accessible by removing roof
- Proper controls for pilots, including pilot seats, flight yokes and the important throttle and flap controls over the heads of the pilots.
- 2+1 seating with individual headrests per seat.
- Cargo area for the luggage of the tourists behind the seats.
- A classy black border creates a perfect frame for this display piece.
- The background shows a beachfront of an island resort.
- A stand holds the plane in an angled position (starting or landing)
- Water sprays behind the craft and a Dolphin jumps next to it 😊
The orange tiles in the rendered images are placeholder for printed pieces.
- “Caution” Stripes at the floats, in the propeller no-step zones.
- Cockpit instruments at the 1x4 tile in the cockpit.
- See photos of the real build for final pieces