Master aircraft builder Maelven has built some unique and historically accurate planes, but perhaps none are as eye-catching as his newest build, the Focke Wulf Ta 152 H-1.
Designed by famed aeronautical engineer Kurt Tank, the Ta 152 was a last ditch effort by the Luftwaffe during the closing days of the Third Reich to combat the high-altitude bombers deployed by the Allies. Although only a handful were built the Ta 152 proved itself as a capable interceptor and among the fastest piston-driven fighters of the war. The long nose and superbly sleek design which characterized this butcher bird are created expertly here in LEGO form.
The builder chose to adorn this particular model with the red-orange paint scheme used by Luftwaffe ace Fritz Aufhammer. Legend says Aufhammer adorned his plane in such colors to notify trigger-happy Flak crews that this strange and unfamiliar aircraft was actually on their side. The Ta 152 is seen here in the process of being maintained and refitted. The exposed engine compartment is a nice touch, and along with the other details, really helps to bring this build to life.
Historical builder Milan CMadge recently shared his version of one of the most iconic and influential fighter planes of World War II, the P-51D Mustang. The P-51D was not just a spectacular fighter, outclassing most of its counterparts in combat, but a real eye-catcher too. The sleek and seductive lines that made the Mustang such a pretty plane are captured nicely here in LEGO form.
The color patterns are accurate and look really good. The stickers are conservatively applied and add a nice bit of character to the model. Overall the builder has done a fine job paying tribute to this Allied workhorse, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to swoosh it around my house all day!
Devid VII recently shared his version of an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter packed with plenty of firepower and details. We’ve seen several good examples of Apaches in the past, and the builder pays homage to them while also incorporating some personal touches. Details particularly worth noting are the techniques used to achieve the shaping of the fuselage, the slanted cockpit and nose sensor array. The Apache’s slanted, quad-blade rotor is nicely recreated as well. Armed with a 30mm automatic cannon, guided missiles and rocket pods, this chopper is ready for action!
We got a look at 7 of 2017’s new LEGO Technic sets last week, but LEGO still has more surprises to come. Here are 2 more all-new Technic sets, including an awesome Air Race Jet that cops some design cues from the new F-35, such as a thrust-vectoring nozzle for VTOL capabilities. The other set is a more utilitarian vehicle; a Telehandler bucket loader. Both kits have alternate builds, and we’ve got lots of images showing their working functions.
Daniel Siskind, creator of many advanced military scale models, has revealed his latest Mi-24 helicopter. Just look at this beauty!
There are so many awesome features of this helicopter, but the best of all is its perfectly balanced design. No matter which part you’re examining, every single piece, slope, or tile was meticulously chosen and placed. Canopies of rather peculiar shape work perfectly for the Mi-24’s cockpits, while a smooth row of tan and dark-green slopes along the body of the helicopter is aesthetically pleasing. Of course, the presentation wouldn’t be complete without a close-up shot of the rocket launchers — a perfect use of the most common of LEGO parts.
And yes, this particular LEGO model — unlike nearly everything else we feature here on The Brothers Brick — is available for sale, from Brickmania (at least until it sells out).
Builder LEGO 7 brings us a beautifully modern two-gate airport. Look closely, because this model is impressively large and very thoroughly detailed with all the hustle and bustle of real aviation.
The first minifigure-scale LEGO airport, 6392 Airport, released in 1985. Since then LEGO has produced about a half dozen more, most recently 60104 Airport Passenger Terminal. They’ve all been fantastic sets, and the planes have grown larger and more detailed with each iteration. However, they all suffer from one flaw: the terminals just aren’t big enough, even for very small airports, and none includes a jet bridge. Not so with LEGO 7’s stunning creation, which features not one but two jet bridges so jetsetters in this airport don’t have to step outside to disembark. Check out more photos below.
Pete Strege reminds us of one of the most powerful things in this world — no, not about the Joker’s sense of humor, but about love. Because what could be more romantic than a breathtaking flight in a hot air balloon above Gotham city?
The balloon’s envelope is something of a masterpiece. Those are just regular plates and wedges, but the shape they form is simply perfect. In case you missed it, the black and red diamonds are an extremely smart combination of LEGO parts, including the newest 2×2 wedges.
It is no secret that I think the Grumman F-14A Tomcat is the most beautiful jet fighter ever to grace the deck of an aircraft carrier. This is something that I share with James Cherry, who unveiled his massive 1/15 scale Tomcat model at the Great Western Brick Show in the UK little more than a week ago and who posted pictures today.
The Tomcat was also one of the largest carrier-based jets. The end result of building a large-scale model of a large jet is obviously going to be large. The LEGO model is 127 cm long, uses roughly 8000 parts and has taken nine months to build. James has included Power Functions to control the wing sweep as well as various control surfaces. Like on James’ older F-4J Phantom II, the complicated and subtle compound curves are mostly built using carefully angled surfaces and, to get closer to the look of the real jet than is possible with LEGO alone, he has used custom-made vinyl stickers and a vacuum formed canopy.
The jet wears the colourful markings of the US Navy’s first operational Tomcat squadron, VF-1 ‘Wolf Pack’, when it sailed aboard USS Enterprise in the late ‘seventies. One would think that it would make sense for a jet fighter to be painted in colours that are a bit less conspicuous, but that was never really the Tomcat’s style; it’s big and beautiful.
Have you ever wondered what the helicopters of the future will look like? Wonder no more, as mini gray is here to show us one. You may think “Hey, I’ve seen this one among the World City sets in 2003!”. Close, but not exactly. This orange beast features many cooler building ideas, including an awesome application of Technic panels and a brilliant choice of the cockpit windshield. I bet there must be a military modification with a couple of massive guns on both sides, but let us dream about a peaceful future tonight.
Two weeks ago I had the good fortune to attend Brickfair Virginia. As always, I had a great time talking to other builders and seeing their excellent models in real life. I also got to show off my own Tomcat model. I know that a fair few builders dread the public days on Saturday and Sunday, but despite having to answer the same questions over and over again, I love chatting to the public. One of the more commonly asked questions is: “How did you build that?”. I can’t give a satisfactory reply in a single sentence, but thanks to Brickfair, I now have two somewhat more complete replies to share with you.
Inspired by a great talk on building landscapes I saw at Brickfair last year, this year I gave my own talk on how to build military aircraft. Without me talking you through them, the slides don’t tell the whole story, of course, but I was also interviewed by the delightful Matthew Kay from Beyond the Brick. In the interview, I got to show off some of the Tomcat’s features and got to talk about the building process.
I hope you’ll agree that both of these are more satisfying than my default answer: “by sticking one part to another and repeating this until the model is finished.”
My office at work looks across Lake Washington toward Seattle, and I spent much of the morning and afternoon distracted by F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets of the US Navy Blue Angels acrobatic team as they roared past my window. When I saw the predominantly blue and yellow color scheme of this excellent X-shaped fighter plane by Thomas W., I was immediately reminded of the Blue Angels. But with the double gull wings and large propellor, the real-world US Navy fighter that Thomas’s design truly evokes is the Vought F4U Corsair from World War II — one of my favorite aircraft of all time. The yellow stripe on the leading edge of the wings is lovely, and the white accents give the whole plane a more modern look for some reason.
It has been thirty years since Top Gun hit the big screen, and the true star of the movie, the charismatic Grumman F-14 Tomcat, was retired from US Navy service almost ten years ago. I built my first LEGO Tomcat more than 20 years ago and I have kept making improvements, as I learned new tricks and as new parts became available. Usually the changes were fairly small, with the core of the model changing very little.
Ever since I completed my 1/22 scale model a few years ago, I’ve been eyeballing my three smaller 1/36 scale models, no longer liking what I saw. They looked very crude compared to the bigger model and they lacked a few essential features. The intakes on the Tomcat are cranked and the vertical tail fins are canted outward. These sort of things may not seem important, but they make a big difference to the look. Furthermore, the undercarriage never really worked properly, the nose was a bit long, the angles of the wings weren’t quite right and there were a host of other little things that could be improved. Of course, I had to avoid messing up the things I did like about the existing model, but small incremental changes weren’t going to hack it any more.
I started with a new model, albeit with the old one nearby for comparison purposes. The first jet I decided to rebuild has the famous skull and crossbones markings of Fighter Squadron 84 “Jolly Rogers”, like they had in the ‘seventies. I don’t care much for stealth fighters. My Tomcats are probably the closest thing I have to a signature build, which makes me proud to say that the cat is back!