It’s just four months to BrickCon 2016 in Seattle, and TBB is gearing up for our hometown LEGO convention. For our annual collaboration this year, we’re going to be putting together a dieselpunk display called World War II 1949. With the aircraft, vehicles, and buildings you contribute, you’ll help answer the question, “What if WW2 had not ended in 1945, and technology had continued evolving rapidly through the end of the decade?”
Beau Donnan is a master of dieselpunk – which is like steampunk but oilier, dirtier, and more 1940s than 1840s. One of his latest creations is this tracked artillery vehicle, and it’s a beast…
This crazy contraption features Beau’s hallmark realistic color scheme and fantastic greebling, but what makes this model really shine is the motorized features. Check out the artillery functions in action in this video.
This build is so detailed, the colors are perfect, the wing shapes are amazing, and even the details with decals are superb. As a fan of planes — real or fictional — this model hits all the right spots. Congratulations Jon, you made made me badly yearn to swoosh this plane.
After a hiatus of several months, Jon Hall has returned with this lovely little fighter with a giant rotating Gatling gun on its nose. My own favorite detail is the air intake in front of the cockpit.
See more photos in Jon’s photoset on Flickr. Jon says he’s back to building after a move, so I can’t wait to see what he shares next!
Vince_Toulouse presents another piece of exotic dieselpunk technology with his latest transport bearing resemblance to a train. There are some old school elements at work including skateboard ramps and basketball hoops. My favorite portion is the generator in the mid-section, where I can already visualize the dark blue fins rotating. Check out more photos on Flickr.
Eero Okkonen built this dreamy scene for the Finnish LEGO club Palikkatakomo‘s summer building contest, themed “Finding, Discovering.” Featuring a lovely twisted tower and an underwater walker, the scene defies categorization into the conventions of “steampunk” or “dieselpunk.” Then again, the hats worn by the divers are rather hilariously twee.
You can read more of the backstory for this scene on Eero’s blog, Cyclopic Bricks.
Synchronicity is a funny thing, and in a hobby where we have a limited palette of parts but a near-infinite number of possible builds, surprisingly rarely seen.
Cagerrin’s Kyusu A9W1 is a riveted piece of dieselpunk Sky-Fi, with smoothly curved angles and a plethora of real-world detailing, such as the complex night-fighting radar array in front.
While keeping the same basic structure, Damien’s Space Wulf 190 is a spinier space-worthy fighter, similarly clad in a retro vibe but this time harking back to 70’s scifi.
Both builders credit anime as a primary source of inspiration; Sky Crawlers for Cagerrin and Captain Harlock for Damien. The design archetype also shows up in Wings of Honneamise, as built by Mike Psiaki with this classic.
Jon Hall built five incredible planes this year. To commemorate that, he just posted this montage. Somehow we dropped the ball and only posted one of them here. That lapse has now been rectified. Here they are, all together in their breath-taking awesomeness.
Jon’s planes are truly works of art. So smooth, so seamless, so beautiful. He does paint some of them and uses custom stickers, which probably irritates somebody, somewhere. But he does it so well, I feel it just adds to the “realism” and makes the suspension of disbelief that much easier.
Oddly perhaps, one of the things I enjoyed most about the Maschinen Krieger models I built myself a couple years ago was not the hardsuits and vehicles themselves but the little bases I made to display them. Matthew Oh takes this to a whole new level with the highly detailed ruins with which he surrounds his SAFS “Wolverine” hardsuit.
Many LEGO builders take our inspiration for Ma.K models from the creations of plastic modelers both working with the original kits and scratch-building in the Ma.K universe inspired by nothing more than their imagination. The cross-section profile of Matthew’s LEGO diorama beautifully matches the aesthetic of what plastic modelers do, while retaining enough visible studs to ensure it’s abundantly evident that the model is built from LEGO. Oh, and that roof!
Probably the biggest hurdle when it comes to creating Maschinen Krieger (Ma.K) inspired builds with LEGO is the loss of the fine details. The amount of realism that real Ma.K modellers put in to their creations are second to none. But LEGO is a bit trickier medium to achieve gritty realism in. However, Andy Baumgart (D-Town Cracka) proves once again that going to a larger scale makes that much easier to achieve it.
Not only is this build incredibly detailed, the presentation and inclusion of the little girls just screams Ma.K. Much of the vibe of Maschinen Krieger dioramas is the juxtaposition of mechanical death machines and innocence.
The stakes for SHIPtember just keep getting higher, as Stijn Oom sets the bar up another notch. His Hammerfall GunSHIP is an instant classic; a brutally utilitarian dropship in bulkhead grey, all screaming metal and monstrous engines.
Like all the best SHIPwrights, Stijn sucks you in with the initial enormity inherent to every SHIP, but it’s the details that count and the Hammerfall has those in spades. There are too many to list, so here’s a beauty shot of some of the best.
As if this build wasn’t cool enough, it was based on artwork by the frequently featured Pierre Fieschi. This sort of exchange of ideas between builders is, to me, one of the greatest parts of the FOL community.