Tag Archives: Military

Tanks and fighter planes, dioramas of World War II battles, dreadnoughts and battleships — LEGO builders have an obvious fascination with the arms and armor of the military-industrial complex. Find all these LEGO weapons of mass destruction right here on The Brothers Brick.

F-4 Phantoms and the fine art of building camouflage

For almost ten years I have had a model of an F-4 Phantom in my LEGO aircraft collection. I have kept making changes to it, as I learned new tricks and picked up new parts. However, certainly compared to newer and larger models by Carl Greatrix and James Cherry, my old US Marine Corps F-4N looked a bit dull. Mind you, I am not about to start building studless or creating more of the colour scheme with stickers any time soon, but I did feel like jazzing it up some. My choice: turn it into an Israeli F-4E Kurnass 2000.

F-4E Kurnass 2000

What makes this interesting in my book is the brick-built camouflage and most of the work in the rebuild was spent on this. The LEGO colours that best match the original colours weren’t particularly easy to work with: tan, dark tan and sand green, but the overall look was worth the trouble.

Fellow Phantom enthusiast Justin Davies (rx79gez8gundam) recently posted an update of his Phantom design, built in LDD.

Click through to read more about designing camouflage in LEGO

The Mirage IV was a beautiful jet with a sinister purpose

In the sixties, under president Charles De Gaulle, France started to follow a fiercely independent foreign policy that included reliance on its own nuclear deterrence force, often known as the Force de Frappe. Nowadays, its core is formed by a small number of submarines armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, but from 1964 to 1996 France also operated Mirage IV medium-range supersonic bombers armed with nuclear weapons. It took Dutch builder Kenneth Vaessen about a month to build his 1/36 scale model of this relatively little-known Cold-War jet.

Dassault Mirage IV-P - 1

In the logic typical of the era, these bombers were intended to deter a Soviet nuclear attack on France, by being able to destroy Soviet cities in retaliation. Few sane people would like to think about this sinister mission for long, but you’ve got to admit that the jet looks beautiful. With its tall undercarriage, sharply angled delta wing, and long and slender forward fuselage, it completely follows the unofficial rule in aeronautical design stating that, if it looks right, it flies right. The excellent model has a retractable undercarriage, opening cockpit canopies and working airbrakes and is built in a realistic two-tone camouflage scheme.

ABS APC is A-OK

If you’re feeling the need for some chunky near-future military hardware, Carter Baldwin has you covered. A delicious blend of dangerous angles, muddy colors, and isolated studs for texture give this Armored Personnel Carrier a real sense of grunt. I can just imagine this thing’s engine noise.

NATO Centaur APC

The APC is roomy enough to carry a full squad of troops. These guys look serious…

NATO Centaur APC

The first of the Century Fighters

During the nineteen-fifties, rapid advances in aeronautical engineering meant that the top speed of fighter aircraft shot up from below supersonic to more than twice the speed of sound. For the U.S. Air Force, this huge increase in performance coincided with the introduction of a now almost legendary range of fighter aircraft, starting with the F-100 Super Sabre and ending with the F-106 Delta Dart, also known as the Century Fighters. Over the years I have built both an F-105 Thunderchief and a Delta Dart. Just after Brickfair Virginia 2013, a number of military builders including myself visited the National Air & Space Museum Udvar Hazy Center near Dulles Airport and, after seeing the museum’s Super Sabre, I wanted one, badly.

F-100D Super Sabre

The trouble was, this is not particularly easy. I didn’t just want any old Super Sabre; I wanted one in Vietnam war era camouflage much like the one in the museum. I find the best match for the camouflage colours is dark tan, dark green (or Earth green, as LEGO calls it) and old dark grey, and the parts palette in all of these colours is limited. The jet also doesn’t have a particularly easy shape, with a slightly odd oval intake and curved fuselage sides. Then I got a bit side-tracked, building movie cars for a couple of years. However, after a lot of procrastination and head-scratching, it is finally done. The model represents an F-100D that served as a fighter-bomber aircraft with 184th Fighter Squadron, the ‘Flying Razorbacks’, of the Arkansas Air National Guard, late in the type’s operational career.

Slow and steady and heavily armed wins the race

What I love about the famous 21109 Exo-Suit set is not the exo-suit itself, but that totally adorable mechanic turtle. It looks so clumsy and intimidating at the same time and I would be happy to see it as a polybag set one day. Peter Reid‘s turtle production line has been running for about 6 years already. Finally, a huge weaponry update is here and it is super badass.

Heavy Weapons Turtles

It’s not one, not two, but three heavy launchers which can be placed onto turtles’ shells. The contrast between small mechanic animals and enormous cannons is brilliant. And I like different colors of 1 x 1 round tiles in the head of each turtle – it immediately creates a particular character for each of these three models.

Deadly in gray & red

Cole Blaq has just finished a batch of really awesome matching near-future military vehicles, led by this vicious VTOL aircraft. I love how the red striping even continues around the central turbofan. Spots of yellow from printed tiles and the tips of white missiles add interesting detail to the basic gray and dark red color scheme.

2222

The VTOL has a matching APC and walker mech. The APC is reminiscent of the vehicle from Aliens, which is not at all a bad thing.

2222

Be sure to check out the photoset on Flickr for more pictures of all the models.

The jolly olive giant war machine

Moko is back with another stunning mech. This time death comes wearing olive green armor and looking totally killer. Moko has made this mech highly poseable, and amazingly, all of the armor plates can be removed from the skeletal framework. It even has room for a minifig. You can see more pictures on Moko’s blog.

MF-01 Cougar
 

Lean green army machine

I recently picked up Wolfenstein: The New Order in the Steam Winter Sale — partly because it was very cheap, and mostly because it promised cool alternate history robots. While the game didn’t win me over, the promise of robots was fulfilled and now I’m seeking more vaguely German machines. Djordje delivers with this “Höllenhund”. My favourite part use here must be the single armour part angled in such a way to create a dome helmet, and the red eyes peeking out below.

Höllenhund

A gallery of the model is available on Brickshelf.

A thousand minifigs in Blue & Gray assemble for the Battle of Bricksburg [News]

History is rarely accurate when written at the time. The first comprehensive History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire wasn’t published until 1776, and William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich wasn’t published until 15 years after the end of World War II. And so it goes with the great Battle of Bricksburg, which took place October 1-4 at BrickCon in Seattle this year. Now, nearly three months later, thanks to the intrepid battlefield photography of Sean Edmison, we have an unprecedented view of this historic engagement between the Union and the Confederacy.

Battle of Bricksburg:  Overview

The idea for the Battle of Bricksburg was conceived during BrickCon 2014. We envisioned a realistic, historical contrast to our many years of sci-fi displays such as the original Zombie Apocafest 2008 and Numereji 2421.

In the end, about a dozen TBB readers and staff members participated in building a cohesive display that ​was assembled from individual segments as well as loose brick​ in the two days before the public exhibition hours on Saturday and Sunday. The display featured about a thousand troops, including cavalry, sharpshooters, supply trains, medical corps, and even a pair of ironclads on the nearby river.

1800's farmhouse

Union troops charge forward in front of an 1800’s farmhouse built by Caylin. Another group of Union soldiers has captured some Rebels.

Our friends over at Beyond the Brick produced a video overview of the display, in which I describe some of the display’s highlights and show off details like the BrickArms stackable cannon balls that are hard to see in photos.

Particular thanks go to Will Chapman of BrickArms, who supplied huge quantities of stackable cannonballs, cannon muzzles, caplock muskets (by the thousand, in gallon bags), bayonets, cavalry sabers, and pistols. We would not have been able to achieve the level of historical realism in the display without these accessories, many of which Will custom-designed and injection molded in small batches by hand just for this display. Similarly, we relied on historical flags and unit banners printed and donated by Dave Ingraham of Cape Madness.

Click through to see more photos and details!

Tank beats everything

Nick G‘s model of the Russian T-90MS main battle tank looks armed and ready to blow the LEGO battlefield to bits. All the subtle shapes and lines in Nick’s replica are true to the real tank; a challenge to accomplish at his chosen scale. On top of that, the builder mentions it features a working suspension system.

T-90MS

I’m more impressed with his variant of the same build with added ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor). Smart use of gold ingots in light gray to show the separation of ERA panels.

T-90MS with ERA-Merry Christmas!

The Red Baron flies again

Grantmasters is pushing the boundaries of microscale with this lovely set of Great War aeroplanes. My favorite part of microscale is how much can be evoked with just a handful of pieces, and here the Sopwith Camel and Fokker DR1 are instantly recognizable. The forced-perspective with the clouds and mountains in the background is easily overlooked, but also subtly adds a lot to the scene.