It’s been a couple of years since I’ve reviewed the custom LEGO kits designed by Dan Siskind of Brickmania. Back in 2013, I reviewed the Dodge WC54 Ambulance, and writing those reviews really got me started in building World War II models seriously. In the meantime, Dan and his team have continued to release new custom kits, on a near-weekly cadence. One of Dan’s recent Brickmania releases is the M3A1 Scout Car, produced by the White Motor Company between 1940 and 1944. The vehicle served throughout WW2, and its basic design served as the basis of the iconic M3 Half-track.
Like some of the custom kits I reviewed back in 2013, the M3A1 Scout Car is a WW2 vehicle I also built back in 2014, so I’ll be comparing Dan’s version with my own.
Click through to read the full review
There are a lot of LEGO models of the Vaught F4U Corsair out there, but none of them are as shiny as this one. This WW2 Pacific carrier workhorse has never been so dark or brooding. So emo!
I generally think of the Corsair as being dark blue, but apparently they were also available in black. Marcus Schultz was the designer, and his use of high-contrast waterslide decals really brings the model together.
Along with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-25 Mitchell with its iconic twin tail fins is one of my favorite World War II aircraft. As more and more LEGO elements have become available in dark green, nelsoma84 and Florida Shooter have been collaborating on a design for the venerable bomber.
Here’s nelsoma84’s Mitchell in its Pacific Theater gunship role with the “Air Apaches” of the 345th Bombardment Wing.
The builder says that the eagle-head nose — here with its ferocious complement of .50 caliber machine guns (there were 18 total on the airplane!) — is modular, and can be swapped out for a clear nose.
And here’s his collaborator’s version, the blue-nosed 499th Bomber Squadron version.
Jon Hall has built an amazing replica of a great dieselpunk dogfighter design by Jake Parker, and it has me soaring through the air with joy.
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.
The current Iron Builder battle has been producing some fantastic builds and the latest entry by David Hensel is definitely one of my favourites. The Enigma machine built by David is a LEGO replica of the German military model used during and after the Second World War.
The Enigma machine is a combination of mechanical and electrical subsystems. The mechanical subsystem consists of a keyboard; in David’s model this is the main area using the Iron Builder seed part, the Fencer’s Foil. There are also a set of rotating disks called rotors (Technic Gear 24 Tooth Crown) arranged adjacently along a spindle, and a method of ‘stepping’ to turn at least one rotor with each key press (1×1 round tiles).
David, can you just whip up a quick LEGO British Bombe to help decipher your LEGO Enigma machine please?
James Cherry has posted images of his beautiful F-4J Phantom II which I highlighted as my “Best In Show” in the roundup of BRICK2015 in London.
The model is 1.2m long, contains around 6,000 pieces, and took James nearly 5 months to design and build. But beyond the impressive scale and the lovely custom stickering, it’s the smooth curves and the shaping of the various sections which make this creation stand out for me. I also really like the handful of studs left exposed, creating a feel of riveted panels around the intakes.
James managed to squeeze no less than 5 Power Functions motors inside the model, allowing the rudder and various flaps to be operated using a remote control. It was very cool to see these features “in the brick” in London last weekend, and I wasn’t alone in thinking it was a highlight of the show. Carl Greatrix – one of the best LEGO plane modelers around – spent ages examining this creation and pronounced it “Bloody good”. High praise indeed.
I’d heartily recommend a visit to James’ Flickr photostream to check out all the details of this amazing model in the close-up images, as well as photos of his beautiful custom-chrome P-51 Mustang model.
As the grandson of an American World War II veteran who was born and raised in Japan, I have a rather complicated relationship with the Pacific War in World War II. From Nanjing to Bataan, there’s no denying the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese military against both the peoples of fellow Asian nations as well as Allied prisoners of war, and yet I feel deep sympathy for the genuine suffering that the people of Japan experienced themselves — from the firebombing of my hometown Tokyo to burning Okinawan civilians alive as they hid in caves. The end of World War II could not come soon enough, and Japan’s surrender ensured that my GI grandfather did did not get shipped from Hawaii across the Pacific to participate in the invasion of the Japanese home islands.
To commemorate this important event 70 years ago today, Dan Siskind has built the American battleship USS Missouri, which was the venue in Tokyo Harbor for Japan’s surrender. At 26 feet long, Dan’s “Mighty Mo” is the largest LEGO warship ever made (four feet longer than Jumpei Mitsui’s Yamato).
This giant LEGO battleship dwarfs the room it’s currently housed in at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
You can see more photos, including lots of work-in-progress shots, in Dan’s “USS Missouri Project” photoset on Flickr.
In the nick of time, a hero arose…and I’m not apologizing for the 1960s ear worm. Miro Dudas has given us what we never knew we needed: Snoopy in his warbird. The Sopwith Camel itself is fantastic, and the addition of Snoopy as pilot just tugs at nostalgia.
Dan Siskind has been designing a microscale USS Missouri, and he and his Brickmania crew have recently completed a full minifig-scale version that they’re hauling around the country to various events. I’m really looking forward to the micro-scale kit myself, but Eínon couldn’t wait, and built himself his own WW2-era “Mighty Mo.” It’s unusual to see ship models without a big block of bold red under the ship’s waterline. But the subtler dark blue with a range of gray hues suits the venerable and historic battleship — now a museum ship on display in Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i — rather nicely.
As fun as building something from your own imagination always is, recreating something from history can be particularly challenging. On top of creating a great-looking LEGO M4A2 Sherman tank from World War II at 1/18th scale, Tommy Styrvoky has added a mine flail, and then motorized the whole thing. Watch the video here to see it in action.
Tommy’s Sherman includes the following features, powered by LEGO Power Functions:
- Turret with full 360-degree traverse
- Elevating gun in turret
- Two-gear transmission with electronic braking
- Torsion bar suspension
- Elevating flail arms
- Spinning flail chains on drum
Julie Vandermeulen has recently completed a 1/38 scale model of HMCS Haida, the world’s last surviving Tribal class destroyer, which is currently a museum ship in Ontario. Its beautifully sculpted hull is an impressive 377 studs long and the model took 9 months to complete.
Between 1936 and the end of WW2 a grand total of 27 Tribal class ships were built for the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and (British) Royal Navy. Many of these ships fought with distinction. In British service, in particular, they were used in a number of high-risk operations and consequently sustained heavy losses, with 12 out of 16 ships sunk. Most Canadian and Australian ships survived the war and continued to serve into the fifties and sixties. The model represents Haida as she appeared in the Korean War. Her sister ship, HMCS Iroquois, was even deployed in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Tribal class destroyers may not be as well-known as the larger and more glamorous cruisers and battleships that served during WW2, but they were true workhorses. I very much appreciate seeing one of these fine ships in LEGO.
Matt Bace spent about about 45 days creating this highly-detailed model of the World War II American battleship USS Missouri. Matt’s model is 1/200th scale, and comes in about 170 studs long (that’s about 4 and a half feet!). The real USS Missouri was commissioned in 1944, and served on and off of active duty until 1992. She served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Gulf War, making her one of America’s most historied battleships. Matt’s model is one of the best LEGO ships I’ve ever seen. The sculpting for the curved hull is notoriously difficult to achieve with LEGO, and the wood planking around the details of the superstructure is quite challenging. All in all, this is a stunning model excellently built.