Take a WW2-era Mustang, mix in a dash of muscle-car, then shake with a liberal helping of Dieselpunk. The result? Jon Hall‘s excellent new LEGO creation, the Fe-47 Rapier — a “sky-fi” fighter plane of formidable proportions. The colour blocking on this baby is fierce, the splashes of yellow adding real visual pop to the tail, nose, and engine cowlings. And the overall shaping is classic alternate-technology building — familiar enough to be immediately recognisable, but odd enough to make you look twice.
One of the things I love about Jon’s creations is the attention to detail he lavishes on every aspect. The custom decals are an obvious highlight, but my favourite touch is the undercarriage — managing to let this bad boy land, despite the bulging lower fuselage…
A cute pocket battleship combines forces with a whale, apparently to deliver the mail, in this LEGO creation from Revan New. I genuinely have no idea what is going on here, but I like it. First up, we see the chibi-styled dieselpunk dreadnought sailing into a moody sunset, a companionable whale matching the ship’s course…
And then the true nature of this partnership is revealed — some sort of oceanic postal service…
The styling of the little dreadnought is smart — I particularly like the curve of the hull and the maroon striping. Those deck guns are pretty good too. And then the whale itself has a friendly face. Who wouldn’t want this guy turning up at the door with their Amazon packages?
All-in-all, this is nicely built, nicely photographed, and nicely crazy. Just the sort of stuff we like round here.
This week we were able to sit down with Vincent Gachod from Toulouse, in the south of France. While balancing his job as the head of video production at a french university and raising two kids, he finds time to create some incredible LEGO builds. Let’s pick his brain and see what we can learn from this master of the brick.
TBB: How did you get into the LEGO hobby and what inspires you to build?
Vince: I started with LEGO in the mid 70’s with bricks from my brother’s collection. My first set was the 374 Fire Station of 1978. After my “dark age” in the 90’s, I came back to LEGO with my son and his first sets. I’m inspired by lot of influences (movies, animation, videos games, books, magazines, cars, architecture…) but I’m more inspired by the details : a car’s wheel, a plane’s engine or a vintage vacuum cleaner! I often start a MOC from a single detail like a car’s grille or an exhaust pipe. I spend a long time working on details.
Take to the skies in style with Ted Andes‘ latest LEGO creation. This single-seater aircraft has a dieselpunk feel, with an impressive level of detail for such a small creation — much of it down to the intelligent repurposing of Bionicle armor pieces. The brick-built clouds around the plane give the whole image a wonderful cartoonish sky effect, but the highlight of the model for me is that slight downward angle on the nose turbine — a lovely touch.
This model originally started off as a new Secret Weapon of the Luftwaffe — the latest in a series of LEGO models I’ve been building for years. However, it was one of those creations which took quite a different turn as the build progressed, and ended up quite definitely a ground vehicle — bizarre seeing as it started out as a chunky dieselpunk helicopter! Sometimes things not proceeding as planned can be frustrating, but in this case I was quite happy with the result. Besides, I figured the Wehrmacht probably deserved to have some secret weapons of its own…
I couldn’t resist having a play around after the model photography was complete. Turns out the blueprints for this mechanical marvel fell into Allied hands at the end of the war…
As we begin ramping up over the next few weeks toward our alternate WW2 LEGO display at BrickCon here in Seattle, I’ve been keeping an eye out for inspirational builds, and this “Dingo” Combat Walker by SweStar certainly fits the bill. The feet look like the “toes” are powered by pistons, and the mech’s head is festooned with enough doodads for a naval ship’s bridge. I particularly like the judicious use of stickers and yellow LEGO pieces.
crises_crs has catered for those urgent requirements for high altitude gas refueling in his latest build, a Dieselpunk gas station. Crises was inspired by the mind-bending futuristic art work of Argentinian artist Alejandro Burda and his ACA service station.
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.
David Steeves has created a fabulous “spider drone”. The legs and various greebly bits give this a wonderful steamy/dieselpunk feel, and the smart use of the net across the “eye” makes for a frankly brilliant Bioshock-esque porthole effect. To top it all, the spider’s body is made from a large rubber LEGO wheel turned inside-out. All-in-all, an excellently creepy and clanky model with smart parts-usage — good stuff.
Christopher Hoffman brings us an excellent Tech West stagecoach robbery scene. I’m a big fan of the Tech West idea — the mix of steampunk, dieselpunk, space, and cowboys ticks all of my boxes at once. And this creation is a great example of what’s good about the theme — the model is immediately recognisable as a stagecoach, with figures that totally look the part, yet it’s got beefy podracer-style engines which somehow don’t look out of place. Great work y’all.
Marco Marozzi has built an Alt-WW2 tripod mech which manages to look both menacing and cute at the same time. The arms and fists on this thing are wonderfully beefy, and the use of Power Miner wheels for the torso adds nice depth of texture.
If you like this sort of dieselpunk alternate-history building, be sure to check out the Brothers Brick collaborative build for BrickCon 2016 — WW2 1949. There’s some great models starting to show up in the group photo pool for the event — get building and get yours in there too.
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?”
As these fantastic creations by master LEGO dieselpunk builders Jon Hall, Fredo Houben, and Jeff Churill demonstrate, there’s a huge variety in the theme.
Click through to learn more about WW2 1949 at BrickCon 2016