The Supermarine Spitfire is possibly the most iconic propellor-driven plane, and has appeared just about everywhere — books, comics, TV shows, films, music , and indeed, LEGO bricks. And while British dance legends the Prodigy penned the title of this post, the prodigy behind this brick-built Spitfire is Juliusz D. It’s slightly smaller than some other Spitfires you might have seen over the years, but it’s no less impressive for it. One of my favourite bits is the canopy, one of the first bits Juliusz built. In fact, this is apparently where the whole build stemmed from. Some custom decals – alongside stickers re-purposed from 76907 Lotus Evija – are the perfect icing on the cake to complete the iconic look of this WWII fighter.
The new LEGO Vidiyo theme may not be the most popular among adult builders, but it has certainly introduced builders to some unusual large but potentially versatile parts. In Tom Loftus’s own words, every part is a spaceship part, which he set out to prove, and did quite a top-notch job. This fighter is built around the lime-green base from the pods that serve as the central element of each set.
The grooves designed to fit extra tiles make great cooling vents, and just to show that this chunky fighter can also pour on the speed, there are plenty of thrusters squeezed on to the backs of each engine pod.
Who would’ve thought that nefarious alien parasites would program their abandoned fighters to return to their mothership if their enemies activated them? Certainly not the innocent, Earthling scientists that used the parts of a Death Glider to build this ship’s predecessor, the X-301. Fresh from development, this F-302 is totally Tau’ri made and ready for deployment. After finding their original F-302 in disrepair from moving, builder Pvt. Cookie took the opportunity to build an entirely new one. More swooshable and with updated angles on the wings, this massive minifig-scale model is an amazing miniature of the original.
History produced a lot of weird-looking aircraft during WWII, such as famously great P-38 Lightning. But LEGO builder Jon Hall has long been known for turning his skills to the weird-looking aircraft of WWII that history did not produce, designing his own batch of bizarre dogfighters instead. Looking like a cross between the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake”, Jon’s crafted this crazy airplane with stubby wings and a flat nose, which he’s dubbed the P-65 Tomahawk.
As usual, Jon’s designs are clean and sleek, this time sporting a two-tone Navy color. Presumably, the short wings help with carrier storage. Two of the best details deal with airflow: first there’s the intake, which sports a Technic disk 5×5 behind the propeller, an old-school part that originally hails from the short-lived Robo Rider theme. The second detail I love is the exhaust on the sides of the fuselage, which are a series of ports made of the Nexo bot shoulders.
Builder Oscar Cederwall imagines a future where giant powerful mechs duke it out for your betting amusement. In this corner, weighing in at 30 tons, in blue armor we have the B-07 Melee Mech. Most mechs boast an impressive array of guns but I like how this one is instead equipped with out-sized fists. The stretcher holder part in yellow makes for good detailing and, when used in moderation, is an excellent color choice against the blue, black and white. Be sure to check out the rest of Oscar’s work as his other futuristic ideas also pack a powerful punch.
Last November, we reviewed the Brickmania F-4C Phantom II Jet custom kit, and designer Cody Osell is back again with the massive 1033 F-14 Tomcat Supersonic Air Superiority Interceptor. The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is one of the most iconic Cold War jet fighters, featured in movies like Top Gun and The Final Countdown. The Brickmania kit includes 1,607 LEGO pieces and two custom-printed minifigures with accessories. We’ll also be taking a look at the NAS Miramar Action Pack add-on that includes four more custom minifigures.
World War I vehicles are a source of inspiration for lots of LEGO builders. Maybe it’s the challenge of the many unique shapes these vehicles use. Whatever the reason, this model of the German Fokker D.VII by Wesley does a top-notch job of capturing the look of this fighter plane, from the cross built into the tailfin to the engine with wooden propeller, to the wheel structure. Even the camouflage pattern under the wings (while not official LEGO) is quite a nice detail.
A good piece of Sky-fi art never gets old, and this alternate-WWII Tomahawk Kaiju Interceptor by Albert is a wonderful example. Making ample use of sand green slopes and tiles, this twin-tailed LEGO fighter is skillfully built with angled wings lined with forward-facing cannons and outrigger engines. One of the neatest details is the moveable inset rudders. It may not be the most aerodynamic design, but it sure looks cool, and after all, that’s what Sky-fi is all about.
We’ve featured custom LEGO kits by Brickmania many times over the years, but Dan Siskind‘s small business has grown considerably since the last time we reviewed one of the company’s kits. Most notably, Dan himself is no longer the sole or even primary designer — great LEGO builders like Cody Osell now contribute many of the custom designs to the company’s products. While Dan is best known for tanks, Cody has designed most of Brickmania’s airplane models, including the F-4C Phantom II we’ll be reviewing today.
With its distinctive inverted gullwings and gorgeous dark blue color scheme, the Vought F4U Corsair is easily my all-time favorite fighter plane. Produced throughout both World War II and the Korean War, the warplane also has the distinction of having the longest production run of any piston-engined fighter. While James Cherry may not be the most prolific LEGO builder — he shared his amazing 1/15-scale LEGO F-14A Tomcat jet fighter exactly two years ago — but each of his creations is well worth the wait. Built to the same scale as the Tomcat, James’s Corsair is deceptively huge; for a better sense of the scale, notice that the palm trees are built from stacked washtubs! We’ve estimated that this LEGO Corsair has a wingspan of over one hundred studs (over 32 inches or 82 cm), and it’s over 80 studs long from nose to tail (over 26″ / 67 cm).
Military jets are a popular subject for LEGO model-makers and represent a particular challenge with their swept back wings and curved fuselages — difficult shapes to recreate in bricks. But Evan M seems up to the challenge, presenting this fabulous minifig-scale F-4 Phantom, decked out in US Navy Vietnam-era livery.
Evan has made great use of some of the new angled tile parts to give the wings a smooth leading-edge, but there’s excellent brickwork all over the model. We’ve seen fimpressive LEGO Phantoms before, notably James Cherry’s astonishing 6,000-piece LEGO F-4 Phantom, but this is one of the best fast jet models I’ve seen at this sort of scale. The overall shaping and the model’s sleek lines are readily apparent in this side view, as is the smart integration of the twin cockpit pieces and the subtle angle up on the wing tips. Retractable landing gear and a full load-out too! Fantastic stuff.
Even though the North Vietnamese didn’t have much of an air force at the start of the air war over Vietnam in 1964, with Soviet assistance they were soon able to present US pilots with a few surprises. Their MiG-17 fighters were old-fashioned and only had guns as their armament. The jets were small, though, and well-suited to out-turn heavier US jets mostly optimised for higher speeds. Peter Dornbach has built the more modern MiG-21, known as the “Fishbed” in the West. This entered Vietnamese service in 1966.
Peter’s model has a retractable undercarriage, opening cockpit and a brick-built representation of the characteristic camouflage used by the Vietnam People’s Air Force. With its higher speed and two AA-2 Atoll air-to-air missiles the Fishbed was typically used in hit-and-run attacks. The US countered this threat using the F-4 Phantom II. This wasn’t particularly agile, but had powerful twin engines. Its crews were taught to use these as an advantage against the MiGs by manoeuvring in the vertical.
The particular example built by Evan Melick is “Showtime-100”, a US Navy F-4J flown by Randy “Duke” Cunningham and William Driscoll who put this tactic to practice shooting down three Vietnamese fighters during a famous mission in May of 1972. Added to their two previous victories, this made them the US Navy’s first and only aces of the Vietnam war. Like most US Navy aircraft from the time period, it had distinctive squadron markings, which Evan recreated on his model using a mix of brick-built patterns, custom vinyl stickers and water-slide decals intended for 1/48 scale models. Note his clever use of new 45 degree angled tiles to build studless leading edges on the jet’s wings.
Both jets are part of a Vietnam collaboration by about a dozen builders, including yours truly, which will be on display at Brickfair Virginia in a little less than three weeks.