When it comes to war machines designed to handle any terrain, the more legs the better. I mean, look what happened to the AT-STs on the forest moon of Endor, with their two spindly legs. But just because your walking death machine looks like an armored tarantula, doesn’t mean it has to sound like Godzilla stomping through the forest. This behemoth by Nick is sporting rubber feet for maximum stealth, which just might make it even more terrifying.
There are a lot of great part uses worth mentioning, particularly the missile batteries on either side of the head, made from a substantial collection of this roller-skate part, and several mysterious panels with 2 holes that turned out to be this cabinet door. That castle-themed shield is also a nice touch.
Almost two weeks ago, the first example of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to be based in the Netherlands arrived at Leeuwarden Air Base. It marks the beginning of the end for the forty-year career of the F-16 with the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The F-16 is officially named the Fighting Falcon, but commonly known as the Viper. I’ve been thinking about building a larger scale version of the Viper for years. A reason why I didn’t was that the 1/18 scale model by Everblack basically was just too good.
However, the arrival of the Viper’s eventual replacement and the 40th anniversary finally made me decide to bite the proverbial bullet. I picked the same scale, 1/22, as most of my cars and my Top Gun Tomcat. The F-16 was a lighter and cheaper alternative to the F-15 Eagle and, as such, it’s a fairly small aircraft. The large scale does make the model quite a big beast, with a span of 56 studs and a length of more than 80 studs. However, it also allowed me to add more details and to more accurately represent the jet’s sleek shape. I couldn’t have done this on a smaller scale or without some of the new parts that LEGO has released in the last few years.
Building functioning vehicles has been a passion for many builders ever since the introduction of the Technic line of LEGO sets back in 1977 as the Expert Builder series. Some builders add motors so their vehicles can move and steer, but then there are builders like Sariel who go far and above merely building a motorized vehicle to create something truly special. When I first saw this model of a MAZ 535 heavy artillery truck made in USSR, I was impressed by both the scale, and the attention to detail, which compared to photos is remarkable.
But the amazing attention to detail doesn’t stop there. Sariel has created a video that shows off some of the many hidden features, included an opening top hatch, and two speeds for the transmission, which allows the LEGO truck to pull an incredible amount of weight. In the video, the Maz is seen pulling a chair across the floor! There is even a scene of an adorable hamster checking out the fabric hand-stitched canopy.
The M35A2 is a powerful military truck aptly nicknamed the “Deuce and a Half” for weighing in at two and a half tons. However Tim Inman’s rat-rodded version has shed some considerable weight. It’s been lowered, chopped, channeled, stretched and bobbed (removed second rear axle). The result is a mean rat-rod that loses its military function but retains its color and some of its prior identity. Maybe it’s more of a peace offering now?
But before you go thinking such silly ideas a rear view reveals a gas can, fifth wheel for towing and a skull taillight cluster letting any would-be peacenics know this ratted-out deuce still means serious business.
When you need to defend your outpost from aerial attack, you need an anti-aircraft Ballista. Like this one built by Douglas Hughes, which features not one, but two substantially armed turrets; one sporting rocket launchers, the other, twin machine guns. The cab is very well sculpted with angled panels, and that blue striped detail is a nice touch.
The vehicle is based on the Anvil Ballista from the multiplayer sci-fi game Star Citizen. But Douglas didn’t just build an amazing vehicle, he motorized it (maybe you noticed the cleverly integrated control box on the side) and lit the cab as well.
There’s nothing pretty about war, but Dane Erland finds a way to bring some strong visual interest to the concept. Based on a creepily organic inspiration, the Abyssal moves forward in a manner far removed from a standard tank. Instead of treads, six clusters of tentacles sprout from the undercarriage. Each is made of pneumatic hose aligned with 8-Tooth Technic gears, and finished off with an array of claws. The tan body has some nice curves and angles, and it bristles with a wide array of brick-built sensors and weapons.
Is this a peek into the next stage of warfare? Maybe I’ll just stay indoors for the foreseeable future.
I like me some dam good LEGO building; or is that good LEGO dam building? I don’t know, but set in the not-too-distant future, this battle scene by Thomas depicts a grim future in which the forces of the European Union (EU) battle some Eurasian attackers in Germany, all to determine who will control the dam. If I understand the action correctly, the EU forces are trying to destroy the dam in order to fight back against the Eurasian invaders. It would a real shame if they succeeded, as it would ruin some perfectly good LEGO structures.
The dam itself is nicely constructed, with a clever brick-built “5” in the corner. A sense of action is also clearly conveyed, with the dark green EU forces against the grey Eurasians. I especially like the EU trooper battling some sort of insect-like robot at the base of the dam. The rough construction of the building gives it a post-apocalyptic feel, too, which is always a treat.
Building a properly scaled motor vehicle can be a challenge, considering the unnatural proportions of the LEGO minifigure. That challenge was undeniably met by Robson M who has not only built a pair of well-proportioned vehicles scaled to fit their LEGO occupants but also meet the additional challenge of making the convoy military armored vehicles. I was thoroughly impressed by the Humvee (on the left), and the Oshkosh M-ATV (on the right) based on the build alone, but when I looked up the reference material, I was even more impressed by so many amazing details captured in plastic.
For the Humvee, I think my favorite detail, besides the front grill, is the round tile for the air intake on the front right fender. The Oshkosh features a roof-mounted armored turret with a gun, and there is plenty of room in the back for any extra gear needed. I bet there is even room for a case or two of MRE rations.
I live in a Dutch seaside town that lies mostly below sea level. So, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of coastal defences is the seawall visible at the end of the road. However, there’s an entirely different type of coastal defence of a less peaceful nature. The “Rubezh” coastal defence system looks like something straight out of a GI Joe cartoon, but it was a Soviet mobile anti-ship missile launcher. The version I built served with the East-German Navy, until German reunification at the end of the Cold War in 1990.
In early August, I’ll be at BrickFair Virginia, displaying LEGO models in a Cold War military collaboration. I’ve written about several of these in the last few months. I also intend to highlight some of the models by other builders who are participating. I’ve mostly built Western systems for the collaboration, so I wanted to build another Eastern block model. I specifically wanted it to be East-German because the division between East and West Germany was central to the Cold War.
If you plan on taking robots into war, you need a formidable assault droid. Enter the bulky, badass HUF-2 built by Marco Marozzi, complete with a massive machine gun. The mechanical detailing of the droid is impressive, and the color scheme is perfect for a robotic predator. You have your industrial grays and silvers, but you also have splashes of gold and red to warn of what’s to come…almost like a poison dart frog. There’s even an “Easter egg” for fans of The Simpsons TV show.
See more details of Ned Flanders’ deadly droid
In two months’ time, I’ll be displaying Cold War LEGO models at BrickFair Virginia. This is part of a collaboration with several other builders. I previously built a Soviet SS-20 ballistic missile launcher and an American Ground-Launched Cruise Missile launcher. Continuing my theme of nuclear-armed missiles, my most recent build is another classic: an American Atlas-F.
The Atlas entered service seventy years ago in 1959 as the first American Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. It could be launched from the continental US, fly through space, and then deliver a 3.75 Mt warhead (more than 200 times as powerful as the weapon used against Hiroshima) to a target in the Soviet Union, more than 8000 miles (~13000 km) away.
Kelvin Low’s latest LEGO creation brings to life a turret-headed mech based on original artwork by Emerson Tung. Taking inspiration from a number of classic tank elements, the Kaiserian Grunt Tankhead has a tough militaristic feel. It manages to achieve this aesthetic by balancing its heavy cannon-toting head and meaty body on top of substantial spread-toed feet.
To fully appreciate this type of build, you need to get under the skin of the mechanical beast. Luckily, Kelvin has supplied us with a video showing off his ingenious construction techniques. In it, he records in detail how the various components of the mech’s armoured body are applied to its Technic skeleton.