Recently, my favorite entry in the Call of Duty franchise — Black Ops II — was added to Xbox One backwards compatibility. I picked up Treyarch Studios’s 2012 vision of combat in 2025 again, and felt inspired to build my favorite rifle in the game: the M8A1, a rifle based on the real H&K XM8.
In addition to being inspired by the design of the gun itself, I was motivated to build by the color scheme. Most of the rifle in game is tan, but its carry handle has a subtle bronze color. I showed this color difference with two LEGO colors: tan, and medium dark flesh. The latter color is fairly limited in parts selection, which made its implementation a fun challenge.
Working features on the LEGO M8A1 include a moving trigger, removable curved magazine, and a sliding ambidextrous charging handle. The tactical rail on the carry handle can attach a LEGO reflex sight that projects a red aiming dot onto a window piece. I show and discuss these functions, as well as a few techniques used to achieve the detail on the weapon, in this four minute video.
See more photos of the M8A1 on my Flickr, or check out other LEGO Black Ops weapons we have featured, such as the PDW-57 SMG and KRM-262 shotgun.
With so many LEGO D-Day dioramas out there, it is easy to forget other important battles of the time. The siege of Bastogne was the last major German offensive on the Western Front during WW2 and an important turning point. Lasting from 21-26 december 1944, the battle took many lives, as did the frigid cold. This collaborative display depicting the battle, directed by Ekjohnson1, won multiple awards at Brickfair Virginia.
There is so much to see in the diorama, but some of the highlights include the excellent battle damage on the houses, the church, and the forested area just outside the town. Collaborations can be very hard to do with builders of different styles and skills, but the team managed to create a seamlessly flowing whole, a respectable feat indeed.
The attention to detail on some of the buildings is impressive. Check out the frontage on this townhouse…
In December 1941, the National Service Act made the conscription of women legal in the UK, employing those of working age in essential work for the war effort. When production of tanks, planes, boats and munitions were needed, the women of Britain were called on to come into the factories and build the war machines, and without them success would not have been possible. Martin Harris has built a tribute to these women, and his scene is set in a converted railway station, using the track as an assembly line for the British-made Churchill tanks.
Women are the primary workers. However, you can see that there is an older man who has just turned up after work to help with turret placement. I had to try and forgive Martin for having a yellow faced minifigure with flesh hands in the scene …perhaps it is just me that finds that distressing to look at! The overall scene is beautifully tied together as a cohesive whole. I particularly love the old railway station backdrop with its large light fixtures and combination of glass, dark red brick and stone grey pillars.
Dan Harris is one of British historical building collective Bricks To The Past. On this, the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1’s Battle of Passchendaele, he offers a moving brick-built tribute to the fallen. In particular, it commemorates the loss of Welsh poet Ellis Humphrey Evans. You can read more about the poet and his work in Dan’s blog post. In the meantime, this quiet little scene provides a poignant image with which to commemorate the thousands of young men who gave their lives.
No, it’s not the tagline of a new superhero blockbuster, it’s Brian Kescenovitz‘s LEGO version of the day in July 1945 when humans created the world’s largest synthetic firework display ever seen, proving conclusively the destructive truth behind Einstein’s famous formula: Mass times the speed of light squared really does equal a whole lot of kinetic energy.
Brian’s chef-hatted mushroom cloud looks just like one of the old photographs of this event. The stunning lighting effect was achieved using a tight-beam flashlight shining straight down and shooting with a long 1.6 second exposure. I love how the miniature New Mexico mountains and blurred objects in the foreground give this micro-scale fulmination a real sense of magnitude.
Disclaimer: Playing with nuclear weapons is really a very silly idea.
For the enjoyment of his fellow military aviation buffs, builder ama77what has beautifully reverse-engineered this microscale A-10 “Warthog” fighter jet from a knock-off brand of building block, recreating it using bona-fide LEGO pieces and presenting it in the form of this handy single-page building guide. There really is nothing more to say here than go build it and SWOOOSH it!
While the rest of us toil away at day jobs and try to squeeze in a bit of LEGO building in the evenings and weekends, Dan Siskind runs Brickmania full time, continuing to lead his company’s LEGO design team even while he brings on other great designers. Dan’s latest personal design project has been a full-size minifig-scale version of John F. Kennedy’s World War II torpedo boat, PT-109. Dan’s model includes over 4,000 pieces and measures 27 inches (over 68 cm) long, with a crew of thirteen custom-printed minifigures.
See more of JFK’s PT-109 in LEGO
Enemy armor slowing you down? Then get ready to pop some tanks with the War Mustang Multi-Purpose Anti-Tank Missle System (try saying that several times real fast) built by Stud Systems. The War Mustang is a lovely and cleverly designed combat vehicle. The coolest detail has to be the poseable missile launcher and guidance system, which conveniently folds down into the roof when not in use.
There’s no stopping Tyler Clites when it comes to building remarkable and just plain mind-boggling spacecraft. In a similar vein to the awe-inspiring alien vessel we featured a while back, Tyler presents us with another beautifully spherical craft in the form of this futuristic Russian starfighter.
The unique shape is the star of this creation, but there’s so much to appreciate here. The touches of gold, olive and white add just the right amount of color to what is otherwise an appropriately drab and utilitarian palette. The retro, “lo-fi” look of the vessel is a fantastic design choice, as if this intergalactic starfighter was built using Soviet technology from the 1960’s. Like Sputnik, but with one big frickin’ laser.
Gerald Cacas brings us a well-shaped LEGO version of the turboprop Fokker 50. There’s a lot of grey going on, but that’s because the build is modelled on the Royal Singapore Air Force version. This old warhorse of an aircraft is still in service with the RSAF in a Utility Transport and Maritime Patrol role. Aside from its realism, the muted tones of the model create an uncluttered feel, really showcasing the builder’s skill.
Nice innovative parts use with the claw element forming the six-bladed propeller on each side. Aviation fans will also notice the attempt to shape the cockpit window as close as possible to the real McCoy.
Bryce Dempsey expands his arsenal of LEGO gaming weaponry with the Zeus X27 taser featured in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Accuracy to the in-game model in the various thicknesses throughout the body of the stun gun make Bryce’s replica stunning. Watch the builder discuss his replica taser and demonstrate the working trigger and simple firing function in this video.
If you enjoyed this model of the Zeus X27, be sure to check out these other CS:GO replicas: P90 Asiimov and PP-19 Bizon
Welcome aboard Daniel Siskind‘s X-Craft Mini Sub for adventure under the high seas. The captain salutes from the forward top hatch, grabbing a breath of fresh air after months of stale air tinged with the sweet smell of submariner sweat. Waves crash over the bow as the submarine slices through the turbulent seas (a large trove of translucent white and blue studs). With the British Naval Ensign flying proudly astern, the silent hunter of the deep will slip back into the depths and continue to patrol the oceans.
Inside, the belly of the beast also features working hatches in the bulkheads, periscope and various crew stations.
Like most of Dan’s work, copies of this model are for sale through his company Brickmania, which recently produced our own Senior Contributor Ralph’s Antarctic LC-130 aircraft. The X-Craft Submarine will set you back $445, and new kits often sell out quickly.