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.
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.
Read our full review of the Brickmania F-14 Tomcat after the jump
Order 66 has been executed. The Clone Wars have ended. Sith Lord Darth Vader has become Emperor Sheev Palpatine’s trusted enforcer, bringing Imperial order to an unruly galaxy. Tim Lydy has put his stamp on this era of turmoil with his first-ever Star Wars creation, and it is most excellent.
I really love how cramped and chaotic the trench feels. However the highlight for me is the giant statue of Palpatine constructed out of Light Aqua which doesn’t really have a very extensive parts selection yet.
I also appreciate the effort Tim went to incorporating the writing on the side of the scene in Aurabesh, the Star Wars universe’s standard alphabet.
TBB alumnus Tim has been featured in the past for his work with superhero–themed models. I certainly wouldn’t mind if he dabbled in the Star Wars sandbox some more!
Since 2001, the F/A-18E Super Hornet has been a workhorse of the US Navy, finally replacing the last of the aging F-14 Tomcat fighters in 2006. Here’s Plane Bricks‘ LEGO version of the carrier-capable fighter jet — an excellent model which captures the aircraft’s shape with a nice combination of curves, slopes, and tile pieces. There’s an impressive array of armaments slung under the wings, and the model boasts a folding undercarriage, and fold-up wing tips (an essential space-saving feature on a carrier-based aircraft).
I particularly liked the angling of the tailfins and the shaping of the exhaust vents. You can get a closer look at them here, along with the added detail of the tailhook…
The bright colours, cartoony style of pieces and cute anthropomorphic animal characters of Fabuland make for a perfect nostalgic base to build on. And boy do LEGO fans build on it! Here at The Brothers Brick, we have featured over the years fabuland Star Wars, pirates, The Hobbit and even Black Fantasy and Apocalyptic Fabuland. Zilmrud brings another theme to the collection with his over-the-top futuristic military creations sporting the cute characters in completely inappropriate settings. What would Ole Kirk Kristiansen say!
The builder combines cute DUPLO and Fabuland elements with an excessive amount of weaponry, with civilians in the background cheering the armed Fabuland forces. There are many iconic pieces included in the build, like original fabuland doors, windows and even benches! Of course it can hardly be a Fabuland creation without the figures and the bulldog fireman in the tank actually looks like a strangely appropriate choice… The below photo of a bunny mech stealing eggs is especially timely. The style of this one is more tailored to the bunny Fabuland figure than the theme as a whole, but still captures both the feeling of the original theme and what we are used to in mecha. The “chicken’s” nest is particularly inspired, using a DUPLO cupcake cup containing small shrub pieces as the nest’s material.
The mind of Andy Baumgart must be a very interesting place. Somewhere in that chaotic cranial coolness, there was a collision between the neurons responsible for housing the military schematics repositories, the hot rod files, and 90s girl LEGO themes. Thus, out popped the T-42 “Sugarcube” MLRS, which has got to be one of the most insane (and insanely awesome) military vehicles to ever grace our site.
Studded with nearly every chrome silver element LEGO has ever produced, and jazzed up even more with a generous dose of immaculately applied custom decals, this red rocket launcher houses a single Belville figure. As we’d expect with Andy, there’s no shortage of fantastic and unusual parts usages. The most obvious, of course, are rockets sprouting from the back which hail from the Series 17 Rocket Boy. The roof is a piece that isn’t seen often, but is actually being used for its intended purpose, having been a Fabuland vehicle top. Look closely, and along the side you’ll spot a well-disguised derrick arm, while Belville crowns and classic gates line the front. Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss tea time, so there’s a set just in reach of the driver.
Lately I’ve been on a bit of a building spree. The Cold War collaboration for BrickFair Virginia, for which I have already built the SS-20 Saber and Gryphon GLCM transporter erector launchers, has given me lots of ideas and motivation. So far I have focussed on Cold War doomsday weapons that never saw use in anger. The actual armed conflicts that took place during the Cold War, although certainly brutal, fortunately were fought using conventional weapons. One of these was the Korean War.
In 1950, when Communist North Korea invaded South Korea, the US and a number of allies came to South Korea’s aid. At the time, the first jet aircraft were already in service. However, propeller-driven aircraft still had a role to play. Most US Navy aircraft carriers still had several squadrons of Vought F4U Corsairs on board.
This WW2 design may have seemed like an anachronism, but the veteran warbird could carry more weapons and spend more time overhead than faster jet fighters. They were the workhorse of US Naval aviation.
WWI-era aircraft generally don’t receive as much attention from LEGO builders as their modern (or futuristic) descendents. Wesley makes a worthy attempt to redress the balance with this wonderful Fokker Eindecker, an early German fighter plane, one of the most advanced aircraft of its day. The model is nicely put-together, with some great angles in the undercarriage struts, a well-shaped fuselage, and good use of string which always adds a classic vintage aircraft feel. But it’s the photography which really sets this creation apart — the addition of a couple of simple background elements makes for an effective backdrop, and the low camera angle is a great choice. It’s nice to see Wesley yet again present a LEGO aircraft model in something different from the standard three-quarter view high-angle “flying” shot.
Be sure to check out Wesley’s other fantastic WWI aircraft we’ve highlighted.
At the moment I am building models from the Cold War for a collaboration with my friends at BrickFair Virginia. I already presented my Soviet SS-20 “Saber” about a week ago. That missile platform was seen as a direct threat to Western Europe. Whilst I was buying parts for that, I was already planning to build one of the weapons systems that NATO fielded in Europe: the BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM). Or, more precisely, the vehicle used to transport and launch them.
It consisted of a large German-built MAN truck that pulled a semi-trailer with the launcher. This housed up to four cruise missiles in a box that was elevated to an angle of 45 degrees before launch. I built the vehicle to a scale of 1/43, making it roughly 53 studs long. Building its four-tone camouflage scheme (with dark green, dark tan, tan and black) was a challenge, especially on such a small vehicle.