Tag Archives: Military

Tanks and fighter planes, dioramas of World War II battles, dreadnoughts and battleships — LEGO builders have an obvious fascination with the arms and armor of the military-industrial complex. Find all these LEGO weapons of mass destruction right here on The Brothers Brick.

Don’t get stung by this hornet!

The CF-18 Hornet is an essential fixture of the fighting capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force. It’s seen here depicted in LEGO form by builder Ryan Harriswho is well-known for his realistic LEGO portrayals of aircraft and trains.

Lego CF-18 Hornet

Wow! So much light blue! Most jet aircraft are depicted in grey, so props to Ryan for going the extra mile and getting so much of another color in there. I also admire the angle of the tail fins and the thinness of every wing in general. He’s also nailed the landing gear, giving it the full structure you’d expect to see on the F-18 in real life.

Lego CF-18 Hornet

That cockpit really shines in this build. The use of a backward canopy combined with the transparent sloped wedges helps get the correct dimensions for the cockpit. I like that there’s an actual LEGO minifigure flying the jet!

Lego CF-18 Hornet

Thanks for sharing this beautifully designed aircraft with us, Ryan!

Minifigure-scale armor can be pretty tough

In the last few years, I have been building a range of LEGO minifigure-scale missiles and missile launchers. They range from cruise missiles launchers to ICBMs. My latest model is a so-called TELAR, part of the Soviet surface-to-air missile system called “Buk” (Russian: “Бук”; English “beech”). NATO calls it the SA-11 “Gadfly”. Soviet military doctrine emphasized integration between ground forces and their air defenses. Because of this, many Soviet surface-to-air missile systems used tracked vehicles, so that they could move together with the ground forces.

TELAR stands for a transporter-erector-launcher and radar. The name covers what it does quite nicely. The Buk TELAR carries four missiles on top of its turret, on rails that can be erected before launch. It has its own missile guidance radar in a dome at the front of its turret. The crew sits inside the armored hull below. Usually, such TELARs operate together with a few others, as well as a command post and a surveillance radar, which also are tracked vehicles. But, because it has its own radar, it can also operate on its own. Like most of my LEGO builds, it is not actually all that tough, though. It is only tough in the sense of that I found building a minifigure scale armored and tracked vehicle tough going. So, my hat is off to all of you out there who build minifigure-scale armor.  This is one of the first times I have done it and I really struggled to keep it small enough. I wanted the scale to look right with the minifigure soldier next standing next to it. As a result, there is so little space inside that I could only fit a driver.  And, like most of my builds, the model is actually quite flimsy. In fact, none of my models from the last ten years or so would ever be suitable as a child’s toy, even those that aren’t weapons of war. However, I do like the end result; it is a unique addition to my collection.

A bridge over bloodied waters

The Peninsular War of 1807-1814 saw the forces of Spain, Portugal, and Britain take on Napoleon’s French army in a struggle for control of the Iberian peninsula. Gary Brooks has picked one of the war’s many battles as the subject for his first LEGO creation in two years — and it’s a diorama worth waiting for. The imposing stone bridge over the River Côa plays host to two opposing armies, in a scene over 100 studs in width…

Combat of The Côa, 1810

Read on to see more of this spectacular build

Refuel, restock, reconnoitre

This vignette by Red Spacecat shows off his latest build, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle. The RQ-190 is being refueled by her crew and prepped for her next mission. This super smooth drone is actually a redesign of a remote-control plane concept that Red Spacecat recently shared. Switching the color scheme of the RC plane to all black just so happens to make the butterfly-inspired design look very similar to a military stealth drone. The angles of the wings hug tight to the curves of the main body and the snub nose lets us see the landing gear peaking out underneath. The slopes and tiles used on the wings make for a smooth, immersive model overall.

RQ-190 Nightwing UCAV

The little builds for the tool chest, bomb cart, and fire extinguisher (I assume) are great details for this vignette. The gears used on the ends of the bombs are clever and, though it might not be exactly “legal,” the cut hose used on the tip of the fire extinguisher is a perfect addition. Continue reading

Daft for Dutch DAF trucks

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun building minifigure scale trucks, instead of, say, aircraft or larger-scale vehicles. These are three of my latest: Dutch DAF trucks. The first represents an XF105 Super Space Cab, with a trailer carrying a 40ft Maersk refrigerated container. It is similar to thousands that roam European motorways.

DAF XF105 with container trailer

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Behold! The mighty C-130 Hercules

It’s big. It’s clean. And it’s a life-saving machine. This is builder Evan M‘s LEGO creation of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, as flown by the U.S. Air Force’s 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. Evan himself is a military veteran, having flown with the C-130 on several occasions. This particular aircraft performs services such as disaster relief, humanitarian operations, and medical evacuations near the Horn of Africa.

C-130J Super Hercules (5)

I don’t see a lot of official LEGO sets of actual airplanes, so it’s up to people like Evan to make sure they’re represented. From the pointed propeller tips to the near-perfection roundness of the fuselage, this aircraft stands out as a solid tribute to the C-130.

C-130J Super Hercules (3)

And if you look to your left, you can see some very nice part usage

Every LEGO creation tells a story. Sometimes it’s a fairytale with dragons and princesses, and sometimes it’s a more harsh story involving weapons and armed forces. As for the latest brick-built scene by Peter Stella, I guess the story is as clear as it can be. Obviously, the tactical team breaks through the window to take a better look at the laboratory’s fantastic interior design. They must be rushing towards the back-lit sections on the walls, which create a perfectly ominous atmosphere. And I won’t blame them if they decide to steal the design for their own headquarters. But my favorite elements are UFO helmets, but I wonder what happened to the aliens..?

Virtual Reality

This model’s the bomb (squad)

When the bomb squad has to get up close and personal with an explosive device, the technicians will don an explosive ordnance disposal suit (AKA, a bomb suit), which is a highly reinforced set of body armor. LEGO builder Djokson has crafted a high-tech version using a variety of odd LEGO parts. The black bits are mostly rubber tires turned inside out, while the top of the helmet and the chest are opposing sides of an X-pod canister from 2004. One particularly clever bit is the knob on the chest, which is a LEGO magnet held on purely by magnetism, thanks to another magnet inside the suit.

The Minesweeper

I generally pride myself on being a parts guys and can generally recognize most LEGO elements quickly. But there’s one that’s throwing me for a loop here, so I’m going to crowdsource the answer from all of you. The green ring for the neck has me at a loss. It looks very familiar but I can’t quite put my finger on it enough to locate it on a resource like Brickset or Bricklink. So leave your guesses in the comments!

This Apache helicopter is built from rare and ornery bricks

2004 was a pivotal moment for some adult fans of LEGO. This was the year that defined the distinction between what we call “old gray” and “new gray”. LEGO made a change to two shades of gray and brown that year that made the colors brighter and a bit more palatable to kids. Some grumpy old fans resistant to change declared they would leave the hobby forever while others embraced the newer colors. Lennart Cort dates back to before 2004, or at least some of his LEGO collection does. He tells us this stunning AH-64D Apache Longbow model was built in 1/38 scale and built using “old dark gray” as its primary color. Speaking from experience here this can be a difficult feat as the old gray parts are becoming increasingly rare and ornery. Kinda like older adult fans of LEGO; rare and ornery.

AH-64 Apache

Will budget cutbacks lead to more small-scale warfare?

The governments of the world spend a lot of money on military hardware. Maybe they should look to Aaron Newman for ways to save some funds. I mean, LEGO is expensive, but it’s not THAT expensive. And these micro-machines look pretty capable to me. Aaron has shared three quality builds, each with clever scale reductions. Standout details include the guns on the battleship made from modified 1×1 round plate, the curved sand-green slopes on the wings of the plane, and the modified cone in the tank’s barrel. If you’d like to build your own, Aaron has made the instructions available for free.

Military Micros Series

LEGO may not produce official military sets, but that hasn’t stopped the fan community from building their own. Our military archives feature some great builds ranging from the historic to the fantastic. (As well as reviewing the sets that LEGO sort-of-but-not-quite let slip through the cracks.)

A nice armored addition to your caravan

When you are venturing into potentially hostile territory and you don’t want your team to be vulnerable to an ambush, better bring the right tool for the job, like this light armored vehicle by Robson M which sports some heavy plating to keep your crew in one piece. The vehicle has some great details, like the hinge plates used for the forward hatch covers, and dual antennas for calling in reinforcements.

Light Armored Vehicle

Besides the main canon, there’s also a top-mounted.30 caliber machine gun, judging by the stacked profile bricks on the back, with custom stickers. Plus, there’s even a shovel for digging a grave for your enemies, or a less glorious but still much-needed latrine, for your other business.

Light Armored Vehicle

Not all Blackbirds are black

Starting in the sixties, the CIA and the US Air Force operated a fleet of Lockheed Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. At first, the aircraft were top secret, but over the years a lot of information has become unclassified. They were spectacular. Even now many of their speed and altitude records remain unbroken.

 

The most famous Blackbird is the SR-71 and those indeed were all black, as their name implies. However, some of the SR-71’s older relatives were not black at all or only partially black. My latest model represents one of these: the sole surviving M-21. This was a version intended to launch a ramjet-powered D-21 reconnaissance drone. The model is minifig scale (roughly 1/40), can seat a pilot and launch control officer under two separate cockpit canopies, and carries a model of the D-21 on its back.


M-21 Blackbird

Most of the outside of the real jet consists of unpainted metal. I like that it is not actually black; a lot of the details are much more visible that way. The aircraft still exists and is on display at the Museum of Flight, in Seattle, where I saw it during a trip to Washington State back in 2016. I also find the history of this particular version fascinating. To me it was the obvious Blackbird to build for my own LEGO aircraft collection.
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