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.

Metal Gear Solid V’s Pequod UTH-66 Blackfoot in LEGO

When you need to get somewhere fast in Metal Gear Solid V, you can always count on Pequod, the callsign for the Solid Snake’s chopper transport. Seen here in its sea-grey color-scheme, the fictional UTH-66 Blackfoot is a huge helicopter that draws heavily on real-world inspiration, and nowhere have we seen a better LEGO version than this one by Marius Herrmann. He’s has made sculpting the compound curves of the accurate minifigure-scale cockpit look easy.

UTH-66 Blackfoot "Pequod" (from "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain")

Outfitted with multiple weapons and a long refueling probe, this LEGO chopper is one of the best pieces of realistic military machinery we’ve seen recently.

UTH-66 Blackfoot "Pequod" (from "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain")

The mean green quadrupedal mecha machine

If I were a minifigure, I would be fast to jump out of the way of this LEGO mech by Markus Rollbühler. Markus drew his inspiration from a plastic model kit by Industria Mechanika. Markus carried over several characteristics from the kit while still remaining distinct and original with his design. For being a static model, I’m particularly impressed by how mechanical the finished build feels. In the mid-section, inverted plates expose the pins underneath in such a way that is reminiscent of rivets. Dark and light gray elements are mixed together to great effect, giving off the impression of working hydraulics. Other fun details include the driver’s outstretched legs and rolled fabrics, which could represent sleeping bags and/or tents. Meanwhile, the olive green color is a welcome bonus.

TR-47 Krabbeltier

Massive 1/15-scale LEGO Vought F4U Corsair takes to the bright and terrifying Pacific skies

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).

Vought F4U-1A Corsair

See more photos of this amazing LEGO Vought F4U Corsair

Letters from the Front

Many military-themed LEGO creations depict exciting battle scenes or the machinery of war. However, a select few touch on the quieter moments and prompt reflection on a conflict’s human cost. This WW1 scene by Pixel Fox, called Letters to Loved Ones, does exactly that — showing a French and a German soldier, hunkered down in their respective trenches, taking the opportunity to pen a letter home during a moment of calm. The diorama is well done, the trench setting clear from a relatively simple structure, and there are some nice touches in the scenery, with a rat burrowing a hole, and various pieces of equipment scattered around. The French sniper rifle and German machine gun are particularly good. The soldiers themselves are excellent, the helmets and uniforms immediately recognisable as WW1-era. More importantly, they are built to a scale, and in a Mixel-ey style, more commonly employed for comic effect, enhancing the poignant effect of this model.

Lettres à leurs proches

How to build a Grumman E-1 Tracer early warning aircraft from LEGO: Part 3 [Feature]

This article is the third and final installment in a series. Read about the LEGO Grumman E-1 Tracer Part 1 and Part 2 here.

In the last four weeks, I have been building a LEGO scale model of a Grumman E-1 Tracer aircraft. Part 1 described how I planned the build, and part 2 dealt with how I built some of the difficult bits; in this, the third and final part, I explain how I built the last bits, and present the finished model.

E-1B Tracer of VAW-12 "Bats"

For weeks this build seemed to progress really slowly. I know that for some builders September means building huge spaceships. It took me most of this month to build just the radome, the nose, the wings and the engine nacelles. When I started building the fuselage, however, it felt like I had reached the home stretch. All of a sudden things went really quickly. Building the final parts wasn’t necessarily easy, but certainly easier. It was great to see the collection of separate sections come together into something that looked like an aircraft. The anticipation of seeing the end result motivated me. So, here it is.
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How to build a Grumman E-1 Tracer early warning aircraft from LEGO: Part 2 [Feature]

This article is Part 2 of an ongoing series. Read about the LEGO Grumman E-1 Tracer Part 1 here.

About two weeks ago, I started building a new aircraft model: a Grumman E-1 Tracer. Because some of you might like to know how one might build such a LEGO scale model, I am documenting my process in a short series. In the first part I described why I decided to build such an oddball aircraft in the first place and how I plan a build like this. I also explained that I usually start by building the difficult bits. A few of those are the subject of this article.

E-1 Tracer WIP (9th of September)

The Tracer’s wings are not quite perpendicular to the fuselage. This wouldn’t be much of an issue if the engine pods and the main undercarriage weren’t attached to them. I have built angled wings before, including some rather large ones. In practice, however, it is almost impossible to mount the wings using hinges and also have them carry much of the model’s weight. Furthermore, if I were to build the wings at some weird angle, I would then have to figure out how to align the engines attached to still be parallel with the fuselage. My solution is to attach both engines directly to each other and also to the fuselage using a bridge structure. I built this bridge perpendicular to the fuselage using plates. I then put the actual wings on top of it. By combining 2×3 and 2×4 wedge plates I filled in the gaps where the tops of the engines join the wing. Getting everything to fit nicely involved a lot of trial-and-error, but it works.

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Per Ardua Ad Astra — LEGO Supermarine Spitfire takes flight over Britain

Per Ardua Ad Astra — “Through adversity to the stars” — the motto of the UK’s Royal Air Force, and what sprang to mind as Paul Nicholson‘s LEGO version of a Supermarine Spitfire thundered into view. For a small model, the shaping is pretty good, capturing the iconic elliptical wing shape well, and there’s a nice mix of colours to create a camouflage effect. And the use of 1×1 “cheese slopes” delivers the essential touch of the raked exhausts down the sides of the engine. I’m less of a fan of the forced-perspective base — I think the presentation would have benefitted from further separation of the plane from the ground, and perhaps a tighter depth of field pushing the background out of focus. However, despite those minor photography gripes the plane itself is a cracking model, immediately recognisable and eminently swooshable.

Spitfire 01

How to build a Grumman E-1 Tracer early warning aircraft from LEGO: Part 1 [Feature]

Question: “How did you build this?” Answer: “By making a plan and sticking to it.” The question is one that many LEGO builders will have had. The answer, in my case, is completely true, but also wholly inadequate. So, in an attempt to give a more fulfilling answer, in the next few weeks I’ll occasionally write a piece detailing the progress on my latest project: a scale model of a Grumman E-1 Tracer aircaft.

E-1B VAW-121 CVW-6 CVA-42

Some builders start by experimenting with a few pieces until they find a combination they like. They then build the rest of the model from there. I’m not one of those people. I plan my builds. “Doesn’t that kill spontaneity?”, you may wonder. Well yes, it does, but if I wanted to build a scale model of a complex object such as an aircraft spontaneously, it simply wouldn’t happen. My brain doesn’t work like that. Furthermore, I enjoy looking at pictures of aircraft, reading about them and thinking about which to build and how to build it. To me this is half the fun. If If I am spontaneous, I’ll build car.

E-1B Tracer WIP (26th of August)

Read more about how Ralph plans and design his LEGO aircraft

Brickfair Virginia: fourteen builders from six countries collaborate to commemorate the Vietnam War [Feature]

Last year, after Brickfair Virginia 2017, over a few drinks Magnus Lauglo, Aleksander Stein and I had a discussion on what to bring for 2018. The three of us have been attending BrickFair for years and have often admired the large collaborative displays at the event, with builders creating something together. Because of this we figured it would be nice for us to collaborate too rather than bringing our own stand-alone models. We soon agreed to build scenes from the Vietnam War.

I suspect that most ideas that come out of conversations in bars lead nowhere and that is probably a good thing. However, earlier this year we found that we were still pretty excited about this idea and we found that more people wanted to get involved. Ultimately, eleven more builders contributed (in no particular order): Peter Dornbach, Stijn van der LaanMatt Hacker, Dean Roberts, Eínon, Evan Melick, Casey Mungle, Corvin, Yasser Mohran, Bret Harris and Brian Carter. Corvin, Aleksander and I are the only builders who don’t live in the US or Canada to regularly attend the Virginia event, but our Vietnam group turned out to be a pretty international crowd. We had builders who live in six different countries: the US, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Norway and the Netherlands.

We picked Vietnam as the subject because we all watched classic Vietnam War movies when growing up, it is largely novel for most of us and it is far less common for military builds than models from, say, WW2. We considered building a single collaborative battle diorama, but chose to build separate scenes instead. It is hard to find a single battle that is actually interesting to build, as there is usually just a lot of terrain involved and multiple copies of trees, bunkers or vehicles. Separate scenes have the advantage of allowing different builders to give the subject their own twist. I was excited to see what the other guys came up with. The Vietnam War offers a lot of scope for building interesting military hardware, but we could also show some of the history, including the aftermath. Given the wide range of different models on display, we nailed it.

See more details and a gallery of the builds

Trademark of the Blue Angels led by the F8F-1 Bearcat

In August 1946, the F8F-1 Bearcat led by Bob Clarke introduced the Diamond Formation, a formation of four or more aircraft where the elements of the group adopt the shape of a diamond, which is still considered the Blue Angels’ trademark formation today. Builder Greyson has a special place in his heart for the Angels after seeing them up close and wanted to honour and commemorate their historical significance.

Blue Angels F8F-1 Bearcat [Main]

This wonderfully 1/45 scale aircraft features a spinning propeller, a tailwheel, and folding wingtips. The blue elements used for the build are bright and stunning, and the clean shapes best represent the swift speed of the angles cutting right through the clouds.

Blue Angels F8F-1 Bearcat [Tail]

Dominate the skies with this LEGO F-4 Phantom II

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.

F-4J Phantom II

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.

F-4J Phantom II (3)

Arms of the New Colossus

One of my favorite video game stories is told in Wolfenstein: The New Order and The New Colossus. It’s a powerful story set in an alternate history 1960 defined by Nazi world domination. The German tech in this game as as fascinating as the story, so I combined my love of the plot and tech with a bit of flair in my LEGO replica of a gold plated Pistole 1946, wielded by antagonist Frau Irene Engel.

Gold Pistole 1946 - Wolfenstein

This handgun takes clear motifs of a Luger P08 with some modifications. Building it entirely in pearl gold was quite challenging; if 2×2 plates and tiles weren’t made in pearl gold, this build would not have been structurally sound. I talk about some of the limitations I overcame and the resulting techniques created in this video (as well as demonstrate its removable magazine).

With this, I can check “gold weapon” off the list for my LEGO arsenal!