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.
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…