This pair of heavy combat vehicles by Zach Sweigart are packing some serious heat. The dropship features rotating engines for vertical take-off and two more engines on the main fuselage. The angled nose gives the draft a bird of prey vibe. And that mobile troop carrier looks like it could punch a hole into pretty much any target.
Watching Top Gun is like eating a Philadelphia cheesesteak with cheez whiz. Some of the ingredients are a bit dodgy and there really is an awful lot of stringy cheese, but it tastes oh so good. Why? Forget Tom Cruise—the undisputed star of the movie is the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. However, instead Lego Admiral chose to build one of the villains, called the MiG-28, and that’s cool in my book.
The MiG-28s in Top Gun weren’t really Russian, of course, because they never made a MiG-28. In reality, the planes on-screen were F-5 Tigers, which are normally used by the US Navy as adversaries in air-to-air combat training. However, the jets certainly looked the part, as for the occasion they were painted in temporary color schemes with fictional national markings of some Communist country. This made them look even more sinister, as we all know that evil wears black. The LEGO model has a long shark-nose and an expertly rendered coke-bottle fuselage. Even more than thirty years later the MiG-28 still looks bad-ass.
Harking back to an age of more gentlemanly aerial combat, these LEGO versions of a Sopwith Camel and a Fokker Triplane from Vaionaut are beautifully done. The tan and dark brown colour scheme on the Sopwith is perfect, and I particularly like the smart use of clip-and-bar pieces to give the upper wings their signature raked-forward look. Nice use of binoculars and screwdrivers to create the twin machine-guns too. The restrained use of some custom stickers, an appropriate choice of minifigures, and a lovely little workbench all come together to complete the scene.
However, if you have a Sopwith, you must have an opponent in red. And sure enough, Vaionaut has built a gorgeous Fokker Dr.I to accompany.
Now here’s a technique we haven’t seen before… using chalk on your bricks. Stephan Niehoff‘s armoured personnel carrier has a wonderful dusty and stained feel. The added weathering pulls all the grey together into a cohesive whole and ensures the brighter-coloured elements fit in by muting their tones. It looks great, but at first glance I thought the bricks had been drybrush-painted like a scale model kit. However, working with chalk means the bricks can be dusted down and re-used. I’m still not sure it counts as a “LEGO-purist” technique, but it certainly adds a level of realism and visual interest to the model.
There are some other nice details on display here beyond the use of chalk. Don’t miss the cut tubing around the hatches at the front, and those Technic “half-pipe” connectors poking up along the sides at the rear. I’m also a fan of the functional-looking hatches, and the rear lights — too many builders don’t consider the practicalities of regular driving when they build things like this. After all, even the most rugged-looking rover needs to obey the rules of the road on its way to the battlefield.
A Second World War themed LEGO airplane fleet is a rare sight to behold. This image by Allen Lim looks amazing, even though the Japanese Zero fighters are multiplied digitally. Obviously my favourite part is the effort put into editing, but that should not overshadow the excellent work on the aircraft carrier and the aircraft itself. There are some shapes around the cockpit and on the wings that are very impressive once you take a closer look and think about how they are done.
I think the best way to view this aircraft is in combat in a dogfight with a Spitfire.
Allen has been building military aircraft throughout February so expect to see more from him in the near future.
The F-15 is a twin-engine, all weather fighter that is the mainstay of the U.S. Air Force’s air superiority and homeland defence missions. Boeing boasts that its proven design is undefeated in air-to-air combat, with more than 100 aerial combat victories. Kai NRG has a special reason for building a LEGO version of this particular jet fighter, his grandfather worked on developing the aircraft. He has certainly done a very good job, the shaping is fantastic with SNOT building giving a wonderfully smooth, streamlined appearance.
Just in case you didn’t spot the working flaps in the main image, this view shows the added functionality in Kai’s design.
The Battle of the Bulge was the German’s last offensive of World War II. Although it initially caught Allied forces off guard, especially in the heavily wooded Ardennes region, it proved to be a major disaster for Germany that hastened its inevitable demise. Dunedain98 has build a wintry scene from this battle that depicts American soldiers preparing to attack an StuG III Assault Gun alongside a derelict, battle-damaged home.
A view closer down to the action from minifigure eye-level really shows off the atmosphere with the snow-laden trees and the offensive anticipation in the air. Continue reading
This year’s big build by Brick to the Past is called ‘The Jacobite Risings: The Fight for Britain’s Throne’. The risings took place between 1689 and 1746, mostly in Scotland as supporters of the Stuart dynasty attempted to restore them to the throne. They were effectively Britain’s last civil wars.
The model is around 16 square metres in size, sitting on the equivalent of 105 48 stud baseplates. It has a mountain in its centre that reaches about 1m high. It was built by the Brick to the Past (BTTP) team, Dan Harris, James Pegrum, Simon Pickard, Tim Goddard and Steve Snasdell, and took around 10 months to complete.
An army marches on its stomach, and it’s hard to feed a soldier without an appropriate supply route. Cutting off an enemy’s supply routes is a quick path to victory, so it’s imperative to adequately guard your own routes. Enter the armored train, ready to defend itself. Builder tablizm brings us an amazing demo model of a US Army military train, showing off a variety of cars from different eras.
Let’s take a closer look at the individual cars below.
The Metal Slug series of games has some stand out features, and the small vehicles in them have always been a favourite. While we’ve seen some previous attempts at recreating these vehicles, especially the titular Metal Slug tank, we have never seen them crafted on such a small scale. wing hong chan has created four instantly recognisable builds from the games.
The central mech actually fits a full minifigure, and there’s an impressive side build with the “IN” instruction and red arrow. Aside from the three above, there’s also the jet which, like the mech, fits a minifigure.
The original U.S. Navy Douglas A-1F Skyraider was an single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. The design underwent many modifications, including versions devoted to the electronic countermeasures (ECM) mission. Ralph Savelsberg has created a beautifully accurate LEGO version of the EA-1F, which used ECM equipment to detect and jam enemy radar in the skies over Vietnam. You can see that the front wing edges are swept back ever so slightly, which Ralph cleverly achieved using tiles and brackets, making each step half a plate thick.
As is typical for carrier-based aircraft, the wings on the Skyraider can be folded and Ralph has also made sure that his model is accurate in this respect.
Most people will recall a rainy childhood afternoon or two spent hunting down enemy naval forces, so this fun LEGO creation should trigger a rush of nostalgia for MB’s classic Battleship. jtheels‘ model is a wonderful brick-built rendition of the titular craft from the board game — the 4-peg battleship itself. The ship is immediately recognisable, and the addition of the red and white “hit or miss” pegs is a nice touch.