Ah, airplanes. What would we do without them? They make travel over long distances easy and affordable to everyone, which is great, and they make spreading contagion across the world lightning fast, too, which is not so great. Gone are the days when we had to wait for the rats in the hold of the ship to spread the pestilence! But military airplanes, deadly in ways non-viral, have a strong nostalgia attached to them for many people, from history buffs to kids who like to zoom things around and make machine gun noises while spitting on everything. Wesley has made a LEGO model of a RAF SE5a, a delightful WWI-era biplane, complete with said machine gun. The shaping is fantastic, especially on the fuselage, and I love the cheese-slope chocks under the wheels. The under-construction aerodrome gives depth to the image, especially when combined with the minifigures and the green “grass”; it’s a simple addition but brings it from a plain ol’ airplane to an immersive scene.
This beast of a bomber is ready to spread its message of triumphant destruction among all those who oppose it. I love this digital dieselpunk design by Cagerrin, which is one of her many alternative history creations. The white and dark blue color scheme give the impression that this aircraft isn’t trying to hide. Its gold trim and eagle wings tell a tale of majesty, a symbol of the empire it flies for.
As far as aircraft made out of bricks go, this model is extremely well built. The wings are so smooth, with minimal studs exposed to give it a truly wooden appearance. Breaking from the vintage airplane norm, the engines utilize reverse propellers, pushing the lumbering bomber through the sky instead of pulling it along. The windows of the bomb bay is also another testament to Cagerrin’s sharp attention to detail. Even the barrels of the gun turrets have a World War I machine gun vibe.
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.
World War I (1914-1918) marked a turning point in military technology. While the age of aircraft was still quite young, it did not take military strategists long to recognize their advantage on the battlefield. The era produced legendary pilots like the Red Baron and Eddie Rickenbacker. 100 years later, we can add Wesley to the list of flying aces with his brilliant aircraft from the Great War.
By themselves, Wesley’s models look really slick, but his excellent photography really kicks things up a notch. He does an excellent job of setting the scenery, with believable landscaping and cloud laden skies. The muted colors used to present the images are reminiscent of turn-of-the-century hand-tinted color photographs. Wesley has created a number of planes for us to enjoy, including…
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Germany’s declaration of war against France, drawing two of Europe’s largest nations into what would later be known as World War I. The “Great War” introduced numerous new and deadly military technologies, from fighter planes to tanks.
Talented Polish builder Ciamosław Ciamek (PigletCiamek) has built a triptych of highly detailed dioramas depicting three phases of World War I.
The first diorama, titled “Enthusiasm,” shows French citizens volunteering as the patriotic population admires the soldiers marching off to the front in 1914.
The second scene, titled “Awe”, illustrates the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917, in which hundreds of thousands of men died.
Finally, Ciamek’s third diorama, titled “Glory”, shows the moment when German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen (the “Red Baron”) was shot down in his famous red tri-plane in 1918.
The Douaumont Ossuary is a war-memorial containing the remains of French and German soldiers who died on the battlefield during the Battle of Verdun in World War I. The monument is located in Douaumont, France, within the confines of the Verdun battlefield itself. French Builder Cyrille (TheBrickAvenger) shrinks the cemetery down to Microscale for this outstanding rendition. Unfortunately, perhaps the most interesting detail of Douaumont Ossuary was left out, a rotating red and white beacon at the top of the tower called “the lantern of the dead” that shines on the battlefield at night. Maybe Cyrille will tackle the structure in minifig scale some time down the road, and include the lantern. Quel hommage exceptionnel fourni aux soldats tombés au combat de la France, bien fait Cyrille!.
I offer my standard disclaimer / apology for my substandard use of the French language, no disrespect is intended.
This medium-scale Sopwith Camel by TheBrickAvenger is a gorgeous looking model of one of the most famous airplanes of World War I. The fuselage looks awesome in dark tan, and the overall build is incredibly accurate for the scale.
World of Tanks fans will recognize these as the first tank in the French Tech Tree. Adam’s design is very true to the original and is a great build. But of course we expect greatness from Adam, so this is no surprise.
Before anyone gets all excited about the olive green parts, both tanks sport custom paint jobs. The olive green version is completely painted and the tan tank has a custom-painted turret. I’m really liking these awesome little tanks!
Kris Kelvin‘s diorama depicts the atmosphere of the Great War somewhere at the battlefront. The simplicity of the structures and their realism nicely capture the rising tension before a battle, at least that’s my interpretation of the scene.
French builder BaronSat presents a whimsical version of the Renault FT-17 tank from World War I:
Love the gunner’s bugle!