While the rest of us toil away at day jobs and try to squeeze in a bit of LEGO building in the evenings and weekends, Dan Siskind runs Brickmania full time, continuing to lead his company’s LEGO design team even while he brings on other great designers. Dan’s latest personal design project has been a full-size minifig-scale version of John F. Kennedy’s World War II torpedo boat, PT-109. Dan’s model includes over 4,000 pieces and measures 27 inches (over 68 cm) long, with a crew of thirteen custom-printed minifigures.
Welcome aboard Daniel Siskind‘s X-Craft Mini Sub for adventure under the high seas. The captain salutes from the forward top hatch, grabbing a breath of fresh air after months of stale air tinged with the sweet smell of submariner sweat. Waves crash over the bow as the submarine slices through the turbulent seas (a large trove of translucent white and blue studs). With the British Naval Ensign flying proudly astern, the silent hunter of the deep will slip back into the depths and continue to patrol the oceans.
Inside, the belly of the beast also features working hatches in the bulkheads, periscope and various crew stations.
Like most of Dan’s work, copies of this model are for sale through his company Brickmania, which recently produced our own Senior Contributor Ralph’s Antarctic LC-130 aircraft. The X-Craft Submarine will set you back $445, and new kits often sell out quickly.
The Hawker Typhoon, known by the RAF as Tiffy for short, was a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft during World War II. Einon‘s LEGO version of the Typhoon features a fully retractable landing gear and carries eight rockets under the wings and two bombs. The real life bomber had a few design issues but Einon has managed to iron out some of these in his minifigure-scale version. The brick-built propeller is a good solution for sizing on this model but the invasion stripes on the upper wing surfaces and fuselage seal this as an accurate wartime Typhoon.
Einon has made a short video that not only shares more details about the Typoon, but also demonstrates his version’s retractable landing gear and how swooshable this LEGO bomber can be.
Master aircraft builder Maelven has built some unique and historically accurate planes, but perhaps none are as eye-catching as his newest build, the Focke Wulf Ta 152 H-1.
Designed by famed aeronautical engineer Kurt Tank, the Ta 152 was a last ditch effort by the Luftwaffe during the closing days of the Third Reich to combat the high-altitude bombers deployed by the Allies. Although only a handful were built the Ta 152 proved itself as a capable interceptor and among the fastest piston-driven fighters of the war. The long nose and superbly sleek design which characterized this butcher bird are created expertly here in LEGO form.
The builder chose to adorn this particular model with the red-orange paint scheme used by Luftwaffe ace Fritz Aufhammer. Legend says Aufhammer adorned his plane in such colors to notify trigger-happy Flak crews that this strange and unfamiliar aircraft was actually on their side. The Ta 152 is seen here in the process of being maintained and refitted. The exposed engine compartment is a nice touch, and along with the other details, really helps to bring this build to life.
Most LEGO Sherman tanks we’ve featured here on The Brothers Brick over the years have been smaller minifig-scale versions, like the 1/35 Brickmania Sherman tank that’s inspired so many others (my own included). In contrast, Tommy Styrvoky has followed up his 1/18-scale motorized LEGO Sherman “Crab” tank with one inspired by the movie Fury.
As we begin ramping up over the next few weeks toward our alternate WW2 LEGO display at BrickCon here in Seattle, I’ve been keeping an eye out for inspirational builds, and this “Dingo” Combat Walker by SweStar certainly fits the bill. The feet look like the “toes” are powered by pistons, and the mech’s head is festooned with enough doodads for a naval ship’s bridge. I particularly like the judicious use of stickers and yellow LEGO pieces.
Maarten W is proving himself the master of the LEGO street scene. We’ve previously featured his Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and desert market creations, but this WWII-inspired diorama is his best yet. It’s a recreation of the moments when Allied forces liberated the Dutch town of Venlo on 1st March 1945.
The damaged buildings are beautifully done, giving a sense of what the townsfolk must have endured as the battle raged around them. Maarten has included numerous small vignettes throughout his diorama, such as the American GIs interacting with the survivors.
The details of the left-hand house are particularly poignant — the remnants of the upper-floor telling a tale of shattered domesticity. And whilst I’m not a “dog person” myself, even I can appreciate the message of hope for the future as one of the townspeople finds his pet amidst the ruins.
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve reviewed the custom LEGO kits designed by Dan Siskind of Brickmania. Back in 2013, I reviewed the Dodge WC54 Ambulance, and writing those reviews really got me started in building World War II models seriously. In the meantime, Dan and his team have continued to release new custom kits, on a near-weekly cadence. One of Dan’s recent Brickmania releases is the M3A1 Scout Car, produced by the White Motor Company between 1940 and 1944. The vehicle served throughout WW2, and its basic design served as the basis of the iconic M3 Half-track.
Like some of the custom kits I reviewed back in 2013, the M3A1 Scout Car is a WW2 vehicle I also built back in 2014, so I’ll be comparing Dan’s version with my own.
There are a lot of LEGO models of the Vaught F4U Corsair out there, but none of them are as shiny as this one. This WW2 Pacific carrier workhorse has never been so dark or brooding. So emo!
I generally think of the Corsair as being dark blue, but apparently they were also available in black. Marcus Schultz was the designer, and his use of high-contrast waterslide decals really brings the model together.
Along with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-25 Mitchell with its iconic twin tail fins is one of my favorite World War II aircraft. As more and more LEGO elements have become available in dark green, nelsoma84 and Florida Shooter have been collaborating on a design for the venerable bomber.
Here’s nelsoma84’s Mitchell in its Pacific Theater gunship role with the “Air Apaches” of the 345th Bombardment Wing.
The builder says that the eagle-head nose — here with its ferocious complement of .50 caliber machine guns (there were 18 total on the airplane!) — is modular, and can be swapped out for a clear nose.
And here’s his collaborator’s version, the blue-nosed 499th Bomber Squadron version.
This build is so detailed, the colors are perfect, the wing shapes are amazing, and even the details with decals are superb. As a fan of planes — real or fictional — this model hits all the right spots. Congratulations Jon, you made made me badly yearn to swoosh this plane.
The current Iron Builder battle has been producing some fantastic builds and the latest entry by David Hensel is definitely one of my favourites. The Enigma machine built by David is a LEGO replica of the German military model used during and after the Second World War.
The Enigma machine is a combination of mechanical and electrical subsystems. The mechanical subsystem consists of a keyboard; in David’s model this is the main area using the Iron Builder seed part, the Fencer’s Foil. There are also a set of rotating disks called rotors (Technic Gear 24 Tooth Crown) arranged adjacently along a spindle, and a method of ‘stepping’ to turn at least one rotor with each key press (1×1 round tiles).
David, can you just whip up a quick LEGO British Bombe to help decipher your LEGO Enigma machine please?