One of the things I really love about the LEGO building community is how LEGO artists can undermine conventions and subvert expectations. We’ve long maintained the viewpoint here at The Brothers Brick that LEGO is indeed art. Art can be fun, art can be funny, art can be uncomfortable, and yes, art can definitely be political — Nobel Prize for Literature winner Toni Morrison says, “All good art is political! There is none that isn’t. And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying, ‘We love the status quo.'” So it’s always interesting to see LEGO artists take on unexpected, difficult, and even uncomfortable subjects. And there is nothing more discomfiting than seeing our favorite LEGO BrickHeadz style applied by Swedish LEGO artist O Wingård to two of the most terrible people in human history — General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin and Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler.
But discomfort should provoke thought, and thought should provoke discussion, and discussion can (but doesn’t always) result in progress. If LEGO is art and all good art is political, then good LEGO creations are (by the transitive property of equality) inherently political. If you’re a decent human being, these adorable BrickHeadz should make you deeply uncomfortable. What does that say about art? About the human condition?
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 destruction of Allied shipping by German U-boats was a spectacular and tragic feature of both World Wars I and II. Luis Peña has recreated the much-dreaded underwater menace and scourge of Allied sailors at 1:50 scale with U-Boat VIIc, the most common class of German submarine.
See more photos of this incredible U-boat model in LEGO
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft that played a key role for the Allies in World War II. When the prototype B-17 first flew in 1935, a reporter for the Seattle Times was watching and coined the name “Flying Fortress” with his comment, “Why, it’s a flying fortress!” The B-17 was mainly used in the strategic bombing campaign of World War II. PlaneBricks has built a fantastic LEGO version of this famous bomber, complete with the machine guns poking out of clear ‘blisters’ to allow bombardiers and gunners to visualise their targets.
See more images of this classic LEGO aircraft
Have you ever watched a movie about a “bad guy”, but by the end of the movie, despite the terrible things he has done, you almost want him to get away? That is exactly how I feel while looking at this World War 2 scene by ~J2J~ depicting the final stand of a German tanker as American troops close in. The builder does an excellent job of telling a story with one small scene by coordinating small details throughout. The fire, smoke, a dead German soldier in the background — all allow us to accurately infer the sequence of events that likely led to this moment, making the scene quite dramatic and emotion evoking.
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.
See more of JFK’s PT-109 in LEGO
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.
Click through to see all of this tank’s working features
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.