Per Ardua Ad Astra — “Through adversity to the stars” — the motto of the UK’s Royal Air Force, and what sprang to mind as Paul Nicholson‘s LEGO version of a Supermarine Spitfire thundered into view. For a small model, the shaping is pretty good, capturing the iconic elliptical wing shape well, and there’s a nice mix of colours to create a camouflage effect. And the use of 1×1 “cheese slopes” delivers the essential touch of the raked exhausts down the sides of the engine. I’m less of a fan of the forced-perspective base — I think the presentation would have benefitted from further separation of the plane from the ground, and perhaps a tighter depth of field pushing the background out of focus. However, despite those minor photography gripes the plane itself is a cracking model, immediately recognisable and eminently swooshable.
Last time we featured builder Wesley, he took us to the smoky skies above the trenches of WWI with a magnificent trio of early aircraft. This time he’s set the clock forward a few decades to the Battle of Britain with this gorgeous Supermarine Spitfire Mk.II, created in a nifty scale that’s slightly smaller than minifigure scale. He’s taken off a few of the panels to show the plane in service, which also acts as an added bonus in showing us how it’s built.
When it comes to channeling a chunky 50s-retro vibe in LEGO bricks, nobody does it better than Martin Redfern. His latest creation is a brilliantly beefy-looking dispatch bike, complete with twin seats, leather pannier bags, a chunky engine, and wonderfully-curved fuel tank and mudguard. The large scale employed allows Martin to use the golden angel’s wing as a logo down the side of the fuel tank — a nice touch of detail.
As an added treat, Martin has put together an “Afrika Korps” version, complete with side-car and machine gun. Great stuff.
Whilst the Battle Of Britain saw the RAF fly more Hawker Hurricanes, the Supermarine Spitfire’s beautiful lines marked it out as the signature British fighter of WW2. This large LEGO model by Lennart C manages to capture the iconic shaping and curves perfectly — no mean feat in the brick. The 1:18 scale employed is impressive — with the model stretching to over 50 studs long by my count — allowing the creation of accurate brick-built camouflage. This, coupled with some simple stickers makes for a wonderful re-creation of the famous fighter.
The attention to detail on show is impressive, with 8 Browning machine guns built into the wings, and nice use of “macaroni pipe” pieces for the engine exhaust cowls. Don’t miss the underside, with its working undercarriage — excellent work.
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.
One of the latest and greatest propeller-driven aircraft of WW2 is surely the F4U Corsair. The American fighter is instantly recognizable with its inverted gull wing. Brought to life in LEGO by Patrick MAGO this monster of a model is built at a scale of roughly 1:10. It has a wingspan of 1 meter and weighs in at a hefty 6 kg (13 pounds).
It took Patrick approximately 10 months to build the model, and he had to redesign it no less than 3 times during the process to deal with the weight. Beyond the structure itself, a big challenge in such a build is the limited selection of dark blue parts available.
Check out the video to see the wings unfolding, and more details like the cockpit interior…
After a long break, German builder Sylon-tw is back into his assembly hall proving that his futuristic airplanes are still dominating LEGO skies. Instead of the dieselpunk go-to colors of grey, dark blue, bright red, or reddish brown, Thomas goes for bold black on the body and elegant decorations of white and dark red stripes. Combined with short droid bodies, the dinosaur flippers work perfectly as propeller blades. And in a nice change from convention, the aircraft has a fetching female pilot.
As we enter 2017 we look upon a world scarred by tension and despair, where reason is too often discarded for demagoguery and life made meaningless by barrel bombs, drone strikes and rampaging lorries. Intolerance seems to spread among both people and nations; the threat of violence, never far off, lurks ever closer.
These factors are not new to our species. The equation has repeated itself often in human history, far too frequently with horrifying consequences. But our viciousness is not preordained. By reminding us of our past misdeeds, history can guide us to a better future. If we forget history, we will be doomed to repeat its mistakes. Pascal pledges not to forget history’s victims with this microscale version of Auschwitz.
Figures vary, but as many as one million people were killed in Auschwitz before Soviet troops liberated the death camp in January, 1945. Nazi Germany’s largest such facility, Auschwitz was the epicenter of what was perhaps mankind’s most barbaric moments. One could certainly praise the builder for this accurate and detailed recreation of Auschwitz’ infamous gates. But what is most striking is the message Pascal adds to it, hopefully lost on no one, that our darkest days may return if we fail to heed their lessons.
Historical builder Milan CMadge recently shared his version of one of the most iconic and influential fighter planes of World War II, the P-51D Mustang. The P-51D was not just a spectacular fighter, outclassing most of its counterparts in combat, but a real eye-catcher too. The sleek and seductive lines that made the Mustang such a pretty plane are captured nicely here in LEGO form.
The color patterns are accurate and look really good. The stickers are conservatively applied and add a nice bit of character to the model. Overall the builder has done a fine job paying tribute to this Allied workhorse, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to swoosh it around my house all day!
Put into service with the RAF in 1947, just after the close of WWII, the Hawker Sea Fury isn’t quite as well known as its older sibling, the Hawker Hurricane, but it went on to see service as a carrier-based fighter in the Korean War. Building good minifig-scale fighter aircraft is a notoriously tricky thing, particularly sculpting a decent looking cockpit. Maelven has done an admirable bit of work here, though, and this plane looks ready for action.