While it’s more common to see LEGO models of neat and tidy downtowns that would look right at home in Disney, it takes at least as much skill to show a city in the aftermath of war. Builder Paul Rizzi has created this World War II diorama depicting the Soviet invasion of Berlin in 1945. Created using approximately 12,000 pieces, the 1/42-scale diorama’s centerpiece is a pair of large buildings that we can see were once quite ornate, before being bombed out, no doubt during the Allies’ extensive air raids. Paul has been careful not to simply build a standard LEGO building and then unbuild it partially, but instead actually provide some of the structural framework that’s typically not present in a LEGO building, such as the rafters and floor joists. The large number of scattered bricks and rubble blown from the buildings and street during the bombing, along with several large craters, give the whole diorama a sense of realism that’s sometimes missing in the “too clean” versions that many novice builders attempt.
The Soviet tank, a T-34/85, occupies the right half of the diorama accompanied by a handful of Soviet infantry facing off a smattering of German troops. The Soviet forces are crossing under Berlin’s famous Stadtbahn railway, which is striking in dark green. The tank itself employs an aftermarket flag and treads, and is a great version of the angular Russian tank that formed the backbone of the Soviet machine.
LEGO builder Didier Burtin has designed a gorgeous Supermarine Spitfire Mk. II, along with a countryside hangar to house it. This famous aircraft was one of the most powerful weapons in the Battle for Britain in World War II, and in fact, there are two Spitfires here, one in traditional brown desert camouflage (maybe this is North Africa, and not Britain?), while the other is outfitted with the less common grey winter camouflage.
The concrete slabs that make up the mottled runway are actually slabs of sideways bricks, carefully spaced with enough room to slot in a variety of foliage and green clips to make up the overgrown grass. And of course the hangar itself is gorgeous, consisting of two grey baseplates gently curved to form the arched roof of the hangar. It’s an exceedingly simple technique that is perfectly suited to the task. But if one scene with Spitfires isn’t enough, Didier has also presented a diorama of a less fortunate Spitfire, having been ditched in a snowy landscape, where it plowed an impressive trail before breaking apart.
Want to see more LEGO World War II models? Check out our archives: LEGO WWII models
Polish LEGO builder Sariel is famous for his huge LEGO models that incorporate LEGO Technic and Power Functions elements for working features without sacrificing details or the overall look of the model. His recent MAZ-535 artillery truck was no exception, and it reminded us that we had overlooked his fantastic KV-1 heavy tank and KV-2 heavy artillery tank. I’ve built LEGO KV-1 and KV-2 tanks myself, so I have an appreciation for the challenging angles of these early WW2 Soviet tanks.
Read more about Sariel’s Soviet KV-1 and KV-2 heavy tanks
History produced a lot of weird-looking aircraft during WWII, such as famously great P-38 Lightning. But LEGO builder Jon Hall has long been known for turning his skills to the weird-looking aircraft of WWII that history did not produce, designing his own batch of bizarre dogfighters instead. Looking like a cross between the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake”, Jon’s crafted this crazy airplane with stubby wings and a flat nose, which he’s dubbed the P-65 Tomahawk.
As usual, Jon’s designs are clean and sleek, this time sporting a two-tone Navy color. Presumably, the short wings help with carrier storage. Two of the best details deal with airflow: first there’s the intake, which sports a Technic disk 5×5 behind the propeller, an old-school part that originally hails from the short-lived Robo Rider theme. The second detail I love is the exhaust on the sides of the fuselage, which are a series of ports made of the Nexo bot shoulders.
A good piece of Sky-fi art never gets old, and this alternate-WWII Tomahawk Kaiju Interceptor by Albert is a wonderful example. Making ample use of sand green slopes and tiles, this twin-tailed LEGO fighter is skillfully built with angled wings lined with forward-facing cannons and outrigger engines. One of the neatest details is the moveable inset rudders. It may not be the most aerodynamic design, but it sure looks cool, and after all, that’s what Sky-fi is all about.
The Douglas DC-3 is among the most iconic aircraft in the world, with a distinctive shape that’s instantly recognizable. Unfortunately for LEGO builders, that shape is also rather difficult to produce with LEGO bricks. However, that hasn’t dissuaded Vaionaut, who turned his skillful hands to this classic and produced a masterpiece. He started with an earlier design by Obuh Samateus and significantly overhauled it for accuracy and stability. Apart from the excellent shaping of the compound curves in the aircraft’s fuselage, the small touches, such as the brick-built German flag on the tail and the chrome non-custom chrome cowling on the engines, really make this model sing. The small service truck is easy to miss, but it’s a fantastic accompaniment also.
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.
While we can all gaze in wonder at a huge LEGO diorama, there’s also a lot of joy that comes from building fun little models with interesting techniques. GolPlaysWithLEGO has built this fun little tank that has 61 parts and a lot of character.
Click to see the parts and instructions
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.