It’s a matter of record that George Lucas used World War II combat footage as a placeholder for the starship battles in early cuts of the original Star Wars. LEGO builder Jordan Fridal has built on this fact by creating an inspired series of digital mash-ups; Star Wars vehicles combined with the WWII-era planes that might have stood in for them before the special effects were done. Here we see an X-Wing/P-51 Mustang trying to outrun a Tie Intercepter/Messerschmitt ME BF-109. And just like groundbreaking special effects need a team to complete them, sometimes a LEGO creation takes more than one person to bring it to life. With that in mind, Jordan credits brick_squadron and Inthert for a bit of help on the X-51.
Sometimes something comes along that has us simply awestruck. That would be the case with this stunning LEGO 1/38 scale U-BOOT TYP VII C built by Ciamosław Ciamek. This model has roughly 15,000 pieces and is about 70 inches or 177 centimeters long. It also took staggering four-and-a-half years to build. In case you were wondering this is the same type of U-Boat from the Das Boot movie, which, in my opinion, is one of the tensest and most exhilarating movies ever made; a worthy watch if you haven’t seen it already. The hull panels can be removed on both the port and starboard sides. Here’s a view with the port panels removed to view the interior spaces.
There is so much going on in this WWII scene by builder PelLego that’s it’s hard to know where to begin. I don’t know if I should talk about the detailed rock work first, or the delicate trees with flex-tube trunks. Those natural forms stand in juxtaposition to the tall man-made domiciles, tiny cars parked out front, and sleek boat being loaded with gear. The build is a masterclass in tile usage, ranging from the flat, even stillness of the water to the rough and worn street next to the dock.
You don’t have to be in the Soviet navy to appreciate this LEGO Kirov battlecruiser built by Kirill Simerzin. I mean, just look at how those spanner plates resemble round portals along the hull. The red star at the bow is also a nice touch. The builder doesn’t say much about this creation other than it comes from 1941. Wikipedia states that this craft takes its namesake from the Bolshevik revolutionary Sergei Kirov and was laid down in 1935 and finally decommissioned in 1974. An array of guns and two seaplanes makes this a formidable Soviet ship indeed. In my opinion; it’s удивительный!
If you’ve got the time, be sure to take a deep dive into history to see more military stuff from World War II in LEGO.
A LEGO builder who goes by the name of Admiral_Plackbar (tee hee!) has rendered a pretty sweet 1:24 scale Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung B Tiger II tank. The Admiral (who, based solely on their name, should probably visit the dentist) tells us that the Tiger II is, to this day, one of the heaviest tanks of all time weighing in at 69 tons. The weight made this tank slow and difficult to maneuver in rugged terrain. It’s having no problems however showing those mushrooms who is boss.
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.
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.