Tag Archives: 1910s

Mr. Kleinstein’s Steam Powered Amusements

Today at TLCB we’re trumpeting this glorious traction engine and trailer built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Löwe (aka Mr_Klienstien), who has opened up his own steam-powered amusement arcade!

Frogger, Time Crisis, and Sega Rally probably aren’t included, (and we’re not really sure what a steam powered amusement might consist of. Well, we had some ideas but they’re definitely not right), but you can see more of the beautiful traction engine that would power them along with the trailered living accommodation that accompanies it at Nikolaus’s ‘Showman’s Engine ‘ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to let one rip!

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Book a Service

The lovely vintage workshop scene was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today, and whilst it doesn’t feature any racing stripes it does use no less than sixteen LEGO train track switch pieces throughout the build. See if you can spot them with a trained eye* hidden in Mrs. Miller’s library van and the garage surrounding it courtesy of Jonas Kramm. Click the link to switch* over to Flickr.

*Hah!

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Hot and Steamy

Now that the title has pulled in a few people expecting to see something rather different, here’s a traction engine. This Case steam tractor comes from Nikolaus Löwe (aka Mr_Kleinstein) of Flickr, and not only does it look rather wonderful (unless you’re here hoping to see something else of course), it features remote control too, thanks to LEGO’s ace Power Functions system. Head to Nikolaus’ ‘Case Steam Tractor’ album via the link above to see more.

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Stop! Hangar Time

War isn’t won just with planes, tanks and ships. Behind the scenes a huge machine needs to operate to keep the frontline moving, from medical care to mechanics and cookery to construction.

With shifting territory and short aircraft ranges in both world wars, runway and hangar building was as important to the war effort as the aircraft that used them. Often overlooked by Lego builders we have two builds today that recognise the behind-the-scenes heroes of the Allied victory in both wars.

First above (above) is Dread Pirate Wesley‘s superb First World War diorama, set somewhere in Northern France and featuring wonderful SE5a and Sopwith Camel biplanes alongside a brilliantly recreated canvas and wood hangar. It’s a stunning scene and one that you can see more of via the link to Wesley’s photostream above, where you can also find a trio of German Fokkers ready to meet the British fighters in the skies over France.

Today’s second wartime hangar (below) jumps forward around twenty-five years to the Second World War, with the canvas and wood replaced by concrete and tin, and the biplanes by the far more sophisticated Supermarine Spitfire, very probably the greatest fighter of the conflict. Builder Didier Burtin has curved LEGO’s grey baseplates under tension to create the impressive hangar, equipping with everything required to keep the pair of Spitfires airworthy.

There’s more to see of Didier’s beautiful Second World War diorama at his photostream via the link above, where you can also see what happens when a part fails on a 1940s fighter plane, and therefore why the heroes behind the scenes were as vital as those in the cockpits.

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Chilean Aviation Pioneers


Luis Peña may have created the most niche Lego category of all time, and there are some bloody niche ones out there already. These three marvellous contraptions from the early days of flight come from his ‘Chilean Aviation Pioneers’ album, celebrating the first men to get airborne in Chile.

The Bristol M1.C (below) was Britain’s first combat monoplane. It was also Chile’s, as Britain delivered 12 M1.Cs to the country in lieu of two battleships that Chile had ordered from the UK, but that were commandeered by the Royal Navy to fight in the First World War before they could be delivered.

In South America the M1.C became the first aircraft in history to cross the Andes Mountains, whilst in Europe it became a successful air-racer after the war, back in the days when air racing was a thing. Just one example survives today, residing in a museum in Australia.

Luis’ second Chilean Aviation Pioneer (below) is the French-made Voisin Cellular biplane, which became the first plane ever to fly in Chile when it was piloted by César Copetta in 1910, some twenty year before the formation of the Chilean airforce.

Like the Bristol above the vintage aircraft has been superbly recreated in 1:40 (roughly mini-figure) scale, including the the guide wires, spindly wheels, and wooden frame and wing struts.

Luis’ Final Chilean Aviation Pioneer is the 1909 Blériot XI (below), a French design that became the first aircraft ever to fly across the English Channel, as well as the first heavier-than-air aircraft to be used in war, when it was deployed in Africa in 1910. The Blériot also became the first military aircraft to fly in Chile, in the hands of Captain Manuel Ávalos in 1913.

As wonderfully constructed as Luis’ other aircraft there’s more to see of the Blériot XI, plus the Bristol M.1C and Voisin Cellular and Luis’ ‘Chilean Aviation Pioneers album’ on Flickr. Click the link above to go flying over Chile sometime in the early twentieth century.

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Little Fokker

Coincidentally the title of today’s post describes not only the creation within it but also the Elf that found it. This neat Fokker D1 tri-plane, made famous by Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen aka ‘The Red Baron’, comes from Jonas Obermaier of Flickr, who has done a rather excellent job of recreating probably the First World War’s most famous aircraft in mini-figure scale.

Credited with over eighty air-combat victories, the Red Baron himself was killed aged 25 in 1918 by a bullet to the chest, although he managed to successfully land his aircraft in a field in France before he died. The D1 didn’t last long though, being stripped by souvenir hunters. Jonas’s lovely model shows us how his Fokker fighter would have looked, and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link above.

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A Great Vintage

This gorgeous vintage racer was found on Flickr today, and not only is it a vintage vehicle itself, it uses some vintage LEGO parts too. The wonderful engine that you can see in these images an inline 4-cylinder built from LEGO’s original 2×2 square pistons that required a brick-built engine block. Newcomer Joe Maruschak has done a stellar job making use of these old parts, even including push-rod operated valves and a Power Functions motor to bring the engine to life. Head to Joe’s ‘Old Race Car’ album on Flickr to see all the photos and a video of the engine in action, and if you’d like to see what a real vintage 4-cylinder engine looks (and sounds) like then click this rather awesome link and turn your sound up!

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Flying the Eastern Front

Lego Vintage Aircraft

This delightful scene of calm in the midst of a Great War era conflict comes from Tino Poutianen of Flickr, who has created a lovely generic Allied fighter with its two dashing crew casually catching up on news from home whilst a pig steals some lunch.

Sadly we doubt they or the pig will be around this time next year. The early years of wartime flight were terrifically dangerous, and pigs are, well… really tasty. For now all is well though, and happily it’s this scene that’s been preserved in brick by Tino. See more at the link.

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Meet the Fokkers

Lego Fokker D.VII

Once the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, Fokker are now perhaps best known for supplying the German Army during the first World War. The company wasn’t actually German though, instead being founded by Dutchman Anthony Fokker in 1912 whilst he studied in Germany, before moving back to the Netherlands in 1919.

The company that once supplied Germany then fought against them in World War 2, before the Germans invaded the Netherlands and requisitioned Fokker’s factories.

The bombing by the Allies that followed completely destroyed Fokker’s manufacturing facilities, and with a glut of cheap ‘lightly used’ aircraft available at the end of the war the company barely survived. But survive it did, right up until 1996 when the might of Boeing and Airbus finally put an end to Fokker aircraft production.

These two wonderful models depict Fokker in their glory days, when they designed arguably the best fighter aircraft in the world for the German Army during the First World War (and we won’t begrudge them that as the First World War was, as previously explained here, completely pointless).

Built by Dread Pirate Wesley they are a Fokker D.VII and Fokker Eindecker E.IV, both recreated (and photographed) beautifully in mini-figure scale. There’s more to see of each aircraft (plus many more) at Wesley’s brilliant ‘Lego Aircraft’ Flickr album – click the link to take off.

Lego Fokker Eindecker

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The Greatest Showman

Lego Traction Engine

Before the internal combustion engine took over as the dominant technology, early vehicles were powered by all sorts of stuff. Electric – weirdly – was widely used (so things are coming full circle and perhaps Tesla aren’t that revolutionary after all), as was steam, which featured in everything from small(ish) runabouts to enormous tractors, or ‘traction engines’.

Unlike electric, steam vehicles probably aren’t going to make a comeback, but we do still like to see a nice traction engine. Yeah, we’re a bit sad. So does Flickr’s Nikolaus Lowe though, and as such he’s built this splendid mini-figure scale ‘Showman’s Engine’, completely with a wonderfully be-hatted showman at the controls. Head to Nikolaus’s photostream via the link above for more details.

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Mr. T

Lego Ford Model T

In the hundred years since The Great War ended mankind has made all sorts of progress. Antibiotics, space travel, the television, Twitter, the cat pencil sharpener… it’s an amazing list, yet cars are still more or less the same as they were a century ago, and they’re still produced in largely the same way too.

This is the car that defined automobile production for the next 100 years, the phenomenally successful Ford Model T. Produced from 1908 to 1927, around fifteen million units of Henry Ford’s world-changing car were built, meaning that at one time over half of all the cars on the roads anywhere in the world were Model Ts. It’s likely we’ll never see such a dominant product – of any type, let alone a car – again.

This excellent Lego replica of very probably the most important machine ever made comes from previous bloggee Pixel Junkie who has recreated the Model T brilliantly in Lego form. See more at his photostream by clicking here.

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The Tankfather

Lego Renault FT-17 Tank RC

Renault may be better known for things like this and this, but it’s a little-known fact that they’re also the inventors of the modern tank. The tank was first used by the British Army in the First World War, but it was horrendously slow, unreliable and a magnet for unwanted attention. Renault took the idea and simplified it, creating a vehicle that was much lighter, more reliable, and featured a fully-armoured 360-degree rotating turret.

Lego Renualt FT-17 Tank

The Renault FT-17 could also be operated by a few of just two, and it thus became a phenomenally successful design. Around 3,000 units were produced in France (mostly in 1918), whilst another 950 were built under license in the United States. Twenty-seven countries/revolutionary armies used the FT-17 over the next thirty years and the design fought in almost a dozen separate wars, which probably says as much about mankind’s propensity for war as it does the brilliance of the FT-17.

Lego Renualt FT-17 Tank

This beautiful Lego replica of the Renault FT-17 has been built by TLCB regular Sariel, who has recreated the world’s first light tank in glorious detail. Inside the stunningly accurate shell are three Power Functions motors, a Micro Motor, and a third-party SBrick programmable bluetooth control brick. Each track is suspended via oscillating bogies and powered by an individual Medium Motor, a third Medium Motor rotates the gun turret, whilst the Micro Motor powers the gun barrel elevation.

It all works perfectly, as demonstrated in the excellent video below, and you can see all the photos and read more about the build at the Eurobricks discussion forum and via Sariel’s Renault FT-17 Flickr album by clicking here.

YouTube Video

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The Old Workhorse

Lego Traction Engine

The Lego Car Blog is normally full of Porsches, hot rods and fighter jets, but not today! Today we’re bringing you something much classier. And much older too…

Traction engines were the tractors of the late 1800s-early 1900s, effectively self-propelled steam engines for the roads that could pull immense loads. Very slowly, but immense loads nonetheless. The arrival of the internal combustion-engined tractor saw traction engine use decline massively, but many do still survive to this day. In fact this TLCB writer passed one close by to TLCB Towers recently that was comfortably towing both an enormous wooden caravan trailer and a Land Rover Defender behind that. Very slowly.

This superbly rendered turn-of-the-century traction engine comes from newcomer Bricked1980, and whilst it’s not our normal fodder we absolutely love it! Constructed in LEGO’s newer hues of dark green and gold, Bricked’s model features authentic chain steering, a spinning flywheel, much plumbing accoutrement, and a drawbar trailer full of assorted old-timey stuff. Which it will pull, very slowly.

Suggested to us by a reader there’s much more to see of Bricked1980s brilliant mini-figure scale traction engine design at both Eurobricks and Flickr, where you’ll also find a link to the model on the LEGO Ideas platform.

 

Lego Traction Engine

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Remembrance Sunday

Lego Great War Dogfight, Fokker Vs Airco

Today is Remembrance Sunday in The Lego Car Blog’s home nation, and never has a Lego image seemed more beautifully suited.

Henrik Jensen‘s wonderful dogfight between a German Fokker Eindecker EIII and his previously featured British Airco DH2 reminds us that the First World War claimed an enormous amount of life on both sides, and was the first war where conflict rather than disease caused the majority of the loss.

The war itself was pretty pointless, yet around 6 million Allied and 4 million Axis Powers servicemen lost their lives, along with an estimated 2 million civilians. We remember them all, including those our forebears fought against.

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The Spinning Incinerator

Lego Airco DH.2 Fighter

This odd contraption is an Airco DH.2, an early First World War fighter aircraft designed by legendary aeronautical pioneer Sir Geoffrey de Havilland.

The early years of flight were dangerous ones, with poor pilot training and machines pushing the boundaries of aeronautics almost continuously. This meant a huge incident rate (and the Airco DH.2 gaining the nickname in today’s title), but once the Royal Flying Corps were familiar with the design the DH.2 proved to be more than a match for its German counterparts, being highly manoeuvrable and relatively easy to fly.

The single Lewis machine gun mounted up front originally swung from side to side, but as pilots found it easier to aim  with their aircraft than the gun it became fixed to the cockpit. Behind the pilot was a French 100bhp Gnome Monosoupape nine-cylinder radial engine, mounted there in ‘pusher’ configuration as unlike the Germans the British hadn’t yet developed a synchronisation system to allow a gun to fire between spinning propeller blades.

The Airco DH.2 had a ridiculously short yet successful career, destroying 44 enemy aircraft in The Battle of the Somme. Such was the pace of development in the First World War that just a year later the arrival of new German fighters meant DH.2 was outclassed and replaced by the DH.5, which itself only lasted a single year in combat operation before the S.E.5 arrived to see out the conflict, by this time looking far more like a plane we would recognise today.

This neat mini-figure scale recreation of the Airco DH.2 comes from Henrik Jensen, and it captures the aircraft’s weirdness rather well. With such a short life-span there are no surviving original DH.2s today, so this may be as close as we’ll get to seeing one – take a look at Henrik’s photostream via the link above, or at MOCpages here.

Lego Airco DH.2 Fighter

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