Tag Archives: 1940s

Czech Mate

We are SO BORED of Brexit. Every day, all day, people shouting at one another. Racism, classism, elitism… every ‘ism’ you could wish for in one painfully tedious and never-ending argument.

So whatever your political persuasion (and as Americans make up the largest nationality of our readership we suspect the answer is probably this), here’s a celebration of European achievement in the face of considerable adversity.

This is the Tatra T600 ‘Tatraplan’, an almost spectacularly futuristic design produced by Tatra from 1948 from within a country battered by war and then shackled by the yoke of Communism thanks to a coup d’état that took place in the same year the car launched.

Unfortunately Czech Communism lasted considerably longer than the T600 (right up until the Velvet Revolution of 1989), by which point Tatra had almost completely wound down car production to focus on its (excellent) heavy-duty trucks, but we look upon the quirky Tatra with considerably more favour than the Communist regime that ruled during its production run.

The T600 was a large (six seat) family car powered by a 2-litre flat-four engine, featuring a monocoque chassis and with a wonderful streamlined body. Just over 6,000 units were produced during its three-year production run and the whole TLCB team would take one over a typical modern family car (which are mostly as boring as Brexit) in heartbeat.

This lovely Technic recreation of the Tatra T600 comes from Kent Kashiwabara of Flickr, and not only has he captured the car’s beautiful lines rather well in Technic form, he’s also given his model a flat-four engine, working steering, and full suspension underneath. There’s more to see of Kent’s excellent T600 on Flickr via the link above, which is where we’ll be pretending we live somewhere else other than the UK right now….

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Killing with Kliment

Sometimes we’re surprised we have any Elves left at all…

This is a Soviet Kliment Voroshilov KV-1/KV-2 tank, it comes from Lego-building genius Sariel, and it has caused considerable carnage within our Elven workforce here at TLCB Towers.

Sariel’s model faithfully recreates the 1940’s Russian battle tank, complete with remote control drive and skid-steering, torsion bar suspension, a rotating turret with elevating gun, and – in the case of the mad KV-2 version – a working firing mechanism.

It’s this feature the Elf that discovered today’s find chose to use on its colleagues, firing at them as they fled and then running those that got hit over. It’s not fun being an Elf sometimes. Unless you’re the one doing the firing and running over we suppose…

Anyway, we have the controls now so order has been restored, giving us a chance to examine the astonishing quality of engineering that has gone into this creation.

You can see it for yourself at Sariel’s KV-1/KV-2 Flickr album, the full gallery available at Bricksafe, or the Eurobricks discussion forum. You can also check out Sariel’s interview here at The Lego Car Blog via the first link in the text above, plus you can watch the Kliment Voroshilov tank in action in a Michael Bay-inspired short film below…

YouTube Video

 

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Constellation

This gorgeous Lockheed Constellation airliner was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today. Built by the aptly-named BigPlanes it’s a fully fitted mini-figure scale replica of the iconic triple-tailed aircraft, complete with a highly detailed cabin including cockpit, toilets and even a kitchen!

The Constellation first flew in the early 1940s and was produced until 1958, by which point jets were quickly replacing piston engined aircraft. The ‘Connie’s four piston engines were eighteen-cylinders each, and allowed the plane to fly at over 375mph (faster than a Mitsubishi Zero fighter!) and for 3,500 miles.

The Constellation was also the first mainstream aircraft to feature a pressurised cabin, and saw deployment by both the military and civilian airlines with carriers including Air France, Pan-Am, and – as shown here – Trans World Airlines.

Still in limited service today we think the Constellation is one of the most beautiful airliners of all time, and BigPlanes’ Lego recreation certainly does it justice. Head over to his photostream via the link above check out more images of his spectacular model including some wonderful interior shots.

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Girls und Panzer

Just when you think anime can’t get any weirder… ‘Girls und Panzer‘ is a cartoon featuring girls and, er… panzers. Presumably to satisfy some seriously niche kinks.

This is one of the panzers from the aforementioned programme, a Porsche Tiger VK4501, a design put forward during the Second World War but never produced, which – given Porcshe’s already slightly dodgy beginnings – is probably a good thing.

This superbly photographed teddy-bear be-stickered Model Team version of the prototype battle tank is the work of newcomer NABLACKS, who has recreated the Tiger GuP.Ver in spectacular detail, and has equipped it with some properly brilliant functionality too…

Underneath the realistic exterior NABLACKS has fitted his Porsche Tiger with twelve (12!) Power Functions L motors, with six driving each track. Oscillating bogies provide the suspension whilst the turret can rotate and tilt courtesy of another two motors. All of that motorised goodness is controllable via bluetooth thanks to a trio of BuWizz 2.0 bricks, each delivering up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions battery and IR receiver system.

This makes NABLACKS’ tank fast. Really fast. In fact there’s wasn’t a single Elf on the floor of the TLCB Towers still Elf-shaped within minutes of this arriving in the building.

You can see just how capable NABLACKS’ creation is via the video below (plus you can watch the ‘Girls und Panzer’ trailer video via the first link in the text if you’re feeling weird), and you can view more images of the build at both Flickr and Eurobricks, whilst we dispatch several flattened TLCB Elves to the ‘Elf Hospital‘…

YouTube Video

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Harvard Reference

Well we’re never going to write a title cleverer than that… On to the build. This is a North American T-6 ‘Harvard’ a World War 2 training aircraft, and sometime fighter, as built here beautifully by previous bloggee Henrik Jenson. Henrik’s Harvard is shown in Danish livery, one of the many airforces that operated the T-6 from the 1940s until the 1970s, including some that the U.S. has subsequently fought against. See more at Henrik’s album on Flickr via the link above.

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Lightning Bolt!

Lightning is always cool. OK, not always; this guy took some liberties. But other than that it’s cool. One of fastest and most terrifying forces in nature, lightning also makes a for a great aircraft name. It’s been used twice that we know of, the second being the unhinged English Electric Lightning and the first being this; the glorious Lockheed P-38J Lightning. The Lockheed P-38’s usual (and we think quite beautiful) twin boom design makes it an oddity in the aircraft world, and even more so considering it first entered service in 1941.

Deployed as a bomber, a long range escort fighter, a ground attack craft, for photo reconnaissance, and as a night fighter, the P-38 flew throughout the entire American involvement in World War Two in a vast array of theatres, with over 10,000 produced in just 4 years.

This colourful mini-figure scale version of the iconic warbird comes from previous bloggee John C. Lamarck of Flickr, who has done a wonderful job recreating the P-38 Lightning in lego form. The hand-drawn decals add to the cartoonish nature of the build too, and there’s more to see at John’s photostream by clicking here.

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Little Floater

The Second World War, for all the death and destruction it wrought, did provide the catalyst for some amazing technological advances. Sticking some floats underneath a Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter probably isn’t in the top three though, but the result is still rather cool. The Nakajima A6M2-N ‘Rufe’, developed from the infamous Zero, turned the land-based fighter/bomber into an amphibious floatplane. Just over 300 were produced between 1942 and the end of the war, with last being operated by the French following its capture in Indo-China. This ingeniously constructed small scale version comes from John C. Lamarck of Flickr, who has captured the Rufe’s unique asthenic brilliantly in miniature. See more at John’s photostream via the link.

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Back in Black

Flickr’s Jonathan Elliott has appeared here numerous times over the years with his excellent small-scale vehicles. Fellow builder JohnniD has too, but has since departed Flickr for pastures new. To pay homage to his old building buddy Jonathan has reworked one of Johnni’s classic designs, this lovely ’49 Chevrolet Pick-Up, and re-published the results. Clever techniques and superbly recognisable design cues are visible in abundance and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

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More Corsair

This isn’t Henrik Jensen’s first Vought F4E Corsair. In fact he built one way back in 2014, which didn’t feature here as it didn’t quite meet our standards. Or we weren’t paying attention. One of those two anyway. Henrik’s second iteration updates his previous design with LEGO’s latest dark blue parts and folding wingtips, and adds a gloriously cool brick-built checkerboard engine cowling that frankly every plane should have. Custom decals complete the aesthetic accuracy and there’s more of Henrik’s superbly realistic F4E Corsair to see at his Flickr album by clicking these words.

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Double Horse Goodness

This is an F-82F Twin Mustang long-range fighter, and it really did look like this. Effectively two P-51 Mustangs bolted together (only apparently the USAF couldn’t do math), the F-82F wasn’t ready during the Second World War, but it did see service in the Korean War before the rapid advancements in jet engine technology ended its career. This excellent Lego recreation of one of America’s weirder aircraft comes from John Lamarck and there’s more to see on both Flickr and MOCpages. Click the links to view the full photo set, and for more double horse goodness click this secret link.

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Light Artillery

Lego SPA TL17

This is an SPA TL.37, a light artillery tractor built by a subsidiary of Fiat during the Second World War for Royal Italian Army. Powered by a huge 4-litre 4-cylinder engine, with four wheel drive and four wheel steering, able to climb a 40-degree slope, and capable of 40km/h whilst pulling 75 or 100mm artillery pieces, it looks like a seriously fun vehicle for gadding about in the desert. Unfortunately for the Axis Powers their gadding about in the desert did not go well, but that’s not exactly the fault of SPA TL.37. There’s more to see of this one courtesy of Rebla of Flickr – click here to take a look.

Lego SPA TL.37

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Semovente Self-Propelled Gun

Lego Semovente da 75/18 Self-Propelled Gun

We’ve written about Italy’s disastrous North African campaign during the Second Wold War before, so we’re skipping the history today to get straight to the MOC, a Semovente da 75/18 self-propelled gun (tank?), as built by Rebla of Flickr. Rebla’s mini-figure scale model recreates the Semovente beautifully, and even includes (sort of) working suspension on its tracks. There’s more to see of Rebla’s wonderful World War 2 tank (including a rather debonaire-looking driver) on Flickr – click on the link above to self-propel your way there.

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Radio Flyer Wagon

Lego Radio Flyer Wagon

Likely the first vehicle of many of our American readers, the Radio Flyer Wagon has been an icon of free-wheeling adventure for over 90 years, making it the cause of more broken bones than probably any other vehicular design in history.

Despite this legendary status the dangerous tub-on-wheels had so-far escaped the attention of Lego builders, today corrected wonderfully by 1saac W of Flickr. 1saac’s inspired choice of pieces have recreated the Radio Flyer Wagon to perfection, from its brake-less axles to its gloriously unstable draw-bar steering. Now let’s go and find a really big hill!

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Wet and Dirty

Lego Schwimmwagen SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad

This is a Volkswagen Type 166 Schwimmwagen and NSU SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad, and we’re going to simply call them the Schwimmwagen and NSU from here on in, because although they were opposing sides during the Second World War the Germans could give the Soviets a run for their money when it came to ridiculous vehicle names.

The Schwimmwagen was designed under Ferdinant Porsche (he of VW Beetle and, er… Porsche fame) to help settle the argument that Germany, Italy and Japan were having with the rest of the world during the 1940s. Over fifteen-thousand Swimmwagens were produced, making it the most numerous amphibious car in history, each powered by a 25hp flat-4 engine that could drive either all four wheels or a propellor for when things got wet.

Pictured alongside the Swimmwagen is the NSU which, whilst not quite as at home in the water, was incredible in the mud – being essentially a tank with handlebars. Both serve to remind us that whilst the Axis Powers thankfully lost the Second World War, the engineering they produced during the conflict was remarkable.

These marvellous mini-figure scale recreations of two of Germany’s weirdest and most brilliant World War 2 military vehicles comes from TLCB favourite Pixel Fox, who has built each vehicle beautifully and pictured them in his trademark diorama style. There’s more to see at Pixel’s photostream – click the link above to get wet and dirty.

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B is for Bomber

Lego Avro Lancaster B Mk.1

It’s the 3rd of January and we still haven’t posted a car. No matter though, because just look at today’s find! This jaw-droppingly beautiful creation is a near-perfect replica of the Avro Lancaster B heavy bomber in Mk.1 specification, as built by Plane Bricks of Flickr.

The Lancaster was the RAF’s primary bomber during the Second World War, with over 7,000 built from 1941 to ’46. The aircraft was powered by four Rolls Royce Merlin liquid-cooled V12 engines, each making well over 1,200bhp, and was capable of carrying the largest payload of any bomber during the war, including the 10,000kg ‘Grand Slam Earthquake’ bombs and the amazing ‘bouncing bombs‘ used to take out German dams.

Lancaster bombers completed around 156,000 sorties during the Second World War, dropping bombs totalling over 600,000 tons, destroying dams, ships, bridges, railways, and armaments. The aircraft were also deployed to drop food aid over occupied Holland, preventing the starvation of thousands of people (a fine hour indeed), but also to indiscriminately fire-bomb the cities Hamburg and Dresden, resulting in their complete destruction and the deaths over 65,000 civilians (a less fine hour…).

Almost half of all the Lancasters built were lost during the war, with only thirty-five completing more than a hundred missions. Today seventeen Avro Lancasters survive of which two are airworthy, flying in Canada and the UK. For readers further afield Plane Brick’s stunning recreation of the Mk.1 Avro Lancaster offers a chance to see this war-defining bomber in incredible detail. With custom decals, superb brick-built camouflage, working land-gear, and a fully detailed interior, Plane Bricks’ mini-figure scale Avro Lancaster B is definitely worth a closer look. Join the fight on Flickr by clicking here.


Lego Avro Lancaster B Mk.1

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