Tag Archives: 1940s

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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Fly Bavaria

Lego Douglas DC-3

It’s a grey January winter’s day here at TLCB Towers, and we’re already pondering sunnier climes. So too is Vaionaut of Flickr it seems, having built this wonderful Douglas DC-3 airliner. Launched in the 1930s the American Douglas DC-3 revolutionised air travel, becoming the default airliner for decades thereafter, and is – incredibly – still in use today. Vaionaut’s beautifully built model is pictured here in German Bavaia livery (complete with a neat 1972 Munich olympics decal) and there’s more to see of his gorgeous creation at his photostream. Click the link above to take to the skies.

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Corsair Island

Lego Vought F4U-1A Corsair

This magnificent aircraft is a World War II Vought F4U-1A Corsair, pictured at Ondonga Airfield in the Solomon Islands in February 1944. It comes from crash_cramer of Flickr who has built this spectacular scene for the upcoming Great Western Brick Show. The fighter itself is one of the finest Lego aircraft that we’ve ever featured and there are loads more images to see at crash_cramer’s photostream. Head to the island via the link above.

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Stuka

Lego Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka"

It’s been a bit of a Military Monday here at The Lego Car Blog, with three war-themed creations none of which are cars. Oh well, here’s the third, a Junkers Ju-87 ‘Stuka’ fighter, and it’s marvellous. Built by aircraft-building legend Dornbi of Flickr, it’s a superbly accurate recreation of one of Nazi Germany’s earliest fighters of the Second World War, made all the more impressive by some cunning brick-built camouflage. There’s much more to see of the ‘Stuka’ at Dornbi’s photostream – click the link above for all the pictures – and to counteract today’s glorification of war, here’s a super secret link.

Lego Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka"

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Tank-a-Cycle

Lego Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101

This may be a cartoony creation, but the German military really did drive/ride about in these. It’s a Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101, or SdKfz 2 for short (our name for it is way better), a kind of half-tank-half-motorbike configuration designed to fit inside the hold of a Junkers JU 52 transport plane.

The SdKfz 2 was the only gun tractor capable of being transported by air in this way and it therefore became one of the most versatile vehicles of the German military, being used for everything from troop transport over deep mud to pulling heavy loads, aircraft tug work, and even cable-laying.

The Kettenkraftrad HK 101 was designed and built by NSU (who later became Audi), using the Schachtellaufwerk overlapped and interleaved road wheel mechanism found on almost all of Germany’s tracked military vehicles.

Lego SdKfz 2 KettenKrad

A four-cylinder Opel motor gave the SdKfz 2 a top speed of around 40mph, and it could climb slopes of over 24°, even in sand. A skid-steer system operated in addition to the somewhat superfluous-looking front wheel, allowing the SdKfz 2 to nimbly (for a 1.5 ton vehicle) traverse the most impassible terrains.

This magnificent recreation of the Kettenkraftrad HK 101 comes from previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Redfern1950s, who has built his SdKfZ in Afrika Korps specification, complete with two cartoonish German military officers, a removable engine-cover, and a good shot at the fantastically complicated Schachtellaufwerk track system.

There’s much more to see of Redfern’s delightful Kettenkraftrad HK 101 model as well as his other vehicles from the Nazis’ short-lived Afrika Korps campaign on Flickr – click these words to make the jump!

Lego Afrika Korps Kettenkrad

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Out of Africa

Lego Afrika Korps - Sd Kfz 7

Germany got a bit ambitious in the 1940s. Not content with being complete dicks in Europe, they sent an expeditionary force to North Africa to assist their ally Mussolini in expanding his fascist ideas across the Mediterranean. Fortunately before long the Italian King had had enough of Mussolini and arrested him in 1943, triggering the collapse of Italy’s invasions and the eventual switch to fighting against, rather than for, the Germans.

This led to the German forces surrendering in Africa in 1943, although of course continuing to fight everywhere else, and the Afrika Korps were disbanded. Not really a worthwhile campaign then, but the Afrika Korps did get some very cool vehicles…

Lego Sd Kfz 7 Half-track

This is one of them, an Sd kHz 7 half-track, which was kinda like an armed, convertible, off-road people carrier. Watch Audi launch one imminently…

This wonderful cartoon-esque Afrika Korps Sd kHz 7 comes from previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Redfern1950s, and not only has he loaded his half-track with period-correct goodies, he’s built some interesting-looking characters to ride in it too!

There’s much more of the Sd kHz 7 to see at Red’s Flickr photostream – head to Africa and join the Korps via the link above!

Lego Sd Kfz 7 Half-track

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Mechstang

Lego Mustang Mech

The vintage fighter plane theme continues here at TLCB with this… er, we have no idea. Mixing a mech with a P-51 Mustang, Flickr’s Kobalt has created something that every single Elf here at TLCB Towers thinks is the coolest creation they’ve ever seen. Head to Kobalt’s photostream to see more of his ‘Mustang Blondi’, whilst we dust off a classic Transformers cartoon VHS.

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The Bird & The Rat

Lego Aircraft Rat Rod

Soundling a bit like a British pub or a Simpsons episode, Sydag’s latest build pairs an F8F-2 Bearcat with a ’28 Ford pick-up rat rod, making the pilot/driver probably the coolest mini-figure in the world. See more on Flickr.

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Black Cherry

Lego Classic Pick-Up Truck

Another day, another Elf returns, and another meal token is distributed. Flickr’s jarekwally is the builder of today’s find, with this mildly-rodded classic pick-up truck. Suicide doors, a chequered interior, and the lowest wheel-arch clearance we’ve ever seen all feature, and there’s more to see via the link above.

Lego Classic Pick-Up Truck

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Dispatched

Lego Dispatch Rider Afrika Korps

If you’re a member of the NRA then everything can be improved with the addition of a gun. High school security? Add a gun. Patriotism? You’ll definitely need a gun. Motorbikes? Much cooler with a gun.

OK, we’ve made that last one up.* Still, Redfern1950s‘ previously featured Dispatch Bike has received a Second Amendment upgrade and even we** admit that it does look cool! Re-purposed in Africa Korps spec it also includes a serious looking cartoon rider, so it can now dispatch people instead of packages.

Click the link above to head over to Redfern’s photostream for all the pictures.

Lego Afrika Korps Bike

*Except we haven’t.

**There is an alternative.

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Midnight Rumble

Lego Art Deco Cruiser

There isn’t an Elf in sight here at The Lego Car Blog Towers. Our mythical workers are easily spooked, and to be fair to them, we don’t think we’ve ever seen a car that looks as evil as this one*. Built by previous bloggee Redfern1950s this ‘Art Deco Cruiser’ looks absolutely terrifying, with a V8 up front for running you down and a tommy-gun in the trunk for when it catches you. There’s more to see at Redfern’s photostream – take a look via the link above whilst we try to coax the Elves out of hiding. Or we might just enjoy the peace.

Lego Art Deco Cruiser

*Apart from this of course.

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Mack Daddy

Lego Mack LMSW 6x4 Wrecker

This utterly wonderful vehicle is a 1940s Mack LMSW 6×4 wrecker, as used by both civilian towing companies and the British and Canadian military during the Second World War. The LMSW was powered by a 10-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine driving the two rear axles, with a Garwood single and later double crane (as shown here) mounted above them, each of which was capable of lifting 8 tons. The fiendishly complicated-looking booms and stabilisers are actually very simple, using steel wires to winch into position without the need for hydraulics and other complications.

Lego Mack LMSW 6x4 Wrecker SBrick

This stunning Model Team creation comes from Flickr’s Dirk Klijn and he’s recreated the classic Mack absolutely beautifully. Underneath the unbelievably realistic and superbly detailed exterior is a fully remote controlled drive train, with a combination of XL and Servo motors plus a third-party SBrick bluetooth controller allowing the model to be driven via the SBrick app on a mobile phone.

Dirk’s model is one of the finest Lego trucks you’ll find anywhere and there’s more to see of his Mack LMSW on Flickr. Head over to the Mack’s Flickr album via the link in the text above for all of the superb images.

Lego Mack LMSW RC SBrick

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Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250

Lego Technic Sd.Kfz. 250 Half-Track

A valiant effort from your brain in trying to pronounce that title as you read it. Have another go…

The Sonderkraftfahrzeug or ‘special motor vehicle’ (hereby known as the Sd.Kfz. 250, as even the Germans didn’t like to pronounce it), was a lightly armoured half-track multi-purpose transport used by the German military throughout World War 2.

Armed with a single or double machine gun, the Sd.Kfz. 250 saw duty as a troop carrier, radio vehicle, command transport and reconnaissance car, and could reach almost 50mph.

This rather neat remotely controlled Technic version of the Sd.Kfz. 250 comes from Chawn of Eurobricks, and features working suspension, twin L-Motor drive to both the tracks and the front wheels, and RC steering.

There’s more to see of Chawn’s remote control half-track – including a video of it in action – at the Eurobricks forum – make the jump via the link above.

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Technic Snail

Lego Technic Citroen 2CV

The Citroen 2CV, affectionately (and unaffectionately) known as ‘ the tin snail’ owing to its looks and glacial speed, is one one of the world’s most important cars. Yes, you did read that right.

Designed in the 1930s, Citroen’s Car-for-the-People was intended for France’s numerous rural workers who were largely still dependent upon the horse for transportation. Reliable, fuel efficient, easy to maintain, and above all cheap, the 2CV was engineered to mobilise an entire population class. And then Hitler decided to be ‘a bit of a dick’.

The German invasion and the subsequent commandeering of French factories to build stuff for blowing up the British meant production for the innovative and much-needed 2CV never started. Fearful of the Nazi’s stealing the design, Citroen hid their 2CV prototypes across France in the hope they would remain undetected (some of which are still being unearthed today).

Lego Technic Citroen 2CV

The Allied victory in 1945 left behind a ruined France, but thankfully for Citroen an undetected cache of 2CV prototypes. Three years later, and a decade after the car was first engineered, the 2CV finally reached production.

As much as Europe’s poor workers needed cheap reliable transportation before World War 2, they really needed it afterwards, and the little Citroen was a huge success. Half the price of Germany’s ‘People’s Car’ – the Volkswagen Beetle, the 2CV sold almost 4 million units in a production run that spanned five decades and nine different countries.

When Citroen 2CV production finally ceased in 1990 the car had become a bit of a joke, but for much of its life the 2CV was the most important car in Europe, and is surely one of the greatest car designs ever created.

Lego Technic Citroen 2CV

This fitting tribute to one of France’s icons of motoring comes from previous bloggee and Technic building legend Nico71 who has recreated the simplicity of Citroen’s engineering beautifully. The 2CV’s legendary leading and trailing arm suspension (designed so a peasant could carry eggs unbroken across a ploughed field) has been faithfully reproduced in Lego form, plus there’s working steering and the doors, hood and trunk all open.

There’s lots more of Nico71’s brilliant Technic 2cv to see via Brickshelf, plus you watch a video of the model on YouTube by clicking here.

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