This beautiful aircraft is a PBY-6A Catalina, as built by Henrik Jensen of Flickr. Introduced in 1936 over 3,300 Catalina were constructed, making it one of the most widely used flying boats during the second world war. The Catalina saw service in maritime patrol, night bombing, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue, with some still in use today as fire fighting water bombers.
The PBY-6A Catalina depicted here was operated by the Royal Dutch Air force, and has been recreated wonderfully by Henrik using a myriad of clever building techniques, with a few stickers enhancing the realism too. There’s more to see of Henrik’s Catalina at his photostream – click the link above to head there and take a look.
This is an M8 Greyhound 6×6 Light Armoured Vehicle (or something close to it, as builder Robson M doesn’t specify!), built by Ford in the 1940s for Allied troops during World War 2.
The British, who like naming their military hardware after animals and the weather, gave it the ‘greyhound’ name, as it could sustain 55mph on reasonable roads, which was very quick for the time. And – at least in this one’s case – it was grey.
Much like a real greyhound though, the M8 wasn’t particularly well armoured, especially underneath, and nor was it very good off-road, despite being a 6×6. However it was useful enough that 8,500 were made, and – again like its namesake dog – many found new homes after being retired from their first military owner, with some M8s still in service around the world as late as the 2000s!
This neat Town scale version captures the M8 Greyhound rather well, with Robson using a few custom decals and a custom machine gun mounted on top to add to the model’s realism. There’s more of Robson’s build to see at his photostream – click the link to make a visit to the dog track.
We’ve featured many creations here at TLCB that include custom chromed pieces. We don’t mind doing this as a) it’s not really against the spirit of LEGO and b) they usually look awesome. However, it is sometimes nice when a builder uses only LEGO’s own silver parts.
There aren’t many silver LEGO pieces, which makes BigPlanes‘ recently re-photgraphed (and superbly presented) Boeing B-29 Superfortress even more impressive. Custom decals and mini-figure crew complete the build and there’s more to see of this speculator recreation of the historic bomber at BigPlanes’ ‘B-29’ album on Flickr. Click the link above and head to the skies.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a Carro Armato M14/41 tank, as manufactured by Fiat for the Royal Italian Army. That means we’re not sure which side this magnificently moustachioed mini-figure is on as Italy switched during World War 2. However as this tank is painted in the colours of the North Africa Campaign it suggests he’s fighting for Mussolini, a man known to have been ‘a bit of a dick’.
Luckily for TLCB’s home nation and the other Allies that this tank fought against, the M14/41 was absolutely rubbish, being obsolete when new, unreliable, cramped, and catching fire regularly. Which is most unlike a Fiat.
Fortunately these short-comings led to a less than successful military campaign, and likely hastened Italy’s overthrowing of Mussolini, abandonment of fascism, and switch to the Allied cause.
This brilliant mini-figure scale recreation of the Carro Armato M14/41 comes from Albert of Flickr, making his TLCB debut. Ingenious building techniques abound and there’s more to see at Albert’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.
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.
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.
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.
…of the most beautiful aircraft ever built. This is of course the thunderous Supermarine Spitfire, recreated in astonishing realism in Mk. 1a form by Lennart C of Flickr. There really aren’t words to do the photos justice, so we’ll get straight to the link. Click here to see more of this incredible creation.
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.
But, in this writer’s opinion, the most beautiful aircraft of the Second World War. This gorgeous Supermarine Spitfire comes from Mike Fifer of MOCpages, and it contains some of the most brilliantly-built colouring of any model we’ve found. It’s not just the superb camouflage you can see in these pictures either, as the underside is rather special too. Click the link above to find out why.
This remarkable looking thing is a 1918 British Mark V tank that saw duty in the final months of the First World War. With an engine (built by Ricardo, who now make the twin-turbo V8 engine fitted to McLaren supercars) mounted in the centre of the crew’s cabin the Mark V was a miserable place to spend any time in. Ponderous, painfully slow, and unreliable, these early tanks were no fun at all, but they would change the course of warfare for ever.
This beautiful Model Team style recreation of the 100 year old Mark V comes from Master MOCer and TLCB regular Sariel and it’s packed with brilliant engineering. With an XL motor driving each track Sariel’s Mark V can cross 22cm wide gaps, climb 9cm vertically, and ascend a 60% slope thanks to the 176 rubber feet mounted to the tracks for traction. This means that just like your Mom at a free buffet, nothing will get in its way.
Sariel’s Mark V also features a working 6-cylinder piston engine inside a realistically replicated cabin, a functional un-ditching beam, and two remote controlled side mounted guns that can rotate and elevate. Twin SBrick bluetooth bricks take care of the control signal, and mean that the Mark V can be controlled by a mobile phone and – more coolly – by a Playstation controller!