Tag Archives: Diorama

Race to the Bottom

The early days of flight were perilous ones. Aeronautical understanding was limited and building materials more so, meaning things that operated a long way from the ground were made out of bits of wood and chickenwire. However by the late 1920s mankind’s incredible rate of progress (no doubt helped by the otherwise totally pointless First World War) had made flying relatively safe and normal. Except in one area; Speed.

Like racing cars of the era, racing planes were fantastically dangerous, pushing the limits of physics and effectively working by trail and error, when error often meant death. This is one example from the time, the bonkers Savoia-Marchetti S.65 racing seaplane, designed for the 1929 Schneider Trophy race. With two 1,050bhp V12 engines mounted fore and aft of the pilot, the S.65 proved so unstable it didn’t get airborne at all and the Italian team behind it returned to Italy for more development.

On Lake Garda in 1930 the trails continued, and on the forth attempt the seaplane took to the air in a glorious rush of wind and noise. Whereupon it stalled, crashed into the water, and sunk to the bottom taking its young pilot with it. Thankfully although recovered the S.65 did not attempt to fly again, but a failure though it was it did look rather wonderful, as does Henrik Jensen‘s marvellous mini-figure scale recreation, pictured here in a neat diorama depicting the plane before its fateful flight attempt.

There’s more to see of Henrik’s excellent Savoia-Marchetti S.65 at his photostream – head to Lake Garda in 1930 via the link in the text above, but maybe watch from a distance.

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Containment

Containers are just big boring boxes right?… Er, yes actually. They really are. But what’s inside them can be very interesting indeed. Motorcycles, exotic fruits, LEGO sets, illegal immigrants… the list is endless. All make the world a more interesting place, and pretty much anything in your home that’s come from abroad will have arrived in one of these.

The vehicles that move them about can be pretty interesting too, from the trains and trucks that transport them on land to dockside cranes and giant container ships that bring them to the shores for which they are bound.

It’s these that builder ExeSandbox has digitally created for us here, with this enormous 100,000 peice container terminal that would measure 6ft wide if it were built for real. Spectacular detailing is in evidence everywhere and there much of Exe’s amazing scene to see at his ‘Tour at the Container Terminal’ album on Flickr.

Click the link above for a lot of big boring boxes making up a creation that’s really rather interesting indeed.

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Mount Hondarama RC Track

The ‘LEGO Masters’ TV show is generating some incredible creations wherever it airs around the world. But it’s not just the contestants building amazing models from LEGO bricks, the pros are too; as demonstrated here by Certified LEGO Professional Ryan McNaught (aka TheBrickMan) who has constructed this enormous RC car track based upon a well-known Australian circuit, in collaboration with Honda.

Using a rare (and largely forgotten) genuine LEGO remote control chassis, Ryan and his team have constructed an impressive homage to the famous Bathurst track, complete with the pit-lane, spectators, start-finish gantry, Goodyear bridge, an array of brilliant Honda machinery, and – of course – Mount ‘Hondarama’ itself.

Two current generation Honda Civic Type R’s can be driven around the circuit thanks to their RC internals, whilst a range of other Honda products line the track, from the first generation Civic to the NSX, with everything from lawnmowers and scooters in-between. There’s loads more of Ryan’s ‘LEGO Masters’ build to see at his ‘Mount Hondarama’ album on Flickr – join the race via the link above!

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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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It’s a Gas!

The police are distracted, the roads empty, and the hot rodders of Willow Springs are about to race for cash! Betting agents, ‘shady looking bikers’, and a wonderful rural gas station filled with details add a suitably illegal atmosphere to the proceedings of Faber Madragore‘s ‘Street Racers’ Haunt’ diorama.

Built for Model Expo Italy, which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Faber’s brilliant scene finds a second life online. There’s loads more to see on Flickr where you can head to take in all the details – grab some cash, click the link above, and place your bet!

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More Kicks on Route 66

Dornbi’s ace vehicular Americana appeared here earlier in the month, and he’s now published the complete diorama in which his classic metal features. A collaboration with another builder, Dornbi’s brilliant ’40s and ’50s vehicles pass a charming rural desert gas station, complete with pumps, workshop and store, driving of course on the superb brick-built Route 66 itself. There’s more to see of this wonderful build on Flickr – click here to drive Route 66 for yourself!

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Do Not Point at Ukrainian Airliner

We round out today’s posts with a DAF truck towing a giant implement of death. Thanks Ralph Savelsberg. It is a brilliant model though, recently updated with a newly built terrain base upon which the Dutch military’s missile launcher is firing at… er, we have no idea. Have the Dutch ever fired at anything?

Which is unlike Iran of course, who last week fired upon an airliner full of their own citizens thanks to a twitchy trigger finger mistake. Iran’s accidental downing of flight PS752 takes the number of deaths following the murder of Qasem Soleimani by American drone from ten to almost two hundred, with another fifty killed during a stampede at his funeral.

Well this has all got a bit bleak. You can see more of Ralph’s superb Dutch Patriot Missile Launcher at his photostream via the link above, we’ll return soon with something a bit chirpier, and until then here’s that video of a woman in a Wookie mask.

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The Lego Steam Company

Extinction Rebellion wouldn’t like this. Steampunk, that odd mashup of Victorian tech applied to modern inventions, is thankfully pure whimsy. Sure the brass, iron and wood look damn cool, but that’s a whole lotta coal, and however many times the orange man-child in charge of the free world puts the word ‘clean’ in front of it, coal just isn’t.

Fortunately most of the world (we said most, and we’re looking at you China…) have moved off burning the black stuff, and its use in the modern world is now solely a retro throwback for train and traction engine enthusiasts. Which in a way makes dioramas such as this one all the more magical, as coal is now largely a historical relic.

This gorgeous (and enormous) steampunk display has been built for the Lego World Utrecht 2019 show by builders Brick Rebel and Monstrophonic and is certainly the most stunning display we’ve seen this year. An assortment of delightfully impractical vehicles feature, including airships, a monorail, a steamboat, and even an elevator, all powered by coal in the imagination and by Power Functions electric motors in the display, bringing this spectacular collaboration to life.

There’s loads more to see of this incredible display at both Brick Rebel and Monstrophonic’s photostreams via the links above, plus you can see their ‘Lego Steam Company’ build in person at the Lego World Utrecht 2019 show.

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Summertime

It’s summertime here in TLCB’s home nation. Driving is now windows-down, tunes up, and the risk of distraction by mini-skirted pedestrians. Capturing the vibe perfectly is Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74) who returns to TLCB with this lovely mini-figure beach scene, with a with a classic van, a Paradisa windsurfer, a bearded hipster (complete with ubiquitous retro camera and guitar accessories), and a little bit of non-LEGO sand. Put your windows down, tunes up, and hit the beach with Andrea via the link above.

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Tour de Paris

Short of Brigitte Bardot in a beret, a broken Peugeot, or a strike, is there anything more French than a Parisian street scene complete with a Citroen 2CV? This gorgeous diorama complete with everyone’s favourite air-cooled twin-cylinder people’s car is the work of Markus Rollbuhler of Flickr, and follows his brilliant Far Cry gyrocopter scene featured yesterday. Click the link above to jump on the Eurostar and be in Paris in time for a lunchtime crepe.

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Ferrari Before Ferrari

Lego Alfa Romeo P3

‘Scuderia Ferrari’ have been around longer than you might think…

Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929, Scuderia Ferrari were winning races decades before their own cars would wear the famous prancing horse shield. The young Italian began his career driving for Alfa Romeo in 1920, winning the Coppa Acerbo in 1924. By 1929 Enzo took a step back from racing himself to manage the Alfa Romeo team, which became known as Scuderia Ferrari and wore the crest of Enzo’s friend Count Francesco Baracca, a logo which has now become synonymous with Ferrari cars.

Enzo’s partnership with Alfa Romeo gave his team access to the best racing car of the era, the glorious eight-cylinder supercharged  P3, and they translated this into a string of victories. However by 1938 Alfa Romeo wanted to race under their own name, and an unhappy Enzo decided to leave to build his own cars. Mussolini had other ideas though, and racing was duly halted during the kerfuffle whilst Enzo’s factory was converted to build military tooling.

After the war ended Enzo Ferrari finally got the chance to build and race his own car under his own name, and… Alfa Romeo won absolutely everything – in 1950 Enzo’s Italian rivals won all eleven races. However in 1951 the unbelievable happened; the ex-driver-turned-manager beat his old team, winning the 1951 British Grand Prix and becoming the first team to break Alfa Romeo’s dominance in over a year.

Ferrari would compete in every Formula 1 Championship thereafter, making them the only team in the sport’s history to do so, whilst the once mighty Alfa Romeo exited Formula 1 just a year later.

This wonderful diorama containing one of Scuderia Ferrari’s first race-winning cars (even though it’s not actually a Ferrari) comes from previous bloggee and TLCB regular PixelJunkie, whose stunning recreation of the Alfa Romeo P3 – complete with Scuderia Ferrari crest – is one of the finest mini-figure scale vintage racing cars we’ve seen. There’s more to see of this Ferrari-before-Ferrari on Flickr at Pixel’s photostream – head back to the early 1930s via the link above.

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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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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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Vintage Garage

Lego Vintage Garage

After being rightly reprimanded for being drunk and disorderly in the Sky Bar last night we’re back on ground level with a bump. But despite the dim, grimy surroundings, this build is no less beautiful than the exquisite masterpiece featured earlier. Built by Flickr’s Pixeljunkie this glorious vintage garage is one of the most wonderfully immersive scenes we’ve ever published. With incredible attention to detail Pixel has captured every tiny component of a typical 1950s workshop, right down to some excellent custom 2×2 tiles on the walls. There’s much more to see of Pixel’s stunning vintage garage at his photostream via the link above, including a link to an oddly mesmerising video.

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Totally Tubular!

Lego Surfer Hot Rods

Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74 is heading to the beach! Both of these radical Model Team hot rods have appeared here at TLCB before, but the addition of a few surfboards and the threat of being eaten by a shark has made them even cooler! See the image in full at Andrea’s photostream via the link above, and you can find our original bloggings of the green Ford Model-T and black Ford Roadster via these links. Dude.

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