Tag Archives: Military

Vigorous Dragon

The United States of America very much proclaims itself to be the greatest country on earth. And it’s true the U.S economy is still (presently) the largest. America also manages to top the world in gun ownership, prescription drug costs, incarceration rate, and by being the only developed nation (and one of only three countries in the whole world) not to mandate paid maternity leave. However in almost every other respect it’s China that’s No.1.

China’s incredible progress over the last few decades is astounding (if a little frightening) to see, with the People’s Liberation Army now around 50% larger than the U.S. military by number of personnel.

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has also upped its game somewhat, with third-generation all-weather fighter aircraft like this, the Chengdu J-10 ‘Vigorous Dragon’.

Not only does it have a great name, the Vigorous Dragon is equipped with air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, laser-guided bombs, glide bombs, satellite-guided bombs , 90mm unguided rockets, and a gun. All of which it can use in the People’s Republic of China’s mission to be as much of a dick as possible.

You see China is managing to overtake America in one other league table; international intimidation, by antagonising pretty much every other nation in the South China Sea, Taiwan, India, Tibet, the residents of Hong Kong, and their own Uighur Muslim minority.

Still, what’s the point of spending $260billion on a military annually if you’re not going to use it?

China’s budget – unfathomably colossal though it is – does mean that America remains No.1 at something though, with a military expenditure greater than the next ten largest budgets combined (of which China are a very distant second). If only the U.S would spend some of that on maternity pay…

Oh yeah, we’re a Lego blog… this excellent mini-figure scale recreation of the Chengdu J-10 -complete with accurate decals and a variety of explody things mounted under the wings – comes from John C. Lamarckwho has captured the Chinese fighter brilliantly. An opening cockpit and working landing gear feature too, and there’s lots more to see at John’s ‘J-10B’ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to threaten an East Asian nation of your choosing.

What’s in a Roundel?

This TLCB writer has learned something today; the Royal Australian Navy uses little red kangaroos in place of the red dot more usually found in the centre of the RAF roundel! Kangaroos!

Entering the rabbit hole he has now learned that South Africa’s insignia features an eagle, Trinidad and Tobago a hummingbird, Papua New Guinea the mythical phoenix, and Luxembourg an extravagant lion.

If we ever start a military campaign against The Brothers Brick perhaps we should outline an Elf for the centre of ours?

Following that somewhat tangental start to this post, the aircraft depicted here that features the kangaroo-in-a-circle markings is a Hawker Sea Fury, in this case flown by the Royal Australian Navy.

Based on the Hawker Tempest, the Sea Fury entered service at the end of the second world war and flew until the early ’60s, operating first a pure fighter and then as a fighter-bomber as its suitability for multi-role use became apparent.

This particular Sea Fury is a F.B.11 that operated with Squadron 724 from the H.M.A.S. Albatross, most notably serving in the Korean War, and it’s been recreated beautifully by John C. Lamarck, complete with folding wing-tips, retractable landing gear, an opening cockpit, and – of course – accurate Royal Australian Navy markings including kangaroo roundels.

There’s much more to see of John’s superb Hawker Sea Fury F.B.11 on Flickr – hop on over via the link above!

Phantom Rising

This glorious McDonnell Douglas F-4N Phantom II was found by one of our Elves on Flickr today, and it proves – at least in USS Coral Sea livery – that more was more for the U.S Navy when it came to applying stickers.

Of course ask any 7 year old (or TLCB Elf) if stickers make something faster and you’ll get an answer along the lines of ‘Duh… Yeah.’ or whatever it is 7 years olds say these days.

The Phantom II confirms this entirely scientific fact as it was phenomenally fast, setting multiple world records during the ’60s and ’70s. Of course this speed was in no doubt helped by the addition of a shark’s mouth, US Navy motifs, red racing stripes, and rising sun/rainbow/gay pride arrangement on the tail.

Flickr’s Jonah Padberg (aka Plane Bricks) has captured all of that stickerage brilliantly, applying them to his beautifully constructed F-4N Phantom II model that comes complete with opening cockpits, under-wing armaments, and folding landing gear.

There’s much more of Jonah’s impressive Phantom II to see at his photostream; click the link above to take a closer look, whilst we see if applying some stickers to the office Rover 200 can work the same magic…

Meet the Fokker

Are three things better than two? Engines? Yes. Beer. Yes. Stool legs? Yes. Wings? Er… no, probably not. However, whilst the triplane idea was abandoned by 1920, it was a widespread aeronautical design before then, being used by pretty much every plane-building nation of the time.

Most notably triplanes were the mainstay of the German Air Force in the First World War, with aircraft such us this extravagantly painted Fokker Dr.1. used extensively (and successfully) throughout the conflict.

This superb small-scale recreation of the Fokker Dr.1 – made famous by the ‘Red Baron’ Manfred von Richthofen – comes form Flickr’s Henrik Jensen, and there’s more to see at Henrik’s ‘Fokker Dr.1’ album via the link above.

Lest We Forget

Lego Red Flower

We Will Remember Them

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Fly Like an Eagle*

This blueish greyish entity is a McDonnel Douglas F-15C Eagle, constructed rather neatly by Dornbi. Detailed landing gear, an array of exploding thingies under the wings, and custom decals are all included, and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link.

*Today’s title song.

Flight of Fancy

This is not a car, and nor is it a real aircraft, instead coming from the video game ‘Ace Combat’. It’s also a bit nonsensical, being Japanese but named after a Welsh dragon, however… it looks so cool!

Built by Corvin Stichert of Flickr, this beautifully detailed mini-figure version of the fictional ‘X-02 Wyvern’ fighter captures the variable geometry design brilliantly, and there’s more to see at Corvin’s ‘X-02 Wyvern’ album. Click here to fly over to the complete gallery.

Air Pirate

Is there anything cooler than a fighter jet with a skull and crossbones painted on it? The answer is no, and thus here’s Lennart Cort‘s Grumman F-14 Tomcat resplendent in VF-84 ‘Jolly Rogers’ livery. See more at the link!

Dog Years*

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.


*Today’s lovely title song.

Flight of Fiction

This incredible looking co-axial(?) helicopter is not a recreation of a real aircraft. But it is ridiculously cool. Flickr’s Robson M (aka BrickDesigners) is the designer behind it and there’s more to see of his superbly built and presented concept helicopter gunship at his photostream via the link.

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.

Honey, Where are my Pants?

“They’re over there, on that tank made from mini-figure leg wear”. At least we hope the tracks on Tyler‘s tank are pants, and not actual mini-figure legs. Although we suppose tanks are made for killing people, so perhaps it’s appropriate. Anyway, the tank’s cuteness more than makes up for the gruesome tracks-made-of-legs thing going on. See more on Flickr!

*Click here if you’re wondering what on earth is going on

Gazza

A footballer with a drinking problem, a guy in every pub in the Midlands, and a Soviet truck maker. GAZ (Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod) have produced vehicles for almost 90 years, mostly (as with everything in the times of the Soviet Union) for the military. These days they also produce vehicles for Volkswagen, Chevrolet, and others under license, but it’s their military trucks they remain most known for, like this excellent mini-figure GAZ-66 built by Flickr’s de-marco. Clever techniques abound and there’s more to see of de-marco’s truck at his photostream – click the link above to check it out.

The Other M3

This is not a fast, irritatingly driven yet excellent German sports saloon, but it is an M3. Constructed by Spain’s awesome indigenous heavy duty truck maker Uro, the M3 is the military version of their F3 civilian truck, deployed by Spain’s ‘Military Emergencies Unit’ (UME) in disaster relief within the country and abroad. Which makes it probably the very opposite of its BMW namesake in terms of worthiness.

This superb Technic replica of the Uro M3 in complete UME specification comes from corujoxx of Eurobricks, who is using his time in coronavirus lock-down to pay tribute to his country’s frontline workers, such as those manning its Uro M3s.

A working winch and working suspension feature and there’s more to see of his excellent model at the Eurobricks forum – click the link above to take a look.

Typhoon

This is a Eurofighter ‘Typhoon’, a multirole fighter developed across several countries in Europe. The UK is the largest operator, and a key engineer of the aircraft, hence the ‘Typhoon’ bit added to the name, as UK military aircraft tend be named after violent weather.

This incredible recreation of an RAF Typhoon is the work of crash_cramer of Flickr, who has recreated the Eurofighter in 1:15 scale with stunning attention to detail. A vacuum-formed canopy and 3D-printed nosecone join the LEGO bricks that make up this metre long replica, which is complete with two Meteor and two Asraam air-to-air missiles plus six slightly terrifying Paveway IV laser guided bombs.

There’s much more of this spectacular (and huge) replica of one of the world’s most agile fighter jets at crash_cramer’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.