Tag Archives: Military

Dananananana Bateman!

This is a Bateman Assault Bridge Carrier, an experimental tank-bridge-laying-combo based on the excellently-named ‘Medium Dragon’ Mk.1 artillery tractor that was trialled by the British Royal Engineers in 1926.

It’s one of the more obscure vehicles to appear here then, and it’s been recreated brilliantly by Tarix819 of Eurobricks in a colossal 1:8 scale.

Weighing almost 10kgs, Tarix’s creation features two coil-sprung tracks, each with its own mechanical tensioner and independently powered by an SBrick and three XL motors.

A working V8 engine lives within the armour, and a functioning searchlight is able to light up the obstacle ahead in need of crossing.

And cross an obstacle the Bateman can, as Tarix’s model can deploy the huge bridge mounted on the top of machine. The real Assault Bridge Carrier relied on hand-powered winches (which are also recreated here), but Tarix’s build utilises a Power Functions Medium Motor to complete the model’s suite of remote control functionality.

It’s a monumentally impressive piece of Lego engineering and you can see how Tarix has done it at the Eurobricks discussion form here, and via the brilliant video below.

YouTube Video

5-Tons of Pain!

This is the M1083 6×6 ‘Medium Tactical Vehicle’, an Austrian-designed 5-ton military truck produced by Oshkosh for the U.S military.

Built by Flickr’s Evan M, this superb Lego recreation of the M1083 in desert camo spec not only does an excellent job of capturing the truck, and features both working steering and suspension, it also includes 5 tons of exciting exploding things in the load bed.

Talking of ‘capturing the truck’, a few of the real trucks and a great many tons of U.S exploding things are likely now in the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Which makes the war to oust them seem rather pointless. Still, you can capture your own M1083 at Evan’s photostream via the link above!

Messing Up Afghanistan Since 1978

The news coming from Afghanistan at the moment is heartbreaking. A rare case of successful international cooperation, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent defeat of its Taliban ‘government’ brought freedom, equal-ish rights, and prosperity to millions of Afghans.

It also brought about a fantastically corrupt (although democratically elected) government and the deaths of tens of thousands, but despite this it would be hard to argue that many Afghans – particularly women – weren’t better off for the intervention.

Which makes it tremendously sad that all of those gains (and the blood spilt to achieve them) may now be lost thanks to a hasty politically-motivated Western withdrawal, with the Taliban regaining power even quicker than they lost it twenty years ago.

More tragically, it’s not the first time that foreign powers have put their own politics before the lives of Afghans…

This is a Soviet BTR-80, a remarkable 8×8 amphibious armoured personal carrier, as used in the Soviet-Afghan War.

Back in 1978 a coup in Afghanistan overthrew the presidency, replacing it with the ‘Democratic Republic of Afghanistan’, a puppet Communist government supported by the Soviet Union, which many of the Afghan people resisted via a brutal guerrilla war.

The UN ordered the Soviet Union to withdraw, which they ignored and engaged in a 9 year war in support of the Communist government, razing villages, destroying farmland, laying millions of landmines, and committing rape and torture.

Sanctions and a mass boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics followed, but worse was to come for the Soviet Union, who ultimately lost the war to the Afghan Mujahideen and the international community supporting them, which – many argue – hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union itself.

The BTR-80 used towards the end of the conflict was still a mighty impressive piece of hardware though, and so too is this spectacular fully RC recreation by Sariel.

With eight-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steering, all-wheel suspension, a three-speed gearbox, motorised hatches, a remotely operable gun turret, rotating and lit searchlight, a working winch, and powered propellors all controlled via bluetooth thanks to three SBricks, Sariel’s BTR-80 is an engineering masterclass.

You can watch all of those incredible features in action via the video below, plus there are more stunning images of Sariel’s creation available to view at his ‘BTR-80’ Flickr album. Click here to make the jump to a pointless war in Afghanistan sometime in the late ’80s.

And back to that disastrous piece of Soviet foreign policy; even after the Soviet Union withdrew defeated, peace in Afghanistan was not forthcoming. A civil war continued to rage, taking the death toll to as many as two million Afghans.

Eventually, after years of turmoil, it was the Taliban who ended up in power, which brings us right back to 2001, the international intervention, and now – twenty years later – the rapid undoing of everything that was won.

Donate to Unicef in Afghanistan here.

Wartime Willys

The Lego Car Blog Elves are having a great time this morning. This lovely remote controlled Willys Jeep was discovered by one of their number today, and fortunately our eagle-eyed intern caught it before the model could be used for any smushing shenanigans.

That means no tidying up for us, and a gaggle of Elves being transported around TLCB Towers, much to their delight.

The model in question is properly good too, looking wonderfully like-like and featuring a complete remote control drivetrain, with four-wheel-drive, front and rear suspension, and working steering.

TLCB favourite Sariel is the builder and there’s more to see of his superbly presented 1940s Willys Jeep on Flickr and via the Eurobricks forum.

Fortunate Son

If there are two things associated with America’s involvement in the Vietnam War more than any others, it’s the incessant use of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Fortunate Son’, and the Bell UH-1N ‘Huey’ helicopter.

Fortunately we like Fortunate Son, and we like the Bell UH-1N Huey too, at least in brick form from Flickr’s [Maks].

[Maks]’s USAF Twin Huey captures the real military helicopter brilliantly, with flex hose skids, brick-built camo, and accurate decals.

There are more superb images of [Maks]’s build to see at his ‘UH-1N Twin Huey’ album – click the link above and start humming Fortunate Son on loop.

Fifties Cruiser

Ah the fifties! Hot rods, milkshakes, prosperity, and exciting new Giant Implements of Death. This is one of America’s, the Martin Mace cruise missile and MM-1 Teracruzer translauncher, designed to transport a nuclear warhead to a location from which it could blow up a Russian city. Yay!

With a range of only 1,000 to 2,000km, the TM-76A / MGM-13A Mace cruise missile needed to be fairly close to Russia to pose a viable threat. Thus the U.S deployed it in West Germany, which they were able to do following Germany’s defeat in World War 2, thereby bringing the Cold War to the heart of Europe. Thanks America.

It also explains why The Soviet Union felt the need to send their nuclear missiles to Cuba, in doing so sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis, to ensure their Giant Implements of Death could reach America in return.

Thankfully both countries have moved on from such pointless willy-wavi… oh, they haven’t? Sigh.

This superb recreation of a horrible device comes from Ralph Savelsberg, and there’s loads more to see at his ‘Teracruzer TEL and Mace cruise Missile’ album on Flickr. Alternatively, here’s a mini-figure riding a giant tortoise, which looks altogether more peaceful.

HEMTT

A military truck loaded with mystery green canisters can’t be good. Well, the model is good, but you know what we mean. Regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg is the builder of this ’80s M985 ‘Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck’ loaded with the rocket launcher cargo used in Operation Desert Storm. Blow up something in Iraq circa-1991 via the link above.

Slowly Sovieting

Some might think today’s title could refer to Russia’s creeping direction under its definitely fairly  democratically elected President, but – fortunately for us as we don’t want to experience Novichok poisoning – it also relates perfectly to this; Sariel’s amazing fully remote controlled pneumatic and motorised Ural 375D 6×6 truck.

Sariel‘s latest astonishing creation is a spectacularly engineered replica of the mighty Soviet military truck, built entirely from Lego pieces, plus a few choice third-party-supplied enhancements.

The first of these is an SBrick bluetooth controller, which allows the four-motor 6×6 drive, steering, servo-powered 3-speed gearbox, three pneumatically locking differentials, and Brickstuff LED lights to all be controlled remotely via a mobile phone or other bluetooth device.

Sariel has further enhanced his model with RC4WD ‘Rock Crusher’ tyres, fitted to Lego rims and mounted to live axle suspension on axles 1 and 3, with pendular suspension on axle 2. A motorised rear winch, working V8 engine, opening doors and hood, and a canvas load cover complete the build, and make Sariel’s Ural one of the most realistic and technically accurate trucks of the year so far.

There’s a whole lot more of this incredible creation to see at the Eurobricks forum, plus the complete gallery of stunning imagery is available to view on Flickr, where there are even a few images that seem to depict a TLCB Elf in shot, but we might be imagining that.

You can also check out a video of the Ural 375D 6×6 in action below, in which the working functions, bare chassis, and a pug named Muffin can all be viewed.

YouTube Video

SuperGreat

Unlike today’s other off-road truck post, this one certainly doesn’t have a bland name. The Mitsubishi Fuso SuperGreat FX 6×6 is an off-road military tow truck, depicted here in Technic Japanese Self Defence Force form.

All six wheels are driven by a Medium Motor, the steering is powered by a combination of a  Medium and a Micro Motor, whilst the crane rotation, elevation, extension, and outriggers are all controlled manually.

Leaf-spring suspension features too and there’s more to see courtesy of LXF (Brickshelf) / syclone (Eurobricks) via the links.

Panzer III

Designed by Daimler-Benz, this the Panzer III Sd.Kfz 141, the German military’s primary medium battle tank built to take on the formidable Soviet T-34 during the Second World War. It was powered by a 300bhp Maybach V12 giving it a top speed of just over 20mph, which wasn’t fast (but then it did weigh around twenty-two tons), and it was armed with either a 37mm, 50mm, or 75mm gun, depending on specification.

Around 5,700 Panzer IIIs were built between 1939 and 1943, seeing service in Poland, the Soviet Union, France, North Africa, the Netherlands, and Italy – amongst other theatres of war. This superb Lego version of the Sd.Kfz 141 comes from previous bloggee Rebla, who has recreated the design brilliantly, including a rotating turret, elevating cannon, and a crew of custom mini-figures.

Rebla has presented his model beautifully too, and there’s more to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump to all the imagery.

Ardennes ’44

It must have been beautiful but bleak navigating the Ardennes in 1944. Nicholas Goodman has depicted the scene beautifully, with his tank advancing through the mud and ice, wonderfully recreated in brick form. Head to Nicholas’ photostream for the full image, and – as we do from time to time – click here for the other side of war.

Horse Truck

Surprisingly we don’t think we’ve ever blogged a horse truck here at TLCB (and we’re reluctant to go into the Archives to check properly as there are rumours of a feral band of TLCB Elves inhabiting them).

Today doesn’t change that though, despite the title, as this lovely Dodge M-37 truck is not a horse truck per say, rather it’s here as ground support for [Maks] previously blogged UH-34D Seahorse U.S Navy helicopter.

That means no attractive horsey girls called Arabella, but still an ace scene that would have been commonplace in the 1960s U.S Navy. There’s more to see of [Maks] Dodge M-37 truck and superb Sikorsky Seahorse on Flickr – click the link above to take a look.

Skies over Suez

We love a ’50s MiG. Sure they were a symbol of the oppression of millions, a regime seemingly intent on causing nuclear annihilation (not on their own we might add), and the terror of the Cold War, but they looked so cool!

In service from the early 1950s, almost 11,000 MiG-17s were built for use by a wide variety of scumbag dictatorships, and – somewhat unbelievably – three militaries still operate them today, some ’70 years after the design first flew.

This particular recreation of the Soviet fighter is an Egyptian Air Force unit, as built by John C. Lamarck, and it looks every bit as cool as the real thing. A removable tail-section reveals the jet engine inside, there’s working landing gear, accuarate Egyptian Air Force decals, and a range of exciting-looking weaponry that was used in Egypt’s defeat of the British, French and Israelis during the Suez Crisis in 1967.

What were we saying about the MiG-17 and scumbag dictatorships? Yeh, in this case TLCB’s home nation might not be able to hold the moral ground…

Head to John’s ‘MiG-17F’ album on Flickr via the link above to blow something British up in 1967.

Desert Storm

Saddam Hussein didn’t have the best record during his leadership. Despite his relative religious tolerance, creating world class healthcare and high quality education systems, and being an advocate for womens’ rights, Saddam still falls within TLCB’s unofficial ‘brutal scumbag dictator’ category.

Gassing his own people, crushing opposition, and numerous human rights abuses make sure the scales tip towards the negative, as does invading a neighbour in a despite over oil and effectively sending 50,000 Iraqi troops to their deaths, knowing full well the world would respond.

And respond it did, with a coalition led by the US of over thirty countries formed to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion. And it got a really cool name.

Operation Desert Storm restored Kuwaiti independence around seven months after the Iraqi invasion, with the final push into Kuwaiti City by coalition forces depicted here by Nicholas Goodman, in which a US tank and Humvee are cruising through a perfectly generic middle-eastern street.

Custom mini-figures, decals and weaponry add to the realism and there’s more to see of Nicholas’s recreation of Kuwaiti City in February 27th 1991 via both Flickr and the Eurobricks discussion forum.

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.