This big green box is a DAF YA 4442 DNT 4×4 truck, as ordered by the thousand in the late-’70s to the mid-’80s by the Dutch military.
A huge variety of YA 4442 were built, including artillery tractors, cranes, amphibious landing vehicles, mobile command centres, drone-launchers, fuel tankers, fire engines, and – as depicted here – er, trucks.
Still, whilst it might not be the most exciting version of the YA 4442 it is nevertheless a superb (and massive) brick-built replica of the Dutch military’s trucking backbone. Arian Janssens is the builder and there’s more of the model to see at his ‘DAF YA 4442 DNT 4×4′ album on Flickr. Click the link to take a look.
Russia, currently undertaking a humiliating withdrawal from occupied Kherson in Ukraine following their illegal invasion, haven’t always been the scumbags of Europe. In fact, the Russian T34-85 Tank made one of the greatest contributions to saving Europe from the last set of scumbags intent on invading their neighbours.
Prior to the success of the T34-85 however, Russia’s tanks were a little more… experimental. Looking like a cross between something from Battle Bots and a child’s tricycle, this is the Netopyr or ‘Tsar Tank’, a 60ft long 1914 prototype armoured vehicle, crewed by ten personnel and powered by two 240bhp Maybach engines taken from a captured German airship, one for each enormous front wheel.
Those wheels measured almost 30ft in diameter, and were followed by a 5ft rear wheel, in-between which was a 26ft hull festooned with cannons. The idea was that the Tsar Tank could traverse large obstacles thanks to the massive front wheels, although little thought seemed to be given to the much smaller rear one.
This promptly got stuck in soft ground during the tank’s first test run, and even the most powerful engines of the time couldn’t get it out. Various extractions failed too, and thus the tank was left in-situ for a further 8 years before it was finally removed and scrapped.
Still, it looked bloody awesome, and so too does TLCB favourite Sariel’s spectacular recreation of Russia’s 1914 engineering failure. Propelled by two Power Functions motors, with a further three operating the various cannons, Sariel’s replica looks every bit as mad as its 60-ton counterpart, and there’s lots more to see at his ‘Tsar Tank’ album on Flickr.
Click the link above to take a look at easily the weirdest vehicle you’ll see today, and here to watch it in action, where it is – frankly – every bit as rubbish as the real thing was over a century ago.
It’s Halloween, the season of pumpkins, candy, spooky household ornaments, girls wearing literally nothing, and tenuous TLCB links.
TLCB Towers doesn’t feature any of the first things, so we’ll try to make up for it with the last one on the list, beginning with this; the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II.
Constructed by Flickr’s Juliusz D., this incredible recreation of the U.S military’s 1960s long-range supersonic fighter-bomber captures the aircraft in Vietnam War livery, as flown from the USS Constellation aircraft carrier in 1972.
With working flaps, folding wing tips, retractable landing gear, an opening cockpit, and a variety of scary weaponry, Juliusz’s Phantom is spookily accurate. Top quality decals and beautiful presentation make this a ghost that’s worth a closer look, and there’s lots more to see at Juliusz’s ‘McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II’ album. Click the link to go ghost hunting.
As is currently playing out in Ukraine, thanks to the murderous dick-bag Vladimir Putin, war can have a catastrophic effect on food production. But food production must continue, even when an invading enemy is standing amongst your crops.
Recent bloggee SirLuftwaffles travels back eighty years to the last time a murderous dick-bag brought war to Western Europe, with this wonderful scene depicting an Opel Blitz 3-ton truck parked in occupied France during the Second World War.
SirLuftwaffles has made free building instructions for the truck available and there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link to take a look.
This is a Kaman SH-2 Seasprite, a U.S Navy ship-based anti-submarine and search & rescue helicopter. Introduced in 1963, the Seasprite saw service in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, and flew until 1993 with the U.S Navy, as well as being operated in small numbers by a several other nations.
This excellent (and rather wonderfully liveried) SH-2 Seasprite is the work of Robson M (aka BrickDesigners), who has captured both it and the rather exciting looking weaponry slung underneath beautifully.
Top quality building techniques and presentation abound, and there’s more to see of the SH-2, including its folding landing gear, opening doors, and cartoonesque missiles, at Robson’s photostream. Click the link above to get airborne.
‘Skytrain’ might be a slightly ambitious title, but nothing moved as many troops about during the Second World War as the Douglas DC-3 / C-47. In fact so reliable is the DC-3 that many are still in use today, some eighty years on from when the plane first saw service, ferrying people and objects to and from the world’s most inhospitable places.
This lovely recreation of the iconic aircraft comes from SirLuftwaffles of Flickr, and – full disclosure – it’s digital. But you can’t tell, as SirLuftwaffles has used only readily available pieces, real-world construction methods, and produced a render that is really very good indeed.
There’s more to see including full build and digital design software details at SirLuftwaffles’ photostream – take to the skies with 27 other troops via the link in the text above.
15,000 pieces, 4½ years, and 1.8 metres. A few of the astonishing statistics associated with Ciamosław Ciamek‘s breathtaking 1:38 scale Second World War U-Boat.
Constructed in six sections, each with a removable sides to reveal the spectacular detail within, Ciamosław’s incredible mini-figure scale replica of a German ‘Typ VII C U-Boot’ accurately recreates the control room, front and rear messes, bow, engine rooms, and stern, all of which were designed digitally before being built from thousands of LEGO pieces.
A crew of dozens of mini-figures are shown throughout the interior of the boat, many operating the equipment, engines, and weaponry, whilst others are off-shift in the mess.
It’s a jaw-dropping creation, with hundreds of images across two albums required to capture the model’s scale and complexity, and you can check out the first of these on Flickr via the link in the text above. Click it, sit back, and take in the most amazing World War 2 creation you’re likely to see in 2022…
In recent years most military vehicles – such as these these American ‘Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected’ (MRAP) light tactical vehicles – seem to be painted tan, what with all the oil being in the desert. Er, we mean the ‘complicated political nature of the Middle East’, or something.
Of course a certain minimally-endowed despot has changed the landscape somewhat, bringing war back to the greeny-brown lands of Europe, and we suspect many national militaries will be re-painting a proportion of their equipment accordingly, even if they have no intention of joining in.
However the ’90s-2010s will be remembered, in a military context at least, for desert-based conflicts, and the tan-coloured vehicles that operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other sandy locales.
Cue Robson M (aka BrickDesigners), and these excellent Middle-East spec MRAPs, armoured trucks, and personnel carriers. Each captures its real-world equivalent brilliantly, helped by custom decals and weaponry, and there’s more to see of all of Robson’s desert warfare vehicles on Flickr via the link.
There has been no finer sight in 2022 than that of Ukrainian farmers pulling abandoned Russian tanks out of the mud during the Russian invasion and claiming them for the Ukrainian Army, having been deserted by their crews due to poor logistics, low moral, incompetent navigation, or all of the above.
Unless you’re a viewer of Russia-1 television of course, in which case the story is one of grateful Ukrainians helping the brave Russian tank crews in their noble quest to rid Ukraine of ultra-nationalist Nazis. Or some other bullshit.
Stefan Johansson is the builder behind this wonderful depiction of Russian military ineptitude / Ukrainian ingenuity, and there’s more to see of his creation ‘Spring Harvest in Ukraine’ on Flickr via the link.
You can also help the relief efforts in Ukraine required due to Putin’s war via the Disasters Emergency Committee and many others. Whilst wonderfully brave Ukrainians have indeed pulled abandoned Russian tanks from the mud for repurposing, an estimated twelve million Ukrainians have now fled their homes, or what’s left of them. If you can, help.
Hasbro’s ‘Moveable fighting man’ G.I. Joe wasn’t called that in TLCB’s home nation. He was known as ‘Action Man’, and this Writer’s parents still didn’t let him have one, what with him being ‘too violent’. In hindsight, they may have had a point.
But no matter, because here at TLCB we’re fantastically violent. Probably something to do with not being allowed Action Man toys as children…
Thus today’s creation, in the original American ‘G.I. Joe’ Action Man form, is a giant tracked ‘Wolverine armoured missile vehicle’ that was somehow deemed to be an acceptable toy. Not by this Writer’s parents of course.
Recreated in brick-form by Big Easy Bricks, there’s a rotating rocket launcher, opening ammo store and cockpit, plus authentic-looking G.I. Joe decals, and there’s more to see at Big Easy’s ‘G.I. Joe Wolverine’ album on Flickr.
Click the link above to take a look, whilst this TLCB Writer investigates counselling…
War is once again raging in Europe. However despite the shock of one country invading another in 2022, Europe has been involved in conflict almost constantly. From fear of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War (which this TLCB Writer fears may be about to return) to involvement in far-away combat, war is sadly never distant.
Today’s models remind us of this past, with the first (above) the undoubtedly beautiful but rather sinister Handley-Page Victor nuclear bomber.
Built as part of the UK’s nuclear defence in the late 1950s, the Victor was part of a long line of V-Bombers (that also included the incredible Avro Vulcan), before it was repurposed for high altitude reconnaissance and later air-to-air refuelling.
This wonderful recreation of the Victor comes from previous bloggee Henrik Jensen, who has recreated its amazing shape beautifully in brick form. A full description of the build and further imagery can be found at Henrik’s photostream, and you can bomb on over via the link above.
Today’s second military creation (below) recreates a scene from countless Vietnam War movies, with a Bell ‘Huey’ helicopter in front of a (superbly built) shell-damaged building. The Bell and background come from Nicholas Goodman, who – like Henrik above – has deployed a few custom pieces to enhance authenticity.
There’s more to see of Nicholas’ ‘Battle of Hue, February 1968’ on Flickr. Click the link above to fight a pointless war that ends in failure and retreat. In that respect we hope that history is about to repeat itself.
Russia, and its puppet regime next door in Belarus, really know how to make a heavy duty off-road truck. It’s just a shame they’re currently using them for such evil.
Nevertheless, the Belarusian-made MAZ-537 8×8 military truck is a seriously impressive piece of equipment, and so too is gkurkowski‘s spectacular recently updated remote controlled Model Team version, which captures the real thing brilliantly.
A suite of Powered-Up components equip the model with an accurate 8×8 fully suspended drivetrain, along with a powered V12 piston engine underneath the detailed cab too.
An extensive gallery of images display the MAZ-537 on-location and in render, and you can take a closer look at this amazing machine on Brickshelf via the link above.
This is a Kirov-Class Cruiser, built between 1933 and 1944 for the Soviet Union and deployed on the Black Sea during the Second World War.
The largest ships operated by the Soviet Navy post the Russian Civil War, the Kirov-Class ships featured technology from a variety of nations, with the design being Italian, the radar systems American and British, the boilers British, and the aircraft catapults German.
All of which were countries that the Soviet Union was either at war with or directly hostile to during the time the Kirov-Class ships were in service. It’s a funny world.
This spectacular recreation of a Kirov-Class Cruiser comes from Kirill Simerzin of Flickr, who has replicated the real ship beautifully, from the Italian propeller on the bottom to the American radar systems at the top.
There’s more of the build to see at Kirill’s photostream – click the link above to keep your enemies close…
Still, one bastion of Iraqi freedom lies in the north, where the Kurdish Pershmerga resisted Saddam Hussain, were instrumental in the (probably temporary) defeat of of Islamic State, and, for complicated reasons, are sworn enemies of Turkey.
For even more complicated reasons, despite their sacrifice, the Peshmerga have since been largely abandoned by the west, but they have at least been left with some cool hardware with which to defend their territory.
This neat Peshmerga-issue Humvee comes from Evan M of Flickr, who has equipped it with a variety of equipment, chief among which is an enormous TOW missile mounted on the roof, which could probably reduce most things to a smoking crater if required.
Head to Northern Iraq courtesy of Evan’s photostream via the link above. The bits the aren’t smoking craters really are lovely.