The Soviets may have hated America, but they sure liked its cars. This is the GAZ-24, specifically the 2402 station wagon produced from 1971 all the way up until the mid ’80s, despite looking like something straight out of America in 1963.
Powered by either a 2.5 litre four cylinder or an American-aping 5.5 litre V8, the GAZ-24 was famed for its toughness, and whilst limited numbers were exported, it wasn’t really available to the common Russian man, being reserved only for those with a special permit that allowed its purchase. Because Communism.
Matthew Terentev has got himself a 2402 though, by building this most excellent Technic recreation, complete with accurate leaf-spring rear and independent front suspension, a working inline 4-cylinder engine under the opening hood, ‘Hand of God’ steering and a working steering wheel, plus opening doors and tailgate.
There’s lots more to see of Matthew’s superb Soviet station wagon at his photostream on Flickr – grab your special permit, click the link, and pretend you’re a 1980s Russian pretending they’re a 1960s American.
This mega MAZ-537 8×8 truck, complete with an enormous logging trailer, was inspired by a similar creation by Pavol Vanek that featured here back in 2015. Following appropriately slowly is this version by Matt’s Lego Creations, whose own MAZ logging truck has arrived here half a decade later. Measuring over a metre long it’s quite a beast, and one you can see more of on both Flickr and Eurobricks.
Russia may have a current political direction as backward as America’s, but – like America – they sure know how to make a fighter jet. This is the Sukhoi Su-35, a multi-role air-superiority fighter conceived as the Soviet Union collapsed around it. The design survived though, and the first iteration entered service in the early ’90s whilst an updated version (this one) followed in 2007. In service in the Russian Air Force and the ‘People’s Liberation Army Air Force’ (aka the Chinese Air Force), just over 100 Su-35s are in use, with Egypt and Indonesia placing orders too.
This superb Lego recreation of the Sukhoi Su-35 comes from previous bloggee Lennart C aka Everblack, who has captured the real aircraft beautifully with some seriously smooth building techniques. There’s more of Lennart’s Su-35 to see at his photostream, where it joins a wealth of other excellent builds. Click the link above for some Russian air-superiority.
This is the Sukhoi S-37 ‘Berkut’, a Russian air-superiority fighter that never was. First flying in the early 2000s just one ‘Berkut’ was built. Until Ralph Savelsberg decided to tackle it of course.
This is his astonishingly well-replicated Lego version, complete with an opening cockpit, swept-forward wings, working landing gear, and an opening bomb-bay. It’s also black, and black planes are always cool.
Parts of Russia may look a bit like a post-apocalyptic wasteland (and even more so in the former Soviet Union), but that has meant Russians have needed to build some awesome vehicles in order to traverse the wild landscape. We’ve featured many such off-road cars and trucks over the years, but none quite like this.
Based on a ZIL 130, this is Samolot’s ‘Peacemaker’, a 6×6 skid-steer monster that imagines what Mad Max would be like if were set in Russia.
With each of the six wheels driven by a Power Functions XL Motor and offering eight studs worth of articulation, Samolot’s creation can drive over pretty much anything, particularly as the twin BuWizz bluetooth batteries on board can deliver up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own system.
If that wasn’t enough, the ZIL also features a trebuchet mounted on the rear for… er, we’re not sure – shooting down airliners? Whatever it’s for it makes Samolot’s build one of the wildest we’ve featured yet, and you can guess what happened when one of our Elves brought it into the office earlier today.
It’s safe to say we have some tidying up to do, so whilst we do that you can visit Samolot’s post-apocalyptic Soviet future at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also watch a video of the Peacemaker in action.
As we approach Christmas here’s a build totally unsuited to the season of love and joy. But it is properly excellent.
The Mikoyan MiG-29 entered service in 1982 as one of the most competent fighters in the world. Designed for air-to-air combat against American fighters during the Cold War, the MiG-29 quickly adapted to become a multi-role aircraft, including air-to-surface and naval operations. It was also widely exported to a range of scummy dictatorships, with Iran, Cuba, Myanmar, Bulgaria, North Korea, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Iraq, Romania, Syria, and Yugoslavia all making purchases*. The fall of the Soviet Union has also meant that Russia is now openly hostile to some of the current operators of the MiG-29, which is a little odd.
The MiG-29 is also still in production today, making it one of the most successful fighter designs in history. Flickr’s Lennart C (aka Everblack) has added another to Mikoyan’s impressive production numbers with his superb Lego recreation of the MiG-29, complete with armaments and ground equipment.
Lennart’s replica of the iconic fighter captures the design brilliantly, with a multitude of cunning building techniques deployed to do so. Several further (and excellent) images of Lennart’s creation are available to see how he’s done it, and you can do just that at his MiG-29 album on Flickr via the link in the text above.
*Many of these are no longer scummy dictatorships.
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…
We’ve often mocked Russian vehicles here at The Lego Car Blog, and rightly so – they’re largely crap. However modern Ladas are essentially just Renaults and Dacias, making them now perfectly respectable, if thoroughly boring.
That said we probably wouldn’t trade a modern Renault with a Lada badge on the front for one of their old catastrophes, apart that is, for one car. Launched in 1977 the VAZ (now Lada) Niva was a superbly capable off-roader, more sophisticated than a comparable Land Rover of the era, likely more reliable, and a fair bit cheaper too.
The Niva is still being built today too, and is infinitely better than the monstrosities that the G-Wagon and Range Rover have become. This most excellent Technic version of Russia’s iconic off-roader comes from TLCB favourite Horcik Designs, who has recreated it in Technic form, both with and without Power Functions components.
It’s the remote control version we have pictured above, complete with suspension, all-wheel-drive via an XL Motor, Servo steering, a Li-Po battery, and third-party tyres.
There’s more to see of Horcik’s Technic Niva at both Flickr and Bricksafe – take a look via the links.
Even for Soviet Russia, this vehicle is weird. This is a BWSM 80, which sounds perilously close to something your Mom would be into, but was in fact a prototype Soviet design that fused a GAZ 53 truck with a DT 75 bulldozer to create… whatever the hell this is.
In normal use the BWSM 80 operated as per a regular truck, albeit one with a track system suspended between the wheels. However in extreme conditions the BWSM could lower the track system thus raising its wheels off the ground, and thereby becoming a skid-steer tracked vehicle in the process. If, as we were, you’re struggling to figure that out, take a look at the video below!
That video, and the creation within it, comes from previous bloggee (and apparent Technic wizard) Samolot of Eurobricks, who has recreated the Russian prototype in brilliantly-functional remote control Technic form.
Two Power Functions L Motors drive both the wheels and the tracks, with some ingenious decoupling mechanism we’re struggling to fathom dividing the power appropriately between the two. A Medium Motor drives the lifting mechanism to deploy the tracks, which also feature suspension, and there are LED headlights up front too.
There’s much more of Samolot’s wonderfully odd creation to see at the Eurobricks discussion forum via the link above, or you could just watch that amazing video again!
Lada have come in for some stick here at The Lego Car Blog. Now owned by the Renault-Nissan alliance they’ll be making good cars soon enough, but their legacy is one of reheating the leftovers from Fiat, badly. Apart that is, from one car…
The Niva was not built from bits of old Fiat, but was actually rather sophisticated. Launched in 1977 it was the world’s first mass-produced unibody car, featured independent suspension, and with permanent four-wheel-drive and locking differentials it was as good as a Land Rover off-road.
So good that the design is still being produced today, almost completely unchanged in over 40 years. Despite this it’s a car that doesn’t appear much in Lego form, so de-marco‘s brilliant 4-wide version of the iconic 4×4 makes a refreshing change from the usual Land Rovers and Jeeps. de-marco has captured the design superbly in mini-figure scale and there’s more to see of his little Lada on Flickr via the link above.
Last time we mentioned something about a vehicle belonging to Russia’s government forces we got in trouble (despite having been positive in the past too) so today there’ll be no backstory. However none is needed, because this MAZ537 8×8 soviet military truck is incredible.
Built by gkurkowski of Brickshelf this 3.3kg behemoth is one of the most beautifully recreated replica trucks that we’ve ever featured. With superb detailing both externally and inside, gkurkowski’s MAZ is certainly befitting of the ‘Model Team’ category here at TLCB. However, this creation is much more than a static display piece…
Inside that brilliant body is a full Power Functions remote control drivetrain with power going to all eight wheels shod in LEGO’s huge 42054 Claas Xerion tyres. Each of the four axles is suspended and the first two offer four-wheel-steering powered by a Medium Motor. There’s also a V12 piston engine, LED headlights, a suspended fifth wheel/trailer hitch and opening everything.
It’s an incredible build and one that definitely deserves a closer look. A full gallery of over thirty images is available to view on Brickshelf, including CAD drawings of the drivetrain and WIP shots, plus you watch gkurkowski’s amazing MAZ537 8×8 in action courtesy of the video below.
This is the Mil Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter, the most powerful series production helicopter in the world. Built for the previously publicised ‘Brickman Awesome‘ show, Certified LEGO Professional Ryan McNaught (aka The Brickman) and his team spent 52 hours and 8,302 bricks in the construction of the Mi-26.
Completed in UN-livery, Ryan’s build includes opening clamshell cargo doors and a roller conveyer to enable cargo to be parachuted to the ground, meaning his recreation of the mighty Russian helicopter is depicted doing something that its real-world counterpart – being part of the most ineffectual organisation on earth – probably never will. Prove us wrong United Nations…
Anyhoo, there’s more to see of Ryan’s amazing Mil Mi-26 at his Flickr photostream via the link above, and you can see more of Ryan’s models built for the Brickman Awesome show by clicking here.
Russia’s recent presidential elections once more provided an emphatic win for Vladimir Putin. Securing his fourth consecutive term in office with a huge 77% of the vote, Putin defied the odds, a constitution which limits consecutive terms to two, accusations of voting irregularities, and the assassination and imprisonment of the other candidates. A thoroughly deserved win then!
The run-up to the election which delivered Putin’s decisive victory was also assisted by a thorough and active police force, ensuring the the Russian people were safe and secure to cast their all-important vote. Many vehicles were deployed to this end, but our favourite is this, the GAZ Tigr SPM-2.
With 7mm armour plating, a four foot wading depth, and powered by a 5.9 litre Cummins diesel engine, the GAZ Tigr is the perfect vehicle for Russia’s armed forces to traverse their country’s vast and varied landscape. It’s also large enough to hold a number of police officers plus any citizens that are as yet unsure of whom to vote for.
This brilliant police-spec Technic GAZ Tigr SPM-2 comes from previous bloggee filsawgood and instead of containing undecided voters/rival political candidates it’s stuffed full of technical wizardry. All four independently suspended wheels are powered by a pair of BuWizz bluetooth bricks controlling four Large drive motors and Servo steering motor, whilst a Medium motor powers the front-mounted winch. There’s also a six-cylinder piston engine, opening hood, doors and sunroof, and a fully appointed interior ready to receive any political dissidents.
There’s lots more to see of filsawgood’s hugely impressive GAZ Tigr SPM-2 at both Flickr and the Eurobricks discussion forum – take a look via the links above and remember to show your support for the President in the comments.
China’s home-grown vehicles often seem to have been ‘designed’ via a game of Chinese Whispers, starting with a respectable Western, Japanese or Korean product, and ending with a tragically distorted lookalike such as this. Or this. Or this. Or this.
Make no mistake though, whilst we’re happily mocking China’s complete disregard for copyright infringement, Chinese cars will be arriving on mass very soon, and it won’t be long before we’ll all be flying on Chinese-designed aircraft too.
In the meantime it’s the domestic market that China’s vehicle and aircraft manufacturers are serving with their cloned produce, as is the case with today’s creation. This is a Shenyang J-11B fighter, a licensed copy of the mid-’80s Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighter, and currently in sole use by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force of China.
This spectacular Lego replica of the Shenyang J-11B comes from Flickr’s Lennart C and it’s a better copy than any of China’s cars could hope to be. There’s an opening cockpit, detailed landing gear, as well as an assortment of cloned Russian weaponry, and there’s lots more to see at Lennart’s photostream via the link above.
This is a Soviet Kirovets K-700A heavy duty tractor, and it’s a vehicle of which we know absolutely nothing. However our trusty friend Wikipedia has come to the rescue and let us know that, amongst other fun facts, Kirovets were once a foundry for cannonballs. Well there you go. That interesting factoid shows just how old the company is though, being established way back in 1789.
This particular Kirovets product was launched in 1962, finally ending production in 2000, and features a turbocharged V8 diesel engine and all-wheel-drive. The Kirovets factory now produces the hateful Dartz T-98 Kombat, so frankly we’d rather they were still making cannonballs, but you can see more of this impressive machine from their back-catalogue courtesy of previous bloggee Jakeof_ at both Brickshelf and his Flickr photostream here.