Tag Archives: World War 2

Streamliner

This is a Tatra T87, and it was one of the fastest and yet most fuel efficient cars of the era. Built from the mid-’30s to early-’50s the T87 was powered by rear-mounted air-cooled 2.9 litre V8 engine which was about half the size of its competitors, yet – thanks to its streamlined shape – it could reach almost 100mph whilst using nearly half the fuel.

The occupying Nazis loved it, calling it ‘the autobahn car’, but so many German officers were killed trying to reach 100mph that the T87 was dubbed ‘the Czech secret weapon’, and they were subsequently banned from driving it.

This brilliant Technic recreation of the Tatra T87 comes from Horcik Designs who has replicated the car’s streamlined shape beautifully from Technic panels. Underneath the aerodynamic body is functioning swing-arm suspension, working steering, and a detailed engine under an opening cover, and there’s more to see of all of that at the Eurobricks discussion forum and at Horcik’s Bricksafe folder.

Click the links above to ty to reach 100mph on the autobahn c1940. Unless you’re a German Army officer.

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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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Bike on Track

This is a Fritz Riemerschmid Gleiskettenkrad (which we can assure you that we pronounced flawlessly in TLCB Office so you can too as you’re reading this), a 1930s BMW R12-based tracked motorcycle that was designed to drive on snow. In straight lines only presumably.

Built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Lowe, who seems to have a penchant for odd vintage machinery, this marvellous Model Team recreation includes a sidecar, a working two-cylinder engine with functioning gearbox, and something purporting to be steering.

There’s much more to see at Nikolaus’ ‘Fritz Riemerschmid Gleiskettenkrad’ album – click the link above to head over. In a straight line.

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Flying Fruit

Airlines never seem to offer fruit on board. Little packets of pretzels yes. Fruit no. Or nothing at all if you’re flying budget, although there will be a catalogue containing a $4,000 watch. No matter, because the aptly-named Big Planes of Flickr has some serious in-flight fruit for us today. This is the Northrop N-9M ‘Flying Wing’, it really did exist and it really did look like a giant banana.

The N-9M was an experimental aircraft constructed in the early 1940s to test the theory behind an ultra efficient single wing bomber design. Four planes were built, and they crashed a lot. The idea worked though, and a pair of Flying Wings three times the size of the N-9M were constructed to further test the design.

Unfortunately the design really needed computer control to keep it airborne, which was incredibly limited at the time, and the projects were shelved; all but one of the four N-9Ms  built were scrapped. The fourth was left to deteriorate, but following a funding campaign it returned to the air in 1993 after two decades of restoration work, touring airshows and events across America. Sadly it too crashed in April of this year, killing the pilot and destroying the last N-9M in existence.

Big Planes’ beautifully built mini-figure scale replica of the Northrop N-9M is now as close as you’re likely to get to seeing what this incredible aircraft was like, however the design direction continued and – once computers caught up with the ambition of Northrop’s 1940s engineers – a flying wing did finally take to the skies; the amazing Northrop-Grumman B-2 Spirit  ‘Stealth Bomber‘.

There’s more to see of Big Planes’ brilliant Northrop N-9M at his photostream on Flickr. Click the link above, open a little pack of pretzels, and enjoy the images.

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Killing with Kliment

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…

YouTube Video

 

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Lightning Bolt!

Lightning is always cool. OK, not always; this guy took some liberties. But other than that it’s cool. One of fastest and most terrifying forces in nature, lightning also makes a for a great aircraft name. It’s been used twice that we know of, the second being the unhinged English Electric Lightning and the first being this; the glorious Lockheed P-38J Lightning. The Lockheed P-38’s usual (and we think quite beautiful) twin boom design makes it an oddity in the aircraft world, and even more so considering it first entered service in 1941.

Deployed as a bomber, a long range escort fighter, a ground attack craft, for photo reconnaissance, and as a night fighter, the P-38 flew throughout the entire American involvement in World War Two in a vast array of theatres, with over 10,000 produced in just 4 years.

This colourful mini-figure scale version of the iconic warbird comes from previous bloggee John C. Lamarck of Flickr, who has done a wonderful job recreating the P-38 Lightning in lego form. The hand-drawn decals add to the cartoonish nature of the build too, and there’s more to see at John’s photostream by clicking here.

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More Corsair

This isn’t Henrik Jensen’s first Vought F4E Corsair. In fact he built one way back in 2014, which didn’t feature here as it didn’t quite meet our standards. Or we weren’t paying attention. One of those two anyway. Henrik’s second iteration updates his previous design with LEGO’s latest dark blue parts and folding wingtips, and adds a gloriously cool brick-built checkerboard engine cowling that frankly every plane should have. Custom decals complete the aesthetic accuracy and there’s more of Henrik’s superbly realistic F4E Corsair to see at his Flickr album by clicking these words.

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Staff Car

The staff cars here at The Lego Car Blog are, as revealed way back in 2013, all Austin Allegros. Not so the Wehrmacht, who got themselves a vehicle much cooler.

This a Mercedes-Benz W31 Type G4, a three-axle, straight-8 engined, all-terrain limousine as used by Nazi senior management for parades, inspections, and the annexation of other countries.

Only 57 Mercedes-Benz W31 G4s were produced, all of which were used as staff cars by the Nazi regime as the model was deemed much too expensive for normal military use.

This most excellent recreation of the G4, complete with neat caricature of a certain moustachioed despot, comes from Flickr’s Redfern1950s, who has captured the vehicle brilliantly in his trademark cartoon style. Head to Red’s photostream via the link above to join the parade.

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Light Artillery

Lego SPA TL17

This is an SPA TL.37, a light artillery tractor built by a subsidiary of Fiat during the Second World War for Royal Italian Army. Powered by a huge 4-litre 4-cylinder engine, with four wheel drive and four wheel steering, able to climb a 40-degree slope, and capable of 40km/h whilst pulling 75 or 100mm artillery pieces, it looks like a seriously fun vehicle for gadding about in the desert. Unfortunately for the Axis Powers their gadding about in the desert did not go well, but that’s not exactly the fault of SPA TL.37. There’s more to see of this one courtesy of Rebla of Flickr – click here to take a look.

Lego SPA TL.37

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Semovente Self-Propelled Gun

Lego Semovente da 75/18 Self-Propelled Gun

We’ve written about Italy’s disastrous North African campaign during the Second Wold War before, so we’re skipping the history today to get straight to the MOC, a Semovente da 75/18 self-propelled gun (tank?), as built by Rebla of Flickr. Rebla’s mini-figure scale model recreates the Semovente beautifully, and even includes (sort of) working suspension on its tracks. There’s more to see of Rebla’s wonderful World War 2 tank (including a rather debonaire-looking driver) on Flickr – click on the link above to self-propel your way there.

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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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B is for Bomber

Lego Avro Lancaster B Mk.1

It’s the 3rd of January and we still haven’t posted a car. No matter though, because just look at today’s find! This jaw-droppingly beautiful creation is a near-perfect replica of the Avro Lancaster B heavy bomber in Mk.1 specification, as built by Plane Bricks of Flickr.

The Lancaster was the RAF’s primary bomber during the Second World War, with over 7,000 built from 1941 to ’46. The aircraft was powered by four Rolls Royce Merlin liquid-cooled V12 engines, each making well over 1,200bhp, and was capable of carrying the largest payload of any bomber during the war, including the 10,000kg ‘Grand Slam Earthquake’ bombs and the amazing ‘bouncing bombs‘ used to take out German dams.

Lancaster bombers completed around 156,000 sorties during the Second World War, dropping bombs totalling over 600,000 tons, destroying dams, ships, bridges, railways, and armaments. The aircraft were also deployed to drop food aid over occupied Holland, preventing the starvation of thousands of people (a fine hour indeed), but also to indiscriminately fire-bomb the cities Hamburg and Dresden, resulting in their complete destruction and the deaths over 65,000 civilians (a less fine hour…).

Almost half of all the Lancasters built were lost during the war, with only thirty-five completing more than a hundred missions. Today seventeen Avro Lancasters survive of which two are airworthy, flying in Canada and the UK. For readers further afield Plane Brick’s stunning recreation of the Mk.1 Avro Lancaster offers a chance to see this war-defining bomber in incredible detail. With custom decals, superb brick-built camouflage, working land-gear, and a fully detailed interior, Plane Bricks’ mini-figure scale Avro Lancaster B is definitely worth a closer look. Join the fight on Flickr by clicking here.


Lego Avro Lancaster B Mk.1

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To Battle!

Lego Carro Armato M14/41

No, the other way…

This is a Carro Armato M14/41 tank, as manufactured by Fiat for the Royal Italian Army. That means we’re not sure which side this magnificently moustachioed mini-figure is on as Italy switched during World War 2. However as this tank is painted in the colours of the North Africa Campaign it suggests he’s fighting for Mussolini, a man known to have been ‘a bit of a dick’.

Luckily for TLCB’s home nation and the other Allies that this tank fought against, the M14/41 was absolutely rubbish, being obsolete when new, unreliable, cramped, and catching fire regularly. Which is most unlike a Fiat.

Fortunately these short-comings led to a less than successful military campaign, and likely hastened Italy’s overthrowing of Mussolini, abandonment of fascism, and switch to the Allied cause.

This brilliant mini-figure scale recreation of the Carro Armato M14/41 comes from Albert of Flickr, making his TLCB debut. Ingenious building techniques abound and there’s more to see at Albert’s photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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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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Stuka

Lego Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka"

It’s been a bit of a Military Monday here at The Lego Car Blog, with three war-themed creations none of which are cars. Oh well, here’s the third, a Junkers Ju-87 ‘Stuka’ fighter, and it’s marvellous. Built by aircraft-building legend Dornbi of Flickr, it’s a superbly accurate recreation of one of Nazi Germany’s earliest fighters of the Second World War, made all the more impressive by some cunning brick-built camouflage. There’s much more to see of the ‘Stuka’ at Dornbi’s photostream – click the link above for all the pictures – and to counteract today’s glorification of war, here’s a super secret link.

Lego Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka"

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