Monday, 14 September 2009

Flickr Lego Military Build Challenge #1 Round-Up

There are a few people in the on-line LEGO community who seem to feel that many of us are being too nice. If you're one of those people, you might want to skip reading what follows.

Participants in the Flickr Lego military build challenge may not get a prize, but Chandler Parker and I felt we should try to have some sort of finale. Taking a page out of Lino Martin's book, here follows a round-up of the entries.

First one to get moving for this challenge was NXTMonger, building a chunky armoured truck in the ever popular RAMM theme and a typical mock-German name: Gepanzerte Frachtfördermaschine II. Try saying that five times in a row!

In his first of two entries, imagelego builds a scene in which things actually stop moving. The trucks are neat, but what I like most about the scene are the figures and their details.

In his 2nd entry, he took inspiration from one of the examples I wrote for the announcement: Vietnamese guerilla fighters moving supplies through the jungle using bicycles (it's nice to know that people sometimes read the stuff I write). Like his first entry, a nice scene.

Mdrn-mrvls built a 7-wide military truck in a somewhat unusual colour scheme.

It reminds me of a picture I once saw of a truck delivering beer to the Fort Bragg PX. I like the construction of the cab in particular.
His second entry has a somewhat more conventional military colour scheme. Nice work.

Showing that he does more than a spot of truck building, he's entered a third model: the H(T)-1 Provider -a really nifty transport helicopter that despite its relatively compact size can seat seven minifigs!

Fitting for his name, ninjapilot decided to build an aircraft: an elegant propeller driven transport with particularly nice wings.

The tail can swing open for access to the cargo hold, which may look a bit odd, but wasn't all that uncommon before Lockheed introduced the C-130 Hercules.

The minifigs in Kojman_47's entry seem to mainly be moving a lot of brickarms kit rather than any cargo, but they look as though they mean business.

So, you think the army is somehow glamorous? Perhaps it is, but in his second entry there's a lot of back-braking labour involved with guys hand-carrying very chunky boxes of ammo. To add insult to injury, they get caught up in an ambush too. Sometimes things just don't go your way.

With his entry, Muffinmanifestation (cool nick by the way) asked "I dunno, could this pass for it?". My reply would be, "I don't really know either, because I've got a complete blind spot for sci-fi stuff". Seriously, the whole thing somehow reminds me of a Sikorsky Sky-Crane heavy-lift helicopter and there's no way that can be a bad thing in this challenge.

When we wrote this challenge, we didn't anticipate there being all that many dioramas or actions scenes (well, I didn't anyway), but pmjredsox' entry is both. He's come up with an unusual vehicle that carries its cargo externally on a crane. I suppose it has advantages. You don't need a crane to actually load it ;-)

Anyway, somebody is hell-bent on this particular cargo never reaching its destination and has launched a missile at it. I don't remember ever seeing a decent representation of the smoke-cloud a missile launch produces, but using transparent clear dishes gives an interesting result.

Skinny boy has built another sci-fi vehicle.

I don't have anything sensible to say about the vehicle, short of that like many military transports it looks fairly chunky. I do like the idea that its main cargo are peace negotiators, complete with a white flag. Apparently the war is not going well.

Not to say that I don't like the other entries, but as far as I am concerned, the helicopter built by -RC- is one of the nicer ones to come out of this challenge. It's a very convincing model of a transport helicopter, that seems to owe design features to classic helicopters such as the MH-53 Pave Low and the HH-3 'Jolly Green Giant'. It's nicely proportioned and detailed and even has an interior. Good stuff.

Of course, I've got a soft spot for helicopters.

Dark red camouflage; Who ever thought that was a good idea? Apparently
Vaiano does, and tell you what: it actually looks a lot better than it sounds.

Steampunk; I don't get it. However, the apparently standard browns are perfectly suitable for a military vehicle, as shown by Pain Parade's entry. If there ever was a fictional vehicle for which I can imagine a steam engine make sense, a tracked transport is probably it.

Appius' entry consists of two guys moving themselves. They've got a good reason for it, as they're trying to find their way to friendly territory. It may not be quite what we had in mind for the challenge, but is a nice little scene nonetheless.

His second entry is very much the sort of thing we had in mind. Much of the cargo moving may happen in relative safety, but there may always be a bunch of enemy troops lurking at the bottom of a hill ready to ruin your day.

Is it just me, or does the (rather nice) brick-built Canadian flag on Aaron's amphibious transport truck like a large target? Jokes aside, it's cool choice, looks impressive and has a lot of working features. More than anything it reminds me of the 'LARC-V' amphibious cargo vehicle as used by US Navy Beachmaster units.

Nice bunch of troops too.

Adding to his already large collection of military vehicles, Tim ltd has built a new truck. As usual with his MOCs, nice camouflage and a decent level of detail. It's a multi-functional vehicle used as a prime mover for towing field guns as well as for moving cargo.

As though the collection isn't large enough, he follows up with a second entry. A transport helicopter with a certain Huey-like quality to it. Very neat.

Mangos are awesome
also builds a helicopter.

I've been boring people to death by insisting that helicopters need tail rotors. This model doesn't have one either, but in this case it's OK because it has a tandem design. Check out the full set to see special forces depart from the rear ramp in a small boat. Nice feature.

Another favourite of mine to come out of this challenge is CrispGL's Hagglunds BV202. It's a pretty accurate model of one of the more unusual tracked vehicles I know.

In his mind, the entry by Rocker geek probably moves quite quickly, but that is really the only link I can think of with what this challenge was about. A missed opportunity.

As usual, Aleksander S doesn't disappoint. I like the model, but I like the mud even more.

Opening doors, an opening hood, lots of detail. What more could we want? A laser guided air-dropped self-cooled beer tap perhaps? Actually, how about an aircraft towing tractor? A very original idea for this challenge and nicely built to.

Aleks was obviously enjoying himself for this challenge, building a third entry: the MHT-800XT "Faran" 8x8 transport truck. While he was at it he built a whole load of different versions of it too.

These are visible in his set, which you should really check out (if you haven't already).

Erogwin presents his M7 'Elephant', a multi-purpose logistics vehicle that I like a lot, although I have to admit that I am very biased in its favour because the design was inspired by

The nice thing about this is that I intended that people would be able to build their own custom versions of my design from the start, so thanks Erogwin! You've made me a happy camper.

I may have hinted that I like the Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter a bit earlier, so you can imagine that
Sir Robin's Minstrel managed to tick multiple boxes by building one for this challenge.

He managed to capture the overall look of the classic helicopter very well.

I think that M ? r c (Marc for people who don't like inverted letters) took more than the name from the dropship from the movie Aliens, but it's hard to think of a better source of inspiration for military sci-fi MOCs in my opinion.

Ceramite's hardsuit seems to mainly carry a salt shaker around, but hey, soldiers need some good grub!

When writing this challenge, I had great plans for what I was going to build. Other projects and real-life priorities took over, so I stuck to building a minifig scale tanker truck. No modern army is moving anywhere without vast quantities of fuel.

Rather than equipping his truck with a cargo compartment, Iainy73 decided to show it packing a mighty wallop in the form of eight missiles. The truck he entered in the challenge is just one of a whole family of vehicles based on the same design, pictures of which are in their own dedicated photo set. Nice.

bermyskier1235 Presents a post-apocalyptic zombie defense truck. It seems this zombie-building virus is infecting more and more people. What ever's next? LUGNuts doing zombies?

Eveybody's favourite tyrant, Dr Sinister shows us some lurid green goodness in the form of his Replenisher Tanker trucks. Guess what parts he used to build the tank. Nothing is sacred -not even Duplo.

If you want to rule the world, you've got to think big, which is why Dr. S didn't rest on his laurels just yet and built two more versions: the Provider and Conveyor trucks. Just because he could, he built two of all of them.

His Tabletown Army keeps getting bigger and bigger. Soon there'll be no stopping him (or the price of green LEGO on bricklink from sky-rocketing).

Talking about big, without a doubt the biggest entry in this challenge is Babalas Shipyards's HMS Babalas. It may not be the biggest ship we've seen in LEGO so far, but it comes with a lot of details, has a nice shape and was built in an amazingly short period of time. My hat's off.

Brickgeek27 enters the challenge with a little four-wheeled oil truck. I know I'm probably not supposed to write this about a military MOC, but to me it looks kind-of cute. Perhaps I should go look at kittens a bit more.

With his model of a BMP-3 Infantry fighting vehicle, 777kaboom777 may be skirting the edge of what we had in mind, but he didn't take half measures building it, undertaking several small rebuilds before coming up with a final version.

IMO attention for detail is what separates the men from the boys.

Chandler Parker, one of the instigators of this madness, rises to the challenge with a suitably utilitarian looking truck.

Spot on!

Now here's one we didn't see coming -in part because it's obscured by the trees. Legos117 (dude, loose the 's') has built himself a hovercraft and presents it invading a beech/ swamp. You'll have to dig deep into his photostream to see more pictures of the craft itself, but it's got some nice details.

Spot on!

Last but certainly not least hmick_ enters his futuristic supply vehicle. I don't care much for the zombie propped up against the front wheel, but I like the working technical details -steering, suspension and whatnot.

Obviously this whole thing was a bit of an experiment and I for one am pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of the entries. We wrote very broad requirements, allowing builders a lot of freedom. Not everybody managed to come up with something that fit the challenge, but it's as much an experiment for the participants as it is for the organisers. It's hard to do all the effort that people put into their entries justice by writing a few words about them, but I hope that everybody who built something for this challenge had fun participating.



  1. can u give directions for the alpenflage radar carrier and the pave low number 21 email me at

  2. I like those black helicopters. The Lumber Cartel are known for their use of black helicopters.

  3. Super WOW! The Aircraft Carrier looks great!

  4. there are some really good military vehicles at '' i go there and i built a tank

  5. hi my name is harry im getting modern combat pack or modern combat pack v2 which one do u think is better email me at

  6. All those military vehicles are awesome. The one that stuck out in the my mind was the aircraft carrier b/c of its sheer size. I really like all the rest of them also. I'm trying to build a military helicopter, probably a Huey.

    1. If you thinkk that was huge, you should see my 40"U.S.S Arizona.

    2. If you thinkk that was huge, you should see my 40"U.S.S Arizona.

    3. If you thinkk that was huge, you should see my 40"U.S.S Arizona.

  7. Same im just trying to get ideas of how to build a lego chopper any ideas they would really help me out.

  8. It was amazing! It gave me so much idias!

  9. It was beyond cool, virtually awesome and a great insperation.It helped me build a blackhawk.