Monday, 26 October 2009

the longest day

I've been meaning to post this excellent D-Day diorama by Andrew Beecraft for quite some time now, but forgetfulness, a cold, and downright laziness have precluded it from being posted earlier, and Andrew himself beat me to it by blogging it on the Brothers Brick (see here). However, it's such a nice creation that I feel that it should be featured here regardless. The vehicles are well built, but the landscaping strikes me as particularly impressive. I especially I like the incorporation of good ol' TLG trees - after all, not everything has to be brick built by default.

Friday, 23 October 2009

It's a matter of scale

It's a regularly re-occurring topic of conversation on LEGO-related websites and forums: what constitutes minifig scale? Figures can add a lot to a creation and many military builders seem to enjoy finding the right figures and accessories to go with their models at least as much as building the actual models.

For a long time I wasn't a fan of minifigures and used to build most of my aircraft and helicopter models on a scale that, at least in my opinion, was too big (and since this is my blog after all, my opinion matters!). The trouble with minifigs is their cartoonish proportions, as nicely illustrated by a diagram made by the illustrious Tim Gould (aka. gambort).

The diagram shows how minifigures when built to different scales compare to a real human (Tim's own 'svelte' silhouette in this case). In short, minifigs are stubby fat people.

This post was prompted by a reasonably nice rendition of a Fairey Swordfish that I found on MOCpages, built by Eduardo AriƱo, and I encourage you to take a look at the page for more pictures and to read some of the viewers' comments.

I'm no stranger to the Fairey Swordfish, as I built one little more than a year ago.
Swordfish (2)
It seems obvious to me that Eduardo has taken a closer look at my model than he may be willing to admit, but the differences are more interesting than the similarities -most notably the scale. His model is about 50% bigger than mine (a 60 stud wingspan versus a 40 stud span on mine), which means that since my model was built to a scale of approximately 1/43, his is about 1/30. I cannot deny that the crew accommodation in my model looks a bit too cosy for comfort. However, mine does look good with the crew standing next to it.

So, is there an ideal minifig scale? I don't think so. While 1/30 is certainly pushing the boundaries, in some respects 1/43 is a bit small. It all depends on what you want to do with your model. If it should fit in a diorama or have figures standing next to it, the smaller end of the range might fit (1/60); do you want the crew to sit inside and do you perhaps want to have some fun adding interior details, the bigger end of the range (1/35) might be your thing.

Monday, 19 October 2009

day of the armoured car

Carter Baldwin, Mike Psiaki, and Cole Blaq coincidentally all posted armoured cars yesterday, though they're all unique in their own respective ways.

I've seen Carter's at BrickFair, and can attest that it's very fra- I mean cool. But in all seriousness, it's a well-built creation that, as is usual with Carter, sacrifices playability for detail and sleekness.

Mike's, on the other hand, is evocative of some sort of moon buggy, which is fitting as he apparently based it on a vehicle in "StarCraft II." Unlike a moon buggy, however, it packs quite the nasty bite. In particular, I love the suspension: I can just imagine it rolling across some craggy extraterrestrial planetary surface with ease.

And, last but not least, Cole's is a rugged-looking vehicle that also looks well-suited to making it across harsh terrain. The use of an (in my opinion) oftentimes tragically overlooked windscreen is refreshing, and the overall simplicity of the creation is nice.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

old blood and guts

Daniel "urthedead" Zayac, who has become increasingly prolific as of late, has built an M60 main battle tank, more commonly known as the Patton, in NATO three-color woodland camouflage. He's managed to replicate the way it sits so high up, and also its distinctive front glacis. I don't recall seeing the iconic M60 rendered in the brick before, so that fact makes the model all the more unique to me.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

eco-friendly death on wheels

Aleksander Stein's Panther jeep, built for Alpha Company, is the spiritual successor to my rather ugly original version (which, in my defense, was built quite a while ago). While he retained the basic appearance of mine, he updated nearly every aspect of it, and was even able to include an opening hood that covers a hybrid engine, as well as a cage for the gunner.


desert rats

According to prolific builder Tyler "Legohaulic" Clites, his futuristic Remote Armor Team (RAT) started out as a study in using parts from the old basketball sets in new and unexpected ways, but the project snowballed until it became one big nice parts use (NPU). Take your time and look through the photos in his photosteam: you'll be surprised by just how many overlooked parts he managed to flawlessly integrate into the vehicles.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

"Killer Duck"

Shortly after posting his Raven and Piranha, Magnus Lauglo reveals yet another stunning creation, this time a ground attack fighter inspired by the A-10 Thunderbolt II. Like the A-10, the Forktail, has lines reminiscent of WWII aircraft, in particular the P-38 Lightning. Magnus nicknamed it the "Killer Duck," the latter because of its cockpit's resemblance to a duckbill, and the former due to its impressive payload, which is doubtlessly intended to give opposing forces' tank crews a very bad day.

Saturday, 3 October 2009


As a member of the BrickArms staff, I'm privy to seeing and sometimes testing top secret prototypes in advance, so I've known about the new M1 Carbine, based on the variant for paratroopers, for quite some time now. Will Chapman (the owner and operator of BrickArms) has decided to unveil it at BrickCon (which I unfortunately couldn't attend), coinciding with Operation BrickLord, a collobarative display focusing on the Normandy Campaign during WWII.

Will even likes to surprise his staff on occasion, this time with a StG44 complete with a scope and night vision device, both of which add a lot of character to the item, in my opinion. Though he had previously expressed interest in tackling it, I wasn't sure if he'd be able to finish it in time for BrickCon.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

on the road again

Fradel "Slice151" Gonzalez busts out with a slick Neo Blacktron supply truck that packs a considerable punch in the form of a pair of rocket launchers. The final frontier is a dangerous place, so even bandits themselves have to be wary, apparently.

LEGO Military Build Challenge #2: Fire Support

After a brief hiatus, Ralph "Mad Physicist" Savelsberg and I are happy to present LEGO Military Build Challenge #2: Fire Support. Just like last time, there will be no judges or prizes, and the fun of it comes from the builders' unique interpretations of the theme, which this time is fire support.

So what exactly is fire support, you ask? I'm getting to that, so shut up and listen, you maggots! If you were paying attention during BCT, you already know that fire support is the long-range fire power typically provided by artillery and close air support to the boys in the frontlines.

So what does that have to do with anything, some of you may still ask? Well, it's obvious that you're not the sharpest bayonet in the armory, so I'll spell it out for you. We need you to build whatever it is that provides fire support! Everything from an A-10 to an M109 and anything in between is fair game, so it's your lucky day, hoser! If you're so incredibly busy that you can't get your act together and build something real nice, you can at least build a little mortar team.

Well, what are you waiting for? I'm not going to hold your hand, so get off of your backsides and get to work! Post your entries
here once you're done with 'em, and in the meantime feel free to flap your lips here. You have until November 30 to do the former, then I'll lock down the entry thread.