Army and Marine Corps ground troops bore the brunt of the American casualties in the Vietnam War. Serving aboard a Navy ship off the coast may have been comparatively safe, but part of the US Navy was right in the thick of things too: the Riverine Patrol Force. They operated on South Vietnam’s many rivers, in particular in the Mekong river delta.
Hot on the heels of my USMC Seahorse helicopter, this weekend I built one of their boats: a Patrol Boat Riverine, which, like just about anything in the military, had its own abbreviation: ‘PBR’, which was typically pronounced as ‘Pibber’. These were small and fast boats that could operate on some of the smaller tributaries of the Mekong, often surrounded by jungle, with crews living in stifling heat and primitive conditions. This type of boat was made famous by Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, a war movie whose ‘Making of’ is at least as memorable as the movie itself.
The making of my model was considerably less of a psychedelic trip than the journey described in the movie. Despite the dark green, which is still a somewhat awkward colour to build with, it came together very quickly. The diorama will be part of a collaboration and for it to fit with the other builders’ styles, the boat has very few visible studs. I built its hull mostly with bricks on their side, which gave me both a smooth deck and a nicer shape. I used BrickArms M60s and helmets as accessories for the minifigures, but the rest is all LEGO, including the luscious jungle foliage.
It doesn’t take a big creation to pack in a lot of detail, and this build by Ah Ki is a great example of that! His LEGO “Medieval Weapons House” sits on a small base but has big character. It demonstrates the use of a cool patch-working technique to give it that rustic feel. There are a few neat uses of parts, like the 1x4x1 fence in the windows and wheel covers (hubcaps) for accents. It also has a fun color scheme.
My favorite part is the forge with its little awning and blacksmith at his anvil. The whole structure has a pretty nice shape to it, especially the roof, which makes a perfect little swoop. I just wish that we could get a tour inside!
The first official retail pictures of the upcoming LEGO City sets have been revealed for this summer. These sets contain rare and exotic prehistoric exotic animals, including a woolly mammoth and a sabre- toothed tiger. Prices, piece count and information on availability are yet to be announced.
Builders of all ages struggle to keep LEGO pieces off of the floor. But those days may soon be over thanks to The Brick Wall! Rather than buying an autonomous floor cleaner, The Brick Wall brought us an invention that could revolutionize any LEGO fan’s life. It’s called the Lego Rumba.
This fully motorized and untethered device can sweep up small technic pins, medium plates, large bricks—even minifigs—from a flat service into a holding bin. Two sets of treads provide the business end of the creation, with rubber strips stuck into the grommets for sweeping power. A robotic grabbing arm allows the model to pick up extra-large items like Technic tires. Click the video below to see the LEGO Rumba in action.
While not conventionally beautiful, the open sides of the model provide an unobstructed look at the functional components that make this contraption go. Check out more of The Brick Wall’s marvelous creations on YouTube.