Built from bricks: the Bombs Raid in Lego form

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All the way from Australia comes news of the work of a group of amateur Lego enthusiasts, Nathan Leech, Leigh McGowen, Robb McGowen and Mark Parker. With time on their hands, they took on the challenge of recreating the 1943 raid on the Möhne Dam through the medium of Lego with sensational results, as you can see above.

The picture below, showing an Upkeep “bouncing bomb” travelling across the surface of the lake, shows the level of detail the builders have achieved.

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Approximately 30,000 bricks went into its construction, with over 400 hours work in design and build. The wall is made up of eight sections, each on a 32×32 baseplate. The aircraft are 1:37th scale, and two are depicted.

“Due to the constraints of Lego,” says Nathan, “we could not build a wall with the proper curvature. Also as part of the homage, the planes do not carry the insignia of a specific aircraft.”

Minor quibbles to my mind. Congratulations on a terrific achievement.

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A model masterpiece

In the 1960s, like many children of my age, I was an avid builder of Airfix plastic model aircraft. I made a reasonably decent job of them, but I remember the slight disappointment that the final results never quite resembled the smart looking painting on the box.

Then, one recent Christmas some 50 years after I had last opened up an Airfix box, I was given a present of a model Lancaster.

I toyed with the idea of building the model myself, but in the end my nerve failed me and I put it away in a cupboard. There it languished for a year or two, until I had an email exchange with my old friend Dom Howard, the great nephew of Dams Raid pilot Cyril Anderson. Several years ago, we had both been active on the old Lancaster Archive Forum (still much missed by those of us of a certain age) and I knew that this had a sub-forum on model aircraft. A prominent member of this had been a model builder called Ian Collis, whose pictures of his work in progress showed that he was a real ace at this kind of detailed work.

So I decided, as a treat to myself, that I would ask Ian to build the model for me. It was to be decorated with the markings which my uncle, David Maltby, had carried on his aircraft ED906 AJ-J on the night of the Dams Raid. Ian kept me informed about how he was getting on and posted the occasional shots on his Facebook page of the work in progress. Then a few days ago he put up the final series showing the completed work. Here is a link to the page on which they are displayed.

Talk about Wow factor! In every shot one can only marvel at the level of detail of his work. Here is a shot of the cockpit, front turret and bomb aimer’s position, each with an individual figure.

And here’s the bomb aimer himself, apparently crafted from a model soldier using a pair of binoculars, using the famous wooden bombsight, made to 1:72 scale!

I’m just overwhelmed by the pictures and am much looking forward to collecting the finished model from Ian very shortly. A masterpiece indeed.