The 4th of July is in the rear-view mirror but I still hear jack-wagons (read great Americans) in my neighborhood setting off fireworks every night. You just can’t celebrate the defeat of the British empire enough, there is no wrong time to do it. With that in mind, let’s explore the many models inspired by the most jingoistic hero of all, Captain America. These models should be all the more inspiring because none were built by actual ‘Muricans.
We begin our star-spangled celebration with one of Chris McVeigh’s masterful, and now famous series of Brick Sketches. This entry expertly captures the good Captain’s lantern jaw and determined eyes with a bare minimum of pieces. This style is deceptively difficult, I once tried my hand at a brick sketch and the results were less than blog-worthy. It is very challenging to capture the essence of a character in 50 parts or less. I can’t recommend the process enough though, it is not only a fun experiment but it can tweak the way you look at building.
For our second entry, we turn to Canadian builder Ken Robichaud, who built Cap’s iconic shield in 2012. LEGO does a reasonable job standing in for Vibranium and you should check out the builder’s photo-stream if cosplay is your thing. I would love to see someone throw the shield across a convention room for dramatic effect, or I’d be willing to do it in a pinch. I’ve seen a LEGO star destroyer dropped from a staircase, to the delight of the crowd, but it is an awkward, unbalanced thing to throw. I have the feeling that Cap’s shield would make for a much better projectile and certainly more colorful. Sure, it’s easy to say that about another builder’s time and effort, but you can’t really argue that such a thing would be cool.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more natural mash-up than Captain America and monster trucks. The only mistakes builder Peter Blackert made were in his choice of brands. Steve is driving a jacked-up Toyota Tacoma when it should be a Ford or at the very least a Chevy. Likewise, the truck should be crushing a Volkswagen Beetle for maximum impact, since Hitler himself contracted Ferdinand Porsche in 1934 to design and build the commuter car. Nitpicks aside, this image is just so very… ‘Murica!
We close out our celebration of national pride and comic book heroes with the famous “Captain America” chopper from the classic 1969 film Easy Rider. The movie explores the societal landscape and tensions in the United States during the 1960s and it also included one of the most bad ass motorcycles to ever grace the silver screen. Fred Ottens did a spectacular job of recreating the chrome-heavy Harley Davidson panhead, ridden by actor Peter Fonda.
At the beginning of this omnibus posting I said there would be four takes on Captain America but I find that I cannot allow one of my favorite builders (or artists for that matter), Fredoichi, to be left out of the mix. You just don’t see enough busty action in the hobby and Fredo’s interpretation of Cap makes me yearn for more: minifig hands just make everything better.