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    Brickmania M1A1 75MM Howitzer on M8 Carriage and Heavy Mortar With Brickarms Shell Reviews


    I will be reviewing the Brickmania M1A1 75MM Howitzer on M8 Carriage and the Heavy Mortar with Brickarms Shell.

    These sets are made by Brickmania.com and they are LEGO customs. They can be discontinued and re-released at anytime so I wouldn't invest in these kits.

    They are high quality and well-built in my opinion, but not great investments at all.

    M1A1 75MM Howitzer On M8 Carriage

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    Product Description from Brickmania.com

    Designed shortly after World War I to replace existing light artillery pieces, the M1 75mm "pack" howitzer was a small artillery piece that could be broken down and transported by pack horses or mules. Not mass produced until the outbreak of World War II, several design improvements were added in 1940, with the new gun designated the M1A1 on M8 Carriage (replacing the original wooden-wheeled gun carriage). The lightweight field gun was mainly used to equip US Army airborne artillery battalions, but was also adopted for use by the US Marine Corps for its campaigns in the Pacific. While not as powerful as the more widely used 105mm howitzers, its small size made it more versatile and easier to transport over rough terrain.Brickmania is please to introduce this M1A1 75mm Howitzer kit as part of its Campaign in the Pacific series of model kits.

    Additional information about this Brickmania custom Lego® kit:

    • Gun is poseable with a full range of elevation
    • Carriage and gun can be "broken down" for transport
    • Can be towed behind any vehicle with a hook type hitch
    • 1/35 scale matches other Brickmania models
    • The overall color scheme of this model is dark gray
    • Includes 41 LEGO elements.

    This Brickmania model kit is made from genuine unused LEGO bricks and is shipped disassembled. Also included are full-color printed building instructions and is packaged in a sealed polybag. All Brickmania building kits are limited production and may be discontinued at any time.

    Front of the polybag.

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    Picture of the real M1A1 75MM Howitzer.

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    The Build

    The build was very easy and it took me about 20 minutes to build. The instructions were easy to following and the pictures were crisp. I believe beginner LEGO builders can build this set with ease. However, the model is pretty fragile so try to handle it with care. The troublesome area for me would be the 2X3 grey piece right under the barrel. Most of the pieces are the newer dark grey pieces with the exception of the tires and the pole piece.

    The Completed Set

    Picture of the completed set.

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    Picture of the set being towed by my Brickmania Jeep. (The Jeep or minifigure is not included.)

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    As noted in the product description, it is fully poseable and can be "broken down" similar to what would have happened during WW2. (This was done to transport the gun easier through rough terrain.)

    Overall Opinion

    I think the model itself is quite awesome despite the higher price tag and the fragile areas. Speaking of price, some of you maybe did a double take when you first looked at it. It isn't an official LEGO set so it costs more money to assemble all of the parts. Here is a quote from Andrew of The Brothers Brick about the higher cost of the Brickmania kits. (He reviewed some of the sets on his website and the link will take you to the review I got the following quote from. For those who don't know who Dan Siskind is, he is the owner/founder of Brickmania.)

    The model itself includes 253 LEGO pieces. So, let’s just get this out of the way in our first review: $80 for 253 parts? These sets aren’t for someone building their collection of LEGO parts. I asked Dan about the prices of his custom LEGO kits, and he reminded me that he has to source his individual LEGO parts on the secondary market just like everyone else. Dan sells his custom kits in limited runs of fifty to a hundred (rather than the tens or hundreds of thousands of units that the LEGO Group moves), and his price has to account for the time he spends designing and redesigning the sets in a way that enables him to find enough parts in quantity to create a batch of custom kits. As someone who built a substantial portion of his World War II LEGO models from Bricklink orders, I can attest to the challenge of trying to assemble all the parts I need for a particular model from various BrickLink stores, much less attempting to source enough for dozens of the same model. No, custom Brickmania kits are not cheap, but I really do think you’re getting value for the money. Let’s move on…

    Now that is out of the way, I think this is great set for WW2 era MOCs and especially for Airborne and U.S. Marine MOCs. (This gun was mainly used by those two type of units.) The ratings below will be out of 10.

    • Parts: 7 Nothing rare or special.
    • Playability: 8 Fully posable and easy to display.
    • Building Experience: 7.5 It was very easy, but some parts of the set tend to fall off.
    • Value for Money: 8 Although high in comparison to official LEGO sets, it is on par with price in comparison to other Brickmania kits.
    • Overall: 30.5 out of 40. Overall it is a nice kit and I recommend any WW2 era LEGO fan to get one.

    Heavy Mortar with Brickarms Shell

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    Product Description from Brickmania.com

    The mortar has been an essential piece of artillery equipment since humans have built machines to lob projectiles at buildings, fortifications and—of course—other humans. As warfare has become more fluid and mobile, the need for squad-portable mobile artillery increased dramatically. In the early 20th century this technology evolved into what we commonly know as the modern mortar. This generally consists of a small rocket-propelled explosive projectile, a launch tube, support base, and aiming bipod. Ammunition generally range in size from 2 inches in diameter upwards to 5 inches. The mortar weapon is set up with the tube resting at an angle between 45 and 80 degrees and the projectile is launched with a high arcing trajectory and can be fired at targets outside direct line of sight.

    Brickmania is pleased to offer this Mortar kit made from LEGO bricks and a rare BrickArms hand-injected "proto" mortar shell projectile. t line of sight.With the basic mortar components being of similar design around the world, the Brickmania Heavy Mortar can stand in for just about any larger mortar systems of all nationalities used in World War II and later. The initial batch of mortars are being offered with your choice of a black or OD green projectile. Since these shells are currently only being hand made in small batches, we are only able to offer the Heavy Mortar in limited quantities.

    Front of the polybag

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    Picture of a U.S. WW2 era heavy mortar.

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    The Build

    ​The build was extremely easy as it is very small. (It took me one minute to build.) Most of the pieces are the newer dark grey which is the same color as the M1A1 75MM Howitzer. The best piece of this set is the prototype Brickarms mortar shell which is hand made and only available in this kit.

    The Completed Set

    The completed set with a minifigure holding the Brickarms shell. (The minifigure is not included.)

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    Another view of the set. (The minifigure is not included.)

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    It looks nice set up and it stands very easily. You can also adjust the angle of the mortar by moving the black antennas.

    Overall Opinion

    It is not that big at all. What really brings the price up on this is the proto handmade mortar shell. By just looking at the pictures almost any LEGO fan can get the pieces and build it for cheaper than $6. Basically if you want the shell then get this. Otherwise just build one using your own parts. This is meant to be used by any nationality WW2 and after so it could fit into a lot of Military MOCs. The rating will be out of ten again.

    • Parts: 6.5 Nothing special at all except the handmade/prototype mortar shell.
    • Playability: 7 You can fit the shell partway down the barrel to act out loading it.
    • Building Experience: 9.5 Very quick and easy. Pretty solid kit.
    • Value for Money: 7 Not very great, but the prototype shell makes up for the higher price in my opinion.
    • Overall: 30 out of 40. If you want the mortar shell then get this. Otherwise just use the picture provided and build your own.

    Here is another version of the mortar. It is the exact same as the one above, but this one includes a custom printed Brickarms crate. It costs $13.

    Click here to view the M1 81MM Mortar Pack.

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    I hope you guys/ gals enjoyed these reviews. I will be doing more Brickmania reviews of the following kits below so stay tuned. (Clicking on the link takes you to the Brickmania.com website.) I will also be starting my LEGO Customs article.

    WWB Version of the Jeep

    Click here to view the standard Jeep without the canopy.

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    M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer

    Click here to view the M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer.

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    M4 Sherman

    Click here to view the M4 Sherman.

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    Thanks for reading!

    Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. If I claim or appear to be an expert on a certain topic or product or service area, I will only endorse products or services that I believe, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Products reviewed are bought by me unless otherwise noted.

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    Guest skfdlty

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    :O Those are some high Price Per Brick ratios. Very cool builds though! My favorite is the Jeep. It has a very awesome canopy, and very clever use of "arms".

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    Keep these reviews coming man! I love these sets. Planning to buy a considerable amount of them this weekend at brickfair!

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    :O Those are some high Price Per Brick ratios. Very cool builds though! My favorite is the Jeep. It has a very awesome canopy, and very clever use of "arms".

    The jeep is pretty awesome and the canopy is made of a high-quality cloth made by MMCB Capes.

    Keep these reviews coming man! I love these sets. Planning to buy a considerable amount of them this weekend at brickfair!

    I will. :thumbsup: Let us know what you get!

    Very nice, I love these from a Military history perspective. I just wish they had the legendary 105mm Howitzer!

    They actually have that.
    Below is the M2A1 Howitzer that was used from WW2 till the Vietnam War.
    2013_M2A1_HowitzerCoverL__65809.13575965Below is the M102 Howitzer that was first used during the Vietnam War and is still being used currently.
    1009_M102_HowitzerCoverL__42459.13589942
    I just noticed they are sold out, but I will send you a PM if I see them restocked.
    EDIT: The M102 Howitzer is now back in stock as of 8/8/13.

    Yeah, buddy! A Brickmania blog! :biggrin:
    Good job, Darth Lego. Keep em' coming!

    Thank you! I will keep them coming!

    Nice article, +1

    Thanks, Brian!

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