From Biplanes to Battleships: Military History in LEGO

Today we hear from guest contributor and military-history builder, João Eínon. He takes us through his own LEGO journey as well as a tour of a fan event in Portugal.

Hi! My name is João Eínon, I’m 35 years old and I’m from Portugal. LEGO has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. One thing that I’m very proud of is the fact that I never really liked to build the sets in the boxes; instead, I always wanted to build my own things. Believe it or not, when I was very young, I used to make Churches and Cathedrals all the time!

But then my aunt gave me an F-16 model Kit (when I was nine years old), and everything changed for me. I very rapidly noticed that I hated painting and building model kits… so instead I decided to use LEGO! Twice the fun at twice the cost! Since then, I’ve built all sorts of LEGO military stuff, including the Falklands War, the Second World War, the Russo-Japanese War, and many more.

Usually, I prefer to build obscure or not widely built MOCs… In some cases, people search online for info about a certain ship or plane, and they often find my models instead!  Another thing that I love is Photoshop. Usually, I make a Photoshop picture of every MOC that I make as if it were real and in operation. 

I currently have an Instagram page. And a YouTube page. Please subscribe! 


The Caldas Fan Event was an exhibition that happened at Caldas da Rainha, between 28 October and 5 November 2023, a beautiful historical city around 100km to the North of Lisbon, Portugal. This Event only happens once every four years, and I really enjoy attending it since it enjoys lots of support from the organization. We don’t have restrictions in terms of space available or what we can bring. Huge displays of Friends, City, Star Wars/Space, Castle and World landmarks could be seen there. Therefore, I always bring the very best I have to this event.  


My displays were divided in two main tables: Ships, and Aircraft and Tanks.

The ship table was 12 meters long and 4 meters wide and was divided into three themes. The first was the Italian Navy Display, a collection of ships used by Italy during the Second World War. The seven ships display also included minifig-scale size replicas of the Anti-aircraft weapons used by these ships, and in the center, a flag of the Regia Marina, the Royal Italian Navy. I like to include small components of the ships so I can tell a little about their history.

At the center, there was a representation of the Battle of Tsushima, the crucial naval battle of the Russo-Japanese War. This massive naval battle included 15 ships, and I even used these models to make a 5-part documentary about the War on my YouTube channel. 

Finally, I had another (fictitious) Naval Battle with nine ships used by both sides of the Spanish Civil War. They were part of the massive Spanish Civil War Display, the biggest military display that I’ve made so far, and unique in the World!

Aircraft and Tanks

 On the second table there were 29 planes used during that conflict, all different, some minifig, some mini-scale. The table also had a dozen tanks and cannons as well as two other smaller Aircraft Displays, one of them showed the Royal Dutch Air Force at the start of the Second World War (I just love the camouflage that they used), and finally, the Yugoslavian Air Force Display, a collection of the unique planes designed in that Country during the 20th Century.

 Lastly, a picture of me with the display. Suddenly I want French Fries!

Have you ever seen this many military-history related builds all in one place? Which one do you think is most swooshable? Let us know in the comments below.

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