Humping

Lego VTOL Camel

It’s a spacey day here at TLCB. Although today’s final publicised creation looks quite atmospheric, it’s definitely in the ‘weird sci-fi’ category of Lego building.

Built by David Roberts this is a micro-scale VTOL freight transport, nicknamed ‘The Camel’ due to its magnificent hump. Or because it humps (carries) things,. Or maybe because it looks like it’s… er, humping things, if you know what we mean…

You can see more of the airborne amorous dromedary on either MOCpages or Flickr, and we’ll see you next time for some normal car-based* postings.

*Probably

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Tentacles

brickbin starfighter

The Small Starfighter Building Contest on Flickr has generated some novel and creative solutions to fitting a minifig scale spaceship into 14x14x6 studs. We’ve already covered some of the builds but the contest has now closed* with the onset of SHIPtember. One of the latest postings is Chris Perron’s “TYLYK“, an alien looking ship in the unusual colour of dark tan. “NPU” is an often overused phrase in the world of sci-fi Lego but the tentacles which wrap around the cockpit are certainly different. The ship also includes two useless Lego pieces and some nice greebling for good measure. Click this link to Chris Perron’s Photostream to see more.

*Happily resulting in a downturn in the number of Elves running around the office shouting “Pew! Pew! Pew!”.

brickbin starfighter rear

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They See Me Rollin’

Lego Classic Space Command Roller

We kick off a space-themed day today with this; David Alexander Smith’s Classic Space Command Roller. We have absolutely no idea what to say about it, other than it reminds us of a t-rex, a cat, a steamroller and this, all rolled* into one.

Available on MOCpages and Flickr, see if you can try to work it out at the links.

*Sorry.

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You Pay We Slay

Lego VTOL Fighter

Halfbeak’s CIRCORP rent-a-fighter got the Elves very excited today. They don’t really understand the intergalactic arms industry, but they do like big guns and go-faster stripes! See more on Flickr.

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Mini Mini

10242-1

Welcome to our review of LEGO’s latest set for gearheads. If you’re from the UK and of a certain age, there’s a good chance your first car was one of these. Probably ten years old, falling apart with rust, smoking like the Flying Scotsman… maybe that was just mine, but how I loved it!

I am of course talking of the ‘UCS’ Mini, set no. 10242. This model depicts one of the later 1990s Coopers with much interior finery that my plastic-seated ’70s example may have lacked, but the appeal is the same. So long as it IS a classic Mini, not one of those BMW-sponsored supertankers that should probably be called Maxis, really…

Where were we? Ah yes, 10242, what’s it like?

Comparisons with the 10220 Camper Van (still available but probably not for long…) are inevitable, and 10242’s 1077 pieces for £75 looks slightly worse value than the Camper’s 1332 pieces for £80. Naturally, the model’s smaller as well… still, all those rare pieces in dark green make up some of the difference for MOCers.

The box looks to be the same size as the VW’s, and it looks good, with a tempting pic of the Mini on the front, and the rear showcasing all the opening features and interior detail. Appetite suitably whetted, it’s time to liberate the instructions and get to building.

It’s a fun build, with not too much repetition all things considered, and there’s some neat solutions, especially in the way they’ve designed-in the half-plate gap behind the doors that enable them to close smoothly whilst keeping the curve at the top of the side panel. There’s not quite as much surprise-and-delight in this as there was in the camper, but there is some; the spare wheel under the hinged boot floor may not be realistic, but it is a nice detail that leaves this Mini with probably more boot space than a real one…

After a not-too-taxing couple of hours, you’ll have a good looking model.

The front looks excellent. The lights, grille and bumper are all in proportion and the sloped bonnet opens to reveal the detailed engine. This isn’t quite as detailed as it could be, but what’s there is nice enough. In answer to many a MOCer’s prayer, the headlights are about two and a half studs across which makes them exactly the right size. Hurrah! for that. The silvered pin joiners used for the bumpers are very pleasing too.

Moving rearwards, and things are not quite so rosy; the lower parts of the bodysides are fine – excellent, in fact, with the printed stripe on the curved elements that form the top part of the side panels – but the pillar / window treatment lets the side down, literally… It’s those slope pieces for the ‘screen pillars, with stickers that attempt to black out the portion of slope brick that shouldn’t be there. To my eyes, this doesn’t work at all, and yes I did put the stickers on straight…

Those green wheelarch pieces are brilliant, though. Nice going for what’s really a windscreen piece! The wheels are nice too, doing a convincing impression of the ‘Minilite’ design that was always popular on these.

At the rear, another nice and shiny bumper, above which is an opening bootlid that’s almost but not quite exactly the right shape. It’s a good try, though. Maybe it’s the too-steep angle of the rear screen that does it, but it doesn’t look quite right from some angles at the back.

If the above sounds like nit-picking, blame the VW Camper for setting the bar so high. While this model IS a good representation of a Mini Cooper, there are several areas where it could be better. The one area where the Camper could have been better has at least been nailed on the Mini…

And another thing; when are LEGO going to stop using tiny minifig levers where something three times the size would be better? Answers on a postcard please… It’s the roof-mounted aerial this time and it looks ridiculous.

Inside, it gets better. The roof lifts off to reveal the beautifully detailed seats with their chequered trim, and a perfectly detailed dashboard with the sort of late – ’90s wood veneer that was almost definitely not plastic… The front seats tip forward to allow your imaginary figures into the cramped rear bench. This is a couple of studs too far forward, presumably to give enough boot space for that utterly delightful picnic basket, complete with fabric towel. And a piece of ‘cheese’ that’s actually a piece of cheese; gotta love that Danish humour!

The only criticism inside is the massive steering wheel.

One very nice detail is a choice of number plates according to your chosen European country. The English ‘R’ registration makes this a 1997 model. Also very English is the colour: British Racing Green, no less, and it looks great with the white bonnet stripes and roof.

Overall, it’s a good model. A nice thing to have if you’re a Mini fan. It doesn’t quite achieve the dizzy heights of quality of the Camper set, though.

It’s still a Mini and Minis make you smile. 8/10

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Moon Walk

Lego Lunar Walker

One of our favourite Classic Space builders returns to TLCB. Billyburg‘s Lunar Jeep is ready for a moon safari, and seeing how eclectic looking the patrons are we can only guess at the weirdness of the wildlife! You can see more of the six-legged ATV on Flickr at the link above, plus you can find Billyburg’s past works featured here by typing his name into the TLCB search tool.

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DAF Double

Lego DAF XF Truck

These two huge Model Team style DAF trucks were discovered on Flickr today. Built by Arian Janssens they represent two decades of European truck building. See more of the modern XF above and classic 2700 below via the link.

Lego DAF 2700 Truck

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Steam Wars

Lego Steam Wars Star Wars Tie Fighter

Steampunk and Star Wars are perhaps two of the nerdiest things ever created. Throw the two together and the resultant nerdicity is so high that space itself dons a pare of thick rimmed glasses and talks through its adenoids for a bit. In fact TLCB publishing this post means that somewhere a nerd is getting wedgied by a high school jock just to restore balance to the universe.

Our apologies if you’re the aforementioned nerd, but we’re sure you’ll agree markus19840420‘s Steam Wars Tie Fighter and AT-AT creations are worth it. You can see more of the magnificent mash-ups on Flickr, once you’ve retrieved your underpants from out of your crack.

Lego Steam Wars Star Wars AT-AT

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Virtually Real

Lego Digital Supercar

We rarely like fictional cars here at TLCB, and we like even less of them built digitally. This is because most seem to suffer from the same afflictions that blight the endless real-world supercar start-ups from ambitious but naive millionaires; They’ll all do 300mph and have a million horsepower. Except of course that they won’t. Because they’re crap.

However today we came across one that we do actually rather like, because it’s not, well… crap. Teen Fan Of Lego Sir.Manperson / Sam the First is the designer and he makes his TLCB debut with his digitally rendered ‘Prowler’. It’s one fictional car that we’d like to see built! Buy some bricks Sam…

Lego Cars

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People’s Choice

Lego Chevrolet Corvette

The Lego Car Blog Elves are hungry today, as it’s you our readers who’ve earned a meal token and blue Smartie!* Suggested to us by several of you, this lovely Chevrolet Corvette is the work of MOCpages newcomer Dave Slater.

Dave’s late ’60s Model Team Corvette looks the business and earned a few extra TLCB points for its superbly detailed engine and interior, pop-up lights, opening doors and removable T-Top roof. You can see all the photos of Dave’s classic Corvette on MOCpages at the link above.

*Which we’ve nobly eaten on your behalf.

Lego 1969 Corvette

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Seventies’ Speed

Lego Brabham BT44B Formula 1

This particular TLCB writer wasn’t alive in the 1970s, however from what he’s seen of the era on TV everything seemed to be square and of a nasty beige-y brown hue. Everything that is, apart from Formula 1.

Carl Greatrix makes his third appearance of the month here at TLCB with his final incredible 1970s’ Formula 1 racer; the brilliant 1975 Brabham BT44B. Designed by Gordon Murray (who would later go on to design the McLaren F1 road car) and powered by the legendary Ford-Cosworth DVF engine, the BT44 won 5 races taking third in the manufacturer’s championship in 1975.

Brabham also secured sponsorship from perhaps the greatest racing liveried company of all time. There was no beige or brown in Martini’s paintbox, and it’s a scheme that still looks superb 40 years on – as proven by the wonderful current Williams Formula 1 car.

To see more of Carl’s beautiful Brabham, and the two classic racing cars that preceded it, take a trip back in time via his photostream here – we’ll see you there!

Lego Classic Formula 1 cars

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Mechto-1

Lego Ghostbusters Ecto-1

LEGO’s own Cuusoo-created official 21108 Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set has been a riotous hit, and it received a full compliment of points here at TLCB in our set review. But we don’t feature people’s pictures of official sets, so what’s this 21108 doing here?

Lego Ghostbusters

Well, there’s a bit of a clue in the image above. Yes, that’s a ghost-busting mech transforming out of the totally standard looking Ecto-1 set! No, we don’t know how – our guess is some sort of magic – but newcomer ninbendo has pulled off something mind-bendingly brilliant. You can see all the photos of his ‘Mechto-1′ on Flickr. Michael Bay meets Ghostbusters anyone?…

Lego Ecto-1 Mech

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Tangerine Dream

Lego Harley Davidson Street Glide

This Harley Davidson Street Glide is the work the amazing Bricksonwheels, and it’s as orange as a budget airline air stewardess. It means an orange Smartie for the Elf that found it and – as any Smartie connoisseur will know – they’re the best kind. See more on Flickr.

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Countdown to a Million!

Lego Digital Clock

We’re not a trendy Lego blog here at TLCB. There are no famous builders residing at TLCB Towers*. We don’t blog our own stuff. We don’t make any money. And you won’t find us at a Lego show discussing how the latest sci-fi build pushes the boundaries of the Lego medium as an art form or some such guff.

We’re also pretty lazy, fairly incompetent and quite often drunk. But somehow, and we’re as surprised by this as you probably are, this blog seems to have worked out. In fact, as given away by the less-than-subtle title, we’re about to hit quite a special number. Best of all, we’ll hit it again with a ‘2’ instead of a ‘1’ at the front in no time at all.

So as we countdown to seven-digits we’d like to say a big thank you to each of you for joining us on this Lego journey. We don’t know how long it’ll last, but we’ll have a blast whilst it does.

As always, you can let us know what you think of the content you read here via the comments or the Feedback Page, and protected by the dark cloak of anonymity we may even respond! Onwards to a million…

TLCB Team

*Or are there?… No. There aren’t. Maybe.

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The Bridge

Lego WW2 Bridge

This wonderful Second World War scene comes from TLCB newcomer Jeffrey Mille aka BeLgIum ww2 bUiLdeR. Jeffrey has recreated a typical European stone bridge crossing the river into a sleepy hamlet, which until the World Wars would have been a little dot on the map of little importance. Come conflict though, and river crossings matter.

The Germans guarding this one look pretty well armed, with mobile artillery well entrenched at either end. Crossing the bridge is a rather lovely column of assorted German vehicles, including a Panzer and the ubiquitous Opel Blitz truck.

Lego German Military

The eight vehicles in this creation have given us a bit of headache here at TLCB, as the two Elves that found this are demanding eight meal tokens and Smarties. Which is not going to happen.

Whilst we sort out this workplace dispute you can take a trip to Flickr to see ‘The Bridge’ in more detail, including photos of each of the vehicles featured. Click the link above to visit Mr. Mille’s photostream.

Lego World War II mini-figures

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