Like a Cat Outta Hell…

z 109

The Elves have just returned from a dawn raid on MOCpages. They swooped out of the sun to scoop up two models of classic WWII fighter aircraft. First up is c bigboy99899′s Bf 109. As he says, this was one of the first truly modern fighter aircraft of its era, with its all metal, stressed skin construction and closed cockpit. The Bf 109 was incredibly successful, with somewhere around 34,000 being built, which is a bigger production run than many of the cars that we feature here. Examples were used by airforces all over the world, with the Spanish retiring their last example in 1965. Click this link to see more of this Bf 109, plus a pair of LDD versions in alternative colour schemes.

Early in the Second World War, the Bf 109 easily outclassed many of the aeroplanes flown by the Allies, especially the carrier based Sea Gladiators and Martlets (Wildcats) of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. This was also true in the Pacific, where the famous Zero could outmanoeuvre anything in the sky. Pilots such as the RN’s Eric “Winkle” Brown had to use cunning and tactics to stay alive. Things changed when Grumman produced the Hellcat, with vastly upgraded performance. Jim McDonough normally builds ships but is building a whole squadron of Hellcats (and another of Avengers) to put on the deck of his next creation. This epic project is going to be an impressive sight when it’s finished. Click this link to Jim’s MOCpages to see more of his aeroplanes and ships.

z Hellcat

Before we go, if you’ve some spare time, click this link to BBC Radio 4′s website and listen to the stories and music of Capt. Eric “Winkle” Brown on Desert Island Discs. It’s classic edition of the programme with a man who has lived a life of real adventure. The Lego Car Blog writers also hope to be buying their latest sports car when they get the age of 95!

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Beautiful Simplicity

Lego Chopper

The brilliant simplicity of Stephan Jonsson‘s chopper motorbike is at odds with much of what appears here on TLCB, but it’s this that makes it one of the most beautiful Lego creations to feature here this year. A visit to Stephan’s Flickr page is highly recommended – click the link above see all of his expertly shot images.

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Something Spacey

Lego Vic Viper

We have a well documented ignorance of almost everything sci-fi here at TLCB. Cars we can do, swooshy spacey stuff… eh, not so much. This funky looking spacecraft by Mark Stafford (a LEGO employee no less!) will probably be picked up by the more sci-fi biased blogs soon, who’ll do a far better job than us explaining what it is, so we’ll just jump straight to the link! - Click this to see more!

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Red Head

Lego Ferrari Testarossa

Before Ferrari became a marketer of expensive yet pointless merchandise* they made cars. Cars like this one, the glorious 1980s’ Testarossa. Featuring the firm’s last flat (boxer) engine the Testarossa produced just under 400 bhp from its twelve cylinders, and almost 10,000 were made during an extensive 12 year production run.

This brilliant Lego replica is the work of TLCB debutant Lennart C, and he’s employed some rather unique building techniques to recreate the ’80s icon. You can see all the photos of Lennart’s Ferrari on Flickr at the link above.

*If Ferrari’s notoriously trigger-happy lawyers are reading this we don’t mean it.** Please don’t sue us.

**We do. But still please don’t sue us.

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Shout Out

Lego 4x4 Space Transport

The Elves are particularly excited by today’s find. Not only does it have racing stripes and an ability to smush other Elves into the carpet via remote control, builder David Roberts’ has included a shout out to them in his creation description.

Don’t think that doing this earned his ’4×4 Greeble Transporter’ a place here though, as TLCB team don’t like excited Elves one bit, so such shout outs probably balance out somewhere around neutral (before you guys get any ideas!). The creation has earned itself a place here though, by being thoroughly brilliant.

Driven by a Power Functions XL motor and steered by two linear actuators the Greeble Transporter contains a proper dose of Technic goodness underneath the fantastic classic space exterior. You can see more pictures, and a video of the vehicle in action, via both MOCpages and Flickr.

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Seventies Celica

Lego Toyota Celica

Classic Japanese cars have become very cool lately. Probably because most have oxidised beyond the point of no return, and thus they are now quite rare beasts.

This one is a 1974 Toyota Celica, from way back when Toyota made quite a few interesting – and sometimes even beautiful – cars (why has it all gone Toyota?). Rhys’ Pieces is the builder, and although he says this model is unfinished it still looks good enough to us to be published here.

You can see more of his modified classic Celica TA22 on Flickr at the link above.

1974 Toyota Celica TA22 Lego

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Landbulance

Lego Land Rover Ambulance

Because it’s a Land Rover Ambulance! Yup, we’re a clever bunch here in TLCB office. Anyhoo, you can see more of this lovely Land Rover Series III at previous bloggee Joao Campos’ MOCpage – click here for the full gallery.

Lego Land Rover Series III Ambulance

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Nice Ride

Lego Bison

What is this bison/buffalo arrangement doing on TLCB we hear you cry? Well, the lucky rider of this grey beast has got himself one of the first forms of transportation known to mankind*. Not only that, his whip is all-’wheel’-drive, runs on bio-fuel and can be parked almost anywhere for free. You can see more via Kristof (aka legoalbert)’s Flickr photostream here.

*Plus we always like beating the proper blogs to the punch : )

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The Top 5…

Firas Abu Jaber Creations!

Our usual articles here at TLCB publicise only new creations. Today though we take a trip back in time to look at the creations of one of the all time greatest Lego vehicle builders, someone who has featured not only on the top Lego websites, but also the likes of Top Gear and Jalopnik. He is of course, the amazing Firas Abu Jaber. In our second ‘Top 5′  list our collaborators Head Turnerz suggest their five favourite Firas creations. Over to the the Head Turnerz crew…

Much of the online Lego community know of the legendary Firas Abu Jaber, and most will have a favourite or two of his creations. Here at Head Turnerz we have teamed up with The Lego Car Blog to give you another HT x TLCB Top 5, this time to showcase the very best of what Firas built over several incredible years.

Lego Mitsubishi Evo

No.5

In fifth place is, without doubt, the best recreation of the iconic Mitsubishi Evolution X that you’ll ever find made from LEGO. We remember when we first saw Firas’ creation posted on the MOCpages home page – and we nearly fell off our chairs. With 15 stud wide body work and ingeniously recreated disc brakes Firas’ Evo is jam-packed with details, making it not just one of the best Evos, but one of the best Lego cars ever made.

Lego Lamborghini Gallardo

No.4

What sort of Top 5 of the best Firas cars would this be without one of his famous Lamborghinis? Coming in at number four is this stunning Lamborghini Gallardo SE built way back in January 2009. The body shaping is – as with every Firas build – perfect, and with the freakishly great eye for detail that he has, this Lego Lamborghini does not let the famous marque down.

Lego Knight Rider KITT

No.3

K.I.T.T could possibly be the most well known T.V/movie car of all time and Firas did not disappoint when he ‘dropped’ this one, again back in 2009. Firas’ model features everything the real ‘82 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am K.I.T.T had, including the infamous scan-bar. Of course, everything opens, including removable T-tops to complete the convertible roof!

Lego Pagani Zonda

No.2

The Pagani Zonda C12 S is one of the most beautiful Italian cars ever made, Firas somewhat cheesily describing it as “just like a beautiful girl”. We can see what he means though, and his Model Team version is just as eye-catching. The curves, his unique building techniques, and those remarkable headlights – it’s how a Lego car should be built. Firas even constructed his Zonda so that all the ‘elements’ were detachable – see how he did it at the link.

Lego Ford GT

No.1

Taking the top spot in our Top 5 Firas Abu Jaber creations list is none other than his incredible Ford GT – possibly the greatest Model Team car ever made, and the most popular car in the history of MOCpages. Some may disagree with our previous choices, but we think we that all will agree that this is the car that cemented Firas’ reputation as the best Lego vehicle builder of his time. A legend if you will. This GT was so realistic it was even featured on the official Top Gear website! It’s the perfect MOC.

Some of you reading this may not have had the privilege to see first hand Firas’ builds show up on your ‘most recent’ listing on MOCpages, but to have witnessed it at the time was an absolute honour. Firas was and still is the true G.O.A.T of Lego car building. We think we speak for all when we say we hope to see him make a return some day…

So that’s Head Turnerz’ Top 5 Firas Abu Jaber creations. Do you agree with their choices or has your favourite missed the cut? Let them know what you think by joining in their discussions over on Flickr – click here to visit the group, and they’ll join us again soon for another Top 5.

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Aerossa

Lego Concept Car

It might sound a bit like the outside of a nipple, but Angka Utama‘s little 8-wide Aerossa concept car is as good a design as models five times its size. You can see all the photos of his latest creation on Flickr via the link above.

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The Red Baron Rides Again

Lego Red Baron

Daniel Siskind has recreated both sides of the aerial battle of World War One. Having featured his wonderful Sopwith Camel earlier in the month it was only right to include the Sopwith’s German counterpart. You can see more of Daniel’s brilliant Fokker Triplane – resplendent in Red Baron livery - at the link above.

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Incredible Lego Technic – Book Review

Pawel Kmiec, better known as Sariel, has been busy…

Incredible Technic Book

Thumping onto the doormat at the TLCB Portakabin this week, has been a copy of his second Lego Technic book. It’s called Incredible Lego Technic and it’s clearly intended to show us just how incredible Lego Technic can be. 36 different builders, most of whom have graced these hallowed halls before, show you how. It showcases more than 70 of the very best Technic models out there and it’s designed to inspire.

It does. Running to 280 pages and printed on thick, glossy paper, it gives each model 2-4 pages of very high quality photographs, some accompanying text that gives details of the models’ various functions and a bit of background info about the prototypes. It’s a lot like flicking through the greatest hits of MOCpages, in a parallel universe where the photo resolution is high, and everyone presents their models faultlessly. And there’s no-one saying ‘come an chek out mi awsum tuner’…. although to be fair, that doesn’t seem to happen as much as it used to.

Incredible Technic Book

Anyhoo, this makes it the best kind of coffee table book; one you can dip into when the mood takes and probably refer back to many times when looking for inspiration. There are no instructions or building tips here (Sariel covered that in his previous book) but experienced builders will find the diagrams that highlight the motors and gears on a lot of the models quite helpful.

(Spoiler Alert!)

To whet your appetite, I’ve chosen two of my favourite models from the book:

Lego Technic Supercar

Nice, yes? It’s Francisco Hartley’s Lamborghini Aventador and, like many of the builds here, it’s quite recent. The author admits that this book may date quickly due to ever more brilliant models being produced, but there’s also a smattering of truly timeless classics, such as this gorgeous MAN truck built by Jennifer Clark in 2003:

Lego MAN Truck

Brilliance on this scale doesn’t date. It’s motorized as well, using old 9V motors to do everything the real thing does. Impressive stuff and all the better for showing da studs.

There’s a lot more than cars and trucks here, with Aircraft, Watercraft and Farm and Construction equipment represented also, as well as half a dozen real oddballs that show amazing ingenuity – buy it and find out what they are!

Incredible Lego Technic is published by No Starch Press, and will be available from Amazon in the next week or so as I write. It’s fairly expensive at $29.95 (US) but you are definitely getting what you pay for.

Highly Recommended.

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A+

Lego Ford Model A Hot Rod

MOCpages’ B. Rick (which we’d love to be his real name!) makes his TLCB debut* with a beautiful little Ford Model A hot rod. See more of his classic V8 roadster at the link.

*We think. B. Rick’s name isn’t conducive to an accurate search through our archives as our search engine returns almost every post we’ve ever published. Apologies Mr. Rick!

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Brickfair NJ 2014 – Vehicle Roundup

Brickfair NJ

Here at TLCB we rarely get to LEGO Events. This is mostly because the Elves have a habit of sneaking into our bags and that doesn’t tend to end well in public spaces. Luckily for us though we have some lovely people amongst our readership who can attend on our behalf. One such reader is previous bloggee Chris Elliott, who recently attended (and displayed at) Brickfair 2014. Over to Chris to take us through what was there…

Hi! I’m Chris, and I’m honored to be back again guest-blogging for TLCB! Today I’m writing a recap of Brickfair New Jersey 2014 from the perspective of a car guy. Brickfair NJ is a relatively large event, and in 2014 there were several really good vehicle displays to be enjoyed by the car connoisseur. First, I should probably disclose that I was there displaying as well!  If you’re interested, you can find me on Flickr for more of my work with minifig-scale cars.

ChrisElliottArt's Car Display

ChrisElliottArt’s (hey, that’s me!) car display

We’ll start start things off in one of the most popular scales at Lego Shows, with I Lug NY‘s superb mini-figure Town display. This featured a whole host of realistic city scenes accompanied by an assortment of top Town vehicles. In no particular order…

Emergency Response Team

Emergency Response Team responding to a fire at the Safety Inc. building

Prison Transport

Prison Transport transporting, I assume, prisoners (though I’ve been wrong before)

Squad Cars

A pair of squad cars

Avenue Full of Vehicles

Avenue full of vehicles, and a few trains too

There were a couple of real gems hiding in this display (I’m sure you don’t need me to identify them for you but I will anyway, because that’s my job!). Here are a few highlights;

Hummer

Minifig-scale Hummer H1

But of course, a DeLorean

DeLorean DMC-12, with a few modifications…

And now for some of the bigger creations. Continue reading

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Space Works

Lego Space Works

They may be building in space but we’d bet they can still put a spade through your broadband connection. You can see more of TLCB favourite billyburg‘s classic space construction crew on Flickr.

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