Black Friday: Nothing to See Here

Lego Brick

Black Friday, that unique time of year when people are willing to stab one another over a discounted television, is upon the world again today.

As TLCB will not be taking part we’d like to offer you some neat alternatives to help you avoid getting into a fight over something you didn’t even know you wanted at Walmart.

Lego Creations for Charity

Creations for Charity; A brilliant annual event giving you the opportunity to buy unique creations built by some of the world’s best builders, with all funds raised used to buy LEGO toys for underprivileged children. If you’re going to buy something today, buy it from the Creations for Charity 2015 store.

Christian Aid, Tear Fund, Oxfam, The Red Cross

…and many more.

You’re also doing something good just by visiting this website. We don’t allow many advertisements to appear here at TLCB, but the revenue generated by those that do is not used here. Blogging is a privilege – we love sharing the web’s best Lego vehicles and helping to bring recognition to the builders behind them – so we don’t need to keep the revenue that this site earns. Instead this is used for a variety of good causes, from simply buying meals for those who are homeless around TLCB Towers to assisting in international disaster relief.

Your clicks are amazing.

From all of us at TLCB, thank you.

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Mini Maxi Maxi Mini*

Lego Technic Mini Countryman

*Allow us to explain; Today’s post is a small version of a bigger version of a big version of a small car. See? It makes perfect sense!

OK, we’ll try again… This excellent Technic creation is a scale model of Mini’s largest model to date, the not-at-all-mini and actually quite large Countryman. The Countryman is itself a grotesquely swollen version of the ‘new’ New Mini, and the New Mini is of course a modern (read ‘larger’) re-interpretation of the original small British car from 1959. There you go; TLCB’s tenuous logic in action!

Back to the model, and it’s been built by falconluan of Brickshelf. It includes remotely controlled drive and steering, selectable all-wheel-drive, opening doors, hood and trunk, working suspension, and a  transversely-mounted inline-four piston engine, which makes it one of the most thoroughly executed Technic Supercars of the year.

There’s a fittingly massive gallery of photos available, including several detail and component images, at Brickshelf via the link above – click the link above to make the jump.

Lego technic Mini RC

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Proper Job

Lego ATR-42 Aircraft

This neat recreation of the humble ATR-42 passenger plane was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr. It’s been built by previous bloggee Yubnub and it features some excellent parts creativity, just look at those brilliant cockpit windows and propellors! You can see more of Yubnub’s wonderful build at his photostream – click on the link above to check-in.

Lego Plane

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The Lego Technic Lifting Service

Satisfying your hoisting needs since 1978…

Lego Cranes

We like cranes here at The Lego Car Blog. Technic cranes tend to make excellent, functional models that can be a lot of fun to muck about with. From the earliest era of Technic, LEGO thought so too, and gave us the 855 Mobile Crane in 1978. How would it compare with its grandchildren?

Thank you for asking that question.

In the picture above, ready for battle (lift-off?) is a slightly nervous looking 855, along with 8854 from 1989, 8460 from 1995 and the later and larger 8421 and 42009 models.

After at least twenty seconds of careful cogitation I arrived at a reasonably fair way to compare them. Each crane must be parked with it’s stabilisers deployed, the superstructure slewed through 90 degrees, the boom lifted and extended to it’s fullest height; then it must hoist a steadily increasing load of batteries until something breaks. It would have been elves, but they ran away for some reason…

First up, the vintage 855:

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the old stager. I’ve always regarded it as one those models that’s dated more than most and lacked any meaningful strength due to it’s almost entirely studded construction and build-it-yourself stabilisers. Still, it’ll set a baseline…

Turns out it did pretty well – 14 batteries off the deck and nothing’s broken although you’ll see below that something’s about to…. this is why cranes need counterweights! Each battery weighs 23 grams, so that’s a good 350 grams with the pallet as well.

Lego Crane

This particular 855 is doing a most un-855 like thing; steering! Always a glaring omission from the original set, I’ve added it to mine as well as another control to slew the superstucture. I can promise you that the base / stabiliser combination isn’t any stronger than standard. There’s also a small mod to the lifting mechanism to help the boom achieve greater verticality (if that’s not a word, it should be!). The boom goes about 10 degrees higher than standard with 9 long axles actuating it instead of 8s. This mod does help its performance; without it, 12 batteries are hoisted in the air before the superstructure makes it’s bid for freedom.

Even with only early parts, 855 manages to do the important crane-y things like lifting and extending the boom and hoisting stuff; slewing’s manual and the stabilisers are fiddly to deploy and seem flimsy but it performs reasonably well. There’s many more types of crane illustrated on its box as well, all of which are many times better than the weak and uni-functional tipper lorry you get instructions for. 7/10 – it gets an extra point for it’s surprising performance here.

Next in line is 1989’s 8854 ‘Power Crane’, looking all butch and handsome and Unimoggy. Built with just 516 pieces (4 more than 855) it sports an  impressive array of features, with pneumatic boom elevation and controls for the stabilisers, slewing, steering, boom extension and hoisting. The piece count / functions ratio is one of the best of any set. They’re not all perfect, however…

Here it is taking on the TLCB lifting test:

Lego Technic Crane

Thanks to those stumpy little stabilisers, it has not a chance of lifting 10 batteries. How about 5? No.. 3?  No… it managed ONE. Pop a second on the pallet and it falls over. Oh dear. Pity, I really like this set. It corrects many of the flaws of 855, the most glaring of which is solved by a threaded axle clamping down the turntable, it’s highly playable and it’s pretty rugged. The pneumatics work well here, although their shortness does limit the boom’s maximum elevation to about 45 degrees and the pipework means this is the only crane here which won’t slew through the full 360 degrees.

I’d still recommend it though, and it has a good B-model; another tipper lorry but this time stronger and cleverer with articulated steering and a pneumatic tailgate. 7/10 – a point has to go for its poor test performance. Continue reading

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Icelandic Insanity

Lego Formula Off Road

The list of things to come out of Iceland that we’d like here in our home nation is quite a small one. Sigur Ros, Of Monsters and Men and – if we’re feeling a bit weird – Björk in the musical category, and Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir in probably everything else (Google her…). But one thing we’d definitely like is Iceland’s insane Formula Off-Road racing, in which 1600hp space-framed monsters blast up (and regularly crash down) Iceland’s huge volcanic cliffs in the slim hope of reaching the summit.

This excellent remote control Technic version has been constructed by Dalafik of Brickshelf. With all-wheel-drive, balloon tyres and a fantastic roll-cage it looks just the thing for a mini-Formula Off-Road event staged on TLCB’s garden rockery. You can see more on Brickshelf at the link above. Once you’ve Googled Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir of course.

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Lego McLaren GTR Concept

We don’t often post fictional cars here at TLCB, but occasionally one of our Elves will uncover one that we actually like. This find goes well beyond that, as we absolutely love it. Called the ‘Eunos LT1 GTR’ it’s a fictional racing McLaren and it looks, well… amazing. And very McLaren-y too, with many of the firm’s current design themes used throughout the build. It’s the work of serial bloggee Senator Chinchilla and there’s more to see on Flickr; click here to take a look, and – if you’re Ron Dennis – maybe pass it on to the McLaren design studio…

Lego McLaren Racing Car

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Lego Cadillac

The painted ladies of the Avalon play in the sun,
Take to the road, to the North there lies the chills of cold,
To the South there lies the tales untold.
But in between there lies the place to close your eyes.

And I will stay, I’ll not be back, Eldorado.
I will be free of the world, Eldorado.

Tenuous link to a slightly odd British classic rock band complete, we can now get on with the car. This lovely Model Team recreation of the classic Cadillac Eldorado comes from previous bloggee Aliencat, it features opening everything, and there’s more to see on MOCpages, Brickshelf and Flickr.

Lego Cadillac Eldorado

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Baby Bumble Bee

Sam C BB 01

As we have previously noted here, here, here, and here (oh, and here), The Lego Car Blog Elves love Transformers. Well actually they love the noise, violence and explosions of the films and have established a small shrine to Megan Fox behind the photocopier. Both they and we couldn’t resist this cute, Chibi-Bee from Sam Cheng on Flickr. The car mode looks great, with some NPU of silver bars on the bonnet and the robot mode is extremely cute, with its bewildered cross-eyes and banana ears. All of this happy cuteness put us in mind of this song.

Sam C BB 02

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Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

Lego Ice Planet 2002

Things seem to be getting serious on Ice Planet. Back in ’93 and ’94 – the two short years that Ice Planet featured in the LEGO range – its citizens were a peaceful, inventive and scientific race. Nerds if you will, quietly making satellites and inexplicably eking out an existence on the frozen wastes of planet Krypto.

Unfortunately their work was regularly disrupted by the evil empire of Blacktron, and later by the thieving robots of Spyrius, the bullying locker-room jocks of space.

Being nerds, the mini-figures of Ice Planet simply had to take it and – possessing no tools of defence or retaliation of their own – tattle to the Space Police in the hope that something would be done.

When the theme was quietly dropped in 1995 we assumed that the will of Ice Planet had finally been crushed by the repeated wedgies and swirlies distributed by its tougher rivals, but it appears we were wrong. Those nerds went underground, they hit the gym hard, and now they’re back for revenge!

This monster Ice Planet Battle Tank, created by markus19840420 (there must be a lot of ‘Markuses’ on Flickr) has finally given Ice Planet the means for a fight back. They’ve waited 20 years for this moment and Spyrius won’t know what hit it!

You can see more of the new, considerably meaner, Ice Planet at markus19840420’s photostream – click the link above to watch battle commence.

Lego Ice Planet Tank

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Good Things Come in Small Packages II

Lego Mercedes Gullwing SL300 Sheepo

There’s a neat packaging theme going on today, and our second post takes this towards Alec Issigonis levels of cleverness. TLCB Master MOCer Sheepo has unveiled his latest model, and it’s probably the most technically brilliant creation you’ll see this year.

Underneath the gorgeous (and complicated) 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing body sits a chassis of mind-bending genius. There’s the usual Power Functions remote control drive and steering of course, plus a remotely operated 4-speed sequential gearbox, all-wheel suspension, all-wheel remotely operated drum brakes and working door locks. All that is squeezed into a model of just 1:11 scale, versus Sheepo’s usual 1:8, and it includes an on-board Li-Po battery, IR receivers and four Power Functions motors.

If you like quality engineering as much as we do then we highly recommend visiting the Eurobricks discussion forum where we found this creation, Sheepo’s own excellent website here, and viewing the delightful video below.

P.S. If you’re reading this Sheepo, surely this is the perfect creation for the LEGO Ideas platform? There’s even a partnership with Mercedes-Benz already in place…

YouTube Video:

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Good Things Come in Small Packages

Lego Technic Jeep

Unlike your Mom this Technic Jeep from builder Chade is really rather small. But just like your Mom it can fit a lot inside it. Two Power Functions Large motors, a Servo for steering, an IR Receiver and a bulky battery box have been expertly engineered into the design. You can see how Chade has done it by visiting MOCpages or Brickshelf – click the links for all the details.

Lego Technic RC Jeep


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Red Letter Day

Lego V8 Speedster

It’s a red sort of day here at TLCB with two awesome claret creations to publicise. First up (above) is Redfern‘s ‘V8 Speedster’ which subscribes to the ‘More is More’ school of thought. You can see more of Refern’s levitating hot rod on Flickr.

Today’s second creation was suggested to us by a reader and comes from Bricksafe’s Agrof. It might have non-LEGO tyres (insert frowny face), but its Power Functions drive, monster shocks and lightweight body panels are pure LEGO Technic. You can see more of Agrof’s Class 1 Buggy (complete with detailed chassis images and free instructions) on Bricksafe at the link above.

Lego Technic Off-Road Buggy

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The Maximum Force of the Future

Lego technic Mad Max V8 Interceptor

TLCB Elves only like two types of movies; those with robots, explosions and car chases, and those with Megan Fox in. Handily the Transformers franchise provides them with all of this, but Mad Max is a fairly close second, despite the Megan Fox shaped hole in it.

We haven’t let them watch the newest addition to the saga yet (the Elves are banned from our local cinema due a series of unfortunate incidents), but the late ’70s original and its ’80s sequel are regular fodder for the old TV/VHS combo situated in their cage room. But only once they’ve brought a Mad Max creation back for us to blog of course.

Today one Elf has been fed and lots more are happily cheering and whooping at the TV downstairs, because this most excellent Mad Max creation was brought into the office.

Hailing from the early original movies, Paave’s V8 Interceptor ‘Pursuit Special’ features Buggy Motor propulsion, a servo for steering, an on-board Li-Po battery, working suspension, and a whirling supercharger pulley.

There’s more to see of his brilliant creation on both MOCpages and Eurobricks – click the links to make the jump.

Technic Mad Max Car

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Mini Mercedes-Benz Arocs Review

arcos 01

No this isn’t a review of Lego Technic’s monster machine, we’ve already done that. This is a review of Andy L’s mini version, which packs almost the same functionality into a chassis that is just 8 studs wide. It steers, has fold-out stabilisers, it tips and has a very manoeuvrable arm. Andy has also made his own grabber bucket, rather than use Lego’s ready made part. Watch the stop-motion video below and then click on this link to MOCpages to see all of the details.

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Tow Rod

Lego Hot Rod

A tow truck built from a hot rodded ’32 Ford is a gloriously impractical thing, but it’s also – when built by previous bloggee Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74 – totally, utterly and completely gorgeous. There’s more to see of Andrea’s stunning creation on Flickr – click the link above to join us there.

Lego Hot Rod Tow Truck

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