The Worst Day of the Year

Black Friday

The annual day of ‘discounts’ (in actuality only mass marketing) is once again here to inflict greed, violence and wasteful consumerism on the soulless masses.

As is customary, here at The Lego Car Blog we will not be taking part in the day of materialist misery (which now stretches to a week or more) that leaves one in four Americans in debt, whilst surpassing the annual GDP of around half the world’s countries (and that’s just the spend within the U.S and our home nation).

Therefore you won’t find a round-up of the best Black Friday brick-based ‘discounts’ here, but we do have some alternatives that will help you to preserve your soul, and perhaps add something back to counter a day that is built around taking.

Creations for Charity – Buy an amazing one-of-a-kind Lego creation, with all proceeds used to buy LEGO sets for children in need. If you’ve ever commented “Is this for Sale?” on a post here at The Lego Car Blog, maybe it is!

Unicef Market – The United Nations Childrens Fund, providing developmental and humanitarian aid to children worldwide. Buying your Christmas gifts here will help to save and transform some of the youngest lives in the world’s poorest nations.

Red CrossTearfundChristian Aid – Fantastic charities working every day to alleviate poverty, suffering, and injustice.

Finally, the revenue generated via the advertisements that appear on this site (even the Black Friday ones) is also used to help those who need it more than we do. If you like the look of an ad, give it a click, and if you like what we do here at TLCB, then please consider sharing us. The more eyeballs the ads get, the more we can give : )

Thank you

Land Rover Series 1 80″ | Picture Special

This is without doubt the loveliest Lego Land Rover we’ve seen this year. Because the loveliest Land Rover is of course a green Series 1 80″.

Built by recent bloggee FanisLego, this utterly beautiful recreation of the definitive Land Rover captures every aesthetic detail of the wonderful 1950s original, with brick-built leaf-spring suspension, a replica of the simple 50bhp 1.6 litre engine, holes for the power-take-offs (can you imagine a modern Defender including the ability to run farm equipment from the engine!), flipping seats, a folding windscreen, plus opening doors, hood, and tailgate.

Photographed and presented superbly, FanisLego’s Land Rover Series 1 80″ is available to view on Bricksafe, where fifteen stunning images are within in the model’s album. Better yet, a link to building instructions can also be found, so if – like us – you think the Series 1 Land Rover is probably the best vehicle ever built, you can create your very own in brick form.

Head to Bricksafe via the link in the text above, where you can find full build details, the complete image gallery, and a link to building instructions.

Iveco Overland Adventure

Social media is bursting with #van/truck/buslife content. Attractive couples bedecked in hot pants and topknots regale their audience with tales of adventure, ethically-sourced all-natural vegan cuisine, and a life lived off the beaten track, only returning to civilisation to connect to Starbucks’ wifi to upload their latest vlog.

Back in 1995 though, a team of Italian overlanding experts did things properly. Using four amazing Iveco 330.30 6×6 trucks, each outfitted for a different overlanding purpose by specialists Mussa & Graziano, the team travelled over 170,000kms through 91 countries during the five year expedition.

Better yet, there wasn’t a ‘Like & Subscribe!’ in sight, with the expedition supporting Unicef (one of TLCB’s own chosen charities) and staffed by doctors, an Italian parachute regiment, Iveco mechanics, and other people that – whilst they might not have a topknot – do know what they’re doing.

This phenomenal Technic creation captures one of the four incredible Iveco vehicles from the epic expedition, and comes from previous bloggee Lucio Switch of Flickr.

With remote control 6×6 drive, steering, locking differentials, all-wheel suspension, and a fully-accessible cab and living quarter, Lucio’s model replicates the Mussa & Graziano modified Iveco 330.30 6×6 overland truck spectacularly, and there’s a whole lot more to see at both his Flickr album and via the video below.

Click the links to start your expedition. Topknot not required.

YouTube Video

Protecting the Earth from the Scum of the Universe

It’s 1997, the year the Kyoto Protocol ensured that CO2 emissions were reduced to avert climate change, a small ethical start-up called Google registered their domain name, and Will Smith cemented his legacy as a forever wholesome family rapper.

It was also the year that said wholesome family rapper starred in one of the biggest movies of the decade; ‘Men in Black’, wherein an organisation ‘more secretive than the C.I.A. and more powerful than the F.B.I.’ went on a recruitment drive to help protect Earth from the scum of the universe.

Will Smith’s character of course got the gig, entering him into a top secret world of memory-erasing pen thingies and carboniser fission guns, plus the rather unique vehicles that the ‘Men in Black’ had at their disposal, including a fleet of 1987 Ford LTD Crown Victorias.

In standard form the ’87 Crown Vic could have been an entry into TLCB’s Festival of Mundanity competition, so deep was its nondescriptness. However, the Men in Black version came equipped with a few… optional extras, most notably a little red button that initiated a sequence of the finest CGI that 1997 could muster.

Previous bloggee Peter Zieske has captured the effects of pushing the aforementioned button beautifully in brick form, with the result perhaps even more visually believable than its movie counterpart.

Further images of Peter’s brilliant transforming ‘Men in Black’ Ford LTD Crown Vic can be found at his Flickr album, and you can click here to take a look, whilst we ponder the fact that the entire world seems to have been on the receiving end of the ‘Men in Black’s memory-erasing pen thingy since 1997…

Beet This

If you’re a rad So-Cal surfer dude, there is literally nothing cooler than a slammed Volkswagen Beetle with a roof-rack. This TLCB Writer is definitely not a rad So-Cal surfer dude, but despite his doughy Northern European composition, he still thinks this slammed Volkswagen Beetle with a roof-rack is pretty cool. Flickr’s RGB900 is the rad So-Cal surfer dude* behind it and there’s more to see via the link.

*Radical surfness not guaranteed.

Senna & Cigarettes

Formula 1 was different in 1991. Cigarettes, a variety of engine configurations, and only one Unites States Grand Prix. Oh, and a titanic battle between McLaren’s Ayrton Senna and Williams’ Nigel Mansell, that culminated in a third Driver’s World Championship for Senna and the only Constructor’s World Championship ever won by a V12 powered car.

This is that car, the awesome McLaren-Honda MP4/6, as designed, liveried, rendered and presented beautifully by Robson M aka BrickDesigners, and there’s more to see of Robson’s stunning recreation on Flickr. Click the link above to race in ’91.

Honey I Shrunk the 10298

LEGO’s 10298 Vespa 125 set is wonderful in every way. Thus we love this miniaturised version by Flickr’s 1saac W., who has captured the iconic Italian scooter beautifully in brick-form. The set’s lovely blue colour is switched for cream, but if LEGO can do it themselves with their other Italian icon, cream is good enough for us! See more at 1saac’s photostream via the link!

Reformed Ford

‘Restomods’ are big business these days, where classic cars, pick-ups and 4x4s, are brought up to date with the addition of modern engines, suspension, electrics, and brakes, whilst mostly keeping the looks that make classic vehicles so appealing.

This is Tony Bovkoon’s brick-built restomod, a 1956 Ford F-100 pick-up featuring a subtly modified exterior that includes opening doors, hood and tailgate, with a beautifully detailed interior and engine bay inside the first two.

Very un-’56 wheels hint at the powertrain upgrades that would lurk within, and there are over a dozen superbly presented images available to view at Tony’s ‘Ford F-100’ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to upgrade a ’56 Ford.

M-Tron and On and On…

LEGO’s vintage space theme M-Tron is still going strong. Not with LEGO themselves of course, but within the Lego Community, who are taking the theme to scales never imagined back in the early 1990s.

This is Havoc’s ‘M-Tron Crawler’, a frankly ridiculously-sized twelve wheel mobile command centre complete with over a dozen magnetised cargo pieces, including several vehicles that back in 1993 could have been LEGO M-Tron sets in their own right.

Three magnetised cranes can hoist the various spacey accompaniments onto the Crawler’s roof, whilst a cargo bay at the rear can transport the assortment of smaller vehicles within.

The complete Crawler looks like every LEGO space fan from 1993’s dream – if only they had the pieces – and there’s a whole heap more to see at Havoc’s ‘Crawler’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump!

Amerigo Vespucci

This amazing creation is a near-perfect brick-built replica of the Amerigo Vespucci, a tall ship of the Italian Navy named after the 14th Century explorer of the same name. Surprisingly despite its late 18th century appearance the Amerigo Vespucci was actually built in 1930 as a training ship, and is still in use today based at the Italian port of La Spazia. This incredible recreation of the tall ship is the work of Luca Gaudenzi and it’s one of the most spectacular vessels this site has ever featured. Head over to Luca’s ‘Amerigo Vespucci’ album to begin your Italian Naval training.

My Other Car is a London Bus

You wait ages for a bus and then two Mercedes-Benz 280 SEs come along at once. Or something.

This splendid classic Mercedes-Benz 280 SE is the work of recent bloggee FanisLego, who has built it only from the parts found within the LEGO 10258 Creator London Bus set. There’s a detailed engine and interior, opening doors, hood and trunk, and it can built as either a coupe or a convertible from the same parts source.

There’s more of Fanis’ excellent alternate to see at his ‘Mercedes-Benz 280 SE’ album on Bricksafe and you can take a look via the link above.

Grand Prix ’64

The year is 2064, and the Formula 1 has gone from strength to strength! The ’64 season features an amazing 42 races , 36 of which are in the United States, wherein the best drivers in the world (and Nicholas Latifi) battle to discover who the FIA’s Race Director will deem worthy of becoming World Champion!

Yuki Studona is hoping the fresh engines being fitted to his Octan Racing car in the final pitstop of the ’64 U.S. Grand Prix will give him the win, and he’ll be able to carry that momentum into next week’s ’64 U.S.A Grand Prix before the season wraps up in the Unites States in two weeks’ time.

Join the F1 fans at the ’64 U.S. Grand Prix and cheer on Yuki courtesy of lokiloki29 via the link above!

They Shall Not Grow Old

Lego Red Flower

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
War is raging once again Europe. For those already fallen, and for those that will;

Poppy Appeal

Tsar Tank

Russia, currently undertaking a humiliating withdrawal from occupied Kherson in Ukraine following their illegal invasion, haven’t always been the scumbags of Europe. In fact, the Russian T34-85 Tank made one of the greatest contributions to saving Europe from the last set of scumbags intent on invading their neighbours.

Prior to the success of the T34-85 however, Russia’s tanks were a little more… experimental. Looking like a cross between something from Battle Bots and a child’s tricycle, this is the Netopyr or ‘Tsar Tank’, a 60ft long 1914 prototype armoured vehicle, crewed by ten personnel and powered by two 240bhp Maybach engines taken from a captured German airship, one for each enormous front wheel.

Those wheels measured almost 30ft in diameter, and were followed by a 5ft rear wheel, in-between which was a 26ft hull festooned with cannons. The idea was that the Tsar Tank could traverse large obstacles thanks to the massive front wheels, although little thought seemed to be given to the much smaller rear one.

This promptly got stuck in soft ground during the tank’s first test run, and even the most powerful engines of the time couldn’t get it out. Various extractions failed too, and thus the tank was left in-situ for a further 8 years before it was finally removed and scrapped.

Still, it looked bloody awesome, and so too does TLCB favourite Sariel’s spectacular recreation of Russia’s 1914 engineering failure. Propelled by two Power Functions motors, with a further three operating the various cannons, Sariel’s replica looks every bit as mad as its 60-ton counterpart, and there’s lots more to see at his ‘Tsar Tank’ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to take a look at easily the weirdest vehicle you’ll see today, and here to watch it in action, where it is – frankly – every bit as rubbish as the real thing was over a century ago.

Building Broncos

This is a classic 1960s Ford Bronco. And so is this. Yup, we have two brilliant brick-built Broncos today, each of which looks stunningly accurate, and yet the two are constructed entirely differently, such are the infinite possibilities of the LEGO brick.

The blue ’68 Bronco is the work of Michael217, whose Model Team style creation deploys a raft of ‘Studs Not on Top’ techniques to recreate the iconic shape. There are opening doors, a raising hood, a removable hardtop, and a two-piece tailgate, behind each of which are beautifully detailed internals.

Built in exactly the same scale, but using traditional studs-up techniques, is FanisLego’s red ’65 Bronco, which also includes opening doors, a raising hood, a removable hardtop, and a two-piece tailgate, again behind each of which are beautifully detailed internals.

Fanis’ Bronco also deploys a few more ‘Creator’ style techniques, including ‘glass’ for the windows, and the smoothing of nearly every visible stud.

Michael217 has chosen to omit the glass in his windows, but there’s rather more hidden underneath the chassis of his blue ’68, where a complete remote control drivetrain has been packed in. All-wheel-drive courtesy of two L Motors, Servo steering, and all-wheel-suspension all feature, without a hint of the clever engineering within being revealing visibly.

Each Bronco is fantastic example of the versatility of our favourite plastic bricks, using two completely different compositions to deliver an identically scaled highly realistic creation packed with with features.

Both Broncos are presented beautifully on Bricksafe, with Michael’s blue ’68 available to view here (and on Eurobricks too), whilst FanisLego’s red ’65 available to view here. Check out each superb model via the links!