VTEC Just Kicked In Yo!

Lego Honda S2000

A visit to a car video on YouTube is becoming a perilous affair. The comments are increasingly full of ‘fanboi’s, fanatically raving about cars they’ve probably never even sat in whilst proclaiming all others are vastly inferior.* Few cars seem to suffer from this affliction more than this one, the amazing Honda S2000.

Launched in 1999 Honda took the lightweight roadster formula re-started a decade earlier by Mazda’s MX-5 and, well… Hondarised it. Honda were at the top of their game in the late 1990s and the 2litre, 240bhp, 9000rpm naturally aspirated engine they fitted to their new sports car was an absolute triumph.

The numbers from the engine were astonishing, which – frankly – the rest of the car wasn’t quite able to match (as anyone who experienced VTEC kicking in half way round a wet roundabout found out…), but nevertheless the S2000 became a cult car overnight, a status which – partly thanks to the aforementioned YouTube commenters – shows no signs of abating.

However despite this revelry the Honda S2000 remains an unusual car to be built in Lego form. In fact a delve into the murky archives here at TLCB Towers suggests it has only ever appeared here once before. Previous bloggee Simon Przepiorka, who’s making a name for himself here at TLCB with his brilliant slightly-larger-than-Speed-Champions sports cars, today doubles our S2000 count with this excellent recreation of the first generation ‘AP1’.

Not only does it look fantastic accurate inside and out, Simon’s model includes an opening bonnet under which lies a realistic ‘F20C’ engine, a superb interior, and posable ‘steered’ wheels too. There’s a whole lot more to see of Simon’s superb Honda S2000 AP1 on Flickr – Click the link above to feel VTEC kick in yo!

Lego Honda S2000

*Although said comments will likely surmise this in far less syllables.

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LEGO Technic 2019 | Set Previews!

Hot on the heels of our 2019 Speed Champions line-up preview and the awesome looking Technic 42096 Porsche 911 RSR set scooped here last month, it’s time to reveal the rest of what our Elves found during their traditional Christmastime sneak around The LEGO Company’s HQ. Yup, today we can share the complete H1 2019 LEGO Technic range!

42088 Inspection Lift

Lego Technic 42088 Set

The entry point to the Technic range for 2019, 42088 is aimed at builders aged just 7+, with 155 pieces and a sub-£10 price tag. As has become the norm for Technic sets even at this scale, 42088 features a bit more visual detail than the range has historically used, but pleasingly it still features a lovely crane boom mechanism that utilises a worm gear to provide elevation. A tow truck B-model deploys the parts to achieve the same function and we think either build is a fine way to kick-off Technic for a younger builder.

42091 Police Pursuit & 42090 Getaway Truck

LEGO Technic 42091 Box

Unlike these two…

42091 and 42090 are the usual two pull-back motor powered sets that join the Technic range each year. Like past years they feature absolutely nothing beyond their pull-back motorisation and, like past years, they are somewhat aesthetically challenged, despite the inclusion of a wealth of colourful stickers. Each set contains around 120 pieces and the two models can be combined to create something even more hideous should you feel the need to. 42091 and 42090 will sell very well we suspect, but if you’re going to buy a child an entry point into Technic, you could do so much better…

Lego Technic 42090 Box

42089 Power Boat

LEGO Technic 42089 Set

For less money than either of the two monstrosities above you could have this; a rather excellent looking power boat, complete with a working single cylinder engine that spins the propellor as the boat is pushed along. 174 pieces, some neat stickers, and a hydroplane B-model complete the reasons why 42089 is vastly better than the Getaway Truck and whatever that police thing is supposed to be, and it’ll reach stores in January.

42092 Rescue Helicopter

LEGO Technic 42092 Box

Arriving just in time to rescue countless amateur snowboarders this ski season comes 42092, the only aircraft in the 2019 Technic line-up. With just over 300 pieces, 42092 increases the number of working functions whilst retaining an 8+ target age, with working main and tail rotors, a functioning winch, opening side and tail doors, and featuring the usual colourful stickers. 42092 is also sort-of-mini-figure-scale, and includes a stretcher piece originally found in the Town range with which to evacuate broken snowboarders. A slightly odd jet plane B-model can also be built, but that can’t rescue anyone. Get your hands on 42092 when it lands in January.

42093 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

LEGO Technic 42093 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Continuing LEGO’s genius decision to partner with real-world auto-makers comes 42093, a 579-piece Technic version of Chevrolet’s mighty Corvette ZR1. Working steering and a miniature V8 engine make appearances, and 42093 uses bricks to replicate the Corvette’s shape rather than just stickers (although these are present) which we rather like too. A hot rod forms the B-model and we expect 42093 to cost around £35/$40 when it reaches stores next year.

42095 RC Stunt Racer

Lego Technic RC Stunt Racer 42095

Dropping two-hundred pieces but adding Power Functions motors, an IR receiver, and a controller is 42095, a very weird (but probably very fun) ‘Stunt Racer’. Each of the two large motors separately powers one of 42095’s tracks, giving the model skid-steering and likely excellent cat/Elf chasing ability. A B-model so similar we wonder why LEGO bothered can also be built, and you’ll be able to terrorise your pets for around £75/$80 from January 2019.

42094 Tracked Loader

LEGO Technic 42094 Set

And now for our favourite; 42094 Tracked Loader. With 827 pieces but no motors, 42094 should be good value at around £65/$70 and it includes the most technical sophistication of the H1 2019 line-up. Linear actuators are driven via hand-powered wheels mounted at the rear of the loader, controlling the boom elevation and grabby claw up front. 42094 also includes suspended tracks, a rear winch, a rotating cabin, and a B-model that looks very nearly as good as the main vehicle. 42094 looks to be great addition to the 2019 Technic line-up and may even give that Porsche 911 RSR a run for our money.

Which is your favourite new Technic set of 2019? Let us know in the comments, and you can read our reviews of dozens of LEGO’s past Technic sets via the Set Review Library here.

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Dumped

Lego Technic RC Tipper Truck

It’s nearly Relationship Transfer Deadline Day, the last day before the holidays when a relationship can terminated as ‘no-one likes a Christmas dumping’. Failure to meet this deadline means that you have to stay with your partner until early January so as not to ruin the festive period.

To mark the approach of this infamous day Damian Plesniak has constructed a vehicle capable of a sizeable dumping, a whole 2.5kgs of dumping in fact, thanks to its XL driven linear-actuator tipping bed. Said dump can also be triggered remotely* thanks to LEGO’s infrared system, which also controls the Power Functions 8×4 drive and steering.

There’s more to see of Damian’s excellent RC Technic 8×4 dump truck on both Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also find a video of the truck in action. Click the links above to take a pre-Christmas dump.

*Do not use this method in real life. You’re better than that.

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You Spin Me Right Round*

Lego Blade Runner Spinner

There have been countless versions of the ‘Spinner’ police cruiser from the 1982 Philip K. Dick epic Blade Runner built in Lego form, yet builders always seem able to find new ways of perfecting the iconic hover-car. This latest version is the work of Davidup of Flickr who has used LEGO’s large window pieces to great effect to create the Spinner’s canopy. A highly detailed interior lies underneath it and there’s more to see of the complete build at Davidup’s Flickr album – head to the future in 1982 via the link above.

*Today’s appropriately-’80s title song.

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Ferrari 312 | Picture Special

Lego Ferrari 312 Grand Prix Racer

In the mid-1960’s Formula 1 was, perhaps surprisingly, nearly as restrictive technically as it is today. Engines had to be just 1.5 litres or less, which meant they were often comically smaller than those available to the general public. In 1965 the teams requested more power, and to their almost complete surprise the governing body responded by doubling the allowed engine capacity for 1966. We can’t image the FIA being that responsive today…

Lego Ferrari 312 Formula 1

The Three Litre era of Formula 1 was born as the existing teams scrabbled to take advantage of the new regulations. Ferrari were lucky, having a larger V12 engine available to them from their sports car racing programme, which they modified to keep within the maximum 3000cc allowed and shoved in the back of their F1 chassis. It was a bit of bodge-job though, being heavy and down on torque, and thus the resulting ‘312’ racer wasn’t a Championship winner, taking only three race wins from thirty-eight starts.

With limited success the 312 is sadly most famous for the tragedy that struck Lorenzo Bandini in the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. On the 82nd lap Bandini caught the guardrail whilst entering the Marina and his car overturned, rupturing a fuel line as it did so. The shower of sparks ignited the car, and with the straw bales lining the track also catching fire Bandini was trapped in the inferno. Marshalls managed to pull him from the car, but he died in hospital a few days later.

Lego Ferrari 312 Formula 1

Ferrari continued to race the 312 with little success for several more years, with no money to develop a new car and the Cosworth DFV engine used by many other teams winning absolutely everything. Eventually Enzo Ferrari sold a stake of his business to FIAT, and in 1970 used the money to develop a new purpose-built flat-12 engine for Formula 1 racing, finally returning the team to a race winning position.

The 312 was quickly forgotten, but whilst it certainly wasn’t one of Ferrari’s more successful designs, it was – as you can see here – surely one of their most beautiful. The impeccable Model Team replica of the 312 shown in these images comes from Andre Pinto, who has captured every detail of the 312’s the suspension, interior, bodywork, and the (spectacular) V12 engine to create one of the finest classic Formula 1 cars ever built in Lego form.

There’s more to see of Andre’s beautifully photographed 1967 Ferrari 312 at both his Flickr album and at the Eurobricks discussion forum. Take a look via the links above, and if you’d like to hear what that slightly bodged 3.0 V12 sounds like, take a listen here.

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Rainbow Rods

Lego Hot Rods

We were going to title this post with something to do with whatever country’s flag goes red, blue, yellow, but it seems said colours aren’t a flag of anywhere (correct us in the comments if your country can claim it!). Upside-down Colombia is as close as we got, and we can’t make a title out of that. No matter, because Johnni D‘s tri-colour hot rods a lovely anyway, and there’s more to see of his upside-down Colombian creations on Flickr at the link above.

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JCB 5CX Wastemaster | Picture Special

Lego Technic JCB Remote Control

Every so often a creation comes along that shifts what we thought possible from LEGO bricks. This is one such creation. Created over the course of a year by Technic-building legend Sariel this is a fully working replica of JCB’s 5CX Wastemaster backhoe, powered by pneumatics, eleven Power Functions motors, and two third-party SBricks.

Lego Technic JCB 5CX Remote Control Underneath the brilliant Technic exterior are nine motors that drive all four wheels, the three-mode steering (two-wheel, all-wheel and crab), backhoe arm rotation and traverse, and powering a combination of pneumatic cylinders and linear actuators to control both the front and rear arms and their respective buckets. A further two motors power the pneumatic ‘remote control’, compressing the air which travels down twelve separate hoses to the model itself.

Lego Technic JCB 5CX Remote Control

A motorised remotely rotating driver’s seat and a suite of LED lights from third-party lighting specialists Brickstuff complete the electronics, making this 2.4kg, 75 stud-long masterpiece one of the most technically advanced Technic creations to date. There is much more to see of Sariel’s amazing remote control JCB at the Eurobricks forum, on Flickr, and at Sariel’s excellent website, you can watch it in action via the video below, and if you’d like to build your own model with many of the features of this one we highly recommend LEGO’s own 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 set, which share its wheels and amazing three-mode steering with Sariel’s fantastic creation.

YouTube Video

 

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Stack-a-DAF

Lego DAF FAS Trucks

We are going to have a very fat Elf in TLCB Towers shortly…

Arian Janssens has appeared here at The Lego Car Blog numerous times over the years, more often than not with his fantastic Model Team classic DAF trucks. But how to store a multitude of large LEGO models without them over-running the house? Fortunately the answer lies in how these trucks are transported in real life. Being designed to carry heavy loads, trucks are able to transport one another, and can be stacked on trailers several trucks high.

Lego DAF FAS Trucks

Arian’s ‘Jan de Rooy Transport’ DAF FAS 2800 shows how this looked back in the late ’70s to early ’80s, with an FT 2800 sleeper-cab tractor, an FA 1200 chassis-cab truck, and an FT 1600 tractor in transport behind it. Each is superb model in its own right (hence the Elf that found this is due to receive four meal tokens, to much jealousy amongst its co-workers), built with incredible attention to detail and further enhanced with realistic custom decals.

There’s much more to see of Arian’s DAFs-in-transit at his album on Flickr – take a closer look via the link in the text above.

Lego DAF FAS Trucks

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Space Truckin’

Lego Space Truck

Today’s creation is huge, very well travelled, and is a frequent visitor of truck-stops. Just like your Mom.

Built by Robert Heim it’s called ‘Space Truck 2’, and unlike your Mom it looks seriously cool. Join the convoy in space via the link to Flickr above.

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The End is Nigh

Lego WALL-E and Eve

WALL-E; the last surviving cute robot on an abandoned Earth tasked with tidying up the mess we made. Disney-Pixar’s masterpiece melted hearts around the world in 2008, but a decade on in 2018 several pieces of news have emerged over the course of the year that make us sure we’re heading ever closer to the grim reality depicted in the movie.

The world is in the midst of a mass extinction crisis, CO2 output has risen for the first time in 4 years, and our oceans are filling with plastic.

We don’t yet have cute little rubbish-collecting robots like the Wall-E and Eve pairing built by Flickr’s Luis Peña pictured here to help, but there are a few very easy things that we can do to lessen our impact upon our environment. Turn things off, recycle everything we can, and switch Google for Ecosia. Each year around 300,000 visitors arrive here at The Lego Car Blog directly via a search engine. If they all arrived via the tree-planting alternative Ecosia that would be a lot of trees!

To find out more about what The LEGO Company is doing to reduce its environmental impact click here and to see more of Luis’ brilliant Wall-E and Eve builds click the link above.

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Mini Minecraft

Lego Mining Excavator

Lego mining excavators usually appear here in huge fully remote controlled form. Not so today, as Michael A’s mining excavator is – being mini-figure scale – rather smaller. Surprisingly though, Michael’s build still features a fully functional arm and bucket, thanks to the inclusion of several mini linear actuators from the Technic range that can be hand-cranked via the wheels hidden throughout the build. It’s a neat trick and one we’d like to see more of in Town scale creations. There’s more to see of Michael’s working Town-scale mining excavator at his photostream – click here to take a look!

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Phwoosh!

Lego Vic Viper

No sooner does one Lego-building monthly bandwagon end than another begins. ‘Ma.Ktober’ is instantly replaced by ‘Novvember’, but because we’re incompetent we’re posting this entry on December 1st…

That does mean we nearly made it through the whole thing without getting dragged in, but if we’re going to get sucked into a spinning vortex of nerdiness it may as well be by something as cool as this.

It’s called the Lone Eagle, it comes from Flickr’s F@bz, and it features more ingenuous building techniques than would normally be found in a whole month of spacey nonsense. Click the link above to head to F@bz’ photostream to check it out.

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Cemetery Gates*

Lego Amazone Pantera 4502 Crop Sprayer RC

Pantera might a word better associated with an Italian-American sports car or a 1980s heavy metal band*, but it’s also apparently a self-propelled 4500-litre crop sprayer from 130-year-old German agricultural manufacturer Amazone. An unusual choice for a LEGO creation then, but perhaps an inspired one too, as this enormous Model Team replica of the Pantera 4502 by previous bloggee Eric Trax is a work of engineering genius.

Lego Amazone Pantera 4502 Crop Sprayer RC

Like the real vehicle, Eric’s Pantera is all-wheel-drive, all-wheel-steering (with three steering modes), and includes the crucial adjustable height system that allows these machines to raise themselves above the crops beneath them.

It also of course features the huge folding arms that deploy to spray crops; in Eric’s model extending to an impressive 1.4 meters in width! In all there are seven LEGO Technic motors powering the drive, multi-mode steering, adjustable ground clearance, and both the spraying arm extension and height.

Lego Amazone Pantera 4502 Crop Sprayer RC

It’s a spectacularly well-engineered build and one that’s well worth a closer look. A large gallery of images is available to view at Eric’s Flickr photostream by clicking here, you can read further details and join the discussion at the Eurobricks forum by clicking here, and you can watch this amazing machine in action via the video below.

YouTube Video

*Today’s title track. Turn it up!

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Obscurimus Prime

Lego Concept Racer

No, we’re not sure what this is either, but we like primary colours! Clever building techniques have been used in abundance to create whatever this is, and you can place your guesses at Tammo S.’s photostream by clicking here.

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Supersized 6668

Lego MAN Container Truck

LEGO’s 6668 Recycling Truck from 1994 is one of this writer’s favourite ever sets. Released during the golden age for LEGO Town it looked great, featured the clear everlasting decals that we constantly wish that LEGO still used, and included a neat rubber-band powered container-hook mechanism controlled via a little wheel on the side.

Flickr’s Krzysztof Cytacki (aka Dirtzone) has channeled this high-point of the Town range and supersized that humble truck, building a remarkably similar-looking MAN F90 hook truck in Model Team scale. Being a big bit for rubber band power, Krzysztof has chosen LEGO’s Power Functions motors and Technic pneumatics to control his hook mechanism, plus his creation features remote control drive and steering, a raising/lowering third axle, and working suspension on all wheels.

Lego MAN Container Truck

It’s a treat to watch in action and you can do just that via the YouTube video below, plus you can check out all of the images of Krzysztof’s MAN F90 truck at his Flickr album by clicking the link above.

YouTube Video

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