8070 Technic Supercar Review

Lego Technic 8070 Review

The Lego Car Blog Review My Set Competition is underway! Today we’re joined by MOCpages’ Rage Hobbit, who has donned TLCB Reviewing Anorak in order to pen a review of one of his favourite sets. Over to Rage…

The 8070 Supercar from 2011. This car had a lot to live up to.

As part of the Technic Supercar flagship series that started all the way back with the 8880, this set had to try and live up to high expectations and even higher hopes. Was it truly the successor to the acclaimed 8448 Super Street Sensation?

Mostly yes. Sort of.

Differences between this car and its predecessors become evident upon opening the box. This is no old-fashioned Technic set; there’s hardly a single studded beam to be found. I’m sure some people liked this change, others probably hated it, but no amount of pointless arguing will change the fact that this is the way Technic is going to stay.

This retinue of studless pieces is found in several unnumbered bags sprawled inside a rather empty box. Don’t ask me how many bags; they didn’t seem all that special and as such I threw them out moments after opening the set. The three instruction booklets – ranging from 50 to 80 pages – are packed neatly into a plastic bag, along with a cardboard plate so that the booklets don’t get beat up during transit. It’s a nice touch, and something that LEGO should revisit. As per the usual, no B-model instructions are to be found inside the box; they’re found exclusively online *sigh*. LEGO should get the point eventually.

The wheels and hubs are free-floating inside the box, with the electronic components – a Power Functions battery box and M-motor – packaged individually. Tear everything open, dump it all in a big pile, and you’re ready to build.

The build process is fairly engaging yet still pretty simple as compared to more recent Technic sets. Starting with the distribution transmission for the M-motor, you add the rear axle and chassis frame rails before moving on to booklet number 2 and all the other stuff. Some of the aesthetic portions can be a bit of a drag, but overall it’s a good build.

Lego Technic 8070 Supercar Review

Let’s start with the functions and features. The car rolls very nicely, with the rear wheels driving a V8 piston engine found under the front hood. At this point, supercar snobs will complain along the lines of “It needs a V10!” and “REAL supercars have V12s”, but the V8 suits the scale of the car well. Dual-wishbone independent suspension (a little bit too hard on the rear wheels, with decent travel all-around) is found on all wheels, with the front ones steered through a hand-of-god knob behind the cabin. Steering lock is only okay, but I won’t complain too much.

The 4 main functions of this car are controlled by a distribution transmission found in between the seats where it should be. The solitary M-motor in the set drives the transmission by way of a clutch gear so that you don’t break anything.

The first of the functions is the deployable rear wing. The function works fine, but the mechanism leaves an ugly gap in the rear aesthetics, and the wing looks a bit half-baked. Tip the switch to the other side, and the hood starts to open through a neat and effective linkage mechanism that emulates the kind of thing found in real supercars. The other two functions on the transmission are reserved for the doors, which is also my very favorite function. The doors open individually on a butterfly-ish hinge; a function which works flawlessly and doesn’t compromise the aesthetics. Overall, kudos to LEGO for the functions on this car. Continue reading

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Prettiest Porsche

Lego Technic Porsche 911

Call us old-fashioned, but we don’t think there has ever been a prettier Porsche 911 than the very first generation, launched way back in 1963. Powered by an air-cooled 130bhp flat-6 the original 911 wasn’t particularly fast, but gosh does it look pretty today. By the 1980s the 911 had lost its understated elegance, but arguably the current 911 is regaining it against competitor cars looking ever more aggressive.

Lego Technic Porsche 911 1963

We’ll still take the original though, which is what MOCpages’ Markus Schlegel has done. His gorgeous Technic 1963 Porsche 911 is every bit as pretty as the real car, and includes working steering, adjustable seats, and opening doors, hood and engine cover. The full gallery of images is available to view at Markus’ MOCpages – click the link above to make the jump there.

Lego Technic Porsche 911

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Am I Pleased to See You…

Lego Ford Bronco 4x4

Or did I just put a canoe in my pocket! Sorry about that, we’re feeling a bit weird today. No matter, this 1970s Ford Bronco, complete with roof mounted canoe, looks just the thing for a weekend in the bush. And look at how much wood it’s got! Lino Martins is the builder behind it and there’s more to see at his photostream – click here to get wet and dirty.

Lego Model Team Ford Bronco

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Review Your Set for TLCB & Win!

Lego Set Reviews

Is The Lego Car Blog Set Review Library missing your favourite LEGO set? Or a set that you think really ought to be reviewed to warn prospective buyers? If so, The Lego Car Blog Set Review Library needs YOU!

We’re looking for funny, articulate writers to review LEGO sets for TLCB, and in doing so you’ll be part of a site that reaches over a million people per year!

To add your Set Review to TLCB all you need to do is contact us, either here or via Flickr Message, and let us know the set in question.

Prizes!

Lego Set Reviews Prizes

Yup! As if reviewing your set for over million annual readers and becoming part of the coolest Lego Blog there is* wasn’t enough, you could also win some awesome loot!

We’re sent lots of great stuff here at TLCB to review, and as we want your Reviews we’re going to pass on some of the items that we’ve, er… reviewed. Simple huh?

One Reviewer will be chosen to receive a goodie bag full of the lovely stuff above, including the newly released and five star rated Tiny Lego Wonders book, the brilliant Manner-Spielzeug Mad Max Interceptor kit, and the stunning Art of Lego Scale Modeling book too. In all it’s a prize pot currently worth over $130!

To read the full details of how a winner will be selected click on the link below, and we’ll be publishing the first Set Reviews submitted to us and cleared for publication soon!

Click here for Competition Details!

*We measured this by polling the Elves. So maybe not…

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Beige Bricks

Lego Technic Hong Hong Minibus RC

Beige… the colour of hearing aids, ageing light fittings, and the walls of houses owned by the chronically unimaginative. It’s not our favourite colour here at TLCB, and seeing as Smarties don’t come in this most boring of hues* the Elves don’t care for it much either. However, just occasionally beige can look damn good, and we have two creations here today to prove it.

First (above) is previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Shineyu‘s Technic Hong Hong minibus. Resplendent in two-tone beige and red this creation will be familiar to anyone from the Chinese island city, and it comes complete with Shineyu’s own personal advertising on the sides. Underneath there’s a full remote control Power Functions drivetrain, plus a set of additional motors powering the remotely opening door and a rotating front route sign.

There are lots more images of Shineyu’s minibus available to view at the Eurobricks discussion forum – take a ride over there via the link.

Today’s second bit of beige based brickery (below) comes from fellow Eurobricker damienple, who has used the hue to neat effect on his Technic 4×4 off-roader. Like Shineyu’s creation damienple’s model is fully remote controlled, with an XL motor providing the drive, a Servo the steering, and a Medium motor controlling a high/low range gearbox. There’s also live axle suspension on all four wheels, allowing this little 4×4 to perform pretty well in the rough stuff.

You can check all the details and pictures, and see the 4×4 in action off-road, at both the Eurobricks discussion forum and  on Brickshelf – click the links to make the jump.

Lego Technic 4x4 Off-Roader Remote Control

*Unless we suck the colour off them first – not that we’ve ever done that…

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FJ Baja

Lego Toyota FJ 40 Baja

Egor Karshiev‘s superb classic Toyota FJ40s have appeared here before in various guises and he’s recently added another version to his garage. This is an Icon FJ, built by the same Californian resto-mod company responsible for the mighty Icon Bronco. Egor wrote to Icon for information to help him build their FJ, and the CEO himself responded! Now that’s service!

Lego Technic Toyota FJ Icon

Egor’s latest FJ is, like his previous iterations, fully remote controlled thanks to LEGO’s Power Functions components, with an XL Motor providing drive to all four wheels and and Servo controlling the steering. There’s live axle suspension front and rear, opening doors and hood, and an in-built LiPo battery and Smart Brick receiver.

Egor has produced an excellent video showing what his Icon FJ can do, cleverly using the audio from Fifth Gear’s televised road test of the real car, which you can watch below, and theres lots more to see at Egor’s MOCpage – click here to make the jump.

YouTube Video:

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Tiny Lego Wonders – Book Review

Tiny Lego Wonders Review

‘Where can I get instructions / How do I build it?’. It’s the single most frequently asked question that we receive here at TLCB – so just how do you start ‘MOCing’?

It’s a question we raised in our review of the superb No Starch Press produced ‘Art of Lego Scale Modeling‘ book last year, and one that, since LEGO discontinued their brilliant Ideas Books, has gone unanswered. Now though, No Starch Press have created a book aimed squarely at fulfilling this need.

Tiny Lego Wonders, written by LEGO-Ambassador Mattia Zamboni, features 200 pages of clear instructions for 40 wonderfully realistic miniature vehicles, from cars to buses via trains, aircraft, construction equipment and more. The book is divided into sections that categorise these models according to where you might find them in the real world, for example the airport, the harbour, and the construction site.

Each location section features a double-page spread showing all of the vehicles within it in a large brick-built scene. It’s a simple yet brilliant addition that’s very reminiscent of LEGO’s old annual catalogues and it’s sure to provide a huge amount of inspiration.

Lego Instructions Book

Every set of instructions starts with a high quality image of the finished model, just as any official LEGO set does, along with a parts list and a difficulty level. The instructions themselves are beautifully clear and the build process will be familiar to anyone who has constructed an official LEGO set.

There are perhaps slightly fewer steps and marginally more complicated sub-assemblies than you’ll find in LEGO’s own work, but if anything LEGO have over-simplified their instructions in recent times and Tiny Lego Wonders seems to have struck a good balance between conciseness and difficulty.

Lego TGV Train Instructions

Where Tiny Lego Wonders scores huge points is with its inspiration potential. All of the models featured use common non-specialist parts, but even so it’s unlikely that most builders will have the exact part and colour combinations to recreate the model piece-for-piece as per the instructions. However the instructions are so good, and the models so thoughtfully designed, that changing the colours or design slightly is really easy. And once you’ve done that, you’ve started MOCing!

Some sections also include images of additional variations of the model detailed in the instructions, showing what can be done with a few simple changes. Again, these are really easy to replicate (even though they aren’t included in the instructions) and having a go yourself will instantly turn you into a ‘MOCer’.

Lego Car Instructions

Are there any disappointments? Nope, not really. Perhaps a few of the large double-page scenes look a little over-polished / too digitalised to these eyes, but other than that Tiny Lego Wonders might be the perfect MOCer’s book. Which gives us a bit of a dilemma in giving a rating because, despite the general ineptitude in TLCB office, there are some talented builders here who would have limited use for such a book. However, Tiny Lego Wonders isn’t aimed at the microscopic demographic of ‘Lego Blogger’, and thus we can ignore our usage and rate it accordingly;

Tiny Lego Wonders

Buy this book! Even at just £13 / $17 for the hardcover on Amazon, Tiny Lego Wonders is as beautifully produced as all No Starch Press publications, but for it to remain pristine on a bookshelf or coffee table would be a great shame. Tiny Lego Wonders needs to look dog-eared, shabby and worn out, because the value of this book is in its use; Tiny Lego Wonders could be the launchpad you need to start your MOCing journey.

From now on when anyone asks us ‘How do I build it?’ we’re going to give the same answer; You start here.

✮✮✮✮✮

No Starch Press

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Porsche Carrera GT – Picture Special

Lego Technic Porsche Carrera GT

This incredible replica of Porsche’s mighty 2005 V10 supercar was discovered by one of our Elves on Eurobricks today. It’s the work of Artemy Zotov, and it’s one of the finest Technic Supercars that this site has ever featured.

Lego Technic Porsche Carrera GT

Artemy’s Carrera GT is a near-perfect one tenth scale replica of one of Porsche’s most ambitious vehicles and it features a wealth of superbly engineered mechanical functions, including the Carrera’s unique V10 engine, all-wheel independent suspension, working steering, opening hood, doors and engine cover, and the Porsche’s clever rising and retracting rear spoiler.

Lego Porsche Carrera GT

There’s more of this stunning build to see at the Eurobricks discussion forum (and probably Flickr, MOCpages and Brickshelf too in the near future, but we’re quite early featuring this creation). Click this link to check out one of the finest Technic Supercars you’re likely to see his year.

Lego Technic Supercar Porsche Carrera GT

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Not a Car…

Lego German Baureihe 41-241 Polarstern

It is in fact a Baureihe 41-241 Polarstern steam locomotive operated by Deutsche Reichsbahn, and, if we’re being honest, we only know that from the builder’s description. But we are a car blog so European railways of the 1930s are a bit outside of our (admittedly limited) skill set.

This stunning model is the work of previous bloggee, TLCB favourite, and Master MOCer BricksonWheels, and it’s a beautifully thought-out build. With exquisite custom 3D printed wheels and valve train (see the image below), plus two Power Functions XL motors and in-built IR receivers driving it, the Polarstern locomotive demonstrates an incredible attention to detail.

Lego 3D Printed Steam Train Parts

You can read further details of both the build and the real train, and see the full gallery of stunning imagery, at BricksonWheels’ photostream – click here to buy a ticket.

Lego Steam Locomotive BricksonWheels

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Flip Front

Lego Ford GT Racing

This neat 7-wide Ford GT in racing and road iterations was suggested by a reader, and it features the most ingenious use for LEGO’s mini-figure flippers that we’ve ever seen. There’s a few other clever techniques at work too – check them out courtesy of Zeto Vince’s photostream here.

Lego Ford GT

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Yes M’Lady

Lego FAB1 Thunderbirds Rolls Royce

The gloomy catchphrase of Lady Penelope’s chauffeur Parker there, who seemed permanently beset my misery at the prospect of driving her ladyship around in a bright pink six-wheeled Rolls Royce. Cheer up Parker, it’s still a six-wheeled Rolls Royce, and we bet she got changed in the back a few times too…

Recreated by Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg, and complete with Lady Penelope and Parker, you can see more of the amazing ‘FAB1’ Rolls Royce from Thunderbirds at the link above.

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Build-Your-Own

Lego Porsche 911 Convertible

We were very excited when we first broke the news of LEGO’s brilliant-looking 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 set, especially when TLCB anoraks deciphered that it would feature a working paddle-shift gearbox. Unfortunately the reality of 42056 – especially that much hyped gearbox – hasn’t lived up to the sky-high expectations that preceded it, a fact made all to clear here at TLCB. So what if you’d like a Technic Porsche that doesn’t cost the earth and that works? Well handily we have two answers for you today…

First up (above) is paave’s fantastic 964 series 911 cabriolet. With working steering, a flat-6 engine, and opening doors, hood and engine cover, paave’s creation has everything you’d expect to find in a small Technic set, and to these eyes it looks better than the official 42056 product too. You can see more of this excellent build on both MOCpages and Eurobricks via these links.

Second (below) is Horcik Designs‘ effort, and it too looks a fine home-brewed attempt at bettering LEGO’s official 911 GT3 set. With working steering, a flat-6 engine, a functioning gearbox, all-wheel independent suspension, a working clutch, and a pneumatically adjustable rear spoiler Horcik’s creation is what LEGO’s could have been if they hadn’t spent so much money on a fancy booklet for collectors (who won’t open the box anyway so it’s wasted on them). There’s more to see of Horcik’s Porcshe 911 on Flickr at the link above, and you can check out a very disgruntled review rant of the official LEGO Technic 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 set by clicking here.

Lego Technic Porsche 911

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Tignado

Panavia Tornado ECR - Tigermeet

We’re not sure why this Panavia Tornado ECR is wearing a tiger-stripe paint-job – if anything it’s more conspicuous – but we must admit that it looks ridiculously good. It’s the work of previous bloggee Kenneth Vaessen and you can see more at his photostream by clicking here.

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The Big Blue – 42042 Crawler Crane Set Review

Most of The Lego Car Blog team are die-hard petrol heads, who exclusively build Technic supercars, filled with working features and Power Functions. However, this writer is not really a car expert nor a Technic expert either. I was recently defenestrated at a TLCB party for having suggested that it might be fun to try to build a spaceship. Fortunately, I survived the incident. The TLCB executive penthouse offices are actually located on the ground floor of a small industrial unit near Wolverhampton. Much chastened, I have resolved to learn more of the art and craft of big-scale, motorised Technic models. What better way to do this than to build one of the monsters of the current Technic range: the 42042 Crawler Crane.

Lego Technic 42042 Review

The set came in nicely large box, with the usual high-quality photos showing the various functions of the crane. The back of the box shows the “A” and “B” models. In contrast to Sariel’s review, I thought that the box was nicely full when I opened it. Tipping the various bags out of the box took me back to childhood Christmases and the excitement of opening the old Technic sets with their studded beams. The first thing that struck me was that the various bags were numbered, just like big System models are nowadays. As I built the model, it was great that I only had one bag open at a time. This made finding the right parts quicker, less frustrating and more fun. A previous big Technic model that I have built had numbered bags but you had to open most of them early in the build, which defeated the point of them in my eyes.

The instruction book is neatly presented and strongly bound. It’s a nice artefact in its own right. Lego instruction books are a lot better at differentiating between dark grey and black than they used to be and this one was easy to use. Disappointingly, for a model in this price range, you have download the instructions for the “B” model from Lego’s website. As the “B” model looks to have the same chassis, there wouldn’t even be the expense of an entire second book. The stickers for the model are in the same bag, which had kept them flat in my case. However, I can see that there’s scope for them to be creased and mangled by the heavy instruction book and so it would be better if they were mounted on a separate card.

LEGO_42042_PROD_DET02_1488

Once I started the build, it turned out that there were actually multiple bags to open for each stage of the build. It was still a lot quicker than sorting through all 1,401 parts in a big pile. First up is the chassis, based around the ubiquitous but strong 64178 differential frame. Building progresses rapidly, with lots of pieces per page. This contrasts noticeably to System sets, especially the ones aimed at younger builders. For most of the stages, I had just five small piles of parts to look through, thanks again to the numbered bags.  After the main chassis, you build each of the sponsons for the tracks. When the two are mated, you begin to realise quite how big this model is going to be. Building the second sponson is a bit boring, as it’s a mirror image of the first but that’s inevitable with this design. When I attached the sponsons, I thought that 5L axles with end stops will be awkward to remove when I disassemble the model. I couldn’t work out why Lego hadn’t used ordinary 5L axles instead. Perhaps one of our Technic expert readers has an idea? Page 48 of the instructions has another step that might prove hard to reverse on disassembly.

By page 54, the chassis was done and it was time to get a coffee and then sit down to assemble each of the huge, 45 link tracks. Whilst I clicked the links together, I reflected on the size and complexity of the finished chassis. It reminded me that much of what you pay for in a Technic set is the immense amount of R&D time that must go into a model like this. To speed up the assembly of the tracks, I made standard 10 link lengths and then clipped them together, adding the last five.  Strangely, for a set of this size and price, there is no spare link of track. Technic is a harsh mistress. Be careful opening the bags of parts and accidentally losing some. By the end of stage one, I had just five spare pieces and no spares of the small cogs or blue, 2L axle/peg connectors. By the end of the build, I had just over a dozen spares, including the 1×1 round transparent plates used as lights.

Stage 2 looks fast, with just three bags of parts. It builds the gearbox and includes four of the newer sliding gear change collars and a pair of the white, 24T, torque limiting clutch gears. There are also some of the new and very useful 1L collars. Once more, the complexity of the design reminded me of how much design and development time you’re paying for in a big Technic set. This also applies to the design and quality of the individual pieces. Just one L motor drives the all of the functions through this gearbox. That two functions can operate simultaneously, is a testament to the power of modern Lego motors. The end of this stage leaves very few spare parts again. I was actually a blue 2L connector peg short and had to nip upstairs and get one from my collection.

LEGO 42042 Review

By now I was 96 pages and 1 ¾ hours into the build. There were four more bags of parts left to go. Continue reading

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A Close Shave

Lego Motorbike and Sidecar

This magnificent motorcycle and sidecar from previous bloggee redfern1950s probably has nothing to do with our favourite plasticine duo, but it’s close enough to allow us to tenuously include this link! You can see more of redfern’s gorgeous bike at his photostream via the link above.

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