Welcome to Russia!

The news this week contained the exciting announcement that four peoples’ republics, previously under the oppression of the Ukrainian Neo-Nazi regime, decided  – through definitely-not-rigged-in-any-way-referendums – to join the Russian Federation!

A concert in Moscow’s Red Square celebrated President Putin’s signing of the republics into becoming Russian territory, with many in attendance stating they were kindly bused in for free by the Russian authorities, with a few so in awe and wonder they seemed not even to know why they were there!

Here at The Lego Car Blog we’re joining in the celebrations marking the return of the Soviet Union by busing in our own Soviet Union, er… bus, courtesy of previous bloggee Samolot.

This Kavz 3270 was built from the 1970s until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and was based on the GAZ-53 truck. Samolot’s Technic recreation captures the Soviet-era bus brilliantly, with remote control drive, steering, 4-speed gearbox, and a rotating destination board all controlled by a LEGO Mindstorms robotic brain, plus there’s working suspension, a V8 engine, and opening doors too.

There’s lots more to see of Samolot’s lovely Kavz 3270 bus at Bricksafe and via the Eurobricks forum, where you can also watch a video all the motorised features in action, including the neat rotating destination board above the cab.

Come to think of it, Russian buses will be able to add four new locations to their boards now, because when President Putin wields pen, it definitely makes something so, and certainly negates any words such as ‘sham’, ‘in violation of the United Nations Charter’, and ‘illegal under international law’.

For information on Russia’s annexation, whoops; we mean ‘liberation’ of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, take a look at these pages from United Nations, Amnesty International, or Wikpedia.

Crossing Japan

This is a Japanese National Railways Class EF66 electric locomotive, which we definitely knew for ourselves and aren’t just quoting the builder KMbricklab. Rather than show off our considerable and extensive knowledge of all things trains here, we’ll simply direct you to KM’s excellent ‘JNR Class EF66 Electric Locomotive’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to journey across Japan.

Dananananana…

…is the sound a helicopter makes. Also Batman.

This is the ‘Batcopter’ from the Batman TV series, which was a little more, er… ‘festive’ than the dark and secretive Batman we know from the 2010s. Still, if every time you fought crime giant bubble writing appeared shouting ‘KAPOW!’, there was probably little point being stealthy.

Andre Pinto’s ‘Batcopter’ captures the camp flamboyance of the ’60s caped crusader brilliantly, and there’s more to see at his ‘Batcopter TV’ album on Flickr. Dananananana…

A Pirate’s Life for Me

Today’s creation is not a car, which means we’re well out of our depth. But, despite not knowing which way the wind is blowing, even we can see just how swell this magnificent 72-gun pirate galleon by Flickr’s Robert4168/Garmadon is.

To parrot a few stats from Robert, the ‘Buccaneer’s Dread’ measures 165 studs from rudder to bowsprit, 58 studs crossbeam, 170 studs tall, is crewed by 36 mini-figures (including obligatory skeletons), and features over 85 LED lights from third-party specialists Lightailing.

Robert’s voyage to complete the ‘Buccaneer’s Dread’ took three years, and the finished model is now up for sale, with much more of this piratical masterpiece available to view at his photostream. Sea dogs, buccaneers, freebooters, hearties and swashbucklers set sail via the link above!

*One hundred doubloons if you can spy all the piratical puns.

Materially Different

The LEGO Technic 42144 Material Handler is, whilst a decent set, rather pricey. In fact its pence-per-piece ratio makes it twice as expensive as a comparable set from just five years ago. Fortunately LEGO bricks are infinitely re-usable, and thus those expensively-priced pieces of plastic can be re-deployed repeatedly, unlocking unlimited models for free.

Cue previous bloggee mktechnicreations, who has repurposed his 42144 Material Handler set into this excellent container loader alternate, with pneumatic boom elevation and container locking, rear-wheel-steering, and working support legs.

Building instructions are available and there’s more to see of mk’s B-Model at the Eurobricks forum. Double the use (and half the price) of your 42144 set via the link above!

Bond’s Other Aston

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 is probably the most famous movie car of all time. But it’s far from 007’s only Aston Martin. There was the ‘Casino Royal’ Aston Martin DBS (good), ‘Spectre’s DB10, (which didn’t even exist, so bad), and the stupid Vanquish ‘Vanish’ in ‘Die Another Day’ (worst).

But there was one other good one; the wonderful Aston Martin V8 used in the Timothy Dalton era. The car recently reappeared in the mostly-very-good ‘No Time to Die’ that wrapped up Daniel Craig’s time in the role, and Jonathan Elliott has recreated that car superbly in Speed Champions scale.

Beautiful attention to detail, building techniques and presentation are in abundance, and there’s more to see of 007’s ‘other’ Aston Martin at Jonathan’s photostream. Click the link above to cue that famous music

Where Eagles Dare

1968’s ‘Where Eagles Dare’, starring Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton, is widely regarded as one of the finest war movies of all time. That’s despite it featuring hairstyles, make-up, pharmaceuticals, and a red bus from a decade (or even two!) later than the time of its setting.

Said bus, a 1952 Steyr, stars prominently in the closing scenes, as the characters make their escape to an airfield where a Junkers JU-52 is waiting.

This brilliant brick-built recreation of that iconic ‘Where Eagles Dare’ scene is the work of SirLuftwaffles, who has captured not only the wrongly-cast Steyr bus and Junkers JU-52 from the movie wonderfully, he’s placed them within a stunning forced-perceptive alpine setting that looks so good we feel as though we’re making the escape too.

Style your hair for the ’60s, climb aboard a ’52 bus, and head to a snow-covered European airfield in 1944 via the link above.

Monotone Mystery

What’s in this excellent and delightfully-bland tanker truck? Milk… Petrol… Beer…? We can but hope it’s the latter. Previous bloggee Arian Janssens is the builder and there’s more to see of his magnificently monotone DAF XG+ 530 truck and equally nondescript tanker trailer on Flickr. Click the link to take a look whilst this writer heads to the fridge for a beer. Unless there’s just milk in there. Please let there be beer…

Life at the Top

For those lucky enough to be fantastically wealthy, they’ll probably be slightly more so by the time you’ve finished reading this post. That’s because to make money, all you need is… money.

Take the Ferrari Enzo, a $660,000 car when it was new twenty years ago, and now worth just over $3million. Even inflation-adjusted that’s still an increase of $2.1million. That rise equates to $8,750 a month over the last two decades – double the median wage in America, tax free, and without working a day.

With a bleak economic forecast ahead we can expect many will suffer hardship probably not seen since the 2008 crash, but the new (unelected) Government of the TLCB’s home nation (it’s complicated…) has just slashed tax for the wealthy. Because to make money all you need is money. We’d make a joke about trickle-down economics, but 99% of readers wouldn’t get it.

Thus we won’t be previewing LEGO’s newly revealed $600 set, because it seems in rather poor taste at the moment (plus it’s Star Wars), and instead we’ll use this rather excellent recreation of an early-’00s hypercar by Flickr’s 3D supercarBricks to moan about the growing poverty in the sixth largest economy on earth.

So keep your eyeballs on the ads on this page, click them if you’re interested, and we’ll give away what we can of the proceeds. It might be needed more than ever this winter.

Porsche-Assisted Pedal

Even for Porsche, this spoiler is ridiculous…

Back in 1979, French cyclist Jean-Claude Rude attempted to break the bicycle speed record of 127mph / 204kph. This meant a rather special bike, and also something to cut through the air ahead of it.

Martini Racing duly offered to modify one of their 800bhp Porsche 935 Turbos, fitting it with a custom air-deflecting casing behind the cabin. This TLCB Writer isn’t sure that an 800bhp Porsche was strictly necessary, but it’s better to be sure we suppose.

Unfortunately for Jean-Claude, whilst the Porsche 935 was up to the job, his bike’s rear inner tube was not, exploding during the record run. Now every cyclist knows that you always carry a spare, but seemingly Jean-Claude didn’t and that was the end of the record attempt.

Sadly, before he could try again, Jean-Claude Rude was killed by the wake of a train he was racing against, aged just 25.

Flickr’s HCKP13 pays homage to both Jean-Claude Rude and the magnificently weird modified Porsche 935 Turbo used to smooth the air ahead of him with this excellent Lego recreation of the failed record attempt. There’s more to see at HCKP13’s photostream, and you can join the 1979 record attempt via the link above. Just remember to bring a spare inner tube…

2-4-1

The LEGO Technic 42128 Heavy Duty Tow-Truck is big, heavy, and able to take a hefty load. Just like your Mom. With more than two-thousand pieces – including pneumatics – 42128 is also a rich source of parts for creating a B-Model, with two great truck alternates featured here so far.

Newcomer Repkovsky has gone better though – literally – having reconstructed his 42128 set into not one but two B-Models, which are able to be built simultaneously.

The first is a rather excellent material handler, complete with a two-stage pneumatic boom, a linear-actuator operated grab, working outriggers, steering, and a raising cabin.

The material handler has a vehicle to extract a load from/deposit a load into too, with Repkovsky’s second alternate being a neat tipper truck, which itself features working steering, a piston engine, and a linear-actuator operated tipping bed.

The pair are a brilliantly clever use of pieces, and there’s more of each alternate to see at both Bricksafe and the Eurobricks forum, where a video and a link to building instructions can also be found. Click the link above to claim your 2-4-1!

I Don’t Want To Be a Lumberjack Any More

The LEGO Technic 42139 All-Terrain Vehicle revealed here earlier this year looks rather good, with loads of working features and more unusual source material than LEGO’s typical mid-size sets. Plus there’s a chainsaw.

But what if you don’t want to be a lumberjack? Latvian builder TGBDZ may have the answer, having turned their 42139 ATV set into this rather jazzy front loader.

Articulated steering, a pendular rear axle, a working piston engine, and a mechanical boom/bucket all feature, and you can build TGBDZ’s alternate for yourself as instructions are available, with more to see at the Eurobricks forum. Hang up your chainsaw via the link above.

My Other Car’s a Camaro

How many models can the LEGO Icons 10304 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 make? Lots, according to Tomáš Novák, who has already appeared here with his Chevrolet C10 pick-up 10304 alternate, constructed within days of the set’s release.

Tomáš has now converted his C10 truck, itself converted from the 10304 set, into this lovely early Porsche 911, which features opening doors, engine cover and front trunk, working steering, and a rather natty two-tone stripe necessitated by the source parts of the 10304 set.

Building instructions are available and there’s more to see of Tomáš’ 10304 B-Model at both Eurobricks and Flickr.

How’d You Like Them Apples?

This gorgeous model is a 1965 DAF 1800 DS300 truck, built in incredible detail by p.vaderloo of Flickr. Photographed by fellow builder and previous bloggee Jaap Technic, p.vanderloo’s creation is one of the finest trucks we’ve featured here at The Lego Car Blog in ten years of publication, with its astonishing realism no doubt aided by close up access to the real 1965 truck.

Recreating every aspect of its life-size counterpart, p.vaderloo’s model replicates the livery, badging and even license plate, with a load of palleted apples on the twin-axle trailer completing the build. There are more stunning images to see at p.vaderloo’s ‘DAF 1800 DS300 1965’ album on Flickr, where you can see the model photographed alongside (and in) the beautiful original truck. Click the link above to take a bite.

Railroad Inspection

This is a Volvo PV 831, built from the end of the 1930s, through the ’40s and ’50s, primarily as a taxi. However this PV 831 has swapped one form of public transport for another, as there won’t be any fare-paying passengers sitting in its back seat.

Instead this PV 831 has been adapted to run on the rail tracks, in order to perform its job as an inspection vehicle for Sweden’s railways. Built by Flickr’s SvenJ, a third-party motor and bluetooth receiver bring the model to life, and there’s more to see at his ‘Volvo PV 831 Railroad Inspection Car’ album. Click the link above to inspect some Swedish tracks in the 1940s.