Storm Chaser

Lego International Workstar 7500 DOW Truck

This is an International Workstar 7500 Series, and like this week’s earlier 007 set reveal, it includes some rather interesting modifications…

Despite looking like something your Mom might use, the items mounted on the rear of the truck actually belong to the Centre for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) based in Boulder, Colorado. This truck is a storm chaser.

Lego International Workstar 7500 DOW Truck

Known as ‘Dopplers on Wheels’ these trucks are some of the very few vehicles that can get inside storm cell at ground level, all whilst carrying X-band radar and an on-board mobile weather station. The doppler radar enables meteorologists to read internal storm wind-speeds, track storm movement, measure rotation (to identify tornado risk), and conduct other nerdy weather-related stuff.

Lego International Workstar 7500 DOW Truck

This excellent recreation of one of CSWR’s storm chasing trucks comes from sponki25 of Flickr, who has included a brick-built radar unit, extendable stabilisers, mobile weather station, and what looks like a TV aerial on a long stick. There’s much more to see at both Flickr and MOCpages – click the links to chase the storm.

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LEGO Creator 10262 Aston Martin DB5 ‘Goldfinger’ | Set Preview

Lego 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5

“We’ve installed some rather interesting modifications…” Q-Branch certainly had, and in doing so created probably the most famous movie car of all time, James Bond’s wonderful 1964 Aston Martin DB5 ‘Goldfinger’.

After months of teasing LEGO have finally revealed their newest addition to the Creator line, following the Routemaster Bus, Mini Cooper, Volkswagen Camper and others. Constructed from 1,295 pieces, the band new 10262 Aston Martin DB5 set is officially licensed by both Aston Martin and the James Bond franchise, measures around 30cm long, and yes, it includes those rather interesting modifications!

Lego 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5

The 10262 Aston Martin DB5 model continues the detailed exterior focus set by its Creator Expert predecessors and features a few special elements to help achieve the visual realism required, including some new printed tiles and excellent wire wheels – which we’re sure are going to pop up on MOCs all over the place following the set’s release later this year.

Under the hood is a replicated straight-6 engine, there’s a faithfully recreated interior, and the doors and trunk open too. But of course, those aren’t the best features…

James Bond’s essential options start with rotating license plates for dodging speed cameras, a hidden telephone in the door, and a bullet shield, which raises from the trunk lid as per the real car. If 007 is the one firing the bullets a quick pull on the gear lever deploys the front wing mounted machine guns, which as per Q’s invention are hidden beautifully behind the indicator lights. Next those neat wire wheels can become rather more pointy, as tyre slashers extend to dispose of any unfortunate henchmen sent in pursuit.

Finally of course there’s Q’s finest work, fitted to the DB5 principally for removing a henchman that has entered the car, but also useful for expelling irritating friends, side-seat drivers, and nagging spouses. Pull the rear bumper and the DB5’s famous passenger ejector seat fires into action, sliding the roof neatly back as it does so.

Lego 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5

The beauty of LEGO’s newest Creator set is that – just like Bond’s actual car – all of those goodies are completely hidden inside the body, which shows not a hint of the deviousness within. That makes this probably the most playable Creator set yet and the perfect motoring icon to recreate in LEGO form.

The 10262 Aston Martin DB5 set is aimed at ages 16+ (which highlights the complexity within it) and is expected to cost around $150/£130 when it goes on sale on August 1st. It’s going to be a hit.

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My Other Car’s a McLaren

Lego Technic McLaren 570S

The average Bugatti owner has at least another fifty cars at his or her disposal. That means there’s a good chance they own one of these too, McLaren’s brilliant 570S. Well now – if you’re a LEGO Bugatti owner – you can too, because previous bloggee Lachlan Cameron has created this stunning McLaren 570S Spider purely from the parts found within the 42083 Technic Bugatti Chiron set.

Lego Technic McLaren 570S

Built in collaboration with two other previous bloggees, Lachlan’s 42083 B-Model features an 8-speed gearbox with neutral and reverse, a V8 engine, working steering, suspension, LED lights, plus opening doors, hood and engine cover. There’s much more to see of Lachlan’s amazing Spider at the Eurobricks forum, and you can see all the images at the Flickr album by clicking here.

Lego 42083 Bugatti B-Model McLaren 570S

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Monaco 1929

Lego Monaco 1929

Monaco might be thoroughly unsuited to modern Formula 1 cars, with F1 bosses only keeping today’s slow procession on the calendar for nostalgia, but there was a time when the winding street circuit was the greatest place to race on earth.

Flickr’s Pixeljunkie takes us right back to the very first Grand Prix race held in the principality with this wonderful scene depicting the 1929 event. Navigating the Station Hairpin (as it was then known) are several superb vintage racing cars, including Pixel’s previously featured Bugatti Type 37A, whilst a series of bystanders take a very 1920s approach to Health & Safety. Join the race at Pixeljunkie’s photostream.

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Slowly Smushing

Lego Technic RC Dakar Truck

It’s been a while since the last episode of Elf-on-Elf violence (even Elven behaviour during this year’s FIFA World Cup even proved uneventful, unlike the last one), however today we’re back to earth with a bump, thanks to this (admittedly incredible) fully remote controlled Dakar rally truck by Lucio Switch.

Driven by four XL motors with a Servo for steering, plus live-axle suspension, pneumatically controlled differential locks powered by an on-board compressor, LED lights and SBrick bluetooth control, Lucio’s Dakar truck is an engineering masterpiece. All of that lot makes it supremely capable off-road, where it can slowly climb over almost anything. Elves included.

Lego Technic RC Dakar Truck

As is the way with heavy remote control Technic models Lucio’s truck is pretty slow, and certainly no match for a fleeing Elf. But if a trap of sticky-side-up parcel tape has been laid by one of the little scumbags, the truck’s slow speed (but massive weight) are – if anything – advantageous to a good smushing.

So cunning was this inventive new use for sticky tape that we almost respect the Elf that did it. Almost. Because not only did we have to collect some thoroughly smushed Elves, they had to be pulled off the parcel tape too, which was not appreciated by them one bit.

We’re now going to look into a more secure stationary storage solution whilst you can check out all of the superb images of Lucio’s amazing creation on Flickr, plus you can join the discussion and watch the truck in action via the Eurobricks forum.

Lego Technic RC Dakar Truck

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M-Tronorail

Lego M-Tron Monorail

Those no-good space pirates Blacktron are at it again. The harmless magnet-collectors of M-Tron have built themselves a monorail, full of some delicious space fuel as yet undiscovered by science. Yet no sooner have they loaded up than those sneaky Blacktron reprobates begin a cunning space siphon of the liquid goodness. Maybe it’s beer? Whatever it is you can see more of the heist courtesy of Kalais of Flickr – click the link to take a look!

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Call out the Instigators

Lego Hover Forklift

Because there’s something in the air.
It’s got no wheels but a forklift.
And a mini-fig in the chair, and you know it’s right.

We’ve butchered one of the greatest classics of music there, but no matter – because what a neat creation we’ve done it with! Built by TLCB regular de-marco this hover forklift and hover loading bay work a treat, and we hope this combo foretells of more hovery creations to come. The revolution’s here.

Lego Hover Forklift

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Matra MS80

Lego Matra MS80 Forumla 1

Matra may not a be a manufacturer familiar to many of you, but if so they’re one of the greatest companies you’ve never heard of.

Founded in the 1960s Matra have made everything from sports cars to air-to-air missiles, including probably the world’s first crossover and the world’s first MPV (albeit for Renault). However it’s their racing subsidiary, Equipe Matra Sports, that we’re most interested in here.

Equipe Matra Sports produced racing cars for an almost immeasurable number of categories, winning Le Mans three times, five Formula 2 Championships, and both the Drivers and Constructors Formula 1 World Championships in 1969, making them the only team besides Ferrari to win the Championship with a car not built in Britain.

This is that car, the gorgeous Matra MS80, powered by the ubiquitous Ford-Cosworth DFV V8 and run by Ken Tyrrell before he started his own team. In the hands of Jackie Stewart the MS80 won five of the ten races it entered in the ’69 season, winning the Championship by a huge margin, despite the fact that every other race winner that year used the same engine.

This fabulous Model Team replica of the Matra MS80 comes from classic racer extraordinaire Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC, with a superbly-replicated Cosworth DFV engine, working steering and suspension, and some ace period-correct decals. There’s more to see of Luca’s brilliant Matra MS80 on Flickr via the link above, plus you can read our interview with the builder as part of the Master MOCers Series by clicking here.

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Black Cherry

Lego Classic Pick-Up Truck

Another day, another Elf returns, and another meal token is distributed. Flickr’s jarekwally is the builder of today’s find, with this mildly-rodded classic pick-up truck. Suicide doors, a chequered interior, and the lowest wheel-arch clearance we’ve ever seen all feature, and there’s more to see via the link above.

Lego Classic Pick-Up Truck

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Master Model Builder Wanted!

Legoland Discovery Centre

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to get paid to build with LEGO? If so we have some exciting news; The Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester UK are looking for a full-time Master Model Builder! Only twenty-four such roles exist in the world (less than a fifth of the amount of trained astronauts!) and you could become a member of this exclusive group.

For details on how to apply visit the Manchester Legoland Discovery Centre recruitment page, and if you get an interview please let us know!

Apply Here!

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Brick Insights | The LEGO Review Aggregator

Brick Insights

Here at The Lego Car Blog our Set Review Library, where almost a hundred LEGO sets and related products have been reviewed by our, cough… ‘experts’, plus a few readers too, is easily the most popular area of the whole site.

Despite an inconsistent scoring methodology, and with some very probably written drunk, the value of the Library proves how important reviews now are. From holidays and restaurants to electronics and sports, there’s probably nothing you wouldn’t buy without checking out the reviews first, and that of course includes LEGO.

But should you trust what we write? Not a chance! Well, not on our own at least. That’s where Review Aggregators come in, pulling reviews from multiple sources to give a far more balanced overall score. The most famous of these is probably the Rotten Tomatoes movie review aggregator, a gem of a tool to peruse before you spend your hard-earned on a movie ticket.

But what if you could do the same for LEGO sets? Well now, thanks to the chap pictured below, you can!

Brick Insights

This is Linus, and we like him already. Clearly anyone who can fall asleep upside-down in a pile of LEGO is one to watch. And so it’s turned out, as Linus has created very probably the most important LEGO-related website of the past decade. Over to the man himself to explain all…

It’s been a while since this picture was taken. I had moved around a lot, gotten married, and we were pregnant with our son, so adulting made LEGO hard to prioritise. I really wanted something to build to relax and fill the time, so I went to the store and browsed the LEGO aisle. And felt really, really lost. Since I was in a grey age I hadn’t followed the latest releases, and I had a hard time figuring out what to buy. I went home, explored a few different parameters that might be important when buying a set, and built a mockup. In my head I called it ‘shouldibuythisset.com’. Not that catchy – really glad I changed the name.

I figured that the easiest MVP I could build while still being useful, is to gather reviews for all of the sets. This way I could figure out what other people thought about the set, and if I knew I trusted one reviewer more than the other, I could pay extra attention to that person.

It all went from there. Eight months later and we’ve got a site that automatically picks up new reviews from qualified reviewers (like TLCB!), calculates average scores for each set, compares them per year and all time, and does other cool calculations too! The long term goal of the site is to help people like me figure out if a set is worth the money. After building my simple prototype I went back to the store and purchased the Ninjago Katana, a set I wouldn’t have looked twice at otherwise. It’s a cool set and I’m glad I picked it up. That’s what I hope the site can do more and more as I continue working on it.

Brick Insights Claas Xerion 5000 Review

We’ve had an early play around on Brick Insights and we’ve come away incredibly impressed. Not only does the site work an absolute treat, making set reviews easy to find, easy to read, searchable by year, by reviewer, and with some deliciously nerdy stats, the site itself looks beautiful. By comparison TLCB looks like it was shoddily cobbled together by a bunch of amateurs.*

Above is the Brick Insights 42054 Technic Claas Xerion 5000 page as an example, with an aggregated score of 94/100 from nine review sources (of which we’re one), and comparisons to the averages across the range and the year in which the set was released. Each of the reviews listed is hyperlinked to the source site, and each reviewer has a page too with their own averages, number of reviews and scoring distribution (we learned that we have 99 reviews, 71% of which are scored, and that our average score is 7.8/10).

Brick Insights LEGO Reviews

Brick Insights‘ graphics, animations and navigation are top-notch, and each new review uploaded by their chosen sources will be automatically added to the relevant set and reviewer pages, changing the relevant statistics too. You can find The Lego Car Blog’s Brick Insights page by clicking here, and we hugely recommend taking some time to explore the site – it’s going to be worth its weight in bricks.

Brick Insights

*Which it was.

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Side Strakes

Lego Technic Ferrari Testa Rossa

Some cars are remembered for having one defining feature. The Austin Allegro’s square steering wheel for example, or the Tyrrell P34‘s extra wheels, the ’63 Corvette Stingray‘s amazing rear windows, or even the FSO Polonez‘s universal crapness.

The mid-’80s to mid-’90s Ferrari Testarossa was another such car, and you can probably guess what its defining feature was from these images.

Jeroen Ottens has built the Testarossa’s unique side strakes – along with the rest of the car – as a commissioned piece, and an incredible job he’s done too. Those amazing strakes are built from stacked Ninjago blades, capturing the Testarossa’s stand-out design feature brilliantly.

The beauty of Jeroen’s build isn’t just on the outside either, as underneath the superbly replicated body is a flat-12 engine, 5+R gearbox, all-wheel independent suspension, working steering with Ackermann geometry, pop-up headlights, adjustable seats, and opening doors, hood and engine cover.

There’s much more to see of Jeroen’s stunning Technic Ferrari Testarossa supercar on both Flickr and Eurobricks – click the links to see all the images and to read Jeroen’s details on the build.

Lego Technic Ferrari Testa Rossa

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Umm…

Lego UMM Alter 4x4

This is an UMM Alter II, and it’s surely one of the ugliest vehicles ever made. Based on a design bought from France and powered (mostly) by Peugeot engines, the UMM was built in Portugal from the mid-’80s until the mid-’90s mainly for military and utilities use, and it found around 10,000 buyers around the Mediterranean during its production run. A capable off-roader, there’s actually an avid following of the UMM amongst 4×4 enthusiasts despite it looks, so this marvellous mini-figure scale recreation by Flickr’s Pixel Fox is sure to please. Head over to Flickr via the link to see more.

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Two Rats

Lego Rat Rods

Previous bloggee Versteinert MOC has earned one of our Elves two meal tokens in one go today, as it returned to TLCB Towers with both of these neat Town-scale rat rods. Will it save a meal for another day or binge on both in one go? I think we can all guess the answer. See more of each creation at the link above.

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Got Your Number

Lego DAF FT 85.360 ATI Truck

Apart from a certain McLaren, the creation in this post has probably the most uninspiring vehicular name of all time. The DAF FT 85.360 ATI sounds like a mobile phone specification, but we suppose at the end of the day it is simply a tool for pulling things.

This top quality Model Team recreation of the ’90s DAF truck comes from DAF-building specialist Arian Janssens of Flickr, and he’s built a 24 ton animal feed tanker to go with it. Both are spectacularly well detailed builds and you can see more of each at Arian’s snappily titled DAF FT 85.360 ATI Flickr album via the link above.

Lego DAF FT 85.360 ATI Truck

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