Not a Car

But a pair of Abt locomotives that are, well… beautiful. We thought Abt were a motorsport company specialising in Volkswagen Group products, but then we are a car blog after all. Sharing a name but otherwise totally unrelated are these Abt locos built for the Mount Lyell Mining Company’s narrow gauge railway on the Tasmanian West Coast. And they really are built for Tasmania’s West Coast, as builder Alexander (aka narrow_gauge) was commissioned to create these for The West Coast Wilderness Railway who now run the real restored locomotives. Custom decals, 3D printed valve gear and motors complete the realism, and there’s more to see at Alexander’s photostream via the link above (or at the The West Coast Wilderness Railway Museum).

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Creamsicle

Porsche and Volkswagen have history as long as the two companies’ existence. A shared dark past links the Beetle and the 911, the 1980s 924 was powered by a VW van engine, and more recently Volkswagen have bought Porsche outright, adding the brand to their ever-increasing and possibly slightly evil empire.

But before ‘dieselgate’, some of the largest fines and lawsuits in corporate history, and an ongoing criminal investigation, Volkswagen and Porsche collaborated to create something rather more charming than breathing difficulties and lung cancer. This is that collaboration, the slightly odd but utterly wonderful VW-Porsche 914/916.

Launched in 1969 the VW-Porsche 914 was produced until 1976, with 120,000 made during that run. A flat-4 engine powered the Volkswagen version, whilst it was joined by an optional flat-6 in the Porsche, giving the two ‘914/4’ and ‘914/6’ names depending upon the engine specified, with power ranging from 75 to 110bhp.

This gorgeous Technic recreation of the Porsche 914 comes from newcomer Wilbert Engels who has built the ’70s oddity beautifully in Lego form. Wilbert’s model includes working suspension, steering with Ackermann geometry, pop-up head-lights, a removable roof, adjustable seats, a gearbox, and a choice of both the flat-4 and flat-6 engines that powered the real cars.

There’s much more to see of Wilbert’s brilliant Porsche 914 at both his Flickr album and at the Eurobricks discussion forum, including a full gallery of images and build specifications.

Take a look via the links in the text above, and cross your fingers that Volkswagen and Porsche can return to making cars like this, rather than an ever expanding range of depressingly identikit SUVs.

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Pair of Old Grannies

We love Ford’s classic Granada. Once worthless banger fodder (and still banger fodder sadly), the Granada is slowly but surely becoming rather cool. There might not be any left by the time it does though, so if not here are two brilliant small-scale examples built by Mateusz Waldowski of Flickr. Mateusz’s brown station wagon has appeared on these pages before and has now been joined by the more common sedan variant, both superbly recreated in 6-wide form with the help of a few stickers/silver marker. Head to Mateusz’s Mk1 Ford Granada album via the link above to see all the images.

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Drop It Like It’s Hot

Crap. Sci-Fi. Well the proper Lego blogs will probably pick this up at some point, so you can read some actual descriptive text about this when they do. Until then, this is Rat Dude‘s ‘Red Morn One’ ‘drop shuttle’, with lots of quotation marks going on as we don’t know what any of that means. It is a lovely build though, and it’s micro-scale too, making it a rather chunky thing to boot. See more on Flickr via the link, or at the proper blogs when they find it.

*Today’s title track. You don’t get that at The Brothers Brick (although you do get professionalism).

“You Can Push it Across the Finish Line… Or You Could Tow it”

This car as a lot to answer for. Arriving as a wreck in the first ‘The Fast and the Furious’ movie, prompting Jesse’s quote above, Brian’s MkIV Supra Targa became one of the most famous cars on the planet. At least with fourteen year old keyboard warriors.

‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise has gone on, nine movies later and counting, to become Universal’s highest grossing franchise. With $15 billion in the bank and an untold number of terrible plot lines to continue (seriously, how many dead characters/bad guys are going to return/turn good and join the team?) it seems Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson will have a lot more cheques to cash yet.

The Supra meanwhile, took a (seventeen year) break, but now it’s back too (and has surely got to feature in the next movie?). The aforementioned fourteen year old keyboard warriors hate it, because it’s not the car from the first movie, but by all accounts the MkV Supra is actually bloody good.

Anyway, back to the first film – but far from the first Supra – and Brian’s modified MkIV, recreated here beautifully in Speed Champions-esque style by TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka, complete with the slightly silly livery made famous in the movie, an enormous wing, and whole heck of a bodykit.

There’s more of Simon’s Toyota Supra MkIV from ‘The Fast and the Furious’ to see at his photostream – click the link above to do a 1/4 mile in 10 seconds…

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Mars Corp.

The Mars Corporation is set to branch out a bit in the future, if Flickr’s BobDeQuatre is to believed. Currently makers of pet food, chewing gum, Uncle Ben’s rice, and… er, Mars bars, apparently the company will one day need an off-road buggy fitted with an enormous plasma rifle. Perhaps Pedigree Chum is going to get some more exotic ingredients…

Whatever its purpose, there’s more to see of Bob’s ‘Mars Corporation Escort Vehicle’ at his Flickr album. Click the link above to take a closer look – just don’t ask how your dog food is made.

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Tanker Truck Tribute

Last month we had the tremendously sad job of reporting the news that previous bloggee and legendary truck builder Ingmar Spijkhoven had lost his fight with motor neurone disease. This debilitating disease has no cure, with most sufferers living no more than 5 years from diagnosis. For Ingmar and the thousands of other sufferers there is – at the moment – only one outcome.

Ingmar was unable to visit Lego events towards the end, so his fellow Dutch builders decided to build tribute models to him for the Legoworld 2019 show, an idea he apparently loved.

One such tribute was built by fellow truck builder Bricksonwheels, who took one of Imgmar’s superb trailer designs and added a wonderful Peterbilt 389 truck, chroming each model beautifully and equipping the truck with Power Functions motors and SBrick bluetooth remote control.

Ingmar sadly died a week before the model was completed, but it will be shown at Legoworld alongside the other tributes to him in a dedicated area.

You can see more of Bricksonwheels’ stunning tanker truck tribute to one of the Lego Community’s greatest builders by clicking here, and you can help to change the inevitable outcome of motor neurone disease diagnosis by donating to the research that is underway to find cure.

ALS Association | MND Association

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Game of Bricks – Light Kit (42078 Mack Anthem) | Review

The Lego Fan Community is a marvellous thing. Like all the best products, LEGO has the scope – and the adaptability – to allow for improvement, with bluetooth remote control, custom decals, and even bespoke mini-figures available through third party providers to help builders to personalise their own creations and official sets.

One area that LEGO themselves dabble in is LED lights, with a pair available through their Power Functions range. But what if you want more? Like, lots more?

That’s where Game of Bricks come in, a new start-up offering tailored lighting kits for existing LEGO sets. The guys at GoB contacted us to see if we’d like an early test of a one of their kits, and a box for the huge 42078 LEGO Technic Mack Anthem set duly arrived here at TLCB Towers. So how did it fair? Read on to find out!

Packaging & Product

First impressions were excellent, with the Game of Bricks Mack Anthem kit arriving in a secure and rather nice box, with a mass of wires and lights neatly packaged within it. Unpackaging it undoes much of that neatness unfortunately, as a lot of lights means a lot of wires, but more on that in a bit.

The wires themselves are extraordinarily thin, so much so we feared breaking them, but it turns out they’re remarkably robust, and their slim profile allows them to (mostly) fit between bricks without issue. Attached to these are the lights themselves, each glued inside a non-Lego brick that replaces the non-functional light pieces on the model. These non-LEGO replacements are a good match, although their clutch power is slightly variable, and each has a hole drilled through it to allow the ultra-thin wires to pass through.

Power comes from a battery box (or two in the case of our kit) that takes AAA batteries and plugs into the wires via a USB connection. This makes disconnecting the battery boxes to change them an easy process, plus you can plug your lights into a USB port should you wish. So far, so good.

And then we got to the instructions… Continue reading

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Mod My Horse

It’s been a while since one of our the Elves found a ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ creation, but they’re now all happily watching it in their cage room giving us a few hours of peace.

Their reward comes courtesy of Flickr’s Kale Frost, who has recreated the double-decker Cadillac from the post-apocalyptic movie rather well in Lego form. He’s also done so by basing his design loosely (very loosely) on an existing set, uploading a video alongside his model that provides a few hints to how the process to turn a LEGO set into something else entirely can begin. As the No.1 question we receive here at TLCB is ‘How do I build this?…’ it could prove a useful watch for many readers.

Head to Kale’s photostream via the link above for more images, and if you’re yet to try building your own creations and are unsure of how to start, take a look at the video – it could be the beginnings a whole new building chapter…

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Rocket Bunnied NSX

When tuning companies take their hammers to supercars they usually get it very wrong (see here, here and here, and try not to be sick), but there is one exception; Rocket Bunny. Founded in Japan by Tops Racing Arts Kyoto, Rocket Bunny kits are produced in a humble little workshop, with careful attention to detail and a few of very ordinary cars parked outside – the very opposite of the flashy (and hideous) European tuners above. The results have become world-renowned, and there are few tuning brands cooler than Rocket Bunny anywhere right now.

This brilliant Lego recreation of a Rocket Bunnied Honda NSX comes from TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka, who has not only captured the brand’s signature look to near perfection, he’s made instructions available so that you can too. Head to Simon’s photostream via the link above for the full gallery and to find the all-important instructions link.

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Basic Blacktron

LEGO’s Classic Space themes have gotten increasingly kick-ass over the years as builders have become ever more ambitious (see here, here and here). Much as we love these elaborate and slightly terrifying builds, there’s something nice about seeing a classic theme built, well… classically.

Case in point; this Blacktron Scout is in all likelihood a pretty pointless machine (future mini-figures have conquered space but still need to drive around on the surface to find stuff?) providing no discernible use whatsoever, but it’s so harmlessly cool that we can’t help but like it. George and Anthony here are off on a journey across the planetary surface to look at rocks or something, whilst the on-board computer flashes lights and makes booping noises. It’s all so delightfully meaningless!

There’s more to see of this ‘Blacktron Scout’ courtesy of Krzysztof Cytaki of Flickr – click on the link to look at rocks or something whilst a computer flashes lights and makes booping noises.

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Coast Guard ‘Copter

This excellent Sikorsky HH-52 U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today. It comes from Robson M, features custom decals, folding rotors, a sliding side door and a hoist for rescuing drowning swimmers / apprehending Mexicans. See more of Robson’s top notch build at his photostream via the link above.

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Nissan Skyline R34 GTR | Picture Special

Is there a car more over-hyped by annoying children than the Toyota Supra? No. But this comes close. It is of course the Nissan Skyline GTR R34, a car made more famous than it already was by a certain once-quite-good-but-now-fudging-terrible movie franchise.

The R34 Skyline launched in 1998, lasting just a few short years into the early 2000s before the GT-R evolved to became a standalone model and Skylines went back to being fairly boring sedans. Power came from a twin-turbo straight-6 making ‘276’ bhp, which was sent to all four wheels via an immensely clever all-wheel-drive system, allowing the GT-R to slay far more expensive machinery at the track and turning average drivers into good ones overnight.

This spectacular Model Team replica of the late-’90s legend comes from TLCB Master MOCer and all-round car building genius Firas Abu-Jaber, who has not only recreated the GT-R R34 perfectly in its stock form but has also added the prerequisite tuning accessories that seem to accompany it, from big wings and bigger turbos to bodykits and NO2 canisters (if you think that should say ‘NOS’ go back to school).

There’s a whole lot more of Firas’s incredible Nissan Skyline GT-R to see at his Flickr album by clicking here, where a link to yes, instructions, can also be found, and a certain blue version from a once-quite-good-but-now-fudging-terrible movie franchise is also due to appear…

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Tired of Title Puns

It’s been a bikey sort of day here at The Lego ‘Car’ Blog. Here’s today’s second two-wheeled creation, and not only is it not a car, it breaks one of our presentation criteria“Pictures say a thousand words: So take yours well. Clean, contrasting backgrounds are easy to do and make a world of difference. Even the most impressive of creations will not feature on The Lego Car Blog unless the pictures are in focus, well lit and exclude any clutter from shot”. But rules were meant to be bent a bit, especially if the bending looks as good as this.

This beautiful ‘DDR Customs Scrambler’ comes from Flickr’s VR workshop who has chosen to use the soft focus from one of your Dad’s favourite movies, dim lighting, and the sidewall of a tyre as a backdrop to their model, and the results are… well, awesome. There’s more to see of VR workshop’s superbly presented motorcycle at their photostream – take a closer look via the link above.

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Indian Summer

This beautiful motorcycle is a JAWA 350, built by the historic bike company founded in Czechoslovakia in way back in 1929. After the Second World War JAWA became one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers of the time (even inventing the automatic centrifugal clutch that Honda copied for its world-conquering Cub), exporting their bikes to over 120 countries by the 1950s. India was one such country, where JAWA motorcycles quickly gaining a cult following the bike-loving country.

Gradually JAWA’s home markets shrank, but the brand lives on in India where it was bought by Mahindra and continues to produce its classic designs to this day. This gorgeous recreation of the marque’s most famous product comes from Flickr’s _spacehopper_ who has recreated the iconic motorcycle in wonderful detail, mixing both Technic and Model Team techniques to great effect. There’s lots more to see of _spacehopper_’s brilliant model at his JAWA 350 album on Flickr – click the link above to go for a ride.

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