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Carl Greatrix

 Lego Caterham Seven

Welcome to the second interview in season 2 of our Master MOCer series, and to a builder who has seen his creations appear here at TLCB several times over the years. Carl’s exceptionally realistic models have long delighted the online community, and they’ve now reached the attention of The LEGO Group too.

Yup, Carl has reached the holy grail of Lego-building, as one of his designs has recently become an official LEGO set! Thanks to 10,000 votes via the LEGO Ideas platform, Carl’s magnificent Seven has gone from images on Flickr to boxes in stores! Over to Carl to explain how he got there…

Hello TLCB Readers!

My name is Carl Greatrix, I’m a member of the Brickish Association (U.K. LUG), I’m also the Senior LEGO Model Designer for TT Games / Warner Bros (for the official LEGO video games) and I now have my own LEGO Ideas set produced, the Caterham Seven 620R – 21307.

Lego Caterham Seven Set

What car do you drive in real life, and what would you like it to be (and who would be in the passenger seat)?
I currently own a BMW 4 series GranCoupe with many AC Schnitzer parts / modifications (we like! Ed). I’m a die hard petrol-head and have owned 3x BMW M3’s for the duration of 10+ years within my driving life.

I’d like (and have a brand new one on order as I type this ), an AMG Mercedes C43 Coupe (we like even more! Ed). I was looking at the AMG C63 and BMW M4 Competition Pack, test drove them all, but found the AMG C43 to be the sweet spot for me (it wont drink as much fuel!!)

My ideal passenger would obviously be my partner! I have to say that if she’s reading this,…if shes not, then someone like Tim Harrvey, as back when I used to go out on track, Tim impressed me the most when I went out with him, in his car control in the wet when he was racing touring cars.

If you were a LEGO brick, which type would you be and why?
What a strange question! Creatively thinking I’d have to say a rubber hose, as I’m flexible to design briefs, time and the way I look at things to get a model built within deadline. Un-creatively thinking, I’d be a headlight brick, as its the part I find so many uses with and use so much.

Lego Caterham 7

What was your first ever LEGO set, and which is your favourite LEGO set or theme?
A general mixed building set when I was 3, back in 1971. My favourite for so many reasons was the first 12v passenger train set 7740. I still have it now.

How and why did you get started in the online Lego Community?
This is an interesting one for me. When I first got back into building, I scoured Brickshelf for weeks on end to find inspiration…..what I found was that even some quite poor models, could have some “golden nuggets” of design / build techniques / part usage mixed into them.

Lego Daimler Ferret Scout Car

So I started uploading my models onto there to try and put more choices into the mix, it wasnt because I thought mine were good, it was more to just add to the creative fold (take into account this was back when the internet had only been around a few years!)

I started using Lugnet and found people were actually linking and showcasing some of my work, so I got on board with that and started posting myself, to get feedback, etc.

This led to being invited to join Brickish… I actually never saw the point of joing the club so never bothered for 3 – 5 years. I eventually joined up and it was a fantastic choice to do so. Brickish has a wealth of REALLY great builders, so to be able to talk to them more and get to know them at shows, 10 years on I have made some of the best friends I ever known through this club, and the building standards grow each year to really stupidly high standards.

Lego Caterham Seven

What’s your favourite creation to date, either yours and/or someone else’s?
I pour so much passion into design / building that every model I do is my favourite at the time of building…..that also goes with every work model I produce.

On reflection I do have some real favourites for many different reasons, so the Phantom jet, Harrier, Gazelle helicopter, Caterham 7, and Deltic train would be my personal choices.

Lego Harrier Jet

As for other builds from fans, James Cherry’s large scale Phantom is pretty much top of my list although he’s sent me photos of his large scale Tomcat during its creation, so that may switch when I see the final result 😉 He is also an insanely nice guy.

How do you start a build, and what make your designs unique to you? 
Quite simply the most difficult shaping part first, if you can crack that then usually the rest flows from there, although other sections that you did not think would be as problematic, can often become more difficult than what you started with!

Bury your head in the sand is the best option, just go “la, la, la, the rest will be easy”… then attack it when it becomes a huge problem to the best of your ability! 😉

What makes my designs unique?… hmm… possibly being alerted to the amount of details you can cram into a plastic model kit from say Tamiya, back when I was 6 or 7. Those things really struck a chord with me.

Lego Caterham Seven

Throughout my life I’ve been between semi-pro model making and LEGO building, so the details I see in plastic or even die-cast models, I naturally expect to try and get into my LEGO models.

I also love to try and get my LEGO models to not look like they are built from LEGO from a distance, as I love watching the public’s reaction when they walk up to them and start to realise that they ARE built from LEGO.

Everyone has their own personal style and preference when it comes to design language, but this is mine. It’s an alternative to open peoples eyes a little wider as to the great potential this medium has, whichever direction you personally wish to take it.

I have to design models within our games much differently, so they have a lot of LEGO identity, otherwise if I use my personal style, the models just look like 3d models in game and not LEGO models. I’ve learnt to have two design heads / thought processes.

What’s coming next?
Who knows? I’m strongly led by passion and inspiration, so whatever starts tickling me the most! It’s hard to explain, I have plans for models that I want to do, but if something starts raising its head and piquing my interest when I’m searching for reference photos of what I’ve planned to build, that pique starts to override my plans. Thats how the Caterham 7 got built and the Gazelle….well, infact most of my models!

I keep saying I want to do a minifig scale Space Jockey ship from the Alien film, with detailed interior. I can see it built in my mind and think I could really do it justice, but I certainly do not currently have the amount of parts required and it would be a mamoth task in terms of time….so who knows? I need to get my Gazelle and Slave 1 finished first!

Where will you put your TLCB Master MOCers trophy? 
It’s imaginary??!… I can think of a place to put it, that’s not imaginary, right up your……… 😉

Lego Caterham Seven Set

 

We’d like to say a big thank you to Carl for joining us here at The Lego Car Blog, and we wish him all the best with his official Caterham Seven LEGO set, which is available to buy now! You can see all of Carl’s builds, including the evolution of his Caterham Seven design, via his Flickr photostream.

21307 Caterham Seven 620R Review

Lego 21307 Caterham Seven Review

The Lego Car Blog Review My Set Competition is nearly at an end, but we’ve just got time to squeeze a few more of your Set Reviews in before the competition closes in December. MOCpages’ Marco. qm joins us today with the set that everyone’s talking about, fresh from the LEGO Ideas platform and designed by TLCB Master MOCer Carl Greatrix, it’s the magnificent Caterham 7 620R…

The LEGO Company are known for making strong and resistant sets. Lego Fans are experts in making good-looking cars. When they get together, great things can happen. Things like a LEGO Ideas project that achieved the magical number of 10,000 supporters to gain approval to become an official LEGO set, which in in this case is the Caterham Seven 620R by Carl Greatrix.

Two years ago, on December 2014, Carl’s Seven started its journey on LEGO Ideas, by May 2015 it reached 10,000 votes and finally in March of this year Carl’s design was approved for production as an official LEGO set.

Now let’s talk about the product, the $79.00 brick-built Caterham, or as the builder called it ‘the kit of a kit car’. Although officially licensed by Caterham, 21307 is not a particularly expensive set; it’s $20 cheaper than LEGO’s previous Creator Expert sets and it comes in a nice black box with wider cardboard usual, something that I think is a nice detail.

Upon opening it, you’ll find one instructions book and seven bags of bricks, with the typical larger 1, 2 and 3 numbered bags, plus some smaller bags with the same numbers on them.

Lego 21307 Caterham 7 Review

The moment you start building it you notice how cleverly designed the 21307 set is, with a very rigid chassis and a nicely detailed exterior, it’s a builder’s dream. Upon finishing the first part of the build you’ll already have a strong chassis and the rear fenders completed.

Next you open the bags labeled with a 2 and build the second stage of the car, in which you construct the engine, the seats, the front wheel arches (which by the way are very well designed!) and the exhaust. Basically all you’re missing after this is the nose cone, the hood, the trunk and the wheels. Continue reading

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From Flickr to Stores…

Lego Caterham Seven Set

Master MOCers is back!… And Episode 2 is blurring the lines between itself and the Become a Pro series more than ever before. Today’s interviewee could well fit into either category, but as recipients of the Master MOCers award are rumoured to receive a priceless trophy, he thought this series best.

Carl Greatrix has appeared here several times over the years, most recently with the evolution of his stunning Caterham Seven model. Thanks to the LEGO Ideas platform that model has now become a real LEGO set, officially licensed by Caterham themselves, and is available to buy today! From the pages of Flickr to the shelves of stores, Carl has made his Lego dream happen. Find out how via the link below…

Master MOCers, Series 2, Episode 2

Carl Greatrix

Hello TLCB Readers! My name is Carl Greatrix, I’m a member of the Brickish Association (U.K. LUG), I’m also the Senior LEGO Model Designer for TT Games / Warner Bros (for the official LEGO video games), and I now have my own LEGO Ideas set produced, the Caterham Seven 620R – 21307. Continue reading…

Lego Caterham Seven Set

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Lego Caterham Seven 620R – 21307 Set Preview

Lego 21307 Caterham Seven Review

It’s finally here! After sending a crack team of commando Elves into The LEGO Company headquarters we are delighted to reveal the latest release from LEGO’s Ideas programme, the officially-licensed 21307 Caterham Seven 620R!

Designed by Carl Greatrix, and first featured here over 2 years ago, the design was picked up and backed by Caterham themselves, and in March of this year we revealed it had been chosen as the next official fan-designed LEGO set.

Joining the authorised sets from Ferrari, Ford, McLaren, Porsche, Mini, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and others, LEGO’s latest real-world replica looks every bit as good as we hoped it would.

Aimed at ages 12+ we’re expecting around 700 pieces from the set when it goes on sale later in the year, and it’s one set we can’t wait to review! Congratulations to Carl, who has seen his design go from a usual Flickr upload to an official LEGO set, and we’ll bring you more news on 21307 later in 2016!

Lego 21307 Caterham 7 Review

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Support-a-Porsche

Lego Porsche 911 GT3

With LEGO recently announcing the success of Carl Greatrix’s Caterham Seven Ideas project we’re feeling confident about the prospect of Malte Dorowski’s Porsche 911 GT3 RS reaching the 10,000 supporter mark that enables an official LEGO review. Malte recently released an updated version of his beautiful 911 replica and you can see more of the build – and vote for it to become an official LEGO set – by visiting his Flickr photostream here.

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Kit Car

Lego Caterham 7 Set

Carl Greatrix’s incredible replicas of the Caterham Super Seven have featured here at TLCB several times in the last year (here, here, here and here), as we’ve supported the LEGO Ideas campaign to turn his model into an official LEGO set.

Well Carl’s hard work has paid off, as over 10,000 of you got behind the project to take it to the next stage of the review process, and LEGO have just announced that the Caterham Super Seven will become the next official LEGO set created via the Ideas platform.

Lego Ideas

We’re super excited about getting our hands on a Super Seven, and this also means that LEGO can add Caterham to their ever expanding list of official manufacturer sets, alongside Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Volvo.

You can read LEGO’s press release announcing the new Caterham Super Seven set via LEGO Ideas here,  or via the video below, and a super congratulations to Carl from all of us here at TLCB!

YouTube Video:

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7UP

Lego Super Seven

Carl Greatrix continues his run of Caterham Seven’s with this R300 racing version. Carl’s hoping his design will become an official LEGO set (and we are too) – click the link above to make it happen!

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The Magnificent Seven Rides Again

Lego Caterham 7 R500

After featuring Carl Greatrix‘s Model Team Caterham 7 last month he’s boshed out another version. This time it’s the R500 and it looks better than ever.

Carl’s hoping his design will become an official set via the LEGO Ideas programme. He’s nearly half way to securing enough votes, so if you’d like to build your own Seven click the link above and give him your vote. It of course depends on Caterham playing ball with their licensing, but even if they say no there are another dozen or so little British companies making almost exactly the same car to choose from!

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Kit Car Kit

Lego Caterham 7 620R

Despite the complete debacle that is the ‘Caterham’ Formula 1 team, we still quite like the company that makes their road cars (they’ve got nothing to do with the F1 outfit anyway). Unfortunately though Caterhams are surprisingly pricey cars. Of course you can save a few quid by building one yourself, but then you’d have no friends, and you’d talk about spanners in your sleep for months.

Luckily Carl Greatrix has the answer! After refining his previously featured Caterham Super 7 design you can now vote for it to become an official LEGO set through the LEGO Ideas platform. It’s not just any 7 either, but the ridiculous 620R version.

Visit Carl’s Flickr page for details, and if he secures enough votes you might be able to build your own Caterham 7 at home, and keep your friends!

Lego Model Team Caterham 7

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Seventies’ Speed

Lego Brabham BT44B Formula 1

This particular TLCB writer wasn’t alive in the 1970s, however from what he’s seen of the era on TV everything seemed to be square and of a nasty beige-y brown hue. Everything that is, apart from Formula 1.

Carl Greatrix makes his third appearance of the month here at TLCB with his final incredible 1970s’ Formula 1 racer; the brilliant 1975 Brabham BT44B. Designed by Gordon Murray (who would later go on to design the McLaren F1 road car) and powered by the legendary Ford-Cosworth DVF engine, the BT44 won 5 races taking third in the manufacturer’s championship in 1975.

Brabham also secured sponsorship from perhaps the greatest racing liveried company of all time. There was no beige or brown in Martini’s paintbox, and it’s a scheme that still looks superb 40 years on – as proven by the wonderful current Williams Formula 1 car.

To see more of Carl’s beautiful Brabham, and the two classic racing cars that preceded it, take a trip back in time via his photostream here – we’ll see you there!

Lego Classic Formula 1 cars

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Flat Twelve

Lego Ferrari 312T4 1979 Formula 1

Carl Greatrix makes his second appearance in as many days here at TLCB with another unbelievable classic Formula 1 car. This time the prancing horse is Carl’s subject matter, and he’s recreated their gorgeous 1979 312T4 beautifully.

Underneath the perfect bodywork lives a chassis of jaw-dropping detail, including the famous flat 12 Ferrari engine, the last before Scuderia Ferrari finally got with the times and built a turbocharged unit to challenge Renault.

Lego Ferrari F1 chassis

Although the 312 was still a race winner in its ‘T4’ configuration in 1979, by the following year its outdated flat 12 engine relegated it to very un-Ferrari like positions. An entirely new car was conceived for 1981 which had half the cylinders, but it also had a turbo… and by 1982 Ferrari were the Formula 1 constructors champions again.

Lego 1979 Ferrari and Renault Formula 1

Carl’s Ferrari 312T4 is pictured here alongside his previously featured Renault RE20, and it’s one of our favourite photos of 2014. It also makes us wish that modern Formula 1 allowed some innovation and a variety of engineering approaches, as was the case until the modern era. We think it’d be much more exciting to watch cars as different as these two racing against one another. If only TLCB ran Formula 1…

To see more of this historic Ferrari – and Carl’s other incredible creations – take a trip to Flickr by clicking here.

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Turbo!

Lego Renault RE20 Turbo Formula 1

Formula 1 might finally have got with the times and moved to turbo-charged engines, but it’s not actually the first time forced-induction has been used in Formula 1 racing.

Turbo-charging first appeared in F1 as early as the 1970s (and forced induction in the form of super-charging featured in Grand Prix racing earlier even than Word War 2 – think about that when you next brag about your turbo!). This particular car was one of the best of that first Turbo Era; the astonishing Renault RE20.

Built by Carl Greatrix, this Model Team recreation of the late ’70s Renault is one of the most beautifully engineered Lego creations we’ve seen this year, and not just on the outside. Underneath the perfectly replicated bodywork sits one of the finest chassis and engines ever constructed from the humble brick. The extra photo below gives you an idea, but you really need to head over to Flickr to see just how good this creation is. You can visit Carl’s photostream here – it’s worth the click!

Lego Renault Turbo 1979 Formula 1

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Super Sevens

Lego Caterham Super 7

Originally designed and produced by Lotus, the remarkable Super 7 has been in production for well over half a century. Caterham Cars bought the rights to the design in the mid-’70s and it’s been the mainstay of their business ever since.

A wonderfully simple car in real life, the Super 7 is actually fiendishly difficult to recreate from Lego; just working out how to let the front wings turn with the wheels gives us a headache. Carl Greatrix wasn’t phased though, and he’s recreated the British icon with such attention to detail it’s quite possible his models are of higher quality than many real Sevens built by Caterham customers.

Much as we enjoy building things we think we’d leave the construction of a real Seven to the guys in the Caterham factory. Likewise we’re fairly sure that the quality of Carl’s builds will take some beating. See just how good his pair of Super 7s are by clicking the link to Flickr above.

Lego Caterham Seven

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