Author Archives: thelegocarblogger

Hellraiser

Purple is an interesting colour. It’s the best sweet in a box of Quality Street (that reference might not translate very well), the hue of a popular children’s TV dinosaur that – frankly – should stop bloody singing and just eat the children, and – more nerdily – it means you’ve set the fastest sector in a motor race. Despite these associations however, purple is not a popular choice for cars.

In the late ’00s Dodge changed that somewhat, with the arrival of their reborn Challenger, that not only brought the iconic muscle car back, it returned the gloriously-named ‘Hellraisin Purple’ to forecourts after about forty years.

Recreating the reincarnated Challenger, and the only colour you should consider owning a Challenger in, is Michael217, who has constructed this ace fully RC Model Team version of Dodge’s 00’s muscle car.

Remote control drive and steering, front and rear suspension, opening doors, hood, trunk and sunroof, and a whole lot of purple bricks make this a model worth a closer look, and you can do just that at both Eurobricks and Bricksafe. Click the links to raise some hell.

*Today’s title song. Of course.

Low n’ Long

Airport trucks always look kinda weird, what with their cabs being mounted ahead of the front wheels to enable them to pass underneath aircraft wings.

This DAF 3300 FTT with a ‘sleeping cab’ deploys the same design, in this case to enable it to take on very long loads indeed. Just like your Mom.

The dropped cab of Arian Janssens‘ creation allows the loooong boom of his mobile crane to sit above it, and there’s more to see of his low n’ long DAF, plus the trailer and tracked crane in tow, on Flickr via the link.

How Are the Ads?

Nine months ago our benevolent overlords here at The Lego Car Blog ceased support for our ancient site structure. This meant, after years of procrastination writing ‘Your Mom’ jokes and Googling pictures of Rachel Weisz, that we had to actually do some work. And that doesn’t come naturally to us.

Somehow the site remained functioning as we transferred it to its new structure, and – for the first time in TLCB’s history – we also broadened the advertising spaces beyond WordPress’s own platform.

This means – unless you have some fancy ad-blocker – that there will probably be an ad to the right of this text. Perhaps one above it. And maybe even one in the middle too.

These ads will vary depending upon where you live, the sites you’ve visited, and your demographic, and seem to encompass everything from clickbait ‘news’ to luxury cars, via toys, clothing, houses, holidays, tv subscriptions, and tech.

Of course the increase in the number of ads shown here is generating a corresponding increase in revenue, and is something we’ve stressed about doing for some time.

We know we’re very lucky to have a platform like this to a) write ‘inane blather‘ (our favourite comment from a disgruntled reader so far), and b) that such a privilege should ideally be used for good. And ‘Your Mom’ jokes.

Thus the advertising revenue brought in by the colourful boxes dotted around this site is donated to those who need it more than we do, so we really are keen for them to stay. But only if that’s OK with you, our readers.

So nine months in, if the ads are an issue, please let us know. If not, and – better yet – if they actually warrant your click occasionally, we’ll keep them going and continue to share what this crumby little corner of the internet miraculously generates with those in greater need.

Thanks for your time

TLCB Team

B-Grade

So often Technic’s B-Model, road graders like this Volvo G990 are the vehicles that give almost everything else we post a place to exist in the first place. So here to shine a light on their significance is Eric Trax, and this brilliant, er… 42114 B-Model…

OK, a B-Model this Volvo G990 may be, but it doesn’t feel compromised for it. Utilising around 90% of the parts from the 42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler set, Eric’s alternate redeploys the Control+ motors, control unit and app to give his grader remote control drive, steering, a three-speed automatic gearbox, and to power the main blade’s elevation.

The model features a few mechanical functions too, including a working piston engine, manually controlled ripper, and a seven-position blade angle. Best of all, Eric has released instructions for his road grader so you can build it for yourself if you own the 42114 set, and there’s more of Eric’s Volvo G990 B-Model to see on both Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum. Click the links above to earn yourself a B Grade.

YouTube Video

Build-a-Fiat

LEGO’s 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set is a fine addition to their officially licensed line up. Even if we don’t understand why it comes with an easel.

However being a Creator set, 10271 isn’t particularly technical. Cue TLCB Master MOCer Nico71, who has constructed a similarly-sized sixties Fiat 500 in Technic form with a whole heap more functionality. Although no easel.

Nico’s Fiat looks the part, with a combination of axles, lift arms and flex tubes recreating the 500’s famous shape, under which is a working rear-mounted two cylinder engine driven by the rear wheels, functioning steering, front and rear suspension, plus opening doors, front trunk and engine cover.

It’s a lovely build (that would make an excellent set too), and one that you can recreate for yourself at home as Nico has made building instructions available.

There’s more to see on Eurobricks, and at Nico’s excellent website, plus you can read his interview in the Master MOCers series here at The Lego Car Blog via the link in the next above.

YouTube Video

Smaller than Expected*

This may look like a normal cab-over light duty truck, but it is in fact a kei car, Japan’s microcar class in which vehicles can measure no longer than 3.4m, no wider than 1.48m, and have an engine size no greater than 660cc.

It is, therefore, absolutely tiny. Plus, obviously, it’s a Lego model, so it’s even smaller than that…

This superb Technic kei-class truck is a Daihatsu Hijet S110P, and it comes from syclone of Eurobricks who has packed it with an unfathomably large amount of features.

Under the really rather good exterior is a full remote control drivetrain, complete with all-wheel-suspension, all-wheel-drive, servo steering (linked to the steering wheel too), opening and locking doors, dropping bed side walls, and even working headlights.

There’s loads more of syclone’s Daihatsu Hijet to see at the Eurobricks forum, including a video of the kei truck in action. Take a look via the link above!

*That’s what she said.

Longer than Expected*

McLaren seem to have a new limited run special edition every week, which means this TLCB Writer has all but lost interest in them. However there is one limited run special edition McLaren that is worth noticing; the, 3-seater, 5 metre long hybrid Speedtail.

Powered by the same 4.0 litre as most other McLarens, the Speedtail also features a parallel ‘self charging’ Hybrid set-up, much like the far more humdrum Toyota hybrids tootling about cities in their millions. Except the Speedtail’s hybrid system delivers over 1,000bhp.

It also looks like nothing else on the road, in part thanks to its enormous length*, which is greater even than a Range Rover.

Capturing this remarkable car in 8-wide Speed Champions form is The G Brix of Flickr, who has done such an excellent job this could be an official LEGO set, with space for three mini-figures inside, and front wheel covers that remain fixed even as the wheels behind them spin, just like the real car.

There’s more to see of G’s McLaren Speedtail on Flickr, click the link above to make the jump.

*That’s what she said.

Printed Discs

3D printing has changed the way things are made forever. Prototypes, one-offs, and recreations of long-lost parts can now be produced at a fraction of their previous cost thanks to computer-aided-design and little plastic granules.

Inevitably we’re now seeing 3D printed pieces appear in Lego creations too, including this one by regular bloggee Horcik Designs. Horcik’s cafe racer motorcycle uses a (very cool looking ) 3D printed front brake disc, which fits perfectly to the front wheel.

Steering, suspension, a piston engine, and a foot-peg operated two-speed transmission also feature, with these all built from standard LEGO pieces.

With LEGO themselves regularly creating new and bespoke pieces for official sets, we’re taking the stance that a model using a custom part doesn’t preclude it from appearing here.

You can see more of Horcik’s cafe racer at both Bricksafe and Eurobricks, the latter of which shows another of his creations that’s has gone (quite a long way) further down the 3D printing route…

Wartime Willys

The Lego Car Blog Elves are having a great time this morning. This lovely remote controlled Willys Jeep was discovered by one of their number today, and fortunately our eagle-eyed intern caught it before the model could be used for any smushing shenanigans.

That means no tidying up for us, and a gaggle of Elves being transported around TLCB Towers, much to their delight.

The model in question is properly good too, looking wonderfully like-like and featuring a complete remote control drivetrain, with four-wheel-drive, front and rear suspension, and working steering.

TLCB favourite Sariel is the builder and there’s more to see of his superbly presented 1940s Willys Jeep on Flickr and via the Eurobricks forum.

Get Lucky*

We like Lego hot rods here at The Lego Car Blog, and if you do too you can build this one by Flickr’s KosBrick for yourself. KosBrick has released a speed-build instructional video of this ‘Lucky’s Chop Shop’ hot rod, a link to which you can find at his photostream. Click the link above to check out more of the build.

*Today’s title song. Obviously.

8 Out of 10 Nazis…

It might sound like European cat food, but the Kettenkrat was altogether weirder than that. Half motorcycle, half tank, the Sd.Kfz 2 Kettenkrat was designed by NSU, powered by Opel, weighed 1.5 tons, and could climb slopes of over 24°, even in sand.

A unique drive system delivered power to both tracks simultaneously on hard ground, or – when the driver selected – operated via a subtractor to skid-steer on soft ground, and it was used throughout the Second World War to lay cables, transport troops, tow aircraft, oh – and to invade Russia.

This amazing motorised Model Team recreation of the Sd.Kfz 2 Kettenkrad comes from previous bloggee Samolot, and not only does it feature the most terrifying LEGO figure we’ve ever seen, it also includes a fully working remote controlled version of the real bike/tank’s ingenious steering system.

Exactly how it works is beyond the collective minds housed here at TLCB Towers, so the best way to see if you can figure it out is via the video below. There are also more images of both Samolot’s model and the real 1940s contraption at Bricksafe, and you can read the full build description and join the discussion via the Eurobricks forum here.

YouTube Video

Giant Balls (of Gas)

It’s some time in the future, and the Earth is completely depleted of helium. Clearly such a situation has massive ramifications, and the balloon-animal industry, vital to so many, have apparently take matters into their own highly-skilled balloon-bending hands.

Sending equipment to the Jupiter’s moon Europa, the inflatable contortionists are mining the satellite for its precious precious helium, returning the gas to Earth via transport ships, and – before that – these enormous gas-rovers.

With twelve-wheel-drive, a crew of five, and eight huge gas-filled balls, the gas-rovers are impressive machines, at least in the minds of Jon & Catherine Stead, whose backstory we have completely butchered for the purpose of this silliness.

We could have gone with either a testicle or enhanced-boobs theme though, so count yourself lucky Steads!

Anyway, their Europa gas-rover is a properly good build, with LED lighting, incredible brick-built wheels, and an ace five-person cockpit, where – presumably – the crew all talk in squeaky voices.

Head over to Jon and Catherine’s excellent ‘Helium Transporter’ album on Flickr to see more, and request a balloon giraffe.

James Young

Who? Well back in the ’60s (and a lot more before then), you could buy a car without a body. Usually a really posh one.

The point was a coach builder could create something more bespoke, and they were used frequently by the top luxury automotive brands of the time including Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and – of course – Rolls Royce.

This particular coach-built Rolls Royce is a 1960s Phantom V Limousine by James Young, and it has been recreated rather beautifully in Technic form by Agent 00381 of Eurobricks.

A full ‘Technic Supercar’ chassis sits underneath the elegant bodywork, with all-wheel suspension, working steering, an ‘auto’ gearbox, and a V8 engine.

Opening doors, hood, trunk, and glovebox are included, and there’ s even a rising partition to separate the peasant driving up front from the elite classes riding in the back.

There’s more of Agent’s Rolls Royce Limousine to see – including a link to building instructions and a video of the model’s features – at the Eurobricks forum. Click the link above to enter the rear of James Young.

Cosmic Cocktail

All the best racing sponsors are selling something that’s bad for you. Cigarettes, beer, cigarettes, energy drinks, and cigarettes were the mainstay of motorsport advertising, before doctors pointed out that it might not be a great idea to promote things that killed people.

These days tobacco companies are effectively banned from motorsport sponsorship (although Scuderia Ferrari are always willing to cash a ginormous cheque), however purveyors of alcohol are still permitted to hawk their wares to racing fans.

The upside of this is some of the coolest liveries in motorsport are still seen today, and – accordingly to David Roberts at least – will continue to be seen for some time yet.

This is David’s ‘Martin I’s Racer’, with a livery that looks a lot like the one used by a certain gin and vermouth-based cocktail company.

Further details and a backstory of drinking puns can be found at David’s photostream – grab yourself a mixer and head to the bar, er… we mean ‘galactic racing circuit’ via the link above.

Technic 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger | Review

The ‘Fast & Furious’ movies are – for the most part – total garbage. With characters coming back from the dead (twice), long lost family members loosely enabling plot continuation (twice), and bad guys turning good just to keep them in the franchise (three times by our count), the plots could have been written by TLCB Elves.

But, like the internet’s most popular video category, no one is watching a Fast & Furious movie for the plot. They’re watching for the cars. And maybe Vin Diesel’s giant shiny head. In doing so making ‘Fast & Furious’ the most profitable movie franchise ever.

Thus LEGO have joined the ‘Fast & Furious’ party, and have brought one of the franchise’s star cars to life in Technic form. This is the Technic 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set, supplied to us here at TLCB by online shop Zavvi, and it’s time for a review…

First a shout out to our suppliers Zavvi, whose delivery was prompt, communication good, and the 42111 box was massively well protected inside, well… a bigger box. If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep the boxes for your sets (ours just go in the recycling), that’s a bonus.

LEGO have realised this too, removing the sticky circles that hold the ends shut (but that rip the artwork when opened), and fitting a cereal-box style closable tab so it can stay closed.

Inside 42111’s box are five numbered bags, bagged instructions and stickers (which helps to keep them protected too), and 1,077 parts. Many of these are weird and new, at least to this reviewer (if not the set), and continue LEGO’s approach of using every colour ever. However, like numerous ‘Fast & Furious’ characters, we’re going to do a complete 180 and say that it, well… works.

Building 42111 is fun and straight-forward, with the multitude of colours making it easy to find the parts required. The colours are thoughtfully chosen too, enabling quick identification and actually changing in some cases as the build progresses depending upon which similar pieces they shared a bag with. They’re all fairly well hidden by the end too, so there’s no ‘rainbow’ misery here.

The build can also be commended for creating a fully working rolling chassis by the mid-point, which makes it much more interesting than only adding the wheels at the end.

As has been the case for a while now though, the instructions can be very simple, at times adding just one piece per step. That said, there are a lot of orientation changes, which you have to watch out for so you don’t install something upside down. Not that this Reviewer did that. He’s a professional.

After a few hours of happy parts selection and spot-the-difference, you’ll have a nicely sized Technic recreation of the early ’70s Dodge Charger – modified ‘Fast & Furious’ style with a giant supercharger and NO2 tanks – complete with a working V8 engine, steering, all-wheel suspension, opening doors, hood and trunk, and a bizarre party trick. Continue reading