Category Archives: Lego

Breaking into Heaven*

We’re sure the proper Lego blogs will pick this up soon, but until then this is Nick Trotta (aka tardisblue)‘s ‘Heavenly Strike’, which sounds like a church bowling team. We know nothing about sci-fi, so we’ll have to leave the description there, but what we can say is that Nick’s starfighter contains one of the most fiendishly intricate structures that we have ever seen. Head to Flickr to see more, including the amazing images that show how such complex angles were created.

*Today’s brilliant title song.

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Man Over Board!

We’re not hopeful of this mini-figure’s safe return. Or the fate of the rest of the crew to be honest. James Pegrum is the builder behind this spectacular scene, in which a tall ship looks certain to lose its battle with an angry slate grey ocean. Look on at the tragedy unfolding via the link above.

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The World’s Most Expensive Recovery Truck

This astonishing creation is a fully working replica of the U.S Glomar Explorer, constructed by Master MOCer and world-renowned builder Paweł ‘Sariel’ Kmieć, and you’re in for a truly remarkable story…

It’s 1968, and the Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-129 has been lost with all 98 crew, plummeting over 16,000ft to the ocean floor. It’s just a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War is very real indeed. The Soviet Union is looking for its lost submarine, but 150 miles in the wrong place. The U.S. however, knows where it is…

And so begins one the strangest and most expensive recovery efforts in history, as the CIA commission the building of a ship designed solely to pluck the wreck of K-129 from the seabed to learn its secrets, without the Soviet Union knowing.

Costing $1.4billion, it was one seriously expensive recovery truck, although of course its true purpose was hidden behind a ‘drilling for magenese’ cover story, fronted by millionaire aviator and film-maker Howard Hughes.

Six years later and the 50,000 ton 600ft long ship was ready. Named the Transocean Glomar Explorer, it was positioned above the wreck using radio beacons (GPS being some way off) and the CIA began the enormous recovery of the 330ft, 2,700 long ton (before it was filled with water) nuclear-armed submarine.

A giant claw dropped through a moon pool in the centre of the ship, gripping the wreck of K-129 and winching it to the surface. However during the 16,500ft ascent a mechanical failure occurred, and two thirds of the submarine broke loose and sunk back to the ocean floor, taking with it the sought-after nuclear missiles and code book. However, two nuclear-tipped torpedoes and cryptographic machines were recovered, along with the bodes of six crew members, which were not returned to the Soviet Union, but back to the sea.

The Glomar Explorer was purposeless after the mission was (partly) completed, and in 1976 it transferred to the U.S Navy for storage in a dry-dock. In 1978 however, the ship was leased to test prototype deep sea mining equipment, before being converted to a drilling ship in the 1990s. It was finally scrapped in 2015.

Recreating this incredible feat of engineering is Sariel, whose floating brick-built replica of the Glomar Explorer measures over 3 metres in length, uses 60kg of LEGO pieces, and can really (partly) recover a lost Soviet submarine, thanks to a fully working recreation of the monumental grapple crane fitted to the real ship.

We won’t write too much more here as there’s really only one way to appreciate this spectacular build – take a look at the video above (or click here to find it in the Eurobricks discussion), and watch how one of the most impressive Lego creations of all time was built, and how it can recover nearly all of a brick-built submarine from the bottom of a swimming pool…

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Beautiful Letdown

It amazes this TLCB writer how many Range Rovers there are around TLCB Towers.

These massively-financed, privately-plated wealth statements are rather beautiful of course, both inside and out, and particularly so when compared to rivals such as this abomination. Or this one. Or this one.

However Range Rovers remain a triumph of brand image and beauty over substance, being some of the worst built and most unreliable products you can buy anywhere in the world, with near-Tesla levels of shoddy workmanship.

Perhaps both Land Rover and Tesla the best automotive examples of the shallowness of our social media society, one that values exterior sheen and a projection of success over substance or quality. And, looking at the numbers, maybe they’re on to something…

Thus our preference would be this neat Speed Champions style version of the Range Rover Velar, as built by TLCB regular SP_LINEUP. SP has captured the sleek SUV superbly, and not being constructed by JLR it’s sure to be far better constructed and more reliable than the real thing.

Head to Flickr via the link above to see more of one Range Rover Velar that won’t fall apart.

*Today’s title song.

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Pestilence

This horrifying creation is ‘Pestilence’, a spindly mech described thusly by its creator; “Cries of suffering echo from the wake of this Horseman’s travels. No area of the planet is spared as contaminate spreads far and wide from the bowels of this mechanical beast”.

We would say thankfully it’s only sci-fi, but it’s probably more accurate to say it’s more like a mechanised DuPont; whose carcinogenic pollutant from producing teflon is now in every single organism on earth, or Volkswagen; who knowingly poisoned the air breathed by millions by cheating emissions regulations.

A more current analogy of course, is the global Coronavirus pandemic, created by shocking animal welfare and food production standards. The U.S. President is very keen to point out Coronavirus is ‘China’s fault’, yet is simultaneously reducing America’s meat production regulations, which already result in a faecal and disease contamination rate ten times higher than that of TLCB’s home nation.

Builder Adam Dodge has included a mini-figure in the driving seat of this mechanical plague, and it is perhaps the most apt metaphor for what’s causing the suffering of both our planet and ourselves…

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Furry Road

Don’t worry, we’re not referring to one of your Mom’s old movies.

TLCB Elves are grumpy today. Despite a slew of finds they missed this one, which we instead saw on The Brothers Brick. And they love Mad Max. We’re not sure they follow the plot, but stuff explodes quite regularly and that seems to please them.

Anyway, those of you with a keener eye will have noticed that something is amiss with Michael Kanemoto‘s rendition of the ‘V8 Interceptor’ from the movie, what with it being red and yellow and driven by a cartoon dog.

That’s because Michael’s ‘V8 Interceptor’ is part of a wider ‘Fab Max’ collaboration, mixing LEGO’s primary-coloured 1980s Fabuland theme with George Miller’s post-apocalyptic road movie, and in doing so creating a desolate wasteland inhabited by cute (but violent) anthropomorphic critters. Kinda like TLCB Towers.

Complete with officer Max “Bark”-tansky of the Fab Force Patrol there’s more to see of Micheal’s ‘Fab Max V8 Interceptor’ via the link above (plus you can also find the original black version of the car which is frankly boring by comparison), and – if you’re as in to this theme as we are – you can see another ‘Fab Max – Furry Road’ creation blogged at TLCB by clicking here.

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Star Ferry

Hong Kong’s Star Ferries are this TLCB writer’s favourite ferries in the world. Which is a niche list, but they’re still at the top. Criss-crossing Victoria Harbour between Hong Kong Island and Mainland Hong Kong, they cost about 20¢ and surely have one of the most stunning urban backdrops of any journey.

If you haven’t travelled on them however, Vincent’s LEGO Creation can offer the experience at a fraction of the scale, thanks to this utterly bewitching replica complete with a beautifully detailed mini-figure interior and full LED lighting.

Vincent has deployed some spectacular building techniques in his quest to create a perfect Star Ferry scale model, making this one of the finest creations of any sort that we featured here this year, and there’s loads more to see at Vincent’s photostream. Click the link above, pay 20¢, and enjoy the best ferry crossing in the world.

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Primary-Palleted-Post-Apocalyptic-Paradise

Not our title, but the words of TLCB debutant Blair Archer (aka Slick_Bricks), who has taken Fabuland’s well-documented descent into violence and chaos to its ultimate conclusion. It’s enough to make you lose your head.

Slick’s ‘Doom Buggy’, part of a wider ‘Fab Max – Furry Road’ initiative, equips ‘I am the Walrus’ and his crew of cut-throat critters with a variety of weaponry, not least a tailgate-mounted guillotine for the removal of heads whilst on the road. Makes sense to us.

Head to Slick’s photostream via the link above for all the imagery. Goo goo g’joob*.

*If you don’t know what we’re on about, click these words. Which probably won’t help at all.

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The Pusher*

This neat Liebherr PR776 bulldozer was found by one of our Elves today. Being small scale and unmotorised there was no smushing to be had, but it does look rather good, with great attention to detail and some inventive parts placement too. FLBRICKS of Flickr is is the builder behind it, making their TLCB debut, and there’s more to see at their photostream via the link.

*Today’s excellent title song.

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Jam Van

British police vehicles don’t wear the myriad of different liveries that feature across the United States. All feature the ‘battenberg’ chequered design, named after the famous Victorian cake that shares the same pattern, and it does look quite cool. Even on an embarrassingly unthreatening 1.6L Astra or Focus.

However until recently The Metropolitan Police (who look after the thirty-two London boroughs, counter-terrorism, and the Royal family) did have a distinct colour scheme, wearing a livery based upon a simple lunchtime snack rather than an English cake. We’re not sure why British police forces design their vehicles after party food, but we’re all for it.

Anyway, this previous-generation Metropolitan Police Ford Transit does wear the now-replaced Met Police ‘jam sandwich’ livery, which has been recreated rather wonderfully by regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, complete with a British police officer (aka ‘Bobby’). Said officer is a little out of date now as British police don’t wear their ‘custodian helmets’ when driving, but they do still put them on to beat you with their baton, what with that being a special occasion.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Metropolitan Police ‘jam sandwich’ Ford Transit on Flickr, and you can take a bite via the link above!

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Beef Me Up Scotty

“Tired of losing members of her herd to aliens, Gladys finally took matters into her own hooves…”

Blake Foster‘s farm sure has some unusual goings on at the moment. This udderly glorious depiction of the long-rumoured bovine resistance moo-vement captures the madness, and Gladys sure looks like she’s had enough of the little greys. We just hope the herd doesn’t decide to use their new-found technology on us omnivores once they’ve dispatched the alien threat.

Join us nervously pondering whether to go vegan on Flickr via the link above.

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Build-A-Beemer

We’re not fan of BMW’s latest M-cars. Enormous grilles, enormous engines, and enormous bodywork… all things that aren’t really about driving enjoyment. Nor are many others it seems, as BMW’s compact first generation M3, with it’s small grille, small (4-cylinder) engine, and small bodywork is becoming incredibly valuable, as people look for M-cars from a simpler time.

This neat Speed Champions E30 series M3 comes from Flickr’s Rolling Bricks, and it captures the car’s boxy lines, flared arches, and square rear wing brilliantly. Rolling Bricks has made building instructions available too, so if you’d like to own a classic M3 you can create your very own at home.

Head to Rolling Bricks’ ‘BMW E30 M3’ album via the link above to view the complete gallery, and to find the all-important link to building instructions.

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We’re in Deep Ship…

TLCB rarely partakes in the annual monthly bandwagons that occur across the online Lego Community. We’ll pretend it’s because we’re too cool, what with our executive washroom and sauna, endless groupies, and the fleet of exotic cars bought by the riches that blogging about Lego brings, rather than we have no idea what they’re about or what the rules are.

Today however we’re jumping on said bandwagon, seeing as a) it’s the last day of ‘SHIPtember’, and b) last night’s Presidential ‘Debate’ simultaneously makes us want to leave this planet immediately, and for a neat title summing up both this post and the state of American politics.

The first of today’s ‘SHIPs’ is ZCerberus’s astonishing ‘LL885 NC Repair Freighter’, a huge orange behemoth carrying out a useful and humble purpose, which is a nice contrast. Spectacular building techniques and incredible attention to detail make this a must click, and you can do just that here.

Today’s second ‘SHIP’ comes from previous bloggee Sunder_59, entitled the ‘DCV-08 “Barra” Construction Drone Carrier’. Designed to transport construction drones to orbiting building sites, Sunder’s creation features all the ‘SHIPtember’ buzzwords you’ll find used with abandon on smarter Lego blogs than this one, such as ‘Colour Blocking’, ‘Greebling’, and ‘Bricknipinia’. OK, we made that last one up. See more via the link!

Our third and final* ‘SHIP’ explores something that’s completely alien in American politics; working together for a greater purpose. Constructed from three separate ‘SHIPs’, the ‘TriPerron Nomad Explorer’ allows up to three individual planetary explorers to combine for longer interstellar travel, then splitting again when their destinations differ. All the ‘SHIPtember’ buzzwords that we don’t understand found in Sunder-59’s build above apply here, only in threes, and there’s more to see courtesy of Simon Liu on Flickr.

And so that ends our (somewhat limited) round-up of ‘SHIPtember’ 2020. You can take a look at each build via the links in the text above, which is where we’ll be, trying to find out if any of them can be built in full size so we can escape the impending doom* about to drag America into the gutter. We would say the U.S election can’t sink any lower, but there are still two debates to go.

*Bonus SHIP. If these penguins can escape after we trashed their home, perhaps we can too…

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Cherokee

’90s off-roaders are becoming rather cool these days. As almost every car is now an SUV/Crossover, with zero off-road ability and all looking pretty much the same, old-school body-on-frame 4x4s stand out rather nicely. Admittedly they’re still total crap to drive on the road, but that’s part of the charm.

Jeep’s XJ-series Cherokee was at the start of the school-run 4×4 craze that has led the automotive market to the dismal place it is today, but the ageing American SUV is actually a capable off-roader, particularly when fitted with a few choice modifications.

That’s what regular bloggee SP_LINEUP has done with his 8-wide ’90s Cherokee, equipping his with a suspension lift and wide arches for big tyres, a bull-bar with spotlights and a winch, a snorkel for wading, and rear mounted spare that would make the tailgate impossible to open.

It all looks most excellent and there’s more to see of SP’s modified Jeep Cherokee at his photostream – click the link above to go off-road.

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Stick Shift

Here’s a stick man on a stick bike. Stick with us because whilst we’re a car blog we bet for most of you reading this your first vehicle was a bicycle, and the first person you ever drew was of the stick variety. Which is good enough for us. Milan Sekiz is the artist and there’s more to see on Flickr. Click here to make it stick.

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