Category Archives: Lego

City Turbo

From one mighty engineering feat to, er… a tiny 1980s hatchback. Still, both Concorde and the Honda City Turbo express the excess of the ’80s, with slightly unnecessary speed and only really selling in their home markets.

The Honda City was a 1980s sub-compact car built mainly for the domestic Japanese market, and – this being the ’80s – Honda decided to stick a turbo on it in 1982. The Turbo II arrived in 1984, lasting just two years until its replacement in 1986, and with 108 bhp from its 1.2litre intercooled engine, the Turbo was the only City to crack 100mph.

It also featured some very ’80s graphics and a weird asymmetric grille, which Flickr’s aaref1ev has captured in digital Lego form brilliantly with his 6-wide City Turbo II design. Take a trip to Tokyo sometime in 1985 via the link above.

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Supersonic Bricks

TLCB bold statement of the weekend; the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde is the greatest aircraft ever made. And simultaneously one of the worst…

Concorde is one of only two airliners ever to fly supersonic (the other of which was basically a Soviet copy), with a top speed of over 1,300mph. That’s twice the speed of sound, and it enabled passengers to travel from New York to London in three hours, meaning that check-in probably took longer than the transatlantic flight.

This remarkable feat was enabled by Concorde’s incredible delta wing design and the four Rolls Royce Olympus engines engines that took the plane to around 60,000ft, an altitude 50% higher than other commercial airliners.

However despite this height the aircraft was spectacularly loud, and not just because of its engines. A sonic boom – caused by the pressure wave that builds up around an object travelling above the speed of sound – is not a one-off ‘bang’, it’s continuous, travelling with the object. This meant that Concorde was only allowed to travel at supersonic speeds over water, and thus almost all of the world’s airports refused to take it.

With costs spiralling to over £1 billion (in the 1970s!), the British and French governments effectively bought the programme, with each country’s national carrier (British Airways and Air France) becoming the only operators to fly the plane. From an original sales expectation in the low hundreds, just fourteen aircraft were built (plus six test units), entering service between Europe and America.

With Concorde only able to take around 100 passengers at a time, tickets were enormously expensive – costing dozens of times more than a conventional transatlantic flight. However in the booming 1980s both operators were finally able to turn a profit, as Concorde’s wealthy passengers were happy to pay the huge price for the speed and status offered by a supersonic transatlantic flight.

It couldn’t last forever though, and with Concorde ageing, fuel prices increasing, and alternative flights becoming more luxurious and much cheaper on conventional aircraft, the business case for supersonic passenger flights became less viable. A fatal accident in 2000 (Concorde’s only such loss in three decades of flying) and the global demand slump after the September 11th attacks led to the aircraft retiring in 2003, and with it the era of supersonic transatlantic flight was over.

This spectacular replica of the world’s most iconic airliner is the work of BigPlanes of Flickr, whose incredible recreation of Air Force One appeared here at the start of the year. With a fully fitted mini-figure interior including kitchen, cockpit, and bathrooms, a working ‘droop nose’ (which allowed the pilots to see the runway as the plane approached), functioning landing gear, afterburners, and a wonderful brick-built classic British Airways livery, BigPlanes’ Concorde is one of the finest Lego aircraft that we have ever featured.

It’s a fitting tribute to one of the most ambitious engineering masterpieces of modern times, and there’s more to see of his phenomenal model at his photostream. Click the link above to head out over the Atlantic Ocean and go supersonic.

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Six Swooshes

Three swooshes are better than one. Three times better in fact. Flickr’s Ted Andes didn’t stop there though, and has built six variants of his ‘Corsair’ spacecraft. Head to his photostream via the link to see more of the version above, the three below, plus another two.

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Into the Wild

In April of 1992 a young man by the name Christopher McCandless set out across Alaska on foot. With minimal supplies, a rifle, and a new alter ego (Alex Supertramp), McCandless left civilisation behind to live simply off the land in Alaska’s remote wilderness.

After hiking along the snow-covered ‘Stampede Trail’, McCandless discovered the old Fairbanks Bus 142, a 1946 International Harvester K-5 that was one of several that had been outfitted as shelters for a construction crew repairing the trail in the early 1960s.

When the mine that used the trail closed in the 1970s the buses were removed, all apart from Bus 142 which – thanks to a broken axle – was left behind in the wilderness. Already fitted with beds and a wood burning stove, it became McCandless’s new home.

McCandless attempted to leave the area in which the bus was abandoned several times, but the thick Alaskan undergrowth and swollen rivers made progress impossible, and so he returned, trapped in the shelter.

After 113 days, and weighing just 30kg, McCandless died of starvation and poisoning from wild potato seeds, his final diary entry on day 107 simply reading “Beautiful Blue Berries”. Days 108 to 112 contained only unintelligible slashes, whilst day 113 contained nothing at all.

Two weeks later a group of hunters entered Bus 142 looking for shelter, and discovered McCandless’ decomposing body inside a sleeping bag.

McCandless’ tragic story has since become a book and a movie, and the bus – deteriorating more each year – is now an attraction for Alaskan tourists. This beautiful recreation of the International Harvester that became Chris McCandless’ tomb comes from TLCB favourite and Master MOCer Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74), of which there is more to see at his ‘Into the Wild’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to take a trip to the wilderness around Fairbanks Bus 142. Just don’t eat the wild potato seeds.

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Sci-Fi Spectrum

Febrovery continues apace and today we have two builds from the annual nerdfest to share with you, one which looks like it could be an actual lunar rover in the not too distant future and one which… doesn’t.

First up (above) is Ivan Martynov‘s ‘SOL 317’. We assume that by the use of those little 1×1 figures that Ivan’s design is for a rather massive machine, but increase the scale about ten times and it could easily be one of the small robotised vehicles that mankind is so fond of for current planetary exploration. Whichever it is it’s a great build and you can see more at Ivan’s photostream via the link above.

Today’s second rover throws realism out of the emergency airlock and arms the space villains Blacktron with an enormous rocket, which has got both your Mom and TLCB Elves excited for different reasons.

Shannon Sproule‘s Blacktron ‘BRUTE’ missile launching rover involves ‘towing a nuke onto the battlefield, launching it and then hiding in the observation tower to record the destruction’ according to the builder’s mildly unhinged description. Apparently he’s working on one twice as big too…

Stand well back and shield your eyes at Shannon’s photostream via the link above.

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Lunar Rescue

The annual nerd-filled bandwagon that is Febrovery is upon us once more, with rovers of all shapes and sizes expected top appear over the next four weeks. For those new to this blog and/or the online Lego Community, we’re not referring to the defunct British car manufacturer (although maybe one day we’ll run our own – considerably less cool – Febrovery…), rather the wheeled contraptions that inhabit all sorts of far away planetary objects in the minds of Lego builders.

This is one such vehicle, TFDesigns / Frost‘s ‘Roveside Assistance Wrecker’, built to fix your magnetonium fusion reactor, busted thread sprocket, solar panel failure, or any other cosmic malady. With a brick-seperator tow hitch, the coolest wheels we think we’ve ever seen, and that canopy again, it’s a fine way to kick off the Febrovery month. Call Intergalactic Roveside Assistance via the link above for more.

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Range Rozzer

Range Rovers aren’t just for rich London types. Well they are now, but back when the original was around even the police used them. This neat Speed Champions style recreation of a classic police Ranger Rover (in Manchester police livery) comes from TLCB favourite Jonathan Elliott and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link above.

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Come Back Around*

Things have a habit of coming back around. Lava lamps, 1920s baby names, politicians called Bush or Clinton…

We hope this does, the glorious 1970s Maserati Boomerang. Named after the indigenous Australian bendy stick that always comes back (for reasons we don’t understand at all), the Boomerang was a one-off concept car designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro that was unusually registered for road use and that even more usually still exists today.

Previous bloggee RGB900 has recreated the iconic Maserati in Speed Champions scale, and in a neat circularity has brought LEGO’s new canopy piece back around again to shape the cockpit of his build, following its use by Jonathan Elliott for a Lamborghini Countach earlier in the month and its original appearance in the official 75890 Ferrari F8 Speed Champions set.

We suspect it’s a part that will keep coming back too, so well does it seem to fit all sorts of Speed Champions designs, and there’s more to see of its appearance on RGB900’s lovely Maserati Boomerang at his photostream. Click the link above to give it a throw.

*Today’s ace title song.

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Blue Boxer

We know absolutely nothing about sci-fi, but we do know that this ‘A-10 Asimov’ is a spectacular build, and it looks a bit like it’s wearing boxing gloves. Designed by noblebun there is ingenious parts usage everywhere, particularly on the engines where dozens of mini-figure flippers and skis form the thruster casings. Head to Flickr via the link above to check out the complete gallery.

Smile, and the World Smiles with You

The Bell Huey UH-1 was used for all sorts of things during the Vietnam War. Other wars too (in fact the UH-1 is still in widespread service today), but it’s the pointless Vietnam conflict for which it is most famous. From medical evacuation – the role the aircraft was originally designed for – to troop carrying, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and an attack gunship, the ‘Huey’ proved to be an incredibly versatile design, and it’s the latter variant that has the Elves most excited today.

Modified with the addition of machine guns, plus rocket and grenade launchers, the UH-1 made for a fairly terrifying gunship, especially when a giant pointy-toothed smiling shark mouth was painted on the front. A smile we don’t think the Vietnamese locals would’ve returned…

This superb recreation of the Bell Huey UH-1 in U.S Army gunship configuration is the work of Robson M (aka Brick Designers) who has replicated the real aircraft beautifully in brick form. With top-quality custom decals, a highly detailed interior, opening doors, and super-accurate brick-built weaponry, Robson’s Huey is well worth a closer look. Head to Flickr via the link above to see all the photos and give it your best smile.

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America! F*ck Yeah!* (II)

It’s an American double here at The Lego Car Blog! After today’s other post here’s one celebrating the best of what the USA has to offer; the C8 Corvette**. For most of its history the Corvette has been… er, Not Very Good, but the latest version is a properly good sports GT, with the ability to go around a corner and everything.

Pleased with this not insignificant step, Chevrolet were on the verge of taking on the big league of European sports cars, but their Corvette still lacked one key ingredient; its engine is in the wrong place.

Cue the brand new 2020 C8 Corvette, which – for the first time in the Corvette’s history (and pretty much America’s for that matter***) – has the engine in the middle. This could be a proper Porsche beater.

Following his brilliant Chevrolet Corvette C8 coupe featured here last year, Flickr’s Lasse Deleuran has now built the convertible version, and it looks fantastic! A beautifully replicated interior and a sort-of-working roof are our highlights, and there’s more to see of his 2020 Corvette C8 convertible at both the Eurobricks forum and his Flickr photostream – click the links to take a look!

*Today’s title song. Again.

**And the swivel chair of course.

***Before someone comments; the Ford GT40 was British. The Pontiac Fiero was American however, but it was crap.

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America! F*ck Yeah!* (I)

Today’s Lego creation is for those of you convinced that the robot apocalypse / zombie apocalypse / race war is definitely going to happen, but that it’s global warming that’s the hoax. You know who you are!

This Jeep Wrangler ‘Tactical’ has everything the conspiracy theorising nut job could wish for, including window protection, side-mounted gas cans, rock-sliders, many spotlights, and a very un-LEGO looking machine gun attached to a roof-mounted turret. That’ll show those climate protesters!

Built by Christian Cowgill there’s more to see at his photostream, including a standard-spec Wrangler for those of us not hoarding canned food and bottled water in the basement. Head to Flickr via the link above to prepare for the end times!

*Today’s title song. Of course.

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Tragic Band*

We’ve waited three days for our Elves to find something blog-worthy and then they bring back this…

‘This’ is Sheo.‘s ‘Tragic Band’, a collaborative build containing an Aeschylus, a Sophocles and a Euripides. With our vast knowledge of all things sci-fi we naturally know what each of these is and does, but we don’t want to write it here so as not to show up the other Lego sites.

It’s a stunning build though, with some exquisite attention to detail throughout each of the three sci-fi vehicles and to be found in the landscape too, and there’s more to see of Sheo.’s collaboration, including links to view each creation individually, via the hyperlink in the text above.

*There are a few bands we could use for today’s title song. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Badfinger are the obvious choices, but we’ll go with the tragically-lost Viola Beach.

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More Robots in Disguise

Alex Jones (aka Orion Pax)’s Transformers just keep coming! This has made the Elves very happy of course, as they now get to watch Transformers cartoons.

Following his previous appearances here at The Lego Car Blog in December and October of last year, Alex has constructed another swathe of transforming Autobot and Deception vehicles, from cranes and dump trucks to fighter jets and pick-ups. Each looks brilliant in both robot and vehicle modes, and can switch between the two by engineering so clever it makes our heads hurt.

We’re also re-featuring Alex’s amazing Optimus Prime build, as he’s now uploaded an image of the model in ‘roller base’ form, with more vehicles hidden inside!

You can see more of the awesome Optimus Prime build at Alex’s photostream, where you can also find the rest of his incredible Transformers back-catalogue. Click the link above to see more than meets the eye.

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No School Like the Old School

BMW’s M-cars have got ever more capable, and ever more silly. The latest M3 is phenomenal machine that is almost pointlessly over-powered. Still, it’s not an X6M so that’s worth celebrating.

Back in the 1980s BMW’s M-cars weren’t all about power though, as demonstrated by the first M3. The ‘E30’ series was only a four-cylinder and it only had around 200bhp, but it was small, light and agile, making about a billion times more fun than the current version. Which is why the values of E30 M3s have gone stratospheric.

Luckily SP_LINEUP has created a more attainable version, via his superb mildly modified 8-wide model, complete with opening doors and hood, and a roll cage inside the detailed interior. Head to Flickr via the link above to see more of SP’s brick-built recreation of the first – and best – M3 that BMW ever made.

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