Category Archives: Model Team

Lotus 18 | Picture Special

This beautiful creation is a Lotus 18, and it’s one of the most wonderful racing cars ever made.

Succeeding Colin Chapman’s Lotus 16 (what happened to 17?), the 18 was designed to compete in both Formula 1 and Formula 2, and was powered by a little Coventry Climax 4-cylinder engine, first in 2500cc and then 1500cc sizes when Formula 1 reduced the engine limit.

The 18 gave Lotus’ their first Formula 1 win, plus two-time World Champion Jim Clark his first Grand Prix drive, before he and Innes Ireland took Lotus to the Constructors Runner-up spot in the 1960 World Championship.

However it wasn’t just Team Lotus who raced the 18, with Rob Walker Racing leasing a car to be driven by a new hotshot driver by the name of Stirling Moss.

Moss won the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix for Rob Walker Racing, the first time a privateer team had ever one a Formula 1 race, with only two teams managing it since.

Moss went on to take another win later in the season, although the Lotus 18’s campaign was marred by Moss’s injury at Spa-Francorchamps which put him out for most of the championship, and fellow Lotus 18 driver Alan Stacey’s death at the same track, after the 26 year old driver hit a bird.

Moss returned to racing though, continuing to campaign the Lotus 18 successfully for Rob Walker Racing in 1961, winning another two races and taking third in the World Championship behind the two Ferrari drivers.

The Lotus 18 was quite an important car then. It gave not only Lotus, but several future racing greats their early wins, their first Formula 1 drives, and – sadly in Alan Stacy’s case – their last drive too.

This unfathomably good recreation of the Lotus 18 comes from Andre Pinto, whose stunning replica of Sir Stirling Moss’s 1960 race-winner is one of the finest historic racing cars that this site has ever featured.

Beautiful detailing and attention to detail is evident everywhere you look, and there’s lots more to see at both the Eurobricks discussion forum and at Andre’s ‘Lotus 18 Stirling Moss‘ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to take a look at one of the most important Formula 1 cars ever made.

Lamborghini SC18 Alston | Picture Special

Lamborghini have built more special editions than your Mom’s had KFC Bargain Buckets. This is another one that no-one in TLCB Office had heard of, the SC18 Alston.

Based on an Aventador, just one SC18 Alston was built to fulfil a single (and very bespoke) customer order, engineered under the supervision of Lamborghini’s motorsports division. Parts from the Huracan Super Trofio EVO and Centenario were used, alongside several parts unique to the car.

The result was another one-off Lamborghini, and – with such limited information available – a nightmare for anyone trying to recreate it from LEGO bricks.

That’s hasn’t stopped Noah_L though, who has not only managed to recreate the SC18 Alston, he’s absolutely nailed it.

Using building techniques that look like they required a degree in quantum mechanics, Noah has successfully replicated the SC18’s wild exterior to perfection, even gradually increasing the model’s width by a single stud down the length of the car. Scissor doors, a detailed engine bay under an opening engine cover, and a realistic interior complete the build.

An extensive gallery of stunning imagery is available to view on Flickr, and you can see more of Noah’s beautifully presented Lamborghini SC18 Alston by clicking here.

Can-Am Classic

This unusually-hued creation is a 1970s Can-Am racer, from a time when huge V8s and top motorsport teams combined to create some of the coolest racing cars on earth.

Can-Am ran from the mid-’60s to the mid-’80s, with McLaren, Porsche, Lola and others fielding some wild creations, many of which pioneered turbo-charging, downforce, and even – in the case of the Chaparral 2J – using a snowmobile engine to suck the car to ground, years before Brabham did the same in Formula 1.

This generic mid-’70s Can-Am racer comes from Flickr’s michaelablinger, who has captured the aesthetic of the time brilliantly, further enhancing his model with period-correct decals from Michelin, NGK, Magneti Marelli and others.

A detailed cockpit, realistic chassis including a V8 engine and brick-built ‘suspension’, opening doors and removable rear bodywork all feature, and there are lots more images to see at Michael’s photostream.

Head to the racetrack c1974 via the link above.

My Other Other Car’s a Fiat…

The Fiat 500 has been a runaway success across Europe. Over two million have been sold to date, despite the design remaining virtually unchanged in fourteen years of production.

Fiat, unused to building a car that people actually like, subsequently decided that literally everything they make should be a 500[something]. This has unfortunately led to hideous monstrosities like thiswhich have been about as successful as storming the U.S. Capitol building in the hope of overturning a legitimate election.

However unlike Fiat, LEGO’s ace 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set is proving not only a hit, but also one that can be used to create a range of other vehicles that don’t just look like a regular 500 has died at sea and washed up on a beach months later.

Cases in point are these two brilliant B-Models, each built only from the parts found within the 10271 Fiat 500 set, and each managing to successfully create something new and excellent from the recycled parts.

First up (above) is monstermatou‘s marvellous 1920s Citroen 5HP Trefle, which captures the real car so well you’d be hard pushed to know it’s an alternate (which explains why monstermatou very nearly won TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition with one of his past builds). Building instructions are available and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

Today’s second 10271 alternate comes from a past official LEGO set designer no less, the incredibly talented Nathanael Kuipers, who has turned the little classic Fiat into a 1950s pick-up truck.

Cleverly using the Fiat’s interior pieces to make up for the shortfall in available bodywork bricks, Nathanael’s B-Model includes opening doors, hood and tailgate, and building instructions are available too.

Click the link above to check out more of Nathanael’s B-Model at his photostream, and if you own a 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set, perhaps see what you can create from it! You’ll easily do a better job than Fiat have managed with the real thing…

Tipping Tatra

Something remarkable appeared to be occurring today. Following the Elves’ peaceful trundle around the office in the back of an RC flatbed truck a few days ago, one of their number returned with this – Martin Nespor‘s excellent remote control Tatra Phoenix 8×4 truck.

Like the aforementioned flatbed, Martin’s Tatra is too slow to run down any Elves, and thus the Elf at the controls instead offered rides to its compatriots, in a moment of apparent Elven generosity never witnessed before.

Could this be a turning point for Elf-on-Elf relations? Well, no. You see the Elf at the controls had worked out that Martin’s Tatra not only drove and steered via Power Functions motors, but that the container on the back could be tipped too, and had placed thumb-tacks in the corner of the corridor in preparation. Sigh.

A gaggle of Elves was duly driven to the awaiting push-pins and tipped on top of them, before the Elf at the controls ran off in delight.

We now have an enraged mob of Elves prowling the office looking for revenge, which often means another completely innocent Elf will be selected at random to replace the missing perpetrator. Whilst we consider whether Mr. Airhorn will be brought out for his first Elven clearance of the year, you can check out more of Martin’s Tatra Phoenix 8×4 tipper truck on Flickr – click the link above to take the trip.

Cyberbike

‘Twenty twenty one’ sounds futuristic doesn’t it! What better way to kick off the new year then, than with this cyberpunk streetbike by Flickr’s Oscar Cederwall. Entitled the ‘Zyrkowski Surge X500’, which admittedly does sound a bit washing machiney, Oscar’s sci-fi motorcycle was suggested to us by a reader, and it’s earned its appearance here by the utterly ingenious use of an upside-down passenger train part alone. There’s more to see of Oscar’s brilliant bike on Flickr – click the link above to take a peek into the future.

Smokey and the Bandit | Picture Special

This is a Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, a car made famous by the ’77 movie ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, and possibly the only car in history to look kinda-cool with pin-striping. Plus a giant flaming bird motif of course.

This exceptional 1:8 recreation of the American icon is the work of Chris Radbone of Flickr, who has not only replicated the exterior of the ’77 Trans-Am beautifully, complete with pin-striping and giant flaming bird motif, his model is a qualified Technic Supercar underneath.

A Technic frame holds a working V8 engine, all-wheel suspension, functioning steering, and a D-N-R gearbox, all of which are concealed behind the wonderfully accurate Model Team exterior.

It’s a great way to finish the year and there’s more to see of Chris’s superb ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am ‘Bandit’ at his photostream. Click here to make the jump to Flickr for the complete gallery of images, here to see the Smokey and the Bandit movie trailer in which this car stars, and we’ll be back soon with our 2020 round-up.

Get Low*

Built (mostly) from the LEGO 10271 Fiat 500 set, Flickr’s Orion Pax has decided to use his primrose yellow pieces for something far more American.

This is a 1960s Chevrolet Impala convertible, complete with custom chrome bricks, and no less than four Power Functions motors. However they don’t do what you might expect…

Instead of the driving the wheels, Orion’s Impala deploys each motor for fully adjustable suspension, with each wheel able to do its own thing independent of the rest. Servos bounce the front wheels up and down, whilst the rears are adjustable thanks to a pair of motor-driven linear actuators.

It’s an ingeniously simple piece of engineering, and one we’d love to see fitted to a MOC of an old Citroen. Because we’re so un-street here at TLCB that we find old Citroens more interesting than pimped American barges.

Until then you can check out Orion’s brilliant Chevy lowrider album on Flickr by clicking here, which includes a video of the remotely controlled suspension in action.

*Today’s title song. Obviously.

Gullwing

Is there anything cooler than doors that open skywards? Nope, and that makes the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ one of the coolest cars of all time. Powered by a three-litre straight six, the 300 SL was also the first car to feature fuel injection, boosting power by around 50% and making it the fastest production car in the world, with a top speed in excess of 160mph.

This spectacular recreation of the 300 SL is the work of Tobias Munzert, who has built it largely from the pieces found within the 10262 Aston Martin DB5 ‘Goldfinger’ set. As well as accurate opening ‘gullwing’ doors, Tobais’ model includes an opening trunk, raising hood, and a detailed engine, and there’s more to see of his fantastic creation at his ‘Mercedes-Benz 300 SL’ album on Flickr, where a link to building instructions can also be found.

Double DAF

Here’s a DAF being pulled by another DAF, which makes sense as builder Arian Janssens has appeared here numerous times over the years, usually with a DAF. Arian’s DAF NTT 2800 and DAF FT 2500 share the same brown and orange livery (brorange?), there are custom chromed parts, and giant brick-built ‘DAF’ letters. Because DAF. Head to Arian’s photostream via the link above for these and many other DAFs.

What the Frack?

This is a Tatra T815-7 10×10. Plus a few other things.

Built in collaboration across five companies and two continents, this remarkable machine is a mobile fracking rig, capable of extracting shale gas from deep inside the earth. The base is a Tatra T815-7 10×10 off-road truck, powered – in this case – by a six thousand horsepower diesel engine mounted behind the cab.

The reason for all that power is what is you can see at the rear of the vehicle, a GD-2500 Quintiplex well-pump constructed by American pump specialists Gardner Denver – itself rated at 2,500bhp – used to propel a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the well to force the shale gas to the surface.

The engine powering this pump comes from German company MTU, whose designs are more normally associated with ships than land-based vehicles, with a Czech Talosa auxiliary gearbox allowing the twelve cylinder diesel to drive both the pump and the truck itself.

Cylinder deactivation drops the power for driving the truck, so you don’t have 6,000bhp to play with (although that does sound like it would be fun), with this ‘one engine’ solution and the vehicle superstructure created by engineering company M.G. Bryan Equipment.

It’s an amazing real-world vehicle, recreated here in LEGO form (and to an equally amazing standard) by Pavol Vanek aka Paliason. Measuring a metre long and weighing 8kg, Pavol’s brick-built replica of the M.G. Bryan ‘Percheron’ Tatra T815-7 is a huge creation, and it features a host of impressively engineered features underneath the superbly well executed Model Team exterior.

A complete 10×10 chassis, with nine differentials, full suspension, and steering on the first, second, fourth and fifth axles accurately replicates the real truck, with the steering alone driven by four linear actuators and an XL Motor.

A working twelve-cylinder piston engine sits behind the cab, LEDs illuminate the head and taillights, and there are opening doors and control panel covers.

It’s a phenomenal recreation of a unique real-world vehicle, and there’s loads more of Pavol’s astonishing model to see at both Flickr and the Eurobricks discussion forum. Click here to visit Pavol’s ‘M.G. Bryan ‘Percheron’ – Tatra T815-7 10×10′ album on Flickr, and here to visit Eurobricks where full details of the model, the real truck, and how it is used to frack for shale gas, can be found.

Dodgy Restomod

Despite the title this is not a badly-restored classic, ‘repaired’ in Billy-Bob’s garage in the hope of making a quick buck. No, restomods, when done well, are rather excellent, bringing modern tech (cooling systems, brakes, suspension etc.) to cars from a very different era of performance. Flickr’s Brick Flag has turned his very capable hand to restomoding his own ’60s Dodge A100 model, in the final of his five ‘forward-control’ classic vans. There’s more to see of Brick’s excellent creation on Flickr via the link above, and you can see all five brilliant classic vans side-by-side by clicking here.

Julius Jr’s Journey

We hadn’t heard of Julius and Clancy before, but a quick Google reveals the cartoon critters by Paul Frank are every bit as terrifying as Brickbaron‘s brick-built versions.

Horrific though they undoubtedly are, so are most children’s TV characters (we mean, just look at a Teletubbie), and their message is a sweet one, as evidenced by this catchy tune – which maybe a few politicians should watch. Plus cheaply animated kids cartoons are a lifesaver for parents the world over, however disturbing the protagonists may be.

Anyway, back to the creation; Julius and Clancy are in a tuk tuk for some reason, which Brickbaron has presented beautifully. Built using a range of excellent techniques there’s more to see of Julius and Clancy’s tuk tuk taxi ride on Flickr, where we’re sure a wholesome song can’t be too far off…

Not All Ferraris are Red….

This is a Ferrari 250 GTO, a car numbering less than 40 units and today worth roughly three squillion dollars. They are most famously red of course (as highlighted by the beautiful Model Team version we featured here earlier this week), however a handful of GTOs have strayed from the Ferrari corporate uniform over the years, one being Sir Stirling Moss‘s bespoke green car, and another being this; No. 112, painted – magnificently we think – in the colours of Sweden.

Now owned by a billionaire (what Ferrari 250 GTOs aren’t?), the unique 250 GTO was raced in Europe during the 1960s by Swedish racing driver Ulf Norinder, who competed very successfully in some the continent’s most prestigious events.

This incredible replica of that uniquely painted car comes from previous bloggee and Lego-building legend Jens M., who has recreated No.112 in astonishing detail. A lifelike engine resides under the opening hood, the trunk opens to reveal the fuel tank, and a realistic interior is accessible through the opening doors. Plus, most importantly of course, it’s blue with a big yellow stripe down the middle.

It’s one of the finest Lego cars we’ve featured this year, and there’s more to see of Jen’s stunning creation at his ‘Ferrari 250 GTO album‘ on Flickr. Click the link to make the jump to this one-of-a-kind classic racer, and you can see an equally brilliant brick-built 250 GTO in the more traditional red via the link in the text above if you missed it earlier in the week.

Orange Juice

Flickr’s Brick Flag has appeared here twice recently, with his excellent American 1960s ‘forward control’ vans, the Dodge A100 and Ford Econoline. We tend not to feature the same builder repeatedly in quick succession, but had we not today there would have been an Elven riot. Plus, – more importantly – we think this is bloody cool too.

The reason for the Elves’ excitement is obvious; Brick Flag‘s latest build is bright orange, features a racing stripe, wheelie-bar, ground-scraping stance, a huge rear wing, oh – and it has ‘some sort of turbo jet boat engine directly on its rear axle’, to quote the builder. This has also allowed for a bench seat to be fitted in place of the original two-seat set-up, which sounds safe.

Even Brick Flag admits this ‘makes no sense whatsoever’, but if you’re a TLCB Elf few things do, and that’s the way they like it. There’s more to see of Brick’s wildly modded ‘Pro Street’ ’60s Ford Econoline at his photostream – click the link above to fire up ‘some sort of turbo jet boat engine’ and become an orange blur.