The Dazzling Knight

Lego 1966 Batmobile

Kapow!! Batman wasn’t always dark and moody. There was a time when he was kitsch, flamboyant, and – let’s face it – more than a little bit camp, and this was certainly reflected in his choice of wheels.

Built by hot rodding legend George Barris the outlandish 1966 Batmobile was based on the 1955 Ford Futura concept car that Barris bought from the Ford Motor Company for the nominal sum of $1. In just three weeks he turned the old concept into what would become one of the most famous TV vehicles of all time, complete with turbo-electric drive (whatever that is), a Bat-scope (ditto), a mobile phone, reverse rocket thrusters, and a remote tracking system.

Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg hasn’t managed to built that lot, but his Lego recreation of Barris’ masterpiece pays tribute to the Dark Knight’s gaudier days in superb style. You can see more of Ralph’s brilliant replica of the 1966 Batmobile, complete with Batman and Robin figures, over at his photostream – click the link above to light the Bat Signal.

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Lego O2 Concept Car

It’s the morning after Friday night here at The Lego Car Blog, which means we’re in no state to write anything. Luckily reader and previous bloggee Alexander Paschoaletto has found a creation to share and joins us as Guest Blogger. Over to Alex…

How does it feel to breathe oxygen? If you’re on your normal routine maybe it won’t be anything special, unless, maybe, as a reminder that you’re alive. If you’re exercising, each breath is a new pump of energy to keep you going. But if you’ve just escaped danger and can finally breathe relieved, oxygen will be all you need and all you want in that moment. A similar description fits for this little piece of brick that the author (RGB900) geniously assembled and named ‘O²’: it’s all you need in a supercar with all you want to feel while driving it.

Well, although we can’t confirm much of that, we can at least take a closer look and wonder. There are SNOT techniques on most parts, some brilliantly created front fenders, a beautiful tail light and the famous duck-tail, all packed in orange. Certainly one of the best Speed Champions scaled vehicles made to date!

An orange Smartie to Alex! (Much to the Elves’ chagrin). If you’d like to suggest a model as Alex has done you can do so via the Feedback and Submission Suggestions page, and you can see what we look for in a blog-worth creation by reading The Lego Car Blog Submission Guidelines here.

Lego O² Concept

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Goldmember

Lego V8 Hot Rod

Because it’s a rod. And it’s gold! Ok, we’ll get our coats, but before we go you can check out more of Redfern1950s‘ gloriously golden supercharged V8 hot rod via the link above, and the amusing film scene from a decade-and-a-half-ago which prompted today’s title by clicking here; I love goooooold!

Lego V8 Hot Rod

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Once I was a Cop…

Lego Mad Max V8 Interceptor

…A road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell… each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy. Me… or everyone else.

_Tiler returns to The Lego Car Blog with the last of the V8 Interceptors and one of the moodiest shots we’ve published to date. See more on Flickr.

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We’re Tramming, and I Hope You Like Tramming Too*

Lego Sci-Fi Tram

This huge odd-looking device is a Suburban Tram, and it can give a ride to most of the town.** It comes from the mind of Flickr’s Vince Toulouse, who has deployed all manner of unusual pieces from several decades of LEGO themes to create it.

There’s lots more to see at the tram’s album on Flickr – click the link above to hop on-board, although we have no idea where it’s going.

Lego Sci-Fi Tram

*Today’s (slightly butchered) title song can be found here.

**Just like your Mom.

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Party Animals!

Lego Ford Model T Party Animals

Things are getting wild down on the farm! This menagerie of drunken farm animals doesn’t look dissimilar to the last party we had here at TLCB Towers. If you replace the Ford Model T with a wheelie chair. And the farm animals with a near-comatose TLCB staff writer. And the riotous abandon with remorseful crying. And ‘party’ with ‘drinking alone’.

Anyway, enough about this blogger’s Friday night, this wonderful scene comes from Paul (aka Brick Baron) of Flickr and it was built for this year’s BrickCon Lego convention. There’s more to see of his colourful party animals at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump!

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Yule Mog

Lego Technic Unimog 406 Remote Control

As you may be able to tell from the falling snow on this page (if you’re visiting at the time of writing), winter has arrived here at TLCB Towers.

This means our microwave will do double duty, both as the sole provider of nourishment for the TLCB Team and as an Elf-defroster, and TLCB vehicle fleet will likely rust even closer to a final drive to the scrapyard. What we need is one of these, a mighty Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406, built from the 1960s all the way up until 1989.

Suggested by a reader (so no Elf smushings today), this spectacular Model Team / Technic replica of the classic ‘mog by Functional Technic packs in just as much winter-beating tech as the real truck, including live-axle suspension, remote control all-wheel-drive courtesy of two XL Motors, steering via a Servo, a Medium Motor powered remotely operable diff-lock controlled by on-board pneumatic valve, a working Medium Motor powered gearbox, and five sets of LED lights.

All that lot is hidden within a wonderfully realistic Model Team-style body and mounted atop four of the huge wheels found within the 42052 Claas Xerion set, giving Functional Technic’s model genuine off-road ability (which you can watch below).

YouTube Video

There’s lots more to see of Functional Technic’s remote control Mercredes-Benz Unimog 406 at his website, including some superb on-location photos plus detailed images of the chassis construction.

There are also downloadable instructions available for some of the mechanisms used within both the Unimog build and Functional Technic’s other creations, including the remotely operable valve, all-wheel-drive system and functioning diff-lock. Head over to www.functionaltechnic.com to see more of the ‘mog and the builder’s other designs.

Lego Technic Unimog 406 Remote Control

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The Best Car in the World

Lego Lexus LFA

Or so claimed Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson and the Stig. The Lexus LFA wowed the motoring world when it arrived in 2010. Over a decade in the making and built using one of only two carbon-fibre spinning looms in existence the V10-engined supercar shot Lexus into the automotive premier league.

Just 500 units were manufactured in a two year production run and despite a base price of nearly $400,000 Lexus made a loss on every single one. You’ll need a lot more than $400,000 to get hold of one now though.

But why such high praise? The LFA was built celebrate Toyota’s F1 success which never came, and it wasn’t the fastest, nor the best handling, nor the best looking supercar of its time. One reason; noise. If you’ve never heard an LFA, click here and turn the volume up!

Previous bloggee gtahelper‘s Lego Lexus LFA may not be able to recreate the real LFA’s incredible sound, but in every other regard it’s one of the most remarkably accurate replicas that our Elves have ever brought back to the office. In fact we’re astonished that such a stunning recreation of a pretty tricky car can be made at this scale at all.

A whole gallery of images of gtahelper’s Lexus LFA is available to view on Brickshelf, where there’s even a link to building instructions so that you can create your own. Click the link above to make the jump to check out the best model of the best car in the world.

Lego Lexus LFA

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Wheelie Good

Lego Dirtbike

What to do if LEGO don’t make wheels in the size you need? TLCB Office would, being quite fantastically lazy, simply change the scale of their creation to match the wheels available, but not Scott of Flickr. Suggested by a reader Scott’s Model Team style dirt bike features brick-built wheels made from an assortment of LEGO’s weirder pieces. We’ve no idea how it all holds together but you can head over to Scott’s photostream via the link above top see if you can figure it out.

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Ursus 912 | Picture Special

Lego Usus 912 Tractor

Founded in 1893 by a team of seven engineers and businessmen the Ursus factory began producing exhaust engines and trucks. In 1930 the company was nationalised during the Great Depression and Ursus switched to making vehicles, machinery and arms for the Polish military. Not enough of them sadly as Germany (and the Soviet Union weirdly) successfully invaded and then annexed Poland in 1939, triggering the start of the Second World War.

The Ursus factory, now under German control, was forced into producing arms for the German military, building Panzer II and Wespe tanks. Following the Allied victory in 1945 Ursus returned to making tractors, copying designs from Germany and working with Zetor of Czechoslovakia to dramatically increase tractor production in Eastern Europe.

Lego Usus 912 Tractor

It worked too, with a combined 120,000 units produced across both brands annually at the firms’ peak. However, the Cold War loomed, and an over-ambitious state-sponsored expansion programme in the late ’70s and 1980s led to Ursus (and many other Polish businesses) incurring massive amounts of debt in the push for modernisation. Although up to 80% of these loans were eventually written off Ursus production was crippled, and now numbers around just 1,500 units a year.

Builder Marek Markiewicz (aka M-longer) remembers happier times at Ursus when orders were c60,000 a year with his gloriously accurate 1980s Ursus 912 4-cylinder tractor. Using the wheels from the LEGO Technic 42054 Claas Xerion set has enabled Marek to build his Ursus big and as such it’s absolutely packed with detail. An opening ventilated roof and a pendular front axle also feature and there’s a whole lot more to see courtesy of Marek’s Flickr photostream and via the Eurobricks discussion forum. Follow the links in the text above for the full set of images of Marek’s brilliant Ursus 912.

Lego Usus 912 Tractor

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Toyota Land Cruiser 80 | Picture Special

Lego Toyota Land Cruiser 80 RC

The Toyota Land Cruiser. In production since the early 1950s it’s Toyota’s longest running nameplate and it shows no signs of stopping. The best selling body-on-frame 4×4 in most of the world, the Land Cruiser has a reputation for being simply unbreakable, favoured by Australian farmers, the UN, middle eastern families and, er… ISIS.

Lego Technic Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Series

However, undeniably good though the latest iteration of the Land Cruiser is, it’s so capable off road thanks to a wealth of electronic wizardry that it doesn’t really need any driver skill at all (in fact we’re guessing the next generation of Land Cruiser will actually be able to drive itself off-road automatously).

We prefer this one then, the iconic 80-Series built from 1990 to 1997. Formidable off-road, but only if you have the skill to match it, the Land Cruiser 80-Series is still found in the world’s harshest environments, unbreakingly reliable some 30 years after it was first produced.

Lego Technic Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Series Remote Control

These absolutely superb Technic replicas of the 80-Series come from previous bloggee Madoca 1977 and they feature everything that the real Land Cruiser does that makes it so epic off-road. A four-wheel-drive system is powered by an XL motor, whilst a Servo takes care of the steering. A Medium motor allows the models to switch between high and low range, and it can also lock the centre and rear differentials for serious off-roading, and if that’s not enough there’s a powered winch to get you out of trouble. There are also LED lights front and rear, accurate suspension with mega wheel articulation, and there’s a third-party SBrick installed to allow for remote control via bluetooth devices.

Lego Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Series Remote Control

There’s lots more to see of Madoca’s stunning fully-loaded black Land Cruiser 80-Series and his simplified grey version at the Eurobricks discussion forum, including videos of the models in action and detailed chassis build images – Click the link above to head off-road.

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Voodoo Psychosis

Lego Ford Model A Hot Rod Voodoo Psychosis

Pastel green is normally a colour reserved for beach huts and handbags, but gosh can it look good on a car! The car in question is a ’31 Ford Model A hot rod, inspired by a real vehicle built by custom-car legend Larry ‘Voodoo’ Grobe. Redfern1950s is the builder behind this brilliant Model Team version, and you can see more of both it and the real hot rod that inspired it by clicking here.

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How To Build Brick Cars | Book Review

Lego Cars

‘How can I build [insert model here]?’

It’s the question receive more than any other here at The Lego Car Blog.

Until now we’ve politely diverted people to the builder of their desired creation directly, knowing full well that instructions won’t be available and that they’ll leave disappointed. However we may now have an answer, thanks to Peter Blackert (aka Lego911) and Quarto Motorbooks and their new release ‘How to Build Brick Cars’.

It sounds perfect, but is it all it promises? We hand over to Lego car-building legend and TLCB Master MOCer Firas Abu Jaber to find out…

‘How to Build Brick Cars’ – A book for all LEGO fans and petrolheads!

First of all, I’m no pro in reviewing books, but I’m a big fan of LEGO and a petrolhead myself. I build LEGO cars as a hobby as well, so I can assure you that you’ll have a very interesting and unique experience with this book if you have any interest in LEGO and/or cars.

There’s no more fun than building your own favourite scale model out of LEGO bricks yourself, rather than getting a die-cast model. ‘How to Build Brick Cars’ can help you to build some of the greatest vehicles ever made, from city cars to super cars, you’re sure to find something you like in there!

What first took my attention of this book is the cover of it, very well designed and printed it gives you the expression that you’re dealing with a high quality product. That goes for the whole book as well, every single page is well printed, the pictures are very sharp and the instructions are clear enough and easy to follow, just read the ‘How to use this book’ section before you start collecting your pieces and building the models. Experienced Lego builders will be able to use the instructions without reading the introduction, but I would still encourage you to do so.

Lego Ford '32 Hot Rod
This point leads us on to the content of this book, ‘How to Build Brick Cars’ is divided into three main sections, 1. Foundation, 2. Intermediate, and 3. Advanced. But before we look at these sections let’s talk about the first pages of the book and a bit about the author.

Peter Blackert, who is very well known in the Lego community as “lego911”, is a prolific and talented Lego car builder. Fortunately for me I know him through Flickr, and although I’ve never met him personally I can assure you he’s a very nice person. I have always been impressed by the quality of his work and the ‘speed’ at which he builds his models! You might never believe me if I told you he can build a very nice and detailed car every day. No wonder he works as an engineer for Ford Australia!

In the few first pages of ‘How to Build Bricks Cars’ you’ll find the introduction, ‘Why build brick cars’ and a detailed contents page so you can see what the pages of this book contain.

Another important section is the ‘How to use this book’ page, as mentioned above, specially if you’re not an experienced Lego builder. Although the instructions are pretty clear and easy to follow they are made in a compact way to ensure the book is able to contain as many different models as possible, so you need to pay attention while putting the pieces together, but for me that adds to the fun in the process!

1. Foundation Section

1. 1932 Ford V8 Roadster.
2. 1932 Ford V8 Coupé.
3. Ferrari 488 GTB.
4. Ferrari 488 Spider.
5. Citroën 2CV Charleston.
6. Jaguar E Type Coupé.
7. Jaguar E Type Roadster.

After the few introductory pages you’ll find the first main part of the book, the ‘Foundation’ section, in which you’ll find instructions for seven very detailed and accurate small scale cars in a scale of 1:28. Being small scale doesn’t mean they’re simple to build though, they are still challenging and big fun! The models in this section range from cars as old as a 1932 Ford (above) right up to the latest Ferrari 488 GTB.

Lego Citroen 2CV Instructions

My own favourite of the Foundation section is the Citroën 2CV Charleston. I built one myself (see below!) and noticed some very smart and interesting techniques and connections between the bricks all over the model, something you’d never guess just looking at the model from the outside.

2. Intermediate Section

1. 2017 Ford F 150 Raptor
2. Datsun 240 Z Coupe
3. Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder
4. BMW i8 Hybrid Coupé
5. Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS

The second part of ‘How to Build Brick Cars’ is the ‘Intermediate’ section, where you’ll find some of the most iconic sports machines have ever made. The models in this sections are at a slightly larger scale of 1:20 (LEGO Miniland scale), with more advanced and complicated techniques than those in the previous section. They also include more detail and a few working elements too, including opening doors, hoods, trunks, even working suspension, afforded by the jump in scale.

My favorite model of this section is the 240Z/Fairlady Z (maybe because I’m a big Nissan fan!), it was a big joy to build and very satisfying with some superb techniques, details and features.

Lego Datsun 240Z Instructions
3. Advanced Section

1. Bugatti Veyron 16.4
2. Ford GT Le Mans Race Car
3. 1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda

Finally the third part of ‘How to Build Brick Cars’ is the ‘Advanced’ section, which features instructions for some of the fastest cars that have ever been produced. Fasten your seat belt and get ready for the adventure!

As you’d expect, in the third and final section of the book you’ll find the most detailed and complicated Lego models. Whilst these models are at same scale as the previous section you’ll experience a much higher degree of build complexity utilising more advanced building techniques, enabling you to create an even higher level of engine and chassis realism.

After building the cars in this section you’ll have gained more building skills and a greater breadth of techniques enabling you to build better models for yourself, plus of course you have some very nice models from the book to display on your shelf!

Lego Bugatti Veyron Instructions

Continue reading

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Baja Redux

Lego Technic Baja 1000 Buggy RC

The Elven annoyance continues here at The Lego Car Blog, as this is so their kind of vehicle and they didn’t find it. No smushings today! Suggested by a reader this is RacingBrick’s Baja 1000 Class 1 buggy, inspired by a creation by Agrof blogged here two years ago.

RacingBrick has equipped his Class 1 buggy with LEGO’s insanely powerful Buggy Motors hooked up to a third-party BuWizz bluetooth control brick, delivering up to 8x the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions system.

Lego Technic Baja 1000 Buggy RC

All that power can be put to excellent use thanks to monster suspension and a lightweight frame, making RacingBrick’s creation one of the most capable off-road vehicles we’ve ever posted. You can read more about the build at RacingBrick’s website by clicking here, but before you do that we really recommend watching what his buggy in action, it’s an amazing bit of kit!

YouTube Video:

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Pallet Pushers

Lego Forkilfts

The Lego Car Blog Elves are not impressed today. Firstly because we’re blogging your finds via the Feedback and Submission Suggestions page, which means they don’t get fed, and secondly because this post features the most mundane vehicles known to man. The Mitsubishi Carisma excepted of course.

Mundane they may be, but material handlers like the ones built here by Flickr’s Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74 are the backbone of modern society. Everything in your home, including that ‘hand carved’ wooden sculpture you bought from that stall you passed on holiday, will have been moved by one of these at some point in its journey from Indonesian sweatshop to you.

Norton’s neat mini-figure scale material handlers span everything from hand-operated trolly jacks to high-lift forklift stackers and were built as a commissioned piece for the German manufacturer of their real-life counterparts.

There are more scenes to see at Norton’s Flickr photostream – click the link above and step inside the warehouse.

Lego Forkilfts

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