The Year of the Tesla

What’s the most annoying element of current car culture? Nope. It’s Tesla. More specifically, the fanatical members within it who worship at the Cult of Elon.

Don’t get us wrong, we love what Tesla have achieved. They’ve brought the widespread adoption of EVs forward by about a decade, created easily the most fun car features ever seen in the industry (whoopie cushion seats everyone!), and created the fastest accelerating road-legal vehicle on the planet. Which can seat five. And take their luggage.

But for every wondrous innovation Tesla have made, there’s a huge mound of dog crap countering it at the other end of the scales. Abysmal quality, the continuing ‘Autopilot’ lie, a wildly inflated unsustainable stock market value, and – most depressingly – the awful pay and conditions in which men, women and children work in Africa to mine the battery materials, so that a rich westerner can feel environmentally smug driving one mile to the store to buy organic kale, without a hint of irony.

The world’s richest man has had the issue of child labour, death and injury raised at Tesla board meetings (by Congolese nuns no less), where any changes proposed to better safeguard supply chain workers were rejected. Because he’s an absolute assclown.

As you can tell, we’re not members of Elon’s cult, but we do still appreciate his cars. When they’re not broken.

Cue 3D supercarBricks, who has recreated Europe’s best selling car in 2021, the Tesla Model 3. 3D’s model includes opening doors, tailgate and front trunk, beautifully accurate bodywork, and a life-like interior, with the realism further enhanced by custom replica wheels and LED tail light guides.

And the panel gaps are more consistent than the real thing too.

It’s a great build that’s definitely worth a closer look, and you can do just that at 3D’s photostream via the link in the text above, where an array of other excellent Lego cars can also be found.

Finally, if you’re a member of the Teslarati (or would like to raise awareness of the abuses occurring in their supply chain with those that are), take a look here and talk about it every time someone evangelises on Tesla’s behalf.

Last Christmas*

*Post

Yup, this is indeed our last Christmas post for this holiday season. The office decorations that had escaped being eaten by TLCB Elves are down, the tree is chopped up in the garden recycling, and festive cheer is being replaced by January blues.

Flickr’s Jonathan Elliott is transporting his tree away in this, a rather lovely classic Ford F-250 pick-up, whilst fellow previous bloggee SP_LINEUP is taking his tree to the tip strapped to the roof of a his brown Porsche 911, decorations and all.

It’s OK, he’s a Porsche driver, and thus far too busy to remove them so will just buy some more next year.

Head to the garden waste container at the local recycling centre via the links above to chuck your tree onto the pile.

*Today’s title song. We almost made it.

2021 | Year in Review

It’s 2022! Which would sound super futuristic if it weren’t for the fact that it already appears to be shaping up as a repeat of the last two years (and pre-1989 if you’re Russia…).

There is newness on the horizon though, as 2022 will bring us the most corrupt Football World Cup in history, a boycotted (kinda) Winter Olympics in China, the James Webb telescope will unfurl to look back in time, and will COVID finally be vanquished?

We’ve got some news too, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Before that, here’s a look at the year that was 2021!

Stats

2021 saw a little less than a million of you join us here at The Lego Car Blog. The U.S – despite our regular mockery of its former President, guns, and cars – was once more the most prolific country by views, with more of you joining us from America than the next five countries combined.

At the other end of the scale there are just four countries with a single visitor, all of which are the remotest of islands. If you are the one person from either the Cook Islands, St. Helena, Christmas Island, or the Cocos Islands, we’re delighted to have you with us!

Google was the top referrer, followed by Pinterest and Facebook, and our most viewed individual pages were the Review Library, The Rise and Fall of MOCpages, and the Directory.

447 posts were published during 2021 (receiving 281 comments and 1,115 likes), several new reviews were added to the Review Library (some of which were written by you), one further builder was inducted into the Master MOCers Hall of Fame, and we even helped to develop a brand new lighting kit suitable for vehicle creations.

We also celebrated our 10th Anniversary! By which we mean, we forgot. But we do have something planned in 2022!

Advertisements

2021 was our first full year of allowing proper advertising to appear. We hope they haven’t been too annoying, and even that a few have been interesting enough to click on.

Most are controlled by Google (what isn’t!), and display in the right sidebar, between posts, at the header and/or footer, and will sometimes appear full screen during page navigation. The revenue generated from these is given to those who need it more than we do, so your views and clicks really do make a difference.

What’s Coming Up?

2022 will see more of the best vehicle creations, occasional set reviews, Master MOCers and LEGO news published here at The Lego Car Blog and via our Facebook page.

You can also let us know your suggestions via the Contact and the Submission Suggestions pages. Take a look at our Submission Guidelines to know what we look for!

And finally, 2022 will bring the next building competition! Stay tuned for a hint which will be appearing right here very soon…

Thank you for joining us in 2021, and we wish you all a very happy New Year

TLCB Team

Find us on Flickr, Facebook, and check out the new LED Starter Kit for vehicle creations that Lightailing launched at our request by clicking here!

Handled Like It’s on Rails

This post features something on rails, carrying something on rails, craning something on rails. Previous bloggee Pieter Post is the builder behind this railway-based Inception, with his 1930s diorama depicting a Henschel ‘Brauns’ narrow-gauge steam engine being lowered onto its new route by a fully motorised Ardelt 25-ton railway crane. Each is beautifully constructed and there’s more to see on Flickr via the links above.

Tofu Delivery

Delivering tofu in a Japanese economy car doesn’t sound like the type of story to create an automotive legend, but then stranger things have happened. The Toyota Corolla AE86 Trueno did indeed become an automotive all-star thanks to a cartoon tofu delivery driver, and they’re now worth approximately a $billion.

This wonderfully accurate 8-wide Speed Champions version by Jerry Builds Bricks captures the famous two-tone Trueno superbly, and there’s more to see of his Initial D legend on Flickr. Click the link above to place your order. What even is tofu anyway?

Show Your Metal

This astonishing creation is a the uncovered airframe of a First World War Sopwith Camel F.1 fighter, and it’s not quite, entirely, all LEGO.

But it is wonderful, and the use of supporting metal throughout not only replicates the structure of the real biplane, where wood and canvas were tensioned by wires, it proudly showcases the metalwork that is doing exactly the same job for the plastic bricks surrounding it.

Builder Crash Cramer details how and why the metalwork is used, including for the functional control surfaces which are steered via the cockpit, at his Flickr photostream, where a host of beautiful images are available to view.

Join us in taking a closer look via the link in the text above.

MAZing Through the Snow

We may not be the most professional, well connected, articulate, or competent Lego blog, but we sure do have the most tenuous Christmas titles!

Continuing the Christmassy nonsense is this, Danifill’s marvellous MAZ 5316 4×4 truck, complete with BuWizz power, Servo steering, remotely locking pneumatically-controlled differentials, live-axle suspension, a tilting cab, and working LED head and tail lights.

Danifill has taken his MAZ into the snow to show what it can do, and you can read more about the model and watch a video of it in action at the Eurobricks forum here.

Yule Logs

We’re back on track! With today’s other posts being a vehicle we vehemently hate and one with no tenuous Christmas link whatsoever, here’s one that ticks both boxes.

We love the classic ’70s Mercedes-Benz Unimog, and Lego recreations of it surely don’t come any better than this; proran’s beautiful Christmas-coloured Model Team U406 tipper, a creation five years in the making.

One image in particular caught our eye, in which proran has replicated a real-world U406 beside a log pile with wonderful attention to detail. We rarely publish images of real vehicles, but this is such a gorgeous composition we simply had too. Plus it makes the title work.

Alongside the stunning exterior, proran has faithfully recreated the Unimog U406’s mechanicals too, with solid-axle suspension, working steering via the wheel, four-wheel-drive linked to a 4-cylinder engine, a tipping bed, and front and rear PTOs selectable from within the cab.

A Power Functions motor can be applied to demonstrate the model’s functions, which you can watch via the excellent video at the end of this post, and an extensive gallery of imagery is available showing proran’s creation and the real-world U406 that inspired it via Bricksafe.

Click the link above to take a closer look, or here to visit the Eurobricks forum for full build details and to join the discussion.

YouTube Video

[Insert Christmas Title]

Try as we might we couldn’t think of a Christmassy title for SaperPL‘s Technic JCB Fastrac with rotary rake and tipper trailer, but it’s appearing here nevertheless (a hundred TLCB Points if you can).

Working steering, power-take-offs, a raising three-point hitch, a folding and spinning rotary rake, and a mechanical tipper all feature, and there’s more to see at the Eurobricks forum. Click the coloured text above to take a look, and try to think of a Christmas link.

The Grinch

Green, ugly, and ruining beloved institutions, the Grinch and the Lamborghini Urus are, in this writer’s eyes, effectively the same thing.

Of course Lamborghini will sell more hateful Uruses than the rest of their range combined, such is the current automotive fashion, but this writer still violently dislikes every fibre of the damn thing.

Not so TLCB Master MOCer Lachlan Cameron (aka loxlego), who has recreated the automotive grinch in Technic form. And he has – begrudgingly – built an awesome model as a result.

Powered by the BuWizz 3.0 bluetooth battery, Lachlan’s Urus features remote control steering and all-wheel-drive, a V8 engine, working suspension, opening doors, hood and trunk, and – just like many real Urus customers, who somehow don’t consider Lamborghini’s travesty obnoxious enough – custom wheels and ‘carbon fibre’ bodywork accessories.

Further fantastic photography and a link to building instructions can be found at Lachlan’s Lamborghini Urus album on Flickr. Click the final link to see more of the vehicular Grinch, or those above to learn more about the builder of this model, and the excellent third-party battery that’s powering it.

I Predict a Riot…

There’ll be no tenuous Christmas links in this post! No, this writer is altogether more gloomy, as COVID sweeps back across Europe, several nations have imposed strict lockdowns once more and – as is the want of a small but very vocal minority – that will mean some noisy protests. Because the main aim of this global conspiracy is clearly to stop people drinking in groups larger than six.

Sigh.

The Dutch look prepared though, at least if Ralph Savelsberg‘s Mercedes-Benz Vario riot van is anything to go by. Wonderfully constructed, Ralph’s riot van features opening doors, some really trick building techniques, and pair of suitably protected riot police officers.

Join the protest against, er… masks, maybe – we’re not sure – via the link above!

*Today’s title song.

Flying Home for Christmas

Travelling home for Christmas is one of the great human experiences. All over the world people have boarded planes to visit relatives and friends from whom they have been separated. Mountains, deserts and oceans will pass underneath them, no longer a barrier to their passage, and a smiling hostess will announce ‘chicken or fish?’ before presenting them with a little tray of mostly edible content. They will stand together to watch gift-filled luggage circulate, before the festivities of Passport Control await.

OK, travelling home for Christmas sucks, but the ‘home’ part makes the ‘travel’ part entirely worthwhile. British Airways’ Boeing 777-300ERs are some of the countless aircraft that make the great Christmas migration happen, and BigPlanes 1:40 recreation captures the real airliner spectacularly. 25,000 pieces, working landing gear, flaps, and an astonishing complete mini-figure interior mean we can almost feel the Christmas-excitement in the cabin. Fly home for Christmas on BigPlanes’ British Airways Boeing via the link above. It’ll all be worth it once you’re home.

BRX(mas)

Desert travel before the steam or combustion engine was a slow and sometimes dangerous business. The wise men may have taken a very long time to reach the baby Jesus, with no thanks to meeting a megalomaniacal king on route.

Today desert crossing could even be considered easy, thanks to vehicles like this; the Prodrive BRX Hunter. A purpose built Dakar rally buggy, the BRX is designed specifically to cross the desert as quickly and easily as possible, thanks to carbon-fibre construction and a mid-mounted V6 engine.

Inspired by the BRX is Martin Vala’s ‘BX T1+’, a stunning desert-crossing buggy complete with gull-wing doors, a gold roll cage, and the best brick-built chassis we have ever seen.

Due to our Christmas break, The Brothers Brick beat us to posting this (it’s a Christmas miracle!), but the Elves are now back on their travels once again, so normal service should be resumed. And their search shouldn’t be delayed by any megalomaniacal kings.

There’s more to see of Martin’s incredible Prodrive BRX-inspired ‘BX T1+’ on Flickr by clicking here, and we’ll be back soon with more tenuous Lego-based links to Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

All is quiet here at TLCB Towers. The Elves are locked back in their cages, the TLCB staff have gone home for the holidays, and the only sound is the tapping of this TLCB writer’s keyboard echoing through the office.

We’ll be back in a few days, but if you need to get your Lego fix in the meantime, a few suggestions can be found below;

  • All our past posts are available in the Archives (you can search for pretty much anything and something will probably come up!)
  • The Review Library contains over one-hundred LEGO set, book, and third-party product reviews.
  • You can read interviews with some of the best Lego vehicle builders around by clicking here.
  • Proper Lego blogs, and a lot more besides, can be found in the Directory, which is full of useful links.

We’d recommend doing none of the above though. Switch off, take joy from the little things, and see what you can give back this Christmas : )

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

TLCB Team

Moggy Christmas

It’s only two more sleeps ’til Christmas! Which means as the Elves have returned to TLCB Towers they’ve been placed back into their cages for their enforced Christmas ‘break’. They don’t mind working over Christmas of course, but we’d rather be down the pub, er… we mean ‘working at the homeless shelter’, so they’re confinement is necessary if we aren’t to come back to the office to find all the glue sticks have been eaten.

Seriously though, Christmas is far more important than this dumpster fire of the internet, so this is the last creation to appear here before we pause for a few days. It’s a really good one though!

Built by previous bloggee Wigboldly/Thirdwigg, this brilliant Mercedes-Benz Unimog U430 is everything we like to see in a Technic creation. There’s working steering and suspension, all-wheel-drive, a 4-cylinder engine underneath a tilting cab, a tipping load bed, and front and rear power-take-offs with the option of pneumatic attachments.

All in it’s really not far off the much larger official Technic 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog set, so if you missed your chance to buy that when it was on sale, Thirdwigg’s U430 is an excellent alternative you can build at home. Yup, he’s even made instructions available too.

There’s more of Thirdwigg’s build to see at his ‘U430’ album on Flickr, and you can check out his equally good Technic Unimog U500 and Unimog U400 models that have appeared here previously via the bonus links.

Click the coloured words in the text above to make the jumps to all things Unimoggy.