Orange Squash

The Lego Car Blog Elves are, we think, immune to the Coronavirus. Not that we’d really care, but the little turds could bring it into TLCB Towers, so it’s a relief to know their DNA is sufficiently different from ours. Which shouldn’t really be a surprise looking at them.

However, whilst they can’t catch the deadly respiratory disease, they can still cause carnage amongst their own kind, as was proven today by one of their number at the controls of this; apachaiapachai‘s ‘Tangerine’ Technic rally car.

Powered by a single L Motor, but boosted by a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery providing up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own system, apachai’s creation is ludicrously fast, with the Elves caught on the floor no match for its speed.

Fortunately it’s also quite a low, so before long several were wedged underneath and the rampage was brought to an end, but not before quite a lot of Elven bodily fluids had got onto the carpet.

We could be mad at apachai for that, but a) it’s not his fault our workers are hell-bent on annihilating one another, and b) his creation is so damn cool! Looking like a mashup of many late ’80s – early ’90s rally cars, and with opening doors, hood and a roll cage inside it’s not just a riot to drive but looks thoroughly excellent too.

That said, we are going to have a go driving it (once we’ve wiped the front clean), so whilst we do that you can take a look at apachai’s remote control Technic rally car at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, where you can also find a video showing just how quick this thing is!

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More Mini-‘Mog

Following yesterday‘s Mercedes-Benz Unimog here’s another recreation of the iconic off-road truck. If the escalating Coronavirus apocalypse continues vehicles like this could become very in-vogue, so perhaps it’s reaching building habits on a subconscious level?

This one – a much older ‘406’ variant – comes from TLCB regular Jonathan Elliott, is fitted with a ‘canvas’ top, and looks just the thing for raiding the supermarket to stockpile toilet paper. But don’t do that, because you’re not an absolute douchebag.

Head to Flickr via the link above to check it out, whilst we expect a flurry of apocalypse-proof vehicles to appear here over the coming weeks…

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Patrouille Suisse

This strikingly-liveried aircraft is a Northrop F5-E Tiger supersonic fighter, and it looks really rather conspicuous indeed. Conspicuous is not what you want from a fighter of course, but whilst the F5-E was mostly designed to do battle against MiGs, it’s also used by the Patrouille Suisse aerobatic display team. Because what else do the Swiss need to do with a fighter jet?

Recreated here by previous bloggee Dornbi this brilliant brick-built Patrouille Suisse F5-E Tiger replicates the real aircraft’s livery in spectacular fashion, including the white ‘X’ on the bottom which we can’t even begin to fathom out. Head to Dornbi’s ‘F5-E Tiger’ album on Flickr to see if you can.

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Mini-‘Mog

LEGO’s incredible 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog was one of the first officially licensed Technic sets and – we think – still one of the all-time greats. With a vast array of functionality, motorised, pneumatic and mechanical, it’s one of the finest ever showcases of what LEGO can do. But LEGO’s not just about the big stuff, and little builds can be equally brilliant – case in point, this beautifully presented Town-scale version of the 8110 set.

Built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Lowe it not only looks absolutely brilliant, it kinda functions too, with a posable crane, steering, and working stabiliser legs too.

There’s more to see of Nikolaus’s fantastic mini-figure Unimog at his photostream via the link above, you can read our review of the huge 8110 Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimog set via the first link, and you can read some tips on how to create images as stunning as Nikolaus’s by clicking here.

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Zoom Lion

Well this is has the best name of any vehicle we’ve ever posted! The SNSC ‘Zoomlion’ is not an ultra fast lion, but instead a fairly slow forklift truck (props to SNSC’s marketing department), recreated here in fully remote controlled Technic form by Danifill of Eurobricks.

Controlled and powered by a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery, Danifill’s Zoomlion features motorised drive, steering and forklift elevation, plus a pneumatically controlled forklift pitch via two pneumatic cylinders supplied by an on-board compressor.

Click here to make the jump to the Eurobricks discussion forum where further images and a video of the Zoomlion zooming can be found.

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Bygone Times

Ah the age of steam, when no-on had to worry about catching a deadly virus named after a beer, and idiots vomiting ‘advice’ on social media in the name of clicks were just idiots vomiting advice down the pub that could be quietly ignored. There was polio, consumption and no National Health Service though, so on balance today is probably a better time to be alive, however romantic the past may look.

This particular piece of romantic looking past is a Thompson Class L1 steam locomotive, produced between 1948 and 1950 and run – in this case – by the London North East Railway.

Built by Britishbricks it’s a breathtaking replica of one of the ninety-nine Class L1s constructed, with custom valve gear and beautiful decal work too. A convoy of superb trucks follows and there’s more to see of the complete train at Britishbricks’ Album on Flickr. Head to a romanic looking past via link above. Toot toot!

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Almost a Corona

Toyotas don’t always have the most fortunate names. There’s the ISIS, the BJ, and the perfectly-acceptable-until-recently Corona. Which is now a deadly virus. Oops. The name Corona actually means ‘crown’, just like Toyota’s Corolla, Camry, and, er… Crown.

It’s the Crown we have here, which means essentially the same thing as Corona, but doesn’t evoke the ongoing mass morbidity of the elderly. This Lego version of the Crown comes from Ralph Savelsberg of Flickr who has recreated the Japanese saloon in Tokyo Police specification, complete with authentic decals and the odd raising light-bar on the roof.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Toyota Crown police car at his photostream via the link above, which has gotta be better than a Corona. Probably not a BJ though…

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Acceptable in the ’80s

Some things were acceptable in the ’80s. Perms. Sexism. Straight lines. And turbos. Everything had the word ‘turbo’ written on it, even sunglasses. However the Honda City Turbo II did actually have a turbo attached to its little 1,200cc engine, giving it 100bhp. Nearly.

It was also designed entirely using straight lines, as was the minute Honda Motocompo folding scooter, a vehicle so small it could actually fit in the trunk of the City Turbo II, as proven in this magnificent ’80s commercial.

Despite being borne in the ’80s the Motocompo didn’t have a turbo, producing just 2.5bhp from its 49cc engine. Still, we bet even that was pretty terrifying. We’ll stick to the City Turbo II, which we’ve decided we really want in real life. But we are a bit odd.

These superb Model Team recreations of both the Honda City Turbo II and Motocompo scooter come from Dylan Denton, who has built each ’80s icon beautifully. Both models feature wonderful attention to detail (enhanced by accurately replicated decals) inside and out, and are absolutely worth a closer look.

Head to Tokyo c1983 courtesy of Dylan’s photostream via the link in the text above!

*Today’s title song

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Itsa Me, Mario! For Some Reason…

LEGO have had a lot of officially licensed themes over the years. Some have been marvellous, including the current tie-up with a multitude of vehicle manufacturers to recreate real-world vehicles (keep these coming LEGO!), whereas some… Micky Mouse? Pirates of the Caribbean? Scooby Doo? Even we’d forgotten about the last two.

The new Nintendo Mario theme is, we fear, going to drop straight into whatever the equivalent of a Bargain Bucket is for LEGO sets. Still, this most tenuous of upcoming partnerships hasn’t stopped TLCB regular SP_LINEUP from building his own Mario-themed model, creating this neat Mario Kart complete with a brick-built Italian plumber on board.

Neither has the absurdity of LEGO’s newly licensed theme stopped fellow Flickrist BenBuildsLego from creating his own Mario-themed MOC either, with his admittedly rather wonderful homage to some of Mario Kart 64’s most infamous tracks, including the perilously difficult ‘Rainbow Road’ which makes us nervous just looking at it.

Click the links in the text above to fire up your engine and to fire that red shell, whilst we await LEGO’s new theme with minimal excitement.

 

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Wood You Believe It!

We’re pretty sure that for some of you reading this your very first car was made out of wood, and looked like this. This marvellous ‘wooden’ fire engine is not wooden at all, and comes from Jens Ohrndorf who has recreated the iconic classic toy beautifully from LEGO pieces. Head out to rescue Mr. Duck, Giraffe, big sister’s Barbie, and whatever other toys are in peril via the link above!

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Russian Dump

We’ll let Russian readers insert their own joke linking to the title so we don’t get poisoned by Novichok. Or we can make one about what fetish your Dad’s internet history reveals… Nope, we’re going to rise above it today* – on the the model!

This gorgeous GAZ-53 dump truck is the work of previous bloggee Samolot, who has created this beautiful fully-functioning Technic replica of the Soviet medium duty truck produced from 1961 right up until 1993.

Samolot’s model looks superb (particularly in the wonderful outdoor shot above), and features a long list of engineering ingenuity, including working front and rear suspension, remote control drive via a single XL Motor, steering via a Servo, a remote control four-speed gearbox, and a Medium motor-powered functioning tipper.

There’s much more to see of Samolot’s brilliant build at the Eurobricks discussion forum by clicking here, where you can also find a video demonstrating the GAZ’s working functions.

*Kinda

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Yeehaw!

Is there anything more American than a pick-up truck with a dead animal nailed to the front? OK, maybe obesity and firearms activism, but other than those this has got to be top.

This particular pick-up truck with a dead animal nailed to the front is a late ’70s Chevrolet Silverado K30 series, as built by previous bloggee Filsawgood.

Working suspension, remotely controlled four-wheel-drive and steering, opening hood and doors, and a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery all feature, and you can see more of Filsawgood’s classic Chevy K30 at both Flickr and Eurobricks.

Click the links to grab your gun and bag yourself a new hood ornament. Yeehaw!

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Fast Bricks: Build 6 LEGO Sports Cars! | Book Review

They’re the questions we receive here more than other (apart from your Mom calling to find out if we’re free); “Where can I buy this?” / “Are there instructions?”.

We’ve reviewed a range of books here at TLCB (see here, here, here and here) that aim to answer the questions above, providing parts lists and building instructions to enable readers to create real-world vehicles from LEGO bricks. Today we have another, kindly provided by publisher ‘Brick Monster‘ who have a range of both instructional books and downloadable building instructions available at their website, offering everything from BrickHeadz to dinosaurs.

Fast Bricks: Build 6 LEGO Sports Cars!

Overview: Brick Monster’s latest publication, entitled ‘Fast Bricks’, details the step-by-step building instructions and complete parts lists for six real-world sports and performance cars. Each car is designed to match LEGO’s old six-wide Speed Champions scale which, whilst less detailed than the new 8-wide standard, should mean both a plentiful parts supply and that fewer parts are needed.

The book follows the now familiar format that we’ve come to expect from instructional publications, offering a brief (and really well written) introduction to each car, along with a few key statistics – although in this case they are about the model itself rather than its real world equivalent.

Instructions and Print Quality: The bulk of the book is taken by the step-by-step instructions, which are clear and well laid out. Minor sub-assemblies are used every so often and all parts added are highlighted by a contrasting brightly-coloured outline, which is very nice touch. A ‘Bill of Materials’ ends each section, along with the alternate colour schemes available for each build. Unfortunately we have no images of these available to show here, which is something that Brick Monster should look into so that they can showcase this content.

‘Fast Bricks’ is not the glossiest book we’ve reviewed and nor is it printed in the highest quality, but it’s well suited to its purpose, where ultra high quality paper can actually be a hinderance to following building instructions, however beautiful the product looks. On the other hand one area where higher print quality would have been useful was in the instructions for C8 Corvette pictured on the cover, where the dark blue bricks chosen are hard to distinguish against the black lines that surround them. This is never an issue with official LEGO sets and highlights just how good LEGO are at both designing and mass-producing the building instructions found in their products.

The Models: It’s the Corvette that is probably the best model within the book, although all feature a range of excellent building techniques that newer builders may appreciate learning.

However, unfortunately for us in some cases the builds are not particularly recognisable as the car they are purported to be. We could have ten guesses for the Mazda MX-5 and Lamborghini Huracan and we wouldn’t have guessed correctly, with other models having only a passing resemblance to their real-world counterparts.

It’s a shame, because – whilst not really offering anything new – the layout, instruction designs, descriptions, and parts lists of ‘Fast Bricks’ are all pretty good.

Verdict: We wouldn’t have thought there was a need for yet another building instructions book, however the constant requests we receive here at The Lego Car Blog indicate that – as usual – we know nothing, and there remains a significant interest in step-by-step instructions for models.

We’re not sure that any book is the best medium for providing step-by-step instructions anymore, with digital downloads performing the job just as well, but nevertheless ‘Fast Bricks’ take on the book-based instructional formula is another competently engineered addition, utilising well-judged techniques and instructional designs to walk readers from a pile of LEGO bricks to a finished sports car model. We just wish the models found within it looked a bit more like the cars they’re supposedly based upon.

★★★

Buy your copy of Fast Bricks by Gilad Barlev and Brick Monster here.

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Red Rice

We’re not sure where the term ‘ricer’ came from in America, but today it’s defined as ‘Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements’, which means it seems to have transcended any xenophobic origins and can be used to describe any car modified in a ‘ricey’ way.

What we do know is that three favourites recipients of the term, at least according to the internet, are the Toyota Supra (specifically the Mk4 variant), the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and the Honda Civic, each of which has been recreated brilliantly in lightly-riced form by TLCB regular SP_LINEUP.

Each includes opening doors and hood, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and some can be bought from SP in kit form too. Click the link above to visit SP’s photostream to see more of each build and the rest of his extensive back-catalogue.

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Hoedown

We’re not just about hot rods, monster trucks and supercars here at The Lego Car Blog. This superbly built ‘backhoe’ (or ‘digger’ as it is known in our home nation) is the work of previous bloggee The Eleventh Bricks who has constructed his creation in a vaguely Speed Champions scale and in a rather lovely light blue hue. Excellent detailing is in evidence throughout and you can see more on Flickr at the link.

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