TLCB debutant Nick Kleinfelder was suggested to us by a reader, and we’re glad he was, because he’s working on an expansive ’80s train layout filled with beautifully detailed vehicles like this one.
Apparently these Mercedes-Benz ’round bonnet’ trucks were still popular in Europe in the ’80s, which this TLCB Writer is too young to vouch for. What he can confidently confirm though, is they’re very popular today crawling impossibly slowly up Asian mountainside roads pulling improbably enormous loads of illegally logged timber.
Which is both mightily impressive and exceedingly sad. Still, this one isn’t doing that, rather it’s being used for ‘Raiffeisen’ according to Nick, and whilst we have absolutely no idea what that means, it’s definitely better than illegally destroying the rainforest.
There’s more of Nick’s lovely round bonnet Mercedes truck to see at his photostream, and you can check out both it and Nick’s other creations via the link in the text above.
Wacked from the ball and chalk? Then feast your meat pies on Jonathan Elliott’s Austin FX4 sherbet dab! Jonathan’s build is lemon tart, with choice black pieces, clips n’ bars, and – would you Adam n’ Eve it – bunny ears too. The grey mare’s more bangers n’ mash than ol’ Uncle Gus, but you’ll dodge the Barney Rubble from the elephant’s trunks. Take a butcher’s hook via the link above, whilst we head down the battlecruiser for a Garry Glitter.
This pot of Communist cream is a Barkas B1000, an East German forward-control van produced from 1961 until 1988, and powered by a tiny one-litre, three-cylinder, two-stroke engine.
Available as a pick-up, an 8-seat minibus, and – as pictured here – a panel van, the B1000 could carry a one-ton payload (probably very slowly), and proved so reliable and adept at doing so it was built virtually unchanged for nearly thirty years.
This charming Model Team recreation of the B1000 comes from previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Legostalgie, who has captured the East German workhorse beautifully in beige bricks.
Opening doors and a superbly detailed interior are included, and you can head to the other side of the Iron Curtain sometime in the 1970s via the link to Flickr above.
The Lego Car Blog Elves are having a great day today. Previous bloggee Jakub Marcisz is back with this lovely Classic Ford F100 pick-up, which not only looks fantastic, there’s a complete Power Functions remote control drivetrain underneath too.
The Elves therefore, are riding around in the back. A few have inevitably been run over, but for the most part it’s good clean fun.
Jakub’s model conceals its remote controlness well, with the only clue visible being if the brown box is removed from the bed, and the model also features opening doors (revealing a beautifully constructed interior), dropping tailgate, opening hood, LED lights, working suspension, and a high/low gearbox.
It’s a top quality build that’s worth a closer look, and you can do just that via Jakub’s photostream at the link above, where more imagery and a link to a YouTube video can also be found.
Ferrari’s F12 Berlinetta is not the only vehicle to carry the F12 moniker. Volvo Trucks got there first, way back in 1977, and – because we’re a bit weird – we prefer their one…
This beautiful 7-wide Volvo F12 comes from builder Duq, whose recreation of the classic cab-over contains some of the finest detailing we’ve ever seen at this scale, from that wonderful grille and a life-like interior to even a realistic driveshaft.
Lamborghini have just revealed the new Countach, celebrating 50 years since the original first appeared in concept form and re-wrote the supercar rule book. In looks only of course, as the actual car, when it arrived in 1974, was rather rubbish.
Still, how a car drives is irrelevant when it’s a poster on your bedroom wall, and the Countach fulfilled the bedroom poster brief better than any car before it, or since.
Which makes us rather disappointed that Lamborghini’s ‘new’ Countach looks mostly like every other Lamborghini, and is yet another ultra-limited special edition (just 112 units will be made) costing $2m a piece.
Not that it matters what we think of course, because the new Countach is already sold out.
No, we’ll stick with the old one produced from 1974 until 1990 (by which time it had grown to look rather silly), despite it being a pretty bad car – even by 1970s supercar standards.
Cue Flickr’s barneius, who has recreated one the later (silly) original Countaches – the extravagantly-titled ‘LP5000 Quattrovalvole’ – beautifully in Speed Champions scale.
Clever build techniques are matched by an even cleverer use of black stickers, and there’s more of barneius’s build to see, plus a link to building instructions, at his ‘Lamborghini Countach’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump.
Skoda might produce some rather good (if fantastically dull) cars today, but it hasn’t always been that way. Prior to Volkswagen’s ownership, Skoda were, um… let’s just say ‘not highly regarded’, causing the Czech brand to become the butt of a million mostly-bad jokes.
Part of that unwanted reputation was due to this car, the 105/Estelle, built from 1976 to 1990.
Designed for poor quality Eastern European roads, the 105 had its engine in the back for better traction, and because the Soviet Union refused to let Skoda built it in a more modern front-engined front-wheel-drive configuration, as it would have been better than all the crap made elsewhere in the bloc. Communism literally preferred to build a worse car than to allow the inequality created by progress.
Quality was also woeful, even if the design was actually OK, but at least that meant is was consistent with the other Soviet Union products of the time.
Today though, the rear-engined rear-wheel-drive layout makes the Skoda 105/Estelle something of a curiosity, with a reasonable following that it probably wouldn’t enjoy if it had been built as Skoda originally intended.
This excellent (and very orange) Model Team replica of the Skoda 105 comes from Legostalgie of Flickr, who has captured the car in its rear-engined rubbishness wonderfully in brick form. A detailed interior, opening doors, front trunk, and engine cover all feature, and there’s lots more to see at Legostalgie’s Skoda 105 album.
Click the link above to view all of the ace imagery, and to warm your hands on the rear window.
The ‘Fast & Furious’ movies are – for the most part – total garbage. With characters coming back from the dead (twice), long lost family members loosely enabling plot continuation (twice), and bad guys turning good just to keep them in the franchise (three times by our count), the plots could have been written by TLCB Elves.
But, like the internet’s most popular video category, no one is watching a Fast & Furious movie for the plot. They’re watching for the cars. And maybe Vin Diesel’s giant shiny head. In doing so making ‘Fast & Furious’ the most profitable movie franchise ever.
Thus LEGO have joined the ‘Fast & Furious’ party, and have brought one of the franchise’s star cars to life in Technic form. This is the Technic 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set, supplied to us here at TLCB by online shop Zavvi, and it’s time for a review…
First a shout out to our suppliers Zavvi, whose delivery was prompt, communication good, and the 42111 box was massively well protected inside, well… a bigger box. If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep the boxes for your sets (ours just go in the recycling), that’s a bonus.
LEGO have realised this too, removing the sticky circles that hold the ends shut (but that rip the artwork when opened), and fitting a cereal-box style closable tab so it can stay closed.
Inside 42111’s box are five numbered bags, bagged instructions and stickers (which helps to keep them protected too), and 1,077 parts. Many of these are weird and new, at least to this reviewer (if not the set), and continue LEGO’s approach of using every colour ever. However, like numerous ‘Fast & Furious’ characters, we’re going to do a complete 180 and say that it, well… works.
Building 42111 is fun and straight-forward, with the multitude of colours making it easy to find the parts required. The colours are thoughtfully chosen too, enabling quick identification and actually changing in some cases as the build progresses depending upon which similar pieces they shared a bag with. They’re all fairly well hidden by the end too, so there’s no ‘rainbow’ misery here.
The build can also be commended for creating a fully working rolling chassis by the mid-point, which makes it much more interesting than only adding the wheels at the end.
As has been the case for a while now though, the instructions can be very simple, at times adding just one piece per step. That said, there are a lot of orientation changes, which you have to watch out for so you don’t install something upside down. Not that this Reviewer did that. He’s a professional.
After a few hours of happy parts selection and spot-the-difference, you’ll have a nicely sized Technic recreation of the early ’70s Dodge Charger – modified ‘Fast & Furious’ style with a giant supercharger and NO2 tanks – complete with a working V8 engine, steering, all-wheel suspension, opening doors, hood and trunk, and a bizarre party trick. Continue reading →
How Firas Abu-Jaber has managed to turn a vehicle renowned for its curves into one famous for its straight lines has broken every brain here at TLCB Towers, but suffice to say, Firas has absolutely smashed it.
Working steering, an opening front trunk, engine cover and scissor doors, plus a detailed interior all feature, and there are more superbly presented images of Firas’s incredible 10295 alternate to see at his ‘Lamborghini Countach’ album here.
You can also find further details and building instructions at Firas’s excellent website Bricks Garage, plus you can check out his interview here at TLCB to learn how he builds models like this one by clicking these words.
The crack team of Elven ‘volunteers’ fired over The LEGO Company’s HQ permitter wall tasked with uncovering this summer’s new sets had – we thought – all returned/been eaten by guard dogs, but no! Today one last bedraggled Elf returned home to TLCB Towers with a final new-for-2021 LEGO set, at it’s a great one…
This is the brand new Creator Expert 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van, LEGO’s officially licensed successor to the wonderful 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van that has been on sale for almost a decade (making it one of the longest serving LEGO sets ever).
Improving on the 10220 set is no mean feat – it achieved a full 10/10 review here at TLCB – and LEGO have certainly gone all-out, nearly doubling the parts count to a whopping 2,207 pieces.
Many of these are tiles too, as a new building technique deploys outward facing ‘SNOT’ to construct the bodywork in place of the original set’s traditional stacked bricks.
A fully detailed interior complete with a canvas pop-top, opening cabinets, a fridge, a stove (with all important tea pot), and a sink is included, whilst a brick-built surfboard (first seen on the 10252 Volkswagen Beetle set) along with two folding deck chairs ensure the T2 is suitably beachy.
Working steering, a sliding door, a brand new windscreen piece, and an opening engine cover add to the realism, whilst period-correct (and hippy default) ‘Peace’ and ‘Love’ decals ensure the model reflects the late ’60s – early ’70s era that still defines the T2 today.
Expect the new LEGO Creator Expert 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van to cost around $180/£150 when it hits stores later this year, and LEGO’s successful Volkswagen Camper story to continue for some time yet. A T3 set in 10 years’ time? We wouldn’t bet against it!
If there’s a car more likely to be driven by people who are usually found chewing a toothpick in an alley wearing a leather jacket and a bad moustache than the ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, we’re yet to find it.
This Speed Champions scale Trans Am comes from Rolling Bricks, complete with a lift-out T-top, opening doors, and a golden flaming bird motif.
Don your leather jacket and head to an alley to chew a toothpick via the link above.
The Nissan/Datsun 280Z/Fairlady Z was never quite as pretty as its 240/260Z predecessors. However previous bloggee SP_LINEUP aims to address this by making his 280Z Fairlady well… a bit fatter. Unlike your Mom however, SP’s Fairlady Z wears its wider bodywork superbly, with black arch extensions, a front splitter, and phat exhaust. There’s more to see of SP’s modified Datsun on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.
Ah Error 404. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol standard response code that indicates the browser communicated with a given server, but the server couldn’t find what was requested.
Which, as purveyors of a website with a million views a year, we of course knew without looking it up on Google… Honestly, it’s a miracle that this site functions at all.
Anyway, today 404 was found, as one of Elves brought back this rather lovely Peugeot 404 pick-up, as built by regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott.
Based on Peugeot’s 1960s large passenger car, the 404 pick-up was produced into the late ’80s in Europe, and until 1991 in Kenya, where it’s still a common sight thanks to its almost unbreakable toughness. Yup, we really did say that about a Peugeot.
Jonathan’s 8-wide recreation captures the 404 pick-up beautifully, and you can check out the build, along with his extensive garage of other Speed Champions scale vehicles, at his photostream on Flickr.
Click the link above to instruct your browser to communicate with the server. Or something.
This startlingly well-constructed classic camper is a 1977 Dodge B100-based Winnebago, or ‘Minnie Winnie’, and it comes from 1saac W. who is on an absolute roll at the moment.
1saac’s creation captures the aesthetic of the real deal brilliantly, including a brick-built take on the classic Winnebago livery, and a subtle shift from six to seven wide from the cabin to the camper.
It might not be fast, nor beautiful, but it’s nevertheless one of our favourite small-scale creations of the year so far. Head to an American campsite in the late ’70s via 1saac’s photostream above.
It’s time for another delve into the automotive curiosity cupboard that is the Eastern Bloc, a Communist alliance renowned for the oppression of millions, waiting lists that stretched into decades, and cars that were almost comically bad. This is one of them, the Wartburg 353.
As with many Communist creations though, the Wartburg was not a bad car when it launched in the late 1960s. A weird one perhaps, but not bad objectively speaking.
The 353 started production from a pinched BMW factory in 1966, and was powered by a 1 litre, 3-cylinder, 2-stroke engine that had its roots in a 1938 DKW. This made it as torquey as the larger engines in the west, and meant it had only seven major moving parts, but also made the car incredibly unrefined and polluting, leaving a cloud of burnt oil behind it whenever it went.
A unique freewheel system meant the 353 required no clutch to change gear, and the car was also front-wheel-drive, still fairly novel at the time, although the set-up imbued it with terrifying understeer characterises in the wet.
Despite the niggles, the Wartburg 353’s low price, reliability, and the fact it wasn’t a Trabant, led to success, and meant that – due to the ‘planned economy’ of East Germany – the waiting list stretched out to fifteen years for private citizens.
The 353 was also exported to several countries as the Wartburg ‘Knight’, presumably to bring in foreign currency (which must have been frustrating for those on the waiting list), as well as being used by the police and East German government.
Of course as time passed the 353 became increasingly outdated, and little was done to keep pace with Western products that were out of reach for those trapped behind the Iron Curtain. The government even repeatedly refused to upgrade the polluting 2-stroke engine, despite Wartburg’s engineers having developed working alternatives.
By the late-’80s the writing was on the wall, both for East Germany and Wartburg. The eventual addition of a modern 1.3 litre engine from the Volkswagen Polo in 1984 came too late, and the reunification of Germany finally killed the 353 – alongside many other long-obsolete East German offerings – in 1988.
This splendid Model Team recreation of the Wartburg 353 ‘Tourist’ is the work of previous bloggee Legostalgie, who has captured the East German family car beautifully in period-correct brown.
Opening doors, hood and tailgate, plus a detailed engine and interior all feature, and there’s lots more of the model to see at Legostalgie’s ‘Wartburg 353 Tourist’ Flickr album. Click the link above to join a fifteen year queue in East Germany sometime in the 1970s.