Tag Archives: 2015

2015 Year in Review

2016 Lego

TLCB has survived another year! Here’s our roundup of the last 12 months…

  • Interviews!  TLCB went all Spinal Tap and turned the Master MOCers Series up to 11. The legendary Firas Abu Jaber joined us to add one more name to the list.
  • Reviews!  Still the most popular posts here at TLCB. This year several of LEGO’s latest sets were added, plus a few unofficial products, including another great book from No Starch Press and a recreation of the original Mad Max V8 Interceptor.
  • Summer Building Competition!  The first TLCB Building Competition took place in the summer of 2015, with dozens of top-quality entries received over the two-month duration. The winners bagged themselves fame, glory, and some awesome prizes!
  • Stats!  TLCB passed the one million mark in 2014, and 2015 saw that number more than double. Readers from over 180 countries joined us here, taking our view count to almost one million a year!

We wish you all a very Happy New Year, and we’ll see you in 2016 with more of the best Lego vehicles, news and reviews that the web has to offer! 

TLCB Team

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42022 Technic Hot Rod Review

Lego Technic 42022 Review

We’re donning TLCB Reviewing Anorak today, as it’s time for another official set review!

We revealed LEGO’s 42022 Technic Hot Rod quite a while ago now, and we finally have a copy of the set in the office. Sitting in the middle of the 2015 Technic range, 42022 proudly flies the flag for mechanical engineering against a tide of sets boasting electrically operated functions. Electricity has its place of course, but sometimes we like to see how things work, and that is something that 42022 does brilliantly.

So, those mechanical functions; 42022 features a working V6 piston engine, functioning steering, and a beautifully engineered folding roof. The big V6 is turned by one (and only one) of the rear wheels, whilst the steering is operated by a vertical axel protruding from the rear of the car. It’s also quite possibly the single most abysmal example of steering that LEGO has ever had the audacity to put into a Technic model. Regular readers of this site will know we often moan about the poor steering on Technic sets, but 42022’s is so comically dreadful it’s like LEGO did it on purpose just to annoy us.

Luckily the folding roof is the complete opposite, being an absolute delight to operate. A small cog on the passenger side of the car raises the rear deck as the roof simultaneously folds down under it. It’s a wonderfully elegant solution, but sadly it also highlights the main problem with 42022: It isn’t really like an actual hot rod.

When you look at 42022 it is of course, unmistakably, a hot rod. But it also sort of isn’t, because it seems as if it’s been designed by someone that knows the key ingredients to make a hod rod, but doesn’t have a recipe for how to cook them.

It is far too low, or long – depending on your view, and many of the details, like that brilliant roof, are totally out of place on a vehicle such as this. A mid-00s sports car would be the perfect fit, but not a modified vintage car.

The odd proportions can actually be solved quite easily; simply doubling (or more) the height of the windscreen re-balances the whole car and makes it far more life-like. But of course then the roof doesn’t work…

The rest of the bodywork itself is OK in a minimalist sort of way – there are in fact only six blue pieces in total – and the funky stickers are quite a fun inclusion.

Besides a slight error in one of the sub-assemblies (which shows pieces present on the model which are yet to be placed in reality) the instructions are typical of LEGO – clear, fun to use, and beautifully laid out. 42022 also comes with digital instructions too, which gives an insight into where LEGO sets will probably head over the next few years.

Overall 42022 is a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst the proportions and detailing are a mile away from accurate (the online Lego Community does it so much better), the mechanical functions – even the terrible steering – are fantastic learning aids for any young builder; all are highly visible within the model and are easy enough to replicate with spare pieces. And that is what Technic should be all about.

42022 is currently on offer for around £20 instead of the usual £30 at a few well-known online retailers. At that price, it’s a worthwhile purchase. 7/10

Lego Technic 42022 Hot Rod Review

 

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The Art of Lego Scale Modeling – Book Review

The Art of Lego Scale Modeling

Here at The Lego Car Blog we firmly believe that you can never read too much, so it’s with great pleasure that today we can bring you a review of a book that could be tailor made for this blog – The Art of Lego Scale Modeling.

Created by two of our Master MOCers, Dennis Glaasker and Dennis Bosman, and produced by the awesome guys at No Starch Press, The Art of Lego Scale Modeling brings together some the most brilliant vehicle builders of the current generation.

Running to over 200 pages No Starch’s latest publication features more than fifty incredible Lego models from twenty-four of the very best Lego model makers in the world – including the authors themselves – neatly divided into several categories, including trucks, ships, heavy equipment and motorcycles.

The Art of Lego Scale Modeling

As we’ve come to expect from No Starch Press, photography and print quality are excellent, with double page spreads used throughout to score maximum visual impact. All of the models included are accurate replicas of real-world vehicles, and alongside each is a brief description of both the build and the model’s full-size counterpart. Most of the builders and many of the models have featured on blogs like this one over the past few years, but however impressive a Lego model may look on a computer screen, they are far more so in print.

The Art of Lego Scale Modeling

The final few pages of the book are given over to a ‘How to’ section, although this section is fairly short and is clearly not the main aim of the publication.

It’s actually this topic that we would like to see more of in future Lego books. Whilst Lego building is intuitive to many of us (and after all, it should be – any child can design their own creation without any difficulty at all), we’re continually amazed by the number of ‘Please can I have instructions’ and ‘How can I build like this?’ emails and comments that we receive here at TLCB.

The Art of Lego Scale Modeling does not set out to answer these questions. Moreover ‘Art’ in this case refers to the visual brilliance of its subjects, rather than the act of doing something, and it excels at sharing this through print. As a coffee table visual stimulant for any fan of Lego, or even just for fans of vehicles and machines, it has set the bar beautifully high.

The Art of Lego Scale Modeling is available to buy now directly from No Starch Press as well as from several well-known online retailers for as little as £19.99. More like this please No Starch Press!

Lego Book

Buy The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling

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SHIPtember 2015 Review

PIco

The darkening skies outside The Lego Car Blog’s skyscraper can mean only one of two things. 1) The Elves have opened an apocalyptic portal to Hades again or 2) it’s autumn and time to brace ourselves for various sci-fi themed building months. The TLCB editorial staff are renowned for our lack of comprehension of sci-fi. We would actually be more comfortable facing a hellish hoard, armed only with Mr. Airhorn (our Elvish research team is pretty hellish and we deal with them on a daily basis). However, we have a duty to our readers to bring you the best of what internet Lego has to offer. So we’re girding our loins and proudly present our SHIPtember 2015 Review. SHIPs tend to be long and pointy, but we thought that we’d focus on some of the more unusual SHIPs from this year’s Flickr thread.

At the top of this post is Pico van Grootveld’s massive EVE online custom Scorpion battleship. Coming in at 130 studs long by 120 wide and 70 tall, this SHIP is a real departure from the typical long & thin configuration. Click the link to see more photos of this monster, include one of Pico attempting to “swoosh” all 22lbs of it. Also going wide was Matt Bace with his Klingon D5 Deuterium Tanker. It’s unusual for us to feature a virtual build but the quality of the details on this SHIP, especially its wings, warrants its inclusion. From reading conversations on Flickr and MOCpages, Matt has also thought carefully about making his Klingon ship structurally sound, which can be lacking in some LDD models and Klingon starships too.

Matt Bace

Bob Hayes went down the retro route with a SHIP right out of Dan Dare and covered in studs. Patrol Ship 014 comes complete with a crew of six minifigures, a cargo bay and one of the smoothest hulls in SHIPtember (Bob says that he thinks of studs as smooth, a bit like Nick Barrett does).

Bob Hayes

Looking like Blacktron’s version of Blake’s 7’s Liberator from Hell, Josh Derksen’s “Demon’s Maw” is an impressive piece of design and engineering. This SHIP is approximately 112 Studs long and 50 studs in diameter and contains two Power Functions XL motors, plus a load of lights from Brickstuff. It’s worth clicking this link to see the working star drive and appreciate the scale of this build.

Josh

Possibly the most graceful SHIP in this year’s collection was Michael Steindl’s “Mikajo”. Michael used brick-bending type techniques to create the compound curves of his SHIP’s wing in just three days. This was a real contrast to his other SHIPtember build, a huge, thuggish Blacktron Missile Boat.

Michael

Lastly, TLCB regular F@bz, came up with this eye-catching use for all of those brick separators that accumulate at the back of your Lego collection. His Juuken Spaceship was built in a day a features 36 of the orange tools.

F@bz

We thought that we’d finish this post with a contrast to the SHIPs with their thousands of bricks. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again on this blog: it’s not how many bricks you use but how you chose to use them that counts. Featured below is Simply Bricking It’s “Shiptober”.

SHIPtober

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Be A Hero

Creations for Charity

Creations For Charity 2015 donations are now open!

The awesome people over at Creations for Charity raise thousands of dollars each year to provide LEGO sets to underprivileged children at Christmas, through the auctioning of incredible one-off Lego creations. But first they need creations to auction.

Lego C4C

If you’re a talented Lego-builder and if you think you have a creation, or could make a creation, that people would love to buy, then get in touch with the Creations for Charity Team and be a hero this Christmas.

Douchbaggery

You might also restore some balance to a LEGO-selling culture that is for the most part, full of blatant douchbaggery (see above, and that price isn’t even in Dollars…).

You can donate your own creation, and see some of the models already donated, by clicking this link to Creations for Charity 2015. Let’s help them raise more than those douchebags want for that Millennium Falcon!

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Creations for Charity 2015

Creations for Charity

Creations for Charity 2015 is here!

Creations for Charity, the incredible annual fundraiser that provides thousands of LEGO toys to children in need, is now open for 2015! Some of the world’s best builders will be donating creations which will be placed for sale in the Creations for Charity online store. All of the money raised is then used to purchase Lego toys for children who would otherwise receive nothing this Christmas, and that is just awesome.

Get involved!

You can join this amazing initiative in a number of ways; by publicising Creations for Charity, donating a creation, or bidding on one of the awesome creations available in the auction. Donations open today – if you’d like to give away one of your creations that you think could raise money for children who have nothing then get in contact with the Creations for Charity team, they’d love to hear from you!

The Creations for Charity 2015 store opens on October the 15th, so check in regularly to see what’s available and get ready to bid!

Creations for Charity 2015

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42043 Mercedes-Benz Arocs Review

Lego Technic 42043 Mercedes-Benz Review

It’s time for another TLCB Set Review! But this time it’s one of our readers – the winner of TLCB Summer Building CompetitionThomas Graafland, who has picked up the Reviewer’s Pen. Thomas has got his hands on LEGO’s 2015 Technic flagship set, the 42043 Mercedes-Benz Arocs, and he’s joined us to explain all…

Browsing on Flickr a while ago I noticed this neat looking Mercedes truck displayed at a Lego fair.
Thinking at first that this was a MOC I was quite shocked that this was actually an official set. The second big shock was the €170 price tag. Normally there would be no chance of me spending that much on a single set, but being a fan of both trucks and LEGO, I knew this was THE set for me.

The box is as per usual with big Technic sets: large and decorated showing the model and the systems used; in this case both Power Functions and Pneumatics V2, and the cover folds open to reveal the model’s functions and some specifications of the real truck.

The box feels heavy, which is always a good sign. Inside are lots of plastic bags, each numbered from 1 to 6, except the one containing the pneumatic parts. The battery box is not in a bag and just slides around in the box between the plastic bags. Instructions are in a single book of 470 pages and the instructions booklet is packed in plastic too, so no folded pages.

The building process is lots of fun. You start off with the chassis, working from the front to the rear. Then comes the cabin, next the crane, and you finish with the bed. The building is very straight-forward, until you reach the crane, which requires some intensive studying of the instructions to get the tubing through the turntable right. It’s not like the instructions give you no clues on how to do it, but it does require a bit of extra attention. The finished truck is not huge, being similar to the 8285/8258 in terms of size. It is heavier, though!

The trucks cabin looks very neat and it definitely looks just like the real deal. The overall shape of the cabin is very smooth, and the cab doesn’t lack detail either. All mirrors, lights, horns and whatnot are present, showing that LEGO went quite some attention to getting the cabin right. I personally really am a fan of the way they did the front grill. I do think it would’ve looked better if the middle part of the grill would’ve been angled too, though, because it just looks a little odd to have only angled the lowest part. The doors open up, to reveal a very, very basic interior. The white colour of the cab looks very clean, but it doesn’t really stand out, which is quite a shame – it doesn’t do justice to that good looking cabin. The ever-boring dark bluish grey doesn’t help making it exciting either.

Steering is done with the two orange beacons on top of the cabin. The steering system works very well, but you have exactly zero grip on those slippery round beacons. There is some slack with the gears too, which only makes steering more difficult. The two front axles steer and turning feels very smooth thanks to the different steering locks on the two axles.

The truck features live-axle suspension all-around. The suspension is a bit on the hard side, but it works very well apart from that. One big downside of the suspension is that the truck sits really high on its wheels. This would’ve been no problem if the suspension travel was as big the gap between the wheels and fenders, but unfortunately it isn’t. Even when fully compressed, there is still about 2 studs room above the wheels and I feel that lowering the truck would actually have been quite possible. However, the suspension will be a very good base to re-use for Model Team MOCs.

Lego Technic 42043 Mercedes Truck

The drivetrain is simple and smooth. The two rear axles drive the engine, which is hidden underneath the cabin. The inline six turns at reasonable speed and especially at higher speeds it makes that nice rattling sound. It’s bit of a pity that it can’t be seen from outside while driving it around, because it is completely hidden by the cab. The cabin folds forward neatly, but even then you can only see the first four cylinders. With some effort you can see the fifth one under the battery box, but the sixth cylinder is completely invisible underneath the crane.

The battery box is hidden very neatly in the rear part of the cabin and is easily replaced. The Power Functions L-motor that drives all the functions resides somewhere in the middle of the chassis and has no trouble driving any of the functions. The gearbox that is driven by the L-motor uses the new driving rings and gears and it drives four functions in total; Continue reading

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FORZA LEGO!

Welcome to TLCB’s almost timely review of the latest in a short line of Creator Expert car models…

Lego 10248 Ferrari F40 Review

Looks nice, doesn’t it? Usually in these reviews I open by rambling on a bit about personal experiences with the car in question, but since I’m not a millionaire that won’t happen this time.

Much.

Y’see, I have had the pleasure of inspecting this fine beast up close and in the plastic (the panels are glassfibre!). All you have to do is visit your friendly neighbourhood Supercar dealer. These places are almost always staffed by knowledgeable enthusiasts who sell what they sell because they love it. If they have the time, they’ll happily share it with you, a fellow enthusiast. Just try not to touch the cars they’ve spent ages polishing… Generally, they’re happy to entertain respectful sightseers and you’ll encounter none of the snootiness you might get from the classic boys…

The Ferrari F40 is an amazing thing, and hardly a people’s car like the other Lego Creator sets… except it is. It’s a thing that’s a joy to see (and hear) whether you own it or not. Three cheers for those who do and share them with the world by driving them around! If you ever see one behind you, wind down the window and hope he gives it the berries when he comes fanging past!

So, if you can’t get a real one, is 10248 the next best thing?

At £70 for 1158 pieces it’s better value, certainly… better value than the Mini even, with 80 more pieces for a fiver less. Considering the likely cost of the Ferrari licence, LEGO are being pretty generous here.

The box seems smallish, same size as the Mini’s I think, but it’s simple and uncluttered design is very appealing – it’s just a shame it’s got those destroy-box-here tabs to open it up. Inside, there’s two sets of numbered bags full of mostly small pieces – there’s a lot of detail here – a small sticker sheet that if you’re lucky won’t be crumpled and the single perfect bound instruction book that’s fast becoming the norm in larger sets. And a brick separator, because you can never have too many of those…

Instructions are pretty clear, so long as you realize Lego’s inconsistent representations of dark grey and black result in what could be black parts in the early stages actually being dark grey… Another minor niggle is the usually-helpful highlighting of parts just added occasionally obscures some parts already there, which can create confusion.

No biggie. It’s a fun thing to build, with very little repetition and like the Mini and Camper before it, plenty of interesting techniques and details along the way. I especially like the way they did those NACA ducts on the bonnet and sides. Here’s a fun fact: the duct was developed in 1945 as a way of allowing cooling air in with a minimal disruption to airflow, by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in the US (NACA eventually became NASA when it’s remit expanded just a bit).

I’m a riot at parties…

As for the rest of it, it’s mostly very good, starting with the engine.

19127457456_d7d7e352f0_b

The heart of any Ferrari, of course, and this has had plenty of attention lavished on it. The 2.85L turbocharged V8 isn’t the prettiest Ferrari engine but it ain’t exactly a diesel either… LEGO have done a great job of this, right down to the pistols used as manifold outlets that you can barely even see once it’s in the car.

The interior is simpler to build, mostly because (entirely accurately) there’s very little in it. What’s there is nicely done, although it would be good if the steering wheel’s rake was fixed instead of relying on a pin’s friction to hold it at the right angle. And good luck getting the tiny Prancing Horse sticker on the 1×1 round tile in the centre of the steering wheel! They probably should have printed that…

They probably shouldn’t have printed the rear pillars. This is the only area that lets it down somewhat. Apparently the genius responsible for the camper’s front and the Mini’s A pillar is yet to retire… One issue I have with this solution is the fact that printing in red on a black part results in a darker shade of red, a point that’s not evident from the pictures on the box but does stand out on the model. Also, because the side window / pillar is one big part, the side window lifts up with the rear cover. Any MOCer worth his salt would have bricked this part properly, as LEGO themselves did with the rest of it.

While we’re having a moan, do you ever wish that LEGO would stop unnecessarily redesigning parts? I’m talking here about the 1×6 arches used over the rear wheels that have an awkward little step that isn’t there if you use a couple of older, smoothly curving ones instead. It looks a lot better if you do.

I am now done moaning. I’m not even going to complain about the stickered ducts over the rear wheels, simply because there isn’t a better way that I can see to do this with an opening engine cover in the space available.

The front end is more successful, capturing the form of the F40 in bricks accurately and well. The pop-up headlights are quite neat (you have to lever them up individually yourself using a thin gap at the front – luckily they’ve provided the brick separator you’ll need for this!). The shape of the bonnet is excellent and there’s even a bit of detail under it, including a spanner (what are they trying to tell us about Italian reliability?). While you’re in there you might notice the multicoloured structure of the bonnet’s underside – the only place where the hidden BOLOCsness of this model becomes evident.

And then there’s that windscreen… Manna from heaven for MOCers, surely! Just so long as the car you build with it is red… There’s a slightly surprising omission here, since with a 1×4 black brick right below it at the same angle, a simple substitution provides somewhere to place a wiper. After all, they’ve thought of everything else, including door mirrors that are actually attached to the doors. Hooray!

Despite a couple of visual hiccups, the model as a whole does look pretty good:

19690153636_0aa1efeb9c_z

All the panels that should open, do, which we always like to see. The engine cover pivots on an axle so there’s no friction – you’ll need the handy stick provided to hold it up. I guess Ferrari must have done the same.

Aside from opening stuff and peering at detail, there’s no playability here, as with the other cars in this theme, but I’m pretty sure any attempt at stuffing mechanics in would ruin it.

Like the Camper and Mini before it, it exists for display and it looks good enough to do that; it’s one visual flaw not quite enough to detract from the whole.

If you have petrol in your veins you’ll like it. 8/10.

Buy the LEGO Creator 10248 Ferrari F40 set

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Lego Creator 10248 Ferrari F40 Set Preview

Lego 10248 Ferrari F40 Review

Today might have been Clarkson, Hammond and May’s last episode of Top Gear, but LEGO have gone a very long way to cheering up TLCB office…

This is the new 10248 Creator set, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Following on from the 10220 Volkswagen Camper and 10242 Mini Cooper sets, LEGO have teamed up with Ferrari once more to bring us a stunning brick-built recreation of possibly the greatest car ever made.

Ferrari’s F40 was launched way back in the late 1980s to triumphant acclaim and it became the definitive supercar of the era. Powered by a small 2.9 litre twin turbo-charged V8 shrouded within kevlar and carbon fibre bodywork, the 201mph F40 was the fastest and most expensive Ferrari ever built.

Production lasted just 5 years, during which time around 1,300 units were manufactured. This means that today the F40 is a little too pricey for most of us, but luckily LEGO have the answer…

LEGO’s 10248 Ferrari F40 Creator set arrives in August of 2015 and contains over 1,150 pieces, a few of which are new and unique to the set, including the wheels, tyres and windshield. There’s an opening engine cover to reveal a detailed V8 engine, opening doors, clamshell front section, pop-up headlights and a detailed interior.

Aimed at ages 14+ the LEGO Creator Ferrari F40 won’t be cheap (RRP is estimated to be around $90/£70), but that’s quite a lot cheaper than the real car. Plus you can park it on your desk.

As is often the way a Set Review for 10248 may follow – in the meantime you can remind yourself of the previous iconic vehicles in the Creator line-up by clicking on the links in the text above.

Lego Creator 10248 Ferrari F40 Review

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Technic 42043 – Mercedes-Benz Arocs – Set Preview

Lego Technic 42043 Mercedes-Benz ReviewThere’s been much excitement here at TLCB Towers today. Following our preview of the 2015 Technic line-up some time ago, the final piece of the 2015 jigsaw has been found! We’ve had a few images of the missing 42043 set sitting in the office for a while, but unfortunately they weren’t of sufficient quality for us to share here. And we forgot. But let’s go with the quality control aspect as it makes us look more professional.

Anyway, thanks to an intrepid troop of Elves we now do have images of a high enough quality to publish! So this is it – LEGO’s new 2015 Technic flagship, building further on their partnership with Mercedes-Benz, the 2,800 piece 42043 Arcos crane truck.

Based on Mercedes’ real 4-axle tractor unit 42043 surpasses even the previous standards set by the incredible 8110 Unimog set. Featuring both Power Functions electric motors and the next generation pneumatic system (containing all-new components), 42043 features a huge range of functionality.

Three new pneumatic cylinders are used to move the crane arm and grab, with a fourth employed as a pneumatic compressor. A gearbox allows the Power Functions system to perform a variety of tasks, including powering the aforementioned compressor and tipping the bucket, whilst unpowered mechanics take care of the steering, piston engine and suspension.

Lego technic 42043 Review

We expect the new 42043 flagship set to cost upwards £165 when it arrives towards the end of the summer, and if one of TLCB Team saves really hard we’ll be able to bring you a set review. In the meantime you can read our reviews of LEGO’s previous releases, including the Arocs’ predecessor – the 8110 Unimog – by clicking here.

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A Clockwork Elf – 42034 Quad Bike – Set Review

42034_Quad-Bike_01

What could be more fun than a hoard of The Lego Car Blog Elves, balanced on top of a careering vehicle, powered by a large, metal spring? For just £17.99 for 148 pieces from our local toy shop, we decided to find out!

Opening the box revealed two bags of Lego parts and a pull-back motor plus four tyres packed loose. As usual, the tyres rolled off under the TLCB office champagne cooler and had to be retrieved by a skinny Elf. The sticker sheet was also packed loose, resulting in the usual slight crumples (come on Lego put them in a bag with some cardboard!). Lastly, came the 60 page instruction book, which thankfully no longer features the terrifying, screaming child on its back cover. Why was he so angry?

60 pages of instructions, might seem a bit over the top but remember that this model is at the “fun” end of the Technic range and aimed at builders from 7 to 14 years old. That said, some of the steps did seem a bit small, such as adding two decorative bushes to the wheel axles in the final step. If you are ever in need of a mental challenge, go and build one of the big Technic sets from the early 1980s and you’ll be thankful for Lego’s modern day approach to instructions.

Disappointingly, there is no “B” model for this set. You can buy the other “Pull-Back” model in this year’s range (42033) and combine the two sets. However, that was too much of an investment for us as we weren’t sure if this model would survive the Elves “testing” regime for long enough to be re-combined.

Having distracted all 271 Elves in the office by giving them a Smartie to fight over, we started the build. The model starts with the chassis, in short rapid steps. By step 8, the pull-back motor is already fitted. For us, the motor was the exciting, interesting bit. How powerful would it be? How long would it last? How many Elves could we smush? Just 40 more pages and we’d be there…

The build continues in, what is now, traditional Technic style, strongly embedding the motor in a frame. Disappointingly there is no gearing in this model. It’s great introduction to Technic for younger builders but perhaps some gearing would have added to the educational value and interest? Maybe the motor wasn’t up to it? Just 35 more pages to go…

The decorative “engine” of this model is a two cylinder “V”. It’s neatly made from a 57585, 3 Branch Cross Axle and a pair of wheel hubs. The stickers start to come in at this point too. Applying them looked quite fiddly. We prefer to leave our pieces clean and ready for re-use in MOCs, so fortunately we skipped that part. The instructions now moved on to make the bodywork. Lego leave adding to wheels until the end of the build. How fast would our quad bike zoom?

Page 27 has a fiddly, combined axle and peg connection, with three things to go in. It’s a bit tricky and builders at the younger end of the age range will probably need a hand here. Page 30 adds an axle to the pull-back motor and the front axle too. It turns out the at the steering handle bars are just decorative. Perhaps a simple, friction based, steering could have added to the fun by allowing the quad bike to go in straight lines or in curves? It seemed quite hard to wind the motor up. Perhaps it would be easier once the wheels were on?

A few more steps, adding familiar Technic parts and panels (there were no exciting new components hidden in this build for the collector). Then it was time to add the wheels! Even though this model is aimed at younger builders, this took three whole pages of the instructions, which seemed a little excessive. The finished article is a nicely chunky, good looking, strong toy. It easily survived being dropped 30cm onto a table, thanks to its balloon tyres.

We loaded 13 and ¾ Elves onto the quad bike in the style of the White Helmets and started to wind up its motor. After four sets of easy 30cm pull backs, which stored a lot of energy in the spring, a ratchet cut in to stop it being over-wound and broken. The model easily covered the 6 metres across the TLCB executive sun deck, spraying Elves as it went. Fortunately it is light and has a strong front bumper built into it. Parents might want to guard some of their more delicate furniture.

To sum up. Value for money: perhaps not for the parts but you can buy this model online for a couple of pounds cheaper than we bought it in a shop. The palette is just black, yellow and grey, so the parts will easily combine with parts from your other Technic sets in MOCs. There are also two pairs of useful wheels, unlike the 42033 set. The model looks good, even without the stickers and is strong, fun and fast to play with. This is the model’s best point: it’s a fun introduction to the Technic style of building and a great toy to play with once it’s built.

42034_box1_na_1488x841

P.S. If you’re wondering what an Elf on a quad bike looks like, click this link.

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And It’s Go Go Go!

Lego Ferrari 2015 Formula 1

The 2015 Formula 1 championship kicks off in Melbourne Australia today! Will anyone challenge Mercedes? Will Maldonado get around Turn 1 without crashing into anyone? Will McLaren even finish? There’s only a few hours to go before we find out!

Oh, this lovely Ferrari SF15-T is the work of Nathanael L (aka Lego Builders) of MOCpages and Flickr. It’s gotta be better than last year’s car right?

Lego Ferrari SF15-T F1 Car

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Russian Dolls

Lego Porsche Speed Champions

LEGO’s Speed Champions sets, featuring licensed partnerships with Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche, have been warmly received by the interwebs. Porsche-building legend Malte Dorowski got there long before LEGO though, and he’s built some versions of LEGO’s official 75912 Porsche set that are a little bit bigger… You can see more of Malte’s set of differently-sized Porsches on both Flickr and MOCpages.

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Pirate Picture Special

Lego Pirate Ship Brickmans Bounty

Yaarr! What better t’celebrate the return of pirates than with a 48,000 brick pirate ship!*

Certified LEGO Professional Ryan McNaught aka TheBrickMan has welcomed the LEGO Pirates line back into stores in 2015 in a huge way. At 2 meters long and taking 120 hours to build, Ryan’s ‘Brickman’s Bounty’ is the pride of the Brickvention 2015 Lego Show.

Lego Brickman's Bounty

The ship is constructed as a cut-away so you can can see interior too – Click the link above to visit Ryan’s photostream to see all the details of the Brickman’s Bounty, and you can see all of Ryan’s other works that have featured here by clicking this link and scrolling down.

Lego Ship Inside*In a pirate voice

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Twice as Nice

Lego Motorcycle and Sidecar

This beautiful Technic motorcycle with sidecar comes from TLCB debutant hirnlego, and it looks a fine way to reuse two of LEGO’s 42036 Sports Motorbike sets. You can see more of this creation via the first link, and you can read our review of the official Technic set on which it’s based via the second.

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