Tag Archives: 4×4

The Last Good Lancia

Lancia’s current range of one solitary ugly car is probably the most pathetic of any car manufacturer alive today. But it wasn’t always like that.

Back in the 1990s Lancia was still, er… troubled, but nevertheless capable of absolute magic, and this was one of their most magical moments.

The Lancia Delta HF Integrale was the final evolution of a humble (and rather good) hatchback that started life way back in the late 1970s, eventually becoming a turbocharged all-wheel-drive rally homologation special.

The HF Integrale is now a seriously sought after car, which Eurobricks member Pingubricks has recreated beautifully in Model Team form. There are opening doors (no mean feat considering the wide-arch bodywork), an opening hood under which sits a detailed engine, and a realistic interior too.

An impressive suite of further imagery can be found at the rather underused Eurobricks ‘Scale Modelling’ forum; click the link to jump to see more of Pingu’s brilliant brick-built homage to one of Lancia’s finest moments.

Off-Road at Any Speed

The 1961 Chevrolet Corvair was a brilliantly interesting car. Designed to take on Volkswagen, the Corvair was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled flat-6 engine, which even came with the option of turbo-charging (the first production car in the world to do so).

Unfortunately however, the Corvair also featured a significant design flaw; the suspension tried to kill you.

The bean-counters at GM omitted anti-sway bars to save cost, which – when combined with that rear-mounted flat-6 engine and swing-axle suspension – caused the wheel camber to vary drastically when cornering. This created a car with wildly unpredictable handling, and therefore one that crashed a lot.

In 1965 attorney Ralph Nader published a book on the Corvair titled ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’, and Corvair sales plummeted. Of course GM did the default ‘evil corporation’ thing and attempted to smear Nader rather than fix the car, before conceding and equipping the Corvair with independent suspension.

The damage had been done though, and the Corvair carries a crashy reputation to this day. Cue Flickr’s Volker Brodkorb, who has fixed his Corvair station wagon’s handling issues by, well… turning it into an off-road monster truck.

OK, if anything the handling would be even worse, but look how cool it is! Volker’s model is in fact based on a real Corvair monster truck, which has got the Elves very excited. There’s more to see of Volker’s version via the link above, and you can check out a video of the real-life monster truck on which Volker’s model is based by clicking this link, where – amazingly – no one is killed at all.

LEGO Technic 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor | Set Preview

The Ford F-150 Raptor is the Mustang of off-roaders. By which we mean it’s a vehicle usually seen doing stuff like this. Or this. Or this. But enough gratuitous footage of Raptor driver incompetence, because now you can crash your very own Ford F-150 Raptor at home!

Yup, LEGO have added the be-stickered off-road ready version of America’s best-selling vehicle to the Technic line-up, and it looks absolutely fantastic!

Constructed from 1,379 pieces (many of which are in Porsche 911 GT3 RS orange), the new LEGO Technic 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor set faithfully recreates the crashiest of pick-ups in Technic form, with working suspension, a V6 engine, all-wheel drive, opening doors and hood, and functioning steering.

Continuing the trend for increased visual realism of Technic sets, 42126 includes a few System parts, a wealth of stickers (much like the full-size Raptor), delightfully knobbly tyres, and even the ‘HOG’ steering device is removable, so as not to affect the set’s aesthetics when it’s parked on a shelf.

Not that it should be parked on a shelf. It is a Raptor after all

The new LEGO Technic 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor set is expected to cost around $100 when it reaches stores later this year, and is – for reasons of which we’re little unclear – aimed at ages 18+. Perhaps it’s because LEGO know it’s going to spend much of its time doing things like this

Mechanical ‘Mog

LEGO’s official Technic 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400 set earned a stellar 9/10 rating here at The Lego Car Blog when it was reviewed way back in 2011. Fantastic functional realism, excellent use of motorisation, and an on-board pneumatic compressor make 8110 one of the finest sets we’ve ever reviewed. However, whilst expensive then, 8110 is ludicrously pricey now.

Cue previous bloggee thirdwigg, who has created his own superbly engineered Technic Unimog U400, only all-mechanical.

The loss of Power Functions components hasn’t reduced the functional realism though, with thirdwigg’s U400 equipped with all-wheel suspension, four-wheel-drive connected to an inline-4 engine under a tipping cab, working steering, a front and rear PTO, three-way tipping bed, and a pneumatic take-off too.

It’s a brilliantly simplified (but in no way simple) take on the original 8110 set, and one that you can build for yourself, as thirdwigg has released instructions for his model alongside the excellent imagery you see here.

If you missed out on the official LEGO Technic 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400 set a decade ago, and baulk at the price of them today, check out thirdwigg’s wonderfully engineered 4/5ths version at his ‘U400’ album via the link above, plus you can watch all of the model’s features in action via the video below.

YouTube Video

Super Sub

It’s the UEFA European Championship, when Europe’s best football teams (plus sometimes Israel for some reason) battle it out to win all the Coca Cola they can drink.

Cue the Subaru Impreza STI, a car that’s not even from the same continent, and the most tenuous title vaguely linked to a current event that we’ve managed yet. Well, it was either that or a pun linking ‘STI’ and your Mom, but we’re trying to phase out the ‘Your Mom’ jokes.

Anyway, not at all to do with the delayed European championship, nor your Mom’s list of venereal diseases, is this; Lachlan Cameron (aka loxlego)‘s magnificent fully remote controlled Subaru Impreza STI.

Powered by a third party BuWizz bluetooth battery, Lachlan’s Subaru features all-wheel-drive, working steering (that’s also linked to the steering wheel), all-wheel-suspension with electronic ride height adjustment, LED lights, and some properly realistic bodywork .

Lachlan has even created a wrapped version, like every talentless car YouTuber, turning his super Subaru into a Ken Block ‘[Hoonicorn]’ homage that looks, well… utterly brilliant (talentless YouTubers take note).

Top notch photography adds to the impression and there’s loads more to see at Lachlan’s ‘Subaru’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to take a look, whilst we get ready to watch TLCB’s home nation in action against the Czech Republic tonight. We may even have a few super subs on the bench to help us top the group…

My Other Car’s a Lamborghini

No really, it is.

This searingly green Technic Ford F150 is the work of TLCB Master MOCer Nico71, and it’s constructed only from the parts found within the LEGO 42115 Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 set.

Nico’s 42115 B-Model features four-wheel-drive, a V8 engine, an 8-speed sequential gearbox, adjustable suspension, and working steering, and best of all there are building instructions available so you can convert your own Lamborghini Sian set into a Ford F150 yourself.

There’s more to see at Nico71’s Brickshelf page by clicking here, you can watch a video of the alternate in action here, and you can check out how LEGO recently supersized the Lamborghini Sian set on which this creation is derived by clicking here.

Enjoy the Journey

Today travel is so fast, and the view out the window (endless lanes of traffic, concrete, litter, and street lights) so unattractive, that the journey itself is literally a means to an end.

The seismic shift towards self-driving cars that will occur in the next decade will do little to help, as the journey will then be spent scrolling through Instagram and TikTok. Although many American drivers somehow seem to manage that already.

Cue Grant Davis‘ antidote to modern transport; a giant tortoise, outfitted to carry a mini-figure under a shady canopy, and everything he needs for a long trip. A crate of apples keeps the reptile motivated, and there’s more to see of Grant’s delightfully unhurried transportation at his photostream.

Slow down and enjoy the journey via the link above, or alternatively check out how this guy took it upon himself to find the joy in his otherwise boring commute.

FJ40

If there’s one 4×4 cooler than the Land Rover Defender, this is it. The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 is an off-roading icon, and thus – like all things old and Japanese – it’s now worth about a million pounds.

However with the news that Toyota have become the latest auto manufacturer to partner with LEGO, we may one day see an official Land Cruiser set, which will be a far more attainable way to FJ40 ownership for this TLCB Writer, even with immense fame, glory and groupies that working for this site brings…

Until then though, regular bloggee Jonathan Elliott has created a Speed Champions scale Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 so good we doubt LEGO will do any better should they decide to produce one. And it’s yellow.

Glorious attention to detail and ingenious building techniques are in evidence everywhere you look, and there’s more to see of Jonathan’s brilliant FJ40 at his photostream via the link.

The Best 5-wide 4x4xFar

This most excellent Land Rover Defender was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today, and it might be the best 5-wide recreation of the iconic 4×4 that we’ve seen yet. Newcomer Jan Woznica is the builder and he’s equipped his model with a winch, roof cage, and snorkel for added off-road prowess. Check out the best 5-wide 4x4xFar via the link.

My Other Car’s a Land Rover

If – like this TLCB Writer – you think that Land Rover’s new Defender is just another version of the Range Rover to be bought by wealthy but unimaginative financiers for driving between the electric gates of their mock-tudor house and the golf club, then this post if for you.

You see, underneath the utter madness of this build is the new Land Rover Defender, or rather the official LEGO 42110 set, and we know which we’d rather have.

It’s the work of previous bloggee “grohl”, who had clearly had a lot of sugar, turning the 42110 set into the wild ‘Claw Car #2′ from the Elves’ favourite post-apocalyptic wreck-fest, ‘Mad Max – Fury Road’.

Loosely based on a late ’60s Plymouth Barracuda, “grohl”‘s 42110 alternate replicates the movie car superbly, and it’s packed with Technical functions too. Some of which the Elves have found very amusing.

Four-wheel-drive, a four-speed gearbox, a mid-mounted V8 engine, and working steering and suspension make this a qualified ‘Technic Supercar’, plus there are a few items of additional equipment that Land Rover didn’t see fit to include with their Defender…

Firstly there’s a roof mounted gun with two axis of movement, followed by a working harpoon gun mounted inside the engine bay. Said harpoon gun fires a Technic axle around two metres, which the Elves have found particularly fun today. Finally there’s the rear-mounted plough; a huge ratchet-operated claw for slowing down harpooned tanker trucks.

If that’s hard to picture in action then check out “grohl”‘s excellent video below, and you can see full details, imagery, and find a link to building instructions by clicking here.

YouTube Video

 

Nice Niva

We often mock Communist-era Eastern European cars for being slow, highly polluting, ageing designs built for far longer than they should have been. Because we’re so much better in the West…

So here’s a Communist-era Eastern European car that’s a slow, highly polluting, ageing design that’s been built for far longer than it should have been. And we absolutely love it.

No, we’re not consistent.

Anyway, this is the Lada Niva / VAZ-2121, a wonderful compact off-roader that was not only more advanced than the famous Western offerings of the time (cough Land Rover Defender cough), it’s still in production without becoming just another enormous luxury SUV (cough Land Rover Defender cough).

This lovely Model Team recreation of the Niva captures the real car brilliantly, with opening doors, hood and tailgate, a detailed interior and engine bay, plus some suitable over-landing accompaniments mounted on the roof.

Flickr’s Legostalgie is the builder and there’s more of this superb Soviet 4×4 to see at his ‘Lada Niva / VAZ-2121’ album – take a look via the link above!

Thunder’s Toyota

Indiana Jones, er… we mean ‘Johnny Thunder’ is one of our favourite ever mini-figures. He’s one of 1saac W.‘s too, who has built this gorgeous riverside jungle scene for our plastic hero to explore as an entry into a mini-figure-based competition. Star of the show isn’t Johnny though, rather the fantastic tan Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 which he has used to take him into the jungle. A variety of animals are busy stealing Johnny’s equipment and there’s more to see of him and his FJ on Flickr via the link.

Bugzilla

There were Elves everywhere.

This morning has been a stressful one here in TLCB Towers. Maybe we got complacent. Maybe we thought the Elves had wised up to the threat of remote control creations. Or maybe we’d simply forgotten this particular narrative, but whatever it was we were rudely and wholly reminded of the Elves’ propensity to smash one another to bits if given the opportunity.

The ‘opportunity’ arrived in the form of this, Michael217’s incredible Volkswagen Beetle monster truck ‘Bugzilla’, as featured in the video game ‘Wreckfest’.

All-wheel-drive via a Buggy Motor, Servo steering, enormous suspension above even more enormous wheels, and a slew of body-mounted spikes give Michael’s creation almost mythical Elf-squashing abilities, which were used to full effect by the one at the controls.

At least a dozen were flattened in the corridor with amusing cartoon tyre prints running down their lengths, a few were splatted against the skirting boards, and a handful were even impaled on ‘Bugzilla’ itself thanks to the spiky bricks mounted all over it.

Of course the Elf that found Michael’s creation was ecstatic about the whole event, which seeing as it’s likely a victim of multiple past smushings itself is probably understandable.

We have much cleaning up to do now, which probably includes a few trips to ‘Elf Hospital‘, so whilst we do that there’s loads more for you to see of Michael’s brilliant ‘Bugzilla’ build – which includes a V6 engine, opening doors and hood, and a detailed interior too – at the Eurobricks discussion forum, with the complete image gallery available on Bricksafe.

Click the links above to make the jump.

Heavy Metal

This is some heavy metal. The Ural 43206 features the usual terrible Soviet name, but otherwise it’s a most excellent heavy-duty off-road truck.

This Model Team recreation of the Ural 43206 is equally excellent, and it comes from previous bloggee Krzysztof Cytacki (aka dirtzonemaster).

Featuring a full remote control drivetrain, Krysztof’s model deploys two XL Motors to drive all four wheels, with impressive suspension on both axles, and a Power Functions IR receiver mounted in the cab.

Of course as anyone who’s put XL Motor torque through a LEGO UV-joint will know, off-roading with a driveline made from plastic can cause a few issues, usually in the form of a UV-joint exploding.

This isn’t something that will afflict Krzysztof’s Ural however, as he’s replaced the LEGO UV-joints in his model with custom metal ones, allowing for proper off-road ability.

A canvas load cover, opening tailgate, and detailed cab complete the build, and there’s more to see of Krzysztof’s metal-enhanced Ural 43206 off-road truck at both Flickr and via the video below, which includes a suitably metallic soundtrack. Click the links to take a look!

YouTube Video

Whirligigs & Thingamabobs

Things (amongst many) that TLCB staff are not very good at; Fashion. Displays of emotion. Star Wars. Snack self-control. Reality television. Construction machinery.

Cue TLCB Regular Damian Z (aka Thietmaier), and some construction machinery. Sigh.

This is, apparently, a DitchWitch RT75 trencher/cable plowing machine, but if we were told it was a spaghetti extractor we’d probably have believed it. However it is also absolutely excellent, being constructed superbly from an array of ingenious building techniques with Damian’s trademark amazing attention to detail.

Fortunately for this TLCB Writer there’s also a wonderfully realistic Mercedes-Benz Unimog U1250 truck and trailer to accompany it, and all three are packed with lifelike detailing and playable functions that belie their small scale.

There’s much more to see of Damian’s WitchDitch RT75, Unimog U1250, and cable-reel trailer on Flickr via the link above, plus you can check out a previous construction machine of his about which we also know nothing by clicking here.