OK, we can’t even remember the last time we featured a Lego website, and we’re not going into TLCB Archives to check, what with there being a band of feral Elves in there somewhere. But no matter, because even if this should more accurately be titled ‘Website of the Year’, ‘Bricks Garage‘ would still qualify. Because, thanks to Bricks Garage, you can now build the very best Lego car designs anywhere in the world for yourself!
Yes, TLCB Master MOCer – and probably the best known vehicle builder of them all – Firas Abu-Jaber, has released the instructions for his incredible creations for download, so that you can recreate his astonishing Lego cars at home.
Fifteen of Firas’ models are available via the new Bricks Garage site, each with downloadable PDF building instructions, a BSX parts list (allowing an import directly into Bricklink), and a CSV file for Rebrickable.
Many of the instructions for Firas’ models are currently on sale as part of Bricks Garage’s launch, with further savings available for multiple purchases.
If you’d like to add some truly world-class creations to your collection (and perhaps learn a few tips on how to design models like these for yourself), take a look at the Bricks Garage Shop via the link below, choose from the list of amazing creations on offer, and bring one of the most iconic real-world vehicles to life in Lego form at home!
What to do when you’re stuck at home thanks to Coronavirus-induced social distancing? Well you could build a (rather awesome) classic van courtesy of TLCB regular and Master MOCer Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74).
Andrea’s 6-wide classic Chevy-ish van has featured in a few of his builds that have appeared here, and he’s now produced pictorial building instructions so that you can create your own at home.
The complete parts list can be found below, and you can see more of Andrea’s excellent classic van on Flickr at his ‘Build your own Classic Van’ album – take a look via the link above and bust out those bricks!
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.
Today we’re privileged to share a piece of work that combines all three of the areas above, as the awesome guys at No Starch Press sent us a copy of their new book written by Sariel; ‘Build a LEGO Mustang‘. And not just any Mustang either, it’s the same glorious 1960s GT350 fastback that first appeared here almost two years ago, with remote control drive and steering, LED lights, a 2-speed transmission, opening doors, hood and trunk, and a V8 engine. So, what’s it like?
Firstly, as with all the No Starch Press Lego products we’ve reviewed, ‘Build a Lego Mustang’ is a very well published book. High quality, glossy, and with excellent full colour imagery throughout. Unlike previous publications though, ‘Build a Lego Mustang’ is not coffee table art, a Lego history, or varied model showcase. Instead it’s an instruction manual, detailing the 420 steps required to recreate Sariel’s Mustang masterpiece.
Running to 110 pages, Sariel’s book provides the building process to create his amazing Ford Mustang GT350 for yourself, using a presentation and process that will be familiar to anyone who has built an official LEGO set. Like LEGO’s own instructions, ‘Build a Lego Mustang’ includes a complete parts inventory at the start, followed by the traditional ‘spot the difference’ steps that turn a pile of bricks into a complete model. Continue reading →
Fancy a dirty weekend? Then take your LEGO with you! At least, that what ArsMan064 of Eurobricks decided to do in entering a Russian trial/trophy event for remote control LEGO vehicles, claiming first place with his superb Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
Powered by two Large Power Functions motors, with a Medium motor used for steering, an on-board LiPo battery, bluetooth control via a third-party SBrick, and all-wheel suspension and four-wheel-drive, ArsMan’s Jeep is perfectly suited to getting dirty, and if you’d like to give it a go you can, as he’s made instructions for his design available!
Click the link above to visit the Eurobricks discussion forum for all the photos, a video of the Jeep in action, and the all-important link to building instructions.
There’s one question we get here at The Lego Car Blog more than any other; ‘Can I have instructions?’. Mattia Zamboni, author of the previously reviewed ‘Tiny LEGO Wonders‘ and previous bloggee ZetoVince have decided to respond to the call, and recently sent us their latest book that claims to provide the answers…
Thunderbay Press’s ‘How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks‘ aims “to deliver accurate car models of epic cars”, and it really does feature some epic cars. From legendary American classics like the Ford GT40, Dodge Charger and Corvette Stingray, through European supercars such as the Lamborghini Countach and Porsche 911, to modern-day exotic hypercars like the Pagani Zonda.
Epicocity achieved then, but how about accuracy? Well Mattia is so confident in the realism of the builds within ‘How to Build Dream Cars’ that the contents page doesn’t name them, or even feature colour, instead showing simply black and white renders of each of the models featured. It works too, creating a beautifully clean look that is maintained throughout the book.
The models are indeed instantly recognisable, at least for car fans which we suspect you’ll be if you’re reading this. LEGO’s own Speed Champions sets are too of course, and we’ve loved seeing each new release in this line-up as LEGO create more partnerships with real-world car manufacturers. However there are many brands that LEGO have not yet partnered with (and may never), and often the sets can be quite sticker-heavy, making recreation from spare parts at home impossible.
‘How to Build Dream Cars’ manages to accurately recreate some of the world’s best known cars without a single sticker, whilst using more advanced techniques to achieve greater realism than LEGO’s Speed Champions sets. Let’s take a look at how!
Each model starts with a description and image of the real car, including the all-important fact sheet that all car fans require. The instructions continue the black and white theme and add colour simply via the bricks used in the build. Like Mattia’s ‘Tiny LEGO Wonders’ book, these are slightly more complicated than those found in an official LEGO set, both because the techniques themselves are, and because LEGO have simplified their own steps, sometimes to the point of adding just one piece at a time.
‘How to Build Dream Cars’ feels more like LEGO instructions did a decade or so ago, being noticeably more advanced, and using more monochrome piece colours. This means that there are few contrasting-colour pieces in hidden places (as LEGO now use to make them easier to find/identify), which is appropriate given most builders will be creating these models from their own parts and black/grey is a safe bet.
Ingeniously the book also contains a complete parts list (which can be dropped straight into Bricklink should you need to buy them) and video instructions for each model, accessible via the QR Codes printed inside. This makes creating the models in ‘How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks’ a properly interactive experience should you wish it to be, and makes us wonder why LEGO haven’t done this themselves.
Graphics are excellent, and whilst black-on-black isn’t quite as easy to follow as LEGO’s white-pages the instructions are well laid out, clear, and printed in high quality, with good visuals for sub-assemblies and piece positioning. Most importantly the results are superb, successfully mixing System and Technic parts to recreate the iconic shapes of some of the world’s most famous dream cars, such as the AC Cobra pictured below.
LEGO are a roll right now with their ever-expanding line-up of officially licensed vehicles. However there are many more amazing cars out there not yet licensed to become official LEGO sets.
If you’d like to expand your own car collection by building some stunning real-world replicas that LEGO haven’t yet created themselves (and that are more detailed and more advanced to build to boot), ‘How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks’ fulfils the brief brilliantly. From vintage classics to modern supercars, Mattia and Vince have created an excellent instructional guide to building your own dream cars at home, with enough technical specs and vehicle history to keep car fans happy too.
That the book also contains complete parts lists, video instructions, and looks beautiful is the icing on the cake. Highly recommended.
LEGO’s 8880 Technic Supercar of 1994 is one of the brand’s most iconic and legendary sets. The largest model ever sold (at the time), 8880 featured all-wheel-drive, all-wheel-steering, all-wheel-suspension, a working gearbox, functioning steering, pop-up headlights, adjustable seats, and a V8 engine, becoming the blueprint (and inspiration) for probably every Technic Supercar MOC that this site has ever featured.
25 years after the original release, newcomer Hitchhiker has updated 8880 for the modern age, using the latest studless parts and building techniques, whilst retaining the dimensions, colour-scheme and functions of the original set.
Suggested to us by a reader, there’s more to see of Hitchhiker’s stunning 8880 Reloaded via ReBrickable, where a full gallery, video, and the all-important parts list and building instructions are available too. Click the link above to take a look.
This might be the squarest thing we’ve seen since the last Brothers Brick report from Brickfair. However, contrary to that it is somehow also rather cool. This lovely 6-wide cab-over-semi (or just a normal truck to European readers) comes from prolific bloggee de-marco of Flickr. As is usual for his builds, cunning SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques are used throughout, and if you’re wondering how you can build models like this one de-marco has made instructions available so you can see for yourself! Click the link above to check out the model in de-marco’s photostream where you can also find a link to the instructional video.
OK, we can fit one more in! This top-notch old-school crawler crane comes from previous bloggee de-marco, and like his previous builds he’s made video instructions available too. Take a look via the link above and you can watch the ‘How To’ video to help you build your own crawler crane below.
The single most received message we get here at The Lego Car Blog (besides texts from your Mom of course) is ‘Can I have instructions for [insert model here]?’.
Normally the answer is no, but today we can answer with a yes. And then some. Because not only has Flickr’s de-marco made instructions available for his lovely 5-wide classic taxi and pick-up truck, he’s even written a parts list and made a video for each model showing the building steps!
Head over to de-marco’s photostream via the links above and fill your boots!
This glorious 1980s Porsche 911 Targa comes from very probably the most talented vehicle-building pairing anywhere on the ‘net. The Avro Brothers have been constructing some of the world’s best Lego vehicles for some time, with this particular model debuting almost a decade ago. The brothers’ classic Porsche 911 Targa is surely one of the most perfectly realistic Lego replicas ever built, and now you can build it too.
For once the most frequently asked question of them all here at The Lego Car Blog (‘Can I have instructions?’) can be answered with a resounding Yes, as The Avro Brothers have produced detailed step-by-step building plans which are due to be made available via their new website. In just over 150 pages and just under 900 pieces you could build your own stunning 1980s Porsche 911 Targa. Get started by visiting The Avro Brothers’ Porsche 911 Flickr album via the link above, click on one of the images, and follow the links.
A peaceful morning in TLCB Towers was shattered today by the sound of something heavy and metallic hitting something soft and fleshy. The two objects in question turned out to be a desk lamp and an Elf, which was itself armed with a stolen hole-punch for defence-by-body-piercing.
With the two combatants separated, one of which was sporting a newly (and no doubt unwanted) pierced ear, we could investigate the cause of the ruckus.
Two Model Team style trucks, both remotely controlled by Power Functions, and both discovered on the image-sharing site Flickr. Luckily for the two aforementioned Elves both creations are worthy of appearing here, and so each of them has earned a meal token, making the lamp vs. hole punch fight somewhat necessary.
Anyway, the models! First up (above) is previous bloggee Ingmar Spijkoven‘s Mack Granite truck, with RC drive and steering, solid axel suspension and a working fifth wheel. Click on Ingmar’s name to see more of his mighty Mack.
The second of today’s trucks (below) comes from another previous bloggee from Flickr, Marek Mankiewicz aka M_longer. Marek has reconstructed a superb replica of MAN’s TGS 8×4 dump truck, and he’s added a drawbar trailer for good measure too. There’s lots more to see at the link above.
N.B. We often get asked for instructions here at TLCB. Usually the answer is a No, however both of today’s builders have made instructions available for their respective models. To access these building steps simply click on the links above!
Ask any vehicle builder how they start a build and you’ll get the same answer: the wheels. Wheels dictate everything about a project, being the only fixed-size component. Luckily for builders LEGO have produced wheels in a huge variety of sizes and styles over the years, so many in fact that they’ve actually become the world’s largest tyre manufacturer. But what if LEGO’s offerings simply aren’t big enough? Ultimate Design has the answer!
Milan (aka Ultimate Design) has produced a FREE 52 page book detailing how you can create bespoke brick-built wheels of almost any size. He’s demonstrated one such design in action, using it on the Tricycle recently featured here at TLCB. To see more details of his book and the brick-built wheel designs within it visit his MOCpage, the discussion on Eurobricks or click below to download your FREE copy!
Nathanael Kuipers’ original Build-It Book (publicised here earlier in the year) featured instructions and designs for 10 amazing vehicles which can be built using the same palette of bricks, and is a great way to learn to build more from what you have, or to teach builders how they can use the same pieces in different ways.
Nathanael recently posted a preview of the follow-up Volume 2 (‘More Amazing Vehicles’) on his MOCpages account, and to TLCB office at least, it looks reassuringly ‘Godfather Part II’ rather than ‘Speed 2’.
Nathanael’s sequel contains instructions and ideas for another 10 great vehicles that can be constructed from the same basic parts, ranging from a hot rod to a fork lift, and with everything in-between. To see further details on what’s inside Volume 2 and to buy your copy, visit the No Starch Press website.
Designing and sharing creations is what the Lego Community is all about. ‘MOCing’ as it’s known is what makes LEGO the world’s best toy. There’s no trick to it; put a pile a bricks in front of a 3 year old (or a Lego Car Blog Elf) and they will instinctively and intuitively begin to build, although staff here don’t blog their own MOCs, as then you’d know who we are!
Besides MOCing however, many members of the Lego Community would love to build and own some of the amazing creations that have been designed by builders who don’t work for The Lego Group. Creations such as Crowkillers‘ Lamborghini Gallardo above and this incredible remote control Tow Truck by Dirk Klijn shown below.
Well now you can!
Dirk has made instructions for his spectacular creation available through crowkillers.com, where it’s joined by another 9 amazing models by Paul Boratko (aka Crowkillers), Nathanel Kuipers and Jennifer Clark. Pricing ranges from free to $15 and instructions come in the form of a PDF download.