Tag Archives: Lego

The Rise & Fall of MOCpages

MOCpages

MOCpages is dead. The largest and most vibrant online Lego community for much of the past decade, the site slowly slipped into a coma over the last few years and it seems its founder, Lego artist Sean Kenney, has this week switched off the life support. And that’s really rather sad.

The Rise

Launched back in 2003, before YouTube, Instagram and Tinder, MOCpages was the place to share Lego creations, being free, open to all, and with no limitations on storage. Creations could be rated out of five (and were ranked accordingly), and comments left for the builder, sometimes even by Sean himself.

An update a decade later brought groups, conversations, and a fancier image uploader, with the site becoming so popular it began to become unstable. New servers restored order, and saw many now famous Lego model makers begin their careers, with Firas Abu-Jaber, Nick Barrett, Ralph Savelsberg and many more counted as MOCpages alumni. Including this TLCB writer.

Sadly this success also brought a fair amount of drama, with in-fighting in particular between younger members becoming a bit of a drag on the community, but that wasn’t exactly the fault of the site. A switch from creations being ranked by their average score to ‘Likes’ (a la Facebook) helped ease the tension, and MOCpages continued to grow, with at least two hundred ‘Halo Master Chief!!’ creations added every day alone.

The Fall

However the site’s unreliability gradually returned. With Sean seemingly less and less interested in resolving the uploader issues and – at times – complete server outages, many in the community turned to Flickr as an alternative, and MOCpages’ glory days began to fade.

There were still gems to be found though, and as such our Elves continued to frequent the site (when it was operable) to ensure that TLCB continued to represent all areas of the online Lego community. But it became increasingly difficult…

With MOCpages ‘down’ more than it was ‘up’ its users became frustrated and moved on, and whilst some reached out to Sean offering to take on the site or volunteer to assist with its maintenance, they were met with a deafening wall of silence from the site’s creator.

Now we can’t begrudge Sean too much; he created the site, users could share their models for free, and some now even have careers in model making as a result of the skills they learned. However ignoring the community entirely (and the huge amount of work many had put into creating their pages, groups, contests, and creations) seems to us to be a fairly crappy thing to do. But worse was to come.

The Death

A shadow of its former self, MOCpages was nevertheless remembered fondly by many of its users, and a band of its more notable alumni endeavoured to restart the community by resurrecting one of MOCpages’ most revered contests. Interest was gained, users returned, creations were posted, and then the site crashed. Again.

And with that, the last hope for a proper MOCpages’ resurgence died.

The site limped along for another year or so with frequent outages, until this month the error message changed, from… well, there being one, to nothing at all. MOCpages had been deleted.

No warning was given for users to retrieve their photos or save their text, and there was no alert for us to get our Elves out, meaning the few that were still there have inevitably died with the site.

The Aftermath

We have now removed MOCpages from our list of sources, but the thousands of links from posts here at TLCB to the site will no longer work. Sorry about that. However if you find a creation publicised here that you like – with a dead link to MOCpages – there’s a good chance the builder will have relocated to Flickr, so it’s worth taking the time to search for them there.

We’re here to keep blogging Lego creations uploaded elsewhere, and whilst we’ll remember MOCpages fondly, if ever we decide to call it a day we’ll try to wind things up via a method that’s not an astoundingly poor way to treat the Lego community.

Should you wish to contact Sean Kenney – regarding MOCpages or anything else – you can do so at his website by clicking here.

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What’s the Matter? Chicken!

There’s clearly one vehicle that’s the most famous from the ‘Back to the Future’ movie franchise, even though it was actually a fairly poor car and one mired in one of the greatest auto industry scandals of all time.

Far less famous, but a far better car, was Marty McFly’s Toyota Pick-Up (that’s all they called it) SR5 in ‘Back to the Future – Part III’, which Eurobricks’ RM8 has recreated brilliantly in Technic form using his previously blogged Toyota Hilux as a base.

An XL motor powers all four wheels whilst a Servo controls the steering, with a third-party SBrick allowing the model to be controlled remotely via bluetooth. Solid axle suspension features front and rear, as do opening doors, hood and tailgate, working LED headlights, plus the model features a removable body and cargo bed.

There’s more to see of RM8’s superb SR5 at the Eurobricks forum by clicking here, and the obligator title reface can be found by clicking these words!

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TLCB Lock-Down Competition – One Month to Go!

We’re half way through TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition!

Whether you’re stuck inside due to that pesky virus thingy, because your streets are burning after another senseless killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer, or even if you’re not locked-down at all, we want you to build something new from what you already have.

That’s the joy of LEGO, and it also rails against the consumerist throw-away nature of society. Oh, and you can win an awesome SBrick Plus Pro pack and bring programmable bluetooth remote control to your creations!

We have three more blog-worthy competition entrants to share today, so without further pre-amble, on to the contestants…

First up is Pauls Technic‘s ‘concept racer’, constructed only from the parts found within the 42022 Technic Hot Rod set. Looking like a cross between a sand rail, short track racer, and an Indy car, Paul’s alternate includes working steering, a mid-mounted V4 engine, opening cabin roll cage, and an adjustable rear wing. Head to Eurobricks via the link above to check it out!

Next we have Jan Geurts‘ 31046 B-Model, the ‘Jeebuggy’; a mix of… you guessed it, a Jeep and a buggy. Which looks rather fun. You don’t need a giant set with which to create your B-Model (although you certainly can use one of LEGO’s most enormous sets should you wish), and Jan’s model gets right to the heart of the competition by creating something new out of a standard and unremarkable LEGO set. See more on Flickr.

Our third mid-point entry comes from previous bloggee (and a previous entrant into TLCB Lock-Down Competition) Serge S, who has redeployed the pieces found within the 10252 Creator Volkswagen Beetle set to create this beautifully presented muscle car. Opening doors, hood and trunk all feature, as does a detailed interior and engine bay, and there’s more to see of Serge’s excellent alternate at his photostream via the link above.

If you’d like to enter your own alternate and be in with a chance of winning an SBrick Plus Pro Pack take a look at the competition details by clicking the link below, familiarise yourself with our Submission Guidelines, and submit your B-Model before the end of June!

TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition Details

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Black Horse

The officially-licensed 10265 Ford Mustang set is one of the coolest products to come from LEGO’s burgeoning partnership with real-world auto makers. We think there’s room from a Ford Technic set too (Raptor or GT anyone?!), but until then it’s up to the Lego Community to fill the void.

Cue Bartonius of Eurobricks and his excellent Technic recreation of the first generation Mustang that LEGO chose for their Creator set; arguably the most iconic and famous iteration of Ford’s evergreen pony car.

Bartonius’ Technic version captures the mid-’60s Mustang superbly, and adds in a working (and beautifully detailed) engine, functional steering, and opening doors, hood and trunk.

There’s more to see of Bartonius’ ’64 Ford Mustang at the Eurobricks forum – click the link to see all of the images and tell Bartonius to iron his sheets…

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Streamliner

This is a Tatra T87, and it was one of the fastest and yet most fuel efficient cars of the era. Built from the mid-’30s to early-’50s the T87 was powered by rear-mounted air-cooled 2.9 litre V8 engine which was about half the size of its competitors, yet – thanks to its streamlined shape – it could reach almost 100mph whilst using nearly half the fuel.

The occupying Nazis loved it, calling it ‘the autobahn car’, but so many German officers were killed trying to reach 100mph that the T87 was dubbed ‘the Czech secret weapon’, and they were subsequently banned from driving it.

This brilliant Technic recreation of the Tatra T87 comes from Horcik Designs who has replicated the car’s streamlined shape beautifully from Technic panels. Underneath the aerodynamic body is functioning swing-arm suspension, working steering, and a detailed engine under an opening cover, and there’s more to see of all of that at the Eurobricks discussion forum and at Horcik’s Bricksafe folder.

Click the links above to ty to reach 100mph on the autobahn c1940. Unless you’re a German Army officer.

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Fill ‘er Up!

This neat vintage desert gas station and hot rod scene was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today. It comes from previous bloggee Faber Madragore and there’s more to see of his ‘Supercharged Model B’ (not to be confused with ‘B-Model‘) at his photostream.

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My Other Car’s a Helicopter

We’re nearly half way through TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition, where we’re looking for your awesome set alternates the could win you an incredible SBrick Pro Pack!

This is Tomik’s of Eurobricks entry, using the Technic 42075 First Responder set to create an alternate which unusually switches wheels for rotors, and includes one of the most ingenious hand-operated mechanisms we’ve seen yet!

Tomik’s ‘Pull-Back Helicopter’ uses the shock-absorber from 42075’s suspension to store energy from winding a gear, releasing it to simultaneously turn both the main and tail rotor. It’s a mighty clever use for the humble shock-absorber and it makes us think LEGO’s own Pull-Back efforts, derided upon their release here every year, are even weaker.

An opening cockpit is also included and there’s more to see of Tomik’s B-Model competition entry at the Eurobricks forum – click here link to see more – including a video of the ‘pull-back’ mechanism in action – and here to find out how to enter your own B-Model into the contest!

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Stop! Hangar Time

War isn’t won just with planes, tanks and ships. Behind the scenes a huge machine needs to operate to keep the frontline moving, from medical care to mechanics and cookery to construction.

With shifting territory and short aircraft ranges in both world wars, runway and hangar building was as important to the war effort as the aircraft that used them. Often overlooked by Lego builders we have two builds today that recognise the behind-the-scenes heroes of the Allied victory in both wars.

First above (above) is Dread Pirate Wesley‘s superb First World War diorama, set somewhere in Northern France and featuring wonderful SE5a and Sopwith Camel biplanes alongside a brilliantly recreated canvas and wood hangar. It’s a stunning scene and one that you can see more of via the link to Wesley’s photostream above, where you can also find a trio of German Fokkers ready to meet the British fighters in the skies over France.

Today’s second wartime hangar (below) jumps forward around twenty-five years to the Second World War, with the canvas and wood replaced by concrete and tin, and the biplanes by the far more sophisticated Supermarine Spitfire, very probably the greatest fighter of the conflict. Builder Didier Burtin has curved LEGO’s grey baseplates under tension to create the impressive hangar, equipping with everything required to keep the pair of Spitfires airworthy.

There’s more to see of Didier’s beautiful Second World War diorama at his photostream via the link above, where you can also see what happens when a part fails on a 1940s fighter plane, and therefore why the heroes behind the scenes were as vital as those in the cockpits.

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My Others Car’s a Porsche 911 GT3 RS

After revealing the brand new LEGO 42115 Technic Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 (what?) set yesterday, and wishing it was a Lamborghini we’d actually heard of – like a Miura – Flickr’s James Tillson has risen to the challenge with extraordinary timing by uploading his entry into TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model Competition which is… a Lamborghini Miura. And it’s orange!

Thanks to the 42056 Porcshe 911 GT3 RS brick source, James’ Lamborghini B-Model is as searingly orange as one of the Miura’s actual paint options, and it manages to replicate the real car’s swoopy bodywork rather well too. The model also includes working suspension, functioning steering, opening doors, engine cover and front clamshell, and there’s more to see of James’ excellent alternate on Flickr. Click here to head to James’ photostream, here to read how to enter your own B-Model into the competition, and here to see the prizes on offer!

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Technic 42115 Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 | Set Preview

This is the brand new LEGO Technic 42115 Lamborghini Sian FKP 37, the fourth largest Technic set ever made, and the first officially-licensed Lamborghini to join the Technic range, following sets from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ducati, and – of course – arch rival Ferrari.

At 3,696 pieces 42115 becomes LEGO’s first 1:8 scale Technic car, with many parts debuting on the set – largely thanks to the very lime green colour and stunning gold wheels, faithfully replicating those on the real Sian FKP 37. Ah, the real Sian FKP 37; we’ll come on to that in a bit…

Before then, the functions. Like LEGO’s other recent Technic Supercar sets 42115 is packed with incredible technical realism, and features a working mid-mounted V12 engine hooked up to an eight-speed sequential gearbox. Eight! In a Technic set.

Now LEGO’s track record on sequential gearboxes isn’t great, with the six-speed effort in the 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 being, well… crap, but hopefully they’ve cracked it with the eight speed in 42115. Working in-board suspension front and rear, functioning steering, all-wheel-drive, opening scissor doors, and a deployable rear wing also feature, all operated mechanically and true to those found on the real Lamborghini Sian FKP 37.

OK, the real Lamborghini Sian FKP 37…. yeh, we’d never heard of it either, and we’re a car blog. With such a fantastic back-catalogue of iconic cars (the Miura, Countach, Diablo, Gallardo, Murciélago, Aventador, amongst others), we find the choice of an ultra-limited run (63 units) yet-to-be-built hypercar an odd one. Particularly as what sets the real Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 apart from the three-hundred other ultra-limited run Lamborghini hypercars that proceeded it is the world’s first production hybrid super-capacitor powertrain. Which of course is impossible to recreate in a LEGO set.

Still, that doesn’t stop 42115 from being a seriously impressive addition to LEGO’s officially licensed line-up, bringing with it a wealth of new parts, LEGO’s fanciest box yet (for those who are into such things), that possibly-awesome-possibly-crap eight-speed sequential gearbox, and a very Lamborghini price tag.

Expect the new LEGO Technic 42115 Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 set to cost an enormous $380/£350 when it reaches stores later this year. We’d have paid that for a Miura…

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Not a Car

It’s been a weird sort of day here at The Lego ‘Car’ Blog. A post about Minion-operated mechs, one about bird watching, and now this. Whatever this is.

‘This’ is a ‘Beetle Skyvan’, according to its builder, previous bloggee and inventor-extraordinaire Vince_Toulouse. A myriad of parts from LEGO’s more unusual themes has been used to create it, including ‘ant wings’, a Scala staircase, and even some trusty Galidor pieces.

Head to Vince’s album on Flickr via the link above to see if you can spot them, and to see more of what is a rather remarkable (and surprisingly large*) build.

*That’s what she said.

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Bird Watching

This TLCB writer quite likes birds. They come in a hilarious variety of shapes and sizes, some of them can swim, run and fly (which makes them some sort of super animal), and some of them are – frankly – delicious. What’s not to like?

Flickr’s Luis Pena likes them too, although he’s a bit more professional about it, being an actual bird watcher/photographer as well as a Lego builder. Combining his two hobbies he’s built this; a neat mini-figure scale Jeep Wrangler 4×4 and two of Patagonia’s native birds; a Rhea (comical running variety), and an Andean Condor (giant flappy variety). David Attenborough (or Luis himself) would probably be able to categorise those better…

No matter, see more of Luis’ Jeep and Patagonian birds on Flickr!

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Mighty Minion

Minions is another new LEGO theme we don’t really understand, but one we’re sure will sell rather well. Ah, we think we understand…

Looking like some sort of cute War of the Worlds alternative reality, previous bloggee ianying616 has built the Minions their very own mech, complete with googly eyes and a mini-figure Minion sitting inside the domed head. And if you’re thinking “They’re really stretching TLCB’s brief with this one…”, you’re right – so here’s a Minion racing team too!

Head to ianying’s photostream via the link above for more Minions-based madness.

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Hot Space

Astronauts are famed for their cars. Those in the Apollo programme pretty much all had Corvettes, thanks to a Florida GM dealer’s ‘dollar lease’ initiative, whilst a couple of NASA astronauts are the only people to have driven a vehicle outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Classic Spacemen of course get to drive all sorts of things, and they’re always happy to do so, but when they’re back on Earth it’s nice to know they’re regular petrolheads. At least the owner of this is, a Classic Space hot rod complete with all the hallmarks of their more usual space-based vehicles. It comes from Nuno Taborda and there’s more to see at his photostream – click the link to take a look.

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The Miles Aren’t Coming Off!

If you bunk school and steal your Dad’s Ferrari 250 GT California (we’ve all been there), hoping to run the car in reverse later to take the miles off the clock, ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ taught us it doesn’t work. Even less so if you kick the car whilst it’s running so it reverses through a window and down a hillside. Your Dad will definitely notice that.

Thankfully it wasn’t a real GT California (these days a >$20million car), but a modified MGB in the scene in question, but it looked pretty good to us. As does this, x_Speed‘s recreation of both the 1960s Ferrari and the famous movie scene in which it featured. Clever techniques are in evidence throughout the build and there’s more to see of x_Speed’s Ferrari 250 GT California, Ferris Bueller, Cameron Frye, and Cameron Frye’s Dad’s garage on Flickr via the link.

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