Tag Archives: Lego

Acceptable in the ’80s

Some things were acceptable in the ’80s. Perms. Sexism. Straight lines. And turbos. Everything had the word ‘turbo’ written on it, even sunglasses. However the Honda City Turbo II did actually have a turbo attached to its little 1,200cc engine, giving it 100bhp. Nearly.

It was also designed entirely using straight lines, as was the minute Honda Motocompo folding scooter, a vehicle so small it could actually fit in the trunk of the City Turbo II, as proven in this magnificent ’80s commercial.

Despite being borne in the ’80s the Motocompo didn’t have a turbo, producing just 2.5bhp from its 49cc engine. Still, we bet even that was pretty terrifying. We’ll stick to the City Turbo II, which we’ve decided we really want in real life. But we are a bit odd.

These superb Model Team recreations of both the Honda City Turbo II and Motocompo scooter come from Dylan Denton, who has built each ’80s icon beautifully. Both models feature wonderful attention to detail (enhanced by accurately replicated decals) inside and out, and are absolutely worth a closer look.

Head to Tokyo c1983 courtesy of Dylan’s photostream via the link in the text above!

*Today’s title song

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Itsa Me, Mario! For Some Reason…

LEGO have had a lot of officially licensed themes over the years. Some have been marvellous, including the current tie-up with a multitude of vehicle manufacturers to recreate real-world vehicles (keep these coming LEGO!), whereas some… Micky Mouse? Pirates of the Caribbean? Scooby Doo? Even we’d forgotten about the last two.

The new Nintendo Mario theme is, we fear, going to drop straight into whatever the equivalent of a Bargain Bucket is for LEGO sets. Still, this most tenuous of upcoming partnerships hasn’t stopped TLCB regular SP_LINEUP from building his own Mario-themed model, creating this neat Mario Kart complete with a brick-built Italian plumber on board.

Neither has the absurdity of LEGO’s newly licensed theme stopped fellow Flickrist BenBuildsLego from creating his own Mario-themed MOC either, with his admittedly rather wonderful homage to some of Mario Kart 64’s most infamous tracks, including the perilously difficult ‘Rainbow Road’ which makes us nervous just looking at it.

Click the links in the text above to fire up your engine and to fire that red shell, whilst we await LEGO’s new theme with minimal excitement.

 

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Wood You Believe It!

We’re pretty sure that for some of you reading this your very first car was made out of wood, and looked like this. This marvellous ‘wooden’ fire engine is not wooden at all, and comes from Jens Ohrndorf who has recreated the iconic classic toy beautifully from LEGO pieces. Head out to rescue Mr. Duck, Giraffe, big sister’s Barbie, and whatever other toys are in peril via the link above!

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Russian Dump

We’ll let Russian readers insert their own joke linking to the title so we don’t get poisoned by Novichok. Or we can make one about what fetish your Dad’s internet history reveals… Nope, we’re going to rise above it today* – on the the model!

This gorgeous GAZ-53 dump truck is the work of previous bloggee Samolot, who has created this beautiful fully-functioning Technic replica of the Soviet medium duty truck produced from 1961 right up until 1993.

Samolot’s model looks superb (particularly in the wonderful outdoor shot above), and features a long list of engineering ingenuity, including working front and rear suspension, remote control drive via a single XL Motor, steering via a Servo, a remote control four-speed gearbox, and a Medium motor-powered functioning tipper.

There’s much more to see of Samolot’s brilliant build at the Eurobricks discussion forum by clicking here, where you can also find a video demonstrating the GAZ’s working functions.

*Kinda

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Yeehaw!

Is there anything more American than a pick-up truck with a dead animal nailed to the front? OK, maybe obesity and firearms activism, but other than those this has got to be top.

This particular pick-up truck with a dead animal nailed to the front is a late ’70s Chevrolet Silverado K30 series, as built by previous bloggee Filsawgood.

Working suspension, remotely controlled four-wheel-drive and steering, opening hood and doors, and a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery all feature, and you can see more of Filsawgood’s classic Chevy K30 at both Flickr and Eurobricks.

Click the links to grab your gun and bag yourself a new hood ornament. Yeehaw!

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Fast Bricks: Build 6 LEGO Sports Cars! | Book Review

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.

★★★

Buy your copy of Fast Bricks by Gilad Barlev and Brick Monster here.

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Red Rice

We’re not sure where the term ‘ricer’ came from in America, but today it’s defined as ‘Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements’, which means it seems to have transcended any xenophobic origins and can be used to describe any car modified in a ‘ricey’ way.

What we do know is that three favourites recipients of the term, at least according to the internet, are the Toyota Supra (specifically the Mk4 variant), the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and the Honda Civic, each of which has been recreated brilliantly in lightly-riced form by TLCB regular SP_LINEUP.

Each includes opening doors and hood, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and some can be bought from SP in kit form too. Click the link above to visit SP’s photostream to see more of each build and the rest of his extensive back-catalogue.

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Hoedown

We’re not just about hot rods, monster trucks and supercars here at The Lego Car Blog. This superbly built ‘backhoe’ (or ‘digger’ as it is known in our home nation) is the work of previous bloggee The Eleventh Bricks who has constructed his creation in a vaguely Speed Champions scale and in a rather lovely light blue hue. Excellent detailing is in evidence throughout and you can see more on Flickr at the link.

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Caught a Bug

If you’re going to catch a bug, it may as well be as big one. Flickr’s Vince_Toulous owns the mind behind this ‘Myriapodobus’, which is complete with a lavish interior and a great many legs. With the passengers all having caught it there’s no need for them to enact ‘social distancing’ so they can have a chat over a drink from the bar-segment. That said, as no one really likes sitting next to one another on the bus, letting alone talking to fellow passengers, we’re not sure Coronavirus has made any discernible difference to public transport etiquette. Catch Vince’s bug for yourself via the link above.

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They’ve Saved the Best Trip for Last…

Released in 1990, the final instalment in The Back to the Future trilogy put an end to very probably the most famous movie car of all time. In fact, we suspect many people wouldn’t know the DeLorean DMC-12 is a real car, so synonymous with the movies has it become. It was rubbish though, so that’s probably a good thing. We’ll stick to the movie car, recreated here in ‘Part III’ guise by Flickr’s Łukasz Libuszewski alongside some bemused native Americans. Head to Łukasz’s photostream via the link above for one last trip to 88mph.

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Military Response

America, like much of the world, is on lockdown as Coronavirus deaths accelerate. At the time of writing 85 Americans have died from the virus, which is nearly as many as the number of Americans who die every day through firearms (103).

Clearly we’re in uncertain times, and America has responded in the only way it knows how; by buying more guns, with some states are reporting a 180% increase in firearms sales. That’ll show the microscopic biological infection agent who’s boss!

For those that want to go a step further, Robson M (aka Brick Designers) might have the answer, in the form of this mighty military spec Humvee. Outfitted with a variety of weaponry, including a rotating machine gun turret (above) and an, er… whatever the hell that is (below), you can be sure it’ll keep you and your family safe from any virus that dares to challenge our freedom.

Click the link above to see all of the optional weaponry available at Robson’s photostream, and then go any get yourself a gun! Alternatively; wash your hands, check on your elderly neighbours, and avoid going to crowded areas – where there might be Coronavirus, but there will definitely be guns.

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Life-Size Britten V1000 Motorcycle

New Zealand doesn’t have much of an indigenous vehicle industry, but it’s a country that does love racing, and in the 1990s a small team from Christchurch formed a company and decided to build their own racing motorcycle. And it was incredible.

The Britten V1000 became one of the greatest racing motorbike designs of all time, pioneering carbon fibre extensively (this is before the McLaren F1), double wishbone front suspension, a frameless chassis, and even engine data logging.

Ten V1000s were produced, with the bike setting multiple speed and race records during the 1990s, including the highest top speed at the Isle of Man TT in 1993 and the fastest standing start mile under 1000cc, at over 200mph.

It’s quite a machine then, and so when certified LEGO Professional Ryan McNaught and his team of model makers were commissioned to build something for an Aukland-based client they chose to build this Kiwi icon of racing.

An exact 1:1 scale replica of one of the ten real Britten V1000s motorbikes, Ryan (aka The Brickman) and his team have used LEGO pieces to recreate every aspect of the record-setting bike, including the fantastically intricate exhaust and rear shock springs that make our head hurt just looking at them.

This amazing build will go on display at Toyco 2020 in New Zealand, so if you’re reading this from Aukland go and check it out! For the rest of our readers you can head to Ryan McNaught’s ‘Britten V-1000’ Flickr album to see more of this spectacular life-size replica.

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Power Functions Pagani

This is a Pagani Zonda R, the grand finale of the car that put Pagani firmly on the map. This incredible fully remote controlled Technic replica of the iconic Italian hypercar comes from Tsui Carho of Eurobricks, who has recreated the Zonda R in astonishing detail. Twin XL motors drive the rear wheels, a Servo steers the fronts, there’s a V12 engine, pushrod suspension, working headlights, opening doors, and a removable engine cover. Head to Eurobricks via the link above for all the images and to join the discussion.

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Classic Hit & Run

The Elves have been relatively peaceful of late. By which we mean none of the creations that they’ve found have been fast enough to smush one-another into the office carpet. That ended today.

This is Lachlan Cameron (aka Lox Lego)’s spectacular Ford F100 hot rod, built as a commissioned piece and featuring full remote control drive, a V8 engine, opening doors and deck-lid, and with some of the most inventive custom decals we’ve seen yet (check out the stitching on the seats!).

The Elf at the controls couldn’t care less about the seat stitching though, because Lachlan’s creation can be driven by XL or Buggy motors and – in this case – is powered by a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery delivering up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own unit.

With all-wheel-drive Lachlan’s creation put that power down very effectively in the halls of TLCB Towers, as the Elf at the controls inevitably used its find to wreak havoc upon its Elven colleagues. Due to the F100’s ground scraping ride height however, no Elves were technically smushed, instead being catapulted over the bonnet, so our smush-free streak is kinda still going. We still have some tidying up to do though.

Whilst we get on with that you can check out more of Lachlan’s stunning F100 hot rod at the Eurobricks forum and at his 70+ photo Flickr album which shows the Ford in a variety of wheel and tyre combinations. Lachlan has also made instructions available via the links above should you wish to build his design for yourself, plus you can check out his interview here at The Lego Car Blog as the newest addition to the Master MOCers series by clicking these words.

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RC RC

Toy Story’s ‘RC’ was one of our favourite characters from the groundbreaking computer-animated movie from 1995, being the toy we always wanted over a Buzz Lightyear or Woody. Flickr’s Levihathan (aka Nico Lego) may have thought so too, as he’s built this delightful Technic RC version of ‘RC’. With Power Functions motors and rear suspension Nico’s recreation looks every bit as fun as the animated original and there’s more to see at the link above.

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