Tag Archives: Micro-scale

I Can’t Contain Myself

Lego Container Ship

All the best things arrive in boxes. Fish fingers, LEGO sets, TLCB Elves. OK, maybe not the last one (and cages aren’t really boxes anyway), but pretty much everything else cool in the world will have reached you this way, even if it’s not packaged in a box itself.

Enormous container ships like this one are the vehicles that move almost every material good around around the world, without which we’d be stuck with having only what our local economies produce, and we dread to think what that would mean for TLCB Towers.

This spectacular Lego container ship by Flickr’s Jussi Koskinen was built as a commissioned piece for an advertisement and it includes over seven hundred 2×4 stud containers, stored both above deck and inside the incredible curved hull. The model totals a huge 112 studs in length and there’s more to see of Jussi’s vessel courtesy of his Flickr photostream. Click the link above to open the box.

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Building the Panama Canal – 2000451 Set Preview

LEGO Education Panama Canal Set

One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Panama Canal opened just over 100 years ago, taking over 30 years to complete and costing an estimated 28,000 people their lives. Started by the French in the 1880s, the project was completed by America in 1914, whereupon it completely transformed the worldwide shipping industry. No longer did vessels have to navigate the lengthy and dangerous Cape Horn – the tip of South America – instead able to cut straight through the centre of the Americas.

LEGO Education Panama Canal Set

To date almost 1 million ships have passed through the canal, each taking around seven hours to traverse the 77km mix of channels and artificial lakes, and the three huge sets of locks.

It’s these locks that are the defining characteristic of the canal, allowing the water and the ships that float upon it to rise and fall with the land in order to cross from one side of the continent to the other.

So important is the Panama Canal and the locks that allow it to function that their width and length has become the determining factor for shipbuilding, with ships built specifically to the largest size that is able to fit through them, known as ‘Panamax’.

Today though, we have a set of locks that are rather smaller. This wonderful new set comes from LEGO Education, and it recreates the third set of locks of the Panama Canal.

Constructed from over 1,180 pieces, the 2000451 El Canal de Panama set is built in five sections (plus a few micro-scale ships), allowing five children (or adults!) to contribute to the finished model simultaneously. Each section contains a set of gears and mechanically operated lock gates, allowing the ‘water’ to rise and fall as the gates are opened and closed. We’ve seen similar mechanisms in paper or card form, but not yet in LEGO, and it seems to work beautifully – making this set a great learning aid for the those wishing to understand both mechanics and hydrodynamics.

Originally destined just for sale in Panama, the LEGO Education 2000451 El Canal de Panama set is now available with worldwide shipping (we do hope this means that some sets will travel through the real world counterpart!), and can be bought via the Panama STEM website.

If you’d like to get your hands on this unique limited edition set click on the link below to visit Panama STEM, and you can watch the Lego locks in action on YouTube by clicking here.

Click here for the Panama STEM LEGO Education site 

 

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Size Isn’t Everything

Lego Micro-scale Vehicles

At least, that’s what your Mom told this TLCB writer. It’s a philosophy adopted by Flickr’s LEGO 7 too, who has constructed this charming micro-scale scene in which none of the vehicles are more than two studs in width. They’re all instantly identifiable though, with a taxi, police car, excavator, cement truck, ambulance, semi truck, coupe and bus all recreated brilliantly in miniature and placed within a clever modular roadway. There’s lots more to see of all the vehicles plus the neatly designed base at LEGO 7’s photostream – click the link above to check it out.

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A Simpler Life

Many is the time when we sit back in our luxury reclining office chairs at TLCB towers and reflect on how we got to where we are today as some of the world’s leading automotive Lego bloggers and Elf keepers. Perhaps our road to becoming petrol-heads started with wooden toys such these ones built by Jens Ohrndorf? The clean lines of these simple but nicely designed Lego models take us back to the calmer, happier days of our youth. Sadly, we’ve got to disperse of an Elf riot in the photocopying room* but we’ll leave you to click on the link in the text for the bigger picture.

*Why do we have a photocopying room? We’re an online, paperless publication…

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Still Not a Car

Klingon Bird of Prey

Time to feature another ship on TLCB, only this time it’s of the space-going variety. Birds of Prey usually strike fear into the hearts of TLCB Elves as they roam the highways and byways, searching for Lego models. Quite a few of our workforce have become tasty* snacks for kestrels and buzzards over the years.

This classic Klingon warship has been built by Kevin J. Walter over a period of 8 years from virtual model to real bricks. It features some impressive and unusual design and detailing which should be interesting to builders of all sorts of Lego MOCs. Click the link in text to zoom into the details on Flickr. Now, can we find something with wheels on to blog in 2017?

Klingon Bird of Prey

*Possibly quite chocolaty, given the Elves’ diet of Smarties.

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Tiny Tatra

Lego Tatra Fire Truck

You don’t need ten thousand bricks to appear here at The Lego Car Blog. Around sixty will do. At least that’s all Flickr’s František Hajdekr needed to build this lovely Tatra fire truck. See more via the link above.

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A Tiny Giant

bwe-mini

Looking at gonkius’s PhotoStream, we’re pretty sure that he already owns a 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator. Is one enough? Obviously not, judging by this nice little bit of micro-scale building. Once again proving that it’s not how many bricks you have but what you do with them, our Elves’ tiny minds were instantly attracted to this tiny machine.

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Classic Micro Scale

cs-layout

Readers of a certain age (and this writer), will be whisked straight back to their childhoods by this brilliant Classic Space layout from Primoz Mlakar on Flickr. Promoz has captured in micro-scale the type of image that millions of children looked at in wonder during the early 1980s in catalogues such as this. Click the link in the text to view the individual ships and vehicles and enjoy the nostalgia.

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Biggie Smalls

Lego Nieuw Statendam Cruise Ship

Micro-scale creations are usually pretty, well… micro. Not this one though. Measuring a massive 1.5 meters long, built from around 25,000 LEGO bricks, and weighing 23KGs, Edwin Kornstanje’s 1:200 replica of Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam cruise ship is one of the largest fan-built models we’ve ever featured.

Decks feature full interiors, with bars, restaurants, lounge rooms, a spa, a casino, and two swimming pools, all of which have been recreated beautifully in miniature. The real ship is currently being constructed in Italy and is due to launch in 2018, but Edwin’s magnificent replica is ready to sail now. Book your ticket to see all of the incredible details at Flickr or Eurobricks, and you can read more about the builder in Series 1 of our Master MOCers interviews by clicking here.

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Micro Crane

g-crane

We love a good crane here at The Lego Car Blog. After supercars, cranes are one of the types of model that we seem to blog the most. Be they teeny tiny or monstrous, cranes are a favourite topic. Today’s crane comes from TLCB regular Galaktek. Many of the working features that you’d expect to see in a big Technic MOC have been included in this elegant 4-wide model. It also comes with its own back-up truck, which you can see in Galaktek’s Photostream.

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Swanning Around

swan-01

Whilst most of the sci-fi Lego world has been focused on building massive SHIPs for SHIPtember or trying to come to terms with the perpetually enigmatic Ma.Ktober, Tim Henderson has taken his own path with the “Swan“. Tim says that it’s the biggest spacecraft that he’s built but it stills looks a nice size to take for a swoooosh. Added to this are plenty of opening hatches and play features. The ship looks to be a great toy, as well as being good to look at. As its origins are in the Corellian shipyards of Star Wars, that will keep another cohort of spacers happy too. What’s not to like? Click this link to enjoy the comprehensive back story and greebles on Flickr.

swan-02

In the meantime, at the other end of the size scale, is “Lord Cockswain’s Endangerer”. Worth blogging for the name alone, it’s a nice example of economic micro-scale building. Grantmasters is the builder and here’s the link to his Photostream.

endangerer

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It Ain’t What You Do…

Lego Racing Car Micro-scale

Curse that Bananarama creation that we blogged here earlier in the week. We managed to avoid posting any lyrics, but that infernal song has been stuck in our heads for days*. And it’s a cover! Of all the songs Bananarama could have picked to plagiarise…

Anyway, that reminder of everything that was wrong with 1980s music bundled up into one abhorrent noise does lead nicely onto today’s creation. Because it really ain’t what you do, it’s the way that do you it.

Tommy ñ‘s micro-scale racing car may only be made from a few pieces, but it’s a startlingly effective design. Tommy has also photographed his model beautifully – as you can see above – and the result demonstrates wonderfully how you don’t need a million pieces to create something that could appear here.

You can check out more of Tommy’s micro-scale racing car, and his other small-scale vehicles, at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

*Because we’re suffering you have to too.

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Tiny Lego Wonders – Book Review

Tiny Lego Wonders Review

‘Where can I get instructions / How do I build it?’. It’s the single most frequently asked question that we receive here at TLCB – so just how do you start ‘MOCing’?

It’s a question we raised in our review of the superb No Starch Press produced ‘Art of Lego Scale Modeling‘ book last year, and one that, since LEGO discontinued their brilliant Ideas Books, has gone unanswered. Now though, No Starch Press have created a book aimed squarely at fulfilling this need.

Tiny Lego Wonders, written by LEGO-Ambassador Mattia Zamboni, features 200 pages of clear instructions for 40 wonderfully realistic miniature vehicles, from cars to buses via trains, aircraft, construction equipment and more. The book is divided into sections that categorise these models according to where you might find them in the real world, for example the airport, the harbour, and the construction site.

Each location section features a double-page spread showing all of the vehicles within it in a large brick-built scene. It’s a simple yet brilliant addition that’s very reminiscent of LEGO’s old annual catalogues and it’s sure to provide a huge amount of inspiration.

Lego Instructions Book

Every set of instructions starts with a high quality image of the finished model, just as any official LEGO set does, along with a parts list and a difficulty level. The instructions themselves are beautifully clear and the build process will be familiar to anyone who has constructed an official LEGO set.

There are perhaps slightly fewer steps and marginally more complicated sub-assemblies than you’ll find in LEGO’s own work, but if anything LEGO have over-simplified their instructions in recent times and Tiny Lego Wonders seems to have struck a good balance between conciseness and difficulty.

Lego TGV Train Instructions

Where Tiny Lego Wonders scores huge points is with its inspiration potential. All of the models featured use common non-specialist parts, but even so it’s unlikely that most builders will have the exact part and colour combinations to recreate the model piece-for-piece as per the instructions. However the instructions are so good, and the models so thoughtfully designed, that changing the colours or design slightly is really easy. And once you’ve done that, you’ve started MOCing!

Some sections also include images of additional variations of the model detailed in the instructions, showing what can be done with a few simple changes. Again, these are really easy to replicate (even though they aren’t included in the instructions) and having a go yourself will instantly turn you into a ‘MOCer’.

Lego Car Instructions

Are there any disappointments? Nope, not really. Perhaps a few of the large double-page scenes look a little over-polished / too digitalised to these eyes, but other than that Tiny Lego Wonders might be the perfect MOCer’s book. Which gives us a bit of a dilemma in giving a rating because, despite the general ineptitude in TLCB office, there are some talented builders here who would have limited use for such a book. However, Tiny Lego Wonders isn’t aimed at the microscopic demographic of ‘Lego Blogger’, and thus we can ignore our usage and rate it accordingly;

Tiny Lego Wonders

Buy this book! Even at just £13 / $17 for the hardcover on Amazon, Tiny Lego Wonders is as beautifully produced as all No Starch Press publications, but for it to remain pristine on a bookshelf or coffee table would be a great shame. Tiny Lego Wonders needs to look dog-eared, shabby and worn out, because the value of this book is in its use; Tiny Lego Wonders could be the launchpad you need to start your MOCing journey.

From now on when anyone asks us ‘How do I build it?’ we’re going to give the same answer; You start here.

✮✮✮✮✮

No Starch Press

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Micro Machines

Micro 01

The tiny minds of The Lego Car Blog Elves are often attracted to tiny things. Today they’ve returned with two vehicles. First up is a Micro Scale Rat Rod from Primoz Mlakar. The car has been photographed on a neat, forced perspective background. Second is an even tinier motorbike. The Velocitech Vortex has been built by Dylan Denton and features a minifgure hand kick stand.

Remember, you don’t need loads of Technic and expensive Power Functions motors to be featured here. Think about what components you have in your collection and how you might use them creatively and you never know, our Elves might pay you visit.*

micro 02

*Please note that TLCB declines responsibility for damages caused by Elves attempting to breach any security measures that you might use to protect your Lego.

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Little Wonders

Lego 1946 Alfa Romeo 6C Freccia d'Oro

You don’t need ten thousand bricks to appear on The Lego Car Blog. Around one hundred is plenty, as proven by Flickr’s Johnni with the lovely 1946 Alfa Romeo 6C Freccia d’ora pictured above, and Robert4168 with his superbly inventive micro-scale ‘Buccaneer’s Dread’ pirate ship. See more of each via the links.

Lego Microscale Pirate Ship

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