Tag Archives: Mini

B-Model Building

You’re stuck inside, we’re stuck inside, build us a B-Model to win an awesome prize! Two more TLCB readers have done just that, building alternates from the Technic 42098 Car Transporter and Creator 10242 Mini Cooper respectively. First up (above) is cleansupgood‘s pick-up truck, shown here in digital form but also built for real. Opening doors, a dropping tailgate, a working V8 engine and functioning steering all feature and you can see more of Clean’s 42098 B-Model via Bricksafe at the link above.

This post’s second entry comes from newcomer Jan Geurts, who has repurposed the Creator 10242 Mini Cooper set to build another British classic, the MG Midget. Jan’s 10242 B-Model includes opening doors, an opening hood (with a detailed engine underneath), and an opening trunk complete with an external luggage rack. There’s more to see on Flickr via the link above, and if you’d like to enter your own B-Model into TLCB Lock-Down Competition you can read the contest details here.

Do It Yourself Mr Bean

Some TV shows are famous for their cars. Knight Rider has KITT, The Saint has the Volvo P1800, Dukes of Hazard the Dodge Charger, Starsky and Hutch the Ford Gran Torino, and Mr. Bean… a Mini with an armchair strapped to the roof.

There was a very good reason for the armchair to be on the roof, which Flickr’s Lasse Deleuran has recreated perfectly with this wonderful 5-wide homage to Mr. Bean’s trip back from the DIY store.

Head to Lasse’s photostream via the link above to see more. Just make sure the head of your broom doesn’t fall off…

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.

Town Triple

It’s blue Smarties all round today as three Elves returned to TLCB Towers, each with a blue town-scale creation. It turns out all three are the work of the same builder, Flick’s de-marco, who is becoming a regular on these pages. Each has been constructed in LEGO’s classic ‘Town’ style (a favourite here at TLCB) and recreates a well known(?) real-world vehicle in mini-figure scale.

The first of de-marco’s build is perhaps the most true-to-life, a classic Dacia 1300 from a time when the Romanian brand was independent from Renault, but also simply built discontinued Renault products (and fairy badly at that…). It turns out that the Dacia 1300’s ugly blocky sloping shape is perfect for recreation from angular LEGO bricks and the result looks remarkably close to the real thing.

de-marco’s second Town vehicle is a classic Austin/Morris Mini in British police ‘panda car’ specification. LEGO’s ‘Maersk’ blue with white doors and a single blue light (using a piece from LEGO’s 9V lighting sets) works a treat, even if the car looks a little long for the famously small classic car.

Lastly de-marco has built something a little larger, in the form of this excellent Kamaz drop-side truck. As with all three creations the details are spot on, yet simple enough to fit into a Town scale build, and there’s more to see at de-marco’s photostream via the link. There are also video instructions available for each build – you can find a link to these under each image in de-marco’s photostream should you wish to jazz your own Town up with some iconic classics!

Rallye Monte Carlo

Not only does Monaco hold the world’s most famous Formula 1 race (although these days often the world’s most boring too), it’s also the location for probably the world’s most famous rally, the Rallye Monte Carlo.

Held since 1911, when cars would set off from a variety of places across Europe to meet in Monaco, where they would be judged not just on speed but on ‘elegance’ and ‘passenger comfort’, the modern iteration of the race takes cars through the French Riviera and a variety of conditions, including treacherous snow-covered passes, in a series of timed stages.

In mid-’60s this meant one car became a giant killer, the humble Mini Cooper S. Mighty in the snow, the Mini won the event four times* back to back from 1964 to 1967, defeating cars with four times the power.

Taking the Mini from the 75894 Speed Champions set previewed here earlier in the year, Flickr’s Simon Pickard has modified it to Monte Carlo Rally specification and then created one of the most brilliantly life-like roads we’ve ever seen built from LEGO. Ingeniously placed plates create a glorious curve of ice, which a Mini Cooper S is pictured sliding around beautifully.

There’s more to see of Simon’s spectacular scene at his photostream, including an aerial shot showing the complete layout. Click the link above to visit the South of France in 1965.

*This really annoyed the French who, in 1966, disqualified any car that wasn’t a Citroen. Seriously, look it up! Thus we’re still giving the victory to the Mini, which actually won. And came second. And third.

Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean

Lego Mr. Bean Mini

Mr. Bean, one of Britain’s most beloved TV characters, had quite an adventure in his 9th episode. Taking full advantage of the New Year’s Day sales, Mr. Bean bought himself an armchair, paint, brushes and a new mop. Only one problem; his little 1980s Mini was far too small to contain his copious purchases.

Fortunately Bean is a clever fellow, and thus he managed to construct an elaborate driving mechanism from the very items that caused the problem in the first place! What could go wrong? Find out by clicking here, and you can see more of this superb homage to TV gold courtesy of Flickr’s PixelJunkie by clicking here.

Speed Champions 2019 | Set Previews!

LEGO Speed Champions 2019 Sets

A few weeks ago a crack team of The Lego Car Blog Elves were dispatched over the perimeter wall of The LEGO Company’s HQ by way of the office catapult. Tasked with uncovering LEGO’s new-for-2019 sets, those that made it back to TLCB Towers would be revered as heroes, whilst their fallen comrades would be mourned for around 15 minutes, before we all moved on with our lives.

Today the lucky survivors able to out-run a Danish alsatian see the fruits of their courageous mission revealed to you, our readers – and what tasty fruits they are! So without any further pointless preamble, here are the brand new 2019 LEGO Speed Champions sets!

LEGO 75893 Dodge Challenger Demon & Dodge Charger

LEGO’s partnerships with real-world car manufacturers is (and we may be a bit biased given the title of this website), one of their best ever decisions. The sets resulting from the tie-ups to date have been almost universally excellent, so it’s little wonder that LEGO and other manufacturers are looking to partner. Dodge become a new addition to LEGO universe for 2019, joining the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Porsche, Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo, Ferrari and others.

Their first set is 75893 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon & Dodge Charger RT, a wonderful dual car homage to Dodge’s fastest products. A brilliant classic 1970 Charger (complete with a huge drag-racing supercharger) competes against the brand’s latest 2018 SRT Demon at a drag strip, with three mini-figures and the drag racing ‘christmas tree’ lights included. Each car looks faithfully accurate – although some of that accuracy is admittedly due to stickers, and with just under 500 pieces 75893 looks to be an excellent addition to the expanding officially-licensed Speed Champions line-up.

LEGO 75890 Speed Champions Ferrari F40 Competizione

Next we have a vehicle from one of the first manufacturers to partner with LEGO – it wouldn’t be Speed Champions without Ferrari! With 198 pieces the new 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione set marks the entry point to the 2019 Speed Champions range, and brings one of the most famous supercars ever made back into LEGO form after its last appearance as the 1,158-piece 10248 Creator F40 set from 2015.

Although considerably smaller than its predecessor, 75890 is nevertheless a brilliantly accurate little set. This version of the F40 is the Competizione, or racing car to you and me, and thus it features a mini-figure racing driver, an all-important spanner, and switchable parts to convert the F40 from race to road. 75890 will reach stores in early 2019 and will be a roaring success.

LEGO 75892 Speed Champions McLaren Senna

LEGO’s third new Speed Champions set brings another previous partner back into the range; McLaren, with their mind-bending track-only Senna. With 219 pieces the 75892 McLaren Senna set is slightly more complicated than the Ferrari above, as is required by the fantastically intricate design of the real car. It’s an aesthetic that doesn’t seem to translate too well to LEGO in our opinion, and – despite what appear to be a few new pieces to help replicate the real Senna’s shape – 75892 looks to our eyes a bit of mess. Nevertheless for McLaren / supercar fans it’s sure to be a winner when it arrives alongside the other Speed Champions sets in January of next year.

LEGO 75891 Speed Champions Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Chevrolet first joined the Speed Champions range a few years ago and they return to the line-up for 2019 with the 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car set*. Another single-car set, 75891 brings Speed Champions into the world of NASCAR, although for licensing reasons you won’t find that link anywhere on the box. What you will find are 198 pieces, some of which are uniquely printed, a mini-figure complete with fuel-refill tank and the ubiquitous spanner, and a wealth of stickers to help recreate the ZL1 in LEGO form.

We’ve bemoaned the over-use of stickers rather than bricks to recreate real-world replicas in the past and the same is true here, but LEGO know their market, and also the most cost-effective way to hit the spot aesthetically. 75891 should be hit – especially amongst NASCAR fans!

*Plus an exciting new addition to the 2019 Technic range… but more on that another time!

LEGO 75894 Speed Champions Mini Cooper-S Rally & John Cooper Works Buggy

The fifth and final Speed Champions set new for 2019 brings another old favourite back onto shelves; Mini, with a pairing of the iconic 1960s Cooper-S and a 2018 John Cooper Works Buggy. A tricky thing to make from rectangular bricks, LEGO seem have done a superb job recreating the original Mini in mini-figure scale, and whilst there are stickers present they’re not used to create the shape of the car – bravo LEGO! The classic Cooper comes in rally car spec, complete with quad spot-lights and a roof-rack, and includes a mini-figure rally driver.

The John Cooper Works Buggy isn’t quite as successful, looking not all that much like the real thing. But we’re guessing that if you’re reading this and you’re eight, that won’t matter one bit! Featuring big rubber tyres, a workshop complete with tools, and some cool stickers, if we were eight we’d absolutely love it!

75894 Mini Cooper-S Rally and MINI John Cooper Works Buggy is the largest set in the 2019 range at 481 pieces including four mini-figures and will join the rest of the line-up in stores from January.

Which set is your favourite? We’ll take the classic Dodge Charger and recreate the train-jump scene from the first Fast and the Furious movie, although we’d really need a Speed Champions Toyota Supra to do it properly. Over to you LEGO…

Three Wheels on My Wagon

Gene 3S’s 1966 Mini Cooper S has run into a problem on its way to Monte Carlo. Fortunately the car is well equipped with tools and a spare wheel on the roof. There are some nice details on this conventional, studs up car, plus the neat simply styled scene. The car is based on an actual Mk.1 Cooper S, LBL 6 D. The car is currently up for sale and you can see loads of photos by following this link, which is a great resource for building your own Mini Cooper or modifying LEGO’s official 10242 set.

Sadly Gene 3S’s model was TWOKed by a team of TLCB Elves just after the spare wheel was put on.  Apparently they were muttering something about stealing a gold shipment

Travelling Light

Lego Mini Clubman

Before the Mini Traveller, now called the ‘Clubman’, became a larger rebadged BMW 1 Series, it looked like this. This is the van variant, of which over half a million were produced until the early 1980s, but with a payload of just 1/4 of a ton it wasn’t going to trouble Ford’s Transit.

However, the Traveller van was perfect for light-duty work nipping down city streets, which is what Flickr’s Peter Schmid has deployed his to do, delivering pizza for Al Capone’s pizzeria. Based on the official LEGO 10242 Mini Cooper Creator set, Peter has faithfully replicated the van version of the iconic original Mini, complete with the famous twin barn doors at the back.

Place your pizza order at Peter’s photostream via the link above.

Lego Mini Traveller Van

Not Another Mini

Lego Mini Moke

Well, this is a Mini, but not a normal one. Designed to sell to the world’s militaries, the Mini Moke was an ultra lightweight off-road vehicle built for ease of travel and maintenance. And it did those things pretty well, being based on the standard Mini passenger car and being light enough to be picked up by its bumpers.

However, at the one thing the Moke really needed to do well, the off-roading stuff, it was a bit hopeless. Low ground clearance (and low power) meant the little car got stuck a lot, and even the addition of a second engine in the rear to give the Moke four-wheel-drive failed to convince any major militaries to back it.

Looking for a way to recoup their investment, the British Motor Corporation re-marketed the Moke as a fun car for civilian use, and in a few places – notably Australia, the Caribbean and parts of the Mediterranean – turned their initial failure into a quite a success, and the Moke has now become something of a cult car in these markets.

This lovely Lego version of the unusual Mini, built to match the scale of the official LEGO 10242 Mini Cooper set, has been built by Ritto Aydillo Zuazo of Flickr, and it’s a faithful recreation of the odd original. Ritto is hoping that his Moke replica can become an official LEGO set via the LEGO Ideas platform – to see all the images and to give it your vote check it out on Flickr via the link above.

Lego Mini Moke

Buy a Mini… Get a Hot Rod

Lego Hot Rod 10242 Alternate

Minis seem to be popping up all over the place here today. Well this isn’t a Mini obviously, but it has been built exclusively from the parts found within the 10242 Mini Cooper Creator set. Like the Porsche 911 RSR featured here earlier today the builder of this 10242 alternate hot rod model has made instructions available, so that if you own the Mini Cooper set you can build your own. You can see more courtesy of Serge S on Flickr.

Buy a Mini… Get a Porsche

Lego Porsche 911 RSR

LEGO’s 10242 official Mini Cooper set is a firm favourite here at TLCB Towers, but that’s no reason to stick to the prescribed instructions. Suggested to us by a reader, amaman of MOCpages has used the Mini’s excellent parts range to build something just a little bit quicker… Porsche’s monster 911 RSR. There are opening doors, hood and engine lid with a detailed interior an engine inside, and amaman has even photographed the build steps so that if you own 10242 you could build your own RSR too. You can see more of the build and check out how amaman has done it via the link to MOCpages above.

Lego Porsche 911 RSR

Brick-Bean

Lego Mr. Bean Mini

LEGO’s 10242 Mini Cooper set received an excellent review here at TLCB earlier in the year, but Flickr’s Dornbi decided that his copy could benefit from a few, er… ‘household’ modifications… modifications that Mr. Bean was forced to put into practice back in 1994 following an eventful trip to the January sales.

You can see more of Dornbi’s brilliant modified 10242 set on Flickr at the link above, and the unique approach to automotive packaging by Mr. Bean on which this model is based by clicking here.

Mini Maxi Maxi Mini*

Lego Technic Mini Countryman

*Allow us to explain; Today’s post is a small version of a bigger version of a big version of a small car. See? It makes perfect sense!

OK, we’ll try again… This excellent Technic creation is a scale model of Mini’s largest model to date, the not-at-all-mini and actually quite large Countryman. The Countryman is itself a grotesquely swollen version of the ‘new’ New Mini, and the New Mini is of course a modern (read ‘larger’) re-interpretation of the original small British car from 1959. There you go; TLCB’s tenuous logic in action!

Back to the model, and it’s been built by falconluan of Brickshelf. It includes remotely controlled drive and steering, selectable all-wheel-drive, opening doors, hood and trunk, working suspension, and a  transversely-mounted inline-four piston engine, which makes it one of the most thoroughly executed Technic Supercars of the year.

There’s a fittingly massive gallery of photos available, including several detail and component images, at Brickshelf via the link above – click the link above to make the jump.

Lego technic Mini RC

Mini-Beast

Lego Mini Cooper Arachnid

Well this is something we never imagined we’d be posting… Sariel has, er… ‘modified’ LEGO’s official Mini Cooper set and given it legs! Creepy spidery moving legs.

You can see the Walking Mini in action on MOCpages, plus you read Sariel’s interview with TLCB here, and you can read our review of the official (wheeled) 10242 Mini Cooper set by clicking here.

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