Tag Archives: Off-Road

A Real Defender

As has been mentioned before, we’re not sold on Land Rover’s new Defender. Which means it’ll likely sell phenomenally well… We are sold on this though, John O’Shea’s perfect digital recreation of the classic Land Rover 2A 109 that first appeared here last year.

John has since rendered the best version of his design yet, because this is what a Defender should look like. OK, not in America where Defenders are fetching astronomical sums of money, or in the UK’s cities where they’re all black with tinted windows and LED lights, and have never gone up so much as a curb, but out in rural Britain where Defenders work for living.

The British countryside is full of Defenders that look like this one; battered, seized exposed screw heads, roofs green with mould, and patches over patches on the chassis. Somehow we’re not sure the new version will look like these in 30 years. Mostly because it probably won’t last that long.

John’s beautifully rendered 2A 109 van manages to capture all of the shediness of the thousands of Defenders carrying equipment, sheep, and farmers across the British Isles brilliantly, and there’s more to see of his stunning render at his photostream. Click here to take a closer look.

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My Other Car’s a Land Rover

LEGO’s cool-looking 42110 Technic Land Rover Defender set – revealed here last year – has been on sale a while now, and we think it looks pretty good. However we’re less sure about real Defender which is yet to go on sale, and seeing a prototype on the roads of the UK hasn’t helped the cause. We couldn’t afford one anyway though – despite the vast fame and riches we have accrued through this website* – so we guess it’s not aimed at us.

For those in our camp of not really knowing who the new land Rover Defender is aimed at, and maybe preferring something a little more authentic, Flickr’s Milan aka grohl might have the answer.

This marvellous looking ‘stadium truck’ complete with working suspension, four-wheel-drive, a three-speed sequential gearbox, steering, and a V8 engine has been built solely from the parts found within the 42110 Technic Land Rover Defender set, allowing you to make something with a little more off-road pedigree should the new Defender turn out to be just another posh SUV for well-healed city-dwellers.

Milan has produced video instructions for his 42110 ‘B-Model’ too, so if you own the Technic Land Rover Defender set and the real car turns out to be more ‘organic vanilla latte please’ than ‘dude, let’s abseil down this mountain’, you can turn your Defender into a stadium truck yourself.

There’s more to see of Milan’s 42110 B-Model on Flickr, where full details and the all-important link to instructions can also be found. Click the link above to take a look.

*Which you can learn about here.

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Fighting Fires in the Forest

Australia is under siege from tragedy right now, with 100,000sq/km burned or burning, thousands of homes destroyed, and millions (yes millions) of animals cooked. Australians love a barbecue, but not like this.

The cause is a prolonged drought, with the fires worsened by high winds. Whether or not the fires are specifically down to climate change, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s dismissal of it (and the fact Australia’s CO2 emissions have been rising every year, not falling) is spectacularly out of line with literally every climate scientist on earth. Apart from a few American ones obviously.

In TLCB’s home nation we have wild fires too, with 2019 seeing the most on record, again due to drought. Although the fires were tiny compared to Australia’s, the UK is tiny by comparison, so the propensity for damage is just as high. Inspired by the Mercedes-Benz Unimog fire truck used by his local fire station in the Ashdown Forest, previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott has constructed this lovely classic Unimog 406, and he’s filled it with details, with the roller shutters and chassis two of our favourites.

Head into the woods to save a koala via Jonathan’s photostream (OK, probably not a koala in England); click the link above to make the jump.

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Funky Sheet

TLCB Elves search far and wide for the best Lego vehicles that the internet has to offer. With food only available upon blog-worthy finds, they’re becoming fairly efficient little buggers. However it’s not just the model that must meet our criteria in order to be featured here, this images too must be worthy of appearance.

As highlighted here before, the best way to achieve high quality images is with the use of a plain background and natural light, however that doesn’t mean more inventive solutions aren’t also suitable. Take taxonlazar’s ‘G-110’ for example, which uses a sheet to great effect, creating the sand and rock plain upon which his model is driving. The model itself is rather nice too, featuring a transparent cockpit, posable steering, and some awesome retro Technic wheels.

Head to taxonlazar’s photostream via the link above to see more of the G-110 (and his bedsheet).

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Back in the USSR*

This is a BRDM-2, which might sound like something from your Mom’s internet browser history, but is in fact an amphibious armoured car built by the USSR between 1962 and 1989, and which is still in production in Poland today. Powered by a 140bhp GAZ V8 the BRDM-2 is capable of around 60mph on roads and a heady 6mph on water, when the engine drives a water-jet.

Like the MiG-29 we featured here earlier in the week the BRDM-2 was exported extensively, and is now in use on both sides of some conflicts, most recently between Russia and Ukraine.

This marvellous Technic recreation of one the Soviet Union’s most interesting vehicles was discovered by one of our Elves on Eurorbricks. Built by newcomer Danifill it packs in all the working functions of the real BRDM-2, besides the ability to float.

Two Power Functions XL motors deliver power to the four-wheel-drive system whilst an L motor drives the steering. All wheels are suspended, there are LED lights front and rear, and turret rotation is motorised too, with a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery delivering eight times the power of LEGO’s own system plus bluetooth remote control.

There’s more to see of Danifill’s brilliant BRDM-2 build at the Eurobricks forum where you can also find a link to a video of the model in action. Click the link above to head back to the USSR.

*Today’s excellent title song.

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Ice Breaker

Well this looks considerably more perilous than the tedious opening questions at a corporate team building away day. It’s the work of ExeSandbox of Flickr, who has created this marvellous ice breaking ship and Land Rover Defender scene which looks sure to end in the Defender’s occupants being very wet, very cold, and then very dead. Good thing it’s digital only. Pack your thermals and head out onto the ice via the link above to see all of the wonderful imagery.

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8081-ish

Some things are better left alone. Any forum on Mumsnet for example. The comments section of the Daily Mail website. Your Mom’s ‘Special Friends’ chest. However the LEGO Technic 8081 ‘Extreme Cruiser’ set is not one of them.

Reviewed here at The Lego Car Blog by reader Thirdwigg a few years ago, he noted that the 8081 set “taunts you to be creative. It screams at you to improve it; to make it better, and it gives you plenty of the space and a great structure to do so.” Which is handy because 8081 is… well, not particularly good.

Not so this version though. Taking his own advice, Thirdwigg as fully repurposed the decidedly average 8081 Extreme Cruiser set into this most excellent Land Rover Defender 110 style off-roader, complete with four-wheel-drive (which the original set didn’t have), a V8 engine (which the original set didn’t have either), working suspension and steering (which it did), and huge Fischertechnic tyres (which it definitely didn’t).

The result looks marvellous and there’s more to see of Thridwigg’s 8081-inspired 4×4 at both his Flickr photostream and the Eurobricks discussion forum (which, unlike Mumsnet, is forum which won’t leave you terrified for the future of humanity).

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Big Foot’s Back! (Kinda)

Flickr’s Havoc is having an awesome run blending classic Model Team sets with real-world vehicles. Following in the footsteps (hah!) of his 5541-inspired T-Bucket and his 5510-derived Jeep Renegade comes this, a reworking of the 5561 Big Foot monster truck set from 1997.

The original set wasn’t really a monster truck (or anything like the real Big Foot for that matter) but it was rather cool, and Havoc has chosen to carry over its paint-job onto a vehicle far more in keeping with the real Ford pick-up based car-crushing monster truck.

Havoc’s ‘Big Foot’ uses a Ford F-250 as its base (like the real truck), but switches the famous blue livery for the red-on-white that many Model Team sets have used over the years. Head to Havoc’s photostream to see all the images, plus you can view his past builds and see the official LEGO set that inspired this one via the links in the text above.

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Renegades of Funk

The modern Jeep Renegade is a fairly interesting looking but ultimately depressingly bland Euro-crossover based on a Fiat 500, with about as much off-road prowess as, well… a Fiat 500. Which means it’s selling brilliantly. This is absolutely not that car.

The original CJ5 Renegade was an altogether different animal, and Flickr’s Havoc has recreated it wonderfully thanks to a little inspiration from the marvellous classic Model Team set 5510.

Havoc’s Jeep Renegade CJ5 is packed with great building techniques to replicate the iconic off-roader’s look, and includes a superbly authentic interior and working steering too.

Head to Havoc’s Flickr album for the complete gallery of images, and you can check out the LEGO set that inspired it via the link in the text above.

*Today’s title song

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Virtually Real

The new LEGO Technic 42110 Land Rover Defender set may be getting all the attention right now, but it has us yearning for a proper Land Rover. This is one such vehicle, from back before the Defender was called the Defender. It is in fact simply known as the Land Rover Series 2A, and is shown here in 109 pick-up form courtesy of John O’Shea of Flickr.

John’s Land Rover Series 2A might be digital, but it’s also absolutely gorgeous, and very probably the most accurate Lego Land Rover design we’ve seen yet. He’s even built an ultra rare Cuthbertson tracked variant, sold in the ’60s by a Scottish engineering firm to allow the Land Rover go even further off-road. Head into the unknown (virtually) at John’s Land Rover Series 2A album via the link above.

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Minor Mechanics

Children, like TLCB Elves, are just smaller stupider humanoids. However they can be very useful, what with their little arms being able to access parts of a Land Rover Defender that Dad’s are too large for.

Seriously though, is there anything cooler than a parent teaching their kids about mechanics by letting them work on an actual car? This awesome father figure scene comes from SP Design of Flickr, who has not only built a magnificent Land Rover Defender for Dad and his two kids to work on, but a range of superbly recognisable equipment too.

Head to Dad’s garage via the link above to lend a hand. If yours are small enough of course.

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76897 Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 | Set Preview

The elite team of Elves dispatched over The LEGO Company’s perimeter walls are one by one returning to TLCB Towers, clutching their discoveries stolen from the bowels of LEGO’s R&D department.

A couple may also carry a few bite marks (and some don’t return at all), but that’s why we employ mythical creatures, as there’s no way you’d get us to squeeze through an air-conditioning duct to escape a Danish Alsatian. We’re much too fat.

Anyway, the Elf that returned today came home clutching a new set that has got us very excited, the frankly brilliant looking 76897 Audi Sport quattro (with a little ‘q’) S1 rally car.

The quattro was not the first car to be fitted with all-wheel-drive, but it was the first to take the idea rallying, along with a unique 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that made a truly ridiculous amount of power, allowed thanks to Group B’s incredibly lax rulebook. The result was a car that won the World Rally Championship in ’82 and ’84, with every WRC manufacturer title claimed by an all-wheel-drive car thereafter.

The new 76897 set recreates the Audi Sport quattro S1 which finished second in 1985 season in the hands of Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl, using LEGO’s new 8-wide template to bring more realism to the Speed Champions range. Constructed from 250 pieces, the Audi’s famous livery has been really well replicated, and for once the detail is brick-built rather than being applied by stickers. There are stickers too of course, and they look splendid, adding excellent period authenticity to the set.

Like all Speed Champions sets 76897 also includes a mini-figure driver, but annoyingly no co-driver, despite the 8-wide design allowing one to fit. This is no doubt due to cost, but is nevertheless disappointing from a realism point of view.

Despite this oversight we think the Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 is one of the best products to come from the franchise yet, and – at an expected cost of around $20 when it reaches stores at then end of the year – there’s no cooler set for the money. We’ll just have to add our own second mini-figure to the model to complete it.

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Lego Landies

The new 42110 Technic Land Rover Defender set has got us all wishing LEGO had made the original Defender instead. Or, better yet, from before the Defender was called the Defender, and simply known as a Land Rover.

This trio of pre-Defender Land Rovers comes from previous bloggee Vibor Cavor who has constructed his models in a delightfully simple style that befits a delightfully simple vehicle. They also hark back to when LEGO sets were a whole lot more simple too, and – sometimes – all the better for it. Which reminds us of a certain new Land Rover again…

There’s more to see of Vibor’s lovely classic Land Rovers in 110 pick-up, 90 Red Cross, and expedition specifications at his photostream. Click the link above to see more.

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Elven Conundrum

This TLCB Writer uttered something containing such wildly offensive profanity when he entered TLCB Towers this morning that even this site, a cesspool of litany, is unable to publish it.

Elves (and Elven bodily fluids) were everywhere. Squashed into the carpet, slammed against walls, wandering round in circles being sick – clearly something had arrived into the halls of the building with a capability for Elven destruction unmatched in the history of this establishment’s existence.

At the end of the corridor, upside-down with a wheel missing, that ‘something’ was discovered. This is it, Kirill Mazurov (aka Desert Kirill / desert752)’s incredible ‘SUV Racer MK II’.

Sitting on top of LEGO’s enormous 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 tyres, powered by four hub-mounted Buggy Motors, with portal axles, independent suspension, and a pair of BuWizz bluetooth bricks delivering eight times the power of LEGO’s own system, Kirill’s creation takes Lego to a place where it probably shouldn’t be.

It’s also a model that the Elves would absolutely love, had they not been chased down and flattened by it. A racing stripe (in orange no less) and Rally Fighter-esque bodywork give Kirill’s model an unusually racy exterior for an off-roading machine, whilst the rear looks a bit like a 1980s Alfa Romeo GTV.

We have no idea where the Elf is that found it, as the culprit has disappeared after overturning their find in the corridor, but it’ll be back later to claim a meal token. Before then we have a lot of tidying up to do, and possibly a few visits to the Elf ‘Hospital’ to make too, so whilst we get on with that (this job absolutely does not pay enough) you can check out more of Kirill’s amazing creation at both his Flickr photostream and at the Eurobricks discussion forum.

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Stuck in the Mud

‘Stuck in the Mud’ is a staple of playground gaming. Like ‘It’ only without the transferable disease of ‘It-ness’, the game involves being rooted to the spot if a player is touched by the sticker, until they are freed through being touched by another player or – for those taking the game to the next level – a player crawls between the legs of the stickee.

Adults seem to find this concept appealing too, as there is a particular subset of off-roading enthusiasts (an already pretty weird bunch), who like to get themselves deliberately stuck just so that they can winch themselves out again. And that’s before we get to one of the oddest corners of YouTube involving girls getting stuck in mud whilst wearing inappropriate footwear.

We’re not sure if that’s what’s going on here, but SP Design has certainly managed to portray the new Land Rover Defender getting very stuck indeed. Fortunately he’s also built an original (proper) Defender to rescue the new version, with each being recreated brilliantly in brick form. Head to SP’s photostream via the link above to put your high heels on and get winching.

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