A delicious if overly sugared snack, the rocky road would be a sure Elven favourite if ever we allowed them to have it. Or if they knew what it was.
Today’s lucky Elf is about to receive its own sugary hit thanks to this multiple-vehicle find. Built for LEGO’s ‘Great Mountain Chase’ contest, this brilliant scene from Flickr’s Pixel Fox depicts a pair of bank robbers attempting escape from their Police pursuers, who they surely didn’t expect to have access to a monster off-roader and a dirt bike.
Pixel has created his landscape from actual rocks to form the mostly-dry river bed, and it comes complete with a startled fisherman and a pair of hikers whose day just got a lot more interesting. See more of the scene and place your bets on the outcome at Pixel Fox’s photostream by clicking here.
Today’s news is full of the story of America dropping its largest ever non-nuclear bomb on some unsuspecting militants in Afghanistan. Weighing 9,800kgs and at over 3oft in length, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb sure is a devastatingly deadly bit of kit. But we suspect it’s not half as deadly as this, Yamaha’s YFM 700 quad bike.
Designed to roll over on top of you if you so much as look at it, the YFM 700 is the sort of machine that is way, way too fast for almost everyone that will ever climb atop it. But it sure is a cool way to go. This Lego recreation of the lethal Yamaha comes from Flickr’s André Pinto, and thankfully it’s much safer than its full size counterpart. See more at André’s photostream via the link above.
This is a real off-roader! Previous bloggee Pipasseyoyo has miniaturised one of the most accomplished all-terrain-vehicles, and his remote controlled Technic 6×6 ATV is every bit as capable as the real thing. With 6-wheel-drive powered by two XL Motors, locking differentials, a two-speed gearbox and working steering powered by a Medium Motor each, plus suspension on all three axles, Pipasseyoyo’s creation can climb like an ant. There’s lots more detail available on Brickshelf, including a rendering of the awesome 6×6 drivetrain and a video link to see the model in action – click the link above to make the jump.
What could be more fun than a hoard of The Lego Car Blog Elves, balanced on top of a careering vehicle, powered by a large, metal spring? For just £17.99 for 148 pieces from our local toy shop, we decided to find out!
Opening the box revealed two bags of Lego parts and a pull-back motor plus four tyres packed loose. As usual, the tyres rolled off under the TLCB office champagne cooler and had to be retrieved by a skinny Elf. The sticker sheet was also packed loose, resulting in the usual slight crumples (come on Lego put them in a bag with some cardboard!). Lastly, came the 60 page instruction book, which thankfully no longer features the terrifying, screaming child on its back cover. Why was he so angry?
60 pages of instructions, might seem a bit over the top but remember that this model is at the “fun” end of the Technic range and aimed at builders from 7 to 14 years old. That said, some of the steps did seem a bit small, such as adding two decorative bushes to the wheel axles in the final step. If you are ever in need of a mental challenge, go and build one of the big Technic sets from the early 1980s and you’ll be thankful for Lego’s modern day approach to instructions.
Disappointingly, there is no “B” model for this set. You can buy the other “Pull-Back” model in this year’s range (42033) and combine the two sets. However, that was too much of an investment for us as we weren’t sure if this model would survive the Elves “testing” regime for long enough to be re-combined.
Having distracted all 271 Elves in the office by giving them a Smartie to fight over, we started the build. The model starts with the chassis, in short rapid steps. By step 8, the pull-back motor is already fitted. For us, the motor was the exciting, interesting bit. How powerful would it be? How long would it last? How many Elves could we smush? Just 40 more pages and we’d be there…
The build continues in, what is now, traditional Technic style, strongly embedding the motor in a frame. Disappointingly there is no gearing in this model. It’s great introduction to Technic for younger builders but perhaps some gearing would have added to the educational value and interest? Maybe the motor wasn’t up to it? Just 35 more pages to go…
The decorative “engine” of this model is a two cylinder “V”. It’s neatly made from a 57585, 3 Branch Cross Axle and a pair of wheel hubs. The stickers start to come in at this point too. Applying them looked quite fiddly. We prefer to leave our pieces clean and ready for re-use in MOCs, so fortunately we skipped that part. The instructions now moved on to make the bodywork. Lego leave adding to wheels until the end of the build. How fast would our quad bike zoom?
Page 27 has a fiddly, combined axle and peg connection, with three things to go in. It’s a bit tricky and builders at the younger end of the age range will probably need a hand here. Page 30 adds an axle to the pull-back motor and the front axle too. It turns out the at the steering handle bars are just decorative. Perhaps a simple, friction based, steering could have added to the fun by allowing the quad bike to go in straight lines or in curves? It seemed quite hard to wind the motor up. Perhaps it would be easier once the wheels were on?
A few more steps, adding familiar Technic parts and panels (there were no exciting new components hidden in this build for the collector). Then it was time to add the wheels! Even though this model is aimed at younger builders, this took three whole pages of the instructions, which seemed a little excessive. The finished article is a nicely chunky, good looking, strong toy. It easily survived being dropped 30cm onto a table, thanks to its balloon tyres.
We loaded 13 and ¾ Elves onto the quad bike in the style of the White Helmets and started to wind up its motor. After four sets of easy 30cm pull backs, which stored a lot of energy in the spring, a ratchet cut in to stop it being over-wound and broken. The model easily covered the 6 metres across the TLCB executive sun deck, spraying Elves as it went. Fortunately it is light and has a strong front bumper built into it. Parents might want to guard some of their more delicate furniture.
To sum up. Value for money: perhaps not for the parts but you can buy this model online for a couple of pounds cheaper than we bought it in a shop. The palette is just black, yellow and grey, so the parts will easily combine with parts from your other Technic sets in MOCs. There are also two pairs of useful wheels, unlike the 42033 set. The model looks good, even without the stickers and is strong, fun and fast to play with. This is the model’s best point: it’s a fun introduction to the Technic style of building and a great toy to play with once it’s built.
P.S. If you’re wondering what an Elf on a quad bike looks like, click this link.
Another day in the office at TLCB Towers and another group of 23 Elves contentedly squabble over a single bright red Smartie. It’s their reward for finding this rather nice Tracked Articulated Tractor. This is the third vehicle built by František Hajdekr using his extremely compact track modules. The tractor is a neat blend of a hinging Technic chassis with a System body which features so many headlights that we’re not sure which is the front or the back end.
František’s first machine to use his track modules was his Tracked ATV, based on the standard Lego motorbike pieces, shown below. This looks very like quad-bikes that actually exist, using the Litefoot conversion system for travelling in deep snow. You can see more photos of both machines, plus details of the construction of the track modules and the Tractor’s chassis, by clicking this link to František’s Flickr Photostream.
This one freaked us out a bit today. The first – and probably last – Bionicle creation to be blogged here is this colourful ATV by TLCB newcomer Dave Foreman, and it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Elf that found it. Very unnerving…
Following yesterday‘s RNLI Land Rover, previous TLCB bloggee pitrex contacted us with his own Technic life guard build. Featuring a host of Technic functions, piterx’s quad and jet-ski combo includes; Power Functions RC drive, working steering and suspension (quad), controllable impeller (jet-ski), and a working winch on the trailer. About as good as an official LEGO Technic set then! Join the discussion on Eurobricks via the link above.