Tag Archives: ralph savelsberg

Unfortunate Acronym

Subaru Tecnica International had an unfortunate acronym in much of the world. They didn’t change it though, unlike Toyota who renamed the MR2 in France to avoid phonetic embarrassment. Still, aside from standing for an unfortunate side affect of unprotected relations, STI meant some excellent machinery, including this 2000’s Impreza WRX STI recreated by Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg in his trademark style. Click the link to make the jump to his photostream see more.

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Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. The Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 experimental fighter probably caused a few UFO sightings during its fifty secret test flights. Two YF-23s were built during the early ’90s for evaluation as the USAF’s next stealth fighter, nicknamed ‘Black Widow II’ and ‘Gray Ghost’ owing to their paint schemes.

Despite being faster and more agile than the competitor YF-22, it was the YF-22 that won the contract to be produced due to superior agility, becoming the Lockheed F-22 Raptor. Now de-classified (apart from top speed), the two experimental YF-23s reside in museums, meaning Ralph Savelsberg can talk about them.

His recreation of the ‘Gray Ghost’ includes an opening mini-figure scale cockpit, folding landing gear, and more ingenious building techniques in one build than this TLCB writer has used in his entire building career.

Head to Ralph’s photostream by the link above to see all the images. Just don’t talk to anyone about it.

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Almost a Corona

Toyotas don’t always have the most fortunate names. There’s the ISIS, the BJ, and the perfectly-acceptable-until-recently Corona. Which is now a deadly virus. Oops. The name Corona actually means ‘crown’, just like Toyota’s Corolla, Camry, and, er… Crown.

It’s the Crown we have here, which means essentially the same thing as Corona, but doesn’t evoke the ongoing mass morbidity of the elderly. This Lego version of the Crown comes from Ralph Savelsberg of Flickr who has recreated the Japanese saloon in Tokyo Police specification, complete with authentic decals and the odd raising light-bar on the roof.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Toyota Crown police car at his photostream via the link above, which has gotta be better than a Corona. Probably not a BJ though…

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Dark Secret

This is the Sukhoi S-37 ‘Berkut’, a Russian air-superiority fighter that never was. First flying in the early 2000s just one ‘Berkut’ was built. Until Ralph Savelsberg decided to tackle it of course.

This is his astonishingly well-replicated Lego version, complete with an opening cockpit, swept-forward wings, working landing gear, and an opening bomb-bay. It’s also black, and black planes are always cool.

Head to Ralph’s Sukhoi S-37 ‘Berkut’ album on Flickr by clicking here to see more stunning images.

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The Crown

Many cities and countries are known for having an iconic taxi. London has the Black Cab, although it’s now vastly outnumbered by Prius Ubers, New York had the Ford Crown Victoria, until it was replaced by Nissan vans, Camrys and the Prius, and Mexico had the Volkswagen Beetle, now superseded by boring Asian boxes including, you’ve guessed it, the Prius. There’s a theme here…

Fortunately (and perhaps ironically) Japan still has its iconic taxi cab, the Toyota Crown Comfort, complete with its amazing automatically opening rear doors. Built right up until 2017, the Crown has served as Japan’s taxi for over two decades. It’s finally being retired though, replaced by a bespoke Toyota taxi design that will probably end up becoming even more iconic, and which owes more than a little to its London counterpart.

The Comfort will be around for a while yet though, weird doors and all, and you can hail a ride in Ralph Savelsberg‘s brilliant Miniland scale replica via the link above.

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War Wreckin’

The U.S military operates vehicles in some pretty inhospitable places. Currently most of these places are dust-filled ovens, putting the machinery in use under intense strain. And, let’s face it, they are American vehicles so they will break.

Unfortunately the local recovery services in such places are unlikely to be willing to help out, and – even if they were – an Abrams tank is probably a bit beyond their ability. Fortunately the U.S military has these ready to rescue their broken vehicles; the M936 6×6 Wrecker.

Built by TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg this mini-figure scale replica of the M936 may not be in ‘dust-filled oven’ camouflage but it is mightily accurate in all other respects. A working rotating crane, detachable stabilisers, and wonderful detailing are all included and there’s more to see at Ralph’s M936 Wrecker album on Flickr by clicking here.

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Do Not Point at Ukrainian Airliner

We round out today’s posts with a DAF truck towing a giant implement of death. Thanks Ralph Savelsberg. It is a brilliant model though, recently updated with a newly built terrain base upon which the Dutch military’s missile launcher is firing at… er, we have no idea. Have the Dutch ever fired at anything?

Which is unlike Iran of course, who last week fired upon an airliner full of their own citizens thanks to a twitchy trigger finger mistake. Iran’s accidental downing of flight PS752 takes the number of deaths following the murder of Qasem Soleimani by American drone from ten to almost two hundred, with another fifty killed during a stampede at his funeral.

Well this has all got a bit bleak. You can see more of Ralph’s superb Dutch Patriot Missile Launcher at his photostream via the link above, we’ll return soon with something a bit chirpier, and until then here’s that video of a woman in a Wookie mask.

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You Say Tomato, I Say Yamato

This is a Toyota Quick Delivery Hybrid, as used by Japan’s ‘Yamato’ delivery company. Plus there are some monks for some reason*.

Built by TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg, the Quick Delivery (it does what it says on the tin we suppose!) is not our usual fodder, but it’s a most excellent build. Ralph’s trademark blend of superb techniques have allowed him to recreate the odd asymmetric Toyota brilliantly, including its sliding cab doors and a fully racked cargo area.

There’s more to see of Ralph’s Yamato-liveried Toyota Quick Delivery Hybrid on Flickr via the link above, you can hear today’s title song by clicking these words, and you can find out what that *asterisk is referring to by clicking here.

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Highway to the Dreary Zone*

Fighter pilots. Adrenaline junkies who live life on the edge, where gravity is so banal they have to multiply it by a factor of nine just to stay awake. You’d imagine then, that when they’re not piloting a 2,000mph missile upside-down they’re driving something pretty spectacular. An AMG-Mercedes, perhaps a Dodge Hellcat, or a hot rod with an engine measured in cubic feet.

Not according to previous bloggee Ralph Savelsberg though, as the Royal Netherlands Air Force pilots of this glorious F-16AM Viper drive… a Renault Trafic van. Um, OK.

It is a beautifully built Renault Trafic van, but it is, nevertheless, still a Renault Trafic van. There’s more to see of the Renault, and the considerably more interesting F-16 Viper fighter jet that accompanies it, at Ralph’s photostream. Take the Highway to the Dreary Zone* via the link above.

*Today’s (slightly butchered) title song

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Orange Boss

From one Mustang to another now, and also to a boss that manages to look good in orange*. This is the Boss 302, built between 1969 and ’72 for Trans-Am racing homologation and featuring a 5 litre 290bhp V8, and the brakes and suspension from a pushchair. Still, you don’t need those when you’re drag racing at the traffic lights. This one comes from serial bloggee Ralph Savelsberg and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link.

*Obligatory Trump reference.

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Classic Car Garage

After posting definitely Not a Car yesterday, here’s over a dozen! Ralph Savelsberg‘s brilliant expanding classic car garage includes some wonderful pieces of beautiful, historic and iconic American metal. And a Buick Roadmaster.

Many of the cars have featured here at The Lego Car Blog over the years and you can see more of Ralph’s scene at the Great Western Lego Show in the UK later this year, or on Flickr via the link above, which is probably more convenient.

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Beastly Buick

Buick might be best known for making miserable floaty nonsense for old people to drive around Florida, or more recently cars for China, which would probably finish a few Buick drivers off if they knew about it, but the brand has occasionally built an interesting car.

Back in the early ’70s everyone was having a go at muscle cars, even Buick, who chucked a larger engine, trunk spoiler, lurid paint, and a hood-mounted tachometer (why?!) on their Skylark coupe to create the GSX.

This most excellent Lego replica of the Buick GSX (in ‘limemist green’) is the work of Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist of Flickr who has recreated the lesser-known muscle car superbly in his trademark style. Head to Ralph’s photostream via the link above for the complete gallery and you can read his interview as part of TLCB’s Master MOCers series by clicking here.

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Trouble in Tokyo

Lego Isuzu Fire Truck Tokyo

Tokyo’s 14 million inhabitants live in easily one of the coolest cities in the world. But it’s not without risks; such as earthquakes, Godzilla attack, and common fire.

Tokyo’s incredible population density, congested streets, and narrow roadways mean that to combat the effects of the above American or even European-sized fire trucks would be much too large. Toyko’s fire department therefore use a range of smaller vehicles that are better able to navigate the city (with even converted kei cars deployed in some districts), such as this Isuzu pumper.

This superbly detailed recreation of a common Japanese fire truck comes from Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist), and follows his excellent Toyota HiMedic ambulance that appeared here a few weeks ago.

With accurate fire fighting apparatus (including a hand-drawn cart used for Tokyo’s narrowest alleyways), opening doors and hatches, and even a pair of brick-built fire-fighters there’s plenty more to see – click here to check out all the imagery via Ralph’s photostream.

Lego Isuzu Fire Truck Tokyo

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Japanbulance

Lego Toyota HiAce Ambulance

Chances are that if you’re reading this from (or have ever been to) Asia, then you’ve been in a Toyota HiAce. They are everywhere, performing every function it’s possible for a van to do. Hopefully though, you haven’t had to travel in this particular variant; the HiMedic Ambulance as used throughout Japan.

This superb Lego version of the Toyota emergency response vehicle comes from Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist) of Flickr, who has not only recreated the outside of the HiMedic beautifully, there’s a fully-kitted interior behind the working sliding doors too.

There’s much more to see of Ralph’s Toyota HiMedic at his photostream via the link above, and you can read our interview with him as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking here.

Lego Toyota HiAce Ambulance

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Black Panther

Lego A-6E Intruder VA-35 Black Panthers

Jungle cat, 1960’s political movement, comic-book hero (and slightly overrated movie), and U.S Navy attack squadron, the name ‘Black Panther’ has seen varied use over the years. It’s the latter usage we’re focussing on here, and the squadron that adopted the name from the 1930s until its disbandment in 1995.

The Black Panthers were a carrier-based air squadron that flew combat missions in the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War and the First Iraq War, with all of those bar the first using this aircraft, the Grumman A-6 Intruder. This spectacular recreation of the A-6 comes from Master MOCer and TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist), who has constructed the Intruder in A6-E Black Panthers specification in glorious detail.

With folding wings, a sliding canopy, custom decals and a full armament there’s a whole lot more to see. Take a look at Ralph’s A6-E Intruder Flickr album by clicking here, where over twenty high quality image are available.

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