Tag Archives: Speed Champions

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.

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Red Rice

We’re not sure where the term ‘ricer’ came from in America, but today it’s defined as ‘Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements’, which means it seems to have transcended any xenophobic origins and can be used to describe any car modified in a ‘ricey’ way.

What we do know is that three favourites recipients of the term, at least according to the internet, are the Toyota Supra (specifically the Mk4 variant), the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and the Honda Civic, each of which has been recreated brilliantly in lightly-riced form by TLCB regular SP_LINEUP.

Each includes opening doors and hood, plus a detailed interior and engine bay, and some can be bought from SP in kit form too. Click the link above to visit SP’s photostream to see more of each build and the rest of his extensive back-catalogue.

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They’ve Saved the Best Trip for Last…

Released in 1990, the final instalment in The Back to the Future trilogy put an end to very probably the most famous movie car of all time. In fact, we suspect many people wouldn’t know the DeLorean DMC-12 is a real car, so synonymous with the movies has it become. It was rubbish though, so that’s probably a good thing. We’ll stick to the movie car, recreated here in ‘Part III’ guise by Flickr’s Łukasz Libuszewski alongside some bemused native Americans. Head to Łukasz’s photostream via the link above for one last trip to 88mph.

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Rebel Rouser

LEGO have added a few awesome classics to their Speed Champions range, with the iconic Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger joining the line-up in the last two years.

However there were far more muscle cars borne in the height of the craze than you might expect, which included AMC, with their largely forgotten Rebel ‘The Machine’.

Stupid name aside ‘The Machine’ was a proper muscle car, with an enormous 6.4 litre V8 making 340bhp, and the pre-requisite muscle car crappy steering, suspension and brakes. It also came in a distinctive reflective stripy paint-scheme applied by 3M, just in case you forgot what the ‘A’ in AMC stood for. Although of course red, white and blue stripes are probably more French or Dutch than they are American…

This neat Speed Champions recreation of the 1970 AMC Rebel ‘The Machine’, complete with its French American stripes is the work of Thomas Gion, and he’s captured the real car’s unique look rather nicely. Thomas has built a range of other classic muscle cars too and you can see more of them and ‘The Machine’ on Flickr via the link above.

*Today’s title song.

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Rapid Bus

The Speed Champions line-up may be filled with fast and exotic vehicles, but none of them can carry twenty-five mini-figures at once. The Eleventh Bricks‘ ‘Rapid Bus KL’ can though, being a neat Speed Champions scale replica of one of Kuala Lumpur’s city buses. Accurate decals and LED lighting adds to the already impressive realism and you can hop on board yourself via the link above.

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Cockster

We don’t particularly like the Porsche Boxter here at The Lego Car Blog, as they tend to be driven by… well, the title is a clue. Still, it’s a superb drivers car even if the drivers are knobs and one that deserves recognition, which TLCB regular SP_LINEUP (previously known as Simon Przepiorka) has given in Lego form through his excellent 1:24 version. The model includes opening doors, hood, trunk, plus a removable roof, and you can see more at the link.

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Bugatti in Bricks

Bugatti haven’t always made Veyrons and Chiron’s under the directorship of the Volkswagen Empire. We’ve written about their historic limousines and racing cars here, but there was a weird period in the middle where they were owned by an Italian entrepreneur and they made this; the V12 quad-turbo-charged EB110. Launched in the early ’90s just 139 EB110s were produced before the company folded in 1995. Micheal Schumacher bought one.

Not enough super-wealthy individuals did though, leading to the Bugatti factory being bought by a furniture maker and their sister brand Lotus being sold to Proton. Still it all worked out in the end as Volkswagen purchased the defunct brand in 1998, used it to set about making the world’s fastest production car, and the rest is history.

Fabrice Larcheveque remembers the weird period though, building this fabulous Speed Champions interpretation of Bugatti’s early ’90s oddity. He’s captured the unique-looking supercar superbly too, and you can see more of his 8-wide EB110 at his Flickr album by clicking here.

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The Answer’s Always Miata

Whatever the question, the answer is always Miata. Or MX-5 if you’re not American. Or Eunos if you’re in Japan. But you get the point. Light, reliable, fast enough, and able to go sideways, the Miata/MX-5/Eunos is very probably the greatest sports care ever made. This is SP_LINEUP‘s Speed Champions scale recreation of the second generation of Mazda’s iconic two seater roadster, and it captures the look of the real car beautifully, with opening doors, hood and a removable roof too. SP has made instructions for his design available should you wish to build your own and you can find these and further images at his photostream via the link above.

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Super Seventies

LEGO’s new 8-wide Speed Champions sets are generating a lot of interest in the online Lego community. Firstly because they’re rather good, and secondly because of those windscreen pieces. Suitable for all manner of cars, we’ve seen them pop up (and look perfect for) several real-world replicas as yet unlicensed by LEGO, including a Lamborghini Countach and Maserati Boomerang.

Today we have two more classic supercars that look made for the new part, Jonathan Elliott‘s superb DeTomaso Pantera (above) and RGB900‘s angular Lotus Esprit (below). Each captures their real world counterpart brilliantly and there’s more to see of both builds via the links in the text above.

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Range Rozzer

Range Rovers aren’t just for rich London types. Well they are now, but back when the original was around even the police used them. This neat Speed Champions style recreation of a classic police Ranger Rover (in Manchester police livery) comes from TLCB favourite Jonathan Elliott and there’s more to see at his photostream via the link above.

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Come Back Around*

Things have a habit of coming back around. Lava lamps, 1920s baby names, politicians called Bush or Clinton…

We hope this does, the glorious 1970s Maserati Boomerang. Named after the indigenous Australian bendy stick that always comes back (for reasons we don’t understand at all), the Boomerang was a one-off concept car designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro that was unusually registered for road use and that even more usually still exists today.

Previous bloggee RGB900 has recreated the iconic Maserati in Speed Champions scale, and in a neat circularity has brought LEGO’s new canopy piece back around again to shape the cockpit of his build, following its use by Jonathan Elliott for a Lamborghini Countach earlier in the month and its original appearance in the official 75890 Ferrari F8 Speed Champions set.

We suspect it’s a part that will keep coming back too, so well does it seem to fit all sorts of Speed Champions designs, and there’s more to see of its appearance on RGB900’s lovely Maserati Boomerang at his photostream. Click the link above to give it a throw.

*Today’s ace title song.

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No School Like the Old School

BMW’s M-cars have got ever more capable, and ever more silly. The latest M3 is phenomenal machine that is almost pointlessly over-powered. Still, it’s not an X6M so that’s worth celebrating.

Back in the 1980s BMW’s M-cars weren’t all about power though, as demonstrated by the first M3. The ‘E30’ series was only a four-cylinder and it only had around 200bhp, but it was small, light and agile, making about a billion times more fun than the current version. Which is why the values of E30 M3s have gone stratospheric.

Luckily SP_LINEUP has created a more attainable version, via his superb mildly modified 8-wide model, complete with opening doors and hood, and a roll cage inside the detailed interior. Head to Flickr via the link above to see more of SP’s brick-built recreation of the first – and best – M3 that BMW ever made.

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Supercar of the ’70s

If there’s one car that encapsulates supercars of the 1970s, it’s this one. The Lamborghini Countach was, well… basically un-drivable. No visibility, the widest tyres ever fitted to a production car, the world’s heaviest clutch, zero thought to driver ergonomics, and less power than a modern Mercedes-Benz A-Class…

And yet… look at it. Designed by Bertone in 1971 the Countach was produced from 1974 all the way until 1990, whereupon it was replaced by the Diablo, with some 1,800 units built over its sixteen year life. Later cars were ‘improved’ with the addition of wide arches, sills, and a mental rear wing (making the Countach as iconic in the ’80s as in the decade of its birth), but we prefer the early ones like this LP400.

Flickr’s Jonathan Elliott is the genius behind this 7-wide Speed Champions version, putting LEGO’s new canopy part to brilliant use here. In fact seeing as LEGO have a licence to make Lamborghini sets we think Jonathan’s LP400 would make an excellent addition to the official Speed Champions line-up from whence the canopy part came.

Head to Jonathan’s photostream via the link above if you like his Lamborghini as much as we do, where you can see more this model and his impressive back-catalogue of Speed Champions builds.

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Big Blocks Fine Autos

“Spotted her the minute you walked in, didn’t you, sir? She’s a real beauty.”
“Er…”
“The Ford Thundercougarfalconbird! Nothing makes you feel more like a man than a Thundercougarfalconbird. So how much were you thinking of spending on this Thundercougarfalconbird?
“Sorry, I’m not here to buy.”
“I understand, and it’s wonderful you don’t care whether anyone questions your sexual orientation.”
“I care! I care plenty! I just don’t know how to make them stop!”
“One word: Thundercougarfalconbird!”

Used Car Salesmen Rich and Ed are here to sell you a car you never even knew you wanted, with a Speed Champions car to suit every budget, all at unbelievably good value! And with an on-site workshop, you can trust that your car has been prepared to the very highest standard that Big Blocks Fine Autos’ strict preparation budget will allow.

Flickr’s Thomas Gion is the builder behind this brilliant – if slightly dodgy-looking – Speed Champions car dealership, complete with a used car forecourt, showroom office, and a repair bay with a working two-post lift. Visit Rich and Ed at Big Blocks Fine Autos via the link above and take that Thundercougarfalconbird for a test drive!

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Atlantica

Our favourite weird vehicle builder is back with another car straight from a ’70s sci-fi movie. This is Angka Utama‘s ‘Atlantica’ and just look at those seats! Built in 8-studs wide, with a lifting engine cover and a full width light bar (now the default feature on any new car), there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link above to take a look.

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