Tag Archives: Town

Cream Wrangler

Today’s title might sound like some sort of dairy-based burglar, but we’re actually referring to this most excellent 6-wide Jeep Wrangler TJ by regular bloggee 1saac W, which comes coloured in an unusual cream and light brown combo.

Cunning parts usage including mini-figure hands for mirror brackets, half of a Lego lever for wiper arms, and a whole lot of sideways clear 1×2 plates make this one of the most realistic small scale Wranglers we’ve seen, and there’s more to see of 1saac’s cream 4×4 on Flickr via the link.

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Competition Coupe

Inspired by a drag racing shop local to him, Tim Henderson has recreated this vintage dragster that competed in the ‘Competition Coupe’ class. It’s inspired by the real dragster Lil’ Honker and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link.

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Silver Snail

Small cars are different depending on where you live. Today’s other small car, a revolution in gas-guzzling America, had an engine more than three times the size of France’s equivalent.

France was in a rather different place after the Second World War though. Well, it was in the same place as it is now, but economically and infrastructurally it couldn’t have been more different from America, thanks to seeing the worst of the conflict.

The country therefore needed a small, cheap, reliable car that used the minimum of materials and ‘could cross a ploughed field’, or – we suspect more relevantly – a road network blown to bits by years of war.

With a two-cylinder engine around half a litre or less, easy maintenance, and minimal material costs, Citroen produced nearly 4 million 2CVs over a forty year production run, and – effectively – remobilised France.

This brilliant Town-scale replica of the ‘tin snail’ captures the iconic peoples’ car superbly, and it comes form previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott of Flickr. A myriad of curved plates has been deployed to capture a shape that was easy to make in metal, but fiendishly difficult to create in bricks, and bar the inappropriate tyres (get yourself some ’80s Town tyres Jonathan!) the result is about as good as it’s possible to get at this scale.

There’s more to see of Jonathan’s Citroen 2CV on Flickr, where this build and a host of other brilliant Town vehicles can be found. Click the link above to make the jump.

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Metropolitan Revolution

Cities can be wonderfully diverse places, where different cultures, races, and even languages mix together to create a greater whole. The automotive industry is rather similar, although these days certain quarters see this as some kind of evil globalisation, rather than countries making what they’re best at to, again, create a greater whole.

However back in the 1950s sharing production between countries wasn’t really a thing yet, until Nash came along with their design for a new sort of car (in the U.S. at least), railing against ‘bigger is better’ by making something… smaller. Their revolutionary mindset continued to production, which wouldn’t have been profitable in the U.S.

Instead Nash turned to Austin/Rover in England, who were selected to produce the car on behalf of Nash and fitted it with their own B-Series engine. The car became the ‘Metropolitan’ upon it’s return to the U.S where, in yet more revolutionary thinking, it became the first post-war American car marketed specifically to women.

The Nash Metropolitan received mixed reviews from an American motoring press rather unwilling to try anything that wasn’t sixteen feet long, but these proved to be rather different when people bought the Metropolitan and actually used it, whereupon it surpassed expectations.

It wouldn’t be until the oil crisis of the 1970s that America really took small cars seriously though, and marketing to women was probably further behind that even, yet Nash and Austin’s collaboration had proved the concept some two decades earlier.

Fast forward to today and we seem to be in some sort of ‘Tenet’ style inversion, as ’50s style ‘bigger is better’ and ‘not foreign’ are climbing America’s agenda once again. We’ll stick with the little ’50s Nash Metropolitan though, a revolution ahead, and now perhaps behind, the times…

Oh yeah, Lego… This beautiful little 4-wide recreation of the Metropolitan comes from previous bloggee 1saac W., and there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link to join the revolution.

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Lego Loader


Fuku Saku’s latest vehicle is massive, ungainly, and able to take a big load, but we’ve already done a ‘Your Mom’ line today. Moving on, this is Fuku Saku’s front loader, and much like today’s other post it is quite brilliantly detailed, despite only being Town scale.

There’s a raising bucket arm, pivoting chassis articulation point, and some rather cunning tyre usage too. A wealth of excellent imagery is available at Fuku Saku’s photostream and you can take a closer look by clicking here.

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Lego Train Projects | Book Review

We can be accused of many things here at TLCB, but not reading isn’t one of them. The mass of emailed complaints our inbox receives don’t read themselves…

Requests for building instructions also land here with frequency, and as such a whole industry has sprung up to provide the online Lego Community with step-by-step directions to build all sorts of creations, from realistic real-world supercars to tiny micro models. Today we have another addition to this increasing pool of instructional resource, thanks to Charles Pritchett and the guys at No Starch Press, this is ‘Lego Trains Projects‘.

Running to 200 pages, ‘Lego Train Projects’ brings seven rather lovely train creations to life via step-by-step building instructions, with everything from a coal hopper to a hefty diesel locomotive. Each is compatible with LEGO’s own 6-wide train system, and matches their more advanced models – such as the 10020 Santa Fe Super Chief – for detail, only without the need for stickers.

Whereas previous No Starch books have offered small descriptions or backstories to the builds within them, there’s little pre-amble here, as Charles gets straight down to the building steps. A title page for each model displays the number of pieces, whilst a bill of materials (aka a parts list) and alternative colour suggestions finish each section.

The instructions themselves are fantastic, equal to LEGO’s own with clear steps, sub-assemblies, additions to each step highlighted in yellow, and probably a touch more complexity. The models aren’t necessary more complicated than the more advanced of LEGO’s own offerings, but they do pack in a variety of techniques that are probably above those within the grasp of the average builder, thus ‘Lego Train Projects’ could be a worthwhile educational aid for those wishing to up their game beyond basic studs-up construction.

The result is a set of train-based models that will up the realism of most layouts considerably, and which can be easily tailored to suit the preferred colours of the owner, with our favourite of Charles’ seven designs probably being the milk tanker, which could easily be converted to an Octan tanker if you prefer petrol over cow juice by simply switching the coloured rings.

Verdict

As we’ve become used to with No Starch Press publications, the quality of both print and paper is superb; ‘Lego Train Projects’ not only looks great, it feels great too, with a soft matte cover and beautifully crisp pages within. Whilst we personally don’t always understand the need for building with instructions, if you’re looking to use them to build yourself some really rather lovely train creations, they don’t come much better than this.

★★★★½

No Starch Press

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Dog Years*

This is an M8 Greyhound 6×6 Light Armoured Vehicle (or something close to it, as builder Robson M doesn’t specify!), built by Ford in the 1940s for Allied troops during World War 2.

The British, who like naming their military hardware after animals and the weather, gave it the ‘greyhound’ name, as it could sustain 55mph on reasonable roads, which was very quick for the time. And – at least in this one’s case – it was grey.

Much like a real greyhound though, the M8 wasn’t particularly well armoured, especially underneath, and nor was it very good off-road, despite being a 6×6. However it was useful enough that 8,500 were made, and – again like its namesake dog – many found new homes after being retired from their first military owner, with some M8s still in service around the world as late as the 2000s!

This neat Town scale version captures the M8 Greyhound rather well, with Robson using a few custom decals and a custom machine gun mounted on top to add to the model’s realism. There’s more of Robson’s build to see at his photostream – click the link to make a visit to the dog track.


*Today’s lovely title song.

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BAE EAP & LR

Today’s acronym is the British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (or EAP for short), the prototype air-superiority fighter that would eventually, via a cross-European collaboration, become the amazing Eurofighter Typhoon. Recreated here in its natty testing livery, Ralph Savelsberg has captured the aircraft brilliantly in mini-figure scale. A 5-wide RAF Land Rover Defender is on hand to assist with the testing programme and there’s more to see of both at Ralph’s photostream via the link.

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Büssing

You may have noticed that, despite the title, there are no windows along the side of today’s vehicle. That’s because this is not a bus, rather a Büssing 8000 flatbed truck, a brand we hadn’t heard of until today. However Büssing were one of Germany (and therefore Europe)’s largest truck makers, and to an extent they still are, following their takeover by MAN in 1971.

Founded in 1903, Büssing began building tractors and omnibuses, before producing innovative underfloor-engined trucks which are now the mainstream layout in Europe. Surviving two World Wars, and a dark concentration camp slave labour chapter in their history, Büssing later produced designs and parts for MAN before they were fully acquired, and their logo can still be seen on MAN products today.

We have Nikolaus Löwe (aka Mr_Kleinstein) to thank for our schooling today, and his splendid Town-scale classic Büssing 8000 flatbed-canvas covered truck. Not only does Nikolaus’ model look rather lovely, it somewhat unbelievably fits a full Power Functions remote control drivetrain inside, echoing the innovation of the real Büssing truck company and their clever underfloor-engined designs.

A cunningly concealed LEGO mini-motor powers the rear wheels whilst a micro-motor steers the fronts, and you can find out how Nikolaus has done it at on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump to all the imagery at Nikolaus’ photostream.

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Speed Week

Bonneville’s Speed Week is approaching, assuming Coronavirus doesn’t put the brakes on, where vehicles of all shapes and sizes will take the famous salt flats in pursuit of speed.

Flickr’s 1saac W. pays homage to one of the automotive world’s greatest spectacles with his marvellous ’32 Ford. Neat building techniques and excellent photography are obvious to see and there’s more of the model available at 1saac’s photostream via the link above.

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Hey Joe*

Joe (aka Tormund Giantsbane from Game of Thrones) has got himself a nice tow truck. Built by TLCB regular Andrea Lattanzio it’s also got some very nice parts usage going on. See if you can spot the swords, pirates’ hooks, meat cleavers, ice skates, and binoculars all cunningly deployed to different uses throughout the build. See more of ‘Joe’s Tow Truck’ at Andrea’s photostream via the link above.

*Today’s excellent title song

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Tractorly Tragic

These days tractors are often enormous, hugely impressive machines, however in the past they’ve tended to look… a bit shit. Tiny wheels, cabin perched up way to high, microscopic engine struggling along the road – Flickr’s de-marco has nailed it. There’s more to see of de-marco’s ‘Red Tractor T25’ at his photostream, where you can also find building instructions should you wish to recreate this slightly tragic looking vehicle at home – click the link to take a look!

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Deep Dish

This TLCB Writer isn’t thinking about pizza (it’d be thin and crispy all the way), but rather pondering the ingenious nature of this ‘Heavy Communications Rover’ by The Brick Artisan. According to Brick, when dust storms or Blacktron agents disrupted satellite transmissions, a fleet of just four Heavy Communications Rovers could be used to communicate ‘seismically through a planet’s interior’, giving the entire surface network coverage. Mrs Mavis’ pot plants are shaking on her windowsill four thousand miles away and she’s convinced they’re taking to her, but it’s a small inconvenience to keep the Federation’s messages flowing. You can pick up the story at The Brick Artisan’s photostream via the link above, whilst this TLCB Writer orders a pizza for some reason.

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EMU

Not the running bird type (we’re not sure why things are avian-themed today), but this rather beautiful Japanese National Railways 583-series ‘EMU’ train, built and photographed superbly by TLCB debutant Orient R. Minesky.

Orient has eschewed the usual plain background set-up (that admittedly we usually prefer) for gorgeous (and incredibly life-life) outdoor photography, making his stunning EMU train appear almost real.

Head to Orient’s photostream via the link above for all of the wonderful on-location imagery.

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Race to the Bottom

The early days of flight were perilous ones. Aeronautical understanding was limited and building materials more so, meaning things that operated a long way from the ground were made out of bits of wood and chickenwire. However by the late 1920s mankind’s incredible rate of progress (no doubt helped by the otherwise totally pointless First World War) had made flying relatively safe and normal. Except in one area; Speed.

Like racing cars of the era, racing planes were fantastically dangerous, pushing the limits of physics and effectively working by trail and error, when error often meant death. This is one example from the time, the bonkers Savoia-Marchetti S.65 racing seaplane, designed for the 1929 Schneider Trophy race. With two 1,050bhp V12 engines mounted fore and aft of the pilot, the S.65 proved so unstable it didn’t get airborne at all and the Italian team behind it returned to Italy for more development.

On Lake Garda in 1930 the trails continued, and on the forth attempt the seaplane took to the air in a glorious rush of wind and noise. Whereupon it stalled, crashed into the water, and sunk to the bottom taking its young pilot with it. Thankfully although recovered the S.65 did not attempt to fly again, but a failure though it was it did look rather wonderful, as does Henrik Jensen‘s marvellous mini-figure scale recreation, pictured here in a neat diorama depicting the plane before its fateful flight attempt.

There’s more to see of Henrik’s excellent Savoia-Marchetti S.65 at his photostream – head to Lake Garda in 1930 via the link in the text above, but maybe watch from a distance.

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