In fact, I’ll be a bit more specific. The model wasn’t specifically intended to be Italian, despite the name, but the colours on the buildings are spot-on and the gelateria really do remind me of a square in Udine, where, on a work trip to Italy, I had some wonderful ice cream a fair few years ago. I don’t remember a living statue there, but I don’t mind. It could easily have been there.
The train is simply adorable and it hides a neat feature: it also serves as a piggy bank. I do have some doubts whether it can actually keep your money safe, however, no matter how strong the clutch between LEGO elements may be.
Somewhat to my shame, in my time as a contributor to this blog, I have not been a particularly prolific writer. This was particularly true at times when I was also busy writing things for work or dealing with a lot of deadlines, as I have been for a while now. I think all of us at TBB have been struggling with similar issues lately, as you may have gathered from the reduced frequency of posts. Even our lemur isn’t safe, although, to his credit, the kitchen tiles in the compound are now shinier than ever. Since for me stress-relief is a big reason for building, perhaps surprisingly, the upshot of being busy at work is that I do build lots of new models. This is far easier and also more relaxing than writing.
I’ve been working on a collection of famous vehicles from movies and TV series for about two years now, but by October last year I felt I was about done. However, enthusiastic reactions and suggestions for new ones that I got when I displayed them at the Great Western LEGO show in Swindon (UK) made me decide to continue and to diversify a bit more, by including helicopters. The vehicles in the picture are most of the ones I built since. I already wrote about Blue Thunder and Airwolf, in the back row, but you may not have seen any of the others. The third helicopter is the UH-1H “Huey” that serves as the personal transport for the surf-obsessed and completely insane Lt.Col. Kilgore, from Apocalypse Now. The other vehicles are Korben Dallas’ flying taxy from The 5th Element, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Capt. Nemo’s car from The League of extraordinary gentlemen, the Munster Koach from The Munsters, the GM Ultralite police car from Demolition Man, the AMC Pacer from Wayne’s world and, last but not least, the motorcycle with sidecar from Indiana Jones: the last crusade, all built to the same scale.
To be continued…
One of the many wonderful things about LEGO is how almost all of the parts produced over multiple decades are compatible. Several years ago, when building a fish & chips shop, I was able to use a parasol, 25 years after I got it as a part of a set that was a gift for my 8th birthday. Another great example is visible on the hot rod built by Larry Lars.
Builders of real-world hot rods often combine an old body with a shiny new engine. Similarly, Larry uses mudguards and brand new wheels from the speed champions sets and recently introduced curved parts with a part that is even older than my parasol: the roof from a Fabuland car. It is a perfect combination.
Most truck builders I know either aim for looks, with relatively little functionality, or they go for the full Technic treatment, with lots of working functions, but often at the expense of the looks or details. With his Mack Granite heavy-duty truck, Ingmar Spijkhoven (2LegoOrNot2Lego) has combined the best of both worlds.
It has Power Functions remote control for the drive and steering, working lights and working suspension, and can be fitted with a flatbed trailer than can be raised and lowered via remote control. It also looks brilliant, with a beautifully sculpted hood, a detailed interior and a carefully modelled representation of the engine.
Following fellow Dutch truck builder Dennis Glaasker the presentation of the all the goodies is top notch too, with a clever photo-edit that shows some of the inner workings and details. It wouldn’t look out of place in the manufacturer’s brochure.
Julie Vandermeulen has recently completed a 1/38 scale model of HMCS Haida, the world’s last surviving Tribal class destroyer, which is currently a museum ship in Ontario. Its beautifully sculpted hull is an impressive 377 studs long and the model took 9 months to complete.
Between 1936 and the end of WW2 a grand total of 27 Tribal class ships were built for the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and (British) Royal Navy. Many of these ships fought with distinction. In British service, in particular, they were used in a number of high-risk operations and consequently sustained heavy losses, with 12 out of 16 ships sunk. Most Canadian and Australian ships survived the war and continued to serve into the fifties and sixties. The model represents Haida as she appeared in the Korean War. Her sister ship, HMCS Iroquois, was even deployed in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Tribal class destroyers may not be as well-known as the larger and more glamorous cruisers and battleships that served during WW2, but they were true workhorses. I very much appreciate seeing one of these fine ships in LEGO.
Skid-steer loaders are very versatile pieces of construction equipment, by virtue of their many different attachments such as blades, cutters, trenchers and snow blowers.
This brilliant little model by Sinan Bitişik does not include any zombies, but looking at the gnarly attachment to its front, evidently intended for cutting asphalt, I could not help but think of an alternative use.
Perhaps I am using the word character a bit too frequently to describe models lately, but the parrot built by Dicky Laban has it in spades. It doesn’t just want a cracker; it needs one. It looks so sad and yet adorable.
This is also yet another nice example of how you don’t need to build something ridiculously large for it to be cool and interesting, as long as it has mixels eyes.
This must be because it was inspired by the wonderful art deco buildings along Ocean Drive / South Beach in famously sunny Miami Beach. It looks very nice on the outside and also comes with a detailed interior. Normally I am partial to visible studs on a LEGO model, but I have to admit that this would not look nearly as good if it wouldn’t have such a clean and studless construction.
It isn’t all that long ago that we blogged the muppets by Andreas Weissenburg (grubaluk), but his talent is not limited to building wacky characters. When I was a child, my cousin, who is at least ten years older than I am, had a fantastic series of LEGO trucks from the late sixties. They were six studs wide and had steering mechanism which worked by pivoting the whole front axle, by turning a brick mounted on the roof. This was a fun feature and the trucks had a more realistic size than the four-stud wide minifig scale ones that I had, so I remember being a bit envious.
Like the updated classic sets by Are Heiseldal, Andreas’ six-wide trucks have a similar character as these older sets, but with new parts and clever details. Despite its somewhat primitive nature, I love how he has recreated the original steering mechanism. These look like a lot of fun.