Building great-looking LEGO cars at minifigure scale is always a challenge, but it’s made at least a little easier by choosing a vehicle with fairly straight lines. Of course, that doesn’t mean that builder Jonathan Elliott has been slacking off with this 1968 Mercury Cougar, as there are tons of great details here. One of the best is the side mirrors, made with grey lever bases stuck onto 1×2 panels. Plus we can’t overlook the fact that Jonathan attempted the whole thing in teal, which, while it’s seeing a recent resurgance in official sets, is still a very limiting color.
I can’t help borrowing the title for this post from the description of the build by Jonathan Elliott — it’s just as good as the truck itself. Not only is the model 6-stud-wide, but it is also a very accurate copy of Phoenix dustcart, which must be familiar to our readers from the UK.
The design of the rear part is particularly impressive. The loading mechanism turned out impressively neat and compact; the design is so clean, it makes the truck a perfect example of efficient design. I wonder what the truck would look like with a massive ad on its side, but I guess like it tidy better.
LEGO car builder Jonathan Elliott tells us that boxy small-scale saloon cars like this classic Mercedes are fiendishly difficult to build, even more so then their curvier sportscar counterparts. I’m inclined to agree. This model is chock full of tricky SNOT (Studs not on top) techniques and complex offsetting. But I love its understated elegance. We’ve enjoyed Jonathan’s small-scale vehicles before. If vehicles of any scale are your thing, then I’d advise you buckle in and check out our archives. There’s some automotive gold in there for sure.
There are a handful of cars that are instantly recognizable the world over, like the Volkswagen Beetle and the Jeep. I’d posit that the Citroën 2CV belongs right there with them, having been in production for more than 40 years. This beautiful LEGO version of the classic French car is brought to us by Jonathan Elliott, and it’s just perfect at minifigure scale. The 1×1 and 2×2 curved tiles help fill out the curves on this swoopy post-war sedan.
The Unimog — the multi-purpose utility truck produced by Mercedes Benz — has always been a favourite of mine. Something about the shaping of the cab and the big tractor wheels still fascinates me to this day. Since it is big and aggressive with a high ground clearance, it is something you would see in off-road races, churning up mud and climbing rocks. Yet in most cases, they are roadside repair and agricultural vehicles, sporting orange and green. Vehicle builder Jonathan Elliott reconfigured the Unimog into a logging truck — which is not so uncommon. Sporting a realistic yet simple crane hoisting some nice textured logs built up of column bricks and printed log tiles. The best part is — it’s teal!
When I think of my childhood the Ford Pinto comes to mind. That’s because we had one when I was growing up and apparently Dad thought nothing of our safety. But across the pond, LEGO builder Jonathan Elliott tells us that during his childhood, the Mk1 Ford Transit was the ubiquitous thing in the United Kingdom as well as Germany, Belgium, and Holland. It’s still a Ford but apparently far less explosive. In fact, the Ford Transit is so revered out there that the platform is still used today in everything from school buses to police and ambulance applications. Jonathan replicated the shape nicely with this little build proving you don’t need a vanload of pieces to create an accurate LEGO model.
The good things about standards are that there are so many of them. Take for example the seemingly simple measurement of how wide a LEGO car should be. The City theme usually sticks to four and six stud widths, and most fan creations have followed that guideline. That standard certainly made things easier for collaborative town displays. But recently we’ve got a game-changer in a new 8 stud wide standard for Speed Champions vehicles. Builders have already started to explore this larger scale’s additional detail and upgraded real-world shaping. But not every stud count has to be even. Jonathan Elliott has created a De Tomaso Pantera supercar in a seven stud width.
Jonathan’s 6-stud version was already great, but there’s a lot to love about this new take. Built around the new Speed Champions windscreen, it also incorporates new mudguards and more extensive use of 1×2 cheese slope tiles. The shaping is just superb, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Jonathan tackles next at this scale.
When I was a kid, I collected lots of Hot Wheels and Matchbox diecast cars. Somehow or other, among them all, I ended up with three red Lamborghini Countaches, all identical. I just had them out the other day, looking at them with my son, in fact, driving at insane speeds around the coffee table and eventually plunging over the edge in a fiery wreck. I also recently purchased the new Ferrari F8 Tributo, and noticed that the new windscreen looked a lot like the Hot Wheels Countach’s shape. It seems I am not the only one, as super car LEGO builder Jonathan Elliott used that very piece to create his own 7-stud wide take on the Countach LP400, and did it immeasurably better than I could have.
The signature triangular scoops in the sides are done perfectly, and the angular hood and body, which ushered in a new era of sharply angled supercars, replicate the original’s nearly spot on. I wish this version had the huge V-shaped wing on the back that later models (including my Hot Wheels) had to add control to the car at high speeds. Sure, the wing decreased the top speed a bit, but the car handled better with it when pushing its upper limits. But that’s minor. The 7-stud body is a nice compromise between the too-small 6-wide and the too-large 8-wide, too. I’m not sure if it fits a minifig, but does it have to when it looks this nice?
For the past 50 years, the Porsche 911 is the car most associated with the German sports car brand. But it was the venerable 356 that gave the company its cred in the automobile world. Debuting in 1948, the car was the company’s first production vehicle and continued all the way to 1965. With its curvy, tub-like shaping it’s a difficult design to translate to LEGO (nearly as challenging as the Ferrari 250). Jonathan Elliott has done an admirable job with this jet black Speed Champions-sized model.
I only wish it had the early split-window variation, which has always been my favorite. But that’s definitely pushing the bounds of what’s possible at this scale.
A couple of really high quality LEGO car models rolled across our monitors this week so I thought we’d take the opportunity to feature both models, hailing from very different economic classes but from a pair of equally talented creators. On the affordable-by-the-common-man end of the spectrum, we have hachiroku24‘s Toyota Prius model topping out around USD$24,000. And he’s provided a handy parts guide and instructional video.
Breaking the bank at the other end of the scale is Jonathan Elliot‘s high class USD$400,000 Lamborghini Aventador.
I genuinely appreciate when iconic shapes are accomplished with creative parts use, and both these cars fit that qualification. Both builders are masters of their craft, consistently perfecting minifig scale automobiles. My absolute favorite new(er) piece use here is the front bumper of the start white Aventador achieved with mirrored Wedge 2×1 with stud notch Left and Right. It’s such a distinctive shape at such a small scale. The utilitarian grey Prius’ curved frame is brought about with flex cable and the Bar Holder with Handle
And if you like these cars as much as we do, make sure to check out hachiroku’s chill, easy-to-follow VW Bus building instructions from last week and Jonathan’s trio of classic cars shared earlier this summer.
When it comes to minifigure-scale cars, Jonathan Elliott has proven to be the master of his craft. Jonathan is back on the road with three great cars, two of which might look a little bit familiar if you happened to be following us back in November 2017. He is back with two sweet mods, as well as something completely different! Get ready to start your engines for the Porsche 911 Turbo, which first hit the scene back in 1975.
Jonathan’s modifications bring the 260 hp turbocharged legend to life, complete with the famed “whale tail” spoiler. The iconic Porsche curves are also here, right down to the subtle slant of the rear windshield and feels proportioned just right. (If you will recall our review of Speed Champions set 75888, one of our laments was that the 911 was just a stud too long.) An added bonus is the car’s vibrant orange exterior color, which is reminiscent of the Porsche 911 set available through LEGO Shop at Home.