Every once in a while, you come across a LEGO creation on Flickr that just makes you stop and say “Wow!” That’s exactly what happened when I spied this exquisite ladder truck by Dan Nguyen. It’s an impossibly-realistic design, from bucket all the way back to to the rear step. I certainly appreciate the array of compartments, typical of a fire truck. And each is filled with the tools of the trade. Vehicles remain one of my (many) weaknesses when it comes to my own designs, so I’m in constant awe of those able to bring real-world transports like this to life.
You ever look at a LEGO creation, and feel your brain going into overdrive trying to figure out how it was made? That’s what’s happening with Caleb Ricks‘ Dragonfly Interceptor here. For starters, the unusual colour scheme – primarily light aqua – almost makes it look like a digital build. But no, this one is fully 100% real. Which means Caleb must have somehow figured out a way to make all of these mad angles match up while accounting for pesky physics. And he’s worked that cockpit piece in around three 6×6 inverted cone pieces! The whole design is really unique. Maybe it’s best just to appreciate its beauty without thinking about the internals, though. I need a lie down after trying that!
I’m a big Star Wars: The Phantom Menace apologist. There, I said it! Come at me, readers. So too, it seems, is LEGO builder Alper Isler. Their photostream is peppered with Episode I builds, the latest of which is this fantastic Armoured Assault Tank (AAT). What good taste! I thought battle droids were really cool when they were first introduced. They’re basically the Galaxy’s most over-the-top collection of remote control toys. Sure, they were reduced to comic relief quite quickly, but cruising around in these things? You’d still better hope the droids run out of battery before they get to you.
When I say meals on wheels, you probably picture a burger van. But Dicken Liu has other ideas! Where these crazy LEGO chicks are going, they don’t need roads – only rails. Which is probably a lot more restrictive when it comes to delivering food actually, not to mention expensive. And the maintenance costs will be astronomical. Seriously, where’s the business case here?! This is what happens when a marketing team is given unlimited access to the purse strings. They come up with mad ideas like this and need to hire builders like Liu to make it come to life.
Props to them, to be fair – he’s done a great job with such a whimsical design. Despite the bright colours of the train, the way the track is done caught my eye. Rather than using existing LEGO track elements, these rails are built using brackets and tiles, and it looks great. The cooking car even has an interior too! Although suddenly this looks a lot more sinister than it did at first glance, with chicken minifigures cooking whole chickens with tridents, feathers and all…
If this were a LEGO Technic set, I’d see it, think it’s impressive, then probably move on to buy something else. But in the very capable hands of Michał Skorupka, he can use System brick on something that would normally be Technic and make it quite exciting indeed. This rugged Doosan DL420 Wheel Loader is about the most interesting thing I’ve seen all week and I’ve seen a major social media platform pretty much implode. It doesn’t hurt that I’m (ahem) digging the orange and dark gray color scheme. The amount of detail Michał can achieve with his creations is awe-inspiring. See for yourselves in our Michał Skorupka archives.
Leave it to LEGO automotive superstar Tim Inman to build a car with a mullet and a flatulence problem. It’s a 1963 Chevy II Fastback Gasser. With its heightened stance and crazy pipes, it’s not the kind of thing you can buy at your local Chevy dealership, not even in 1963. No siree, this beast is custom! Gassers were a thing in the 50s through the 70s and, while I was a product of the early 70s, I wish I had been born just a bit sooner to really enjoy this gasser phenomenon. I totally would have loved seeing these rip down the dragstrip! This is probably the best thing I’ve seen all day and I’ve Googled “potatoes and jelly”.
The Brothers Brick’s snarkiest writer and editor Lino Martins (hey, that’s me!) dusts off some LEGO brick after a three-year hiatus to build the Boothill Express. Initially designed by Ray Fahrner, this radical show rod started life as an 1850s funeral coach and was outfitted with a massive Hemi and some of the sickest pipes ever. Kids in 1967 got their greasy mitts on the first model kits with a space between “Boot” and “Hill”; “Express” was spelled the same, as it turned out. This model boasts working steering and a detailed interior. This was a blast to build but the question is; has this resurrected my LEGO prowess or should I crawl back into my crypt? Let us know in the comments. In the meantime, if vehicles revitalizes your dead heart as much as it does mine, then click the little blue link to see what my like-minded friends have been up to.
Of all the things the 1980s gave us, undoubtedly the coolest were some of the race cars of the era. As well as its F1 cars, you had Group A touring cars, the legendary Group B rally cars, and the futuristic Group C prototypes. LEGO car builder extraordinaire KMP MOCs has taken a stab at one of my favourite Group C racers: the Jaguar XJR-12, in resplendent Silk Cut livery. I’m impressed with how low to the ground this is. KMP builds most of their MOCs in a scale similar to Speed Champions, and the ground clearance in these sets isn’t particularly accurate (though understandably so). But here it’s practically cutting daisies! I don’t think you could fit much more than a piece of paper under there.
I’ve built a lot of LEGO creations over the years, but I rarely build recreations of contemporary, real-world vehicles. However, I have tremendous respect for those who do, because it’s a daunting task, especially if you want to get all the little details right, like this amazing minifigure-scale New York City Fire Department firetruck by Oshi. There are no stickers used to create the stripes and numbers on the truck’s livery, just clever engineering via SNOT. Check out that half-plate white stripe, or the way the number 2 is made with a pair of white brackets!
There seems to be a lot of nostalgia for LEGO’s Rock Raiders theme going around at the moment, and I am so here for it. French builder F@bz has turned his attention to 4970 Chrome Crusher. I always thought this was the coolest Rock Raiders set, and F@bz has done a great job of upping that cool factor! There’s been a touch of realism added too. The original cockpit piece was quite open to the elements, and this one made from ladders and a net will probably offer a bit more protection from any small rocks flying around. The drill also looks more purposeful. It isn’t chrome like the one in the set, but I think this one truly is a thing of beauty!
The last time I did something just for the heck of it I ended up getting banned for life from Sizzler. But when LEGO builder Isaac Wilder does something for the heck of it you get this sweet little Gillig CNG bus. Admittedly his approach to doing things for the heck of it is far more constructive than mine. Hah-constructive, get it? Anyway, I’m enjoying all the build techniques here and the photography and wet look turn a nice little build into something amazing indeed. It’s such a relatable thing because it reminds me of all the times I’ve waited for a bus in the rain. That’s all in the past now because, for reasons unrelated to the Sizzler incident, I’m also banned from city buses.
When it comes to making LEGO Star Wars builds, one of my favourite things to make is the smaller, one-man craft. Partly because it’s less parts-intensive (and therefore usually cheaper!), but also because of the challenge. Making an accurate model while retaining a modicum of structural integrity is not always easy. And on top of that, they need to fit a minifigure pilot! Or a battle droid, in this case. This is where parts like the wands from Harry Potter sets come in handy. Once I picked up a couple of those and the candle-stick pieces to form the cannons of these Single Trooper Aerial Platforms (STAPs), the rest of the build flowed quickly from there. It’s funny how one or two pieces can dictate the entirety of a build, even small ones.