In the non-LEGO “real” world, I work in innovation, developing ideas for new products, mostly in the world of drinks. Doing work like this, you come across multiple techniques for enhancing creativity and improving idea generation. In my experience, one of the most effective is the setting of constraints and rules around what you’re trying to do. Although it seems counterintuitive, the narrowing of possibility, the scaling-back of the intimidating blank canvas, gives more permission and opportunity for creativity. That’s where my recent Hover Car Racer models came from. In a bid to get past a bout of “builders’ block,” I set myself some constraints — a handful of key elements which would be common across the models, but beyond those, each racer could vary in design. The “rules” I set myself: bold color styling, a whiff of a muscle car, elements of asymmetry, and an enclosed cockpit. I’m really pleased with the variety which arose from sticking within these constraints and was pleasantly surprised at the creative flow of the building process…
The next time you’re struggling through a bout of the creative block (regardless of your creative medium of choice), I’d recommend setting yourself some constraints. Give yourself an unreasonable time limit, drastically limit the materials you can use, or set size and/or color restrictions — paradoxically, you’ll find such limitations will set you free.
Once I had a few models, it seemed natural to expand the world of Hover Car Racing. I imagined a future where the drivers are rockstar celebrities, with wall-to-wall coverage of races on every channel. I love taking a model and presenting it in a way that implies a broader universe around it…
Two brightly-coloured wagons are home to a band of travelling folk in Andrea Lattanzio‘s latest LEGO model. Life on the road has never looked so inviting, with the bold colors of the mobile homes enhanced with bursts of flowers, and the scene stuffed with functional-looking details. I love the hanging tassels, the little chimney stacks, and the clutter of bags and lanterns and buckets. Don’t miss the use of minifigure hats as flower-pots, and the catapults used for the legs on the fortune teller’s table.
With over two-hundred articles into this gig, I still approach most with about this much enthusiasm. I’m shorter and not as buff but just as bald and just as shirtless. It makes everyone here at Brothers Brick Headquarters a bit uncomfortable but I keep telling them I can’t help it if I’m follically challenged. Anyway, you can understand that I was extra giddy when I saw Chris Vesque’s LEGO ’67 Chevy C-10. It has all the things I’d be into; an old-school dragster square-body with ground-scraping stance, a striking color scheme, a blown engine, copious silver bits and a racing number that matches the year of this custom Chevy.
A commenter on Chris’ photostream even mentioned that this would be something I’d totally dig and his response was that indeed I was his inspiration for coming into the LEGO scene. Kinda gets you right in the feels, doesn’t it? I’m glad we can help inspire great builders like Chris in some way or another. Would it be uncouth of me to pull a Sally Field?
LEGO builder Chris Vesque tells us that in a very specific time of his life, before skateboarding, before hip hop, before punk rock, before geeks and fandom…just a bit past Star Wars and Classic Space, there was Krass & Bernie. He goes on to say how CARtoons Magazine and the art of George Trosley captured his imagination and his funny bone. Krass and Bernie is a comic penned by Trosley about two car customizing enthusiasts who are short on good sense but long in creativity and ingenuity. Their misadventures often culminate in something as ridiculous and over-the-top as this dragster-beetle. The beefy tires, the blown V-8 and the Beetle that seems to defy gravity are the stuff that can only exist in CARtoon dreams. I’m smitten! Whether it be the screaming hand Santa Cruz skateboarding logo or the Beastie Boys License to Ill album cover we’ve been smitten with Chris’ counterculture LEGO stuff before.
It’s not clear whether LEGO builder Shannon Sproule‘s roving habitat is meant for use on a distant planet or the apocalyptic future of our own, but this repurposed APC looks like it’s seen it all. Shannon says it used to have a turret, but that’s now been replaced with a hab module and comms equipment. The vehicle is battered and worn, with Shannon doing a great job with the weathering thanks to introducing some brighter colors like dark orange and coral. The simple digital background also gives the presentation that sense of place, which goes a long way in telling the APC’s story.
I have a confession to make: I have never taken a metro bus. Honestly, I don’t know the first thing about taking a city bus, and I have so many questions! And even though the Seattle bus drivers seem to drive a little crazy, it takes our buses twice as long to get somewhere than if I drive myself. They don’t seem very “rapid” to me, but according to The Eleventh Bricks, the real-life version this LEGO bus is.
I’m skeptical, but I’ll have to take their word for it. Joking aside, this is an excellent replica of a metro bus, and it even includes lights, which is always a winner in my book.
Want to see a bus with some impressive mechanics? Check out this custom Technic RC model!
LEGO custom car superstar Ian Ying is on something of a roll. In hot pursuit of his recent LEGO dragster, here comes a beast of a concept racer. This thing is all smooth sports car lines up-front, and then mad-as-a-box-of-frogs supercharged drag racer at the back. The angles and curves, built with a smart selection of tiles and slopes, are spot-on, and together with the restrained use of stickers and a nicely-blocked colour scheme manage to make this look like a much bigger model than it really is. But there’s no getting away from it; the stupid/amazing turbocharged engine and enormous wheels to the rear grab all the attention. And quite rightly too; the whole thing is gloriously over the top!
This was one of those LEGO models which seemingly popped out of nowhere during the creative process. I started off fiddling around with the new mudguard pieces, thinking they might make for interesting detailing, and almost before I knew it, I had something reminiscent of a muscle car engine grille. At that point, the retro racing vibe kicked in and the rest of the model came together in a couple of hours. I think asymmetry always adds an interesting spark to a model, and so the off-centre elements — the stripe and the protruding engine — were in the plan from an early stage. The domed cockpit came late to the party, but it’s the part of the model I’m most pleased with. I feel it adds a Jetsons-esque touch of the retro-ridiculous, and makes the model more fun than it might have been otherwise. Similarly, the addition of the Friends sticker on the front wing fitted with a racing theme, but represented a change from the usual livery applied to futuristic LEGO vehicles.
Once the model was complete I obviously had to build some kind of backdrop for it. The panel-based scenery is plain and simple, but that’s okay as I’d always planned to motion-blur the hell out of it! I know some people prefer to see their LEGO models in plain and unfiltered images, but for me this one demanded some oomph. I’ve been watching a lot of the Netflix F1 documentary recently, and I was trying to capture something of the same feel, conveying the dynamic nature of the hover car racing competition I had in my head.
I love vehicles with big, knobby tires. Just love ’em. My dream ride is a tricked out, super-lifted Jeep Rubicon, ready to crawl the ruggedest rocks on the planet. But that’s not all big wheels are good for. They are also useful for getting your massive military machine from point A to point B, through all weather and terrain. Brick Ninja demonstrates this ably with this LEGO artillery truck. The olive green looks appropriately military, and the splash of orange gives a nice pop of contrast, adding some sci-fi flair. It says, “Camouflage? We don’t need no stinking camouflage!” The greebles are not overdone, which makes sense since it is an armored vehicle (who would leave a bunch of important stuff on the outside to get blasted off?). And I love the crew, complementing the colors of the vehicle while giving life to the scene.
There’s nothing like taking the family and the pets on a scenic road trip. On second thought, leave them at home, there is no room for them in a Tommy Ivo dragster anyway. And if you’re soaking in the beautiful sights along the way, then boy are you doing it wrong! Ian Ying has built a LEGO version of TV Tommy’s legendary Twin Buick AA Dragster and the result is…well, legendary. The real thing has broken several world records including being the first gasoline-powered dragster to break the nine-second barrier. I’m sure this LEGO version must break a few records like…um…best use of custom chromed-out motorcycle rims or something. Whether it be the copious amounts of chrome or its aggressive stance, I’m pretty smitten with the whole kit and kaboodle. But then again, I would be. It would seem Ian is an up-and-coming builder to watch out for because here are the other times his stunning creations has made our hearts flutter.
We would have been totally impressed with just a LEGO Ford pickup. Really, we would have. But colognebrick went the extra mile and added a stunning fifth-wheel camper and now we’re in awe. This is what the world could be like if we had a wide-open road and unlimited time and gas money. The possibilities are endless! It makes your heart go pitter-patter, doesn’t it? I should get on the horn with Brothers Brick brass to see if we have it in our budget to get a real truck and camper like this one. We could use it as a mobile headquarters for…you know…article writing and stuff. I really like the gray and blue stripe along the side. The trailer’s color scheme and the “Wildlife Caravans” stickers comes from this set. But if that wasn’t impressive enough, the sides expand out, and the camper has a fully detailed interior.
Here’s some of the inside.
Guys, come on. Seriously, do we have the budget for this? It’ll be like the Batmobile except for less crime-fighting and more sightseeing. Andrew? Chris? Brothers Brick road trip? Anyone?
One of the best things that have happened to the LEGO Creator Expert theme over the previous decade is the introduction of large scale vehicle sets. It all started with a fantastic 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van set in 2011. Soon we got a taste of iconic British motorcars with 10242 MINI Cooper MK VII and even got behind the wheel of the charged version of 10265 Ford Mustang. Today, LEGO invites all car enthusiasts on a road trip down the Amalfi Coast with the newest addition to the Creator Expert garage, 10271 Fiat 500 set. The set consists of 960 pieces and will retail for the price of US $89.99 | CAN $129.99 | UK £74.99; it will be available directly from LEGO Stores & LEGO.com from March 1, 2020.
Click here to learn all the details about the new Creator Expert set…