Have you heard the urban legend about the JATO rocket car? If you’re unfamiliar, it’s the story of a man who straps a rocket engine to his Chevy and ends up embedded in the side of a cliff. As cautionary tales go, it’s a pretty straightforward one: Don’t strap a jet engine to your vehicle. Pasq67 thinks otherwise, at least when it comes to the world of LEGO. Benny and Lenny are going for the ride of their lives in a 1970 Chevrolet C10 Pickup with a serious need for speed. The base vehicle has all the clasic lines you’d expect, and the rocket is a well constructed nightmare of high speed bad decisions waiting to happen.
The multiple air intakes fit well with the mix of Technic and system parts, and the trans-orange discs make for an excellent hit of explosive force just starting to push the car forward. Lenny had better hold on to that pretzel…
The retro future of LEGO transport has a lot of options available to experience, including this cloud skimming, Dieselpunk Boat by builder Mark van der Maarel. His use of curved slopes and modified plates to form the smooth shaping of the hull is simple but exemplary, as is the chosen colour scheme. The rusted and worn look of such a craft, along with the eccentric crew, screams of adventures aplenty.
The deck crane brings the functionality needed for this sky trawler, though the highlight for me is another simple addition for the sake of detail: the boat hook. This necessary piece of equipment adds a nice touch of realism despite only being constructed from two pieces, a pirate hook hand and a rigid hose. It makes me kind of curious to know what he is puling in at such a height.
To be sure, there is a motorcycle culture and as anti-establishment as they seem to be, they follow a certain set of rules. The trike is sort of a fringe entity, a head-scratcher, among a group who are already on the fringes themselves. Similarly, there is also a car culture. They may appear to be counterculture but a car enthusiast putting boatloads of time and money into a showstopping “trailer queen” has sort of become “The Establishment.” Enter the rat rod. This is a growling, filthy punk of a car born to flip the proverbial bird at the established norms. You’d want a tetanus shot just to look at one in person, let alone sit in one. What’s great is, with very little money and found parts, they also steal attention, and often top prizes away from the expensive showstoppers. With this in mind, here’s Pat Lacroix’s Rat Trike.
See more of this gnarly rat rod.
1967 was the year Formula 1 changed forever, as the birth of the Lotus 49 set the bar not only as the car to beat, but also to replicate. Fifty-two years on, Pixeljunkie has presented us with a gorgeous homage to this feat of engineering mastery. Sporting the classic colour scheme and markings of driver Jim Clark, this brick rendition has some stunning custom chrome pins as well as some nicely employed stickers to really bring the realism to the fore. Working within the Minifig scale can be an obscure challenge that restricts an amount of detail. I feel Pixeljunkie has made some excellent compromises without straying too far from the source material.
Looking at the rear of this beautiful build, we find a minifig hammer head used ingeniously as the gearbox. I’m not sure another piece could have been used so well in this application. I’m also a massive fan of the many uses builders find for the rubber tread attachments. Using them as wheel hubs on top those metallic silver dish rims, has really captured the era well.
If this open-wheel beast inspires you, check out another of Pixeljunkie’s classic race machines, the Alfa Romeo P3.
Having built a car or two(hundred) myself, I get a kick out of it when someone else does this good a job showing the automobile some love. This one may be unique because we might be dealing with a young builder here, or at least someone with a cool, supportive mom. Carrie Kokoska is not the builder, however, she just created a new Flickr account to showcase these photos on behalf of her oldest son. “The Bend City Auto Garage” gets its inspiration from an old pharmacy in their local town. We are looking at a builder who is passionate about LEGO and working at his grandpa’s garage, where he restores vintage cars. The posters and stickers both inside and out were designed by the builder’s mom, making this truly a family project.
See more of this highly detailed garage and vintage car
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.
Builder Angka has shared a quartet of LEGO Ferrari models with all the style of their real-world counterparts. Just take in the lovely lines achieved in these 8-stud-wide builds. The combination of cheese slopes and curved slopes convey a real sense of aerodynamic shaping. Though structurally similar, each build has unique design elements that are worth looking for. It’s left as an exercise for the reader to spot them all…but I’d be remiss if I didn’t explicitly call out that amazing rubber band usage as window trim.
Ferrari 328 GTS Nero
Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet
Ferrari 348 TS
Ferrari 328 GTS
If you’d like to try building these models for yourself, Angka has provided an exploded view of the GTS to get you started. The design really takes advantage of modular sectioning; hopefully it will inspire others to make their own modifications to these already awesome cars. Of course, if you’d rather go “stock” you might consider LEGO Speed Champions 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione…
When LEGO came out with these massive tires a few years back vehicle builders rejoiced, but sometimes you need something more for building large tractors, monster trucks, post-apocalyptic mono-wheels, or other things needing outrageous tires. A builder who goes by the name of Sariel found some amazing non-LEGO tires that fit LEGO hubs perfectly, and used them on this legendary Caterpillar 797F Dump Truck. The real thing is 25 feet (7.7m) high to the canopy, 49 ft 6 in (15.1 m) long and weighs in at a staggering 624 tons when empty. This model is considerably smaller but no less impressive and, as LEGO vehicles go, it is a force to be reckoned with.
With its rugged stance and attention to detail, I would have been impressed enough if this were a stagnant model. However, as this image illustrates, it is jam-packed with Power Functions and a robotic Mindstorms EV3 unit to give it that extra push of awesomeness. I can see myself playing with this big Cat for hours all the while making truck noises like a six-year-old. It doesn’t take much for me to revert back to a six-year-old but, given this post’s title, you would have guessed that already.
In fact, you can even see it in action in Sariel’s video!
[Update: an earlier version of this article mistakenly identified the tires as LEGO elements. We regret this error.]
Alright, I’ll keep this short and punchy. Speaking of short and punchy, Lino Martins (hey, that’s me!) has built a car. When I ran the LUGNuts group I had built at least one car every month for ten years so I was a bit of a kingpin in the LEGO automotive world. After retiring the monthly challenges, it is understandable that I wanted to take a break from car building do some art, gaming, and blog all about your creations instead. After nearly two years, I return to car building with this Volkswagen Käfer Racer based on a Hot Wheels design.
The requisite round corner bricks are currently not available in yellow so instead of replicating the Moon Eyes design, I went with a primarily red color scheme and used stickers from the 8041 Technic Racing Truck
The shell can be removed to reveal the seats and massive V-8 engine within.
You are now free to walk about the cockpit in this massive 1:20 scale model of the classic Batwing. Designed by Eivind Loekken, the Batwing looks sleek and fast thanks to extensive use of angled plates, tiles, and slopes of varying degrees; you won’t find a single stud in sight. Equally impressive is the custom Batman Technic figure seated in the cockpit.
See more of Batman’s favorite flying vehicle.
The modern circus can trace its roots back to the late 18th Century in Philip Astley’s Amphitheatre. By the 1800s, the development of a vast railroad network allowed the circus to hit the tracks, traveling from town to town. In a world before radios and television, the circus was often one of the most highly anticipated entertainment events. Celebrating the spirit of the traveling circus, Ben Spector has built a colorful and fun-looking circus train.
See this charming circus train in greater detail.
Fans of the short-lived television series Firefly will instantly recognize this LEGO version of Serenity built by Richard Van As. His model does a fantastic job of capturing the look of the sturdy, cobbled together freighter that was as much a cast member as her human crew. The model features an opening cargo bay door, rotating thrusters, landing gear, and docking for two short-range shuttles. The ship has several off-colored parts to represent the many repairs and replacements installed over her years of service. If you squint, you can almost see Wash’s collection of plastic dinosaurs through the cockpit viewport.
For more Serenity, you can build your own, or check out this shiny large scale model.