Monday, March 1, 2010

The Animal Kingdom Roundup

Who would of thunk it? I propose a challenge that we build vehicles with animal names and it turns out to be the formula for raging success. Jane Goodall and Carroll Shelby would be is a zoologist and the other a car designer. Get it? What do you mean not funny? Well I've had no sleep last night so the humor is only going to go downhill from here. The vehicles, on the other hand, are all top notch. Read on to see what I mean.

When a building is shaped like the items it sells, it is called a Duck. Shut up, it just is! Which means this first entry built by J0n4th4n D3rk53n is probably called a duck even though its shaped like a fish. Confused yet? I'm not. I mean, who wouldn't be proud to own the new 2011 Fishmobile? According to Jon, it boasts terrible handling and a cramped cockpit. But its a total chick magnet just like the wienermobile...which is a chick magnet for what I presume to be a different reason.


Speaking of chick magnet, for Jonathan's second entry he reaches for his trusty yellow pieces once again but this time ups the horsepower with this badass '69 Barracuda. This thing actually, literally totally is badass! The taillights are not to be missed as well as the white center stripe. Nothing says macho aggression like the '69 'Cuda!

69' Barracuda

When you trade macho aggression for sensible practicality you get the '74 Audi Fox, the third and final entry by Jon. He rounds out this trifecta of yellow vehicles nicely with this stunning entry posted exactly on his 13th birthday...which means Jon is now finally old enough to be on flickr legally. That's great. Its nice to know all of our LUGNuts members are abiding by all official rules to the letter. With this entry, Jon drives slowly, safely and sensibly into his teen years.

Never made to be driven slowly, safely, or sensibly is this entry by Steve "kwycstix" Walker. Its a Pontiac Tempest GTO convertible. What is such a car doing in an animal themed challenge? Well, the youthful market nicknamed this badass ride the Goat, even though Pontiac was hoping to market it as a GTO Tiger. The styling and paint scheme was inspired by Chip Foose so Steve calls it the Goosed Goat. Shouldn't it be a Foosed Goat then?

Goosed Goat

Lino Martins (hey, that's me!) Had a strong hankerin' to build something green, yellow...and different. For these reasons I have spawned the John Deere Model 3203 Compact Tractor, suitable for all your farming needs. I picked this particular model because it best suited the parts I had available in green and yellow and there were several very clear images online. It turns out, the reason there were so many clear images...this model was recalled due to a potentially stuck forward drive pedal. Awww nuts!

John Deere Compact Tractor

If I submit an entry this early in the challenge, its almost a sure bet that I have something else in the works. This other something came later in the form of a red '53 Buick Skylark. Its been almost a year since I built a car from my fave era, so it was nice to get back to my roots with this baby! This Buick sports a sideways opening hood, an extended rear deck with spare tire, half-stud offsets galore and plenty of tricky build techniques to keep any Lino fan coming back for another look.

1953 Buick Skylark

Nathan Proudlove must have had the same hankerin' for green and yellow as I did when he came up with this late 60-ish custom Ford Bronco (with apologies to Tim, that Ford hatin' bastard!) Nathan tells us this was a fun and relatively quick build and the chassis is a modified version of the technic tow truck from a couple years ago. The suspension looks great and I'm just digging the lovely dark green to go with the yellow and white. Its a lemon/lime popsicle!

Ford Bronco (with apologies to Tim)

I like Nathan in the sense that he's the king of building under-appreciated, underdog cars. No exception to this long tradition is this new Volkswagen Rabbit truck just brimming with crazy 80's colors and design. Just look at that crazy purple zig-zag stripe...its like a test pattern when the cable goes out! These colors together would have freaked out my camera...purple would have turned blue, blue would have turned an uglier blue and the white background would have become a hot yellow or orange and sadly this is why I don't build many blue or purple things. Kudos to Nathan for pulling it off nicely.

vwcaddy (For Trevor)

Nathan is also the king of Batmobiles. An animal themed challenge without a Nathan-built Batmobile just wouldn't be right. Which is why I'm glad he squeezed this Bat Tumbler in just before the deadline...actually a half day late, but who cares! I noticed it arrive just as I was writing about the VW Rabbit so his timing couldn't have been any more perfect in my book.

It's the car right? Chicks dig the car.

Dohoon Kim builds himself a Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Super Snake. Why thats like two or three animals rolled into one, all of them super scary and aggressive! I suppose on some weird planet or a parallel universe there exists a real animal thats a Mustang Cobra Supersnake. I bet totally ripped muscular guys would fight it with a battle axe while a shapely naked woman wraps around his leg just like in a Boris Vallejo painting. Who said fantasy art was cheesy?

Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Super Snake

Ralph "Mad Physicist" Savelsberg graces us with this very cool Caterpillar transport truck (or Cat transport for short) which is almost like two animals wrapped into one. Nope, it doesn't conjure images of buff guys fighting monsters with swords while submissive naked maidens wrap around their legs so I have no reason to use the fantasy painting analogy again. Damn you Ralph and your sensible, conservative ways!

Caterpillar transport (1)

Although somewhat unintentional, Aleksander Stein is happy to finally have an entry that fits a LUGNuts challenge. Its a 1975 Ford WT9000 inspired by the "Blue Mule" from the movie "White Line Fever", a 'trucksploitation" film starring Jan-Michael Vincent. I had white line fever once. It made me want to drive a truck load of manure into a giant neon sigh of the corporation that done me wrong. That'll show 'em not to mess with me! But seriously, cool truck.

Ford WT9000

Speaking of haulin' giant loads, Bricksonwheels wanted to be part of the fun and did what he does best...building big rig trucks! This time he pulls off a sleek black and purple Peterbilt car carrier rig. What's it doing in an animal themed challenge? Well, it runs on a Caterpillar engine, a C15 700 hp one to be exact and that makes it a bit of a beast then, doesn't it? When you build as big and cool as bricksonwheels the only answer to that question is a resounding yes. Yes it does.

Lego Peterbilt 359 Hot Wheels Carrier

Dylan Denton shows off some considerable skill with this sunny yellow '67 Pontiac Firebird convertible. I firebird is a mythical animal, a phoenix really but still fits well enough in this challenge. Plus it was called a Pony Car so that works too. Wow there's a lot of convertibles in this challenge! You all must be thinking about sunny weather while you plow through two feet of snow. Incidentally its been unseasonably warm and clear here in Seattle this whole month. Great for for the rain forest.

1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible

New guy Lego Junkie shows the animal kingdom some love with this CAT 350-L Excavator. This industrious little MOC moves pretend dirt from here and then dumps it over there...then does the whole process all over again. All day long! Vrooom, vrooom VROOOOOM! Ok, ya gotta admit, it is a pretty cool little excavator.

Oldeconoline is new to us but has old in his name. Anyway, he had an older neighbor who was into old Studebakers (didn't we all?) so that's why he graces us with his first ever LUGNuts entry...a Studebaker Lark. First we had a Skylark, then a Lark. Actually in order of appearance on the challenge it was Lark first, then immediately followed by the cool juxtaposition there. Anyway, we hope this will be the first of many challenge entries from Oldeconoline. Maybe someday he'll build an old Econoline.

1960 Studebaker Lark

Get yourself a cup of coffee, this is going to take awhile. Make sure you're comfortable and under the blanket. Lego911 never disappoints with his multiple entries. Someone gifted him with a whole slew of light blue bricks so in turn, he gifts all of us with this '58 Chevy Impala hardtop sports coupe. Neat!

Chevrolet Impala 1958 2-Door Hardtop Sports Coupe
The laymen builder would have stopped there, but 911 graces us with another light blue creation, this one a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Super Bird. I was secretly hoping someone would build one of these and there we have it. This is a car like no other.

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird

They go and make a huge Transformers movie and Lego911 builds the Chevrolet Camaro 2010 'Bumble Bee' to start off his usual late month marathon. While these Bumble Bees are a common sight at the theaters and the road, 911 tells us real bumble bees are becoming more and more scarce in the Northern Hemisphere due to some unknown phenomenon that appears to be killing them off. Not good news when agriculture and plant pollination relies so much on them.

If the bumblebee is rare, even rarer is the mythical thunderbird seen only by Native American shamans during their hallucinogenic vision quests. This Thunderbird is a dark red Ford from the year 1957 and is seen in my dreams.

Next on the Lego911 slab is a Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider. An animal based challenge would be incomplete without one of the Ferrari Spiders. Like nearly all Ferraris, this one is shiny red.

In the animal world, there is several species of spiders, all of them vastly different from one another. The same holds true with the automotive world. 911 proves this point with this Alfa Romeo 1962 Giulia Spider Series 101. Neat!

Lego911 was hoping that Pininfarina would reveal their latest showcar, the Alfa Romeo Spider, at this week's Geneva Motorshow. Unfortunately this hasn't materialized so instead he presents us with the slightly older 916 Series Spider as a replacement.

Then finally, he presents us with what no animal themed challenge should be without, the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. This car is as sleek and graceful as its namesake. The chrome sidepipes are just simply put...awesome.

Chevrolet Corvette  Stingray 1963

Tim "Rabidnovaracer" Inman must have been lurking outside my window this month. All month long, I collected images of the AMC Marlin. I enjoyed its fastback look, I pondered how it would be done in Lego, even started adding parts to my Bricklink wishlist. Seeing I'd have no time to complete the Marlin, I figured I could save it for next month as anything by the ill fated AMC line can be considered a lemon. Then Tim goes and builds this stock car, thereby taking the wind out of my sails. At least he did a great job of it. Tim tells us the decals were stolen from his mom's Creative Memories stuff. Hah!

1965 AMC Marlin Stock Car

This challenge has been a great month for big rig trucks. probably because many are powered by huge CAT engines. No exception is this wonderful green Peterbilt 359 logging rig built by Maciej D. This color scheme makes us all green with envy. Green like The Incredible Hulk. Hulk smash little man! Thats all I got for jokes on this one. Told ya it was going downhill in the humor department. Lets move on.

With no shortage of jokes comes Tim "Gambort" Gould and his rather neat three wheeled Scammell Scarab mechanical horse. I never even heard of the vehicle until now but it looks great. Don't miss a whole slew of Scarabs over at Tim's photostream.

Scammell Scarab

Ricardo "Biczzz" Prates doesn't often join us in the challenges, but when he does you can't help but feel that something spectacular had just happened. Take, for instance, this Shelby Cobra. Stunning from any angle, Ricardo captures the Shelby feel with skills reserved for only the most top notch of builders. I've never had a warm and fuzzy feeling from a cobra before. Usually they just scare the bejesus out of me.

Shelby Cobra

For most of the challenge I almost wrote Raphy off as one of them missing kids on the milk cartons. But in the last dog days of the challenge, he shows up with a vengeance and submits first a version of the Batmobile like no one has ever seen.

Then, roaring, growling and burning rubber comes Raphy's mini '07 Mustang. Without the roof it looks a little low, but you know, with the right tools you can turn any rental car into a convertible.

Next on the Raphy slab comes the '69 AAR "Cuda. (As in barracuda) The hood seems a little long and the roof a bit flat like the Mustang but Raphy informs all would be ignoramuses that AAR stands for At A Racetrack. And now you know, you dumbasses. Sigh...crass aggression at such a tender young age.

But wait, there's more! Next he graces is with a '99 Firebird. I don't know, maybe it needs to be 5-wide to match the tires. I like the silver blower thingy. Lets see, what can I do for a like the Hulk? No. Boris Vallejo painting? No. Refreshing like a lemon/lime popsicle? No. Ok, I got nothin', lets move on.

Now here's something I can sink my animal claws into...a Bowler Wildcat. Here it is demonstrating its extreme off-roading abilities by climbing a rock. You gotta admit the photography is pretty good on this one. Cool!

And finally, Gold 2 finishes us off with this MMV Ursa Clam Bunk Skidder. MMV means...uh...I don't know, Ursa means bear and clam is also an animal so take your pick. it was built on Mars and here we see it hauling away tree stumps as everyone knows logging is big business on Mars. Yep, its true.

Well that was fun! Our next challenge is called Lemons Or LeMans...the only challenge that dares you to build either a crappy lemon or a super fast LeMans racer. Will you go for fine tuned performance or ill functioning tail lights? Will it be fame and prestige or burning oil and humiliation? Only time will tell. Either way, stick around as I'm sure its going to be a wild ride!

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