Mother's Day is this month. Did you guys do anything nice for your moms? Since I've been on the planet for a while, I feel qualified to offer up some motherly advice...that being: Always measure twice and cut once, go big or go home, and never, ever pay for strange. Ok, that's more like fatherly advice, isn't it? The kind of advice my dad would give me on those long awkward car trips. But hey, at least it sets the humorous mood for this month's challenge we call LEGO Set Overhaulin'...all about official vehicle related LEGO sets and how we could make them more awesome-er. Whether we decide to scale up, scale down, redesign or give it a new theme, the sky is the limit to what we can do. So lets brew some Three-peckered Billy Goat Coffee (or in my case Trader Joe's Dark Sumatra) and see what I'm talking about, shall we?
When it comes to LEGO set overhaulin' no one else does it like NK DeSign-er. Its just what he does...all the time! Its like God put him on this world to re-modify official LEGO sets into alternate models...in this case he takes the 5867 Super Speedster and turns it into a cherry picker. Wait... 5867 seems to be the only set he has as he says this is his 20th mod of the same set. God's plan seems rather odd, then.
And speaking of God's weird plan, oh boy, here we go! Get yourself comfortable people. Lego911 has started the race early and didn't stop until long past the deadline. First on the peter 911 slab is a neat little Miniland remake of the 10220 VW Campervan in all it's slightly smaller Miniland glory.
Way back in the early days of LEGO, sets only had three digits and way back in 1913, Cadillac put out this hot little number. Peter recreates set number 390 very nicely here and requests LEGO to come out with its original wagon wheels again in other colors...black, brown, etc. Upon closer inspection, it seems I have the wheels from the original set from 1975 given to me by the late great Heather Braaten. Sigh...
In my opinion, one of the best sets in the history of the world ever is the Creator 5893 Offroad Power...a neat truck and quad bike combo. Peter does it some justice here and turns the generic pickup into a 2012 Ford T6 Global Ranger. The ATV is lookin' pretty cool too!
I may be showing my old age here, but way back in the nearly forgotten shadows of my childhood, I had the original 565 Lunar Lander and Rover set from 1975. Oh, the strong sense of nostalgia I felt when I looked up the original...it definitely hurt my heart a little. Peter gives it a neat modern boost using more accurate modern parts. And the lunar landscape and Earthrise in the background...top notch stuff!
If we learned only one thing from this challenge, is that the Model Team line of yore was the best LEGO line ever and has surely influenced us all. Dare I say that without it, there would be no LUGNuts. Like many others later, Peter pays a great homage to the line with a modern remake of the 5581 Model Team set called Magic Flash.
Next he shows some love for the 5550 Custom Rally Van set from 1991. I never had the set myself, but man, what an awesome look and great playability! Is it time for a senseless, seemingly unrelated joke? I think it is. How 'bout that overly tanned New Jersey mom that's been on the news lately? Does she look like a burnt baseball glove or what?
You should check out Saturday Night Live's rendition of tan mom on Youtube. She burns toast between her legs. Funny stuff! Anyway, Peter yet again delivers the goods with this Miniland rendition of set 6624, the LEGO City Delivery Van.
Here's where it gets weird...like it isn't any weird already. This time 911 dials up his own digits and morphs the retro and dubiously numbered 6666 ambulance set with the newer 4431 model to form this neat hybrid. Just like the set box, the injured bicyclist waits patiently by his bike as the medics arrive. Check out that miniland bike! its probably the most difficult aspect of this whole model.
In case you haven't had enough of vans, 911 squeezes out one more...but this time the 6653 Highway Maintenance Truck. You know if you google images for this set, Peter's rendition comes up first before the official set. Hah! Suck it, LEGO! Wait...on second thought, don't do that. I was just kidding.
But wait, there's more. Lots, lots more. This time he graces us with 1926 Renault, set number 391. Just think, if LEGO had a license with Renault way back in 1975, who's to say they can't do it again? I'd vie for the 2012 Renault Twizy...a step in the right direction in terms of the future and being all earthy-crunchy and stuff.
And something to tear up that crunchy Earth can be this remake of the neat 4433 Dirt Bike Transporter set. Already chock full of great playability, Peter pumps up the volume with some neat add-ons...like the tan bush, giving it that all important off-road feel. This proves that even concepts written in the challenge write up can and should be used.
For those just begging for a lime green and orange twin entry, Peter pulls through with tangy new remakes of the 8392 Rod Rider and 8641 Flame Glider Hot Rod sets. Finally some god damn hot rods all up in here!
Damn it all! Why the potty mouth all of a sudden? I bet Jack Rebney would have quite a few more very colorful metaphors for this remodeled 7639 City Camper. He used to be a Winnebago salesman in the 80's and he's been dubbed the angriest man in the world. For a good laugh, I'd recommend looking him up on youtube but not while at work or around children with tender ears. He does weave a veritable tapestry of obscenities. You've been warned!
A veritable tapestry of obscenities can't describe how cool I think this remake of the Auburn 851 Boattail Speedster is from the 7682 Indiana Jones Shanghai Chase set. Now if only he also built the black gangster car that also went with this set. Still, this is way cool! Is that all from Peter Blackert? Holy crap, it is!
Moving right along, Ralph Savelsberg takes one of the best Model Team sets in the history of the world ever and makes it even better as a Kenworth W900. I'm lovin' the all-American colors of this set number 5580 remake. Or French. Or Russian. Australian, Cambodian, Chilean, Icelandic, Norwegian, Thai. Ok, most flags have red, white and blue in them. Still lovin' it though.
Like Peter, Raphy conjures up his own 5581 Magic Flash revamp, but this time shrunk down to be all teensy and cute in minifig scale. He asks, do all Model Team sets have double stripes? I think they do.
Long before Raphy was ever born, LEGO launched the 854 Go-Kart in 1978. It had 206 pieces. Knowing the true meaning of downsizing, this one sports only 29 pieces...but both are blazened with the number 9. This is an impressive little dedication to a timeless classic.
Did this suddenly turn into an Ed "Big Daddy" Roth car show? With the snarling super huge grossed out monster bunny manning a freaky super-tuned hot rod you might think so...but Raphy cleverly pays homage to the little known 4299 set featuring, of all things, the Nestle Quik Bunny. Radical, dude!
1982 brought us the largest cash robbery in history, the official end of commercial whaling, Michael Jackson's Thriller...and the 8846 Technic Tow truck set. In 2012 hardly anyone carries cash anymore, there aren't many whales left, Michael Jackson is dead and TechnicNick revamps the 8846 set. Now that's progress!
If you're anything like me, you think the Creator 5893 Off Road Power is one of the best new sets ever...but you also think it could be made better with more chromy bits and the inclusion of orange. Well luckily for people like us, Gilcelio Chagas answers all of our shiny, orange concerns with his neat remake. Wish it had the quad bike though.
Lets say all you have in your LEGO collection is the 7286 Prisoner Transporter set and nothing else. What can you do with that? The older town sets of yore used to show ideas for alternate models on the back of the box but not so much anymore. Peteris Sprogis shows us this little trio...one a dirtbike transporter, one a future police vehicle and lastly a police speed patrol cruiser. Neat!
If you think Peter Blackert was the only one to go bat poopy loco with so many entries you'd be dead wrong. Turns out TechnicFenix13 puts out almost as many entries as his namesake. First on the slab is this 8262 remake. The set was white but this quad is lime green.
Wishing I scooped up the original Model Team set in 1996, TechnicFenix pays tribute to the classic 5571 Black Cat with this modern rendition in all its hi-flash, no clean backdrop having glory. Nah, good photo presentation is for wimps anyway.
He comes back again to tell us this entry is a heavily modified remake of the 8070 Technic Supercar but, I don't know, it looks pretty much like the official set. I guess we'll just have to take his word for it.
Next is an 8448 Remake. I didn't even look it up to see how different it is. That's how lazy I've gotten. Maybe my half-assed approach to journalism reflects this half-assed approach to modding official sets. I mean, can we really believe he fully modded like seven large models this month or were they just things he had laying around and decided to photograph for the challenge? We may never know.
About that fatherly advice earlier, what do I know about parenting? Nothing, really. Although my girlfriend and I now have a six year old wiener dog named Lulu. She's my first dog ever and I'm quite smitten. I'm now responsible for someone who needs to eat and poop occasionally. I can assure you, she goes big, then she goes home. Girl after my own heart! Oh, and TechnicFenix modded some other thing.
Then he takes set number 8258 and builds the alternate model...or turns it into a Toyota Hilux or something. I don't know, I stopped paying attention like four entries ago. But my dog does this really cute thing when she wants food...which is all the time. I don't know, its one of those things where you have to be there to get it.
Lastly he takes set number 8448 then gives it styling and huge tires from set 8466 or something. Eh, I didn't mean to razz on ya, Fenix. I'm sure these models took a lot of work. Its just I can't recognize one Technic set from another and it seems you just sort of had these laying around already. My own ignorance, maybe? Oh and get yourself a nice clean white background...it helps in presentation. We still friends then?
Accustomed by now to all of us hanging out without our pants, LegoMyMamma adds some much needed class to this joint with this remake of Stephanie's Cool Convertible. Now, I've watched plenty of episodes of Overhaulin' and while they've made old cars virtually unrecognizable, they have never completely changed its make, model and year. Mamma does just that by turning Steph's sporty little convertible into a classic pink Cadillac. Only the windshield was kept.
next LegoMyMamma gets in touch with her tough side (she used to fly helicopters in the Army, you know!) with this Indiana Jones Brickmaster Jungle Cruiser Jeep turned into a bigger and badder Jungle Master complete with dual horns, reinforced mirrors and quad LED headlights...cuz regular headlights just ain't enough when you're being big and bad in the jungle. She should know!
Lino Martins does exactly what has been predicted of me...overhaulin' the Model Team 5541 Blue Fury hot rod set into something a little more badass. Ok, so while I stuck well within my comfort zones, no one could have predicted I'd give the cabin and engine such a sinister rake and loading it with as much chrome as I could muster. And thanks to ordering up the last chrome macaroni and straight pipes parts available in the country...only six wimpy cylinders. Hah!
Erth&fiya takes the green 6743 Street Speeder set, sends it to the Pimp My Ride folks, and turns it into a yellow Limited Surfer's Edition Beach Rider. The new 6915 number happens to belong to a Warp Wing Fighter UFO spaceship from 1997. I wonder if he knew that. Can you guess how he did the neat yellow stripe tire effect?
Jonathan Derksen also brings new life to the Model Team 5550 Custom Rally Van set of yore. Dear LEGO. If me being The Big Cheese of this car group has any clout, please bring back the Model Team theme or something like it. They were the best sets in the history of the world ever. You probably should ignore reading the stuff about paying for strange, three-peckered billy goats and the New Jersey mom burning toast between her thighs. In fact, ignore this whole roundup, except for this letter. It would be best that way. Thanks. Your friend, Lino.
If you're like me, you probably have the 7888 Batman Tumbler vs Joker's Ice Cream Surprise set and think its the bee's knees. Well, it is! But what if you get hauled off to prison for say...paying for strange...and you need a small pocket edition to take you through those tough nights in the Big House? Luckily, just for that situation, Tiler comes to the rescue! Also, you might want to really beat the crap out of the biggest guy you see the first night you're there. That'll surely remedy any unwanted encounters in the prison shower later.
No stranger to prison shower shenanigans is Tim Inman with his redo of the 5510 Off Road 4x4 Jeep. Way back in '86 we had to be content with Culture Club, The Cosby Show, Crocodile Dundee...and the fact that this official set was boring yellow and not really a 4x4. Tim changes all that with beefy tires, independent suspension and for the love of God, sand green all y'all!
The baddest of the bad boys in the hot rodding world is Jimmy Shine. The baddest of the bad boys in the LEGO hot rodding world has got to be Zenn with his Roadkill Hot Rod inspired by Mr. Shine and the wimpier 6538 Rebel Roadster set. Hey, it was '94 and LEGO was trying their best. It was long before they hired Misterzumbi onto the scene and what did a bunch of Danish toy makers know about hot rodding anyway?
My co-worker at the LEGO store calls himself WachutuChief, but his real name is Austin. He likes to take already awesome official sets and infuse a little sumpin' sumpin' of his own. In this case the 10220 VW Camper van now has a trailer, surf board, camping gear, steering...and power functions! Oh, and the steering wheel is on the British side just to be different.
Long past the due date but before I could get my shiznit together to write this roundup, a guy takes a break from his Bad furday to revamp the old 6896 M-Tron Celestial Forager set into...uh...also a Celestial Forager...but different. Now it has interior climate controls. You're gonna want A/C when you're exploring new planets like the pink suede couch in the photo...oh and I suppose life supporting air regulators as well. What do I know about couch travel?
Is that all of them? Yep, it is. Like most things, this roundup begins with ill-suited fatherly advice and ends with a pink suede couch. Kinda like my high school prom. Anyway, stay tuned next month for a new challenge we like to call Rubber Side Down, Shiny Side Up. What the hell does that mean, you ask. Well, we're all some pretty phenomenal car builders so I figured we'd shake things up a bit and build motorcycles in all of their forms. Whether they be trikes, choppers, bobbers, or scooters the sky is the limit with what you can do with motorcycles. They're hard as all hell to build but strangely satisfying once done. So as bikers sometimes greet each other before a long road trip, lets keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up in this month's challenge. I'm outta here. Until next month, get the hell off my lawn, all of youse!