Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Redo And Redemption Roundup

This month's LUGNuts challenge was called Redo And Redemption. The idea was to take an embarrassing, crappy old creation, redo it better, provide a link to the shameful stupid old creation and make the universe all the better for it. From there we can right all those we have wronged in our silly younger days and then begin the long path toward healing and least that's what they tell ya in Alcoholics Anonymous. How did we do? Well, aside from Peter's entries, there weren't too many others. Seems like everyone else decided that, like Mary Poppins, they are practically perfect in every way. That's OK, I'm not up for a long round up anyway. You see, I just bought an awesome new electric Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy Custom Plus EX in Midnight Sapphire and I've been just a little distracted by it. The kicker is, I don't even know how to play. Yep, not one note, lick, chord or badass solo. But I am trying to learn. Damn these tiny womanish hands of mine! Seems I have to strengthen my left hand and train each finger to move independently...otherwise all I have is nonsensical noise. So lets get to Eddie Van Halen's power solo...uh, I mean...this roundup.

First up in a very long string of entries is Peter Blackert's Shelby Daytona Sports Racer...originally built for the 18th challenge called At The Races where he was trying to beat his own record for the most awesomest power riff or something.

Shelby Daytona Racer - Revisted

Next on the slab was requested by me, a redo of his Mercedes-Benz W210 E430 T Estate from like 20 years ago. He didn't provide the link but the original was a laughable squarish box on wheels. Redone...and definitely redeemed.

Mercedes-Benz W210 E-Class. E430 T Estate 1998

Not only is Peter redeeming old MOCs, but true to Peter style,he is also doing it by request. Here is a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe as requested by new guy dluders. It features gull-wing doors, the Mercedes logo, EMG-85 Humbucker pickups at the neck and an EMG-81 by the bridge.

Mercedes-Benz W196S 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

Here is a redone classic pair of one of his very first LDD models, the 1955-56 Packard Caribbean, in Hardtop and Convertible forms. The hard top sports pink and white two tone color scheme while the GX version features your choice of Black Cherry and Heritage Cherry Sunburst with gold hardware.

Packard Caribbean Hardtop 1956

Packard Caribbean Convertible 1955

Next is another great pairing, a Toyota MR2 MkII in red convertible while the blue sports a hard top and a satin-back, trim-tapered neck for ultimate heavy metal shredding!

Toyota MR2

Toyota MR2

No stranger to pairing up rides, Peter strikes a chord again with these Ford Fiesta B256's, which include rally stripes and elegant pearloid and abalone block and triangle inlays on the 1,3,5,7,9,12, & 15th frets and individual volume and tone controls for each pickup.

Ford Fiesta XR4

Ford Fiesta LX 5-Door Hatch

If you want classic shape and style, you can't go wrong with Peter's pair of Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadsters. You also can't go wrong with a Les Paul, whose timeless classic shape has been lovingly described as caressing a woman's well rounded hips and bottom.

Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

And speaking of a well rounded woman's bottom, Peter's BMW E9 CS Coupe in lovely brown...well, looks nothing like a woman's bottom at all. But how else was I going to segue into how a man feels for his new guitar? I'm sure you see the dilemma here, you sweet piece of mahogany and rosewood, you!


Yes, I'd love to learn the haunting and alluring riff to Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, thanks for asking. Peter also presents an Audi C3 100 Saloon in lovely red...or what I like to call Vintage Cherry.

Audi C3 100

Another great pair is the Ford Falcon BF XR6 in Midnight Ebony or the 5.4 litre V8 XR8 version in Midnight Sapphire. The first was Peter's first all-new car. Great fun and very fast, but a bit thirsty and impractical, he tells us. Agreed, but if you want to impress guitar enthusiasts and novices alike, its a good idea to spend a bit more on the high quality Prophecy EX or GX.

Ford Falcon BF XR6

Ford Falcon BF XR8

My buddy Dave is soooo jealous of my new ax! He says dude, its much sweeter than his Les Paul. Even the dudes at Guitar Center were all like...whoa, this thing is much sweeter in person than it looks in the catalog. It barks with authority and has a tougher, grittier, and edgier attitude than the typical Les Paul...which suits my personality nicely. Oh, and Peter presents us the Audi 100 Quattro Avant.

Audi C3 100 quattro Avant

And as an encore performance to round out Peter's entries is a trio from France, the Citroen DS Series I,Citroen DS Prestige Series II, and the elegant Citroen DS Decapotable (Convertible) Series I. Viva la France!

Citroen DS

Citroen DS Prestige

Citroen DS Convertible

Is that all of them? Great! Time learn to shred with the best of 'em! Oh wait...there's more. OK, almost there. Here goes. The very first thing TechnicNick built with his son's bricks when he was little was the Italian Job bus and now he redoes it better. Its OK Nick, its always best to start small and easy. Learn Smoke On The Water first, then you'll be rockin' out to Crazy Train in no time.

Italian Job Bus

Tim "Rabidnovaracer" Inman revisits his black Mercedes G-Class and this time turns it grey and gives it a second set of rear tires and made it a monstrous 6x6. Don't forget to also check out the video Tim provided of Mr. Les Paul himself, playing his hauntingly beautiful version of Sleepwalk. It brings tears to your eyes.

Mercedes G63 AMG 6x6

What also brings tears to the eyes is Lino Martin's redo of his old VW Dragbus. Its German engineering meets American...uh...need to go stupidly fast in a straight line. It was hailed by metal players the world over as the ultimate combination of tradition and innovation and the perfect guitar for serious shredding, all within the stylish lines of the classic Les Paul form.

VW Dragbus

Lastly Ralph Savelsberg revisits his old Chrysler Concorde 10 wide and plays it again with a tricky 11 wide configuration. In the process its been made when Johnny Cash covered Trent Reznor's Hurt. Now Trent can't even perform the song anymore cuz Mr. Cash spanked him so hard by making his own song so much better.

Chrysler Concorde (2)

Ok, is that all of them? Yes it is! Sweet baby Jeebus ,its time to plug in and play! While I do that, come on back next month to see how we do with a little challenge we call Super 70's Sensation...all about 70's era cars, trucks, and bikes. Will yours be a custom super van with shag carpeting and wizards and druids airbrushed on the sides...or will it be a black and gold Trans-Am with louvres and a stereo that only plays Lynyrd Skynyrd? Or maybe a Ford Pinto is in your future. Either way, you're gonna have to come back next time to see how we pull it off. Now, lets see if I can learn Smoke On The Water. 3-6-8/ 3-6-9-8/ 3-6-8/ 6-3. By jove, I think I've got it! See ya next time.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Amazing Vehicles Book Review

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a good cup of coffee, long walks on the beach, and you’ve faked your own death and changed your name to avoid paying for cable. Allegidly. You also get asked to do book reviews occasionally. My case in point, the good folks over at No Starch Press asked me to review The LEGO Build It Book: Amazing Vehicles. Our very own LUGNuts member and LEGO Technic designer Nathanaël Kuipers wrote the book while Mattia Zamboni lays out the graphic design and step-by-step instructions. Together they make a cohesive team...the book is well laid out and, with tips and suggestions, it is fun to follow.
It works on the notion that...what if you were a builder on a budget? What could you do if you had a small LEGO collection? Or better yet, what could you do if you only had one LEGO set? Like say...set # 5867. With the limitless imagination of Nathanaël Kuipers, Amazing Vehicles takes you through ten different vehicles of varying degrees of difficulty...everything from a baby stroller to a rescue truck. Seasoned builders may not get a lot out of it but the section on advanced build techniques has valuable tips that can turn any novice into a pro.
My only gripe, even hot off the press, this book is outdated, somewhat. Ideally it would be neat to buy the LEGO set along with the book, but set number 5867 has long been out of production and is no longer available at the LEGO store or Shop-At-Home. You’d have to pay exorbitant prices on Ebay or Amazon to obtain it, but this is remedied by a list of parts at the beginning of the book. Most parts are common and can be easily was even encouraged to improvise with an alternate part or color if you can’t obtain the necessary pieces from your collection.
After awhile I wished everything wasn’t so...oh, I don’t, but Nathanaël Kuipers, does what he does best by creating alternate models from an existing set and shows us ten vastly different possibilities from not a lot of parts. If you like this book, then Volume II comes out later this month.
My thanks goes to No Starch Press for my copy and thanks to Amazon for the photos cuz I was too half-assed to take photos myself what with running from the law and all. Plus Brothers Brick posted their review on like the same day I was gonna do mine so I had to wait awhile. What the hell is up with that?! Anyway...
Now about that cable bill. I think I’ll go with Damien this time. It has a good ring to it. Thanks for reading.