Saturday, October 24, 2015

Designing the Ralston Legacy…Roundup

Two guys, a six pack of cheap beer and an old issue of Hustler. That's the saddest and most awkward bachelor party I have ever been to. This month's roundup is sort of like that. The challenge was called Designing The Ralston Legacy and it enabled us to revisit two popular challenges of the past and to also do something new. The Ralston Tiger was a concept car from a challenge we had a few years ago, the Ralston Rhino was a concept truck from about a year later and now the new Ralston Dragon could have been any concept bike. With the ability to revisit old favorites and flex your creative muscle while dreaming up concept rides from scratch, it had potential to be an excellent challenge in theory. But alas, it was two dudes, a six pack of cheap beer and an old issue of Hustler…which is silly, considering both guys prefer a higher quality beer. And I can't speak for Peter, but it has been about two decades since I bought a girly magazine. Its either because I am pure of heart and have no interest in such lowbrow matters…or the advent of the internet made it so a guy can view all manner of depravity for free without having to purchase magazines. You choose the reason. Lets get to the roundup and see how we did, shall we?

With its long hood, Lino Martins imagines the Ralston Dragon bike as if it was inspired by Duisenberg race cars of the 1920's. White and trans-light blue gives this dragon an icy cool feel while the brown leather saddle harkens to an older time. The requisite “X” is represented in the strapping on the saddle bags and, like my prior Ralston concepts, this one features a light brick that illuminates from within.

Ralston Dragon

That's all I brought to the party. Peter Blackert, on the other hand, is really well known for bringing lots of goodies to the party and bringing more for about a week and a half after everyone else goes home.

His first offering is the new, 2015 Ralston Dragon - Tourer bike, featuring a Subaru-sourced 1,500 cc boxer four-cylinder engine, producing 106 PS.

Ralston Dragon - Tourer (2015)

Next on the Peter slab is an alternate reality of sorts with this Ralston Steam Dragon. While the rules of the challenge say the Ralston Dragon should be a bike, this is an alternative model to a Ralston Dragon car Peter built way back during our Steampunk challenge.

Ralston Steam Dragon

I wrote the Ralston challenges without giving it much thought. I mean, my three entries have some sort of coherence but Peter has taken the made up franchise and given it a logo, a timeline, a history and a sort of permanence in space. That's what I like about what he has done here. Here is the 1964 Tigre MkIII B GlassRoof Hardtop.

Ralston 1964 Tigre MkIII-B < T W E L V E > GlassRoof Hardtop

In keeping with the notion that a Ralston Dragon should be a bike, the Super-Dragon 1500R takes the base Dragon, and turns up the wick - more power, more revs, less aerodynamic drag and more focus. The Super-Dragon is the Dragon of Superbikes. Or something.

Ralston Super-Dragon 1500R - Sport Bike (2015)

And not only has Peter come up with a history and timelines for the made up Ralston legacy, but he has come up with model ideas never provided for in the challenge text. I set the formula that all Ralston vehicles should be animal based and Peter runs with it a bit further. The first named 'breakout' model for Ralston was the 1927 'Lynx' shown here.

Ralston Lynx MkI-B Boat-tail Speedster - 1929

Just like any history Ford or Chevy would have, Peter imagines a timeline where one model upgrades and replaces another. Pictured here is the 1956 Ralston Tigre MkII-B Convertible, in pale yellow, tiger brown and midnight black.

Ralston Tigre MkII-B Convertible - 1956

Also in pale yellow and moving forward in time is this 1961 Ralston Tigre MkIII Convertible. This one takes design cues from the Tucker with the inclusion of its centralized pivoting headlamp. Neat!

Ralston 1961 Tigre MkIII < E I G H T > Convertible

A huge jump forward in time is the 2016 Ralston Tigre MkIV Limousine. This model features something I'm betting you're not going to see much of in 2016… a Gas Turbine-Hybrid Electric power train. I believe they tried that gas turbine thing in the 60's and it didn't catch on as consumers were afraid, very afraid!

Ralston Tigre - MkIV Limousine (2016)

Next is the Super-Dragon 1500S Sportster. This bike again uses a version of the 1,500cc EL15 flat-four engine. The tune lies somewhere between the Dragon Tourer and Super-Dragon Sports Bike. One novel feature of the 1500S Sportster is the 'warrior face' front cowling.

Ralston Super-Dragon 1500S - Sportster Motorcycle (2015)

The 1958 MkII-C Ralston Tigre Saloon is the epitome of luxury and power. With four doors and a neat color scheme, this posh ride is sure to be the crown jewel of Park Avenue.

Ralston Tigre MkII-C Saloon - 1958

With it's gently sloping rear, elegant color scheme and rocket pod taillights, the 1967 Ralston Tigre MkIII-C Hardtop Coupe is one of my faves of the bunch. It's pretty reminiscent of a custom 61' Dodge Polara.

Ralston 1967 Tigre MkIII-C < E I G H T > Hardtop Coupe

And lastly for driving out on the town in elegant style is the six window limousine edition LWB form of the Ralston Tigre MkII-C (1958-60). That's a lot of class.

Ralston Tigre MkII-C 6-Window Limousine - 1958

Seems that is all of them. It just now occurred to me that, aside from the intro paragraph, this roundup was completely void of jokes. Oh well, I'm way too tired to change it now. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it was such a sparsely populated challenge or the fact that I wrote the majority of this roundup while at a work conference. Plus I'm lacking in sleep. Sorry 'bout that. I'll make it up to you next time…which brings me to next month's challenge called Happy Crazy Eighth Birthday, LUGNuts! Yessiree, this will be our birthday challenge, a chance to build anything you want from this past year and indeed all of LUGNuts history. Its our special thank you for making LUGNuts the best and longest lasting challenge based LEGO group in the history of the world EVAR! The prior birthday challenges have been very popular, so let's see how this one turns out. Now, what am I going to do with all this spare time usually spent writing longer roundups? Peter, did you bring the vaseline? No? Alrighty then. I'm taking my half of the six pack and going home. See you guys next month.

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