Vacation Getaway Yacht

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

Other than the expert sets, I think Lego’s best designs are their Creator 3-in-1 creations, not only are they value for money but there’s plenty to keep a body busy building. This is the case with the 31052 Vacation Getaways set – as well as the main build of an RV (with picnic stuff and even a bear!) you can build a decent sized house, and the third one is this rather nifty yacht. Third builds often seem to be an afterthought of “What else can be made from these pieces?” but I’m pleased to report this one is very nicely thought out and was highly enjoyable.

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

Unsurprisingly the instruction booklet is a great big thick affair, but I was soon the proud owner of a yacht keel.

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

Next steps were adding more to the superstructure and the cabin, with windows, and archway for the minifigures to pass through and even a galley, complete with bench, seats, coffee cups securely on the wall against bad weather breakages and a stove with a frying pan on it, very cute.

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 YachtLego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

Very clearly a proper boat by this point..

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

And now the smoothing of the upper parts of the cabin, adding some rails, and this perspex thing, which at this point I assumed was the windscreen for the pilot to peer through, although it did seem an odd angle for such a thing, and then those yellow things behind it.. what’ s going on here? I flicked back a few pages in the instructions to see if I’d made a mistake, but no, exactly as described..

Oh, except it’s hinged, and you need to push it down onto the main deck and click it into place. The black handle bit should have been a giveaway I suppose! And the yellow things turn out to be the cushions for couches, so the minifigures can lounge and relax.

It’s likely because I’m not the ocean-going yacht type, but assembling this part had me confused as well, was it the front? The rear? Are those grey things fishing poles…? Turns out this cockpit is the upper section of the yacht, which is removable so you can see inside and get your minifigures in and out of the galley.

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

When they’re not lounging under their perspex covers, that is (seems more like a greenhouse to me, what a strange design!)

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

Now that’s a proper yacht, I especially like the awning at the rear on its frame, with small black spikes with rounded knobs over which you slide the provided holes in the awning material.

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

Assembly took just under four hours, which isn’t too bad, considering I’ve still the two larger builds to go at once I’m willing to take the yacht apart. And those will be more complex and take longer, given how many pieces were still left on completion.

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

Vacation Getaways is definitely good value for money and should have a lot of play value for a youngster as well as the enjoyable build itself, I’m looking forward to making the house up once I’ve found somewhere to put it, that is…!

Lego 31052 Vacation Getaways Creator 3-in-1 Yacht

 

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Beetle A-door-ation

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

I have to say the length of time it’s taking me to build this VW Beetle is delightful, certainly extending the enjoyment while slowly frying my brain.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

 

This time, I got to add the front wings and the cheery big headlights – I always think Beetles are such friendly looking cars thanks to those and it made me smile to see them here. The front wings completed, it was time to finish the dashboard – with the steering wheel on the wrong side for the UK, grr. I could have swapped it over as I did with the Wilko Blox Black Cab but I shall instead leave it as is and assume this is a genuine German Käfer for driving on genuine German roads, thus needing the left-hand drive..

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

Everything was straightforward for once and so I finished the last of bag 2, yay. There were quite a few spare elements to be found lurking in my building tin, including a spare blue round plate so I was able to put that in place on the rear wing where I’d been forced to use a cream one from stock, so that was handy.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

Time for doors! Mum loves it when Lego cars have opening doors and these are nicely designed, lots of 2×1 and 3×1 bricks, plus a row of headlight bricks niftily used to attach cream door panels (jumper plates) which then hold the interior handle. The wing mirror assemblies slot neatly onto the same hinge that holds the door to the car. First door added to the main body with no trouble, but when it came to the second door, I hit a snag, something was blocking it. I took part of the wheel arches on each side off and kept turning the model back and forth trying to work out what was wrong, even resorting to taking a photo of the correct side so I could compare them closely.

VW Beetle - trying to spot the difference with part I did wrong

Flicking back through the instruction book all the way from step 140 to step 93, I finally worked out that I had put a curved piece upside down, meaning it covered the all-important clip piece to which the door was meant to attach. Oops. Luckily an easy fix, and then it was back on with the wheel arch elements.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

Adding the windscreen and side rear windows was a smooth task, each needing (the dreaded) stickers in blue to mimic what is actual bodywork on a real car. If Lego made curved windows it would look better but this compromise to indicate the shaping with blue stickers works reasonably well.

Front and rear bumper assembly was long plates with covers and curved elements, although the rear one has hinged sections at each end so the bumper seems to curve round, which looks very authentic to my Beetle-loving eyes; the front bumper relies solely on the curves and has an otherwise flat profile.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

The boot lid is a sub-assembly created upside down from headlight bricks and various elements with similar profile to which other pieces can be pressed. Once turned over, the grey elements are hidden with blue covers and then the whole affair is attached to the main body with long black hinges that fit into the two clips done back in the early stages of the build.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

At this point the lid lifts in an odd way which confused me, but light soon dawned once I completed the rear window, consisting of two smaller windows. This has three blocks with grille elements at the base, providing two gaps for the lid hinge pieces to slot through – the window section then fits onto more clips and holds the lid securely in place while still allowing it to be lifted up (with a nifty handle, eee!) to reveal the engine.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

Adding small round advertising type stickers to the rear window proved quite effective, the Beetle is coming alive as a real vehicle.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

Definitely making progress now with the end in sight, though rather more pieces left than you might think given how many sessions of building there have been thus far.

May the (mini) Force be with you

Lego Star Wars Microfighters Millenium Falcon set 75193

For a Lego fan it’s a bit frustrating that I’m one of those heretics who isn’t that into Star Wars – never have been, despite being of an age to have seen the first films in the cinema. About the only things I like are a) Chewbacca and b) the Millennium Falcon, and not being in a financial position to get the giant UCS set, finding that Lego had created a mini-version was most enticing. The Star Wars Microfighters Millennium Falcon set 75193 was actually a birthday gift from my good friend Claire and I’ve been saving it for a rainy day as it’s a quick build.

When they say Microfighters they’re not kidding, these are ickle things! There have been various series of these, the current range being the fifth, and you get a small but sturdy box, a surprisingly thick booklet and of course the bricks.

The actual construction was pretty straightforward, I felt they’d stretched the building steps out a bit but it would make it ideal for younger children, and there was nothing too challenging about the build – nor, sadly, any “ooh clever!” moments for me to enjoy, though making what is essentially a sandwich of round and quarter-circle plates was a tad different.

Lego Star Wars Microfighters Millenium Falcon - front view

Given the small size, all the things that say “Millennium Falcon” are present – the overall shape, the pointy bits at the front (mandibles, apparently..) along with a pre-printed truncated cone piece to mimic the Falcon’s cockpit.

Lego Star Wars Microfighters Millenium Falcon - close-up showing weaponry

There’s even weaponry – the two grey guns in the central area with red transparent caps have small triggers within so you can press on them to shoot said red caps at your enemy (there’s definitely an AT-AT model in the range so you have something to fire at!). The colour scheme seems right, and is more convincing to my eyes than the recent mid-sized model with white and blue elements released to go with upcoming film Solo:A Star Wars Story.

Lego Star Wars Microfighters Millenium Falcon - rear view with Chewbacca

From the rear there’s a nice use of transparent blue elements to simulate the sub-light drives. The underside has several black roundels so it sits nicely on a table for display.

Lego Star Wars Microfighters Millenium Falcon set 75193

 

And let’s not forget Chewbacca himself, a nice print on his face and suitable hairy hair/fur which pops onto the main body like an elongated furry hat! His crossbow is held firmly so he’s ready to take on anyone as he.. rides on top of the spaceship? Oh well, it looks rather nifty if you don’t think about it too much.

All in all this makes for a cute little addition to my collection, ideal for a Star Wars fan who no doubt would want the entire set.

Lego Star Wars Microfighters Millenium Falcon set 75193

 

Not-Lego Not-Starbucks

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - finished model, 3/4 view

It’s fascinating what you can pick up on Ebay sometimes. For example, this rather cute little coffee shop set, which as my title states is neither Lego nor Starbucks despite its resemblance to both. What we actually have is the HSANHE Mini Street series 6402: Coffee Shop, one of a set of mini-shops that were initially submitted as MOCs to the Lego Ideas site. Lego didn’t want them, but the designs were picked up by Chinese company Hsanhe who offer numerous models (fast food shops, grocery shops, a candy store, a mobile phone shop..). And the average price including shipping from China is around £6, which I felt was worth taking a chance on.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - package contents

The models do have nicely printed boxes, Google image search reveals but to cut down on shipping costs you just get the bricks in three plastic bags, several loose plates and the instruction leaflet. Oh, and a bright green brick separator:

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - brick separator

The set includes two minifigures, and as is the norm for non-Lego figures they need to be assembled. Now I’m used to adding hands and arms but these ones also required me to add the legs onto the plastic “pelvis” bit. This did not go well, so while the barista is fine and dandy (his legs were already attached), the poor customer was less fortunate. Oops

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - mini figure with detached legs

A shame really as I like the face and the hair – I’ll have to find some spare legs for her.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop (Corner Coffee = Starbucks)

The instructions are nicely printed, just one folded sheet on glossy paper but the steps to follow are in logical order and the previous additions are  printed in a very pale grey so it’s very easy to keep track of where you are up to.

The bricks do feel and look rather cheap, and the pale yellow colour for the main walls is a really strange shade when you first see it in the bags. Not as good quality as the Enlighten set bricks, or even Wilko Blox and like them need some oomph to press them together securely, but they work – at this price point you can’t really complain.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - main building

The walls and furnishings are added bit by bit across the base and then the window and door panes in their frames. The clear plastic for same was mucky, a bit of a wash helped but again its makes one appreciate Lego’s quality control in such matters.. There are some nice touches in the design though, particularly the two little lamps either side of the door which are yellow trans cones with a black stud beneath, hung from headlight bricks – they’re convincing as lights and look rather smart.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - close-up of fire hydrant

I also got to have one of my “eee!” moments when a combination of a red brick and three round studs turned into a fire hydrant, another nice little touch.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - close-up of coffee machine

Inside the building, a few bricks give the suggestion of an espresso machine and drip tray, with cups piled up nearby ready to pour the coffee into.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - roof section with railings and signboard

Having assembled the main building the roof section is a separate unit with cylinders and single bricks effectively producing a pillar effect all around the roof and also bracketing the signage area.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - adding lights to the underside of the roof section

At this stage you turn the roof over in order to attach the ceiling lights on the underside, another simple but effective lighting design. The roof is then affixed to the main building and the seating, tables and parasols are added.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - finished model with barista

The seats are placed on cylinders which slot between the studs, which seems a little strange but works okay.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - interior

Inside there is a table and chair and the counter ready for folk to order, as well as those ceiling lights now the correct way up.

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - roof section with logo sticker applied

The final touch is the stickers. These are a mixed bunch – there’s one for the black slope/roof brick to turn it into a till, and this fits perfectly (in some of the other shop designs the sticker are cut to the wrong size), as does the large Starbucks – ahem, “Corner Coffee” sticker for the roof section. This covers three bricks which would be an issue if I planned to disassemble the set, but as I don’t, there’s no problem there for me.

Then there are tiny round logo stickers to apply to the barista’s hat, and to the coffee cups. Did I say tiny? Yes, these are miniscule. Also not all of them actually have that great basic element for stickers, stickiness! Luckily there are several extras supplied so I had enough for the two cups balanced on the barista’s tray: they’re convincingly coffee-cup like when “sticker”-ed and I do like the printing on the barista’s body, he works really well to bring the set alive, even if his customer is currently legless (what do they put in the coffee around here?)

Hsanhe mini-shops coffee shop - close-up of barista carrying tray & drinks

This was a quick, fun build with some nice touches. Once assembled and against the green and black colouring the yellowy-creamy bricks look fine and the colour scheme is definitely reminiscent of the brand it’s meant to depict. The bricks needed a finally go-around to ensure they were all pressed together securely but the final result is a cute little coffee shop I’m happy to display.  Each shop has bricks with a hole in for each side and a Technic style piece to join them together if you end up with a series. I don’t plan to get any of the other shops in the range, but I found a video on YouTube by someone who has them all and created a town square featuring the collection, which looks really good.

Beetling Along..

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252 - side view, mid-build

And we’re back with more Beetle build updates, following from the previous post about same. Definitely feeling the expert level with this, both in terms of complexity but also from the number of details included to make it a very convincing model. We now have seats! Which fold down, both front and back, a feat achieved rather obviously with clip plates but is still a nice touch.

The seat bases are quite straightforward with slopes and tiles but the backs are a clever mix of headlight-type bricks making a central column, then slopes and plates assembled in separate sections, which are then attached vertically to said central column. This not only allows for a nice flat profile with curved tops but the lines between the elements gives a textured effect that reminds me very much of the way leather trim looks on real car seats, a nice touch whether it’s accidental or by design.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252 - front and back seats

The cream bricks are very smart against all the blue bodywork, though I’m not enamoured of the striped picnic blanket that’s included, to be popped neatly behind the rear seats. It’s just a rectangle of material in shades of pale orange but its a real pain to roll up and place inside, as it kept falling out. And when I’d finally got it rolled and placed, I was showing mum my progress and pointing out the fact the seats all fold forward, and before I could finish with “…but please don’t try the back seat” she had already done so and the blanket fell out. Might need to pin that together somehow, come to think…

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

I had thought at the end of the previous building session that the car was a good size, but it turns out it was about to be extended further beyond the axles, at which point I also discovered a second missing brick, in this case a jumper plate. I do have such elements in stock but only in bright yellow courtesy of the Pick a Brick wall – just as well it’ll be hidden inside, really don’t feel the need to take the car apart in future to swap in one of the correct colour mind you.

The level of interior detail so far is pleasing, I got to add a hand brake, ooh!

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

That front section with its shaped pieces creating the area where the headlights, front bumper and bonnet will be was quite fiddly to make, mainly because I’d misread the instructions again, so was one stud out all the way from the front to the dashboard foundings. I was tired and had skipped a couple of elements so there was much head-scratching flipping back through the instructions to step 89 where I spotted my mistake. Yes, yes, “expert”, I know! Er, and having continued from that point with things back under control I was all ready to add on the black section with the tiny VW logo (a printed piece rather than a sticker) when I realised I’d clearly missed something. Back to step 89 again it turns out for the plate upon which said black section sits, if one has actually added it, that is. Ahem.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

At this point I stopped again, as the next section looked a bit complicated and I really hate having to go back and fix things from mis-reading when I’m tired. Definitely pleased with the further progress and how cool the seats are and the fact we have the front delineated so this is the final length of the car when finished. Which I suspect is several weeks hence at this rate, but why rush a good thing, right?

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252 - assembling the front section and dashboard basics

 

 

 

Beetle Building!

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252I never did get round to saying what I got on my birthday trip to the Liverpool Lego shop but it was the Creator VW Beetle Expert set 10252 which is pretty pricey for my pocket (£74). The classic VW Beetle has been one of my favourite cars since I was very young however, so I couldn’t resist. My grandparents had one, in light blue, which they then passed to my parents. I love the curvy shape of the body and the smiley bumpers, though I do remember being less keen on the plastic seats that were cold in winter and hot and sticky in summer and the lack of a radio. It always started first time, to the envy of the neighbours on frosty mornings, and the heater could always be relied upon to be warm – oh, just about when you’d got to your destination. Not exactly a luxury car but full of character!

Anyway, it’s a big appealing model that I was keen to own, despite the rather worrying “Expert” tag on the box, the fact that it contains 1167 pieces and is aimed at builders 16+. Just as well I’ve been building up experience over the last few months!

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252 - instruction booklet

The first sign that this is a step-up as sets go was the instruction booklet, A4 sized with 126 pages. I usually prop the booklets on my phone stand, this one needed my heavy-duty book rest that I use for hardback non-fiction.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

Next, the fact that having emptied the bags marked 1 into my usual tin (which keeps them corralled while building) it was full to the brim. Clearly there were a lot of pieces!

I was quite relieved to find that the steps were no more complex than previous sets, with very clear images for construction the chassis without adding too many pieces at once.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252 - chassis construction and instructionsOver an hour later I had the basis of a Beetle including axles, running boards and an engine – which part was very nifty, stacked single round plates to imitate, er, engine-y bits and an elastic band mimicking the fan belt.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252

So far so good…

 

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252 - chassis

It was at the next building session that things got more tricky. The rear section was seriously fiddly to put together, despite seeming straightforward with various slopes I managed to muck up how things fitted together and ended up having to flip back through the book a whole ten steps to find where I went wrong and why things weren’t lining up. Oops. At least now I know why its considered “expert”.

Lego Creator VW Beetle set 10252 - rear showing wings and engine

Those triangular wing sections were pretty easy to assemble but rather baffling when it came to adding them to the main body of the car, not helped by the fact I’d put the curved brick assembly upside down, something I only noticed when adding the wheel arches, two sections with the curved part joining. It’s a clever, seamless way to achieve the effect but only if you get it right – in fact for a good half hour one bit was still stuck upside down until I spotted the mistake. Ahem. I was annoyed to find a missing piece as well, just a round single stud plate which I had in stock – in the wrong colour. Grr. It can be replaced at some point though.

My Beetle’s looking pretty good at this stage, which marks the end of the bag 1 pieces and is clearly about one-third or so of a car, whee! Er, but don’t look too closely at the image – that right hang body side should be all blue not blue with a cream stripe in the middle. Fixed it after the photo was taken. That was sheer carelessness on my part..

 

 

Speed Champions 1968 Ford Mustang

 

Lego Speed Champions 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback set 75884As a fan of Lego cars (wheels, ooh…) I’ve been eyeing the various models in the Speed Champions range for a while, but was undecided where to start. My trip the other week with a friend to the Lego store in Liverpool decided me as they had the 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback set 75884 model built and on display and it looked much more convincingly car-like than some of the other models I’ve seen (internet photos and videos tend to make some of them seem shorter and more blocky, making it hard to judge how the completed car would look). At £12.99 it made for a reasonable treat (we’d nearly fainted at the price of the UCS Millenium Falcon..!) so I brought it home triumphantly.

 

Lego Speed Champions 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback set 75884 - minifigure and lap time displayFirst things to assemble were the minifigure, complete with helmet for racing and impressively sized spanner for fixing things, and the lap time board which for a simple affair is quite effective.

On to the car itself and it was a nice build; having recently assembled the Wilko Blox black cab it was good to get back to proper Lego with proper clutch and more logical steps as well as decent instructions. Straightforward chassis build and then on to the bodywork and front and rear lights and bumpers. And one of those “ooh, clever!” moments for me as I admired the way the brake lights were designed, three trans red round studs piled up and then fixed onto a headlight brick sideways makes for convincing horizontal rectangular lights, genius!

Rear view of Lego Speed Champions 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback set 75884

Another good design idea was the way the sides of the vehicle were constructed, with slopes attached to a sub-assembly surmounted with a tile and placed at 90 to the chassis, so the slopes reach down forming the underside of the car. The use of stickers here was also inspired – the doors (non-opening, sadly) have white decals on but only the centre section with the number is actually a sticker, the top and bottom are the sides of white plates but it looks like a single, seamless whole. Nifty.

 

Lego Speed Champions 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback set 75884 -side viewOh but on the topic of stickers.. so many stickers! The car, despite its attractive green colour, would likely be rather boring without the stripes and sponsors and number but 13 stickers on such a small build has to be overkill, especially teeny ones like the horse (the mustang) on the rear! The order in which they were applied on the roof was logical for “build then apply sticker” methodology but given the stripes need to line up I ended up removing the second and not applying the third and final one to the top until the car was completed, so that I could ensure a seamless, straight application rather than one of them being slightly squint. If there’s a knack to stickers I don’t have it but they all looked fine in the end.

 

Lego Speed Champions 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback set 75884

Finally we come to the wheels which roll very smoothly, but were very stiff when it came to getting the tyres onto the rims, I had sore fingers. Worth it though, as the car not only looks fab but would make a great toy – really do wish I was young enough to want to play with these things a lot, beyond a quick “vroom, vroom” for testing purposes.

The minifigure sits well in his seat with a decent-sized steering wheel and the windscreen element with single roof piece attached is easily removed to allow the figure to be placed inside.

Lego Speed Champions 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback set 75884

Overall I’m really pleased with the result and will definitely consider adding more of the Speed Champions range to my collection in future.

 

Wilko Blox Black Cab

Wilko Blox black cab completed vehicle

My friends know I’m a tad.. obsessed with Lego so are very helpful in sharing links and news. One of said friends was in Wilkinsons here in the UK and spotted that they have their own brand of building blocks, Wilko Blox, which she was quick to tell me about. I’ve been after a black cab set for a while so once I spotted this, I pounced – it was only £2.50 which is ridiculously cheap for even a bad set, so definitely worth trying.

Wilko Blox black cab

Pretty much all the non-Lego sets follow the same pattern of a box with images, bagged pieces and an instruction booklet. Opening the box revealed many black bricks, which is logical for a black cab build. A nice, rich, convincing black with a decent shine on them, this looked promising. Being a small set there were no numbers on the bags.

Wilko Blox black cab - bricks

The booklet turned out to be a single folded sheet of the kind you find in the Lego polybags, but it was well-printed and seemed pretty clear, the usual step-by-step process.

 

If you look at the photo though you see the first issue – the weird way the numbering goes, so you’re constantly turning the page and hunting for the next step, I kept expecting the steps to go down the ways but they went across. Maybe that was just me, but I found it a tad confusing and sometimes started building the wrong step as I’d skipped across without realising..

Wilko Blox black cab

The build itself was reasonable: in similar fashion to the Enlighten bus set I made, each step includes adding several more elements than is normal in Lego instructions, and with all the bricks being black it wasn’t always clear at first where the new pieces were to be placed, though a bit of trial and error and some close peering at the pictures solved it eventually.

It was one of the standard “put plates together for a chassis and then build on from that” approaches, although again as I found with the Enlighten set it was often a matter of putting elements side by side and then attaching them in the next stage. Just something to get used to and not a huge issue.

Wilko Blox black cab - front/top view

The overall quality of the bricks is good, they feel solid, lighter than Lego but with a decent clutch, sometimes needing to be pressed together more firmly than Lego to avoid gaps. And the front section with the bonnet and lights was tricky, bricks and even substructures fell off too easily when trying to add more, although the final build is very secure.

Oddly, the steering wheel was placed on the wrong side for Britain, but as there is nothing else in that space on the other side it was an easy fix to swap the wheel and seat across. It’s a convincing rendition of the familiar black cab, simplified but effective. The wheels run smoothly and it’s eminently suitable for play as well as display.

Wilko Blox black cab - side view

The set does not come with a minifigure but is the correct size for same, and I had Beanie Guy from the Ninjago Mech Dragon set going spare, and he looked like a cabbie so in he went.

Wilko Blox black cab - 3/4 view with added minifigure driver

Given the price of Lego sets these days the fact Wilkinsons can offer a decently designed and satisfying build like this which results in a pleasing model is admirable, and gives me incentive to try more of their sets in future.

For UK readers, you can find Wilkinsons Wilko Blox online here.

 

Finally the mighty mega Mech Dragon!

Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 - the full dragon

It’s complete! My Christmas present of the Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 set is fully assembled and looking pretty amazing, even better than I expected now he has his full neck and head sections added. (See the first and second posts for previous assembly commentary).

So this was bag 4 and the first section was the neck/cockpit area for the Green Ninja (Lloyd) to sit in and guide his scaly steed – I like the addition of the printed green glass screen/windshield and the two joysticks here; the overall build follows the same scheme as previously with transparent green slopes for said scaly effect and black spikes held on separate clutch pieces.

Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 -cockpit section

Once added to the previous section the dragon is suddenly looking less like an iguana and more like a fearsome beast!

Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 - main body with cockpit added

And I finally got to make the long-awaited dragon head, including bulbous eyes and all that lovely gold-effect scrollwork. At one point there was a loud squeal for “Ee! I’m making dragon eyebrows!”, in my usual laid back, calm fashion when making things with Lego. Ahem.

Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 - completed head

The head consists of two specialised upper and lower jaw sections, with clips to add the details and the golden horns towards the rear, as well as stickers on the fold-out flaps. Inside the mouth is a long pink tongue, which can be moved up and down inside the equally poseable mouth.

Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 - head section with driver at the controls

As you can see, Lloyd’s position at the controls is very convincing as the rider of a mechanised creature, but the head details have a very organic effect – some great design work gone into this whole dragon, for sure.

Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 - legs foreward for flying or lying down

Thanks to their versatile ball-joint construction, the legs can be folded along the main body so the mech dragon can be posed for flying, or can lie down as preferred. With legs folded back, flaps up and the jet engines flipped out there’s plenty of play potential for zooming through the sky and swooping down to attack.

Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 tail

The completed length is 24″, of which 9″ comprises tail, which made it quite tricky to photograph in my usual set-up, hence the full body images have the tail curved round against the rest of the creature, but the scrollwork on the tail-tip goes well with the eyebrow and other Chinese-style dragon detailing on the head.

For the sake of completeness in talking about this set I of course need to mention the four minifigures included, shown here in their official photograph; Lloyd in Green Ninja guise is ideal to have riding the dragon, Master Wu and Garmadon will be added to my minifigure wall display and, er, not sure what to do with Beanie Guy.  Poor Beanie Guy…

ninjago mech dragon mini figures

Given this is the set that got me intrigued by Lego once more I really can’t enthuse enough about it, from the overall look, to the clever design, to the great enjoyment I’ve had in assembling it gradually over the past few weeks. Love my Mech Dragon!

Ninjago Mech Dragon 70612 - full body from above

 

Easter Bunny Cuteness

Lego Easter Bunny front view

I grabbed this Easter bunny set cheap on Ebay a few months back and given it’s now Easter it seemed an apt time to assemble same. So cute, much nicer than the new Brickheadz bunny, this is set 40086 from 2014 and is a very quick build being only 106 pieces, though it came in a proper box and not a polybag.

What increases the cuteness factor here is that the ears are poseable so you can have a lop-eared bunny, or have its ears straight up (alert bun!) or a mix of angles, which certainly adds character. The arms swing out from the body also, but only in the horizontal plane, but it means you can keep the carrot out of the way so the shaped body section is more visible past all that orange-ness.

lego 40086 easter bunny

The design makes good use of curves and slopes to give the correct rabbit-like shape, with the front white and grey belly made as a separate section that’s fixed on via the delightfully named “brick with knobs” elements. The same system holds the rear section complete with white bobtail in place also.

Lego Easter Bunny rear view

 

It’s definitely worth hunting down to add to your collection – mine has been appropriated by mum, who admires the cars and other builds but couldn’t resist the ears here!