It’s finished! Hurrah!! Well, at least as finished as it can be. I’ve sort of run out of bricks. So it’s as finished as it can be given the limited resources with which I am lumbered. I did have a brief look online to see what Lego was being listed on eBay, but quickly ran away from that idea – I know that once I start buying Lego I’ll never stop, and then I’ll be skint. Of course, if people want to give/donate Lego to me, that’s another matter…
Anyway, back the point. My car is complete. It took a bit of doing, and a bit of redoing of what I’d already done, but the end result is pretty satisfactory. If you remember from my previous post, the front suspension was already sagging under the weight of the car, so rather than trying to reduce the weight I opted to increase the strength of the suspension to compensate. That meant doubling up the springs, using the ones I’d been using for the rear axle and transplanting them into the front subframe. Of course, that was easier said than done, and I had to make a few modifications to make room for two springs. But I got there in the end, and the result is a front suspension setup that is twice as strong as it was – still with plenty of movement, but it feels like it’s actually capable of supporting the car now!
It’s not without its downfalls, however. With the increased weight there is more pressure on the parts, and a couple of times now the custom suspension arms I made have fallen apart under the strain. If that persists I may have to further strengthen those too. But for just driving around it seems to be fine.
I also found it useful to make myself a temporary jig for working on the car. It’s so heavy now that just picking it up or laying it on its side to work on it was becoming more difficult, so I chocked up the rear wheels and propped the front of the car up with a large bit of Lego scenery, and that did the job nicely. It was like I was working on a real car. But then, that’s been the experience all along, taking inspiration from real mechanical setups to create a Lego Technic car that functions and looks like a full scale road-going vehicle. It’s been quite a learning experience, and one that will no doubt be helpful in shaping future projects.
Then of course there’s the rear bodywork, which I started and finished in one evening. It’s not brilliant, on account of not having nearly enough bricks to do it justice, but I think I’ve got the basics there to give enough shape to the car as a whole. It doesn’t have a boot, and there is little in the way of interior design, and the doors are merely hinted at. Still, it looks like a car. It’s got rear lights in the right place (even if they don’t light up). It’s even got fake exhaust pipes.
The end result is a Lego model that looks like a car. It works like a car, in that it has a V6 engine connected to the rear wheels, it has working steering that connects the front wheels to the steering wheel (and the additional steering wheel on the roof), it has independent suspension on the front and live axle suspension at the rear, it has front headlights that work, and it has a bodywork in matching colours that makes it look at least a little like an American muscle car. Sure, it’s not as complete as I’d like it to be, and the doors don’t open, and the interior steering wheel doesn’t quite line up with the driver’s seat, and the wheels don’t quite match the style of the car. But hey, I’ve not got as much Lego as some other, more obsessed people out there. I’m pleased with it.
I mentioned in passing about future projects. Since the Lego is out on the floor, I figured I’d make a space ship as well while I was at it. That’s still in progress, not a lot to show at the moment. It’s got a flight deck with a captain sitting at a range of controls, and a communication/research room behind it with another little man looking at more controls. Behind that will be the cargo bay, holding an exploration vehicle of some sort. It’ll be a research craft rather than anything with firepower, and will hopefully have an array of tools for exploring different places, working landing gear, and possibly bunk beds. Who knows. I’ll probably post details of that up here too eventually.