Category: Vehicle

RoadRailer Trailer

Published / by Bill

This cargo trailer is both a railcar and a trailer for a truck. The rail wheelsets are removable, and the road wheels are then available to be towed down the road. I built this many years ago and it’s been on numerous BayLTC train layouts, but I never put pictures online until now.

Train car Road trailer

I first learned about these interesting hybrid vehicles on the PBS television show Tracks Ahead. They are a real thing made by Wabash National. Each trailer has permanently-attached road wheels, and can have railroad wheelsets attached for use in a train. The trailers are hitched to each other, with the wheelset mounted on the rear of the trailer, and a special wheelset is attached to the front one.

See the Flickr photoset for detailed pictures from various angles, or click for a slideshow.

By the way, when I posted my Gondola car, I said that was my first train car MOC. Technically I guess the RoadRailers are, but the Gondola is more of a “train car” in the traditional sense, whereas the RoadRailers are more road trailers that can be carried as a part of a train in my mind.

Shasta Teardrop Travel Trailer

Published / by Bill / 23 Comments on Shasta Teardrop Travel Trailer

My latest vehicle MOC is a camping trailer, based on the 1960’s Shasta travel trailer. Click the image to view the set on Flickr, or check out the slideshow.

Shasta travel trailer

I built it for the campground scene that Loren built for BayLUG’s exhibit at the Museum of American History in Palo Alto. The display will be open to the public through January 11, 2009, on Fridays through Sundays. If you’re in the local area, come on and check it out one of these weekends.

I had made two RV’s before this, a Class C motorhome and a “toy hauler” fifth wheel trailer. But since I didn’t think Loren’s campground would work with just two campsites filled, I got inspired to make another. I built it to be compatible with the “Range Rover” from the new 7635 Horse Trailer set, partly because I didn’t want to also have to build a tow vehicle, and partly because I really like the look of that car.

As for the trailer design, I wanted to build something iconic, and thought about doing an Airstream but the curves were too complex. I thought of the “teardrop” trailers, since they have flat straight sides. I did some image searches online and found a few images of the Shasta trailer, and decided to build that:

Daisy Tin can tourist Shasta Bay

Isuzu NPR Delivery Truck

Published / by Bill

My latest model is one of the most common trucks in the world today, the Isuzu NPR.

Isuzu NPR Delivery Truck

This one is configured as a delivery van, with roll-up door in the rear. Notable details include the cab with sloped windshield, fuel tank, sloped driveshaft, mud flaps, and 6 wheels.

I originally had the idea for this at one of the BayLUG meetings in conversation with another member, Brooks. He and I experimented with the geometry to see if the windshield design was doable at that meeting, and after many iterations this is what I ended up with.

Land Rover

Published / by Bill

I just finished building my newest vehicle, a 7-wide Land Rover:

Land Rover

It’s a little bigger than most minifig-scale vehicles, and at 7-wide (really 8 if you include the fenders and bumper) it’s a bit big for standard LEGO roads. But I think it has all the elements that readily identify it as a Land Rover from the 1960’s-70’s era. Hope you like it. Click the picture above for more, or view them as a slideshow.

Wheeled School Bus

Published / by Bill / 4 Comments on Wheeled School Bus

Hot on the heels of my fantastical Lunar School Bus, here’s a much more mundane version.

Wheeled School Bus

This is the first time I’ve ever encountered a need to specify “wheeled” with reference to a school bus – how about you? :-)

Anyway, it wasn’t that hard. I was thinking of doing it anyway, but when Flickr user Mad physicist asked about it I decided to give it a whirl. I pulled off the antigravity bottom and rocket engines, and otherwise left it intact. The hardest part was the nose, because it contains SNOT sub-units facing in several different directions (up, forward, down, and to both sides), plus half-stud offsets here and there to keep things interesting. However I found a way to reuse as much of the original as possible.

I was also asked if I could make instructions for it. Well, I have done that too. I made a CAD version of the lunar school bus first before I started tearing anything apart (just in case!) and then later adapted it so that you could build either school bus from the same set of sub-units. I have a master MPD file containing everything needed to build both versions, and thanks to the MPD Wizard from Orion Pobursky (see the LUGNET thread where I heard about it for details), I also have separate MPD files containing just what you need to build one or the other. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to publish it – should I charge money or just give it freely? Would people be happy with the MPD file or would they want proper directions?

Anyway, click the pic for the rest of the photos, or view a slideshow. I included some interior shots from the lunar bus in the photoset because the interior is identical.

Classic Space NASCAR

Published / by Bill

Inspired by the NASCAR fad that’s been going around the Flickr LEGO community, I built this using the layout photo from mikepsiaki. However I thought I’d do one with the Classic Space esthetic….

Classic Space NASCAR

The car is identical to Mike’s design, with a couple of changes:
Driver

  • To get the Classic Space logo on the sides, I had to replace the 1×2 panels with 1×2 bricks. That meant the 1×1 brick with studs on two sides would no longer fit, so I substituted 1×1 Technic bricks with half-pins instead.
  • Mike didn’t have anything between the rear wheels and the car body above. You could see clear through the car above the rear tires, and the car was very fragile. But the space was perfect for a 2×4 brick! Perhaps Mike uses that in his real model but just didn’t show it in the instructions layout image?
  • Since this is Classic Space, I used the old style 1×1 plate with clip :)
  • There’s a red Classic Space minifig inside!

Of course, I really wanted a big Classic Space logo on the hood. I have a few of the 3×6 slopes that would have fit but it would’ve ruined the lines of the car, so I elected to stick with the original parts and just put Classic Space printed bricks wherever I could fit them. I used a dark blue windscreen; I don’t think they were ever made in yellow, so this is more like the 6890 Atomic Cruiser set than the 497 Galaxy Explorer esthetic that people tend to associate with Classic Space. But that Atomic Cruiser was probably as big of an influence on me as a kid as the Galaxy Explorer anyway.

Check out the LAML Radio interview with Mike Psiaki to learn more about the NASCAR fad, or just to find out how to pronounce his last name… :)

February 24, 2002: Lunar Tour Vehicle

Published / by Bill / 1 Comment on February 24, 2002: Lunar Tour Vehicle
February 24, 2002: Lunar Tour Vehicle

Part bus, part spacecraft, this vessell meets up with the Passenger Transport in Earth orbit and ferries them to the moon, where they can spend a week visiting the Apollo landing zones and other historical and natural wonders.

Its rockets pivot aft for flight, and downward for takeoff and landing. Inside are all the luxuries a traveler could want, plus facilities for the crew. A generous galley and head are included.

This uses the Docking System I devised for spacecraft.

Click the big picture to go to the set page on Flickr, or click on an individual photo. Or, you can view a slideshow of the photos.

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