I’ve built an iconic New York City yellow Checker taxi cab.
Throughout building this, the Joni Mitchell song has been running through my head…
Late last night I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi carried off my old man
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
As usual, click the image above to see all the pictures, or view them as a slideshow.
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.
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.
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.
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:
My latest model is one of the most common trucks in the world today, the Isuzu NPR.
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.
Hot on the heels of my fantastical Lunar School Bus, here’s a much more mundane version.
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.
The other day I was thinking I’d build another hovercar, like my 2059 Cadillac or my remake of Justin’s red aircar. But as I was sifting through a bin of curved parts, the idea came to me to build a school bus when I saw some yellow Brick 2 x 4 x 1 & 1/3 with Curved Top (6081) parts.
I built it 7-wide (not counting the rocket engines), thanks to an idea I got from Flickr users Lego Monster and Mad physicist since it leaves room for an aisle; see their bus for the inspiration.
I also detailed the interior, with several students in varying degrees of good behavior and a driver inspired by the one from South Park. There are two thugs in the rear who are either conspiring or fighting, maybe both. There’s a boy facing backwards, harassing the girl in the seat behind him. And then in the front there are two reasonably well behaved kids whose hands are raised to report all this bad behavior to the driver. (Well really, their hands are raised because otherwise they wouldn’t fit in their seats)
The bus is a hovercar, using the same kind of smooth underside that I used on the Cadillac and red aircar with the ‘Wedge 4 x 4 x 2/3 Curved’ (45677) and/or ‘Wedge 4 x 6 x 2/3 Curved’ (52031) parts on the underside to represent antigravity units. I also added some 1950’s sci-fi style rocket engines for those longer hops between lunar settlements.
To see more, click the picture above or view the set on Flickr (or as a slideshow).
This old-fashioned fire truck was built in July, 2004 for the display that my LEGO club, Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group & Train Club put on at a museum in Pleasanton, CA. Since the 4th of July was during that exhibit, we added a parade to the layout, and what’s a parade without an old-fashioned fire truck? So I built one.
More pictures of the model can be found on Flickr and on Brickshelf.