When is a car not a car? When its a Dragon parts pack. [McLaren P1 75909]

Flame Yellowish Orange(Lego Group) also known as Bright Light Orange (Bricklink) is the color of the month here at the Rambling Brick.  Recently, I looked at the Ultimate Axl is all his flame yellowish orange, gold printed glory.  This follows on from looking at the Elves Fire Dragon set back in May. Today, distracted by it’s brightly coloured box, full of glorious curves, I picked up another of the Speed Champions: the McLaren P1.  One of the 2015 Speed Champions sets, I was able to find it still on sale at my local Myer during a recent 20% off sale.

When I looked at the Ford GT, I was particularly annoyed by the number of stickers required in order to make the model look complete.  I have made a conscious decision not to use the stickers on the McLaren, because I have not bought it to use as a car.  This set appealed to me because it contains such a variety of flame yellowish orange pieces (OK this description is getting awkward.  Lets change over to FYO/BLO) , including cheese slopes, regular slopes, plates tiles and bows.  All that seems to be missing to me are a couple of Mixel eyes, and ball joint to allow the construction of a brick built head for my fire dragon.

I love the Elves Dragons.  They are all colourful, and have their own personalities, associated with their personal (dragonal?) elements. However, all of their heads are cast from the same mould. Approximately 5.5 studs wide, 6 studs long and 3 blocks and a plate high, there is no doubt that these 2 parts  – jaw and face – link to gather to form a dragon head. Otherwise, there are 2 studs in the top of the head, to attach crystals to, and attachments for 2 horns (2.8mm rod connectors).  So: Limited customisation.

So… the FYO/BLO parts pack… err racing car… caught my eye, and filled me with a desire to brick build a head for the fire dragon.  That’s the plan any way.  Will I succeed, or will I be distracted by a really nifty car build?  Let’s find out…

So… I got a bit distracted

The McLaren P1, like the Ford GT which I looked at recently, is six-seven studs wide (including wheel arches). It is the same height and around the same length  – 18 studs long.

IMG_5172There is one Minifigure: he is dressed in a white fireproof suit, with McLaren written on the back, and fine colored stripes and a zip down the front. He does not quite look  as happy as the driver of the Ford.

The Driver carries a spanner, and has 3 witches hats and a red and white ramp thingy… which looks like it belongs on a race track, but I am unsure as to its role.  Apparently it is 6 studs worth of curb, according to the description at shop.lego.com.

car.png

The car is a simple enough build, with nifty use of  curved plates at the front and back.  There are curved bows at the front, and the rear bumper assembly, making up the sole SNOT components of the build. Of note, the windscreen assembly is actually printed, with thin orange lines making up the pillars on wither side of the windscreen.
Once built, the car has a solid feel to it: it’s both swooshable AND zoomable.  In a cross living room derby, it held its own against the Ford GT quite well.  As is an ongoing issue with all Speed Champions vehicles, stickers are very much a thing.  In fact here they are 18 of the things! IMG_5162 On this occasion, the stickers are a blessing.  They can stay on the sheet, because I have no intention of keeping the car built up for any period of time.  I begin pulling it apart…now.

As far as a car is concerned: I quite like it, but it was not as interesting to put to gather as the Ford GT.  I’ll give it 3.2 Arbitrary Praise units.  I am particularly fond of the sheer volume of FYO/BLO

Pulling the car apart:

There are 167 parts in this set, of which over 50 are FYO/BLO. By the time we remove the wheels, the minifig, the spanner, witches hat and kerb, we have few than 100 pieces left, and many of these are small.  Of note are the limited number of SNOT pieces left in the pile.  There are 4 x 1×2/2×2 brackets in light blueish grey; one 1×2/1×2 white bracket; and a red 2×1 brick, with studs on the side. It is likely that I will need a few 1×1 bricks, with a stud on the side, and maybe a brick or two with studs on both sides.

IMG_5151
Look at all that Flame Yellowish Orange/Bright Light Orange (FYO/BLO) Goodness

 

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Lets see what we can put together with this lot…

Re-Enter the Dragon

The main problem I have with using the brackets present in this set is that they have a profile that extends beyond the column of studs that they are part of.  Normally not such a problem, BUT the offending profile is profile is half a plate thick.  This is used to good effect in Red Creatures 31032, where the head is formed by several 2×1/4×1 brackets in red.  This does give the effect of making the head in that set relatively square.

Now there is a limited number of FYO/BLO pieces designed for SNOT work: There is the 1×1 modified brick with a stud on one side (LEGO design ID 87087); and there is a 1×2/2×2 bracket (LEGO Design ID 21712).  These pieces have a limited availability in FYO/BLO.  The brick with the stud on the side appears in the Ideas Wall-E set (310303) and the overly stickered Geoffrey and Friends 40228. The bracket is probably currently a little more accessible, featuring in the 2016 Creator Set: Super Soarer 31042.

I’ll see how I go with some of my existing bricks with studs on the side. If it looks like a deal maker, I’ll consider getting some of the brackets down the track.

I tend to build in an organic fashion.  I see a couple of pieces and think ‘This looks like it will work nicely here’ with little consideration for how I will pull it of.  The curves present in the McLaren gave me this feeling with regard to the fire dragon.With 3 stud lung and 2 stud long curves, I felt 2 of the longer curves should make up the shape of the top elevation of the nose, possibly leading in to a 2×2 scurved slope. I woul
d attach the curves on the sides, attempting to use the 3×3 quarter circle plate to bring them together. I intended to use a couple of magenta baby bows(11477) to break up the color, and substitute for the original’s horns.

 

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1st Draft

 

My first draft made its debut on Instagram a few weeks ago: but there was no scope for eyes, and the attachment to the body didn’t really work.it was also quite high, and had no magenta highlights, and was a little stumpier than initially planned.

 

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2nd Draft

 

 

Version 2 was a little better: at least it attached, in a somewhat flimsy fashion, had a mouth: but not one that articulated.  It also featured the head jewel that appears in the prefab dragon head.

 

With version 3, I changed the structure of the nose- putting a 4 stud long curved block, instead of the two.  I used some reverse bows to produce a brow, and attached the two 4x3x2/3 with double bow to the back of the model to produce ears/horns.  I also attached a ja

Untitled 6.png
Draft 3: Part dragon, part hippogriff

w using the plate with bar and clips.  White studs attached to a 1×2 modified brick with 2×1 studs on 2 sides acted as upper teeth.  The quarter circle plate was used to mount the cheek curves and eyes. The nose doesn’t quite look right to me here: perhaps 2 cheese slopes with the apex in the centre will work better in the next iteration. Also the head is not firmly attached: only really binding to the 2×1 brick with studs on both sides. This almost works for me, but it it looks more like a FYO/BLO horse’s head. Very happy, and amicable, and not in the least bit likely to burn your head off…

Version four sees another rebuild: Here we gain

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Draft 4: Almost there

brows over the eyes as well, and lose the ‘ears pricked up effect.  Two double bow pieces serve to act both as eyebrows and swept back horns.  The nose is a little pointy.  There is a half plate thick gap between the arches, which are a little flimsy in their connection, and the cheek assembly.  However, the entire nose/brow/horn assembly is only attached at the 2 studs towards the front of the nose, and is quite flimsy.

 

The fifth draft sees the brow essentially unchanged, but it is now attached to two 1×2/2×2 brackets.  To ensure a proper fit here (5 plates from bottom to top, to allow attaching another), the jaw is moved forward one plate.  The brick with studs on both sides is replaced with a red brick with studs on one side – as featured in the McLaren set that we started with.  Raising the brow assembly an extra half plate results room for a plate to secure the two double bows.

Version 5
5th Draft: now to find a Super Soarer to complete the FYO/BLO effect…

So- there are some colour gaps here: under the brow/horns: just using red plates because its what I have left, and the grey bracket visible at the nose.  This piece is available in just one set in FYO/BLO: the Creator set 31042: Super Soarer.  This is an inexpensive set, and quite common in the shops right now – so I will may have to pick it up soon and present the final draft… and perhaps review it along the way…

So: what did I add to the McLaren in order to build the head? Four Bricks with studs on the side, two 2x2x2/3 bows, two 1x2x2/3 magenta bows, and one 2×1 plate with small towel.  Too complete the color fills, I will add 2 FYO/BLO 1×2/2×2 brackets and two more 1×2 plates all of which can be obtained found in the Super Soarer.

I hope you have found this as interesting a project as I did: sometimes our works in progress prompt new ideas.  Indeed, my initial idea here: “That car with lots of [FYO/BLO] curves could work well as a dragon’s brick build head…” perhaps was not as simple as it initially appeared.

Have you worked on a project like this, expecting a handful of parts to fix your problem and then be a little disappointed to find out how hard it was? Do you design your models digitally or by hand first, or sit down and just play with the pieces, until the muse hits you?Do you order specific pieces, or grab what you believe will be a reasonable selection and play on?

What about the Elves Dragon sets…Have you brick built a dragon head to suit your dragon? Why not share your story and pictures on our Facebook page.

Play Well

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2 thoughts on “When is a car not a car? When its a Dragon parts pack. [McLaren P1 75909]

  1. I have been waiting for this! I have dragons but the moulded heads and the ninjago sets don’t do it for me.
    I’m really excited to see what you have done here and the lovely personality she now has developed because of your work!

    Like

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