Airplane Meets Cement Mixer

Due to the upcoming premiere of The Lego Movie, I have attained a fascination with the associated sets. The ones I am particularly interested in are the ones that rebuild into other things: the Ice Cream Machine (70804), the Trash Chomper (70805), and the Castle Cavalry (70806). These are perfectly regular sets, being an ice cream truck, garbage truck, and castle-- that is, until they are rebuilt into some rather extravagant flying machines.
The Trash Chomper (70805)
The Ice Cream Machine (70804)
The Castle Cavalry (70806)
I was interested by the idea of rebuilding ordinary things into ridiculous aerial vehicles, so I reached for the one vehicle I could not possibly picture flying: my Cement Mixer (60018). By this point, I knew it was pretty much going to turn out awesome or completely stupid. However, being myself, I strive for the former.
The fateful Cement Mixer

After about an hour of fiddling with the limited array of pieces, I eventually came up with something I liked. I managed to build something that might pass as flight-worthy, while preserving the ability of the drum to rotate. I turned the wheels sideways to make jet engines, a concept I was first introduced to by the MX-41 Switch Fighter (7647) back in 2008. I couldn't resist adding a rotating turret, too. I myself was impressed by the end result. It was difficult due to the somewhat narrow palette of parts to choose from, but despite that setback, it turned out just fine in the end.

An Isometric View

Example of the turret rotating

Overhead view
All in all, I count this one as a success. It looks pretty good, and it was lots of fun to build. Sadly, due to my limited City collection (I mostly work in Space and Castle), I don't have any other vehicles to try this with. I do, however, have lots of resources to do something like the Castle Cavalry. In fact, I'd love to see what I could do with the monstrous Trolls' Mountain Fortress...
Anyway, this one was really fun, and I recommend trying something like it to see what happens. In the meantime, watch out for the new sets (and the movie, of course), and Happy Building!

Panning For Lego Gold on Ebay

During the three years in which I have been watching the internet for classic Lego sets, I have amassed a rather impressive haul for the amount of effort put in. I have managed to acquire over a dozen classic sets from seven themes, including Blacktron II, Aquazone, UFO, Arctic, Fright Knights, Rock Raiders and Ice Planet 2002. Altogether, I have only suffered two disappointments and had a few pleasant surprises.

The entirety of my Ebay collection

I now own over half of Blacktron II, including the Aerial Intruder (6981), Super Nova II (6832),
Galactic Scout (1694), Two-Pilot Craft (1479), Allied Avenger (6887), Alpha Centauri Outpost (6988),
and Space Landing Pads (6710). The Alpha Centauri Outpost was missing 36 pieces when I got it, but I
have cut that number down to 20 through yard sale visits and scrounging in my own collection. I plan to
round out the rest through Bricklink.

I picked up the Alien Avenger (6975) and Interstellar Starfighter (6979)
during the summer of 2013. Both are often pricey, the Avenger because of
its high ratings and the Starfighter because of its coveted Micromotor.
Though I have seen both go for over a hundred dollars, I paid less than that for
the two of them together. If you wait patiently, the good deals will come.  The
Starfighter even came with the original packaging, which is much sturdier than
what is used today.

The Crystal Explorer (6175) from Aquazone was missing nine pieces,
which I plan to round up on Bricklink with the Alpha Centauri Outpost pieces.

The Witch's Windship (6037) was my biggest surprise; It was listed as "complete",
but when it arrived I found it was still factory sealed, after more than fifteen years!

All in all, I have found many of the sets I once thought I would never own, with few casualties. Still high on my list are the Arachnoid Starbase from Insectoids, the Ice Sat V from Ice Planet 2002, the Neptune Discovery Lab from Aquazone, the Night Lord's Castle from Fright Knights, and most importantly the Mega Core Magnetizer from M:Tron. In the meantime, I wait patiently and enjoy the ones I do have.

Be sure to watch out for my upcoming post on tips for buying Lego on Ebay. Happy Building!