Explorer-ing… Mighty Machines – LEGO Explorer Magazine, February 2023

While it seems that the apocalypse has been cancelled for the LEGO Explorer magazine in the sense that it hasn’t been send to the pasture for good, something is fishy in Denmark in the quite literal sense. Imagine that: The next issue is scheduled for end of March! They are seriously stretching the publication cycle as a cost saving measure. This means we’ll effectively only be getting six issues this year, if at all. It must really be selling poorly or paper has gotten super expensive… Anyway, let’s move on and see what we have here.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, February 2023, Cover

This issue is about “mighty machines”, which in the world of a child of course simply means they are big/ bigger than others. As it is, we therefore only get a rather generic and loose selection of a few specialized vehicles, ships, machines and so on. It’s way too broad to really dig into the specifics of one of them, which is always what massively diminishes the value of these editorial pages. I’m sure that even if you don’t nerd out completely, a detailed view at a tunnel drilling machine or one of those super size mining excavators would be more than enough to fill one magazine.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, February 2023, Info Page

The comic takes a spin on the agricultural theme introduced in City last year and looks oddly familiar, especially after having built the Farmer’s Market Van (60345) with its strip of field.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, February 2023, Comic

The poster depicts a bunch of super cars/ hyper cars. It’s not necessarily my favorite subject, but at least it looks reasonably tasteful and fits the “mighty” topic on some level.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, February 2023, Poster

The extra is the small blue tractor seen in the comic. It’s more of a lawnmower tractor rather than a real one for real field work, but serviceable. I intentionally mounted the main wheels the other way around, as tractors usually have hollow wheel hubs with the nuts visible, not spoked ones. The designer of the model and/ or the comic artist got this wrong.

All things considered, this is a rather hum-ho edition and I’m afraid if things don’t improve, they will never get out of their slump and won’t convince more people to buy the mag. It’s okay for what it is, but they really need to improve. The only consolation this time was that the thing came with two polybags as apparently they have tons of those from unsold previous issues. I got another skull, but yours may contain a different model. It’s not completely “free”, though. They ramped up the price by an extra euro for that.

Explorer-ing… Disasters – LEGO Explorer Magazine, January 2023

It seems my fears of the LEGO Explorer magazine meeting its demise were unwarranted and the publication continues, after all. By official count this is the January 2023 issue already, and in a way one can actually see that a few things have been changed and tweaked ever so slightly. It feels notably different.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, January 2023, Cover

This edition is about natural disasters and the rescue efforts around them, so once more the info/ editorial pages cover the subject very generically and super broadly, barely leaving any room for either of them to be fleshed out. That remains my biggest sticking point with this mag. Any of the topics on offer would be enough for its own issue.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, January 2023, Info Page

For the comic they picked a volcano eruption as the centerpiece for the action. Given what the subject would allow it’s rather tame, though, and not very spectacular.

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, January 2023, Comic

The poster deals with one of the most notorious man-made catastrophes, the sinking of the Titanic. Isn’t it convenient that LEGO has a big, super expensive set of the ship and they just needed to photograph it? In fairness, though, it is a fascinating subject. I vividly remember an illustration of the stern of the ship rearing up in the front of the iceberg at night with all the lights on from one of those “kids science/ history” books being my favorite and me re-reading the details (as they were known then long before the actual wreck was re-discovered and James Cameron made the movie).

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, January 2023, Poster

LEGO Magazine, LEGO Explorer, January 2023, ExtraThe extra is a small fire patrol vehicle and that kind of is the disappointing part. It’s a marked step down from the models we got before and just feels super lame and cheap. Worse yet, unlike it’s brethren from the LEGO City magazines it doesn’t even come with a minifigure, which makes the value proposition even worse. It’s really quite ridiculous and really unbecoming of this mag.

With all that said, this is an issue you can skip without feeling bad about it. There’s so little of note here… In fact I can’t help the impression that this is the result of them not having made up their mind soon enough and then scrambled at the last minute when the publisher decided to continue instead of shutting the mag down. It’s certainly not at the level of quality we’re used to (within reason).

Pyro Raptor Buggy – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, September 2022

The summer heatwave having dissipated and more regular temperatures now being prevalent again certainly also makes that LEGO business more enjoyable just as it facilitates writing reviews. So here we are having a look at the Jurassic World magazine, September 2022 edition.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, Cover

The all too apparent differences between the various artists doing the comics’ drawings are still a bit funny to me and in a way also odd, so this month we’re back to one of those 50/50 illustrations, where some panels are reasonably detailed and look good, but a lot of the others don’t. Thematically we at least get to see a few dino species that haven’t been represented in their LEGO-fied form for a while. It’s been a moment since the Brachiosaurus made an appearance.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, Comic

The same goes for the Mosasaurus and the mere depiction in the comic makes me wonder if LEGO ever have any plans of doing sets with those creatures. Aside from the potentially insane price I could totally go for that. The aquatic side of prehistoric life has never been explored in this form, anyway, and doing so could actually inject some new life into the series as a whole, even in the movies themselves. Since Dominion was such a failure, though, I’m not sure if this will ever happen. We might have to settle for more half-baked content like this.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, Comic

The posters both feature a T-Rex, but are equally boring, regardless which side you display. At least there’s not too much visible poor photo editing.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, Poster

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, September 2022, ExtraAs hinted at last time the extra is the towing vehicle to the trailer that came with the previous issue. Stupid little me just forgot about the whole thing and then I disassembled the cart prematurely and buried the pieces in my boxes. Therefore I can’t show you the whole combination. Sorry about that! As predicted, the buggy/ quad is standard fare like we’ve seen it a ton of times, but the designer deserves at least some praise for custom-building the steering from multiple elements instead of relying on the existing molded element. Owen has one of those prodding sticks seen in the movies, but overall he remains not just a boring character in the films, but easily also one of the dullest and most repetitive minifigures.

If it wasn’t for the buggy connecting to the last issue and presenting it here, I’d probably have skipped this one. It just doesn’t offer much that would be interesting.

Pyro Raptor Capture – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, July 2022

Creative cover design is certainly nothing to scoff at, but can’t they keep it at least a bit real? Those Dark Red hot dog pieces are gonna cost you an arm and a leg if you were to recreate that cover shot, given how rare they are. Anyway, on to the actual July edition of the LEGO Jurassic World magazine.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Cover

The comic is one of those 50/ 50 ones where you can’t quite put the finger on what bothers you. Well, in a way you can, but it’s rather subjective. I think my biggest issue here is that the comics make it appear as if those dinosaur parks somehow are mostly heavy plain concrete buildings and jungle, but overall have very little else and are not particularly structured. So here we once more get lots of greys and dull browns with occasional greens popping through. It would probably help a lot if some of the walls would be colored or had some signage and posters.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Comic

With regards to the actual story – it’s of course another chase. The positive here is that we actually get to see a few buildings like the visitor center pyramid and an aviary, not just fences and walls. Apart from that there’s not really much that would differentiate it from other such plot lines of which we had tons before. A school class quietly visiting the dino petting zoo would really be a welcome change of pace…

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Comic

The poster is a play on one of the scenes in the latest Jurassic World – Dominion movie where the silhouette of a T-Rex can be seen on an open air cinema screen. A bit too much of an insider gag if you haven’t seen the film or aren’t following film blogs and YouTube channels like I as a film buff do, so the joke will be lost on most people. On its own merits it’s fine and still impresses. However, one has to question the color choices. The black isn’t really black and instead a dark brown and the reds and yellows look dull. This ruins the contrast IMO. It looks like those thinly printed logos on one of those brown recycled paper shopping bags, but this should definitely look a lot more vibrant and contrast-y.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, July 2022, Poster

For the extra, Blue Ocean are pulling a “Reverse November”, that is November 2020. Back then they brought out another small trailer after having brought out a buggy to tow it in the issue before. We will now get such a vehicle in the August edition. The cage cart itself is reasonably detailed and benefits from having the two leaves and the hot dog as decorations. It makes things so much more lively. The cage elements unfortunately cannot be opened in a way so they touch the ground, so using them as a ladder for the dino to get on and off. You know, it would have been nice had they been offset and mounted on a hinge to reach over the wheels. A minor complaint, though. Overall it’s lovely, not least of all because they included a new version of the baby raptor. That’s a Pyroraptor for you with a purple stripe down its back. If you haven’t bought any of the sets from this year’s wave of new sets this is an easy way of adding the little bugger to your collection without spending too much.

Once more this issue is saved by the inclusion of the extra and how nicely it is designed. The rest is slightly forgettable and lacks this extra touch of finesse I would like to see. I’d even be willing to bet that some kids are a bit tired of the repetitive stories and the Jurassic World universe having become to dark and gritty for its own good. Can’t we simply be enawed by nice dinosaurs like back then when the first Jurassic Park movie came out?

Sinjin who? – LEGO Jurassic World Magazine, November 2021

The logic of the naming conventions of LEGO characters have always eluded me and while I’m willing to accept that not everyone is called Paul or Otto, Sinjin to me as a German is just a bit weird. Let’s see what the fuss is all about in the latest LEGO Jurassic World magazine.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2021, Cover

Compared to what the theme potentially could allow, the comics in this series feel rather bland lately and this is no exception. It lacks all the dynamism I occasionally so admire in some of the panels in the Star Wars and City comics. Here’s not a single one that would come even close to that. The colors are drab, the chosen perspectives just boring like someone who never watched a good movie got to decide on them. In that lieght the ever same chase stories become even more dull.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2021, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2021, Comic

The poster follows the same style as the last few, but I find it a bit unfortunate that they went with a green pattern. Somehow this begs for a deep, slightly darker red. this would have improved the contrast with the dark grey T-Rex and somehow I always associate it with this dinosaur species, anyway. Maybe the old Jurassic Park movies have done too good a job of ingraining it in my brain.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2021, Poster

On to the oddly-named character and the extra we have yet another buggy/ quad like we’ve seen so many in the City mags in the last few months. Yawn-inducingly uninspired and repetitive. The character, apparently a bad guy from the Isla Nublar sub-series of the animated series is okay and funny enough wouldn’t look too bad next to the adventurer from the City magazine I reviewed just a few days ago.

LEGO Magazine, Jurassic World, November 2021, Extra

Overall this is kind of a *meh* issue to me and somehow it really feels like they really didn’t make much of an effort, which sadly also in general seems the problem with LEGO Jurassic World. You know, aside from new variants of some dinosaurs barely anything really innovative. One can’t help the impression that they are frozen in place because they don’t dare exploring other venues while waiting for the next movie to come out…

Soda Stunt Chase – LEGO City Magazine, September 2021

It’s a bit of an odd month where time appears a bit misaligned since many magazines come out a week early. Perhaps Blue Ocean‘s internal holiday schedule necessitates this, but it’s really strange because it almost feels like we get two issues in the same month. This even shows in an advert in the latest LEGO City magazine promoting the Jurassic World issue as “already available”, though it only comes out next week. A clear indication that originally they had other plans. Anyway, since the mag is here already, let’s have a look.

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Cover

The comic is yet again a chase scenario, this time wrapped into a movie-related story with a crook hiding on set and fake mustaches playing a major role. As usual that’s not reinventing the wheel, but serviceable for what it is supposed to be. I had a bit of a personal revelation moment as the Camper Van (31108) trailer makes an appearance and has been conveniently scaled to fit minifigure scale, when in fact it’s quite a bit larger as I was mentioning in my review.

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Comic

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Comic

There are a few scatter shot puzzles and info pages just as well, of course, but I did not find anything standing out that would be worth mentioning for originality or providing a challenge. the posters on the other hand are very tolerable this time with not too much extraneous garbage clogging up the picture. The main poster would be even better had they chosen a color other than white for the color splotches and tread, so it wouldn’t blend with the minifigure as much and offer a bit more contrast instead of “whitening out”.

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Poster

The buggy is more or less just another run-of-the-mill design similar to what we already had two months ago. The designers really have gotten lazy and just don’t seem to give damn. If at least they had given us the Dark Azure wheel hubs from the Stunt Team (60255) set… Incidentally, the driver minifigure appears to be straight from this set, just with a different head and helmet. Okay, but nothing special, either, considering that lately LEGO have revived their fake Vita Rush soda brand and the printed torsos are a dime a dozen. I’m wondering why they didn’t even include a mustache element, given how present it is in the comic.

LEGO Magazine, City, September 2021, Extra

All things considered this is a bit of a weak issue and doesn’t really offer that much. It’s certainly okay, but I really wish they would have exploited the potential better. In fact I almost think giving us the mustachioed character from the comic might have been more fun. Or maybe even a two-pack of characters with the very stereotypically french looking gangster as well…

Fiery October – LEGO City Magazine, October 2020

The CoViD-19 pandemic is unfortunately reigniting everywhere and the world certainly needs some committed medical firefighters to combat that. Therefore it’s kind of fitting (along with the fact that there’s actual massive bush fires in some countries currently) that the current LEGO City magazine brings us one of those helpful dudes.

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2020, Cover

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2020, Extras The minifigure is the same you will find in the Forest Fire (60247) set, which incidentally I had bought earlier this year just for the unique owl it contains. The red slopes also came in handy for my lightsaber sharpening facility MOC, of course. Sometimes things work out in mysterious ways indeed. The little buggy is virtually just another variation on the same build found in the Jurassic World magazine where I already mentioned this. They only use different wheels and a few details deviate, but overall it’s nearly identical. Naturally there’s only so many ways to skin a cat when you have such a limited number of pieces. To my eyes the color scheme looks the wrong way round. I would have preferred red mudguards and only Bright Light Yellow accents.

LEGO Magazine, City, October 2020, Poster

The comic is pretty nice this time and overall there’s tons of puzzles and activities, which is always a good thing to keep your kids occupied. They sneaked in some animal rescue stuff as well, which makes it regrettable that none of the depicted pumas and panthers is actually in the foil pack. I know, those animals are expensive, but it would be ace to one day get them this way. One of the posters, the “No time for panic” shown above, is also pretty good.

Rigid Green and Black – 42077 B-Model MOC

When I wrote my review of the Technic Rally Car set (42077) I already mentioned that I almost like the B-model, the sand/ dune buggy, better than the main model and was thinking about how to fix some of its issues, so now here we are and I can present you with my solutions.

First let’s have look at some cosmetic changes, though. As I also mentioned in my article, I wasn’t particularly fond of the overall coloring. I have nothing against Red just as I have nothing against Dark Azur, but the disproportionately excessive use of both colors on the model is still a bit of an eyesore. That’s why I decided I would change it eventually early on. Of course the limiting factor is the availability of the parts in respective colors. An easy fix would have been to throw in some Orange parts, which go nicely together with the Dark Azur. I, however, was aiming for something a bit more exclusive and at some point settled on an overall Black model with some Bright Green trim elements.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, MOC, Overview

As it turned out this was an almost genius stroke of luck, mainly because indeed the extra Black and Bright Green parts were easy to procure and so cheap, I’m almost ashamed to admit it. Apparently there are still a lot of the green parts floating about from the 24h Racer (42039), yet there seems to be little demand for them, so in turn prices are low. The black parts are not quite that cheap, but still very affordable. Either way, I’m not complaining as I’m always on a tight budget. Of course you can try out other combinations and the recent release of the Bugatti Chiron (42083) would possibly even allow you to build a real “classy” buggy in Dark Blue with contrasting wings and “leather” seats in Dark Tan from its parts.

The yellow wheel hubs can be sourced from the infamous 6×6 All Terrain Tow Truck (42070) or the old Volvo LF 350 (42030) and I also had just enough yellow angled liftarms in my stash to match the seats. Primarily I opted for Yellow because the shock absorbers already are in that color and are very visible on the car. On the other hand – when you add more color you have to get rid of it elsewhere or else your model looks like a flamboyant parrot. Therefore I threw out as many Red parts as possible. A few are still in there due to the fact that I didn’t rebuild the set from scratch, but rather replaced the components step by step on the original build and didn’t want to disassemble it further.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, MOC, Side View

Replacing the “tubing” from the cage/ stabilizing frame is perhaps the biggest hiccup you will encounter during the build. Ever since LEGO decided to color code axles (Red and Black for even-numbered lengths, Yellow and Light Bluish Grey for odd ones) you are limited to those four colors and have to make do. In the upper section I could of course have gone with Black, but that would have eliminated every bit of contrast. So I opted for Light Bluish Grey instead. This has the unfortunate side-effect of the frame with the flashlights on it to be one unit shorter. thankfully, however, the lower section of the framework it is connected to is a bit of a cheat and only held together by flexible joints, so it can adapt and will only slightly change in angle.

An unresolved mystery is replacing the 16L Steering Link axles. Since they have ever only been included in a handful of sets in Light Bluish Grey they are rare as gold and prohibitively expensive even in used condition. Plugging together some suitable alternatives from shorter axles and connectors therefore is a lot less painful and when done in a thoughtful way it doesn’t looks that bad. The same goes for the windscreen frame.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, MOC, Front

Getting to the juicier bits, naturally it’s not all about looks One of the things that really teed me off on the original LEGO model was the sloppy construction of the front hood as laid out near the end of my original article. Treading the fine line between wanting to improve the model, but also not wanting to spend an eternity redesigning the entire chassis I went with a simple solution that is so obvious, it makes you wonder why the LEGO designers didn’t use it. Perhaps it eluded them, perhaps they were under the gun and not allowed to use more parts, perhaps something else. Either way, looking at it, it is an almost ridiculously easy fix. The only caveat is that undeniably it changes the appearance drastically and the whole section now looks a bit like the Caterham Seven‘s (21307) front.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, MOC, Aft Section Closed

The original aft section of the model uses the Technic mudguard/ wheel well panel as a shortcut for simplified construction, but due to my color choice and this part not existing in Black currently I needed to completely change this area. The benefits should be pretty clear. By eliminating this element completely from the equation, it frees you up creatively. You are no longer bound and limited to colors that have it, which is great. Additionally, the newly constructed hood closes seamlessly, making this much more believable as an engine compartment.

Personally I also think that a plain flat area is much more credible for a vehicle that drives around on beaches and similar locations. You could strap an inflatable boat, a rolled up tent, a bunch of sleeping bags, your surf board, fishing equipment or any number of other things to the flat platform.LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, MOC, Aft Section Open

Most importantly, though, all of these changes make the whole affair a lot more rigid, both at the front and rear ends of the car. I’m not going to say that it’s stiff as a brick, but compared to the wobbly mess that the original construction is, I’d consider it a major improvement. Point in case: It may not be relevant for a display model, but if you ever plan on adding a motor and RC the greater stiffness will pay massive dividends.

Since all of this is hard to explain and also not easy to recognize by some simple photos, especially when everything is black, I have gone through the trouble of creating custom instructions. There are a few things you need to keep in mind, however:

  • I did not re-create the entire instructions and only the parts that actually require modifications are shown.
  • The build steps are more of a suggestion than a fixed order. They show you how things are supposed to work, but implementing the changes may require some fiddling.
  • Similar to the previous point, adding the modifications may require to disassemble the existing model, at least in part.
  • Color choices are based on my customized model. Feel free to use whatever you have at hand, especially in the internal areas that may not be visible from the outside.
  • Some extra parts (liftarms, panels, axles) not included in the original kit are required.

The instructions in PDF format can be downloaded by clicking on the image or the link below it:

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, MOC, Instructions Cover

LEGO Technic Rally Car (42077), B-Model (Buggy), Custom Enhancements

If you have specific questions feel free to ask them here and on the forums where I’m active and will spread the news. Enjoy your build!

Double the Fun? – 42077 – Rally Car

Before next week’s big showy announcement for the Bugatti Chiron (42083) will flood all LEGO-related media channels (yes, I’ve already seen leaked images and have formed an opinion based on them, but more when the time is right) it’s time to what seems like half a look back at the Rally Car (42077) that came out at the beginning of this year.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), Box

Before getting to the actual juicy bits, I need to explain a few things. First off, I’m by no means a car enthusiast. The only reason I even started out my LEGO career with Technic was an accidental gift from my mom to my brother which he didn’t like and gave to me that got me hooked. Likewise, I’m usually more interested in exploring the engineering and construction principles plus decking out the functions.

That being the case, I got it in my head to buy the 6×6 All Terrain Tow Truck (42070). Of course that turned out to be a total disappointment, even if I only paid slightly less than 160 Euros for it. At the time seemed like a steal, but as of the writing of this article is its normal price. Talk about the market regulating itself!

Slightly miffed I was considering my options and then info about the Rally Car came out, which of course also hat a large array of the then new Dark Azure parts and several ones that didn’t exist before. This presented an opportunity to perhaps maybe build other stuff in the future in a consistent color scheme, so I waited a bit for prices to drop and got the set.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), A-Model, Top View

One thing you need to be aware of right from the start is that this isn’t a very elaborate or fancy model. This is by no means as detailed as the Porsche (42056) and it pretty much comes down to whether you can lieve with the somewhat skeletal appearance and limited functions or you might just want to get it to cannibalize the parts for future custom builds. For the most parts it’s really just a lot of panels popped on to a simplistic chassis that looks largely empty.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), A-Model, Top View

As far as those parts go, the thing to note aside from the many no. 13/14 and no. 17/18 large panels in White and Dark Azure are some 5×7 liftarm frames in Black (previously only available in Light Bluish Grey) and the many red parts which surprisingly include 16L link axles with fixed pin holes, an element that is used very rarely.

Interestingly enough LEGO also feel generous and throw in a full set of shock absorbers that were so sorely missing from the Tow Truck. It’s really hard to comprehend how they arrive at such decisions and it’s a very bitter irony that a model that would mostly sit flat on the surface has them, while another off-road vehicle with much greater freedom of suspension needs to do without.

The rest of the parts is pretty much standard fare, but can in particular help to bolster your supply of white components, as you really get a lot of them in addition to the usual greys and blacks. Naturally you get a lot of red items and some other colors, too, and that’s a bit a point of contention for me.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), A-Model, Aft View

Despite the fact that even my designer tastebuds can’t argue with the overall color scheme, the red makes it look extremely aggressive and annoying after a while. The problem here is that one of course is supposed to apply a ton of stickers (the sheet is almost two-thirds A4 size) that would visually break up the uniformly colored surfaces and make them blend, but if you don’t use them (like I do) the concept doesn’t quite work.

Additionally, the interior also prominently features red parts like those 16L link axles for stiffening up the cage, which poses yet another stark contrast to the white and azure parts. It would have been easy enough for LEGO to just make those parts dark grey or black. What tops this off is the choice of regular blue for the seats, which really makes you go “WTF?”. This is just crazy! Throw into that their obsession with yellow axles (Why oh why, LEGO?) and it isn’t too difficult  to imagine that quite simply it could have looked better.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), A-Model, Aft View

As hinted earlier, this model doesn’t have many “guts”, but what little is there, looks actually pretty okay, the odd color choices notwithstanding. It’s equally light on actual functions which only extend to steering and opening various hoods and flaps. The aft section takes the crown on that one with the little flaps being connected to the large main one. This is reminiscent of some luxury sports cars that use a similar approach due to lack of space to provide access to their engine compartments.

On the other hand, the two fan imitations at the front are just a sad excuse. They aren’t even connected to the engine and wheels to at least rotate automatically and as they are the designers could have just left them out and covered up the floor with a large panel.LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), A-Model, Bottom View

The shot from below nicely illustrates this see-through effect across the whole model even further That said, it also is a reminder that there’s plenty of room e.g. for adding your own motor and RC functions. I haven’t tried yet myself, but it looks easy enough to fit a battery box and an L motor in there…

On to more positive things, let’s have a look at the B-model. Aside from the things I mentioned in the introduction, this is also what won me over to actually buy the set. it looks very straightforward and simple, yet very credible as a rendition of a sand buggy/ dune buggy. In fact I almost regret that this isn’t the primary model as with a bit more work to add details it could have sold just as well.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, Top View

This point is reinforced by the fact that the buggy doesn’t use a single of the large no. 13/14 panels in Dark Azure, which if you are a bit cynical like me almost makes it feel that the only reason the rally car exist is to throw those in and thus pad out the price. The same could of course be said for the leftover white parts as well. I guess my point here is that the buggy itself could have been a wonderful product in the 50 Euros range and LEGO didn’t recognize and realize this opportunity.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, Front View

To me this model looks really like fun and they only would have had to sell it in a different color. Even something weird like Light Lime Green or Light Sky Blue would probably have looked fantastic.They also would have had to fix some issues. The window frame constructed from whatever pieces were left over is simply an embarrassment and pretty unbecoming of the rest of the model.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, Aft View

Otherwise the B-model has a lot in common with the A-model as should be evident in the images. Once your strip down the car body parts, changing the chassis is straightforward and pretty quickly done since things like the suspensions and seats don’t change while other parts can be handled as “chunks” where you only need to plug together panels or liftarms without needing to integrate them specifically.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, Bottom View

The only seriously weak spot (again aside from color choices) is the way the front section has been affixed to the rest of the model. Yes, as shown in the faded image, it’s really just a 4×2 L-shaped liftarm on either side that holds the curved panel onto which in turn the other panels are attached. as a result, the curved panel can be moved and changes its angle. Arguably of course such buggys would be extremely lightweight and possibly have fiberglass bodys that would equally only be loosely hinged and held with a handful of screws, but I feel that this is something that needs to be rectified.

LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, Body Suspension Detail LEGO Technic, Rally Car (42077), B-Model, Body Suspension Detail

Overall, though, this was one of the more enjoyable technic builds in recent memory. If you take it for what it is and don’t expect something miraculous, this can be fun and you can get a result pretty quickly, even more so if you build the buggy. This isn’t something you are going to collect, so it’s a case of “use it or lose it” – you must have an idea what you do with the car (or its parts for that matter) or else you’ll be frustrated about its shortcomings.