CommanderBond.net
  1. 'With a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window.'

    Evan Willnow

    It was Major Boothroyd who gave James Bond his trademark PPK before Bond set off to face to villainous Dr. No, For builders of LEGO® James Bond models like myself, we finally have an armourer of our own to similarly equip our James Bond LEGO mini-figures.

    PPK Spy Pistol

    PPK Spy Pistol

    PPK Tactical Spy Pistol

    PPK Tactical Spy Pistol

    That armourer is Will Chapman, owner and operator of BrickArms, a small toy company specializing in original, custom designed LEGO-compatible weapons and custom minifigs.

    BrickArms’ big news this week is the addition of their take on the famous Walther PPK. Or more accurately their two takes on the PPK, as BrickArms now offer the PPK Spy Pistol and the PPK Tactical Spy Pistol which is the regular PPK with a silencer. Both are the perfect weapons for the well-armed plastic British secret agent.

    BrickArms recently sent us one of the prototypes of the PPK Tactical Spy Pistol for our opinion of it.

    And my opinion: Wow! It looks fantastic. The PPK shows Mr Chapman’s knack for putting just the right amount of detail into his weapons to make them look just as if LEGO had made them.

    The PPK is not the only weapon BrickArms offers that would fit in to a LEGO James Bond builder’s arsenal. Other weapons include: SW500 Magnum Revolver for those San Monique models, the PSG1 Sniper Rifle that’s sure to scare the living daylights out of any one, the M47 Shotgun (rock salt not included), and the M1911 .45 cal Handgun which is handy for keeping those French free-runners from escaping the embassy. Just to name a few of their 20 or so LEGO-compatible weapons.

    SW500 Magnum Revolver

    M1911 .45 cal Handgun

    PSG1 Sniper Rifle

    MP5 9mm SMG

    RPG Rocket Grenade

    M23 Pistol

    The well armed plastic spy

    To top it all, BrickArms will even sell you the Spy. BrickArms’ custom Spy figure includes: Black Minifig with custom printed dinner jacket decal with color and metallics inks, the black BrickArms PPK Tactical Spy Pistol (the one with the silencer), a brown briefcase with hidden modified BrickArms Uzi and spare magazine.

    Okay, you may ask yourself as a LEGO snob and a bit of a purist, (never shall that other block company’s merchandise ever cross my door) how can I look you in the eyes and recommend using a custom part? For me, it all comes down to the goals of my models. My goal is to make James Bond models how LEGO would make them had they the rights. If LEGO did have licencing rights for the James Bond series, I am sure Bond‘s gun would look very much like that of BrickArms.

    That is better than good enough for me.
     

    Each of of BrickArms weapons are $1US each. The Spy is priced at $20US. See BrickArms website for more details on pricing and shipping. They do ship nearly worldwide.

    Evan Willnow @ 2007-02-09
  2. LEG007 Model 003 – The Rolls Royce Phantom III

    Rolls Royce Phantom III

    Building what seemed a simple Lego model, my quest to build a Lego version of Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce turned out have some unexpected difficulties. It took countless rebuilds, a few instance of needing new colours of existing parts, and one small car chase.

    Like the Moon Buggy model, the inspiration to build the Rolls Royce Phantom III came from a single Lego model. In this case it was the Scorpion Tracker car from Lego’s Adventure series. Evan Willnow Or to be more specific, it was the grille from the Scorpion Tracker. Unlike the Moon Buggy, I didn’t immediately tear the Scorpion Tracker apart to build the Rolls. It was a year or so later after the original model’s parts had all found their way in to the various bins that house my Lego parts.

    Lego Scorpion Tracker

    The Lego Adventures Scorpion Tracker
    BrickLink Listing

    On a rainy weekend afternoon while digging through my parts I came across the grille again, that’s when I seriously started to attempt to build Auric Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce.

    And as is usual for my Lego models, the Rolls went through several stage before it was completed. Even a partial rebuild after I started working on this article.

    The Model
    Rolls Royce Phantom III

    Again like the Moon Buggy, not many parts of the Scorpion Tracker are actually in the final model. Not even the original grille survived; a dark grey version of the part was substituted. The only survivor were the axles and windscreen. The tan spoked wheels were also replaced with their dark grey counterparts and the tyres replaced with the slick tyres that Lego sets used in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

    Rolls Royce Phantom III

    Rolls Royce Phantom III

    The Rolls model itself turned out to be more complicated than its outer looks would have one believe. Although it is for the most part built with fairly standard Lego pieces, within the model the body of the car switches from 3-studs wide to 4-studs wide with the middle section using tiles turned on their sides in order to accommodate a right-side steering wheel within a area not normally wide enough for the steering wheel piece. All of the support for changing widths and directions of the bricks need to take place within the hidden parts of the car.

    Rolls Royce Phantom III

    A good place to put a tracker

    The most difficult part of the Phantom III for me to build was the boot. It wasn’t as much that it was difficult to model (though the final version did take a bit of trial and error), it was more that I had difficulty finding good pictures of the rear of the true Rolls from the movie. The day after spending a quite unproductive evening searching the Internet for a proper picture of the back end, I came upon an extraordinary stoke of good fortune, driving back to work from lunch I noticed pulling out of the car detailer in the building next to my work was one Rolls Royce Phantom III. I had never actually seen one of these before in real life and here is one just a block from me. Just as I got excited and started to get a look at an actual boot of a Phantom III, a Metro Bus turned on to the street.

    The chase was on.

    Deciding not to count the traffic violations I was about to break, I shifted my Jeep Libety down, floored the accelerator pedal, and sped down the street. I took the passing lane to get past the bus. Just as I had just pulled even with its back end, a light blue VW Golf turned on to the road in front of me, next to the bus. I was blocked from passing the bus and getting a good look at the Rolls. At that moment, the Rolls turned on to a cross street and I was in the wrong lane to follow. Again downshifting, allowing the Liberty’s whining engine to slow it, I cleared the bus and some other Oldsmolbuick that had taken station behind it just at the last possible second to make the turn the Phantom had without smashing into the cars in the oncoming lanes.

    Rolls Royce Phantom III

    Rolls Royce Phantom III

    I sped around a custom Mini Cooper that I normally would have slowed to look at and finally pulled safely behind the Rolls. And finally got a decent look at the back of the masterpiece brought to life the Rolls Royce company nearly 70 years ago. I thought about trying to get in front of the Rolls and get a good look at the rest of the car but then thought those that drive Rolls Royces most likely don’t like strange cars chasing them and then circling them.

    In hindsight, the chase didn’t bring as drastic of a change to my Lego model as was worth the effort and the laws broken since my whole goal on my Lego models is to capture the spirit of subject rather than attempting to match every detail. It did however bring me satisfaction with the boot on my next rebuild. And it did help me capture the spirit of the Phantom.

    The Instructions

    Instruction booklet

    The instructions are in PDF format and can be viewed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    Hopefully anyone attempting to build the Rolls will find the instruction booklet self-explanatory, and as always a complete parts list is on the last page. Just as a note: Because of a limitation of the program I use to generate the instructions, some of the yellow bricks may appear to some to be a slightly darker yellow. Rest assured there is only one colour of yellow used.

    Rolls Royce Phantom III

    Driver Wanted

    The instruction booklet was created with the help of Mac Brick CAD just one of the many fine, free Lego Computer Aided Design programs that use the LDraw format.

    LEGO® and TECHNIC® etc. are trademarks or registered trademarks of the LEGO Company, which does not sponsor, authorise, or endorse this site.

    Evan Willnow @ 2005-01-21
  3. LEG007 Model 002 – The Moon Buggy

    One of my first attempts at making a serious Lego James Bond model, something that was more than just a toy to play James Bond with, came in 1999Evan Willnow when I bought the Lego Lunar Rover. The moment I saw the box on the shelf for Lego’s version of a moon buggy, I knew it would serve as the bare bones of the moon buggy our favourite spy stole from Williard Whyte’s desert testing facility.

    Lego Lunar Rover

    The 1999 Lego Lunar Rover
    Find on BrickLink

    I brought home the small Lego model put it together per the directions. Let it sit intact overnight. The next morning I tore it apart and began piecing together the Moon Buggy from Diamonds Are Forever.

    After much building, rebuilding, re-rebuilding… you get the idea… I finally had my own Lego Moon Buggy 1.

    The Model
    Moon Buggy

    While I stated above that my James Bond Moon Buggy started as Lego Lunar Rover, not many pieces survived to the final model. The tyres and wheels are the most significant survivors. The chrome-gold hemisphere that I used for the dome on the cockpit made it to the second to final incarnation before being removed for a transparent green version of the same piece that I picked up from BrickLink. Unfortunately, Lego has never made a clear dome in that size; transparent green is actually the best substitute. In some odd way, the transparent green dome makes the model look more like what Lego might have done if they had ever had licencing to make James Bond products.

    Lotus Car

    Side view of the Moon Buggy

    After finally putting a dome that you could see into atop of my Moon Buggy, I then suddenly in need of a driver. Because of structural issues I did not have room for the standard Lego minifig. Going by what you could see in the movie, all I really needed was head and shoulders, but even there a standard minifig just would not fit. An original Lego minifig part came to the rescue. I dug up from my collection a torso from mid–’70s figure, back before the little Lego men had arms. Since shoulders were all I needed—and the old torso had shoulders—I simply added an appropriate head and hair and my driver was ready for action.

    Another problem making this model was creating a satisfactory red sphere for the back end. The model just didn’t look correct with out it. Early on, I use one of the big ball heads from a Homemaker figure that came out in the mid- to late-’70s. I spray painted the head red, and, while it looked good, it just wasn’t a kosher. After trying a few different solutions, I again turned to BrickLink and bought a couple of small red domes (essentially red R2D2 heads). I put them together with a small Technic axle. It now looked good and satisfied my need to use proper Lego parts.

    The Instructions

    Instruction booklet

    The instructions are in PDF format and can be viewed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    The instructions are fairly straight forward, and a complete parts list is on the last page of the instruction booklet.

    Also on the last page are two different versions of a sticker to put the large number 1 on the front of the Moon Buggy. I will leave it up to the builder to decide what method of applying the number one works best for them.

    Lotus overhead

    Moon Buggy 1 in action.

    The simplest way is to print the page with the stickers on to an adhesive-backed sheet. Then trim out the the grey sticker from the sheet and place it on the front of the slope on the front of the cockpit area. A problem with this method, printers vary so widely in printing accuracy that the grey of the sticker may not match the grey of the Lego parts.

    This is where the white background sticker may come in to play. This sticker can either be printed onto a matching grey sheet of paper or a transparent sticker.

    If you are not using sticker-backed material, be sure to use an adhesive that won’t clump or bleed through the paper. I recommend a repositionable spray mount or adhesive film.

    Those adept with an X-acto knife may choose to trim the 1 out to its edges rather than use the entire rectangle.

    Some notes: The photos show the Moon Buggy with claws from a Doc Ock minifig (part no. bb10) instead of the wrenches used in the direction. In the end, I went back to using the wrenches as they make more accurate hands. Though the beauty of Lego is that the hands are easily interchangeable. At one point I had one hand as a wrench and on as a chainsaw blade (part no. 6117). (Perhaps Bond would have had an easier time of it if his Moon Buggy had been fitted with a chainsaw.)

    Also if you’d like to get a three-wheeled ATV or two to chase your Moon Buggy, Lego model 6324 (Chopper Cop) has great cycle for the job.

    The instruction booklet was created with the help of Mac Brick CAD just one of the many fine, free Lego Computer Aided Design programs that use the LDraw format.

    LEGO® and TECHNIC® etc. are trademarks or registered trademarks of the LEGO Company, which does not sponsor, authorise, or endorse this site.

    Evan Willnow @ 2004-10-23
  4. LEG007 Model 001 – The Lotus Sub

    I was given my first LEGO® set the Christmas of 1968, a good three years before my first encounter with James Bond in the theatre. By the time I did see Diamonds Are Forever I had a quite nice LEGO collection—enough to build an alleyway, a red car, and a police car to recreate the famous stunt. Evan Willnow Through the early- to mid-Seventies each Bond film inspired a LEGO model; an elaborate boat chase scene for Live And Let Die, a flying car for The Man With The Golden Gun, a shuttle for Moonraker, and a rather unsatisfactory submarine car for The Spy Who Loved Me.

    At the age of sixteen, I did what I would consider unthinkable at any other age, I sold my very large LEGO collection. What does a teenager need with building blocks? After four years I came to my senses and set out to rebuild the once grand LEGO collection and after twenty years of LEGO gifts for all birthdays and Christmases and some frivolous spending of my own, I have returned to building James Bond LEGO models. And now much more successfully than when I was young.

    Lotus CarThis series of articles will feature my favourite LEGO Bond models, starting with what I consider a much better version of that submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me.

    The Model

    Like many of my LEGO models, the Lotus Esprit Sub started with one part—the one part that I said, ‘Hey, this can be part of a…’ In this case, the part was the slope that serves as the Lotus’ bonnet. That piece determined the scale and from that I began to build.

    LEGO Lotus Esprit Model

    LEGO Lotus Esprit Model

    Originally, I wanted to figure out how to make the Lotus’ wheels to retract and side fins to come out. I had pulled off a similar problem on a LEGO version of the Batmobile from Batman Returns, but because I was working on a smaller scale and had the need to replace the wheels with fins, I ended up building two replacable chassis—one with wheels, one with fins—with a simple sliding lock mechanism built into the car’s body to hold them in place.

    Lotus Car

    Lotus Car

    With the bonnet’s angle determined by the large slope, getting the proper look and angle for the windscreen proved difficult; no slopes or stair-stepped bricks gave me the clean angle that was needed to get that distinctive ‘Lotus Esprit’ look. In the end, I used a common LEGO piece in an unorthodox way. I took a standard 4×6 black plate and simply wedged it between two pieces to achieve the proper angle.

    Lotus overhead

    Lotus overhead

    Long after I had a complete model, I sat down to start working on this article. But something still bothered me about my LEGO Lotus—the pipes. Those little pipes that popped out of from beneath the rear licence plate and squirted black ooze on the bad guys windscreen. I didn’t like my solution for them. I had a small Technic brick that on one side had the plate and on the other side had the pipes. In order to make the pipes visible you had to remove the chassis, take of the Technic brick, turn it around, and then put the whole thing back together.

    With that frustration, I tore my model apart and began attempting to build a better mechanism that fit in the very limited space available. Ten attempts later, I had pipes that popped out with the help of a LEGO rubber band when the licence plate was folded down. Exactly, what I wanted.

    The Instructions

    Instruction booklet

    A note on the instruction book: It is not entirely obvious that car chassis does not fit into the car straight. It fits in at a very slight angle in a way that raises the back end of the car a small amount. This gives the the car a slicker looking profile.

    A complete parts list can be found on the last page of the instruction booklet. Those wishing build the model, but are missing a few (or all) of the pieces should check out Brick Link, a fantastic website that lists nearly a thousand online stores around the world who all sell LEGO parts by the brick. With Brick Link, I was able to find the final piece of my Red Lotus from For Your Eyes Only. Now I just need to figure out a better ski rack for it.

    Red Lotus Esprit with Ski Rack

    Red Lotus Esprit with Ski Rack

    Evan Willnow @ 2004-09-12
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