Sunday, April 26, 2015

There is a Predator in the highway!

Full featured supercars are definitely among the favorite models for LEGO Technic fans. Many try to build one but only a few really master the techniques to fulfill the challenge.

Nathanaël Kuipers is one of those talented builders who gave us real pearls in this domain, and this year he proposed us a new fictional supercar. Predator of its name!

In his own words "Predator is the result of several months of work and is inspired by exotic supercars like for example Koenigsegg, Pagani, Bugatti and Gumpert. What most of those cars have in common is that they all have their unique character despite their clean and generic supercar look. The idea was to give Predator a similar identity, keeping things clean, but still give it a unique and clear supercar styling. But its uniqueness should not be limited to its looks alone; also what's going on under the shell should give it a little extra, covering some innovative ideas."

Unlike almost everyone who got immediately rendered to this model, I must confess it took me some time to get used to it and to appreciate the looks when seen from all angles. Don't know exactly why but probably the proportions, the roof shape or the apparent very short bonnet. But this is a rear engine car after all and I've meanwhile learned to appreciate this design masterpiece.

But proportions apart, this car fundamentally lives from its innovative and uncommon functions or solutions we use to see in other Tecnhic supercars. Nothing less than we should expect from a model coming from Nathanaël's desk.
Highlights goes for the vertical gearbox layout located between the rear axle and the V8 engine, the ackermann geometry front axle steering with caster and kingpin inclination, and the gullwing doors.

Another remarkable aspect about this model is the fluid, modern and aerodynamic lines in perfect coexistence with a clean bodywork where almost every nook and cranny looks filled, without using unnecessary bricks or nothing more than the essential. Hence the car shows a relative low part count (1797) for its size and functions.

Finally what I like the most the most in this car looks is the rear view, where the tail lights, rear bumper and engine cover really stands out from the rest in my point of view. And off course the orange highlights over the predominant white color.

One of my favorite views in what concerns large Technic models in general and supercars in particular, is the bottom view which easily says a lot about a model. Hence here it is another set of images ending with the indispensable bottom view.
It looks quite unconventional and here we can see some details about the innovative gear shift mechanism. We can also see the unusual high number of Technic frames used, several of them used in vertical position (also unusual in itself) which gives extra rigidity to this model.

If you like to know a lot more details about this model, there are a few resources you should not miss:
  • Natanhaël's model presentation and personal's view abot the creative process leading to this magnificent model.
  • And a more independent view at Blakbird's eyes, in his review at EuroBricks.

At this point you are probably willing to build your own copy...
If this is the case or if you just want to take a closer look at the details, you probably would like to know the building instructions are available at the exchange of a small fee at Crowkiller's website or MOCPlans.

These are not done at the same level of detail as Nathanaël's previous Concept Car building instructions which were much more LEGO like and took an eternity to create, but they are still very detailed, complete and easy to follow.

Bellow some sample pages that should allow you to evaluate the finest quality and decide by yourself.

Happy building!

1 comment:

Kenneth Westelinck said...

The first time I saw this car, it was love at first sight. The lines, the colorscheme, the usage of propeller blades to create an air intake ...
So I bought the instructions and I bought a lot of parts (I want to have this car on display, next to the Concept Car and the 42000 C-model) and the other day I got stranded on step 95. There are some more parts on their way to finish the front.
This thing is really well designed and very sturdy. Unlike some of the LEGO supercars which feel flimsy.
Thank you Nathanaël, I am a big fan of your work!

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