Most Lego models are created from off-the-shelf kits full of specialised parts, but a Spanish student is proving you can use ordinary Lego to build extraordinary things.
Civil engineering student Fernando Benavides de Carlos, 27 – whose online name is ‘Sheepo’ -- created this intricate model of a Caterham 7 using more than 2500 pieces of the iconic children’s toy.
The 45cm model includes as working steering and suspension, electric drive, a five-speed gearbox (with reverse), and disc brakes. He used a computer program to help design the model, which can be operated via a remote control.
De Carlos said it took around 300 hours to build the Lego Caterham. "I started the car the past October, but I had many problems with the design because I couldn't put in the car all mechanisms I wanted. In March I developed a new gearbox (my third generation of sequential gearboxes) which is smaller and more reliable. With this new gearbox I was able to complete the car in April.
"The sequential gearbox was the hardest part. To build this car, I needed to design a completely new gearboxt. I built a smaller and more reliable mechanism, keeping and features of the second gen gearbox, like gear ratios and auto-clutch."
He’s also created a similar model of Land Rover’s iconic Defender and a Porsche, and has published the instructions for all models on his website -- 448 pages of them – in case you’re keen to create your own.
We haven’t read through all the instructions, but with that much Lego around the house, we’re betting one of the first ones should be: don’t walk around the house barefoot.
And while these cars are ones he's designed himself, would he like to one day design an official Lego kit? "Of course... I think this is the dream of all Lego fans," he says.
This reporter is on Twitter: @Mal_Flynn