Sean Kenney: Art with LEGO bricks
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VW Beetle Convertible     ‹ Back to portfolio
Photo of VW Beetle Convertible
1:20 scale        350 LEGO elements.        Completed August 15, 2003
I built this model one afternoon after seeing a similar model at the LEGOLAND California theme park. I was away from home and I had time to kill while my friend was gone for the day. I didn't have any LEGO with me... so bought two of the LEGO "Yoda" sculpture sets to make this.

The outer shell of the car's body took about 2 hours, and then I spent another 2 or 3 hours tweaking things. I worked from a small picture in a magazine and from memory.

When I returned home from my trip, I added the rest of the details over the course of a day.

"Hello!" :) Beetles are so cute. The headlights should actually be slightly smaller, but these pieces were the closest I could get.

I rebuilt the rear section of the VW Beetle about 10 times; I finally came up with this design, which I like best. It is hard to illustrate the "seams" in the Beetle's sheet metal, which is much of what separates the rear fenders from the tailgate.

A classic Beetle photograph angle. I need to get wheels that are slightly larger -- the wheels I used are actually too small for this model.

Another angle showing the interiior and the rear fenders/tailgate. My main problem with the rear section was that I was running out of mint-green colored junper bricks! I eventually scavenged some off of one of my other creations to complete this model. :)

The interior! Includes a parking brake, stick shift, 3 pedals, a spedometer, radio, a glove box handle, and (of course) a VW logo on the steering wheel. :) I own a 1999 VW Jetta and used it to model the interior.

The nose and front fenders were very tricky. Notice how the bricks are turned upright on either sides of the fenders. Getting the upright bricks to wrap around and fit in with the nose wasn't too tricky, but it required a little coordination to make sure everything stayed nice and snug.

I also wish I had clear "jumper bricks" for the windshield -- I had to make it entirely out of 1x2 clear bricks, so it came out less "curved" looking than the rest of the car. Oh well!

This is how I attached the headlights to the front of the car. This picture is taken from underneath with the front wheels removed. Hinges bent to 45 degrees are themselves rotated 45 degrees... the white rods stick up through a small hole in the hood, and the headlights are attached to the top.

Originally, because I built this model away from home, I couldn't add headlights or other details because of the limited selection of pieces I had. I added a temporary "chunky" interior with some of the pieces I had handy.

Here's another picture of the VW Beetle without my goofy hand in the shot. :) After I built the model I realized the Beetle's front fenders actually extend out past the nose, but I didn't know that at the time. :(

Here is the car in an early stage of building. The front remained mostly the same as you see here, other than some minor rebuilding required to add the VW logo and headlights.

This is where I built the Beetle -- on my friend's living room floor when she was off at work for the day! Boy, was she surprised when she came home and found LEGO all over her home. :)

The magazine in the bottom corner was the only reference I had to work from. (I didn't even have an internet connection! Gosh!)

 


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