What follows is the story of how we built our car, tricked it out with LEGO Ninjago gear and some cool stenciling, and had a blast doing it all together as father and son. Not that Lasha, the evil Venomari tribe scout, will be able to escape Cole, Zane, Jay or Kai, but we've certainly given him a fighting chance.
Full disclosure: I'm by no means a skilled carpenter or brilliant artist, so everything you read and see here can be done by anyone with access to some basic woodworking tools and the listed supplies, which aside from the LEGO pieces can be found lying around the house and/or at any hardware store.
With that in mind, let's dive in...
Step 1: Getting Started - Conceptual Design and Supplies (including LEGO Pieces)
Our inspiration was two particular LEGO Ninjago toys that my son loves: the Fangpyre Truck Ambush (http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Fangpyre-Truck-Ambush-9445) and Lasha's Bite Cycle (http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Lasha-s-Bite-Cycle-9447). For the uninitiated, LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is a world of ninjas with mystical powers, talking snakes and dragons, and the classic showdown between good and evil. The toys themselves go along with a cartoon show that features great story lines and epic fight sequences.
Our plan was to have our car be the same lime green as the Fangpyre vehicles--those are the bad guys--and then reuse the tail and cockpit from those same kits to give it that LEGO effect. And of course we wanted to make the front look like a snake's head. I've attached our scribblings as an example, as well as an action shot of the real Fangpyre Truck.
In terms of supplies, the standard derby car kit comes with the block of pine, four wheels, four nails (to secure the wheels) and some numbered stickers. We supplemented our supplies with the following:
- One (1) Cockpit Window from the Fangpyre Truck Ambush
- One (1) Whipping Tail from Lasha's Bit Cycle (Fangpyre would work but its a bit larger and heavier)
- One (1) can of lime green spray paint
- Two (2) red rubber screw caps (for the eyes)
- One (1) think tip Sharpie (for the stenciling)
- One (1) 1x2 thin LEGO
- One (1) 2x2 thin LEGO
The last two are CRITICAL if you want to recover the cockpit window and tail from your Derby Car, because you can just glue them on and then attach the more complex pieces. Now onto the construction phase...