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MOD: Classic truck conversions


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#1 Strikeman

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 11:25 AM

As you might know, one year ago I've come back to LEGO after a hiatus of about 15 years. Since then I've been buying lots of new sets (it's good not to have to rely on you allowance anymore :tongue:), but I also have a lot of sets from my youth, ranging from 1980 - 1995.

Since I value these sets very high, I'm reluctant to remove them from my layout. But truth to be told, a 4 wide truck does a look a bit petite when you set it up next to a new 6 wide truck.

Thus came the idea to start converting my models because I don't just want to replace them with their new counterparts, some of which I don't really like to be honest.

I'm lucky to have almost all my sets twice (thanks to a couple of boxes that weighed in at 100 kilogram which I bought in the beginning of the year) so I still can set my original 4 wide vehicles on a shelf or something :cry_happy:

My main aim with the updates is the set still has to be recognizable. While I'm not afraid to use new parts like new 6x4 roofs and making it more in line with today's style, it still has to look 80%+ the same as the original.
Here are my first 2 conversions, the rest will follow as time and available bricks permit.



We start this jouney in 1987, and in that year I got the 6693 - Refuse Collection Truck. I loved this set as a kid, and I still do. I know there are newer trucks out there, but they don't do it for me. It was a simple and effective model, came with 2 minifigs, 2 dark grey garbage cans, a broom and a shovel: what more could you wish for ?
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(all pictures link to bigger images)

In real bricks:
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This one wasn't too difficult to convert, and after a few tries on the cab I'm happy with how this came out:
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Next to each other:
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Total length was expanded by only 2 studs, 1 for the cab and 1 for the garbage collector bin:
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I also try to give the minifigs an update, but only the face. I like the torsos the way they are :sweet::
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More pictures in this Brickshelf gallery



Next up, the 1988 classic tow truck appeared, but LEGO called it the 6674 - Crane Truck. Again a simple model (as they mostly were at the time) with a hook to lift the vehicle that you wanted to tow. 1 minifig, hammer and wrench included.
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In real bricks:
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After a lot of fiddling around with this, I can say that I'm actually very happy with how this turned out. The only thing that's a bit of a shame is that there isn't a red 1 x 2 x 2 panel with a highway logo (only a yellow one), but it doesn't really bother me:
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Next to each other:
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Total length was expanded by only 1 stud on the back, the cab was already large enough because the hood is extended:
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"Action shot" with tow (with respect to their age) and minifigs posing:
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More pictures in this Brickshelf Gallery

I usually make all my models in MLCAD, but haven't made these yet. If there's intrest in instructions, I'll make them, just gimme a shout!


I hope you like them as much as I do. C&C is welcome and appreciated.


Next up will be 6357 - Stunt 'Copter N' Truck (1988) . As it has almost the same front as the 6674 - Crane Truck, I don't suppose it'll be difficult. After that it'll be a firemen vehicle, either 6480 - Hook and Ladder Truck (1985) or 6358 - Snorkel Squad (1987).

#2 lightningtiger

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 12:28 PM

The second one is OK, but the first truck conversion is fantastic.....keep them coming 'Strikeman' ! :classic:

#3 pinioncorp

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 01:50 PM

I think the second one is great, I think it really captures the appeal of the original. It isn't exactly attractive, but that's what I like about it. It looks like a beefy workhorse, exactly like it should. I do think it needs some weight of some sort beneath the doors, even it's just a inwards slope.

The garbage truck however, looks a little similar to current offerings. The headlights and grille would look better on the bumper bar, like its predecessor. The wheel arch doesn't do it for me either, there's only the one of them (per side) so it doesn't balance with the rest of the vehicle. The back looks perfect in 6 wide, lets you put the bin on the back with the handles facing outwards.  :classic:

I definitely look forward to your future conversions.

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#4 Syn

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:54 PM

wow! they just look like newer models of the old, which is fantastic. Brilliant job, I would love to see what you would/could do with some of the others because the first was fantastic and the second was a brilliant representation of the original. the only thing that I think is disproportionate about the second is the wheels. They just look small for that size truck, but other than that they are great! keep brickin'!

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#5 Strikeman

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:04 PM

View Postlightningtiger, on 08 December 2011 - 12:28 PM, said:

The second one is OK, but the first truck conversion is fantastic.....keep them coming 'Strikeman' ! :classic:
Thanks tiger, appreciated :cry_happy:

View Postpinioncorp, on 08 December 2011 - 01:50 PM, said:

I think the second one is great, I think it really captures the appeal of the original. It isn't exactly attractive, but that's what I like about it. It looks like a beefy workhorse, exactly like it should. I do think it needs some weight of some sort beneath the doors, even it's just a inwards slope.

The garbage truck however, looks a little similar to current offerings. The headlights and grille would look better on the bumper bar, like its predecessor. The wheel arch doesn't do it for me either, there's only the one of them (per side) so it doesn't balance with the rest of the vehicle. The back looks perfect in 6 wide, lets you put the bin on the back with the handles facing outwards. :classic:

I definitely look forward to your future conversions.
Thank you pinioncorp, what do you think about this little modification then ? I have to admit that you are on to something ... :classic:
I know what you mean by the missing wheel arches on the end, but I figured that the original model doesn't have them either, and if you look at the truck from 7939 - Cargo Train, you'll find that it's the same on that truck: no wheel wells under the load, only under the cab.
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I've also made a few modifications to the tow truck. I wasn't completely happy with how grills on the front didn't align with the black tiles on the hood, so I redid that.
As per your suggestion, I also added some "weight" under the door, I choose to implement a step to get into the truck.
Lastly, I closed the gaps around the back wheel arch so you get a more integrated feeling and I changed the airtanks to yellow instead of black because apparently I didn't have yellow 1x1 round bricks when I built the original a year ago and I worked from there :sadnew:
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View PostSyn, on 08 December 2011 - 03:54 PM, said:

wow! they just look like newer models of the old, which is fantastic. Brilliant job, I would love to see what you would/could do with some of the others because the first was fantastic and the second was a brilliant representation of the original. the only thing that I think is disproportionate about the second is the wheels. They just look small for that size truck, but other than that they are great! keep brickin'!
Thanks Syn. I don't know about the wheels actually ... they seem to be the ones that are used now, maybe I'll try some other ones if I can find some :)

Edited by Strikeman, 08 December 2011 - 05:07 PM.


#6 LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:20 PM

Great idea and build modernizing those classics 'Strikeman'! I really like the tow truck, kind of makes me want to give these a go, if you don't mind. Keep up the great work! I hope there are a few other classics you have to update  Posted Image
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#7 Ralph_S

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:50 PM

That's a nice idea, 'Strikeman' and nicely executed too. The four-wide trucks have a charm of their own, but your project really shows how much more mature the larger trucks look.

I look forward to seeing your next one.

Cheers,
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#8 dr_spock

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:00 PM

Nice work going from 4 to 6. The 2nd version of the recycle truck looks better.  I like going the other way (6 to 4).   :classic:

#9 bootz

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 01:48 AM

These are brilliant updates, I really look forward to seeing more. My only issue is on the dump truck how the colors in the fascia don't line up with the colors of the body, though it seems you could easily fix that.

Edited by bootz, 09 December 2011 - 02:39 PM.


#10 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 07:58 AM

Wow! I love this great work!
Very nice conversion ...the garbage truck is awesome!  :wub:
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#11 ER0L

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:38 PM

A very nice project and two very convincing efforts. I like the two of them - the improvements add to the well balanced shape of the vehicles. But the tow truck is my favorite, in my eyes it has a more distinct shape compared to its origin.
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#12 Strikeman

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:57 AM

Thank you all very much for your comments guys, it is really cool to hear that you like these !

View Postbootz, on 09 December 2011 - 01:48 AM, said:

These are brilliant updates, I really look forward to seeing more. My only issue is on the dump truck how the colors in the fascia don't line up with the colours of the body, though it seems you could easily fix that.
Thank you bootz, but I don't see how I can let the red line up through the façade ... I've tried multiple things (short of just placing a 1x6 red brick there) and I can't seem to figure it out.


As promised, the next truck to be updated is the 6357 - Stunt 'Copter N' Truck from 1988. To me, this one is a bit special as it represents the "cooler" part of a LEGO town: a big rig with a helicopter on it isn't something you see everyday, but I've always liked this design very much :wub:
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I did not want to fiddle around too much with the trailer, as I thought it was perfect, so all I did there is widening it and making it longer by 4 studs (otherwise it'd be too chunky). I did not touch the helicopter.

I do believe that I managed to make the truck way more bad-megablocks than it was in its 4-wide original form :devil: Although not play-friendly any more (the roof is difficult to remove to insert/remove a minifig) I think I am going to keep it like it is and not change it to a 6x4 roof slope.

On to the pictures then:

The original:
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The rebuilt version:
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It features a sloping roof, which came out way better then I expected, chrome exhausts and much bigger air tanks than the original. I also made the ride 1 plate lower than is usual on a truck, and I quite like it like that. It also explains the bigger air tanks as the shock absorbers are going to have to do a lot more work to keep the wheels from hitting the fenders :wink:

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The new version is 2 studs and a plate longer due to the grill (1 plate), the cab (1 stud) and the back (1 stud).
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not too much fiddling around with the trailer as said:
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trailer hitched:
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And as usual, only the minifig faces have been upgraded:
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Last one for good measure:
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I hope you like this one ! More pictures are in this Brickshelf Gallery.

I have also made this truck in MLCAD so I have instructions for this truck. If you'd like them please ask here or leave me a message as I'm still unable to upload PDF documents to Brickshelf.

Edited by Strikeman, 11 December 2011 - 12:06 PM.


#13 lightningtiger

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:02 PM

Excellent 6 wide conversion 'Strikeman', front end - nice  :grin: keep them coming and Brick On Truck On 'Strikeman' ! :classic:

#14 pinioncorp

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:46 PM

I really like this one too, it looks rejuvenated while still recognisable. Which was really important for this model because it is one I have in my collection.

The only thing I would change would be the bumper bar on the front. I always saw the truck as one of these so the square bumper was quite appropriate. Gives it the more aggressive, utilitarian look.

Great work again, keep it up.

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#15 bootz

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 06:38 PM

View PostStrikeman, on 11 December 2011 - 11:57 AM, said:

Thank you bootz, but I don't see how I can let the red line up through the façade ... I've tried multiple things (short of just placing a 1x6 red brick there) and I can't seem to figure it out.

Well, I'm not sure how you have it secured on there, but perhaps if it measured 3x6 rather than 4x6 and you eliminated the second row of red, moving up the two rows of yellow? It wouldn't line up perfectly with the red, but it might look better.

The black truck looks great too. This is all making me want to rebuild my old 1821 Rally Racers

#16 Strikeman

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:32 AM

I have uploaded the instructions for the 6 wide version of the 6357 to this Brickshelf Gallery in PNG format. PDF available on request.

View Postpinioncorp, on 11 December 2011 - 01:46 PM, said:

I really like this one too, it looks rejuvenated while still recognisable. Which was really important for this model because it is one I have in my collection.

The only thing I would change would be the bumper bar on the front. I always saw the truck as one of these so the square bumper was quite appropriate. Gives it the more aggressive, utilitarian look.

Great work again, keep it up.
Thank you pinioncorp, I'll see what I can do with the front to make it look more like the picture you are referring to. Not promising anything as I already like it as it is :look:

View Postbootz, on 11 December 2011 - 06:38 PM, said:

Well, I'm not sure how you have it secured on there, but perhaps if it measured 3x6 rather than 4x6 and you eliminated the second row of red, moving up the two rows of yellow? It wouldn't line up perfectly with the red, but it might look better.

The black truck looks great too. This is all making me want to rebuild my old 1821 Rally Racers
bootz, those 1821 Rally Racers look just fantastic :wub: Although not in my collection, I might be tempted to do these as well, if you don't beat me to it though :classic:

I was looking to do what you said (for the garbage truck) - making the top side 1 stud smaller - but at the moment the front is secured just like the front of the truck from set 7939 - Cargo Train, with a red 87609 - modified plate 2 x 6 x 2/3 with 4 studs on top. I'll keep looking in to it though !

#17 bootz

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:37 PM

I see I see. I've never seen that piece before. I looked up the instructions to see how its built. Did you follow the instructions exactly on that one? If so, there is a black 1x2 brick on the front of the chassis that could maybe be subbed out for the 1x1 bricks with the outward facing studs. Not sure of the exact name of the piece, and it may need to be raised or lowered a plate to make it line up, but it should work.

I'll need to place a bricklink order before I could start on the rally racer trucks, and money is tight with Christmas coming up so this probably Wong be until after the holidays.

I'd also like to attempt a 6 wide version of the small pickup truck from mainstreet.

#18 L@go

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:26 PM

This topic is very interesting to me as I'm working on something very similar myself - I've just not chosen the models you have, I've focused on the smaller ones instead, like 6624 (you can find my six-wide version here).

While I really like most of what you've done, there are two things I'd definitely do differently. The minifigs sit too high in the cab - the way it is now, with the doors placed straight on the plate that makes up the base for the cab, the eyes of the figs are level with the very top of the windscreen. With the garbage truck, for example, you could solve this by thickening the redstripe on the side by 1 plate, adding a plate underneath the door, raising the windscreen, and then just remove the black 1x2 plates with door rail above the windscreen. It's particularly obvious with the tow truck (which is a very, very nice conversion, I love the front design) - in my opinion, it would look so much better if you'd just raise the windscreen by one plate.

The other thing I'd do is make sure that the scale is still right. The cab conversion on the 6357 is a good one, but the trailer is just too short - the proportions look off. If you increase the width of the vehicles by 50% (from four to six studs) you should do the same with the length to avoid an unnaturally stubby look.

That said, the idea is a very, very good one (although I'd obviously say that, having had the same one...) and I like what you've done so far. My suggestions reflect the issues I've come across when attempting the same things you have :)

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#19 Strikeman

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:10 AM

View Postbootz, on 12 December 2011 - 05:37 PM, said:

I see I see. I've never seen that piece before. I looked up the instructions to see how its built. Did you follow the instructions exactly on that one? If so, there is a black 1x2 brick on the front of the chassis that could maybe be subbed out for the 1x1 bricks with the outward facing studs. Not sure of the exact name of the piece, and it may need to be raised or lowered a plate to make it line up, but it should work.


View PostL@go, on 13 December 2011 - 01:26 PM, said:

This topic is very interesting to me as I'm working on something very similar myself - I've just not chosen the models you have, I've focused on the smaller ones instead, like 6624 (you can find my six-wide version here).

While I really like most of what you've done, there are two things I'd definitely do differently. The minifigs sit too high in the cab - the way it is now, with the doors placed straight on the plate that makes up the base for the cab, the eyes of the figs are level with the very top of the windscreen. With the garbage truck, for example, you could solve this by thickening the redstripe on the side by 1 plate, adding a plate underneath the door, raising the windscreen, and then just remove the black 1x2 plates with door rail above the windscreen. It's particularly obvious with the tow truck (which is a very, very nice conversion, I love the front design) - in my opinion, it would look so much better if you'd just raise the windscreen by one plate.

The other thing I'd do is make sure that the scale is still right. The cab conversion on the 6357 is a good one, but the trailer is just too short - the proportions look off. If you increase the width of the vehicles by 50% (from four to six studs) you should do the same with the length to avoid an unnaturally stubby look.

That said, the idea is a very, very good one (although I'd obviously say that, having had the same one...) and I like what you've done so far. My suggestions reflect the issues I've come across when attempting the same things you have :)

After a small bricklink order I finally found some time to tinker with the trucks a bit more. I think I finally cracked the front of the garbage truck with this new tweak I've made.

L@go, I hear what you're saying about the cabs of the trucks. My only experience with new 6-wide trucks in sets are from the truck from 7939 and the 7990 cement truck, which both have this same "mistake".

Anyway, I do agree with you on this :thumbup:, so I've modded the cab of all 3 converted trucks to have the minifig sit 1 plate lower. I've also taken into account your comments on the trailer and made that 4 studs longer as well.

Pictures (click for larger):

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These will probably be the last changes to these 3 trucks, it's time to move on to the next conversion :tongue:

#20 Phred

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 07:36 AM

What a great idea for a project Strikeman. :classic:

If you're looking for more ideas for conversions, I would like to see the Shell Tow truck converted to a 6-wide. :grin:

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#21 Legoist

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:32 AM

It's a great idea, I should do the same myself :classic:

And the execution is very good!

#22 L@go

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:15 PM

Nice changes! The trucks looked great before, and now look even better :)

At some point in January, I'll probably be posting a new batch of cars of my own. In that batch I'll be including two or three four-to-six-wide conversions that I'd designed in LDraw before you created this topic, that I haven't brick-built yet. I'm looking forward to what you'll come up with next!

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#23 bootz

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:27 PM

The front end of the van looks perfect now Strikeman. Great job :thumbup:

#24 Danpb

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:43 PM

Yes! I just saw these on brickshelf and I'm glad to see this post here so I can formally say that these MODs are completely awesome :).  I have both 4-stud wide sets you MOD'd and I think you did them justice and then some - great job!

#25 MadManMingo

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:42 PM

Nice little niche of remodelling you've got going on there. I'll have to fetch up my old garbagetruck and helitransport from the cellar.

It's nice to se those old models come back to glory in "6 wide"

Keep em coming  :thumbup:



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