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domela

'80-s Town hail Model Team

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There's a lot of coincidence about one's choice of interest. Back when I was a kid in the early '80-s Town sets were available and affordable (with the occasional Classic Space set thrown in for variety), so that's what I had the most building experience with. By the time Model Team came around in 1986 I was way too much into Town and, while I desperately wanted one of those awesome sets, I was also old enough to realise that they wouldn't really fit into my line of building and would have been be way too expensive anyway. So I let it slip but never stopped admiring the amazingly detailed character of the Model Team sets.

I'm still, or rather, once again, building in good old '80-s Town style, these days as background for my son's train layouts. Minifigs are (mostly) yellow, cars are (mostly) 4-wide and studs are (mostly) visible. However, a little while ago I was thumbing through an old catalogue and came across Model Team once again. And I started wondering if I could recreate some of those old favourites in true 1980's Town style.

So, without further ado, here's the result. I decided on the 5580 Highway Rig and the 5590 Whirl N' Wheel Super Truck for these were the two mighty sets that first made me drool for Model Team. Positioned here as I first saw them in the catalogue.

model_team_2.png 

You may argue that they are not exact replicas and you'd be right. One of my most fundamental rules is that whatever I build should be "playable" in '80-s Town style: doors should open, minifigs must be able to sit in, there should be some tools or utensils for them, etc. Just as if they were a proper set from back then. I made some concessions though, these are 6-wide to scale better with my otherwise 4-wide passenger cars and the 8-wide trains of the layout, plus a lot of new parts and new building techniques were used, too, that were definitely not around thirty-odd years ago.

Here's a few more photos:

bigrig_1.png

bigrig_3.png

heli_1.png

With a helicopter that reflects the style of the era but carries the correct livery.

heli_2.png

The little tools cabinet was never there in the Model Team version, I added that for the sake of playability.

I also made a minifig version of one of my other Model Team favourites, the 5541 Blue Fury, this one strictly 4-wide. (I saw that cool little windshield design on the internet but I can't find the source any more.)

fury_1.png

fury_3.png

Ironically, by the time I finished this, LEGO also made their own version but, like all the newer passenger vehicles, it's 6-wide and has a strange "boxy", angular feeling about it that makes it a lot less sleek than the original.

Anyway, together for one more time, an homage to Model Team:

model_team_1.png

Please leave a comment if you liked my little tribute to Model Team.
You may also want to check out my 4-wide vehicles and my MOC Star Wars Microfighters.

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Trucks are awesome! 

Hot rod not so much, the skinny front makes it look like a souped up lawn mower haha

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Good job on capturing the essence of those great Model Team sets. I recently built 5590 (after getting hooked by 5591), and your town scale version is instantly recognizable!

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