18 March 2021

Old Elementary: Eero Okkonen's LEGO® vehicle fronts

Finnish LEGO® builder Eero Okkonen (on Instagram) continues his series of articles looking at unusual parts he likes to use in his MOCs, and today's article even includes a brand-new model. Last time he examined Windscreen 9 x 3 x 1 2/3 Bubble Canopy and Wedge 4 x 3 Cut Back with Cutout; today it is the turn of three more curved pieces intended for vehicles.

Cars are one of the evergreen subjects of LEGO® sets, and the parts specially designed for minifig-scale vehicles can be easily overlooked due to their everyday status, especially by builders who usually work at entirely different scales. I thought it might be interesting to briefly present several LEGO vehicle pieces I like to use in builds, along with examples of older MOCs of mine as well as this unpublished work: Jean of Emergent Dance.

Vehicle, Mudguard 3 x 4 x 1 2/3 Curved (93587) and Vehicle, Mudguard 3 x 4 x 1 2/3 Curved Front (98835)


Vehicle, Mudguard 3 x 4 x 1 2/3 Curved (93587) debuted with print in 2011 in Cars 2 sets, and without in 2012. (The mould was replaced with the almost-identical Vehicle, Mudguard 3 x 4 x 1 2/3 Curved Fenders (38224) in 2018, but we are not delving into that today – if you're interested in the small differences there are comparison pictures of 93587 and 38224 on BrickLink.)


However, the similar but more angled Vehicle, Mudguard 3 x 4 x 1 2/3 Curved Front (98835) was then introduced, initially printed in 2012 Racers sets (as well as Cars 2) and without print the following year.


They’re both steep, rounded 3x4 wedges; 93587 (above left) is especially rounded, reflecting the shaping of modern car bonnets. 


On both pieces there is a 1x2 plate inset on top. They’ve sometimes been used differently in sets, including as shaping on Legends of Chima vehicles and a cauldron in Elves sets. Notably, 98835 appeared in Light Nougat for the roses in 2021's Botanical Collection 10280 Flower Bouquet

Eero Okkonen's MOCs using the 3x4x1 2/3 curved vehicle mudguards

I’ve used both parts on character builds because of their organic shape and wide variety of colours; the Cars patterns with their grinning mouths and headlights pose some challenges but the fictional branding featured on some of them make for interesting character features.


Glassblower (2019) uses two in Dark Brown to form a centre-parting hairstyle.


A printed 93587 in Bright Reddish Violet/ Magenta is used to make the bust of speeder bike rider Lalibela Upbeat (2019).


A 98835 in Bright Orange/ Orange is used as the lower jaw of the vehicle in Carp Speeder (2019). 

Wedge 4 x 3 Open with Cutout and 4 Studs (47755)

Another unconventional wedge piece is Wedge 4 x 3 Open with Cutout and 4 Studs. Like Wedge 4 x 3 Cut Back with Cutout, 2 Studs (50948) which we discussed last time it was introduced in Racers cars in 2005. 


The piece consists of two 1x2 plates with half-module-wide arches connecting them. The piece is exactly 3 modules wide and 4 plates high including the arches; the plates are separated by two plates in height and three modules in width. The piece itself is quite common, appearing in 121 sets, and still active. It has appeared in 13 colours to date.


The shape of 47755 integrates with the curved slopes family; the concave bottom fits seamlessly with the ‘baby bow’ 1x2 curved slope (11477).


The convex top fits beautifully with 1x3 curved slopes (above right). A 1x4 however (above left) dips slightly below the arch, which is unsatisfying. 

What makes 47755 interesting is that thin, elegant concave shapes are uncommon. We’ve got arches, but their concave is hollow and that piece family tends to be blocky on the top side. 47755 also permits the adding of half-module-wide coloured lines to builds. Its central section, consisting of only 1x2 plates, leaves a lot of room for patterns between the arches. 

Eero Okkonen's MOCs using the 4x3 Open Wedge with Cutout 

47755 is a versatile piece. In my new build shown at the beginning of this article, Jean of Emergent Dance, they’re used to form the shape of the torso, benefiting from their compatibility with curved slopes. The arches give three-dimensional shape to the character, and their positioning required some SNOT work.


Merla Glimmer (2020) uses them in a similar but less technical fashion.


On Susan Sto Helit (2016) they’re used to form the shape of the bodice.


RADIANT-EXERT IV uses them to capture the shape of knee armour elegantly.


I’ve also used 47755 on one of my modular buildings, House of the Brick Wall, to make a subtle arch over the window field. Most of the piece is redundant, hidden behind the wall and seeing only one side of it makes for some NPU.


Other applications on 47755 include samurai Kabutos (helmets) on Samurai of the Blood Moon (2020) and Samurai Stalwart (2017) as well as Samurai of the Garden (2019, below); the concave side gives room to the face and mask, while the good connection points allow for a pattern made with cheese slopes.

More strange parts I've used in MOCs coming soon. If you're buying elements from LEGO Bricks and Pieces, consider using our affiliate links: USA, UK or AU. New Elementary may get a commission.

READ MORE: Lee creates alternate builds of LEGO 75551 Brick-Built Minions and Their Lair

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2 comments:

  1. A nice examination of some unconventional parts!

    As a fan of themes like Elves and Ninjago, I'll admit that one of my favorite ways to use these sorts of parts is to help shape the "brows" of dragons or similar creatures. Because these parts are designed as wheel arches they feature circular/rounded holes that eyes can be inserted into instead. With the former two car hoods, it can sometimes be a little tricky to effectively fill the space (since the wheel well is slightly narrower than a 2x2 round plate or tile), but it's doable with some creativity.

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  2. I couldn't stare long enough at the photos. Kept noticing surprising ways in which to use pieces. Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you.

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