Built for the TLCB Lock-down competition.
After my two previous alternate models from the 10265 Ford Mustang, a pickup truck inspired by the F100 and the GT04 Sportscar inspired by the legendary GT40, there was one more iconic car from this era that I wanted to replicate which also has a strong connection to Ford; the classic AC Cobra, better known as Shelby Cobra. After the square and boxy pickup and the more aerodynamic GT04, this car is the ultimate challenge to render in bricks, because it consists exclusively of intricate curves and has absolutely no straight surfaces. My part usage is proof of this; even though the 10265 set comes with many dark blue 2×4 tiles, I ended up using none of them, an absolute first I believe.
This curvy shape led to another unique aspect; I normally start with a solid chassis to work from, but in this case I went for the outer contours first instead, trying to replicate the subtle curves of the body. The reason for this was to plan and position the limited curved pieces that the set offers at the exact right location before moving on. Once I had a rough idea and knew where the wheel wells were positioned, a chassis with the correct wheelbase could be created. Furthermore I wanted to give the car a more dynamic look and decided for a slight slanted stance in which the rear of the car is positioned a subtle one plate lower than the front. To accomplish this and still create a rigid chassis I used a similar trick as with my 10248 F1 alternate.
Another aspect that was of support to create an aerodynamic shape was to put both the front and rear central white stripe under an angle creating a nice continuous curve from front to rear. The angled front further helped me to replicate the iconic shape of the front air intake, which is one of the main features that makes this car so recognizable. But also the rear end ended up being a challenge, because it is has a rather long overhang which curves inwards at the same time, making this car look much shorter than it actually is. Limiting myself to just the bricks from one set made this extra tricky, especially when the set only includes a few wedged pieces.
Next challenge that presented itself was the position of the seats which are close to the rear axle. As a consequence the doors are also moved far back, limiting the distance between the door and rear wheel.This required some other unconventional thinking to come up with suitable solutions. Still as with all my recent work I do not want to compromise on structural integrity, but neither on buildability nor functionality. If possible I also try to avoid any questionable “illegal” building techniques. Oh and of course everything still has to be limited to the parts that come exclusive to the set. It might sound ridiculous, but the more restrictions I give myself the more creative I become. As always, creating a model like this was a fun challenge which kept me occupied for a little over a week in my spare evening hours. Afterwards I still occasionally spent some time on minor improvements and smaller, nitpicking details.
The model contains a little over 1000 pieces from the original set and of course no extra pieces were added. As for the functions, the model includes working steering connected to steering wheel, and all the usual opening features, like doors, bonnet, and hood. It’s solid and in my opinion is one of the prettiest models I have done, capturing the spirit of the real car. In comparison, the F100 looks great from the front, but the side profile is a little boring, the GT04 on the other hand has a pretty good looking side profile, but the front and rear are less attractive. This model looks good from pretty much any angle. Still it is not only a nice display piece, but it can be shown and played with without feeling flimsy!
Want to build your own copy? Instructions are available on Rebrickable. Here are some sample pages from the instructions.