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Monday, June 28, 2021

Designing the LEGO® Tesla Model S MOC


Introduction

When the first electro-mobiles were revealed to the public, I was in awe of the engineering efforts put into the functionality of these cars. It is a slow-start, and although there are some environmental concerns about the production of these cars, time shows that it can become more efficient and more eco-friendly. 

The Tesla Model S is my favorite car made by Tesla Motors and I wanted to give my own touch when it comes to building it out of LEGO.

Quick Facts

  • Name: LEGO® Tesla Model S MOC
  • Total Parts: 92
  • Approximate Scale: 1:34
  • Length: 14.6 cm
  • Width: 7.3 cm (5.4 without mirrors)
  • Height: 4.5 cm
  • Creation Time: 8+ hours (designing) + 40 min. (rendering) + 50 min. (video-editing)
  • Brick Colors: Red, Black, White, Light-Bluish-Gray, Transparent-Black

The Scale

 

The rule I gave myself at first was to make a model no-bigger than the size of a regular human hand. The goal was to make a small model without using too many pieces (up to 200 or so). Going back to the dimensions of my Messerschmitt Me-262 MOC where I used a 1:50 scale, the car would have been too small to be recognized as a Tesla. Instead, I took another approach: length limit. I put the limit of the total length of the car to around 16cm and then looked for the best scale. It first turned out to be 1:35.

But as I was designing the model over the course of 2 weeks, I noticed at some times that the body of the car was either too short or too wide. Going back and forth for several days trying to find the perfect design and proportions, I finally set upon the scale of 1:34.

It is fair to note that while the model respects the 1:34 at length and height, it is slightly slimmer than the real Tesla Model S. This is mostly because of how wide LEGO bricks are and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

The Design


The last time I built a car with LEGO bricks was a few years ago with my Muscle Car and Box Car MOCs which were once available on my website. They were good starts and solid designs. Using these MOCs as templates would have been a wise choice. But since I was working at 1:34 and not some randomly made-up proportions, I’ve decided to come up with something of my own.

For starters, quarter-circle tiles were a must to make the car look sleek and curvy. Along with curved 1×2 and 2×2 slopes used around the entire body to give some nice volume to the car’s body. 

The most unique pieces that I deem as “life-savers” for helping me design this car would be these ones:


Part #29120 and Part #11291 – these were used a lot for the Tesla Model S MOC and without them, the car would have been a rectangular box of plastic on 4 wheels. I especially used these parts for the headlights and tail lights, along with the front and rear bumpers giving my Tesla Model S MOC a more futuristic look, just as it is in real life.


Speaking of wheels, Parts #11208 and #11209 are fairly common wheels used in official LEGO sets so they fit perfectly with the 1:34 scale and the fenders (the parts surrounding the wheels) of the car.

The pièce de résistance

No, LEGO has not made a 1×1 tile featuring the Tesla “T” logo. 

But I have! 

Bricklink has a lesser-known program called Bricklink Part Designer where you can design your own LEGO parts and even apply custom stickers or decals on them. Once you’ve chosen/made your design, you simply import it, tweak some settings to suit your needs and when done, you will see your custom LEGO part(s) imported into Bricklink Studio 2.0

This is something new for my LEGO MOCs and it may become a feature I will be using quite often for the Automobile series. I think it is a nice touche-finale to the model and makes it easier to recognize.

The Final Touches


As usual, I worked with light-bluish-gray bricks at first before coloring-in the car into the respective colors of the real thing. 

Since Tesla offers a variety of colors, I went with a bold red paint-job, also considered as the default color for the Model S and Model S Plaid. Another advantage is that almost all of the parts were available in red which made the task much more easier.

Here’s what the final result looked like before the rendering process:


In the end…

I think it is a good start for the re-booted Automobiles series and a good body-template for any upcoming automobile models with similar designs (Porsche, Nissan, Audi…)

I hope you had a good read! Feel free to share this blog-post!

Stay tuned for more!

The Bobby Brix Channel 2021.

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