Shifting Gears

Lego Technic V10 Supercar

This is the ‘Ultimatum GTR V10’, it was suggested to us by a reader, and it comes from Pvdb of Eurobricks. It is – as you can see – a very pretty thing, and draws upon a number of modern supercars for inspiration. However it’s what is underneath the sleek bodywork that’s of most note.

The usual Technic Supercar features are all present; steering, suspension, a piston engine (in this case a V10) and a gearbox. A really good gearbox…

LEGO’s official 42056 Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS set was exclusively revealed with a sequential paddle-shift gearbox here at The Lego Car Blog back in 2016, which made the anoraks in the office who spotted the feature very excited. The reality of this ground-breaking transmission however, was to be a colossal let-down. Bags of friction, only four gears, and they shifted in the wrong order. Not good.

Lego Technic Sequential Gearbox Instructions

Pvdb’s supercar aims to address the shortcomings of the 42056 set with his own sequential gearbox, with five accurately spaced ratios, plus neutral and reverse, a compact design, and control via a racing-style sequential gear lever.

The result looks miles better than LEGO’s own effort and you can check it out for yourself via Eurobricks at the link above, plus you can watch the transmission in action and build your own version of the Ultimatum GTR thanks to the instructions that have been made available on Rebrickable.

Lego Technic V10 Supercar

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Technic Bugatti Chiron | Picture Special

Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron

A very special supercar requires a very special Lego model…

LEGO’s own Bugatti Chiron set, previewed here at The Lego Car Blog earlier in the year, is due later in 2018. However one builder has beaten LEGO to it, and in doing so may have set the bar not just higher than LEGO themselves could hope to achieve, but possibly higher than any Technic supercar has done to date. This is Leviathan‘s 4,000-piece, 3.7KG, two year in the making 1:8 Technic Bugatti Chiron supercar.

Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron RC

Designed as a modular construction, as per a real car, Leviathan’s Bugatti Chiron features Power Functions remote control operated via a third-party BuWizz bluetooth brick, a seven speed dual-clutch gearbox, all-wheel-drive, working steering with Ackermann geometry, electronically height adjustable independent suspension, a replicated W16 engine, and even active aerodynamics.

Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron Remote Control

Five Power Functions motors are controlled by the BuWizz bluetooth brick, with two RC motors driving all four wheels, an XL motor powering the seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, and a fourth motor powering the steering. The fifth motor uses a gearbox to switch between two functions; raising/lowering the suspension, and controlling the three-position rear spoiler/air-brake (shown in the picture above in air-brake mode and in the image below fully retracted).

Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron Supercar

Leviathan’s Bugatti Chiron is very probably the most advanced Lego model we’ll see all year, and if LEGO’s own 42083 Technic Bugatti Chiron set is half as good when it arrives later on this year it’ll definitely be a set worth having. In the meantime you can read full details of Leviathan’s unbelievable creation at the Eurobricks forum, where there are also images showing the amazing engineering within, you can see the full gallery of images on Flickr, and you can watch a video demonstrating all of the model’s incredible functions by clicking here.

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Of Rust and Gasoline

Lego Town Garage

This absolutely splendid rural workshop comes from previous bloggee Markus Rollbuhler, and there’s so much brilliance contained within that we barely know where to start. We’ll pick out the lovely tow truck, a simply ingenious bench, and a delightful bird mid-flight as our favourite components, with another hundred or so close behind. Take a look for yourself via the link above, zoom in, and start spotting the countless examples of Lego-brick mastery.

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Ferrari 312T | Picture Special

Lego Ferrari 312T Niki Lauda

This is the four-time Championship winning Ferrari 312T, shown here in its earliest configuration from 1975, and it’s one of the greatest Formula 1 car designs of all time. Powered by Ferrari’s proven flat-12 engine the 312T was not turbocharged as per many of its rivals, despite the ‘T’ in the name. That ‘T’ in fact stood for ‘Transverse’, denoting the gearbox layout, making the 312T the first Formula 1 car to use the design.

The result was fantastic handling, and whilst the newer turbo-engines in rival cars of the time made huge power it was often at the expense of reliability, meaning their straight-line advantage often came to nought. Ferrari’s handling edge was so good they raced the 312T for six years, evolving the design over that time to meet with changing regulations, before the car was finally replaced in 1981.

Lego Ferrari 312T Niki Lauda

This incredible replica of Niki Lauda’s championship-winning 1975 Ferrari 312T comes from race-car-building-legend Luca Rusconi aka RoscoPC. Developed from an earlier model featured here last year, Luca has updated his 312T with the latest LEGO parts, and the model comes complete with beautifully authentic-looking period decals, working steering, suspension, and a faithful recreation of the famous flat-12 engine.

There’s a whole lot more to see of Luca’s stunning Ferrari 312T at his Flickr album via the link above, plus you can learn how Luca creates his amazing historic racing cars like this one in his Master MOCers interview by clicking here.

Lego Ferrari 312T Niki Lauda

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Ugly but Effective

Lego BuWizz RC Trophy Truck

The best off-roaders are never the prettiest things. Sensual curves and wind-cheating aerodynamics come a very distant second to approach/departure angles and suspension articulation.

Eurobricks’ rm8 has employed a similar tactic with his BuWizz-controlled trophy truck. Despite claims that it’s inspired by the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso it has about as much in common with that car as your Mom does with Charlize Theron. They’re the same species, and everything is kinda in the same place, but that’s about it.

Lego Technic Trophy Truck Remote Control

What rm8’s trophy truck lacks in aesthetic appeal however, it more that compensates for with off-road ability. Powered by a LEGO Buggy Motor, with servo steering and BuWizz control, plus bouncy independent front and live-axle rear suspension, it’s absolutely mega off-road, which should help it in the BuWizz Fast Car Competition in which it’s been entered.

There’s lots more to see at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, and you can watch the model in action via the ace video below.

YouTube Video

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The Other Challenger

Lego Challenger MT-865 Tractor

The Dodge Challenger has appeared here numerous times over the years. This isn’t that Challenger. Nope, this one is made by Caterpillar, and it comes from a series of tractors that were the first to be specifically designed to run on tracks.

This brilliant Model Team recreation of the latest Challenger MT865C comes from the appropriately-named Eric Trax, who has done a simply astonishing job replicating the Caterpillar in Lego form. And Eric’s creation is far from a static model…

Lego Challenger MT-865 Tractor

Inside the beautifully constructed exterior are a wealth of electronic and pneumatic components, allowing Eric’s Challenger to drive, skid-steer, and power both an on-board compressor and power-take-off.

Hooked up to the back of the MT865 is a Kinze 1050 grain trailer, complete with its own Medium motor and pneumatics to control the unloading auger.

Lego Challenger MT-865 RC

All of these functions can be controlled remotely via bluetooth, thanks to the third-party SBrick concealed within the build. This enables the models to be controlled by a phone or, as Eric has done, by a Playstation 4 controller!

There’s much more to see of this amazing Caterpillar Challenger MT865C tractor and Kinze 1050 grain trailer at both Brickshelf and the Eurobricks forum – click the link to see all of the images and to read complete build details.

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Diggin’ Double

Lego Technic Remote Control Excavator

LEGO’s excellent Power Functions components have brought a new ease to motorising Technic models. Small, simple to install and reasonably powerful, the wide range of motors, infrared receivers and battery boxes have found their way into countless Lego creations featured here over the years.

It didn’t take long however, for the clever boffins in the Lego Community to think ‘Great… but what if Power Functions was really powerful?…’

The result is the BuWizz brick, an integrated rechargeable battery and bluetooth receiver that delivers up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions system. To which Anto of Eurobricks thought ‘Great… but what if I had two…’

This is the fruit of Anto’s endeavour; a neat if unspectacular looking Technic excavator, with two BuWizz third-party bricks. The first controls the independently driven tracks (each powered by a Medium motor), the front-mounted blade (also powered a Medium motor) and the arm-mounted LEDs.

The second BuWizz device controls the superstructure rotation (via a Large motor), the two-stage arm (via an XL motor and Large motor respectively), and finally the bucket (powered by a Medium motor).

That’s a lot of motors and, thanks to those two BuWizz bricks, a lot of power too. So much so that Anto’s Technic excavator really can, well… excavate. Full details can be found at the Eurobricks discussion forum, and you watch Anto’s excavator in action via the video below.

YouTube Video

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Gone in 60 Seconds

Lego Technic Ford Mustang Eleanor 1967

1974’s Gone in 60 Seconds, and the 2000 remake, are not exactly the best movies ever made. However one thing that can be said for the original is that the stunts are very real. Written by and starring H. B. Halicki, the movie destroyed 93 cars in just one 40 minute chase seen, and totalled 127 vehicles overall. Many, including all of the police cars, were bought by Halicki at auction in a very used state for under $200 per car.

Still, that’s not exactly pocket money in the seventies, so Halicki employed family and friends rather than professional actors in order to keep production costs low. There was also no official script (which kinda shows) and despite all of the stunts being filmed for real their authenticity is somewhat hampered by some spectacularly dodgy continuity. Much like this website.

The 2000 remake starring Angelina Jolie and Nicolas Cage was far better made, but professional production values didn’t really result in a better movie. They did keep Halicki’s star car though, albeit in updated form; a glorious custom 1967 Ford Mustang known as ‘Eleanor’.

Previous bloggee Lachlan Cameron has recreated the famous movie car from the Gone in 60 Seconds remake beautifully in Technic form, and has included a huge array of working technical functions underneath car’s the iconic bodywork. There’s lots more to see at Eleanor’s album on Flickr via the link above, and you can watch the original movie trailer – which is basically one minute and twenty seconds of car crashes – by clicking here!

 

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Last of the Steam Tugs

Lego Saturn Steam Tug

This is the ‘Saturn’, a 1908 German steam tug which saw active duty right up until 1979. That made it the very last serving steam tug in Germany and earned it a place in the Rostock Shipping Museum, where it still resides today. This gorgeous 1:40-scale replica of the last steam tug comes from Flickr’s koffiemoc who has recreated the little ship beautifully in Lego form. There are lots more images to see – including highlights of the brilliant detailing and ‘how to’ pictures of the hull construction – at koffiemoc’s photostream. Steam ahead via the link above.

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Future Tanks

Lego Concept Tank

War. Sadly it will probably never ever go away. Man always seems to think there are others of his kind not as valuable as himself. Still, the future of warfare does look, well… rather cool, at least if this ‘HT-122 Golem’ tank and opposing ‘Pollaxe’ anti-tank by Flickr’s Sunder_59 are anything to go buy. There’s more to see more of each of Sunder’s military concepts via the links above.

Lego Concept Tank

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Deutschland Duel

Lego Technic Großer Mercedes 770

Iiiin the red corner, representing West Germany, driven by Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring and Pope Pius XI, and powered through the 1930s by eight cylinders and a supercharger, it’s the Großer Mercedes 770!

Aaaand in the beige corner, representing East Germany, driven by peasants, and powered through the 1950s… and 60s… and 70s… and 80s… and 90s… by two cylinders and hope, it’s the Trabant Combi!

Two very different yet very German cars today, represented by two very different but very excellent Lego creations.

Above we have the Großer Mercedes 770, built by Aleh of Eurobricks in Technic form and absolutely packed with amazing technology. Aleh’s recreation of one of Mercedes-Benz’s most opulent vehicles includes Power Functions drive and steering, an inline-8 engine hooked up to a three-speed+R gearbox, working all-wheel mechanical brakes powered by a Medium motor, all-wheel suspension, LED lights, and SBrick bluetooth control.

At the other end of the automotive scale we have this wonderfully replicated Model Team style Trabant Combi, resplendent in an authentic hearing-aid beige and built by fellow TLCB debutant Dan Falussy. With opening doors, hood and hatchback plus folding seats, Dan’s homage to the world’s finest cotton car (yes really) is about as well equipped as the real thing, and very probably better built.

There’s more to see of each model on Eurobricks (as well as Flickr in the Trabant’s case) via the links above. Take a look and choose your winner!

Lego Trabant

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Toyota 2000GT

Lego Toyota 2000GT

Back to cars now, and to one of the most beautiful ever produced. The Toyota 2000GT was built for just three years between 1967 and 1970, with only 351 ever made (plus two very special convertibles). Today 2000GTs are worth over $1million at auction, taking them a little over TLCB’s budget (£4.50 and tube of Smarties in case you’re wondering…), so we’ll have to make do with this one, but that’s OK, because it’s rather lovely. Built by previous bloggee Jonathan Elliott it recreates the iconic Japanese sports car beautifully in Speed Champions scale and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

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Massive Dump

Lego Caterpillar 797 Truck

There’s something massive at TLCB Towers today. No, it’s not your Mom (she left this morning), but this, an absolutely gargantuan Caterpillar 797F mining truck built from 61,399 LEGO bricks! Designed by Certified LEGO Professional Ryan McNaught for the previously featured ‘Brickman Awesome’ show, the Lego 797F utilised Caterpillar’s own 3D modelling tool in its creation and took Ryan and a fellow builder 53 hours to construct. There’s a whole lot more to see of this astonishing build (just look at those brick-built wheels!) at Ryan’s photostream, where you can also see the other models from the Brickman Awesome show, many of which have appeared here. Click the link above to make the jump!

Lego Caterpillar 797 Truck

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Seahorse

Lego USMC UH-34D Seahorse

The early marine biologists of the world were not inventive in the naming department. It seems many marine animals are simply named after a land animal, but with the word ‘sea’ added before, or ‘fish’ added after, even if there are no similarities whatsoever between the two. The humble seahorse is a case in point. With a mass of just a few ounces, no legs, and reproduction via eggs, the seahorse and regular horse are about as far apart on the animal spectrum as you can get. Lazy marine biologists, lazy…

Military engineers however, are far better at naming things. This is a Sikorsky H-34 Seahorse helicopter, and whilst the weird little fish doesn’t have rotor blades, it really does look quite a lot like the H-34. The Seahorse’s strange looks come from the huge 1,500bhp radial engine mounted in the nose, as back in the fifties most helicopters were not powered by the more compact turbine engines that are now fitted to almost all rotorary-wing aircraft.

This enormous power plant meant the cockpit needed to be raised above it in order for the pilots to see, giving the Sikorsky H-34 and the many variants that followed their unusual seahorsey shape.

This particular version of the Sikorsky H-34 is a UH-34D from 1962, deployed by the US Marines in the Vietnam War and recreated beautifully in Lego form in all of its weirdness by Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist). Ralph’s superb replica of the famous American helicopter includes a side opening door and some simply awesome detailing, enabled by the range of ingenious building techniques that Ralph is known for.

Head over to Flickr via the link above for all the photos, and you can read our interview with the builder as part of The Lego Car Blog’s Master MOCers series by clicking here.

Lego Sikorsky H-34 Seahorse

 

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What a Difference a Stud Makes

Lego Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC

You might not think there’s much between six and seven (according to TLCB calculator it’s just one in fact), but as your Mom will confirm, one can make all the difference.

Suggested by a reader via the Feedback & Submission Suggestions page, Gerald Cacas’ Speed Champions Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC is just one stud wider than LEGO’s official – and really rather good – 75885 set (pictured below), but boy does it make use of that extra stud!

Whilst utilising the best bits of the official set, Gerald’s widened version adds in a brilliantly detailed engine bay (under a newly-hinged hood), a rally-spec interior, opening boot-lid, and a chunk more visual detail, including a brick-built windscreen which makes a world of difference from the slightly inappropriate fighter-cockpit of the original.

There’s more to see of Gerald’s expanded Speed Champions Ford Fiesta WRC on Flickr – click here to get a little bit larger.

Lego Speed Champions Ford Fiesta WRC 75885

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