Life on the Edge

Lego Technic Ford Edge RC

After the near collapse of America’s ‘Big Three’ auto manufacturers following decades of crappy products, poor investment and safety cover-ups, Ford have progressed rather well. Their ‘One Ford’ programme is central to the company’s recovery, and it aims to create cars that are suitable for multiple markets, in doing so leveraging greater economies of scale and utilising Ford’s breadth of expertise around the world.

The results are that America gets down-sized turbo engines and the Focus and Fiesta from Europe (a Good Thing), and here in Europe we get the South American Ecosport crossover (Not a Good Thing), the new Europe-friendly Mustang (a Very Good Thing) and – in the last few weeks – this; the large American-developed Edge SUV.

The jury is still out on whether this is a Good Thing or not, as although the European Edge comes with EU-friendly turbo-diesels, it’s a bit big and a bit soft to appeal to European reviewers. Still, they’re largely numpties anyway because no-one wants to throw a car round a corner at 60mph if it has two kids and a labrador in the back, yet this seems to be a priority for every automotive journalist.

Anyhoo, what we are certain of is that this Technic recreation of Ford’s latest offensive into the European SUV market is absolutely brilliant. Built by Flickr’s chumuhou it features a full remote control drivetrain with two L Motors powering all four wheels, Servo steering, all-wheel independent suspension, opening doors, hood and trunk, and a beautifully realistic interior. There’s lots more to see at chumuhou’s Flickr photostream – click the link above to make the jump to check it out.

Lego Technic Ford Edge Remote Control 4x4

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8069 Backhoe Loader Review

Lego Technic 8069 Backhoe Review

PC or Mac? Ford or GM? Edward or Jacob? These are the questions that have dominated our age. However since 2008 a new and even more important choice has arisen, one that has conflicted the minds of academics and that has caused lifelong friends to stop talking. So… Linear Actuators or Pneumatics?

Thirdwigg, returning to TLCB for his second Reader Review (and risking ostracisation by half of the online Lego Community), is brave enough to make his case…

Bias alert: in the Linear Actuator vs. Pneumatics debate I am conclusively in the former group. Feel free to send your “dear idiot letters” to thirdwigg.com, I can handle it. After the release of the Large Linear Actuators (LA) from 8295 and 8294, it was clear to me they were an improvement over pneumatics. They had a simple design, better integration with Power Functions and manual controls, actual mid-range control, and no clunky hoses to connect and manage in your model. But I still felt like something was missing after the LAs. Something shorter, smaller. When we first got teasers images of 8069 I was excited. Did it have what I was looking for?

Like most sets, this one comes in a box. You have to open it. It has parts in it. 609. And it costs $60. The tyres, buckets and stickers are loose in the box, along with two loose instruction manuals for the A model. B model instructions are online. All you need to know about new parts in 8069 is that it is the first set that included Mini Linear Actuators (mLA). You get four of them. You also get two yellow panels (they are kind of rare, it turns out), the buckets, lots of gears, yellow parts, and the mLAs. They are great. Great.

The build starts with the chassis and the front steering, then quickly onto building a worm gear submodel. “What’s this” you think? It’s for the bucket tilt. We’ll come back to this. Two mLAs are used to provide the bucket lift. Then off to the rear, where you start building a complex structure of gears for the rear bucket. The design is good, and teaches many gear structures including worm and bevel gearing. It also offers a great lesson on how to build good cross supporting structures in Technic when the rear supports are added.

You then build the cabin, which has some nice details. Next all the rear backhoe controls placed on the top and the backhoe is added with a neat little design for the two stages of movement utilizing two of the mLAs. Finally the fenders are added, the front bucket is placed, you add the wheels, and you are done.

Lego Technic 8069 Backhoe Loader

The finished 8069 model has a lot of functions; steering, bucket lift, bucket tilt, backhoe slew, backhoe arm, backhoe bucket, and rear stabilizers. For a set of this size it’s an impressive list. How well do they work? Better than pneumatics (zing!). The steering is light, and the turning radius is stunning (Hurrah! Ed.), especially if you take out the ¾ pins in the steering. You might bump the hood a bit on full lock, but it’s worth it. The bucket lift is excellent – it’s strong, and the controls are easy to use. The range of motion is good; though a little more height would be welcome. Continue reading

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Bugger Me

Lego Ford Anglia Harry Potter

Crashed into the Buggering Birch, Ron Weasley’s 1960’s Ford Anglia has never been the same since. Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist imagines happier times, before the horny tree had its way with the unfortunate car, with this superb Lego recreation of the little blue Ford, Ron and Harry. There’s more to see at Ralph’s Flickr photostream – click the link above to lube up.

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Son of Saab

Lego Saab JA37 Viggen

Flickr’s Stefan Johansson has appeared here several times this year with his meticulously recreated Saab aircraft. His latest is one of Saab Aero’s newer offerings – the fearsome JA37 Viggen – and this time Stefan has branched away from his usual stealthy grey to brick-build a full camouflage livery. There’s more to see on Flickr at Stefan’s photostream – click the link above to take off.

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Sunshine Scania

Lego Technic RC Scania Truck

Another day and another Elf returns to TLCB Towers in the hope of receiving a meal token and a Smartie. A hope realised, as this remote control Technic Scania truck is just the sort of model that this blog was created for. Built by newcomer Fig850 it features RC drive, steering and tilting cab (powered by an L motor each), a remotely operated three-speed gearbox, a V8 piston engine and working front and rear suspension. You can see more via Eurobricks at the link above whilst we dispense a yellow Smartie to a happy Elf.

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Black Devil

Lego Technic RC Supercar

Remote control models have become incredibly popular since the introduction of LEGO’s excellent Power Functions motors and infrared control system. This Corvettesque creation, the latest build by Chade of Flickr and Eurobricks, packs in the full suite of Power Functions components underneath its beautifully neat bodywork. Two L Motors drive the rear wheels whilst a Servo allows for precise steering control, the on-board battery is hidden within the chassis, and LEDs are utilised to give the front lights realism.

The whole package has been very thoroughly engineered by Chade, making this creation one of the neatest RC builds we’ve seen in a while. There’s lots more to see, including images of the chassis and drivetrain, on both Flickr and Eurbricks – click the links above to make the jump.

Lego Technic Corvette C7

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Space Cab Cominatie

Lego DAF CF 460 Space Cab

This superb DAF CF 460 Space Cab ‘combinatie’ truck and trailer was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr. It’s the work of DAF-building specialist and previous bloggee Arian Janssens, who churns out DAF truck models of the highest quality and a prodigious rate. There’s lots more to see of Arian’s latest build, which includes a variety of load and trailer colour schemes and combinations, via his Flickr photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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Sky Shed

Lego Airship

This glorious contraption is apparently a Cargo SkyBoat, and it’s utterly wonderful in every single way. Not knowing anything about Cargo SkyBoats, and having pinched this from Bricknerd, we’ll leave it there, but you can see lots more courtesy of Alexis Dos Santos on Flickr. Click on these words to get airborne.

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Schooled

Lego Technic Remote Control School Bus

TLCB Elves are great fans of remotely controlled creations. If they’re large and/or fast enough they can even be used to smush unsuspecting co-workers.

Today’s Elf needs to go back to school though, as its find – paave‘s brilliant Technic school bus – is neither large nor fast. Unfortunately this meant that the group of Elves it was targeting heard the bus coming, jumped out of the way, overturned it in a rare moment of Elven cooperation, and then chased the controlling Elf out of the office. As your Mom would say, size matters.

Anyhoo, in this case it’s actually the creation’s diminutive size that makes it more impressive, as squeezed inside are a full remote control drivetrain and a working motorised door, all in a model that’s only about 10 studs wide.

You can see more of paave’s Technic school bus on MOCpages, Brickshelf, and Eurobricks, where there’s also a video showing the cunningness within.

Lego Technic RC American School Bus

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End Dump

Lego Peterbilt 379 BricksonWheels RC

The Lego Car Blog Elves, as has been well documented on these pages, like bright colours, shiny things, and remote control. Today therefore, was a Good Day, as one of their number rode triumphantly into the office atop this; a stunning fully remote controlled Peterbilt 379 complete with a working MAC end dump trailer.

It’s the work of Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka Bricksonwheels, who returns to truck building after some time away from his most favoured subject. Built from around 5,000 LEGO bricks (over 500 of which have been beautifully chromed) and measuring well over a metre long it’s one of the larger models that we feature here at TLCB, and such impressive scale allows for some simply incredible detailing.

It also enabled us to give some of the Elves a ride around the office in the trailer, which they enjoyed immensely, before we dumped them all in a strategically placed bowl of soapy water (it’s for their own good, honest). You can check out more of Dennis’ spectacular build on Flickr via the link above (you won’t end up in bowl of soapy water, we promise), and you can also check out Dennis’ excellent book ‘The Art of Lego Scale Modeling’, which features other models like this one, by clicking here. You could even win it and other goodies as part of TLCB’s ‘Review My Set Competition’ – click here to learn how!

Lego Peterbilt 379 & MAC End Dump

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To Finish First…

Lego Nissan R89C

…First you must finish. Unfortunately for Nissan their strikingly designed 1989 R89C Group C racer was uncharacteristically un-Japanese when it came to reliability, with all three Le Mans entries retiring before the race was over. Sadly the R89C fared little better in the World Sports Car and Japan Sports Prototype Championships, suffering from chassis and engine issues throughout the season.

The R89C is not exactly a legend of endurance racing then, but just look at it! Making almost 1,000bhp from its twin-turbo 3.5litre V8 engine the R89C packed quite a punch when it was working too.

This gorgeous Model Team replica of the classic Nissan racing car is the work of Alexander Paschoaletto and he’s recreated the R89C’s magical shape (and Nissan’s famous late ’80s – early ’90s livery) beautifully in brick form. You can see more of his build on both Flickr and MOCpages – click on the links to take the trip to ’89.

Lego Nissan R89C

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Scorpion

Lego Technic RC Grinnall Scorpion III

This three-wheeled oddity is a Grinnall Scorpion III, a BMW-bike engined track-car built by one of the UK’s many weird sports car companies that most people have never heard of. Well this one isn’t of course, it’s a Lego version, built by Flickr’s James Tillson, and it’s quite a neat bit of kit. With all-wheel-suspension, RC steering and a Buggy Motor driving the single rear wheel James’ Scorpion replica looks like a riot to drive on a slippy lino floor. You can see more images of the Grinnall on Flickr here, and you can see it in action on a slippy lino floor at Eurobricks here.

Lego Technic RC Grinnall Scorpion III

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The Killer Years – Historic F1 Picture Special

Lego Lotus Ford 72D JPS

Every so often we receive a suggestion here at TLCB that makes the whole office stop what it’s doing (which today seemed to mostly be Google-imaging attractive Rio Olympics athletes) to gaze in wonder at the creation/s found. This was definitely one of those moments.

Lego Ferrari 640 Formula 1

These incredible Model Team classic Formula 1 replicas have all been built by newcomer Idihnab Szalab from Hungary, and he’s uploaded all four to MOCpages in one go. Each is an exquisitely detailed creation that perfectly captures one of the Formula 1’s most famous and iconic cars in Lego form.

Lego Williams-Honda FW11

From top to bottom Idihnab has built; the dominant 1972-75 Lotus-Ford 72D in John Player Special livery, Ferrari’s 1989 640, the double World Championship-winning 1986-87 Williams-Honda FW11, and lastly the beautiful Lotus-Ford 72C from 1970-71 in magnificent Gold Leaf livery.

Lego Lotus Ford 72C Gold Leaf

We can’t recommend paying Idihnab’s MOCpage a visit enough – click here to view all four incredible creations and to step back in time to Formula 1’s greatest era.

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8081 Extreme Cruiser Review

Lego Technic 8081 Extreme Cruiser Set Review

The Lego Car Blog Set Review Library is packed with over seventy sets, but we want mooooah! This is where you come in, as we’re looking for TLCB readers to add their own sets to the Review Library, and in doing so you could even win some loot! You also get to become a TLCB writer for the day, with literally none of the privileges that you’d expect this to offer you. Still, this hasn’t put off friend of TLCB Thirdwigg, who has joined us here at TLCB Towers to add one of his favourite sets to the Review Library. Yes, we said favourite. We’ll let Thirdwigg explain…

8081 Extreme Cruiser gets a bad rap. It’s not extreme. It’s not a 4×4. It has a funny engine. It’s black. On and on it goes. Blah Blah Blah.

I love it.

But it took me some time. When I bought it for $60 through LEGO, I tagged it onto my 8110 order as an afterthought. I was decidedly more excited about 8110. After 8110, I got to work on 8081. Opening the box, you find a number of bags, wheels and tires, and a number of loose instructions books (ugh). There are a lot of black parts, and some red parts, but the set really has no new parts among the 590 included. However some interesting pieces include the newer frames, four pistons and cylinders, suspension parts, a bunch of black panels. There are also instructions included for a B Model. You’ll like A better.

The builds starts with the frame of the 4×4. LEGO uses red for the chassis, which seems silly at this point. You add the knob gears for the steering, and add the rear suspension. The suspension is a single pivot design like we saw in the car from 8042. But there is a differential (clap, clap), and the structure is solid. We can let it slide. You then build the engine and the front suspension. You build a V4?! What is this, a motorcycle? Then the front suspension. Independent setup with no drive?! On an Extreme Cruiser? Who named this set?

Yep, no four wheel drive, and an anemic engine.

The bodywork comes next with the second bag, and the model is finished with bag three. Redemption for 8081 is starting. The structure is solid and cohesive. The black works well, and the execution comes together as the Technic panels fill gaps and lead your eyes to a quite a pleasing overall shape. The hood is long, as is the roofline, and 8081’s stance looks great; balanced and not too heavy. The tires fill out the wheel wells appropriately. The doors, hood, and tailgate all open – simple, nice features to include. The blue seats are basic, yet they look good and compliment the aforementioned red, which highlights the chassis well.

Lego 8081 Extreme Cruiser

When it’s all done you cannot help but like the cute little SUV. Continue reading

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Not a Car

Lego Steam Train

The Lego Car Blog Elves didn’t find any cars for us to blog today, but they did find this; a lovely Town-scale replica of a German BR23 Epoch II steam locomotive. It’s been built by omega3108, it’s driven by Power Functions, and there’s more to see via the link above.

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