On The Buses

TLCB Elves don’t usually get excited about buses. They have no racing stripes, lasers, or supercharging, and such things are important to an Elf. TLCB Team do sometimes get excited about buses – because we’re a bit sad – but not bendy buses, which were introduced to the streets of our capital a decade or so ago whereupon they proceeded to run over cyclists and then get stuck on every tight corner.

Now removed, we’re back to double deckers, but that doesn’t mean the bendy-bus isn’t a good solution for more modern cities. It’s also a design, in the case of today’s creation anyway, that’s really cool. And yes we did just write that about a bus.

This is Sariel‘s Solaris Urbino 18, a remote controlled, five-motor engineering triumph. Looking almost exactly like the real deal, Sariel has managed to squeeze a spectacular array of working functions inside the Urbino’s shell. Firstly the bus drives and steers remotely, thanks to LEGO Power Functions motors and a third-part SBrick programmable bluetooth receiver. This SBrick also allows the bus’s head, tail, brake and indicator lights to be controlled, plus the ingenious motorised door opening mechanism with all doors powered by a single Medium motor.

Most cleverly of all there is a working ‘kneel’ system, where – just like the real bus – the ride height drops as the doors open to allow easier access for passengers to embark/disembark.

Lastly the model features accurate custom decals to replicate those of the real vehicle, illuminated numbers, and some seriously impressive working dot matrix displays thanks to a custom design by third-party specialists Brickstuff.

Sariel’s amazing creation is a great way to round out the year and you can see more of his Solaris Urbino 18 at both his Flickr album and via the Eurobricks discussion forum, where you can also find a video demonstrating the model’s incredible working features.

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