Mars. Our closest neighbour that isn’t orbiting us, and bleak desolate planet where water turns directly from a solid to a vapour, and back again.
Cue BobDeQuatre‘s ‘Dionysus’ armoured water tanker, a nuclear-powered transport, capable of carrying large quantities of water from remote extraction sites back to Mars Corporation outposts. Or something like that.
Bluetooth remote control via an SBrick and a rather snazzy paint-job caught our attention, and there’s more to see of Bob’s water-carrying martian on Flickr via the link.
This is the EBRC Jaguar, France’s new armoured reconnaissance & combat vehicle, and – according to builder Jordan Parmegiani (aka ParmBrick) – it’s equipped with electronic IED countermeasures and missile alert systems, a 40mm cannon, two MMP anti-tank guided missiles, a 7.62mm remote controlled machine gun, and eight smoke grenades. Which all sounds marvellous, but more importantly, being French, just look at how many poles there are to hang a white flag on! See more of Jordan’s Jaguar at both Eurobricks and Flickr via the links.
This is the M1083 6×6 ‘Medium Tactical Vehicle’, an Austrian-designed 5-ton military truck produced by Oshkosh for the U.S military.
Built by Flickr’s Evan M, this superb Lego recreation of the M1083 in desert camo spec not only does an excellent job of capturing the truck, and features both working steering and suspension, it also includes 5 tons of exciting exploding things in the load bed.
Talking of ‘capturing the truck’, a few of the real trucks and a great many tons of U.S exploding things are likely now in the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Which makes the war to oust them seem rather pointless. Still, you can capture your own M1083 at Evan’s photostream via the link above!
It was a peaceful morning here at TLCB Towers. Some Elves were quietly watching cartoons, some TLCB Writers were… er, quietly watching cartoons, and all was well with the world.
And then a BuWizz-powered truck ran a load of them over. Elves you understand, not Writers.
Built by Eurobricks’ blaz62, this monstrous Tatra Phoenix trial truck made easy work smushing our smelly little workers, thanks to twin motors, fully independent suspension, and six-wheel-drive.
The Elf at the controls was clearly enjoying itself, but fortunately we were on hand to promptly pick up the creation in question and end the violence, much to its annoyance.
A closer inspection of the model revealed modular construction, opening doors, and – for a Technic creation at least – a kinda detailed interior, but with a trial truck it’s really all about how the model drives.
Whilst we conduct some arduous ‘testing’ to determine this, you can see more of blaz62’s excellent all-wheel-drive Phoenix at the Eurobricks discussion via the link above, plus you can check out the creation in action via the video below.
It’s review time here at TLCB! The guys over at Game of Bricks, makers of bespoke LED lighting kits for LEGO sets, offered us a few of their products for review, and because either a) we’re awesome, or b) this site is too incompetent to be sent sets from LEGO, this time we’re handing over to our readers!
Wojtek Hildebrandt was one of the readers to respond to the offer of a free lighting kit (via our Facebook page) the fastest, and fortunately for us he’s a throughly good reviewer too. Check out his thoughts on Game of Bricks’ lighting kit for his recently reviewed Technic 42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler set below! The answer was (b) by the way…
They see me hauling, they lighting.
The LEGO Technic set 42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler is a big and very yellow piece of equipment that I really like and that’s hard not to notice. That is of course if there’s light outside. But what if you need to haul whatever it is you are hauling around when it’s dark? The Game Of Bricks lighting kit comes to the rescue and frees you from filling in endless Health and Safety forms so I’m glad that TLCB together with GoB came up with this review idea. The kit I got is the full version – lights and sound with remote control. How does it look? How does it sound? What about installation and control? First things first.
The package comes in a nice black box with components divided into steps and packed in separate string bags containing required wiring, boards, and LEDs as well as any additional LEGO pieces needed to install it. Depending on the version of the kit – standard, remote, or remote + sound – there are different motherboards and additional equipment like remote or speaker. There is also a user manual, but it’s not the one that gets the user through the installation. It’s rather a general description of components and how to handle them. An actual step-by-step instruction is available on the Game of Bricks website, which is mentioned both in the user manual and in the order confirmation email from GoB. For the 42114 lighting kit, it is a series of pictures showing where to put which components, how to route the wiring, and sometimes what to remove from the set and when to put it back. Some other sets get video instruction – perhaps this one will get it too at some point.
Read twice, place once.
Before you start your installation or even before you open the bags, have a good look over the entire web instructions. Twice. Game of Bricks’ pictures are usually rather clear but not as much as LEGO’s own instructions. Black wires can sometimes hide in the shadows, other times some important details can get unnoticed as there is no description to point it out – this is, in particular, the case for rear lights that have two different LED colours. Still, I was able to follow the instructions with only a minor slip so I guess everybody should be fine. But knowing what to do is one thing and knowing how to do it is another thing entirely.
Do you fancy some knitting after a day of hauling? Have I got news for you!
Installing the lighting kit is a totally different experience to building the LEGO set itself. It feels more like knitting or sewing – at least I guess so. LEDs and wires seem fragile (even if they aren’t, excuse me for not running the stress test) so be gentle and patient. Get a pair of trusty tweezers, maybe even a magnifying glass, and make sure you have a good strong light on your workplace. You’re thinking of a headlamp? Why not. It takes light to install the lights, let’s call it a “circle of light”.
As for the LEGO set, you will need to remove or collapse the side mirrors to be able to lay the hauler on the side, and some wheels will need to be temporarily removed too. The beacon can be a problem when the hauler needs to be put upside down, so prepare for that as well. I need to say it quickly became tricky to handle this heavy set with an increasing number of wires leaving less and less space to firmly grasp the vehicle without worrying. The wires are a bit springy which is both a blessing and a curse. You will need to force them to your will, but eventually, they will obey. Connectors are tiny, they need to be put into ports precisely and with a click. Motherboard, extension boards, and optional speaker are attached to the set with double-sided adhesive tape. It seems to keep things together well, even the big speaker sits firmly in place. My only fear for the future is how to uninstall the lighting kit when I’d like to disassemble the set – will I be able to put it all back together?
Anyway, slowly but surely – like the hauler stuck on the first gear – you will get to the final step of the instructions; plugging in the power source. You can choose either the battery box that’s included in the lighting kit or any power bank – power goes through a USB connector so there are plenty of possibilities. Where to store it? If only there’d be a vast free space on the rear part of the hauler… Finally, the set should be ready to shine… Continue reading →
It’s review time here at The Lego Car Blog, as we add another LEGO set to the by now pretty huge Review Library! This set review comes from one of our readers, who dons the Reviewing Anorak (which may or may not be a real thing) and takes on the enormous remote controlled LEGO Technic 42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler. Wojtek Hildebrandt is the reader in question, and so good is his review that TLCB Team are frankly a little worried for their jobs. That’s not true of course, as they don’t get paid… Anyway, over to Wojtek!
LEGO has a long-standing tradition of recreating dominantly yellow construction equipment in Technic sets. This is rather a grateful theme for construction blocks after all – simple shapes and function over form. Recently these have mostly been Volvo licensed vehicles; wheel loaders, excavators, and haulers with different degrees of motorisation – from full (as in 42030 loader) via optional (to power 42053 excavator pneumatics) to none (for endless knob spinning fun with 42081 concept loader). The time has come for a fully remote-controlled articulated hauler – a Volvo A60H with the Control+ app.
Beauty is in the eye of the behauler.
First, let’s have a look from the outside. This is a looker, at least for a construction machine. We can see it already on the box cover, where the hauler is put in some blurred quarry environment. It fits well, but then the same image is sometimes used without the background, which makes the chassis twist look weird, like doing some unlikely stunt.
Speaking of weird: LEGO’s previous attempt to minify a Volvo hauler – the B model for 42030 – had it all wrong (even with the number of wheels), but if you’re generous enough, you can say it was a tribute to vintage, skeletal Technic sets. If so, then 42114 is more from a bloodline of Model Team or recent adult Creator sets, even if it uses mostly Technic parts. Of course, the pins and holes are there and some proportions and colors are off, but both overall shape and some neat details are very true.
Let’s start from the business end; the dump body – we’ll call it the body from now on – has a complex shape with clever usage of tapered panels (which are flat on both sides, unlike straight panels) and very few empty spaces. I guess you couldn’t haul sand in it, but it should be perfect for some beans or potatoes. Or lemons to match the colour. The driver’s cab is correctly centred and surrounded by a proper, orange safety railing as well as accurate big mirrors. There is a slightly surprising mudguard serving as a dashboard, my favorite seat made of a single curved panel 3x5x3 (which seems to fit the same purpose regardless of model scale), and a warning beacon on the roof that twists slightly to turn the Control+ hub on or off.
Further to the front, we have one of the best-looking parts – a nicely sculpted bonnet. The impression is improved by a few stickers, but even without them all the angles and curves feel just right, even if they’re not entirely true to the original, e.g. with headlights. One curved panel covers the limits of the other and everything works together nicely. It’s wobbly during construction but becomes solid enough eventually. The front bumper on the other hand is no match for a durable look of the original, but to me, it doesn’t harm the overall impression too much.
Now we get to the hardware. Both real-life and miniature versions of the Volvo hauler are powered by six cylinders. In full scale, they are six, famously green inline cylinders of an internal combustion engine. For the set, they are 6 AA/R6 batteries. Which one is “greener” energy depends probably on whether your batteries are rechargeable and if so – how you recharge them. Continue reading →
This is a 1950s Berliet T100, a French-built, V12-powered 6×6 truck, with a gross weight of over 100 tons, and it was the largest truck in the world.
Four T100s were built between 1957 and 1959, with three flatbeds (as depicted here) designed to take enormous pieces of equipment off-road to serve oil and gas exploration in Northern Africa, whilst the fourth was outfitted as a dump truck for use in a French uranium mine.
The trucks were powered by a 29.6 litre Cummins engine, supplemented by a smaller Panhard engine used to power the steering and as a generator, and delivered a power figure of between 600 and 700bhp. One T100 was even fitted with an experimental gas turbine for a while, before it reverted back to diesel power.
Nico71’s incredible Technic recreation of the Berliet T100 includes both of these engines, along with a fully working replica of the T100’s 6×6 drivetrain, with three L Motors (one for each axle), all-wheel suspension, and a Medium Motor powering a compressor that can pneumatically lock all three differentials.
A fifth motor drives the steering front axle, with a final M Motor powering a winch mounted at the back of the cab, able to drag equipment up the T100’s ramp for transportation.
All six motors can be operated via bluetooth thanks to a third party SBrick controller, providing Nico’s 1:20 scale 3kg model with an accurate scaled-down representation of the real Berliet T100’s off-road ability.
You can see Nico71’s amazing creation in action via the video below, and you can read full details about both the build and the history of the real 1950s Berliet T100 trucks at Nico’s excellent website, where a complete gallery of images and 550-page building instructions can also be found.
Some might think today’s title could refer to Russia’s creeping direction under its definitely fairly democratically elected President, but – fortunately for us as we don’t want to experience Novichok poisoning – it also relates perfectly to this; Sariel’s amazing fully remote controlled pneumatic and motorised Ural 375D 6×6 truck.
Sariel‘s latest astonishing creation is a spectacularly engineered replica of the mighty Soviet military truck, built entirely from Lego pieces, plus a few choice third-party-supplied enhancements.
The first of these is an SBrick bluetooth controller, which allows the four-motor 6×6 drive, steering, servo-powered 3-speed gearbox, three pneumatically locking differentials, and Brickstuff LED lights to all be controlled remotely via a mobile phone or other bluetooth device.
Sariel has further enhanced his model with RC4WD ‘Rock Crusher’ tyres, fitted to Lego rims and mounted to live axle suspension on axles 1 and 3, with pendular suspension on axle 2. A motorised rear winch, working V8 engine, opening doors and hood, and a canvas load cover complete the build, and make Sariel’s Ural one of the most realistic and technically accurate trucks of the year so far.
There’s a whole lot more of this incredible creation to see at the Eurobricks forum, plus the complete gallery of stunning imagery is available to view on Flickr, where there are even a few images that seem to depict a TLCB Elf in shot, but we might be imagining that.
You can also check out a video of the Ural 375D 6×6 in action below, in which the working functions, bare chassis, and a pug named Muffin can all be viewed.
Unlike today’s other off-road truck post, this one certainly doesn’t have a bland name. The Mitsubishi Fuso SuperGreat FX 6×6 is an off-road military tow truck, depicted here in Technic Japanese Self Defence Force form.
All six wheels are driven by a Medium Motor, the steering is powered by a combination of a Medium and a Micro Motor, whilst the crane rotation, elevation, extension, and outriggers are all controlled manually.
Green has traditionally (and logically) been LEGO’s colour of choice for flora, being used for trees, plants, and grassy baseplates. It also features as a stripe in fictional energy company Octan’s livery, but that’s about as far as it went for green pieces for decades.
In recent times though, LEGO’s range of green hues has expanded massively, with ‘sand green’, ‘lime green’, ‘dark green’, ‘blueish green’ and, as here, ‘olive green’.
Despite increase in variety of greens however, the pieces within each hue are often still rarer than evidence of humility from Donald Trump, which explains why Rolands Kirpis took a year to find all the olive green parts required for his Ural 375D. Find them he did though, and his 12 month search paid off as his Ural looks stunning.
Underneath the olive green exterior Rolands’ truck is fully remote controlled, with three L motors driving all six wheels, a Medium motor powering the steering, along with working suspension, opening doors and hood, plus a detailed interior and engine bay.
There’s loads more of Rolands’ brilliant build to see at his photostream – click the link above to go (olive) green.
We’re cheating a bit today, but whilst this creation by Flickr’s L E G O Z ; ) is digital, being ‘built’ in Bricklink Studio 2.0, it’s also awesome. Called the ‘SPARKY’ High Mobility Salvage Rover, it’s based on the concept art of John Wallin Liberto, and features only genuine (digital) LEGO pieces plus some rather neat photoshopping. The result looks mega and there’s more to see via the link above!
This is an M8 Greyhound 6×6 Light Armoured Vehicle (or something close to it, as builder Robson M doesn’t specify!), built by Ford in the 1940s for Allied troops during World War 2.
The British, who like naming their military hardware after animals and the weather, gave it the ‘greyhound’ name, as it could sustain 55mph on reasonable roads, which was very quick for the time. And – at least in this one’s case – it was grey.
Much like a real greyhound though, the M8 wasn’t particularly well armoured, especially underneath, and nor was it very good off-road, despite being a 6×6. However it was useful enough that 8,500 were made, and – again like its namesake dog – many found new homes after being retired from their first military owner, with some M8s still in service around the world as late as the 2000s!
This neat Town scale version captures the M8 Greyhound rather well, with Robson using a few custom decals and a custom machine gun mounted on top to add to the model’s realism. There’s more of Robson’s build to see at his photostream – click the link to make a visit to the dog track.
Summertime is here at TLCB Towers, when skirts get shorter (the pedestrians outside, not TLCB staff), it doesn’t get dark until 10pm, and a select group of Elven ‘volunteers’ are fired over the walls of The LEGO Group’s HQ tasked with bringing back the second half of the year’s new Technic sets.
Those that successfully dodged LEGO’s guard dogs (who surely look forward to this biannual event), have returned with their finds which – thanks to the magic of the internet – we can share with you today! So here they are; the three brand new for H2 2020 LEGO Technic sets…
42112 Concrete Mixer Truck
The first new addition to the Technic line up is an interesting one, being hefty eight wheel concrete mixer truck that adopts Technic’s recent more detailed aesthetic and includes a brand new bespoke mixing drum piece. Whether this giant single part is a welcome addition or is at odds with the very point of LEGO is open to debate, but the model itself does look rather excellent, with almost Model Team levels of detail yet also retaining decent Technic functionality.
The front two axles offer mechanical steering via a roof mounted gear, whilst that new mixing drum can rotate either as the truck is pushed along or via a gear on the side, allowing it to ‘unload’ its contents all over the kitchen floor. 42112 also adds a few more dark blue pieces to range, with its attractive colouring enhanced with a few neat decals, and it’s expected to cost around €100 when it reaches stores in August.
42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey
The second set to join the 2020 Technic line-up is as interesting as the first, and it adds another officially-licensed partnership to LEGO’s impressive list to date. It’s also a partnership we never expected, as this awesome looking tilt-rotor aircraft is based on the real (and amazing) Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.
LEGO have dabbled with tilt-rotor aircraft only once to our knowledge, back with the 8082 Multi-Model Control set from 1993 (come to think of it, why don’t LEGO make multi-model sets anymore? They were great), making 42113 one of the most unusual and original Technic sets in years.
It’s also the first set to feature LEGO’s new ‘Powered Up’ battery box, which when combined with the ‘Powered Up’ Motor drives the set’s two rotors and (we hope) the tilting mechanism that converts the V-22 Osprey from helicopter to plane. An opening cargo door and working landing gear also feature, as do a few orange panels to break up the military grey.
42113 will place towards the top end of the Technic range upon its arrival (although the mid-point definitely seems to be shifting upwards), is aimed at ages 10+ (as per the 42112 Concrete Mixer Truck above), and is estimated to cost around €130 when it reaches stores later this year.
42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler
The final new addition to the 2020 line-up is another complicated and expensive set, meaning that all three of LEGO’s H2 sets cost upwards of €100. 42114 sits at the top of the trio, costing an enormous €250. It is itself rather large though, which helps off-set some of that eye-watering cost, and it brings an old favourite back to the range; Volvo Trucks.
Often the ‘B-Model’ (which is ironic, as all three of the new sets don’t seem to offer a B-Model at all), articulated haulers have appeared a few times in the Technic range, but never on this scale. The 42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler is huge, and packed with LEGO’s latest components, chief amongst which is the Control+ bluetooth brick, which enables the set to be operated remotely via a mobile phone or other bluetooth device.
42114 includes three of LEGO’s new ‘Powered Up’ motors, which deliver the all-wheel-drive, articulated steering, and power the massive linear actuator-driven tipping bucket. High levels of visual realism are present once again, with the set enhanced by both accurate decals and a level of detail that was only present on Model Team sets not that long ago. It’s an impressive combination, and one that has created a set that looks to be both a fine display piece and gloriously playable. But it still looks mightily expensive…
42114 is aimed at ages 11+ and joins 42112 and 42113 in stores later on this year. Better start saving. A lot!
The Space Race was an incredible time. Not only were the two world Superpowers spending millions on things to blow one another up and poison the earth for a hundred-thousand years, they were also spending millions sending things into space. Probably so they could use it to blow one another up and poison the earth for a hundred-thousand years, but still – it was pretty cool.
It was the U.S. that got to the moon first (and is still the only nation to have done so)*, but it was actually the Soviet Union that won pretty much every other race, sending the first satellite into space, the first man, the first woman, and conducting the first EVA (extra-vehicular activity); or spacewalk to us non-astronaut types.
Of course getting there was only half the battle, as getting home again (unless you were a Soviet dog) was just as tricky. To that end the Soviets developed this in the 1970s; the remarkable Zil 4906. They may have won the Race for Space but the Americans had a much better Naming Department.
The ZIL 4906’s boring title hid its remarkable ability, being a 6×6 amphibious off-road crane designed to fit aboard a transport plane and recover the Soyuz astronaut capsules from the vast Russian wilderness.
Powered by a standard Zil 150bhp V8 the 4906’s weren’t fast, but they could go literally anywhere, with six-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steering, and two propellors with rudders for water recoveries.
This amazing Technic recreation of one of the Soviet Union’s coolest designs comes from previous bloggee Samolot, who has replicated the 4906’s incredible drivetrain brilliantly in Lego form. Two Control+ XL Motors power all six wheels, with a separate driveshaft for each side. This allows a gearbox to transfer power to the propellors when in water, whilst the L Motor that steers the front and rear axles also turns the two rudders.
A second L Motor controls the differential locks, whilst a fourth powers a compressor that builds pressure for the pneumatic crane, which the real Zil 4906 used to fish the Soyuz capsules from watery landings. A LEGO Education WeDo motor winds the crane winches and all of the above is controlled via bluetooth courtesy of LEGO’s new Powered Up Control+ system.
It’s a remarkable build and one that is definitely worth a closer look, which you can do at Eurobricks – where full build details are available, Bricksafe – which houses a complete image gallery of both Samolot’s Technic Zil 4906 and the real deal, and via the excellent video below.
*Unless you believe it was filmed in a studio, the Earth is flat, and that climate change is a hoax invented by Al Gore. In which case go back to school.
It’s been a while since the last Elven smushing. Today the familiar sounds of Elven screaming, followed by crunching noises, echoed down the corridor, and this TLCB writer wearily got to his feet to investigate. Powering across the carpet was this, Andrew Gurtovoy‘s 6×6 Arctic truck, inspired (loosely) by the LEGO City 60194 ‘Arctic Scout Truck’ set.
Considerably larger than its mini-figure scale inspiration, Andrew’s model packs in all-wheel-drive courtesy of three Buggy Motors, working suspension on all wheels, Servo steering, and a surprising top speed thanks to twin BuWizz bluetooth batteries.
After grabbing the truck as sped past, the Elf at the controls ran off, leaving us to tidy up as usual. Whilst we do that you can check out more of Andrew’s Arctic Truck in a fairly un-arctic looking setting via the link above.