Looking around at the archaic electrical equipment in TLCB Towers, you’d think Hitachi only make televisions and – long long ago – VCRs (although that’s the only way we can let the Elves watch Transformers cartoons).
In reality though, the Japanese multinational conglomerate makes pretty much everything. Planes, trains, car systems, defence systems, ATMs, servers, escalators, elevators, air conditioners, medical equipment, and – as shown here – giant construction machines.
This is a brick-built version of the Hitachi ZW 180 PL, a fifteen ton versatile wheel loader used for all manner of digging, pushing, and loading tasks. It comes from regular bloggee Damian Z., features some rather cunning building techniques throughout, plus a working (kinda) bucket arm too.
There’s more of the build to see at Damian’s ‘Hitachi ZW 180 PL Wheel Loader’ album on Flickr – click the link above to take a look.
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 →
Tiny, and yet totally identifiable, Flickr’s KosBrick shows that just a few dozen parts can create models with amazing recognition. It’s like looking at large scale Lego models, only from very far away… Head to Kos’s photostream via the link above for more really tiny construction.
It may come a surprise to some of our readers, but not all Mercedes-Benzes are posh. Far from it in Europe in fact, where not only can you buy a compact Mercedes-Benz with a 1.5litre Renault diesel engine, the three-pointed star is a common sight in construction zones, fruit markets, and scrap merchants, where almost unfathomably battered Mercedes vans and trucks are put to work until they’re sent to the banger track.
Our European readers will therefore be very familiar with a vehicle such as this one, a Mercedes-Benz Vario crew-cab truck loaded with a variety of contructiony things in the bed, and with a cab full of old tabloid newspapers, drinks cans, and other assorted detritus.
This one comes from regular bloggee Damian Z. (aka Thietmaier), and it could only be more realistic if the cab included old tabloid newspapers, drinks cans, and other assorted detritus. Damian has both built and presented his Vario superbly, and there’s lots more to see of it, plus a mini-excavator, compressor, and a dump truck too, on Flickr via the link.
Not our snappiest title. Still, we don’t mind, because this 42114 B-Model from Marek Markiewicz (aka M_Longer) is absolutely marvellous.
Built only from the parts found within the official LEGO Technic 42114 Volvo Articulated Hauler set, and utilising its Control+ app profile, Marek’s wheel dozer is packed with motorised functionality and looks so good it doesn’t appear like an alternate at all.
Three motors provide all-wheel-drive, articulated steering, and blade elevation, whilst a gearbox not only provides three forward or reverse speeds, it also connects power to the rotating cooling fans and working six-cylinder piston engine when the model is either driving or positioning the blade.
It’s a superb model, and one you can build for yourself as Marek has produced instructions for his Volvo Wheel Dozer 42114 alternate too.
Full details including that link to building instructions can be found at the Eurobricks forum here, you can watch this brilliant B-Model in action via the excellent video below, plus you can find an alternate alternate for the 42114 Volvo Hauler set via a similarly titled past post by clicking these words.
This is a Mercedes-Benz Actros and Nooteboom step-frame trailer, as operated by Dutch heavy haulage Mammoet. This one is hauling a Liebherr wheel loader, with all three models the work of TLCB favourite Ralph Savelsberg, and there’s more to see of the truck, trailer and load on Flickr via the link.
Things TLCB Elves like; Things with Guns. Things with Racing Stripes. Megan Fox (although she’s equipped with neither). Giant Red Diggers. Today is therefore a good day.
This Giant Red Digger is the work of previous bloggee Levihathan, and it’s a Poclain HC 300 – or rather a 2,000 piece remote controlled fully working replica of a Poclain HC 300.
There are no less than six motors, two bluetooth hubs, dual differential tracked drive, a V12 piston engine, and some suspiciously metallic looking linear actuators.
An extensive gallery of imagery is available to view, showing the construction, inner mechanics, and the amazing reach of the excavating arm. Head to Levihathan’s ‘Poclain HC 300’ album via the link above for more Giant Red Digger goodness.
This is, apparently, a DitchWitch RT75 trencher/cable plowing machine, but if we were told it was a spaghetti extractor we’d probably have believed it. However it is also absolutely excellent, being constructed superbly from an array of ingenious building techniques with Damian’s trademark amazing attention to detail.
Fortunately for this TLCB Writer there’s also a wonderfully realistic Mercedes-Benz Unimog U1250 truck and trailer to accompany it, and all three are packed with lifelike detailing and playable functions that belie their small scale.
There’s much more to see of Damian’s WitchDitch RT75, Unimog U1250, and cable-reel trailer on Flickr via the link above, plus you can check out a previous construction machine of his about which we also know nothing by clicking here.
The creations we feature here at The Lego Car Blog can – at times – become a bit ‘aesthetics over everything’. That’s entirely our fault, as we want images that look cool on a screen and that our readers want to share, but building with Lego is about much more than just that.
This Technic mini mobile crane by SaperPL is an example, as whilst it does look rather nice, its real beauty is in the proper mechanical engineering packed inside.
Despite its small size, SaperPL’s crane includes working steering on three axles, with the forth non-steered axle driving a little piston engine under the cab, extending stabiliser legs, and a crane boom that can rotate 360 degrees, elevate, extend and winch, all via hand-powered knobs and cogs.
It’s exactly what Technic should be about and it’s well worth your click, particularly as SaperPL has made free building instructions available, which earns him a hundred TLCB points.
There’s more to see at Eurobricks via the link above, plus you can watch all of the excellent mechanical features in action via the splendid video below.
From a science fictiony machine about which we know absolutely nothing to real world machine about which we know absolutely nothing. Yay!
This is a Witch Ditch JT520 and we genuinely have no idea at all what it’s for. Luckily the trailer it’s on is being pulled by a Ford F-150 crew cab pick-up, so blogging points are redeemed!
The Ford F-150, twin-axle trailer, and the aforementioned mystery contraption are all the work of Damian Z (aka Theitmaier), each is wonderfully detailed, and there’s more to see of all three models on Flickr. Click the link above to take a look.
We’re not sure who even uses the word ‘stereo’ any more. Meaning a sound coming from two places, Liebherr have applied it to their L518 wheel loader because – weirdly – it has two steering mechanisms.
Cleverly combining both a steered rear axle and an articulated centre pivot, the L518 Stereo can swivel about in small spaces like a pair of Elves on a hoverboard.
This neat Technic recreation of the L518 Stereo comes from Jundis of Eurobricks, who has replicated not only the cunning ‘stereo’ steering but also a mechanically controlled arm with an interchangeable fork/bucket, pendular rear suspension, and a working piston engine.
It’s the kind of good old-fashioned mechanical engineering that we love, and there’s more to see of Jundis’ Liebherr L518 wheel loader at the Eurobricks forum. Click the link above to pump on your stereo.
We don’t get bobcats here in TLCB’s home nation. We used to have the eurasian lynx roaming about, which is like a bobcat only three times the size, but we shot all of those. Along with pretty much everything else. Yay humanity.
Thus the only bobcats we’re going to see are the excavatorial types, such as this Bobcat S130. Constructed by Brick_Builder19, this neat Technic recreation of the skid-steer loader includes a working piston engine, a linear actuator operated lift arm, and a mechanical tipping bucket.
Full details of Brick’s Bobcat S130 are available on Eurobricks, where you can also find a link to the model on LEGO Ideas. Grab your gun and click the link above to take a closer look.
It’s an exciting time to be a TLCB Elf today. One of their number found this; a magnificent Volvo-esque 4×4 wheel loader with full remote control. It comes from FT-creations and it’s packed with functions, all of which can be controlled via bluetooth thanks to a pair of third-party SBricks hidden inside.
An XL Motor drives all four wheels, an L Motor controls the pivoted steering, whilst four more power two on-board compressors that, with the help of two Servo Motors, operate the boom and bucket movements.
It’s all exceptionally clever and allows FT’s model to function just like the real thing. Which is to say rather slowly.
Of course that means there’ll be no Elf squashings taking place today and instead several of them are happily riding around in the bucket. However we think the bucket of FT’s front loader might have enough elevation to reach the toilet, so whilst we try that out on the unsuspecting passengers you can see more of FT’s ace build at both Eurobricks and Rebrickable, where building instructions are also available.
Those working in Mercedes-Benz’s commercial vehicle naming department are much better at their jobs than their counterparts in the passenger car division. Whilst Mercedes-Benz cars are just a nonsensical collection of letters, their trucks all have proper names. Although they must begin with the letter ‘A’ for some reason.
We have two here today, each found on Flickr and each recreating an A-named Mercedes-Benz truck brilliantly in Town(ish) scale.
First up (above) is Fuku Saku‘s exceptional Mercedes-Benz Arocs tipper truck, with detailing equal to what we would expect to find on a Model Team creation several times larger. There’s a superbly lifelike cab, a realistic tipping mechanism, and building instructions are also available. Head to Fuku’s photostream via the link above to take a look.
Today’s second small-scale Mercedes-Benz truck is the work of fellow previous bloggee Keko007, who has recreated the Antos in skip lorry form. Although just six-studs wide, Keko’s model not only looks recognisable, the skip hoist kinda works too, and there’s more to see at his ‘Mercedes Antos 2133 album’. Click the link above to make the skip over to Flickr.
We often feature enormous, hugely complex models here at The Lego Car Blog. Whilst these are amazing accomplishments, they can feel a little unachievable for many Lego builders, particularly those with a parts to talent imbalance. But it’s definitely better to be that way round, as talent can almost always make up for a deficit in pieces.
These two tremendous micro-scale tractors by Flickr’s František Hajdekr are proof that you don’t need a million bricks and an unlimited budget to build something of blogworthy excellence. Each is constructed from just a handful of common parts, yet capture their subject matter perfectly with beautiful presentation too.
There’s more to see of František’s excellent-yet-simple creations at his photostream via the link above, and to get a few tips on how you can present your models as professionally as these two take a look at our photography tips here.