Tag Archives: crane

The World’s Most Expensive Recovery Truck

This astonishing creation is a fully working replica of the U.S Glomar Explorer, constructed by Master MOCer and world-renowned builder Paweł ‘Sariel’ Kmieć, and you’re in for a truly remarkable story…

It’s 1968, and the Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-129 has been lost with all 98 crew, plummeting over 16,000ft to the ocean floor. It’s just a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War is very real indeed. The Soviet Union is looking for its lost submarine, but 150 miles in the wrong place. The U.S. however, knows where it is…

And so begins one the strangest and most expensive recovery efforts in history, as the CIA commission the building of a ship designed solely to pluck the wreck of K-129 from the seabed to learn its secrets, without the Soviet Union knowing.

Costing $1.4billion, it was one seriously expensive recovery truck, although of course its true purpose was hidden behind a ‘drilling for magenese’ cover story, fronted by millionaire aviator and film-maker Howard Hughes.

Six years later and the 50,000 ton 600ft long ship was ready. Named the Transocean Glomar Explorer, it was positioned above the wreck using radio beacons (GPS being some way off) and the CIA began the enormous recovery of the 330ft, 2,700 long ton (before it was filled with water) nuclear-armed submarine.

A giant claw dropped through a moon pool in the centre of the ship, gripping the wreck of K-129 and winching it to the surface. However during the 16,500ft ascent a mechanical failure occurred, and two thirds of the submarine broke loose and sunk back to the ocean floor, taking with it the sought-after nuclear missiles and code book. However, two nuclear-tipped torpedoes and cryptographic machines were recovered, along with the bodes of six crew members, which were not returned to the Soviet Union, but back to the sea.

The Glomar Explorer was purposeless after the mission was (partly) completed, and in 1976 it transferred to the U.S Navy for storage in a dry-dock. In 1978 however, the ship was leased to test prototype deep sea mining equipment, before being converted to a drilling ship in the 1990s. It was finally scrapped in 2015.

Recreating this incredible feat of engineering is Sariel, whose floating brick-built replica of the Glomar Explorer measures over 3 metres in length, uses 60kg of LEGO pieces, and can really (partly) recover a lost Soviet submarine, thanks to a fully working recreation of the monumental grapple crane fitted to the real ship.

We won’t write too much more here as there’s really only one way to appreciate this spectacular build – take a look at the video above (or click here to find it in the Eurobricks discussion), and watch how one of the most impressive Lego creations of all time was built, and how it can recover nearly all of a brick-built submarine from the bottom of a swimming pool…

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Three-Way

This is a Hako Multicar, a common sight on European city streets, and with a fairly rubbish name until you realise how literal it is. The only surviving nameplate from the East German IFA, Multicar have been building small versatile platforms for over eighty years, with everything from floor buffers to armoured military vehicles emerging from their German factory.

However, even a single Multicar model can be multiple, er… cars, as proven here by this superb Technic Multicar 4×4 built by Sthrom (aka Blaz62). Like Multicar’s real vehicles, Sthrom’s creation is capable of switching between several purposes, with a single chassis and cab able to be equipped with multiple attachments.

Sthrom’s Multicar chassis is filled with proper Technic functionality, including all-wheel-steering, all-wheel-suspension, and all-wheel-drive with locking differentials, hooked up to an in-line 4-cylinder engine underneath the tilting cab. The front of the cab is fitted with a multi-purpose mount, allowing a range of equipment to be attached, whilst at the rear and even broader range of machinery can be added.

Sthrom’s model can be deployed to three different uses, with a mobile crane/cherry picker (often seen deployed for street light repair), a container truck/skip lorry, and a snowplough with grit spreader. Each attachment includes a wealth of realistic functionality, all operating mechanically via hand-operated linear actuators, levers, and bevel gears.

It all adds up to being one of our favourite Technic creations of the year, and there’s loads more to see of the Sthrom’s Hako Multicar, including the chassis and each attachment separately, at Bricksafe, the Eurobricks forum, and via the excellent demonstration video below.

YouTube Video

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Cherry Picked

You could say that we ‘cherry pick’ the best Lego creations that the web has to offer when we publish here at TLCB. And that’s a tenuous enough link for us to use to highlight this marvellous fully mechanical Technic cherry picker truck by previous bloggee paave.

There’s functioning ‘HOG’ steering, opening doors, working outriggers, a rotating telescopic and elevating boom, and an adjustable basket so your cherries don’t fall out, all of which are operated via good ol’ fashioned mechanics.

There’s more to see of paave’s creation at the Eurobricks forum – pop your cherry via the link.

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Containment

Containers are just big boring boxes right?… Er, yes actually. They really are. But what’s inside them can be very interesting indeed. Motorcycles, exotic fruits, LEGO sets, illegal immigrants… the list is endless. All make the world a more interesting place, and pretty much anything in your home that’s come from abroad will have arrived in one of these.

The vehicles that move them about can be pretty interesting too, from the trains and trucks that transport them on land to dockside cranes and giant container ships that bring them to the shores for which they are bound.

It’s these that builder ExeSandbox has digitally created for us here, with this enormous 100,000 peice container terminal that would measure 6ft wide if it were built for real. Spectacular detailing is in evidence everywhere and there much of Exe’s amazing scene to see at his ‘Tour at the Container Terminal’ album on Flickr.

Click the link above for a lot of big boring boxes making up a creation that’s really rather interesting indeed.

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Tip the Man

This superbly built MAN LE 4×4 tipper/crane truck was discovered by one of our Elves on Flickr today. It comes from previous bloggee Damian Z aka Thietmaier and it’s a deceptively brilliant bit of building.

Firstly Damian’s MAN looks excellent, with lovely attention to detail adding much realism to the model, despite it only being eight studs in width. That realism extends to an ingenuously constructed Plafinger crane mounted between the cab and the load bed, which can unfurl and sort of work thanks to some clever parts usage that employs both System and Technic peices.

The load bed properly works though, being able to tip left or right whilst the dropsides rotate upwards (does that still make them dropsides?) to allow the load to discharge.

It’s a mighty clever design and adds a level of realism to the model that’s typically found on creations far larger. There are loads more images to see of Damian’s MAN LE 4×4 crane/tipper truck at his Flickr album, which demonstrates presentation skills as good as the model itself. Take a look via the link above.

 

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My Other Truck’s a Crane

LEGO’s seemingly endless supply of yellow Technic cranes continues with the new 42108 set released this year. Whilst the yellow eight-wheeled crane formula has been done to death, the 42108 set does include instructions for a more interesting B-Model, that being a heavy duty forklift that’s far more original than the main model it shares its pieces with.

However you guys are using TLCB’s Lock-Down B-Model Competition to do even better, first with the brilliant 42108 roll-off container truck published here last month, and now with this; newcomer oficinadelegodoandre‘s excellent rotator tow-truck, also built only from the parts found within the 42108 set.

A fully working rotating crane complete with a linear-actuator operated boom lift and working winch is the centrepiece of Andre’s alternate, whilst functioning stabilisers plus front and rear axle steering feature too.

There’s more to see at Andre’s ‘42108 B-Model’ album on Flickr via the link above, and you can read the competition rules and find out more about the prizes by clicking here!

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B-Roll

It’s only a few days into TLCB Lock-Down Competition and we’ve had some serious contenders already, none more so than this superb roll-off container truck from previous bloggee Marek Markiewicz (aka M_longer), who’s hoping his B-Model could earn him an awesome SBrick Plus Pro Pack.

Constructed only from the parts found within the Technic 42108 Mobile Crane set, Marek’s B-Model features a wealth of brilliant Technic functionality, including two-axle working steering (by both the steering wheel and ‘HOG’), a mechanical tipper, and a ‘roll-off’ container with a locking tailgate. A hand operated winch can then be used to return the container back onto the truck, with a ratchet ensuring it stays there when the tipper is activated.

Marek’s B-Model might even be better than the official Technic set that donated its pieces, which makes it doubly good that he’s made instructions available, so that if you own one you can build your very own roll-off container truck from the 42108 Mobile Crane set. There’s more to see of Marek’s creation on both Flickr and  at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also find a link to building instructions, plus you can watch the truck in action via the video below.

YouTube Video

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My Other Car is a Giant Mobile Crane

LEGO’s huge 42082 Rough Terrain Crane is one the largest Technic sets the company has ever created, with over four thousand pieces. That’s a whole, lot of bricks that can be, in the very best traditions of Lego-building, repurposed.

And that is exactly was previous Master MOCer Nico71 has done with this incredible 4×4 Crane Truck, constructed only from the parts found within the 42082 set. Nico’s B-Model (in fact for Nico this is an ‘E-Model’, as he’s constructed several alternate vehicles (and all of this) from the Rough Terrain Crane set already) deploys the set’s single motor to perform a scarcely believable six separate functions, thanks to a pair of gearboxes that multiply the motor’s outputs.

Before we get onto those though, there are a host of mechanical functions too, including leaf-spring suspension, a V8 engine driven by all four wheels, opening doors, functioning steering, and the boom’s final extension.

The single motor delivers just as much on its own, thanks to those two gearboxes, powering the crane’s two-fold unfurling and rotation, the outriggers, and the truck’s tipper, which can tip both to rear and side of the vehicle depending upon which gear is selected.

It’s a brilliant feat of engineering and one that you can explore for yourself if you own a Technic 42082 Rough Terrain Crane set, as Nico has made instructions for this unbelievable B-Model available via his excellent website. Click this link to head over and take a look at the complete build description, the full gallery of images, and to find a link to the building instructions so you can build this amazing model for yourself.

YouTube Video

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Honey, I shrunk the 8258 (and added a trailer)

We receive a lot of requests to promote LEGO Ideas entries (the platform whereby fan designs can become real LEGO sets) here at TLCB, which we must decline every time (so please don’t send us them!). However occasionally our Elves find a creation that’s so well engineered it could be an official LEGO set. This is one of those times, and even though this model is not on LEGO Ideas, if someone told us this was a set due out later this year, we wouldn’t question it.

Built by Krall of Eurobricks and Flickr, this top-quality crane truck looks every inch a Technic set (it fact it’s inspired by the official and much larger 8258 Crane Truck), adopting LEGO’s newer more detailed style and packing it with superb functionality.

Power Functions motors give Krall’s truck remote control drive and four-wheel steering, there’s a tilting cab, and then our favourite feature; a gearbox that enables one hand-operated cog to control three separate functions; the truck’s four outriggers, the crane’s rotation, and the first of its three boom extensions.

A flatbed trailer with working support legs is thrown in too and you can see more of Krall’s superbly store-worthy creation at both Eurobricks and Flickr via the links above.

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Mini-‘Mog

LEGO’s incredible 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog was one of the first officially licensed Technic sets and – we think – still one of the all-time greats. With a vast array of functionality, motorised, pneumatic and mechanical, it’s one of the finest ever showcases of what LEGO can do. But LEGO’s not just about the big stuff, and little builds can be equally brilliant – case in point, this beautifully presented Town-scale version of the 8110 set.

Built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Lowe it not only looks absolutely brilliant, it kinda functions too, with a posable crane, steering, and working stabiliser legs too.

There’s more to see of Nikolaus’s fantastic mini-figure Unimog at his photostream via the link above, you can read our review of the huge 8110 Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimog set via the first link, and you can read some tips on how to create images as stunning as Nikolaus’s by clicking here.

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Castles Made of Sand*

Everyone likes building sandcastles at the beach. OK, not everyone – some people are more Sandcastle Destroyers than Sandcastle Makers. Which is probably a microcosm for society or something. Anyway, we like building sandcastles, and today Porsche96, who last appeared here 5 years ago, is here to help.

Pictured at the beach, this is his 1.2m tall Liebherr HS 8040 dragline excavator, a seven motor bluetooth controlled engineering masterpiece. The first two motors drive the tracks, with a Medium motor in between them operating the linear actuators that widen or contract the track spacing. Another Medium motor rotates the superstructure whilst two XL and an L motor lift control the bucket and lift the enormous boom via a series of winches.

It’s a magnificent build and one you can learn more about at the Eurobricks forum, where Porsche96 has detailed the full specification and posted a video of the dragline in operation, plus you can view the full image gallery of the Liebherr HS 8040 on Flickr by clicking here. Head to the beach via the links above.

*Today’s title song.

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Laying Pipes

We’re not quite over poo-based titles just yet. Discovered by one of our Elves on Brickshelf, this is gkurkowski‘s Volvo PL4809E pipe layer, a fully remote controlled Model Team replica of Volvo’s real tracked crane.

Phenomenal attention to detail and some seriously intricate pneumatics make gkurkowski’s creation spectacularly accurate, both aesthetically and in its operation.

An array of hidden Power Functions motors drive the tracks, superstructure rotation, boom reach, and the cable winch, enabling the Volvo to lay pipe as efficiently as this TLCB Writer does when he’s rushing to leave for work in the morning.

An extensive gallery of top quality photos is available to view on Brickshelf, where comparison imagery showing gkurkowski’s model alongside the real vehicle and WIP shots can be found, plus plenty more images displaying the completed crane as you see here. Click the link above to head to Brickshelf and lay some pipe.

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My Other Truck’s a Mack

LEGO enormous 42078 Technic Mack Anthem set both impressed and infuriated us in equal measure when we reviewed it here last year. One of the set’s major plus points though is the huge quantity and variety of parts included, making it a superb acquisition for builders looking to expand their brick collection. Or build a C-Model…

This is mpj’s Volvo 8×4 crane truck C-Model (so called because the set already includes instructions for a rather nice B-Model), built entirely from the parts found within the 42078 Mack Anthem set – although with a few new stickers added.

Volvo Trucks own Mack Trucks (but not Volvo Cars weirdly) so there is a neat link between mpj’s model and the truck from the set. Like the original, mpj’s build features purely mechanical functions, with the outriggers, crane rotation, three-stage boom, and two-axle steering all controlled by hand.

The design also leaves around 1,000 of the 42078 set’s 2,500 parts unused, so there’s plenty left over to create all sorts of items for the Volvo’s flatbed.

There’s more to see of mpj’s excellent C-Model at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also find a link to instructions should you wish to turn your own Mack Anthem into a Volvo 8×4 crane truck for yourself. Take a look via the link above, and you can read our review of the original 42078 Technic set by clicking on the first link in the text.

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Technical Titan

There’s just time to squeeze in one more creation of 2019 before our customary year-end roundup, and with a delightful circularity it has a whole lot squeezed into it. Suggested to us by a reader, this is Zbiczasty‘s awesome Mercedes-Benz Actros Titan 8×8 with Palfinger PK 150002 HDS crane, and it’s every bit as good as that impressive title suggests.

Firstly, it is indeed 8×8, with all eight wheels driven, all eight suspended, and the front four steering, all operable remotely via LEGO’s Power Functions IR system. That amazing drivetrain is just the start though, as this phenomenal truck features sixteen Power Functions motors, controlled by seven switches, four IR receivers and with three sets of LEDs thrown in too.

The motors drive everything from the stabilising legs to the incredible Palfinger PK 150002 crane mounted on the load bed, which unfurls like a coiled snake thanks to nineteen pneumatic cylinders and over ten metres of pneumatic hosing. We said it had a lot squeezed in…

Watching the crane in action is quite a thing to behold and you can do just that via this link to the YouTube video where you can also see the drivetrain, crane winch, and the stabilising legs doing their respective things. Take a look via the link above, plus you can see all of the images at Zbiczasty’s album on Brickshelf by clicking here.

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Craning Trouble

Hmm. An Elf was waving at this TLCB Writer today. This not an unusual event in itself, but the Elf in question was at eye level. TLCB Elves, for all their ability to squeeze under things, behind things and break into TLCB executive washroom and sauna, are not able climbers. This is a Good Thing, because it means we can leave stuff on our desks and it won’t get stolen or eaten. An Elf at eye level shatters this security.

Fortunately the aforementioned Elf was not there of its own volition. Instead, it had been placed there by one of its brethren at the controls of this; Dawid Szmandra’s amazing fully remote controlled Liebherr LTM 1070-4.2 mobile crane.

With drive, steering, stabilisation, boom elevation, extension and rotation all controllable remotely via LEGO’s Power Functions IR system, there is a lot going on. Luckily for us this meant that the Elf at the controls had got it wedged in a pot plant in the corridor before any more mischief could be completed and we’ve now got the model under our own authority.

It’s a properly excellent bit of kit too, not only working beautifully but looking superb as well. Dawid is releasing instructions for his model if you fancy a go yourself, and you can check out more of the build at Dawid’s Liebherr LTM 1070-4.2 Flickr album by clicking here and via the YouTube video below.

YouTube Video

 

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