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.
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.
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.
The crack team of TLCB Elves dispatched over The LEGO Company’s perimeter wall at the end of 2020 had – we thought – all returned. By ‘all’ we actually mean ‘the survivors’, as each year we always lose a couple to German Shepherds with a taste for Elf meat. A simple ‘ceremony’ is held for those that didn’t make it, by which we mean they’re crossed off a list, and then we all get on with our lives.
Today though, we’ve got to get the TipEx out and add two names back onto the list, because a pair of Elves have miraculously returned, weeks after they were thought lost/eaten!
We’re not sure what took them so long, and we probably never will as we don’t understand the jibber-jabber of Elvish, but we’re pleased they’ve made it back, because it means we can share two more new-for-2021 Technic sets!
The first is this rather fetching orange contraption, the 42120 Rescue Hovercraft, or ‘Luftkissenboot fuer Rettungseinsaetze’ in German (it’s a beautiful language).
Aimed at ages 8+, 42120 includes 457 pieces – many of which are orange which is excellent – and features thrust propellors that rotate as the model is pushed along, and working steering that both turns the hidden wheels underneath and swivels the aforementioned fans.
Decals are included a-plenty and there’s a reasonable looking B-Model too. Expect 42120 to cost around $35/£30 when it reaches stores in March of 2021.
The second cause of today’s Elf-list-amendment is another new 8+ set, the excellent looking 42121 Heavy Duty Excavator. A purely mechanical set, 42121 includes around 100 pieces more than 42120, two of which are small linear actuators that operate the excavating movement.
A pair of hand-powered cogs drive these to extend the boom and tip the bucket, and it’s great to see mechanical functions are still (sometimes) alive and well in the Technic range – although there is a risk of these being rather annoying in practice, based on our past experience.
Superstructure rotation and rolling tracks are present too, and 42121 also includes a few extra details like warning cones and some ‘rubble’ for added playability. A slightly odd B-Model completes the set and you can expect it to cost around $45/£40 when it reaches stores later this year.
We think these two additions to the 2021 Technic line-up are rather good ones, joining a range that looked pretty strong already.
You can take a look at the other 2021 Technic sets revealed here via the Search box (just type ‘Preview’ in it), and you can check out our reviews of past years’ sets via the Review Library.
Take a look whilst we try to convince our Administrator that adding the Elves back onto the list is probably less work than Option B.
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.
Large, potentially dangerous, and full of air. No, not the 2020 U.S Presidential Candidates, but this excellent Technic backhoe loader from Shimon Bogomolov. Unlike the aforementioned angry old men, Shimon’s impressive creation uses the air within it for constructive purposes, with a working pneumatic front bucket and rear excavating arm. Air pressure can be generated manually or via a motorised compressor, plus there are working pneumatic stabiliser legs, steering, all-wheel-drive, and a 4-cylinder piston engine too. A complete gallery of images is available to view at Shimon’s ‘Pneumatic Backhoe’ album on Flickr, plus you can join the discussion at the Eurobricks forum by clicking here.
We’ve featured a few models here at TLCB that have brought an old set into the new age, however Flickr’s Thomas Selander has kinda done the opposite, taking the 60075 set from 2015 and making it rather more classic, at least in using a 1960s-’70s Volvo F88 truck as inspiration for his tipper. It’s an excellent Town build and considerably slicker than the official set it emulates, and there’s more to see at the link.
Lego don’t produce many teal coloured parts. However the range is increasing, and with a little ingenuity, and maybe a few custom pieces, a complex teal creation can be built, and the results can be – if this amazing Kobelco SK210 HLC excavator is an accurate reflection – pretty special.
Built by Maciej Szymańsk this fully remote controlled tracked excavator is all LEGO, apart from the pneumatic cylinders which are bespoke, matching LEGO’s teal colour and offering far greater reach than official components, and an 11V battery box.
In fact 5.5kgs of LEGO pieces have been used to recreate the Kobelco SK210 HLC, a Japanese excavator which – according to the decals at least – is a hybrid, although how a that works in practice we have no idea. We can’t see much regenerative braking going on and it would likely need about a month to charge up if it’s a PHEV.
Maciej’s creation carries its power on board, thanks to that custom battery, powering LEGO Power Functions motors and a suite of LED lights. The motors drive the tracks, superstructure rotation, and the compressor for the pneumatics, giving the model superbly accurate movements which you can view on YouTube here.
There’s much more to see of Maciej’s incredible build at Eurobricks and at his Kobelco SK210 HLC Flickr album, where you can find the full gallery of imagery including WIP shots, close-ups of the excellent brick-built tracks, and a version that switches the bucket shown here for a set of pincer-y jaw type things that we’re glad the Elves didn’t find. Click the link above to make the teal transition.
There was much commotion in the corridor today. Two Elves had returned to TLCB Towers, each had found a bright yellow remotely controlled Technic loader, and each was using its find to try to obliterate the other. Which – to be fair – is probably what anyone would do.
Both remote control creations come from Flickr’s Thesuperkoala, who has brilliantly engineered each with a host of cleverly concealed motorised functions, including linear actuator driven bucket arm/dump mechanism and powered track drive with skid-steering.
This gives the creations remarkable agility, which unfortunately for our Elven workers was turned upon them after they had gathered in a circle around the mechanised gladiators to watch the ensuing battle. Both Elves at the controls had the same idea at once and turned their attention away from one another and onto the gathered crowd, flattening them where they stood.
It was almost as if they had planned it, but we don’t think TLCB Elves are that clever. Hmm. If they are gaining intelligence we could be in trouble… Whilst we ponder that alarming thought you can check out more of Thesuperkoala’s excellent remote controlled creations via the link in the text above.
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.
This slice of yellow brilliance was discovered by one our Elves on Flickr today, and – whilst we know it’s early in the year – for a model of this size this is going to take some beating!
Damian Z aka Thietmaier of Flickr is the builder behind this utterly brilliant Caterpillar 432E backhoe, which not only looks about a billion times bigger than it really is, it kinda functions too.
A huge variety of ingenious building techniques have been deployed to enable the Caterpillar’s buckets to be as positionable as those fitted to the real thing, and you can see all of the images at Damian’s Caterpillar 432E album by clicking here whilst we congratulate ourselves on making it the entire way through a post about hoeing without mentioning your Mom.
We end today’s publications with this, a rather lovey looking vintage ‘convoi exceptionnel’ consisting of a six-axle truck, a low-loader trailer, and a fantastic mining excavator, on its way to supply coal to keep families warm over winter. Built by FiliusRucilo of Flickr each vehicle is wonderfully made and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link in the text above.
LEGO’s new Control+ app has finally brought bluetooth control to LEGO sets. Available on the new 42100 Technic Liebherr R 980 excavator set, the largest set LEGO have ever produced, the Control+ app allows all seven motors to be operated, and programmed, via a mobile device.
But what if the new app was used to control something a bit… larger?
Weighing 890 tons and with around 4,000 bhp the real Liebherr R 9800 excavator is the third largest excavator in the world and it has, courtesy of LEGO and TLCB Master MOCer Sariel, been turned into the world’s largest remote control toy.
With a suite of ingenious motorised Technic mechanisms installed in the cab the real Liebherr R 9800’s controls could be operated remotely through the new LEGO Control+ app, allowing it to drive, steer and excavate via a mobile phone just like the 42100 set. Only on a much much bigger scale.
Take a look a video above to see how the team did it, and get some ideas for how to control your annoying neighbour’s Honda Odessey through your phone…
LEGO’s 42100 Technic Liebherr R 9800 is the largest Technic set ever produced. With over 4,100 pieces, seven electric motors, bluetooth control and a $450 price tag, we’re fairly sure that most MOCs will be quite a lot smaller than LEGO’s latest Goliath. Cyberdyne Systems hasn’t let that stifle his ambition though, building this tiny mechanical version of the mighty 42100 set and equipping it with all* the functionality of its much bigger brother.
The bucket arm can swing, raise and extend mechanically via linear actuators (and much finger twiddling we suspect), whilst the bucket itself can both tilt thanks to a worm gear and open by pulling on a string.
There’s more to see of Cyberdyne’s 42100-in-miniature at the Eurobricks discussion forum via the link above where you can also find a video of it in action.
There’s been one hole remaining in our reveal of the H2 2019 LEGO Technic line-up. It turns out it was a very big hole indeed. This is the 42100 Liebherr R 9800 Excavator, the largest and most expensive Technic model ever released.
With over 4,100 pieces, seven electric motors, and two of LEGO’s new ‘Smart Hubs’ which allow for remote control via Bluetooth thanks to the recently released LEGO Control+ App, the 42100 set is the most advanced Technic set yet, and it has a price tag to match, costing $450/£400.
That is seriously expensive for a toy, but LEGO are hoping that the set’s enormous array of programmable functionality will make it an attractive purchase. The officially-licensed Liebherr (joining such sets as the Volvo L350F, Mack Anthem and Claas Xerion 5000) can drive, skid-steer, rotate the superstructure, extend and raise the boom, and open and tilt the bucket, all remotely via a phone.
Those functions can be programmed too, thanks to the new Control+ App, with realistic sound effects and real-time feedback available. It’s a modern interpretation of the brilliant plug-and-play 8479 Barcode Truck from twenty-two years ago, only with the up-to-date control programmability afforded by today’s intuitive touch devices.
The new LEGO Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800 Excavator set will reach stores in October of this year, instantly becoming the flagship of the Technic range. Will the intuitive control, easy programmability and amazing multiple motorised functions offset that huge price? We’re willing to bet that if it does then a $500+ Technic set isn’t too far away…