Tag Archives: LED Lights

Distri-brick-tion

LEGO like distribution trucks in their Town/City range. With generic ‘Cargo’ branding and the blandest of styling, they’re… well, perfect actually.

However the Technic and Model Team ranges, which lean more towards supercars and excitingly yellow pieces of construction equipment, tend to omit such workhorses from their line-ups.

Cue Eurobricks’ designer-han, who has decided to right that wrong with this; his fully remote control distribution truck, complete with generic ‘Cargo’ branding and the blandest of styling. And it’s fantastic.

Han’s creation includes remote control drive and steering, a motorised tilting cabin (under which sits a working V8 engine with spinning fans), LED lights front and rear, and – most importantly – a brilliant working tail-lift.

Powered by two L Motors, Han’s tail-lift opens the cargo area, drops parallel to the ground, and lowers to allow an exciting array of ‘Cargo’ (in this case Duplo bricks) to be easily loaded.

It’s well worth a closer look and you can do just that at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, where further details, a video of the truck in action, and a link to building instructions can all be found.

Royal Württemberg

This is not a car. It is in fact a Prussion G12 steam locomotive, depicted here in Royal Württemberg livery (and in a wonderful snowy scene) by Flickr’s Pieter Post.

Around 1,500 G12’s were built between 1917 and 1924, when it became one of the first standardised locomotives in operation across Germany.

Pieter’s beautiful recreation of the G12 utilises a slew of third-party parts to maximise the realism, with custom valve gear, tender wheels, LED lighting, and a BuWizz bluetooth battery powering the LEGO L-Motor that drives the wheels.

The result is – as you can see here – spectacular, and you can check out the full description of both Pieter’s Prussian G12 build and the real steam locomotive at his photostream.

Click the link above to take a winter’s journey across 1920’s Germany.

Fantastic Ford

The Lego Car Blog Elves are having a great day today. Previous bloggee Jakub Marcisz is back with this lovely Classic Ford F100 pick-up, which not only looks fantastic, there’s a complete Power Functions remote control drivetrain underneath too.

The Elves therefore, are riding around in the back. A few have inevitably been run over, but for the most part it’s good clean fun.

Jakub’s model conceals its remote controlness well, with the only clue visible being if the brown box is removed from the bed, and the model also features opening doors (revealing a beautifully constructed interior), dropping tailgate, opening hood, LED lights, working suspension, and a high/low gearbox.

It’s a top quality build that’s worth a closer look, and you can do just that via Jakub’s photostream at the link above, where more imagery and a link to a YouTube video can also be found.

Dananananana Bateman!

This is a Bateman Assault Bridge Carrier, an experimental tank-bridge-laying-combo based on the excellently-named ‘Medium Dragon’ Mk.1 artillery tractor that was trialled by the British Royal Engineers in 1926.

It’s one of the more obscure vehicles to appear here then, and it’s been recreated brilliantly by Tarix819 of Eurobricks in a colossal 1:8 scale.

Weighing almost 10kgs, Tarix’s creation features two coil-sprung tracks, each with its own mechanical tensioner and independently powered by an SBrick and three XL motors.

A working V8 engine lives within the armour, and a functioning searchlight is able to light up the obstacle ahead in need of crossing.

And cross an obstacle the Bateman can, as Tarix’s model can deploy the huge bridge mounted on the top of machine. The real Assault Bridge Carrier relied on hand-powered winches (which are also recreated here), but Tarix’s build utilises a Power Functions Medium Motor to complete the model’s suite of remote control functionality.

It’s a monumentally impressive piece of Lego engineering and you can see how Tarix has done it at the Eurobricks discussion form here, and via the brilliant video below.

YouTube Video

Messing Up Afghanistan Since 1978

The news coming from Afghanistan at the moment is heartbreaking. A rare case of successful international cooperation, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent defeat of its Taliban ‘government’ brought freedom, equal-ish rights, and prosperity to millions of Afghans.

It also brought about a fantastically corrupt (although democratically elected) government and the deaths of tens of thousands, but despite this it would be hard to argue that many Afghans – particularly women – weren’t better off for the intervention.

Which makes it tremendously sad that all of those gains (and the blood spilt to achieve them) may now be lost thanks to a hasty politically-motivated Western withdrawal, with the Taliban regaining power even quicker than they lost it twenty years ago.

More tragically, it’s not the first time that foreign powers have put their own politics before the lives of Afghans…

This is a Soviet BTR-80, a remarkable 8×8 amphibious armoured personal carrier, as used in the Soviet-Afghan War.

Back in 1978 a coup in Afghanistan overthrew the presidency, replacing it with the ‘Democratic Republic of Afghanistan’, a puppet Communist government supported by the Soviet Union, which many of the Afghan people resisted via a brutal guerrilla war.

The UN ordered the Soviet Union to withdraw, which they ignored and engaged in a 9 year war in support of the Communist government, razing villages, destroying farmland, laying millions of landmines, and committing rape and torture.

Sanctions and a mass boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics followed, but worse was to come for the Soviet Union, who ultimately lost the war to the Afghan Mujahideen and the international community supporting them, which – many argue – hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union itself.

The BTR-80 used towards the end of the conflict was still a mighty impressive piece of hardware though, and so too is this spectacular fully RC recreation by Sariel.

With eight-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steering, all-wheel suspension, a three-speed gearbox, motorised hatches, a remotely operable gun turret, rotating and lit searchlight, a working winch, and powered propellors all controlled via bluetooth thanks to three SBricks, Sariel’s BTR-80 is an engineering masterclass.

You can watch all of those incredible features in action via the video below, plus there are more stunning images of Sariel’s creation available to view at his ‘BTR-80’ Flickr album. Click here to make the jump to a pointless war in Afghanistan sometime in the late ’80s.

And back to that disastrous piece of Soviet foreign policy; even after the Soviet Union withdrew defeated, peace in Afghanistan was not forthcoming. A civil war continued to rage, taking the death toll to as many as two million Afghans.

Eventually, after years of turmoil, it was the Taliban who ended up in power, which brings us right back to 2001, the international intervention, and now – twenty years later – the rapid undoing of everything that was won.

Donate to Unicef in Afghanistan here.

Half-Size Supercar

This is an Autozam AZ-1, and it’s awesome! Produced from 1992 to ’94, fewer than 5,000 units were built across all three brands that marketed it (Mazda, Mazda’s kei car brand Autozam, and Suzuki, who supplied the engine), with sales hampered by a high list price, collapsing economy, and it being weird even by the standards of the Japanese kei-class.

Effectively a 1:2 scale mid-engined gull-winged supercar, the AZ-1 we have here is even smaller, at 1:11, but it’s as packed with interestingness as the real thing. Built by syclone of Eurobricks, this brilliant Technic recreation of the coolest kei-car of them all features remote control drive, steering and headlights, a working steering wheel inside a detailed cabin, independent front and rear suspension, a working piston engine (in there somewhere!), and – of course – opening gull-wing doors.

Building instructions are available and there’s much more to see of syclone’s brilliant Autozam AZ-1, including a video of it in action, at the Eurobricks discussion forum. Take a look at this fantastic 1:11 recreation of a 1:2 supercar via the link above!

BriksMax Light Kit (42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger)

The LEGO Technic 42111 Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger set received a rather good review here at TLCB when we got our hands on it. Certainly a better one than movies did. But, like those awful awful movies, could there be sequel; one that’s even faster and furiouser?

Well no, neither of those adjectives. But we do have a 42111 sequel that’s more sparkly.

That’s because we’ve outfitted our 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set with an array of LED lights courtesy of suppliers Lightailing, who have a huge range of LEGO compatible light kits available for sets including Creator, Modular Buildings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, City, and – as here – Technic.

Our 42111-compatible kit is produced by BriksMax, and it came in a neat box containing an instructions booklet, a 1 Year warranty card, a remote control, a battery box, and an alarming number of resealable bags.

Said bags were numbered and described, corresponding to the relevant point in the instructions denoting when to open each one. Inside each was a well-coiled set of wires, tiny circuit boards, sticky pads, or a combination of these.

So is adding the BriksMax light kit to your 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set fun? Absolutely not. Fiddly – yes. Fun – no.

Despite the instructions being reasonable, the installation process is effectively threading needle around two hundred times. It makes us wonder if these LED lighting kit companies could design a little attachment that clips into Technic holes and holds the wire, removing the need to endlessly thread LEDs through Technic beams and making the instructions simpler to boot (you can have that recommendation for free Lighting People!)

The process is made harder by the wires being black and in this case the model being black too, although the BriksMax kit does sometimes differentiate between wire types via coloured band, plus each LED has the bag no. printed on its reverse, which is a thoughtful touch.

Only a few parts of the set need to be disassembled to install the LEDs, and only two pieces are replaced (the front indicator bricks switching from tiles to studs to give more room for the LED inside).

Overall though, the installation process is not fun one bit. However, the end result is, well… fantastic. Continue reading

Smaller than Expected*

This may look like a normal cab-over light duty truck, but it is in fact a kei car, Japan’s microcar class in which vehicles can measure no longer than 3.4m, no wider than 1.48m, and have an engine size no greater than 660cc.

It is, therefore, absolutely tiny. Plus, obviously, it’s a Lego model, so it’s even smaller than that…

This superb Technic kei-class truck is a Daihatsu Hijet S110P, and it comes from syclone of Eurobricks who has packed it with an unfathomably large amount of features.

Under the really rather good exterior is a full remote control drivetrain, complete with all-wheel-suspension, all-wheel-drive, servo steering (linked to the steering wheel too), opening and locking doors, dropping bed side walls, and even working headlights.

There’s loads more of syclone’s Daihatsu Hijet to see at the Eurobricks forum, including a video of the kei truck in action. Take a look via the link above!

*That’s what she said.

Giant Balls (of Gas)

It’s some time in the future, and the Earth is completely depleted of helium. Clearly such a situation has massive ramifications, and the balloon-animal industry, vital to so many, have apparently take matters into their own highly-skilled balloon-bending hands.

Sending equipment to the Jupiter’s moon Europa, the inflatable contortionists are mining the satellite for its precious precious helium, returning the gas to Earth via transport ships, and – before that – these enormous gas-rovers.

With twelve-wheel-drive, a crew of five, and eight huge gas-filled balls, the gas-rovers are impressive machines, at least in the minds of Jon & Catherine Stead, whose backstory we have completely butchered for the purpose of this silliness.

We could have gone with either a testicle or enhanced-boobs theme though, so count yourself lucky Steads!

Anyway, their Europa gas-rover is a properly good build, with LED lighting, incredible brick-built wheels, and an ace five-person cockpit, where – presumably – the crew all talk in squeaky voices.

Head over to Jon and Catherine’s excellent ‘Helium Transporter’ album on Flickr to see more, and request a balloon giraffe.

Game of Bricks – Light Kit (76139 1989 Batmobile) | Review

The Lego Car Blog laziness, er… we mean ‘generosity’ continues today, as we’ve passed another impressive looking Game of Bricks lighting kit on to a reader for their thoughts. Greg Kinkaid (aka black_hand_bricks on Instagram) was one of the lucky readers first to respond to our Facebook call, and bagged himself a Game of Bricks kit to light up the huge LEGO 76139 1989 Batmobile set. Read on to find out Greg’s thoughts!

“Where does he get those wonderful toys?” people might ask of me. Well the Batmobile comes from LEGO, but the light emitting from within it – that’s all Game of Bricks. I was offered the opportunity to write a review here at The Lego Car Blog, making this both my first review and my first light kit; the Game of Bricks 76139 1989 Batmobile.

My Game of Bricks light kit arrived in a plain padded envelope, which held a nice sturdy box filled with individually numbered bags. At first I was unsure of how to even begin putting it together, but a link to the online instructions was in my order confirmation e-mail, leading to thorough and well photographed build steps.

Onto the kit, and a tedious process starts at the back of the Batmobile set running wires from the rocket booster, tail lights, as well as the fin lights, and moves forward from there. Much of the set must be disassembled during the installation, with wheels, headlights, side panels, the back panel as well as the intakes all removed, but the result is wires that are very hard to see when the installation is finished. That said, several of the kit’s lights are fitted with 3M tape, so I don’t get the feeling the lighting kit will be reusable if the set is ever disassembled again.

The wiring on the lights seems thin but is stronger than it looks, with some wires twisted together and others a single strand, depending on the number of LEDs attached. All the boards and the battery pack fit nicely within the back end of the set between the rear wheels, and these had command strips so they’re not just floating around. 

Now for the bad bits; The lights in the headlight area and the turrets were tricky to run in-between gaps within the front wheel-wells and through to the bottom of the vehicle. Once they were run to the back of the set I discovered the wires were the exact length of the model. That made it even more difficult, because – whilst the instructional photos showed a bit of slack to pull the board out and easily plug in the lights – instead I had to fat finger the plugs in the lower part next to the axle and hope the lights didn’t pull out of the other end.

The 3M strips I mentioned before didn’t seem to hold up after the recent heat wave and I had to go back in and push them back down. Afterwards the underside looked messy so I used the wire ties that were in the packaging to clean it up, and perhaps this kit would be better to use these in the official installation instructions.

Overall though, even after the frustrating installation, I would recommend the Game of Bricks  lighting kit for those looking to make their LEGO 76139 1989 Batmobile set even more impressive ; visually the end result is amazing.  And in hindsight I should probably have opted for the remote version too, so I wouldn’t have to mess about with the backend to turn it on!

Visit the Game of Bricks Shop here!

Game of Bricks – Light Kit (42114 6×6 Volvo Articulated Hauler) | Review

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

Emirates Airbus A380 | Picture Special

Some Lego builders’ user names are just right. This is BigPlanes’ Emirates Airlines Airbus A380 Superjumbo, and it is really, really big.

With a wingspan of 7ft, BigPlanes’ recreation of the world’s largest passenger plane is a constructed in an almost unbelievable mini-figure scale, and uses no hidden supports, metal framework, or glue.

What it does use is tens of thousands of LEGO pieces, several electric motors, and a whole lot of LED lights to faithfully replicate Emirates’ flagship airliner, including both decks, a four-pilot cockpit, working flaps and tail control surfaces, retractable landing gear, and even powered engines.

Each class of travel is accurately represented too, from First (which features a bar, lounge, and even a waterfall fountain), through Business (with fold flat seats and individual screens), to Premium Economy (where passengers’ benefit from their knees not being a structural element of the seat in front), and finally Economy (basically a cattle-truck).

Beautiful spiral staircases link the two decks, which also include luxury bathrooms in First (and holes in the floor for Economy), galley kitchens, and even crew sleeping accommodation.

A monumental undertaking a year in the making, BigPlanes’ phenomenal determination and skill has resulted in surely one of the finest Lego creations ever built. Buy your ticket to fly Emirates at his astonishing ‘LEGO Emirates Airbus A380’ album on Flickr, where forty incredible images are available to view. It’s probably worth spending a little extra to upgrade to Premium Economy though…

Call the Emergency Serv… Oh

It’d been a peaceful week here at TLCB Towers. Sure there was an Elf fight to break up after one of them found an almost empty (but evidently still delicious) glue stick in the bin, but otherwise creations have been found, meal tokens have been awarded, and no-one has been squashed. Until today.

This is a GAZ 66 fire truck, an all-wheel-drive Soviet water tank on wheels that is still used in Russia today. Well, this one isn’t, being rather smaller, but it’s just as impressive as the real thing.

Built by Danifill of Eurobricks, this fully RC Technic recreation of the Soviet-era fire truck proved to be a throughly capably Elf-smushing machine.

Lured in by the functioning flashing blue lights and the fact that, well – it’s a fire engine, the Elf at the controls drew in a crowd of Elven admirers, before promptly squashing them thanks to the GAZ’s genuinely surprising turn of speed.

An RC Buggy Motor, Servo steering, a BuWizz bluetooth battery, live-axle suspension, and four-wheel-drive deliver equip Danifill’s creation with impressive Elf-smushing performance, whilst a tilting cab, V8 engine, opening and locking doors, and detailed fire apparatus add nothing to that, but do look most excellent.

There’s lots more of Danifill’s remote control Technic GAZ 66 Fire Truck to see at the Eurobricks discussion forum, including further imagery and a link to a video of the model in action, plus you can see one of the builder’s earlier fire engines to feature here by clicking this bonus link.

Take a look via the links above whilst we apply some Elven first aid…

Slowly Sovieting

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.

YouTube Video

Three is the Magic Number

Britain has a long tradition of making crap cars. This is widely considered to be one of them.

The Reliant Robin has been the butt of jokes in TLCB’s home nation for years. Cheap, slow, and missing something that is taken for granted with almost every other car (a fourth wheel), it was derided for decades.

However, the humble Robin (and its Rialto and Regal forbears) was actually phenomenally successful. The second most mass-produced fibreglass car in history, the Robin’s success came from its ability to exploit loopholes, as with Germany and France’s microcar classes and Japan’s kei cars.

Three wheels meant the Robin could be driven on a motorcycle license, drivers paid less tax, and the oil crisis of the 1970s caused sales to rocket. It was this success that led to the derision, as there were actually loads of British three-wheeled microcars but no-ones heard of any of the others.

This brilliant Technic recreation of everyone’s (least)favourite British car comes from previous bloggee Danifill, who has not only replicated the Robin’s inline 4-cylinder engine, the steered and suspended centre wheel, and the live rear axle, he’s also equipped his Robin with a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery and three (appropriately) Power Functions motors.

An XL Motor drives the rear wheels, a Servo powers the steering (which also turns the steering wheel), whilst a Medium motor controls a two-speed gearbox. There are also opening doors with functioning locks, an opening hood and tailgate, plus working head and taillights too.

It’s a great build of a crap but somewhat unfairly derided car and there’s more to see of Danifill’s ’90s Reliant Robin at the Eurobricks forum, where there’s also a video in which you can watch all three wheels in action.