Tag Archives: LED Lights

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.

Soviet Snowrunner

This is a UAZ 3151, one of the Soviet Union’s many fantastically-boringly-titled, but actually very capable off-roaders. Built by Keymaker, this stunning fully RC recreation of the Russian off-roader not only looks the part in both standard and off-road modified forms, it’s absolutely packed with brilliant Technic engineering.

Drive for all four wheels comes from two L Motors whilst a Servo controls the steering. A Medium Motor operates front and rear remotely locking differentials, and not only are both axles suspended, the suspension height can be adjusted via an L Motor to vary the ground clearance.

These off-road mods are apparently inspired the video game ‘Snowrunner’, and Keymaker has gone further with his Technic model equipping it with a removable hardtop roof, removable bodywork, folding rear seats, an opening glovebox, opening and locking doors, a working inline-4 engine, and LED head and tail lights.

It’s an incredible build and one that’s definitely worth a closer look. Head to Eurobricks for full details and a video of the UAZ in action, and to Bricksafe for the complete image gallery, where you can find outdoor shots and pictures of the model in various states of off-road modification.

What the Frack?

This is a Tatra T815-7 10×10. Plus a few other things.

Built in collaboration across five companies and two continents, this remarkable machine is a mobile fracking rig, capable of extracting shale gas from deep inside the earth. The base is a Tatra T815-7 10×10 off-road truck, powered – in this case – by a six thousand horsepower diesel engine mounted behind the cab.

The reason for all that power is what is you can see at the rear of the vehicle, a GD-2500 Quintiplex well-pump constructed by American pump specialists Gardner Denver – itself rated at 2,500bhp – used to propel a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the well to force the shale gas to the surface.

The engine powering this pump comes from German company MTU, whose designs are more normally associated with ships than land-based vehicles, with a Czech Talosa auxiliary gearbox allowing the twelve cylinder diesel to drive both the pump and the truck itself.

Cylinder deactivation drops the power for driving the truck, so you don’t have 6,000bhp to play with (although that does sound like it would be fun), with this ‘one engine’ solution and the vehicle superstructure created by engineering company M.G. Bryan Equipment.

It’s an amazing real-world vehicle, recreated here in LEGO form (and to an equally amazing standard) by Pavol Vanek aka Paliason. Measuring a metre long and weighing 8kg, Pavol’s brick-built replica of the M.G. Bryan ‘Percheron’ Tatra T815-7 is a huge creation, and it features a host of impressively engineered features underneath the superbly well executed Model Team exterior.

A complete 10×10 chassis, with nine differentials, full suspension, and steering on the first, second, fourth and fifth axles accurately replicates the real truck, with the steering alone driven by four linear actuators and an XL Motor.

A working twelve-cylinder piston engine sits behind the cab, LEDs illuminate the head and taillights, and there are opening doors and control panel covers.

It’s a phenomenal recreation of a unique real-world vehicle, and there’s loads more of Pavol’s astonishing model to see at both Flickr and the Eurobricks discussion forum. Click here to visit Pavol’s ‘M.G. Bryan ‘Percheron’ – Tatra T815-7 10×10′ album on Flickr, and here to visit Eurobricks where full details of the model, the real truck, and how it is used to frack for shale gas, can be found.

The Colour of Money

Since when did fast Mercedes become so obnoxious? Even the badges shout loudly (and inaccurately), with C’63’ referring to an engine size Mercedes-Benz no longer makes. They couldn’t make the number smaller (and truer) though, because well… then it would be smaller.

Fast Mercedes also tend to be painted in stupid colours these days, with unnecessarily large exhausts, showy ‘aero’, and blingy wheels, conveying the taste of the nouveau riche douchbages that think they’re the coolest thing ever.

This is Lachlan Cameron’s C63 AMG, complete with a stupid colour, unnecessarily large exhausts, showy ‘aero’, and blingy wheels, and we think it’s the coolest thing ever.

Resplendent in lime green, Lachlan’s C63 captures the real car brilliantly, and features the complete set of Technic Supercar functions underneath, including a working V8 engine, suspension, LED lights, remote control drive and steering, and much more besides.

There’s more of Lachlan’s impressive build to see at his ‘Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG’ album on Flickr. Join us and the other nouveau riche douchebags there via the link above!

Game of Bricks – Light Kit (10277 Crocodile Train)* | Review

*Plus a few Speed Champions kits.

Being lazy, er… we mean tremendously generous, we’re handing over to another reader today for a review of more LED lighting kits for the 2020 LEGO sets, courtesy of LEGO-compatible LED lighting experts Game of Bricks. John Olive is the lucky recipient/willing reviewer, who has fitted some twinkly lights to his 10277 Crocodile Locomotive, and a few Speed Champions sets too – over to John!

Lights are only good for 3 things. Driving in the dark, for decorating a Holiday tree, and for lighting up LEGO sets. You know that feeling you have when you’ve finished building an official set that cost you an arm and a leg, and you have the desire to take your build to the next level? Well, for a good price it’s time to look to lighting your set or own creation with a good set of lighting kits.

While the current lineup of LEGO lighting kits are few and far between, a majority of builders have to turn to 3rd party vendors for all their lighting needs.

I had the distinct pleasure of getting hooked up with some lighting kits from Game of Bricks. Curious on the build quality and lighting ability, I had 3 kits sent to me in the United States. Two were for Speed Champions sets and the third was for the 10277 Crocodile Locomotive.

While shipping did take a little while, I was pleasantly surprised that when the package arrived, the kits were packaged nicely in thin black boxes. Inside all 3 kits, were the necessary components for each set and all came with a disclaimer packet. I was thrown off for a hot second because there weren’t any installment instructions and I didn’t know which lighting kit was for which set. I was quickly corrected by my 6 year old as he noticed a sticker on each kit with the set number on there. Go figure.

I had to refer back to the website for instructions as the kits didn’t come with an installment guide which was conflicting with their website offer of having instructions in every set. The instructions online were geared towards folks that have built the corresponding set already, so it included tear down instructions prior to adding the lights. This was extremely helpful for the Speed Champions sets and Crocodile. With only receiving digital instructions, I don’t hold that against them as I prefer to use digital instructions. The pictures were clear and provided a close up view of what was happening. I may have been distracted by the model’s fingernail in some pictures, but as I replicated the instructions on my own desk, it was apparent that Game of Bricks had given some thought in this phase of the installment. While the sets I reviewed were somewhat newer, hopefully older sets have the instructions right out of the box. Just in case customers don’t have the internet.

Let’s get to the actual kits.

The quality of the lighting kits was high just by the look and feel of the components. The website promises top notch quality, and while I’m unsure of the specific requirements to that, my experience with lighting kits confirms that it’s true. The extremely thin Connecting Cables are wound tightly and I didn’t notice any unraveling wires when running the cables in between the plates and bricks. Connecting the cables to a light strip has to be done ​very carefully​ and will be rewarded with an audible click when it slipped in there correctly.

*Veteran tip: A classic technique requires you to use your fingernail to push the connector into the port when dealing with such small components.*

Once cause of concern when dealing with any kind of lighting kit is the size of the LEDs used, but luckily Game of Bricks comes through with the perfect size. On the Crocodile Locomotive set, there are several 1×1 translucent clear pips that mimic the lights.

The LEDs from GOB fit nicely inside the pip. On the flip side, the light kit for the 75894 Mini Cooper S Rally & 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Buggy came with 2 sets of pips that had small holes that snaked the connecting table inside for you. This was because the Crocodile lights had their clear pips connected to a brick that allowed the cable to be hidden. When it comes to creating lighting kits, attention to the smallest detail allows for an easy installment. Spending time with a set when developing these clever little work-arounds is important because not only does it need to be installed correctly, the cables need to be hidden in order to pull off that realistic component of the set. No one likes a gorgeous set with clunky wires being exposed. With that, Game of Bricks is going to receive good marks when it comes to hiding cables.

While it makes sense to light up a locomotive like the Crocodile, Speed Champions sets like the MINI or Jaguar were a wild card for me. In all my years going to brick shows, it is rare to see those small cars being lit up because it becomes difficult to hide those clunky battery boxes. Luckily the battery boxes provided in the lighting kits aren’t much bigger than a zippo lighter, and comfortably hold 3 triple A batteries. Just make sure that you are hiding that box behind the set as it is clear that these lighting kits are more for display than for running trains on a train layout. A nice little tidbit is having the on/off switch on that battery box and some sets like the Crocodile include a secondary battery box for two 3 volt round batteries. This extremely thin box allows for installment underneath the set and is hidden from view. The finished models shined brightly in all the right places. For example, on the Crocodile Locomotive, the main cabin’s lights shine a dull yellow, mimicking this 1919-1986 model, while the lights at the front and rear “snouts” shone a bright white light. I appreciated the thought behind those decisions.

Having so many options for kits leads to the biggest question that I will leave to others to debate. Are there certain LEGO sets that should be MODed for lighting kits or are there sets that should not be lit?

Game of Bricks throws all that into the wind with their wide selection of lighting kits and says, you shouldn’t let anybody tell you what LEGO set to light up. Their catalog of lighting kits is ever growing, and just by the looks and experience of using their lighting kits, it’s hard to not think of a LEGO set they don’t have a kit for. If they don’t have one available, you can make suggestions which I appreciate as a consumer.

As LEGO continues to pump out new sets, Game of Bricks appear to be doing a great job of creating new kits for them. With their robust catalog of kits, and accessories for your own creations, I believe that Game of Bricks is here to light up the competition.

Game of Bricks – Light Kit (42107 Ducati Panigale) | Review

It’s nearly Christmas, when twinkly lights are everywhere! So why not add some to your Technic sets? Reader Francesco Frangioja has done just that…

When TLCB and Game of Bricks kindly offered me the chance to pick two light kits for 2020 vehicle sets, in addition to the LEGO Technic 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger kit, which I chose because I’m a big fan of the Fast & Furious franchise, I also chose the LED kit for the LEGO Technic 42107 Ducati Panigale V4 R. Being Italian and an engine enthusiast, the choice was practically forced!

The lighting kit comes in a cardboard box, black and premium quality, which has only the logo of the manufacturer on it. Because TLCB and Game of Bricks have sent me two different kits, there was an additional identification (handwritten) tag with the number of the set in which to install the light kit itself (left-bottom corner). 

Inside the box I found: 

  • Three numbered plastic bags with tiny LEDs stripes and the thin, very thin cables
  • Two un-numbered plastic bags with the battery box, one “hub” to connect the single part of the LED circuit and the USB connector to connect the LEDs “circuit” to the battery box
  • One booklet with the explanation of what each component is and its use/purpose

Also for this kit, as for the specific one for LEGO Technic 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set, the actual building instructions are on Game of Bricks’ website, consisting of a series of “photographic” steps showing where to place the individual “light points” and how to organise (where they have to pass) the various wiring. 

Now that I’ve become familiar with the Game of Bricks system and had ways to practice with the tiny connectors I was able to follow the steps for this set very easily. 

The fist task is to install the elements included in the plastic bag No.1, by inserting the LED elements behind the trans-clear round tile in the front headlights, simply by “squeezing” them between the tile and the underneath Technic pin. To install these lights, of course, you need to remove the front fairing, not before applying the first of the connection strips behind the handlebars.

Continue reading

Game of Bricks – Light Kit (42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger) | Review

Here at TLCB we’ve taken a fairly backwards approach to employee payment. As in, no one gets paid anything. But why should we have all the fun when we could not pay you guys for doing work too! Cue Francesco Frangioja, who joins us here at TLCB to review one of Game of Bricks’ new lighting kits. For free. Because he’s great. Over to Francesco!

TLCB kindly offered me the chance to pick two Game of Bricks light kits for 2020 vehicle sets, and my first choice was the light kit for the LEGO Technic 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set. After a couple of weeks (due to the shipment), I finally had time to install the kit in the set for which it was intended.

The lighting kit comes in a cardboard box, black and premium quality, with only the logo of the manufacturer on it.

Inside the box I found: 

  • Seven numbered plastic bags with tiny LEDs stripes and the thin, very thin cables
  • Three un-numbered plastic bags with the battery box, some “junction” cable plus the control unit and the USB connector to connect the LEDs “circuit” to the battery box
  • One booklet with the explanation of what each component is and its use/purpose
  • A remote (because I got the remote/RC version of the kit)

The actual building instructions are found on the Game of Bricks’ website; a series of “photographic” steps that show where to place the individual “light points” and how to organize (where they have to pass) the various wiring. 

I’m already familiar with the installation of this kind of product (light kits from other manufacturers) and the instructions were very similar, so I was able to follow the steps for this set very easily. Installing all the front lights is pretty simple: you have to “squeeze” the various LED element between the respective/relative transparent piece and the underneath on which the transparent one is originally fixed.

After that, you have to place the “array stripes” in the position/as shown in the photo-instructions.

Because normally there is exactly zero space between a transparent piece and the stud below it, you need to push it in place carefully even with this super thin wire. In fact, compared to the kits of other manufacturers, the peculiarity of the kit from Game of Bricks is that only a few of the “light points” are glued into LEGO brick. In practice, only the bricks of set 42111 which have to be physically replaced with counterparts with the LED already wired and glued inside, have been inserted in the light kit. All other “light points” are realised by fixing the LED element between the transparent and to be illuminated LEGO element, and the stud of the underlying piece.

The rear section was just as easy to manage; once the wiring steps are completed, you need to attach the tiny connector to a “splitter piece”, also equipped with adhesive tape to fix it in the position indicated by the photographic instructions. The connectors are very thin, so the use of a modeling plier can make the job easier. The cables, although very thin, are very resistant to traction and torsion. You just have to pay attention to the “scissors effect”: if you “staple” them too hard between brick and stud, you risk that they get cut. Therefore, you must always pay a lot of attention and procedures gently and carefully. 

The battery box requires 3 AA-LR6 batteries and includes a female USB connector. It’s up to you to choice to fit it into the model (i.e. into the trunk) or to keep it outside the model. Just remember that you will need to be able to access the on/off button.

Once the installation is finished and all the LEDs are connected, the final result is really great. 

Keep in mind that the kit in my possession is the top version, the one with the highest number of lighting points and including remote control to manage the on/off of each group and some “lightshows”.

Unlike the light kits I have tried before previously, the solutions of modular wiring and the interlocking of the lighting elements between the transparent bricks and the stud below implemented by Game of Bricks are perhaps the two most significant plus: not having bricks with pre-glued LEDs inside, you do not have to do too many replacements of parts of the official set to be illuminated, as well as the modularity of the wiring, allow you to decide from time to time if and which lighting elements to insert and which not. 

You can find the Game of Bricks lighting kit for the 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set, alongside a wide range of other kits designed to fit official LEGO sets, by clicking here!

Brick Built Bimmer

Gosh do we hate the BMW X3. Not a much as the X7, which numerically we hate just over twice as much, but still. However, our thoughts on BMW’s affront to ‘compact’ SUV styling are – like pretty much everything we write – moot, because the X3 has been a phenomenal success for the German brand.

Now seventeen years and three generations in, around two million X3s have been produced, and today we can add one more to that number, courtesy of Jeroen Ottens and the brilliant Technic recreation you can see here.

Powered by two L Motors with a Medium Motor delivering the steering, Jeroen’s X3 can be controlled via bluetooth thanks to a third-party SBrick, which has also been programmed to operate the LED head and tail lights (including indicators), and the Servo controlled drive-mode select, which can send all the power to the rear wheels, 25% front and 75% rear, or 50/50 all-wheel-drive via a centre differential.

It’s an ingenious piece of engineering and there’s more to see on both Flickr and at Jeroen’s website, where building instructions are also available. Click the links to check it out.

Green Light*

This astonishing creation is a Peterbilt 389 quint-axle dump truck, and it comes from Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka BricksonWheels after four months of painstaking work.

That work included custom chroming hundreds of parts, the recreation of the Cummins X15 engine, MAC dump body and Hendrickson pusher axles, and the fitment of 120 Brickstuff LEDs.

Those LEDs make the truck look even more special at night, and you can see the complete image gallery including nighttime shots at Dennis’ ‘Peterbilt 389 (1:13)‘ album on Flickr. Click the second link in the text above to make the jump, and the first to read how Dennis creates spectacular models like this.

*Today’s title song.