That leaves the two entry points to the 2021 Technic range, 42116 Skid Steer Loader and 42117 Race Plane, each consisting of around 150 pieces, aimed at ages 7+, and costing under $10.
Both look pretty reasonable too, each managing to be realistic and functional, with the Loader including two gear-driven functions (arm elevation and bucket tilt), and the Race Plane’s propeller being driven by the landing gear.
No, that’s not much, but at the age and price point they’re worthy additions to the Technic range, effectively teaching gearing and levers to younger builders. Good job LEGO, and there are still two more sets to come later in Q1…
A slightly convoluted title there, but it’s due to the fact that this brilliant looking Bobcat skid-steer loader is a B-Model built entirely from the parts found within the enormous 42100 Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator set.
Built by previous bloggee Erik Trax, this remote control loader uses around two thirds of the pieces from the set including four Power Functions motors, which drive the tracks, bucket tilt, and arm lifting.
The arm lift is properly clever too, using a cunning double pivot to ensure the bucket raises through a vertical lift path. The Elf at the controls probably didn’t understand how this works, but nevertheless found it a very useful feature after driving a couple of its unfortunate colleagues towards the manky mop bucket in the corner of the corridor (used regularly in the clean-up of Elven bodily fluids).
With the vertical lift path ensuring none of its Elven cargo toppled out before it was ready, the Elf at the controls tilted the loader’s bucket over the damp receptacle below, whereupon its brethren thudded into it forlornly.
Pleased with its antics, the Elf then abandoned its find before its colleagues could climb out of the manky mop bucket and exact revenge, giving us a chance to explore Erik’s brilliantly engineered loader for ourselves.
Whilst we do that you can see more of Erik’s remote control skid-steer loader at his Flickr photostream and at the Eurobricks discussion forum, where a video of the Bobcat in action can also be found alongside a link to building instructions.
Click the links above to take a look whilst we see how easy it is to drop some Elves in the manky mop bucket…
You wait all day for an autonomous Volvo concept loader, and then two come along at once. Or so the saying goes. Following the 42081 Volvo Concept set, LEGO and Volvo have teamed up to run a competition to design the Volvo construction vehicle of the future.
Here are two entries, each packed with Power Functions motors and remote control functionality, and each looking quietly terrifying to boot.
First up (above) is R. Skittle‘s ‘Volvo Proteus’, a fully autonomous self-loading hauler. Many many motors power the loader’s drive, all-wheel-steering, the huge swivelling bucket arm, and the sliding and tipping bucket, and there’s much more to see at Skittle’s photostream. Click the link above to view the full gallery of this superbly engineered creation.
Today’s second concept (below) sends Volvo into space, with this enormous ‘Mars Mission’ loader/dozer/tunneller/excavator, all the things required for some Mars-based construction. Built by Desert Eagle (aka Desert752) of Eurobricks this metre-long monster is powered by sixteen motors, with all-track drive, crab steering, a self-levelling superstructure via linear actuators, 360 degree excavator boom rotation with elevation, extension and a synchronised counterweight, 360 degree tunneller boom rotation and elevation, and a drill head that looks like something from your Mom’s Ann Summers chest.
There’s a whole lot more to see of both of today’s Volvo concepts via the links above, and you can enter the competition yourself via LEGO Ideas by clicking here.
Sometimes you don’t need a million-horsepower hypercar as inspiration for a brilliant Technic build. This is a humble skid-steer compact tracked loader, and it is one of the most fun-looking Technic models TLCB Elves have discovered in ages.
Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter ‘T’. Plus the Elves are learning about alliteration, which means that we have not one but two Technic tractors to show you.
They’re both remote control too, which also meant that we had something of an Elven showdown in the corridor this morning. Unable to squash any of their colleagues due to their finds herculean slowness, each Elf decided that the next best route to carnage was to turn their respective machines on one another. Cue the slowest vehicular joust in history, at the end of which the tractors calmly bumped into one another and the Elves at the controls left in disgust.
Well they may not be impressed, but we are, as each build is a masterclass in Technic engineering. Above is newcomer Brick_Sticker’s enormous Case 620 HD, driven by an XL motor and featuring an unusual (but very clever) pneumatic articulated steering mechanism, with an on-board compressor powered by a Medium motor providing the air pressure. Another Medium motor drives a power-take-off, and there are four pneumatic lines where tools could be attached.
It’s a spectacular machine and well worth your click – you can check out all the images and details via both Eurobricks and Brickshelf.
The Case’s gladiatorial opponent in the corridor joust comes from previous bloggee Damian Plesniak, and if anything it’s even slower. Driven by twin Medium motors, Damian’s tracked mini loader features skid-steering, plus a tilting and raising bucket powered by a third Medium motor and an XL.
It works a treat too, and you can see all of the (brilliantly taken) images on Flickr here, plus you can watch a video of the loader in action by visiting the Eurobricks discussion forum.
We were a bit underwhelmed by LEGO’s 42049 Technic Mine Loader set when we previewed it here towards the end of last year. It has pneumatics and a two cylinder engine, but…meh. However a recent upload by previous bloggee Tamas Juhasz (aka mbmc137) shows how it should have been done, and at about half the scale.
Tamas’ tiny Technic recreation of the official set might be small, but it packs in just as much functionality, and in doing so it might just be the neatest and most well engineered small-scale Technic model we’ve seen this year. It could even be a set, if there wasn’t one already…
With all the functionality of 42049, Tamas’ build squeezes in all-wheel-drive, articulated steering, pneumatic bucket elevation and tilt, and a two-cylinder piston engine (making it just as unrealistically underpowered as LEGO’s version).
There’s lots more to see of this incredibly tidy build at Tamas’ Brickshelf gallery and at the Eurobricks discussion forum, plus there’s a video of the loader’s features available below.
This magnificent pneumatic Technic backhoe comes from TLCB favourite Máté Lipkovics aka Lipko, and it’s one of the best pieces of Lego engineering you’ll see this year.
A Power Functions motor operates duel pneumatic pumps, allowing Lipko’s model to run two sets of pneumatic functions simultaneously. These include the backhoe; which can rotate, elevate and tip the bucker, the front loader; which both elevates and tips, and the rear-mounted stabilisers.
If that wasn’t enough there are mechanical functions too, including all-wheel-steering, both by Hand-of-God and the steering wheel, pendular suspension, an opening hood and a rotating driver’s seat.
There’s lots more to see on three of the major Lego-sharing platforms, click the links for all the details on MOCpages, Brickshelf, and Eurobricks.
…and actuators and tyres and pretty much everything else too. This beast of machine comes from Hong Kong based builder Shineyu and was discovered by our Elves on the Eurobricks Technic forum. It’s on such a massive scale that normal Technic tyres have had to be replaced with non-Lego RC car ones. The linear actuators are built from scratch, as is the bucket: 42030‘s is just too small. Click the link in the text to see more photos, including comparisons with standard Lego parts and click below to see the machine in action.
N.B. You’re probably wondering why a TLCB post featuring a piece of large, Power Functions construction equipment contains no references to chaos, smushings, Elf fights and the other usual stuff. Well you’ve been reading this blog for long enough to expect that this all happened as usual but on a far, far larger scale. Right, we’re off to browse eBay for a bulk buy of compressed air canisters for Mr. Airhorn and stain remover for the office carpet.
Graphic designer, Pico van Grootveld is the design and editing brains behind a sci-fi collaboration called “Mining Frenzy“. We featured one the builds, Clayton Marchetti’s “Goliath” on our rather spacey Sunday. Pico’s contribution to the collaboration was a ship from his Tequilatron faction but he also built some other vehicles, which didn’t find space on the poster.
At the top of this post is his Magnaloader and below is the ‘Roidjumper Mech. Pour yourself a drink and then sit back and click this link to enjoy Pico’s work.
Our smelly little workforce has a history with remotely controlled construction machinery. It has in the past been used by individual Elves to exact revenge on colleagues, pre-emptively attack colleagues, and smush other colleagues into the carpet for – as the kids would say, ‘lols‘.
Today’s calm was shattered by the arrival of the creation above, a huge remote controlled Komatsu WA 600 wheeled loader by MOCpages’ Jorge Garcia. And then things got much worse.
Another Elf, successful after a day’s MOC hunting, returned with the MOC below, Limitless Bricks‘ (previously Ultimate Design Bricks) remote controlled Liebherr LR 634 tracked loader, and thus a sort of Lego Robot Wars ensued.
Things are mostly back to normal now, and the two creations have been placed in the care of TLCB office – much to the annoyance of the Elves. Still, we wouldn’t dream of using such brilliant machines in a battle to the death. But nevertheless we do have a very busy afternoon of remote controlled ‘evaluation’ planned, so we’ll sign off now…
There was a time you had to watch out for Volvo drivers; unpredictable, incompetent pilots who felt ‘safer’ in their tank while putting everyone else at greater risk… then two things happened. The unsure drivers migrated to even more tank-like SUVs and Volvo started making decent cars. Terrible drivers don’t like good cars so the ones who didn’t fancy a 4WD got themselves a Peugeot, who as luck would have it stopped making good cars at about the time Volvos got better. So now you know who to watch out for. You, of course, are a perfect driver…
For the ultimate get-out-of-my-way, bog-off-Range-Rover experience you’ll need one of these…
Coming Soon To A Town Centre Near You..
Yes, TLCB has finally got around to reviewing the set that everyone’s talking about… last summer. It is of course the Technic 42030 Volvo L350F Loader.
The Technic range is always best topped off with something big and yellow and this is bigger and yellower than most. It’ll drive right over a Peugeot, and it rivals the 8110 Unimog for sheer size. So it should for 170 smackers….
At just over 1600 pieces, it doesn’t scream value at that price, but the 4 PF motors and remote control gubbins makes the outlay more palatable. And you do get a very big box for your money; not the fullest box in the world, exactly, but there’s plenty of good stuff in there.
One innovation I really like here is the single, thick instruction book. So much better than half a dozen thin ones… now how about another one for the B model? Anyone? Hello? Nevermind… let’s crack on and build the thing. What’s surprising here is how easy it is compared to other recent large sets. This is mostly down to each function having its own dedicated motor so there’s no complex gearbox arrangements to contend with. There’s not even that many gears… it’ll only take about 3-4 hours to assemble, but it still makes for an enjoyably lazy afternoon.
As for pieces, there’s little new here, apart from that huge bucket – the biggest Technic piece ever, apparently – although ‘Mog wheels in yellow are nice to have, and engine cylinders in green are a thoughtful and accurate detail. I did see some ‘5L axle with stop’ which fortunately are a different colour to the older ‘4L axle with stop’ but that’s about it for elemental innovation. Maybe Technic has enough connectors and brackets and beams and so on to be going on with. There certainly seems to be plenty of choice now.
You might think 170 quid is a lot to pay for 3 hours of building, but consider the many hours of playing this fully remote controlled beast will give you… this model actually does do quite a lot:
Engine: An inline six, as per reality, and it’s 4 wheel drive. It’s green too, but I don’t mean environmentally friendly… It doesn’t turn terrifically quickly but it’s always a nice thing to have. It’s impressively accessible too; the grille on the back will hinge open, as will both side panels. You can even unlatch the rear mudguards to open another panel and walk right in! It’s driven, as are all four wheels, by the XL motor beneath it, at what seems to be an appropriate pace. Not too fast, not too slow. Just right.
Steering: This is articulated in the middle, just below the operator’s cab, and it’s actuated by a PF Servo Motor. These do make the steering easier to operate than a standard motor, but with the standard remote control it’s all or nothing. I think I’d still prefer an M or L, geared down to make it controllable unless I had the speed controller. This is minor quibbling really; the system works very well and PRAISE BE! The in-cab steering wheel is connected!! There’ll be dancing in the streets tonight! Or maybe just in my house…
Suspension: Yes, there is some. Sort of. The rear axle is pendular, albeit unsprung. It’s one of those features that doesn’t need to be there but I’m glad they made the effort.
Bucket Elevation: Controlled by two large linear actuators driven by an L motor, the bucket will move up to impressive height, and it’ll maintain the tilt angle through the upper two thirds of the travel. All very good. The box makes the proud boast that it’ll lift up to 1Kg, and this it will do. It absolutely will not lift 1.1Kg however. You can’t fault LEGO for honesty…
Bucket Tilting: A single linear actuator, controlling the bucket’s angle through a wide range of movement via some clever leverage, this works seamlessly and well. An M motor does the driving and it proves to be strong enough. If you feel the need to lift 1.1Kg, I’d swap it for an L at the same time as stuffing in an XL for the bucket elevation though. Having said that, it sounds like the limiting factor is the LAs’ internal clutches rather than the motor.
42030 feels like a belated successor to the sainted 8043 Excavator, in that it does all it sets out to do, and it looks pretty good doing it. It’s not quite as sophisticated as that model, and styling-wise, while it looks enough like the actual Volvo to wear it’s stickers with pride, the areas beneath the cab and under the bucket are a tad sketchy. This may be just because the back half is so thoroughly detailed, with all the railings and panels and so on that give this some real visual heft.
The B model looks good as well – it’s an articulated, tipping quarry truck, modelled after another actual Volvo, for which there’s a complete second set of stickers; presumably you just have to peel off the A model’s stickers first! It’s got the typical Technic tipper see-through bed however… I’d stick with the better, more sophisticated Loader.
Overall, I’m very grateful that a Technic designer has a mate who works for Volvo (true story – it’s why this exists) and it deserves it’s place at the top of the range. Like all good RC vehicles, it’s excellent for spooking the dog. 9 and a half / 10.
TLCB Team were quietly working* away in the office today, when the sound of much commotion floated up the stairs from the Elves’ cage room. Sigh. A despondent traipse downstairs revealed the cause, and Mr Airhorn was brought out of his slumber to restore order.
The Elves have a history with remote controlled construction machinery, and this excellent JCB 320T compact track loader by Brickshelf’s pipasseyoyo did nothing to re-write it.
The JCB’s two Power Functions L motors had been used to smush a multitude of Elves into the carpet, whilst its ingenious self-leveling bucket contained a few more and quite a lot of sloshing vomit. Watch this video and you’ll see why – this loader is deceptively quick.
Anyway, we have the controls now, and the Elves have been thrown outside to continue the search. You can see more of the JCB on Brickshelf at the link above.
*By ‘working’ we mean browsing car websites, eating cupcakes, and Googling images of NFL cheerlea… never mind.
Welcome to the Lego Car Blog review of set 42023 – Construction Crew, one of the latest additions to the Technic range. We’ve got our finger on the pulse here at TLCB towers…
So, there I was in the Lego store, staring at the Technic range and torn between buying this and the Skip Lorry. I’ve seen women choose shoes faster. We’ll see if I made the right choice soon enough…
First impressions are good. The three vehicles do look cute on the box, and they all seem to do stuff. The box is quite elegantly designed as well. There is, however, precious little sign of any B-models shown on it; just one tiny picture of a laptop with a road grader model that looks like the alternate for the front end loader. Said laptop won’t help either, for as I write this, the instructions aren’t up on Lego’s website yet.
There are three instruction books and 3 pairs of numbered bags of pieces – one for each model – and a small sticker sheet that managed to survive the onslaught of not being protected by cardboard. Taking each of the three models individually, I’ll start with the blue one.
It’s a rather fetching looking tipper lorry, 9 studs wide and it features working steering and a tipping box, the latter raised and lowered by a small linear actuator. It’s not a difficult build, by any means, but it’s an enjoyable thing to put together. You build the front end first, then the box and the chassis rails that hold it all together come last. The resulting model does look nice, especially as attention has been paid to the colour of the fixings and blue ones have been used on the cab where possible.
So, it’s pretty, but is it clever ? In a word, no. The steering is rather vague and imprecise with a very limited lock, and the tipper bed has a few too many holes in the bottom – a shame as it did seem from the pictures that they might have designed this properly for once. It does work OK, though, and the hinged flap at the rear opens as it goes up. It’ll open before it goes up as well, unfortunately; there’s no means to lock it shut. So, an aesthetic success but not a technical one. Next!
A little red excavator, which wears stickers on the side that somewhat redundantly say ‘Excavator’, just in case we weren’t sure… this features another little linear actuator to lift the arm and it’s extended manually via a set of simple crossed levers. This aspect works well, and it’s got a control to rotate the body on the base. This is completely pointless as the thing will swivel around of it’s own free will anyway. If it was geared down it might have worked.
It’s got a pair of caterpillar tracks, using the older, small black chain link type – 40 per side so get clicking! – and I always like seeing these, although they appear to be made of a softer plastic than used to be the case. These need gears at each end to act as sprockets, and this model doesn’t have that – the chains simply slide over the ‘sprocket’ provided by pairs of bevel gears that don’t mesh with them, meaning the tracks have some free side-to-side movement, and will slip over the sprockets. They won’t slip right off, though. So, a partial success and, like the truck, it does look good.
The best of the three is undoubtedly the yellow front end loader. This looks very purposeful with it’s big yellow wheels, with new squarer tyres that’ll suit most of your truck mocs very well – and it features articulated steering and a lifting, tilting bucket at the front. The joint in the middle is very sturdy, it steers nice and smoothly and the bucket’s lifting mechanism is fine, although the bucket itself tips back as it goes up. The tilting action is a bit sloppy, however, and could not be more basic. That aside, this is a good model.
The three models are also provided with a small pile of round 2×2 bricks to dig up/load/carry. All great fun, although they had to be this big lest they fall through the holes in the truck’s floor…
If all this sounds a bit.. lukewarm, blame the reason I chose this set:
I already had 42004, the little JCB, and it’s a complete delight: the thought of three more like that in one set was extremely tempting. That wouldn’t be too much to ask either, as the 42004 costs £18 to 42023’s £50, and it has less than a third of the pieces. IT’S GOT AN INSTRUCTION BOOK FOR THE B MODEL AS WELL. If I shout maybe someone at Lego will hear me…
Whereas each of 42023’s models have 2 or 3 functions/moving parts, 42004 has 6 on it’s own, in a model that’s the same size. These functions are not perfect, but they’re at least as good as any similar systems on 42023. All this and cuteness; can’t ask for more.
So, to sum up, I should probably have bought the Skip Lorry… 42023 is a nice enough set, and it would make a very good starter kit for someone new to Technic, but there’s not really enough here for the seasoned builder at this price. 6/10. 42004 on the other hand, is an outstanding little model that looks even better value now. 9/10.
This is the Lego Car Blog. We make these mistakes so you don’t have to!
Time for some more Technic, and today we’re getting it by the bucket-load (hah!), with this old-school Skid Steer Loader by Bobofrut. It’s fully remote control, being powered by LEGO’s ubiquitous Power Functions motors, and the bucket both raises/lowers on its arm, and tips. See more on Brickshelf at the link.