Tag Archives: Off-Road

Camp Fire

We love repurposed vehicles (or anything else for that matter) here at The Lego Car Blog. Taking something and transforming for a different purpose is not only far less environmentally damaging than making something new, the results are often way cooler. As evidenced by Beat Felber‘s wonderful 1984 Land Rover 110.

Beat’s real-world Land Rover served as an off-road fire engine for about twenty-five years, before it was retired and converted into the superb off-road camper it is today, and Beat has now recreated it in Lego form, capturing his real-life vehicle beautifully.

Underneath the brilliantly life-like exterior – complete with opening doors and hood – is a remotely controlled 4×4 drivetrain powered by an SBrick, with L-Motors driving both axles (each of which is suspended), a Servo the steering, and an M-Motor the high/low gearbox.

It’s a delightful build made all the better by its real-world counterpart, and there’s more to see of both Beat’s Lego Land Rover 110 and the real fire-engine-turned-camper that inspired it via the link above.

Fifty Shades of Bley

Ok, one shade (this isn’t the 42115 Lamborghini Sian set), but certainly fifty types of bley.

Blueish-grey (hence ‘bley’) replaced LEGO’s ‘light grey’ colour in around 2005 for reasons we don’t understand, and The Brick Artisan has embraced the hue wholly with his ‘Classic Space Compact Transport Rover’, which looks a bit like a spacey airport luggage tractor.

Said rover not only contains a whole lot of bley, it features a delightfully elaborate and possibly radioactive load too, as this Classic Spaceman apparently heads to the Classic Space recycling centre. Our Earth-based equivalent of this trip is only to transport TLCB’s broken electrical devices and old pieces of wood (although we do also use a Rover), so this trip looks far more exciting!

There’s more to see of The Brick Artisan’s ‘Classic Space Compact Transport Rover’ on Flickr, where – if you have sufficient bley – you can recreate it for yourself as building instructions are available. Click the link above to make the jump!

5-Tons of Pain!

This is the M1083 6×6 ‘Medium Tactical Vehicle’, an Austrian-designed 5-ton military truck produced by Oshkosh for the U.S military.

Built by Flickr’s Evan M, this superb Lego recreation of the M1083 in desert camo spec not only does an excellent job of capturing the truck, and features both working steering and suspension, it also includes 5 tons of exciting exploding things in the load bed.

Talking of ‘capturing the truck’, a few of the real trucks and a great many tons of U.S exploding things are likely now in the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Which makes the war to oust them seem rather pointless. Still, you can capture your own M1083 at Evan’s photostream via the link above!

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.

Phlattening Phoenix

It was a peaceful morning here at TLCB Towers. Some Elves were quietly watching cartoons, some TLCB Writers were… er, quietly watching cartoons, and all was well with the world.

And then a BuWizz-powered truck ran a load of them over. Elves you understand, not Writers.

Built by Eurobricks’ blaz62, this monstrous Tatra Phoenix trial truck made easy work smushing our smelly little workers, thanks to twin motors, fully independent suspension, and six-wheel-drive.

The Elf at the controls was clearly enjoying itself, but fortunately we were on hand to promptly pick up the creation in question and end the violence, much to its annoyance.

A closer inspection of the model revealed modular construction, opening doors, and – for a Technic creation at least – a kinda detailed interior, but with a trial truck it’s really all about how the model drives.

Whilst we conduct some arduous ‘testing’ to determine this, you can see more of blaz62’s excellent all-wheel-drive Phoenix at the Eurobricks discussion via the link above, plus you can check out the creation in action via the video below.

YouTube

Blank Face

Things with blank, expressionless faces are terrifying. How do you know what they’re thinking? That’s why car styling always sort of resembles a face, even if that face is an increasingly angry one these days.

Oshkosk didn’t get that memo though, and – in creating their HMETT 8×8 off-road truck – gave it a face of such horrifying blankness it could belong to a Cyberman.

Still, vacant serial-killer stare aside, the HMETT is a mega bit of kit, and so too is Thesuperkoala‘s Technic recreation, which includes eight-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steering, lockable differentials, a high/low gearbox, all-wheel springless suspension, a removable load bed, and BuWizz bluetooth remote control.

Which means it could drive around the house seemingly of its own free-will, which gives this writer shivers.

There’s more to see of Thesuperkoala’s excellent Technic Oshkosh HMETT 8×8 truck at both Flickr and via the video below; click the links to take a look, whilst this TLCB Writer draws smiley faces on anything vaguely resembling a head in TLCB office and tries to think happy thoughts…

YouTube Video

Wartime Willys

The Lego Car Blog Elves are having a great time this morning. This lovely remote controlled Willys Jeep was discovered by one of their number today, and fortunately our eagle-eyed intern caught it before the model could be used for any smushing shenanigans.

That means no tidying up for us, and a gaggle of Elves being transported around TLCB Towers, much to their delight.

The model in question is properly good too, looking wonderfully like-like and featuring a complete remote control drivetrain, with four-wheel-drive, front and rear suspension, and working steering.

TLCB favourite Sariel is the builder and there’s more to see of his superbly presented 1940s Willys Jeep on Flickr and via the Eurobricks forum.

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.

HaLo MaSter ChEiF 3571!!!

When MOCpages was unceremoniously deleted in an act of cowardly internet douchebaggery, it threw thousands of wonderful creations, inventions, groups, and contests into the digital void. Alongside these though, it also took about three million ‘HaLo MaSter ChEiF 3571!!!’ builds with it. Sliver linings and all that…

We begrudgingly admit though, that Halo models can be good, as proven here by Flickr’s ZiO Chao. ZiO’s Halo Falcon and Warthog are both superbly built and presented, and are further enhanced with custom mini-figures and LED lighting.

There’s more to see of ZiO’s Halo models via the link above, where he hasn’t mis-spelled anything nor asked for likes and comments, which makes us ponder whether these are in fact Halo creations at all…

Off-Road at Any Speed

The 1961 Chevrolet Corvair was a brilliantly interesting car. Designed to take on Volkswagen, the Corvair was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled flat-6 engine, which even came with the option of turbo-charging (the first production car in the world to do so).

Unfortunately however, the Corvair also featured a significant design flaw; the suspension tried to kill you.

The bean-counters at GM omitted anti-sway bars to save cost, which – when combined with that rear-mounted flat-6 engine and swing-axle suspension – caused the wheel camber to vary drastically when cornering. This created a car with wildly unpredictable handling, and therefore one that crashed a lot.

In 1965 attorney Ralph Nader published a book on the Corvair titled ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’, and Corvair sales plummeted. Of course GM did the default ‘evil corporation’ thing and attempted to smear Nader rather than fix the car, before conceding and equipping the Corvair with independent suspension.

The damage had been done though, and the Corvair carries a crashy reputation to this day. Cue Flickr’s Volker Brodkorb, who has fixed his Corvair station wagon’s handling issues by, well… turning it into an off-road monster truck.

OK, if anything the handling would be even worse, but look how cool it is! Volker’s model is in fact based on a real Corvair monster truck, which has got the Elves very excited. There’s more to see of Volker’s version via the link above, and you can check out a video of the real-life monster truck on which Volker’s model is based by clicking this link, where – amazingly – no one is killed at all.

LEGO Technic 42129 Mercedes-Benz Zetros Trial Truck | Set Preview

Things are about to get very big. And very expensive.

This is the brand new LEGO Technic 42129 Mercedes-Benz Zetros Trial Truck, it measures a hefty half a metre long, and it’s due to carry an equally huge price-tag when it goes on sale later this year ($300/£275).

However that enormous sum of money unlocks the most powerful motorised truck that LEGO have ever built, with three Large motors, one Medium motor, and bluetooth control via the LEGO Control+ App.

Those motors power all four wheels, the steering, and – for the first time ever – remotely locking differentials. All-wheel-suspension, a working gearbox, and a ‘detailed engine’ (which might just be a spinning fan) also feature, which compared to yesterday’s reveal isn’t all that much, but then, 42129 looks mega off-road.

LEGO have made some properly bold claims about climbing angles in their press release, and included in the set are some marker flags so that owners can test these via setting their own off-road courses at home.

A smorgasbord of amusingly generic racing stickers are included too (‘Oil’, ‘Intake’, ‘Rack’, and – our personal favourite – ‘Axle Beam’), although these actually look OK, and 42129 is blessed with the same enhanced level of detail as other recent Technic sets.

Aimed at ages 12+, the 2,110 piece LEGO Technic 42129 Mercedes-Benz Zetros Trial Truck looks like an excellent (if monumentally expensive) addition to the Technic line-up, and perhaps the most fun way to use the Control+ App yet…

LEGO Technic 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor | Set Preview

The Ford F-150 Raptor is the Mustang of off-roaders. By which we mean it’s a vehicle usually seen doing stuff like this. Or this. Or this. But enough gratuitous footage of Raptor driver incompetence, because now you can crash your very own Ford F-150 Raptor at home!

Yup, LEGO have added the be-stickered off-road ready version of America’s best-selling vehicle to the Technic line-up, and it looks absolutely fantastic!

Constructed from 1,379 pieces (many of which are in Porsche 911 GT3 RS orange), the new LEGO Technic 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor set faithfully recreates the crashiest of pick-ups in Technic form, with working suspension, a V6 engine, all-wheel drive, opening doors and hood, and functioning steering.

Continuing the trend for increased visual realism of Technic sets, 42126 includes a few System parts, a wealth of stickers (much like the full-size Raptor), delightfully knobbly tyres, and even the ‘HOG’ steering device is removable, so as not to affect the set’s aesthetics when it’s parked on a shelf.

Not that it should be parked on a shelf. It is a Raptor after all

The new LEGO Technic 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor set is expected to cost around $100 when it reaches stores later this year, and is – for reasons of which we’re little unclear – aimed at ages 18+. Perhaps it’s because LEGO know it’s going to spend much of its time doing things like this

Mechanical ‘Mog

LEGO’s official Technic 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400 set earned a stellar 9/10 rating here at The Lego Car Blog when it was reviewed way back in 2011. Fantastic functional realism, excellent use of motorisation, and an on-board pneumatic compressor make 8110 one of the finest sets we’ve ever reviewed. However, whilst expensive then, 8110 is ludicrously pricey now.

Cue previous bloggee thirdwigg, who has created his own superbly engineered Technic Unimog U400, only all-mechanical.

The loss of Power Functions components hasn’t reduced the functional realism though, with thirdwigg’s U400 equipped with all-wheel suspension, four-wheel-drive connected to an inline-4 engine under a tipping cab, working steering, a front and rear PTO, three-way tipping bed, and a pneumatic take-off too.

It’s a brilliantly simplified (but in no way simple) take on the original 8110 set, and one that you can build for yourself, as thirdwigg has released instructions for his model alongside the excellent imagery you see here.

If you missed out on the official LEGO Technic 8110 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400 set a decade ago, and baulk at the price of them today, check out thirdwigg’s wonderfully engineered 4/5ths version at his ‘U400’ album via the link above, plus you can watch all of the model’s features in action via the video below.

YouTube Video

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…

Enjoy the Journey

Today travel is so fast, and the view out the window (endless lanes of traffic, concrete, litter, and street lights) so unattractive, that the journey itself is literally a means to an end.

The seismic shift towards self-driving cars that will occur in the next decade will do little to help, as the journey will then be spent scrolling through Instagram and TikTok. Although many American drivers somehow seem to manage that already.

Cue Grant Davis‘ antidote to modern transport; a giant tortoise, outfitted to carry a mini-figure under a shady canopy, and everything he needs for a long trip. A crate of apples keeps the reptile motivated, and there’s more to see of Grant’s delightfully unhurried transportation at his photostream.

Slow down and enjoy the journey via the link above, or alternatively check out how this guy took it upon himself to find the joy in his otherwise boring commute.