Tag Archives: Pneumatics

LEGO Technic 42128 Heavy-Duty Tow Truck | Set Preview

The Lego Car Blog Elves have been busy! Fired over the LEGO Company HQ’s perimeter wall by way of the office catapult, it’s been just a day since we revealed the brand new LEGO Technic LEGO Technic 42126 Ford F-150 Raptor set. Hot the heels of that Elf comes another, and it’s brought back quite a model; this is the brand new for 2021 LEGO Technic 42128 Heavy-Duty Tow Truck.

With over 2,000 pieces 42128 pays homage to various American heavy-duty trucks, sits at the top of the new-for-2021 Technic line-up*, and – most excitingly – it features pneumatics!

More interestingly, unlike some other recent pneumatic sets, 42128 is unmotorised, with its pair of pneumatic cylinders fed compressed air via a hand pump like the good ol’ days. These lift and extend the crane boom, whilst the pair of winches, crane rotation, rear lift, and stabiliser legs are all mechanically operated by hand. Which is awesome.

Not only that, there’s a miniature working inline-6 engine upfront, working steering, and a functioning lift on the first of the truck’s three axles.

It all looks wonderfully mechanical, and that’s despite 42128 continuing LEGO’s trend of adding ever more visual realism to Technic sets, which are now at almost Model Team levels of detail. The 42128 Heavy-Duty Tow Truck certainly contains heaps of exterior detailing, including fuel tanks, exhaust stacks, air filters, and a brick-built grille.

Less positive are the stickers though, which are surely some of the worst that LEGO has ever stuck on a Technic model. Still, you can always leave those off.

The new Technic 42128 Heavy-Duty Tow Truck set will reach stores in August of 2021 aimed at ages 11+, and is expected to cost around $150/£140 when it does so. Excited? We sure are. Although we’ll probably leave those decals unstuck.

*Or is it?… Tune in tomorrow for something even larger.

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

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA | Picture Special

This is an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA, and we don’t think we’ve ever wanted a car more.

Built by Zeta Racing, this incredible recreation of Alfa Romeo’s brilliant ’60s sports saloon has jumped right to the top of the list for Best Creation of 2021, with a depth of engineering that is amongst the most advanced that this site has ever featured.

Inside the fantastically well-executed exterior, which captures the Giulia Sprint GTA in Technic form with almost unbelievable realism, is one of the finest Technic Supercar chassis yet built.

Alongside all-wheel suspension and a working 4-cylinder engine, Zeta’s model includes a Power Functions drivetrain that not only delivers remote control drive and steering, but also a motorised sequential gearbox and – amazingly – working brakes with callipers that genuinely squeeze the discs when activated via an on-board pneumatic compressor.

It’s a phenomenal piece of engineering, wrapped in one of the most brilliant Technic bodies we’ve ever seen, which also includes beautifully accurate period-correct decals, and a wonderfully detailed interior too.

There’s much more to see of Zeta’s jaw-dropping Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA at his photostream via the link above, were a wealth of stunning imagery is available to view. Click the link above to join us viewing perhaps the best Technic creation of the last few years.

Mechanical ‘Mog

LEGO’s enormous official 8110 Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimog is a wondrous thing, with an array of motorised functions alongside pneumatics. However, Technic models can be just as engaging even at the smaller, non-motorised end of the scale. Cue TLCB favourite Thirdwigg, who has created this ace Unimog U500 and packed it with functions, despite not a single motor being used in its construction.

Working steering, four wheel drive, suspension, and a four-cylinder engine all feature, as do a front and rear PTO (selectable via a pneumatic switch and turned when the model is pushed along), a front winch, a tilting cab, and a three-way tipping bed, all powered by hand.

There’s more to see of Thirdwigg’s excellent fully mechanical Unimog at his ‘Unimog U500′ album, where a link to a video of the model in action can also be found. Click the link above to take a look!

Medium ‘Mog Magnificence

LEGO’s 8110 Technic Mercedes-Benz Unimog set earned a stellar 9/10 review here at The Lego Car Blog. With working steering, suspension, engine, all-wheel-drive with portal axles, Power Functions motors, and pneumatics, it’s one of the finest sets in Technic history. However, as is often the way, you guys can do even better.

This is MajklSpajkl’s Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400, and it’s around half the size of the official 8110 set. And yet, even more incredible functions are squeezed inside.

Like the official LEGO set, MajkleSpajkl’s Unimog features all-wheel-drive with portal axles and three differentials, in this case linked to both a four-cylinder piston engine and an XL Motor that provides the model with drive. A Servo controls the steering, simultaneously turning the steering wheel, whilst a Medium Motor drives both the front and rear power take-offs.

A further L Motor powers a pneumatic compressor for the attachment functions, and can also tilt the rear bed (if fitted) in three directions. We write ‘if fitted’, because as per the real Unimog, MajklSpajkl’s creation can be equipped with a variety of attachments, with a tilting bed, front winch, rear-mounted crane, double-auger gritter, and snow plough variously pictured here.

Both the crane and snow plough movements are controlled via pneumatics, pressurised via the on-board compressor, whilst the PTOs provide motorised drive to the crane’s rotating turntable and outriggers, and the gritter’s rotating dispenser respectively. Not only that, but the cab doors open, the cab itself can tilt, and there’s a front mounted winch option, again motorised via a PTO.

All the above are controlled via a BuWizz Bluetooth battery, allowing the U400 to be operated via mobile phone, and there’s lots more to see of MajklSpajkl’s incredible (and beautifully presented) creation at the Eurobricks forum. Click here to take a closer look at one of the best Technic models of 2020.

Constructive Air

Large, potentially dangerous, and full of air. No, not the 2020 U.S Presidential Candidates, but this excellent Technic backhoe loader from Shimon Bogomolov. Unlike the aforementioned angry old men, Shimon’s impressive creation uses the air within it for constructive purposes, with a working pneumatic front bucket and rear excavating arm. Air pressure can be generated manually or via a motorised compressor, plus there are working pneumatic stabiliser legs, steering, all-wheel-drive, and a 4-cylinder piston engine too. A complete gallery of images is available to view at Shimon’s ‘Pneumatic Backhoe’ album on Flickr, plus you can join the discussion at the Eurobricks forum by clicking here.

Making the Grade

Slow, ponderous, usual looking, yet servicing the needs of countless motorists*, road graders are always the bridesmaid when it comes to LEGO. They have appeared as B-Models several times over the years, but we don’t think that they’ve ever made it onto the front of the box. Which is shame really, as they’re more technically complex than much of what drives on the roads they help to build.

Helping to rectify this is Jundis of Eurobricks, who has built this amazing Technic Caterpillar 120M2 motorgrader with an enormous array of functions.

Pneumatics allow the front blade and rear ripper to raise and lower, whilst the middle blade can move up, down, sideways and tilt, thanks to three separate pneumatic cylinders. The model features a variety of mechanical functions too, including working steering (both via the front wheels and central articulation), plus blade turning, pitch, and lateral movement.

It’s a properly clever creation and one that’s definitely worth a closer inspection. Head to the Eurobricks forum via the link above to read the Caterpillar’s full build details and watch a video of all those functions at work.

*Just like your Mom.

Big Red

We love a giant red tractor, and they don’t come much gianter or redder than this one. Built by Flickr’s MP LEGO Technic Creations it has no name and no description, but we can see a wealth of functionality is present, including remote control steering and all-wheel drive, an on-board compressor supplying air to the remotely operable pneumatics that power the front and rear hitches, a functional rear PTO, and a working inline-6 engine. MP may release build details at some point, but until then you can check out the images of this amazing machine at MP’s photostream via the link above.

My Other Truck’s a Truck. And a Bugatti…

…and a whatever this is. Making their TLCB debut with not one but three creations is Wojtek Hildebrandt, who has constructed a trio of alternates for TLCB Lock-Down B-Model Competition.

The first is – apparently – a ‘Mechanical Ant’, built from the Technic 42080 Forest Machine set, and it’s terrifying. Particularly if you’re an Elf, because through a combination of mechanical, pneumatic, and motorised functions, all of those spiky-looking implements can be made to whirl menacingly. There’s articulated steering too, making the ant easily manoeuvrable, and a rotating and raising cabin to get a better view of the carnage occurring beneath. Head to Wojtek’s ‘Mechanical Ant’ album on Flickr by clicking here to see more.

Wojtek’s second contest entry takes the enormous Technic 42078 Mack Anthem set (which includes instructions for one of LEGO’s best B-Models in years), and adds another alternative build, this rather brilliant Mack terminal tractor. A working six-cylinder engine sits alongside the offset cab, which features a rotating seat and working steering. The huge parts source has also allowed Wojtek to build an assortment of towing options, including an articulated trailer and a sliding container mount for the truck itself. Find out more by clicking here.

Wojtek’s final competition entry is even more unusual, and takes one of LEGO’s most iconic recent sets, the spectacular Technic 42083 Bugatti Chiron, to create this; the ‘Bugatti EB-Double’. A twin V8-engined truck complete with a Bugatti grille and taillights from the Chiron, Wojtek’s creation features working steering, a huge deployable rear wing (that operates automatically depending upon which of the four gears is selected), working suspension, and a cab that does something very weird indeed, converting the ‘EB-Double’ into a Mercedes-Benz Renntransporter-esque vehicle for maximum originality points. There’s more to see of Wojtek’s amazing alternate on Flickr – click here to make the jump!

Teal Kobelco

Lego don’t produce many teal coloured parts. However the range is increasing, and with a little ingenuity, and maybe a few custom pieces, a complex teal creation can be built, and the results can be – if this amazing Kobelco SK210 HLC excavator is an accurate reflection – pretty special.

Built by Maciej Szymańsk this fully remote controlled tracked excavator is all LEGO, apart from the pneumatic cylinders which are bespoke, matching LEGO’s teal colour and offering far greater reach than official components, and an 11V battery box.

In fact 5.5kgs of LEGO pieces have been used to recreate the Kobelco SK210 HLC, a Japanese excavator which – according to the decals at least – is a hybrid, although how a that works in practice we have no idea. We can’t see much regenerative braking going on and it would likely need about a month to charge up if it’s a PHEV.

Maciej’s creation carries its power on board, thanks to that custom battery, powering LEGO Power Functions motors and a suite of LED lights. The motors drive the tracks, superstructure rotation, and the compressor for the pneumatics, giving the model superbly accurate movements which you can view on YouTube here.

There’s much more to see of Maciej’s incredible build at Eurobricks and at his Kobelco SK210 HLC Flickr album, where you can find the full gallery of imagery including WIP shots, close-ups of the excellent brick-built tracks, and a version that switches the bucket shown here for a set of pincer-y jaw type things that we’re glad the Elves didn’t find. Click the link above to make the teal transition.

Air Train

This is the most interesting Lego creation that you’ll see this year. By a mile.

Built by newcomer Alfred Boyer, this huge Technic steam locomotive really works, and is built from 100% standard LEGO pieces. Of course fire and plastic bricks don’t mix that well, so instead of superheating water to generate steam, Alfred’s astonishing creation uses air pressure to drive pistons, which is essentially exactly the same operation as a real steam engine, only without setting fire to coal to generate the energy.

Four LEGO pneumatic cylinders turn the eight drive wheels, with two speed ‘gearbox’ – if you can call it that – controllable from the cabin. Also controllable from the cabin are working brakes, with shows that press against each wheel through pneumatic pressure, and -amazingly – a working whistle, which diverts air pressure through some hollow bricks to create the sound. It’s a good thing the Elves haven’t figure this out otherwise it’s all we’d hear all day.

It’s a phenomenal piece of engineering and one that probably takes LEGO’s pneumatic system further than any model before it. The only way to really appreciate Alfred’s creation is to take a much closer look – head to Eurobricks by clicking here for the complete build details (where you can also find a link to it on LEGO Ideas), and definitely watch the video below!

YouTube Video

 

To the Moon and Back!*

The Space Race was an incredible time. Not only were the two world Superpowers spending millions on things to blow one another up and poison the earth for a hundred-thousand years, they were also spending millions sending things into space. Probably so they could use it to blow one another up and poison the earth for a hundred-thousand years, but still – it was pretty cool.

It was the U.S. that got to the moon first (and is still the only nation to have done so)*, but it was actually the Soviet Union that won pretty much every other race, sending the first satellite into space, the first man, the first woman, and conducting the first EVA (extra-vehicular activity); or spacewalk to us non-astronaut types.

Of course getting there was only half the battle, as getting home again (unless you were a Soviet dog) was just as tricky. To that end the Soviets developed this in the 1970s; the remarkable Zil 4906. They may have won the Race for Space but the Americans had a much better Naming Department.

The ZIL 4906’s boring title hid its remarkable ability, being a 6×6 amphibious off-road crane designed to fit aboard a transport plane and recover the Soyuz astronaut capsules from the vast Russian wilderness.

Powered by a standard Zil 150bhp V8 the 4906’s weren’t fast, but they could go literally anywhere, with six-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steering, and two propellors with rudders for water recoveries.

This amazing Technic recreation of one of the Soviet Union’s coolest designs comes from previous bloggee Samolot, who has replicated the 4906’s incredible drivetrain brilliantly in Lego form. Two Control+ XL Motors power all six wheels, with a separate driveshaft for each side. This allows a gearbox to transfer power to the propellors when in water, whilst the L Motor that steers the front and rear axles also turns the two rudders.

A second L Motor controls the differential locks, whilst a fourth powers a compressor that builds pressure for the pneumatic crane, which the real Zil 4906 used to fish the Soyuz capsules from watery landings. A LEGO Education WeDo motor winds the crane winches and all of the above is controlled via bluetooth courtesy of LEGO’s new Powered Up Control+ system.

It’s a remarkable build and one that is definitely worth a closer look, which you can do at Eurobricks – where full build details are available, Bricksafe – which houses a complete image gallery of both Samolot’s Technic Zil 4906 and the real deal, and via the excellent video below.

YouTube Video

*Unless you believe it was filmed in a studio, the Earth is flat, and that climate change is a hoax invented by Al Gore. In which case go back to school.

Zoom Lion

Well this is has the best name of any vehicle we’ve ever posted! The SNSC ‘Zoomlion’ is not an ultra fast lion, but instead a fairly slow forklift truck (props to SNSC’s marketing department), recreated here in fully remote controlled Technic form by Danifill of Eurobricks.

Controlled and powered by a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery, Danifill’s Zoomlion features motorised drive, steering and forklift elevation, plus a pneumatically controlled forklift pitch via two pneumatic cylinders supplied by an on-board compressor.

Click here to make the jump to the Eurobricks discussion forum where further images and a video of the Zoomlion zooming can be found.

Technical Titan

There’s just time to squeeze in one more creation of 2019 before our customary year-end roundup, and with a delightful circularity it has a whole lot squeezed into it. Suggested to us by a reader, this is Zbiczasty‘s awesome Mercedes-Benz Actros Titan 8×8 with Palfinger PK 150002 HDS crane, and it’s every bit as good as that impressive title suggests.

Firstly, it is indeed 8×8, with all eight wheels driven, all eight suspended, and the front four steering, all operable remotely via LEGO’s Power Functions IR system. That amazing drivetrain is just the start though, as this phenomenal truck features sixteen Power Functions motors, controlled by seven switches, four IR receivers and with three sets of LEDs thrown in too.

The motors drive everything from the stabilising legs to the incredible Palfinger PK 150002 crane mounted on the load bed, which unfurls like a coiled snake thanks to nineteen pneumatic cylinders and over ten metres of pneumatic hosing. We said it had a lot squeezed in…

Watching the crane in action is quite a thing to behold and you can do just that via this link to the YouTube video where you can also see the drivetrain, crane winch, and the stabilising legs doing their respective things. Take a look via the link above, plus you can see all of the images at Zbiczasty’s album on Brickshelf by clicking here.

Super Dozer

This is a Komatsu D575A-3 ‘Super Dozer’, and it weighs 150 tons. Well, this one doesn’t, being rather smaller and slightly more plastic, but it’s still really impressive.

Built by Beat Felber of Flickr, this incredible creation shrinks the giant Komatsu down to 1:28.5 scale, yet retains much of the super dozers awesome functionality.

Powered by two SBricks, Beat’s model can be controlled and programmed via bluetooth, with adder/subtractor crawler drive allowing the model to drive and steer courtesy of an XL Motor providing forwarded propulsion and an L Motor powering the steering mechanism.

Pneumatics also feature, with air pressure built on-board by an L Motor with an automatic cut-off, and two pneumatic valves – each controlled by a Servo Motor – controlling both the lifting and tilting of the blade. Lastly lighting is taken care of via four pairs of Power Functions LEDs.

It’s a brilliantly engineered creation and you can see more – including a link to a video of the model in action – at Beat’s Komatsu D575A-3 Super Dozer album on Flickr. Take a look via the link!