Tag Archives: Pneumatics

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Scania S730

Every so often one of our Elves finds a creation that makes us all go ‘whoa’. This is one of those times. This spectacular Scania S730 comes from mpj of Eurobricks at it’s beautiful. One of the finest looking Technic trucks we’ve seen, helped by some brilliant custom decals, mpj‘s Scania also features remote control drive and steering, SBrick bluetooth control, pneumatic rear suspension and a highly detailed cab interior. There’s more to see of this superb build at the Eurobricks discussion forum via the link above or at the Brickshelf gallery here – click the links to make the jump.

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The Martian

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The world no doubt thought following NASA’s incredible achievement in 1969 that lunar exploration would become routine. As it turned out man last visited the moon just 3 years later, leaving a vast 47 year wait (and still counting) for a return.

Space it seems, is now pretty boring (we suppose it is mostly empty anyway), only utilised in 2019 to enable aubergine emojis to be sent around the world and to allow drivers to completely ignore road signs.

Hollywood however hasn’t forgotten the romanticism of a proper space adventure, and in 2015 ‘The Martian‘ showed us via incredible attention to detail how a manned mission to Mars might look. It even had it’s own star car, the funky and yet very probable-looking Mars Rover.

This is that vehicle, albeit in Technic form, as built by Samolot of Eurobricks. Underneath the movie-realistic exterior Samolot had included an array of clever remote control functionality, all of it powered by LEGO’s own Power Functions motors and controlled via the third-party SBrick bluetooth brick and mobile app.

Each of the rover’s four enormous wheels is powered independently by a separate L Motor which – due to their size – are ingeniously housed inside the wheels themselves. All four wheels steer too, courtesy of a Medium Motor, whilst independent suspension allows the model to traverse the rocky martian landscape.

Finally two more Medium motors power the rover’s winch and rear crane (switchable via a gearbox) and an on-board compressor that feeds air to the crane’s pneumatic cylinders and those that open the cockpit doors.

Samolot’s creation is superbly accurate to the ‘real’ vehicle that starred in the movie and there’s loads more to see at the Eurobricks discussion forum via the link above, including a video of the model in action. Click the link above to make the trip, and remember that help is only 140 million miles away…

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M-Strider

M-Tron have gone badass! This marvellous contraption was found on Brickshelf by one of our Elves today, and it continues M-Tron’s transformation from nerdy magnet collectors to fearsome space heroes. Or something like that. This M-Tron ‘M-20 Neon Strider’ by CP5670 not only looks bloody brilliant, but feed it compressed air and eight pneumatic cylinders and fourteen switches will cause it automatically (and probably very spookily) march its way across the floor. Now there’s a way to terrify your cat. Head to the Brickshelf gallery via the link above to check it out!

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Tow Two

Every so often a creation arrives here at The Lego Car Blog Towers that makes us all go ‘…woah!’. This is one of those times. This beautifully presented model is Lucio Switch’s ‘Tow Truck MkII’ and it’s ridiculously brilliant.

As you’d expect for a model of this size (c10K parts and weighing 12.5 kgs) Lucio’s tow truck is motorised and remotely controlled, but before we even start looking at the electric functions there’s a host of non-motorised features to detail. These include all-wheel suspension (independent up front and live-axle at the rear), a fully suspended and pneumatically tilting cab complete with opening and locking doors, pneumatically suspended seats, and a V8 piston engine underneath. Storage lockers open on each side of the truck and five sets of Power Functions LEDs light the head and tail lights.

Which leads us nicely to the motorised functions, all of which are driven by LEGO’s Power Functions system with three on-board batteries hooked up to four third-party SBricks, allowing programable bluetooth control.

Nineteen separate Power Functions motors are present in Lucio’s model, with four XL motors powering the 8×4 drivetrain and three Servos turning the front two steering axles. Next are eight Medium motors, the first of which drives the pneumatic compressor that operates the aforementioned tilting cab and suspended seats.

The remaining seven Medium motors power the rotation and extension of the two enormous front outriggers, the extension of the two rear outriggers, the towing arm, and the rotation of the crane boom, whilst four Large motors power the crane lift, boom extension, and the two independent winches.

The four SBricks allow all of that functionality to be programmed neatly onto a smartphone from which the truck can be controlled remotely via bluetooth (take a look at the video below to see this in action), as otherwise you’d need a very large joystick controller indeed!

It’s one of the most outstandingly impressive Technic creations of 2019 and furthermore Lucio has presented his model beautifully, with superb high quality images and an excellent video demonstrating the truck’s functions. You can watch that video below, and you can see all the images at Lucio’s ‘Tow Truck MkII’ Flickr album here, join the discussion at the Eurobricks forum here, and read full details at Lucio’s own website by clicking here.

YouTube Video

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JCB 5CX Wastemaster | Picture Special

Lego Technic JCB Remote Control

Every so often a creation comes along that shifts what we thought possible from LEGO bricks. This is one such creation. Created over the course of a year by Technic-building legend Sariel this is a fully working replica of JCB’s 5CX Wastemaster backhoe, powered by pneumatics, eleven Power Functions motors, and two third-party SBricks.

Lego Technic JCB 5CX Remote Control Underneath the brilliant Technic exterior are nine motors that drive all four wheels, the three-mode steering (two-wheel, all-wheel and crab), backhoe arm rotation and traverse, and powering a combination of pneumatic cylinders and linear actuators to control both the front and rear arms and their respective buckets. A further two motors power the pneumatic ‘remote control’, compressing the air which travels down twelve separate hoses to the model itself.

Lego Technic JCB 5CX Remote Control

A motorised remotely rotating driver’s seat and a suite of LED lights from third-party lighting specialists Brickstuff complete the electronics, making this 2.4kg, 75 stud-long masterpiece one of the most technically advanced Technic creations to date. There is much more to see of Sariel’s amazing remote control JCB at the Eurobricks forum, on Flickr, and at Sariel’s excellent website, you can watch it in action via the video below, and if you’d like to build your own model with many of the features of this one we highly recommend LEGO’s own 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 set, which share its wheels and amazing three-mode steering with Sariel’s fantastic creation.

YouTube Video

 

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