Tag Archives: power functions

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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Space Container

Oh. Crap.

That’s what went through this writer’s head when he entered TLCB Towers this morning. The Elves don’t have a bedtime as such, returning to the office as and when they find a blog-worthy creation, although they often sleep in their cage room when we turn the lights out in-between foraging for builds.

Normally this is a peaceful affair, with only minor scuffles reported the following morning. That was not the case today.

Squashed Elves where everywhere, ingrained into the carpet or slammed against furniture. They’re resilient little creatures so they’ll all be fine (probably), but recovering our Elven workforce to a functioning state and cleaning up the Elven bodily fluids spilt during the night is not a fun job. Still, at least we get paid to do it. No that’s not right…

The cause of the destruction was found abandoned in the corridor with an Elf squashed underneath it and another swinging miserably from the crane mounted on the rear.

But what on Earth was it? Well it turns out ‘on Earth’ is the wrong place to start, as this amazing machine is apparently a ‘Martian Heavy Transporter’, a six-wheel-drive, skid steer, off-road crane truck, built to carry containers across the Martian landscape.

Each of those six wheels is fully suspended and powered by an individual XL Motor, with all six hooked up to a BuWizz bluetooth control that delivers up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions system. No wonder it could catch the fleeing Elves.

Mounted on the top of the chassis is an enormous remotely operated linear-actuator powered crane that can pull a large container onto the rear of the vehicle with ease, in a manner somewhere between LEGO’s neat 1994 6668 Recycle Truck and something from Robot Wars, or slide it to the ground by unfurling itself rearwards.

It’s a seriously slick piece of engineering and one we’re properly impressed by, even if it the cause of some considerable tidying up plus the need to administer a bit of Elven healthcare. Whilst we get on with that you can see more of this remarkable vehicle courtesy of desert752 of Eurobricks / Kirill Mazurov (aka Desert Eagle) of Flickr.

Head to Eurobricks and/or Flickr via the links for more, where a video of Desert / Kirill’s ‘Martian Heavy Transport’ and a complete gallery of imagery can also be found.

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Whole Lotta Loader

This spectacular creation is a Dressta 560E Extra front loader, and it comes from Bricksley of Flickr. Bricksley’s model looks the business from the outside, complete with incredible attention to detail, custom decals, and ingenious building techniques throughout, however it’s what’s underneath that is even more impressive.

Four Power Functions motors give Bricksley’s Dressta 560E a wealth of remote control functions including four wheel drive (with a turning cooling fan behind the rear grill), centrally articulated steering, and a huge lifting arm complete with a tipping bucket driven by a set of linear actuators.

There’s much more to see of Bricksley’s build at his Dressta 560E Flickr album, where you can also find a link to a video of the model in action, loading what we think are cornflakes no less. Click the link above to make the jump!

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Another Defender

No not that Technic Land Rover Defender, this is the original (it’d be embarrassing if someone thought the new 42110 official Land Rover Defender set was the old one wouldn’t it?…), in North American specification if we’re not mistaken.

The Defender was sold for just a few short years in the United States making it a very rare (and now very cool) vehicle there. As a result prices for Defenders in the U.S have gone insane, which gives us serious inclination to export a few from our home nation, where they can be bought for a few grand and a packet of crisps.

The other alternative is to build your own, which is exactly what Kevin Moo has done with this excellent fully remote controlled Technic version. Underneath the realistic U.S-Spec exterior is a complete four-wheel-drive system with working suspension and remote control steering, plus there are opening doors, a brick-built hard-top, and an authentically spartan interior.

There’s more to see of Kevin’s creation on Flickr and at the Eurobricks discussion forum – click the links to take a look, and you can check out our preview of the upcoming officially licensed Land Rover Defender Technic set (which also inadvertently previews the actual new Land Rover Defender) by clicking here.

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Monstrously Clever

Remote Control monster trucks have a history here at The Lego Car Blog, which – if you’re an Elf at least – is not always a happy one (see here, here, and here). Fortunately today’s example was – despite its excellence – too slow for the Elf at the controls to run down any of its brethren, much to its annoyance.

Don’t let that put you off though, because this monster truck by previous bloggee Kevin Moo is a fantastically clever bit of kit, with all-wheel-drive, all-wheel-steering and all-wheel-suspension.

However that ‘all-wheel-ness’ is not the cleverest part, as Kevin has engineered an ingenious automatically locking centre differential design that keeps the wheels locked together when the truck is driving in a straight line for better grip off-road, yet unlocks when it’s cornering to allow the wheels to spin at the different rates required during a turn.

No, we have no idea how he’s done it either!

There’s lots more to see of Kevin’s Technic monster truck on Flickr and at the Eurobricks discussion forum, plus you watch the video below demonstrating the automatic differential lock to see if you can figure it out…

YouTube Video

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A Great Vintage

This gorgeous vintage racer was found on Flickr today, and not only is it a vintage vehicle itself, it uses some vintage LEGO parts too. The wonderful engine that you can see in these images an inline 4-cylinder built from LEGO’s original 2×2 square pistons that required a brick-built engine block. Newcomer Joe Maruschak has done a stellar job making use of these old parts, even including push-rod operated valves and a Power Functions motor to bring the engine to life. Head to Joe’s ‘Old Race Car’ album on Flickr to see all the photos and a video of the engine in action, and if you’d like to see what a real vintage 4-cylinder engine looks (and sounds) like then click this rather awesome link and turn your sound up!

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Elf Mining

Whir… Crunch. Whir… Crunch. Unhappy – if familiar – noises floated down the corridor and into TLCB Office today. TLCB staff looked at one another. One writer was eating a packet of crisps, one was rocking gently backwards and forwards in the corner, lips moving furiously repeating the words ‘not again… not again…’ following a recent Elven event, and one was pretending to take an important phone call. Sigh. This writer got up and trudged out of the office, knowing full well what he’d find.

What he found – as expected – were several Elves limping around in circles, and a couple more squashed into the carpet, having been run over by one of their colleague’s finds. The find in question was the model pictured here, a rather excellent fully RC Technic recreation of the world’s largest articulated mining truck, the Atlas Copco MT85.

Built by Superkoala of Eurobricks, this replica of the MT85 is controlled via a third-party BuWizz bluetooth brick, which delivers power to all six-wheels, the articulated and rear axle steering, plus the tipping bucket. Said BuWizz brick also unlocks up to eight times the power of LEGO’s own Power Functions battery system, giving the model a surprising burst of speed and explaining the Elven casualties.

Superkoala’s creation had also been rather cunningly filled with a variety of office objects to make it heavier, thus maximising its smushing ability. Hiding behind a pot plant was the Elf responsible, from which the controls were swiftly taken a meal-token begrudgingly awarded.

Whilst this writer tidies up, and has a well deserved drive of the Atlas Copco himself, you can see all the images and full build details at the Eurobricks discussion forum by clicking here, plus you can also watch the creation in action via the video below.

YouTube Video

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MAN With a Semi

Hah! Penis jokes… Anyway, enough of that, on to the model.

This is a Technic MAN TGA truck by ArsMan064 of Eurobricks, and it’s a rather clever fully remote controlled replica of the real thing. Built from Technic parts ArsMan’s truck is a good match for its life-size counterpart and is packed with Power Functions features, including remote control drive, steering, fifth wheel and a high/low range gearbox, plus LED lights, all controlled by a third-party Bluetooth SBrick.

ArsMan’s MAN also includes a host of mechanical functions, including pendular suspension, opening doors, and a huge semi-trailer with a manually operated tipper. There’s more to see of both truck and trailer at the Eurobricks discussion forum via the link above, and you can watch the rig in action courtesy of the video below.

YouTube Video

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FarmVille

Is FarmVille still a thing? We hope not. Anyway, let’s move on from today’s title to this incredible pair of farming vehicles, each built by Eric Trax of Flickr. We’ve been awaiting for further details of these builds for a few days but as these don’t appear to be forthcoming and the Elf that found this is getting increasingly irate we’ll post this now…

These two almost unfathomably detailed Lego creations are a Holmer Terra Dos T3 and a Fendt Favorit 514c tractor complete with a Krampe Big Body 550 trailer in tow. Underneath the remarkably life-like exteriors Eric has engineered some quite spectacular realism, with a multitude of Power Functions components giving each model a plethora of working functionality.

As for what that functionality is you’ll have to wait until Eric posts further details, but until then you can see this incredible image above in closer detail via the link above. And if your Aunt is still inviting you to play FarmVille every few weeks, tell her to move on…

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Pick-Up Bricks

Today’s blog-worthy creation comes in two colours (earning the Elf responsible two Smarties as we’re feeling generous), each built by well-regarded Technic builder Madoca 1977 and filled with functional goodness.

Madoca’s ‘Dacoma 4×4’ pick-up truck looks most excellent in either colour, with a wealth of clever Technic engineering concealed inside. This includes remote control 4×4 drive via two L Motors, Servo steering, a high/low gearbox powered by a Medium Motor, LED headlights, working differential locks and suspension, plus opening doors, hood and tailgate.

There’s more to see on Eurobricks, including a video of the truck’s features and a link to building instructions. Click the link above to make the jump.

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Bear in the Woods

We’re taking a dump in the woods today, thanks to this ‘tracked dump truck’ by Flickr’s JLiu15 and its four tracks separated by an articulated pivot.

Not only can it take a dump in the woods, JLiu15’s remote control oddity is also capable of transporting several TLCB Elves outside and tipping them in the pond. Not that we’d do that…

Whilst we transport several TLCB Elv… er, we mean, get on with researching LEGO facts and whatnot, you can see more of JLiu15’s tracked dump truck on Flickr via the link above.

To the pond!

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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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Remote Control Rubicon

Fancy a dirty weekend? Then take your LEGO with you! At least, that what ArsMan064 of Eurobricks decided to do in entering a Russian trial/trophy event for remote control LEGO vehicles, claiming first place with his superb Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

Powered by two Large Power Functions motors, with a Medium motor used for steering, an on-board LiPo battery, bluetooth control via a third-party SBrick, and all-wheel suspension and four-wheel-drive, ArsMan’s Jeep is perfectly suited to getting dirty, and if you’d like to give it a go you can, as he’s made instructions for his design available!

Click the link above to visit the Eurobricks discussion forum for all the photos, a video of the Jeep in action, and the all-important link to building instructions.

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No Such Thing as a Free Ride

‘Why is there an Elf looking at me?’ thought this writer upon his entrance to TLCB Executive Washroom and Sauna for his mid-day ‘quiet time’. A forlorn Elf looked up at him from the toilet bowl, unable to answer beyond incomprehensible Elven gibberish.

Sigh. A toilet brush was held out, onto which the soggy Elf climbed, and it was sent back to the cage room from where it had presumably originated.

Not really feeling like quiet time any more this writer trudged back to the office, only to find another Elf looking up at him from within the recycling bin. Hmm. Something odd was going on.

A brief investigation unearthed the cause. A bright orange Technic truck, cheerily controlled by the Elf that discovered it, was offering ‘rides’ to any Elf stupid enough to fall for it. Which probably would have been all of them, had we not intervened.

With remote control drive and steering, a tipping load bed, and surprisingly large folding crane mounted behind the cab, Elven passengers were being plucked out of the bed and deposited in various unpleasant places around TLCB Towers. The Elf at the controls had even figured out the stabilising legs so as not to topple the truck whilst manoeuvring its Elven cargo.

With the controls removed and order restored we could assess the engineering brilliance of the creation in question, and it really is brilliant. Flickr’s Blaž Dlopst is the builder behind it, and has packed multiple Technic motors, gearboxes and control bricks inside the Scania’s ingeniously constructed chassis. The realistic cab, linear-actuator crane and tipping load bed attach in modular fashion, and the truck’s multiple motorised functions can be controlled via bluetooth.

It’s a seriously clever piece of engineering and there’s much more of the Scania XT to see, including photos showing the crane deployed and images such as the one above revealing the modular components, at Blaž Dlopst’s photostream and on Eurobricks. Click the links above to take a closer look, whilst this writer attempts another trip to the toilet…

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Pumped Up Kicks**

The enormous contraption is a Mercedes-Benz mounted concrete pump, complete with a huge three stage extending boom that’s capable of servicing an entire constructions site*. This superb Technic version has been built by Ivan_M and it uses just a single motor to power a vast array of Technic functionality.

Thanks to a gearbox that single Power Functions motor drives everything from the extension of all four outriggers as well as their lowering, all three stages of the concrete pump’s boom extension (via pneumatics), plus the rotation of the boom arm.

The functions don’t stop there either, as Ivan_M has also included several mechanical features, including working steering with Ackerman geometry on the front two axles, all-wheel suspension, and a V8 piston engine under the tilting cab.

There’s much more of this remarkable creation to see on both Flickr and Eurobricks, where there’s also a video available demonstrating the truck’s functions with instructions to follow. Get pumped via the links above!

*Just like your Mom.

**Today’s title track

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