Tag Archives: Powered-Up

Power(ed-Up) is Nothing Without Control(+)

Yes, we have nerdily butchered the marketing tagline for tyres for today’s title.

Because these are the ‘Universal Vehicle Controls’; part mechanical, part electronic twin joysticks with four degrees of movement, twin triggers, and a dashboard with a working needle, that allow Control+ LEGO sets and creations to be, er… controlled, with real feedback, all built solely from off-the-shelf LEGO pieces. It’s like the Control+ app, BuWizz, or SBrick we’re familiar with on our phone screen, but made physical.

Tobi WanKenobi owns the brain behind this rather interesting idea, and if you think it’s interesting too you can find out more on LEGO Ideas, at the Eurobricks forum here, or take a look at the ‘Universal Vehicle Controls’ in action via the video below.

YouTube Video

In Space, No One Can Hear You Squeee!

LEGO’s ‘Classic Space Plush‘ is one of their more unusual – and adorable – ‘pieces’. However a real Classic Spaceman, no matter its cuteness, needs a vehicle with which to conduct Classic Spacey things. Cue Daniel Church, and his ‘Awwwstronauts’!

Built to Plushie scale, Daniel has created a fully RC lunar rover and segway to allow his Classic Space Plushies to go about their delightful cuddly space business. Both contain Powered-Up Motors hidden inside and there’s more to see at his ‘Awwwstronauts’ album on Flickr.

Cutely go where no spaceman has gone before via the link!

Insert Out-of-Fuel DeLorean Here

This steam locomotive might look familiar to you… Built by Rogers Locomotive and Machine works in the 1890s, locomotive ‘No.3’ was a coal and later oil-fired steam locomotive used for various steam locomotive things; hauling freight, transporting passengers, and constructing various railroads across California during the early 20th century.

After three decades of service Locomotive No.3’s owners, the Sierra Railway Company, went bankrupt during the Great Depression, and it was laid up for fifteen years in a siding. The locomotive somehow dodged being melted down for the war effort, and after the Second World War ended it was acquired for film use, whereupon ‘No.3’ began a career that saw it star in around forty movies and TV shows, including ‘High Noon’, TLCB favourite ‘The Great Race’, and – perhaps most famously – ‘Back to the Future, Part III‘.

Restored in the 2010s, Locomotive No.3 is still running today, and thus may yet add even more stardust to an already incredible legacy. This wonderful recreation by firefabric of Eurobricks captures probably the world’s most seen steam train beautifully, and it includes a LEGO Powered-Up motor and LED lights hidden inside.

There’s much to more of the model to see, including full build details, at the Eurobricks discussion forum, and you can step into one of almost forty movie sets via the link in the text above.

Welcome to Russia!

The news this week contained the exciting announcement that four peoples’ republics, previously under the oppression of the Ukrainian Neo-Nazi regime, decided  – through definitely-not-rigged-in-any-way-referendums – to join the Russian Federation!

A concert in Moscow’s Red Square celebrated President Putin’s signing of the republics into becoming Russian territory, with many in attendance stating they were kindly bused in for free by the Russian authorities, with a few so in awe and wonder they seemed not even to know why they were there!

Here at The Lego Car Blog we’re joining in the celebrations marking the return of the Soviet Union by busing in our own Soviet Union, er… bus, courtesy of previous bloggee Samolot.

This Kavz 3270 was built from the 1970s until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and was based on the GAZ-53 truck. Samolot’s Technic recreation captures the Soviet-era bus brilliantly, with remote control drive, steering, 4-speed gearbox, and a rotating destination board all controlled by a LEGO Mindstorms robotic brain, plus there’s working suspension, a V8 engine, and opening doors too.

There’s lots more to see of Samolot’s lovely Kavz 3270 bus at Bricksafe and via the Eurobricks forum, where you can also watch a video all the motorised features in action, including the neat rotating destination board above the cab.

Come to think of it, Russian buses will be able to add four new locations to their boards now, because when President Putin wields pen, it definitely makes something so, and certainly negates any words such as ‘sham’, ‘in violation of the United Nations Charter’, and ‘illegal under international law’.

For information on Russia’s annexation, whoops; we mean ‘liberation’ of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, take a look at these pages from United Nations, Amnesty International, or Wikpedia.

Newnimog

Making not only their TLCB debut, but their MOCing debut too, today’s creation publicises a newcomer to the online Lego community via a well-trodden path; the Mercedes-Benz Unimog.

We’ve featured dozens of brick-built Unimogs here over the years, and TLCB debutant Rajesh Sriram (aka Voldemort87) adds another to the roster, with his excellent fully RC truck trial version of the famous off-road truck.

PoweredUp motors deliver the all-wheel drive, steering, and high/low gearbox, whilst the cabin tilts, there’s a working piston engine, and all-wheel suspension too.

There’s more to see of Rajesh’s first published MOC at both Eurobricks and Flickr, and you can take a look via the links above.

 

Say Yes to the Dress(ta)


This is a Dressta TD-25M bulldozer, and it’s about as good a Lego creation as you’ll see this year.

Built by Bricksley of Flickr, this incredible model blends Model Team aesthetics, PoweredUp motors, pneumatics, and Mindstorms to create a perfectly working 1:18 replica of the Polish crawler-dozer.

A LEGO Mindstorms hub can be operated by an Xbox controller to remotely drive the four PoweredUp motors that power both the tracks and the pneumatic system that provides movement the front blade and rear ripper, whilst LED lights and even a working horn and back-up warning sound feature.

It’s an amazing build and one of which you can see more at Bricksley’s Dressta DT-25M’ album on Flickr – Click the link above to say yes to the Dressta.

Power-Up the Claas

This spectacular creation is a Claas Torion 1914 wheel loader, a two-thousand piece fully remote controlled behemoth from mktechniccreations of Eurobricks.

With four Powered-Up motors, mk’s creation can drive, steer, and generate its own air pressure in order to power the pneumatics that operate the loading arm and bucket tilt functions.

Superbly lifelike aesthetics, enhanced by accurate decals, are showcased via top quality presentation, and there’s more of the Powered-Up Claas to see at the Eurobricks forum, where a full suite of imagery can be found. Click the link above to take a look and one of the most well engineered creations of the year so far.

‘That’ Toyota Supra

If there’s one car responsible for the over-hyping of an entire model line-up, this is it.

Brian O’Conner’s ’10 second’ Toyota Supra from 2001’s ‘The Fast and the Furious’ took a fairly fat, mostly automatic GT cruiser and turned it into a 1,000bhp legend. Complete with orange paintwork and the stupidest stickers, millions of teenagers suddenly had a new hero car, and the internet has been full of arguments about 2JZs ever since.

However even TLCB Team, convinced though we are that the ‘Fast & Furious’ movie franchise is one of the worst Hollywood has ever produced, have to admit that LEGO is on to a winner by turning the films’ star cars into official sets.

The Technic 42111 ‘Dom’s Dodge Charger’ set is rather good, and LEGO have now shrunk the big bald baby’s car to Speed Champions scale as well. But LEGO don’t just have a license with Dodge. They have one with Toyota too…

We’re pretty sure that an official LEGO ‘Fast & Furious’ Toyota Supra set will follow, but ArtemyZotov of Eurobricks couldn’t wait, and thus has built his own ‘Brian O’Connor’s Toyota Supra’ from the first ‘Fast & Furious’ movie, matching the scale of the official Technic 42111 Dodge Charger set.

So good is Artemy’s Technic Supra that we think LEGO will struggle to top it, and not only does it really look the part (stupid stickers included), it features remote control drive and steering, opening doors and hood, and a modular chassis and body.

There’s lots more to see at the Eurobricks forum and via the video below, plus Artemy has made building instructions and a download for the decals available too, so you can build this Supra for yourself at home. If you own the Technic 42111 Dom’s Dodge Charger set and a LEGO train, you know what you need to do!

YouTube Video

BuWizz 3.0 Pro & BuWizz Motor | Review

Regular visitors to this smoking hole in the ground will have seen countless creations featured with the word ‘BuWizz’ included in the description. Over the last half decade the third-party bluetooth battery has brought remote control to thousands of Lego models, delivering levels of power previously impossible.

Our four star review of the BuWizz 2.0 back in 2018 highly commended the product for ease of use and – as we’re children – the enormous power it could deliver, whilst recognising a few areas for development.

Now, four years on, we have the BuWizz 3.0 Pro (and a pair of BuWizz Motors) to see how the BuWizz team have spent their last couple of years…

BuWizz 3.0 Pro

Our BuWizz 3.0 Pro arrived in a professional looking box, inside which was the bluetooth battery brick itself, a slim instruction booklet, and a USB-C charge cable. Points already awarded for progress, as the BuWizz 2.0 included no such cable to enable charging.

The booklet amounts to only two pieces of information; charging, and the app. Charging is simple, just plug in the cable, watch the lights blink, and come back later. The app too, is an ease. Replacing the original BuWizz app (which now becomes a ‘legacy’ one), we quickly found our device, completed a required firmware update (super easy, barely an inconvenience) and began building a controller.

There are plenty of pre-loaded controllers, but BuWizz now allows you to create your own customised controller – something that was lacking from the software when we reviewed the 2.0 several years ago – bringing it bang in line with its chief rival SBrick.

The new BuWizz 3.0 allows control of up to four Powered Up motors (or sensors) and two Power Functions (or old 9V) motors, all of which are powered by the in-built high-performance Li-Po battery, and each of which can be measured via the on-board current sensors and identified by individual port RGB LEDs – clever stuff.

Quality is excellent, with the plastic feeling perhaps slightly shinier than an official LEGO item, but otherwise its equal, and a good step up over the 2.0. Where the 3.0 Pro really scores though, is in its programmability.

A giant leap forward compared to the 2.0, the 3.0 now offers not just immense power, but programable power, and – as per the famous tyre slogan – ‘Power is Nothing Without Control’.

A range of sliders, buttons, joysticks, and even a tilt function (so you can use your phone’s own accelerometer) can be created, assigned to ports, and labelled, plus there are now a suite of gauges available too, including g-meters and voltage. This makes the BuWizz 3.0 and ideal tool not just for creating custom motorised Lego creations, but to learn (or teach) robotics and programming too.

BuWizz Motor

We attached two BuWizz Motors to the Power Functions ports of our BuWizz 3.0 Pro for our test, and they are mega.

Comparable with LEGO’s own discontinued Buggy Motor, the BuWizz Motor matches the dimensions, weight, and connections of LEGO’s most powerful ever motor, but brings 20% more power (and at a higher RPM), with nominal gains in torque and efficiency too.

Like the 3.0 Pro, quality is excellent. Soldering is visible through the motor cooling vents (which – although these are larger than the official LEGO item – we suspect LEGO wouldn’t countenance), but nevertheless this is a top quality item, well moulded, and robustly assembled. BuWizz back this up with a 2 Year guarantee, which is double LEGO’s standard warranty for electrics.

Our motors delivered prodigious power, now easily controlled via the BuWizz app, which meant only a few TLCB Elves were run over during testing (and – if we’re honest – some of them may have been on purpose). With the old BuWizz system all the power but none of the finesse meant almost anything within sight was a potential accident.

A PF-compatible cable is integrated into the BuWizz Motor too, so it can be powered and controlled by an official LEGO system (likewise the BuWizz 3.0 Pro can power and control an official LEGO motor also), but to really take advantage of the most powerful LEGO-compatible motor on the market, you can’t beat BuWizz’s programmable control with ‘Ludicrous Mode’…

Verdict

And that’s where the BuWizz ecosystem really excels. Always the place to go for the most power, BuWizz have not only improved their core bluetooth battery with even more power, up to 100m range, and increased ports – in doing so producing the only product on the market able to control Powered Up and Power Functions simultaneously – the BuWizz app now enables all of that to be programmed and customised without a computer and without programming skills.

Whether creating a simple skid-steer rig as we did, or a complex multi-motor, multi-sensor creation, the BuWizz 3.0 Pro (and the accompanying motors if you so choose) are the best thing to happen LEGO since the invention the brick. Maximum score.

★★★★★

Take a look at the BuWizz 3.0 Pro & BuWizz Motor here

Boring. Except When it’s Not.

Boring. Dull. White Goods. All things levelled at the Toyota Corolla (including by us), and all true. Except when they’re not.

Whilst there have been millions of tedious white boxes produced with the ‘Corolla’ name, there have also been some that really aren’t tedious at all. The AE86, Championship-winning rally cars, and even the current twelfth generation Corolla, which is both more interesting technologically and to look at than a Golf, a Focus or an Astra.

So the Corolla is boring, except when it isn’t, and this one ‘isn’t’; the lovely 1970-’78 ‘E20’ Coupe.

The second generation of Corolla, the ‘E20’ was available in sedan, coupe, station wagon and van variants (plus as a Daihatsu), with engines between 1.2 and 1.6 litres, and became the second best-selling car globally.

Built by Dicky Laban, this neat Technic recreation of the ‘E20’ Corolla coupe is interesting too, being equipped with LEGO’s Powered-Up system for remote control drive and steering cleverly packaged inside.

There’s more of Dicky’s creation to see at the Eurobricks forum and at his ‘Toyota Corolla E20 Coupe’ Flickr album, and you can make the jump via the links.

Flattening Alternative

TLCB staff know to wear shoes in the office. No, the Elves don’t make that sort of mess, but their shenanigans do make barefoot walking of the halls hazardous. Today, this TLCB Writer forgot that rule.

A sensation of something both gloopy and slightly crunchy underfoot drew a sigh and a weary look down, upon which the Elf, smeared into the carpet, became apparent. Another sigh.

And another Elf too, as a second was in a similar predicament a few yards down the corridor.

Further again, and the strange sound of a motor whirring followed by repeated crunching could be faintly heard. A third sigh.

Rounding the corner and the source of the smushings revealed itself; a large unusual-looking tracked vehicle was stomping upon a flattened Elf with a stabilising foot, much to the glee of the Elf at the controls.

Said controls were quickly grabbed and we could determine the steps the Elf had taken to mete out violence on its colleagues.

Firstly, they were run over, thanks to the skid steer of the two suspended and motorised tracks, before – admittedly rather cleverly – the Elven psychopath at the controls compounded the misery of the victim by either stomping upon them with the vehicle’s stabilising legs or dropping a brick-built ‘diesel generator’ onto them via the fully motorised crane.

Which – Elven carnage aside – is seriously impressive. TLCB Master MOCer Nico71is the builder behind this curious (and stunningly engineered) creation, which is constructed only from the pieces found within the official LEGO Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800 Excavator set.

All seven Powered-Up motors from the set have been redeployed to the purposes above; with remote control drive and steering, crane rotation and two-part elevation, four stabiliser legs, plus a motor spins a piston engine for added realism.

All of that can be controlled via the LEGO Powered-Up app, and if you’d like to convert your own 42100 Liebherr R 9800 set into an unusual Elf-smushing machine you can, as Nico has made building instructions available too.

There’s much more to see at Brickshelf, Nico’s excellent website or via the video below. Take a look whilst this TLCB Writer cleans the corridor carpet. And puts on some shoes.

YouTube Video

Big Red Truck

Sometimes, and particularly if you’re a TLCB Elf, you just want to drive around in a big red truck. That’s what one of our smelly little workers is doing today, having found this beefy looking remote control truck courtesy of Berthil van Beek.

A suite of Powered-Up components equip the aforementioned ride with remote controlled steering, drive, fifth-wheel hitch and trailer legs. Not that there’s a trailer, which is probably a good thing as the Elf at the controls is crashing enough as it is.

There’s more to see on Flickr and you can do just via the link above.

Spania GTA Spano

What? Yes, us too, but apparently the Spania GTA Spano is Spain’s hypercar, and with 925bhp on tap, it’s quite a potent one.

This incredible Technic recreation of the GTA Spano first appeared here yesterday, when BuWizz used it to reach 181mph (we may have adjusted that for scale), and in doing so set a record for the fastest 1:8 scale Technic car.

The builder responsible for this amazing record-breaking model is Zerobricks of Eurobricks, who has now revealed further details and imagery of the spectacular engineering behind it.

No less than ten BuWizz motors power the 3D-printed rear wheels to deliver that awesome top speed, whilst five LEGO Powered-Up motors power the rear spoiler, steering, opening doors, and V10 piston engine.

All-wheel independent suspension, plus an opening hood, engine cover and rear trunk also feature, and there’s more to see of this astonishing build at the Eurobricks discussion forum by clicking here, and you can watch the model in action at 181mph (kinda) by clicking here.

Distri-brick-tion

LEGO like distribution trucks in their Town/City range. With generic ‘Cargo’ branding and the blandest of styling, they’re… well, perfect actually.

However the Technic and Model Team ranges, which lean more towards supercars and excitingly yellow pieces of construction equipment, tend to omit such workhorses from their line-ups.

Cue Eurobricks’ designer-han, who has decided to right that wrong with this; his fully remote control distribution truck, complete with generic ‘Cargo’ branding and the blandest of styling. And it’s fantastic.

Han’s creation includes remote control drive and steering, a motorised tilting cabin (under which sits a working V8 engine with spinning fans), LED lights front and rear, and – most importantly – a brilliant working tail-lift.

Powered by two L Motors, Han’s tail-lift opens the cargo area, drops parallel to the ground, and lowers to allow an exciting array of ‘Cargo’ (in this case Duplo bricks) to be easily loaded.

It’s well worth a closer look and you can do just that at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, where further details, a video of the truck in action, and a link to building instructions can all be found.

My Other Car’s Also a Giant Piece of Earth Moving Equipment

Not a particularly catchy title, but accurate, as this ace mining truck is indeed constructed only from the parts found within the LEGO Technic 42114 Volvo Hauler set.

Redeploying 42114’s ‘Powered-Up’ motors and Control+ bluetooth control, builder Eric Trax has built an excellent companion for the enormous LEGO Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800 set, with remote control drive, steering, and tipping bucket, plus – ingenuously – a three-speed automatic gearbox.

Whilst the scale is much smaller than that of the donor vehicle – as evidenced by the ‘steps’ leading up the front which give a clue to how massive this would be in real life – Eric’s creation still requires a hefty 1,700 pieces (around 80% of 42114), and can tip an impressive 2kgs of load.

A complete gallery of images, including a few of the truck alongside the official Liebherr R 9800 excavator set, can be found on Flickr by clicking here, where you can also find a link to building instructions should you wish to turn your own 42114 Volvo Hauler set into this mining truck yourself.

Cleverly, Eric’s 42114 B-Model uses the same Control+ profile as the donor set, so if you do make the switch you can drive it straight away using your familiar Volvo controls. Take a look via the video below to see Eric’s alternative in action!

YouTube Video