Tag Archives: Russia

Russian Refuel

Lego ZIL 130 Tanker Truck

Ugly, low, and brown – this ZIL 130 fuel tanker could be any number of our Elven workforce. But like them it is useful, as without ground support vehicles such as these, airforces and airlines would operate for about 5 minutes.

This tidy recreation of the Russian truck comes from previous bloggee Dornbi, and he’s included a wonderful MiG 21 for it to refuel too. Head over to Flickr via the link above to see more.

Lego MiG 21

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Seek and Destroy

Lego Mi-24 Hind Helicopter

This has got to be one of the ugliest vehicles that we’ve ever posted. It’s even uglier than this. But it’s also one of the most beautiful examples of LEGO building we’ve posted too. It’s a Russian Mi-24 ‘Hind’ helicopter gunship, in service (and production) since 1972, and it’s a gloriously inventive build. The work of TLCB regular Daniel Siskind, there’s more to see on Flickr – click here to take off.

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Soviet Success Story

Lego KamAZ 63501 Truck

As we’ve mentioned here, here, here, here and here, Communist state-run vehicle manufacturers were almost universally crap. Thankfully they’ve almost universally been consigned to history too, but there are two notable exceptions.

The first is Lada, who – despite their notoriety for being crap – do probably have a bright future ahead of them. No longer controlled by the Russian state they’re now half owned by the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and that means they’ll start making quite good cars quite soon (yes really! We’ve been right before…).

The second exception is the maker of the grey beast pictured here, KamAZ. Founded in 1976 by the Soviet Government (as was everything in the Soviet Union at the time), KamAZ have gone on to become an unlikely success story. To date KamAZ have built well over 2million heavy duty trucks, with 43,000 rolling off their production lines each year.

Unlike other examples of ‘successful’ Soviet vehicles (where the vast numbers sold were because consumers had no other choice), KamAZ trucks are successful in the competitive open market, are world renowned for their toughness, and have won the legendary Dakar Rally a record thirteen times – winning every single stage of the event last year.

Still half owned by the Russian state (whose military rely on their products), KamAZ are now part owned by Daimler AG – better known as Mercedes-Benz – and turn over $3billion a year. Some of that success is down to this, the ultra heavy duty (but rubbishly named) KamAZ 63501 8×8 truck.

This stellar Lego example of the 63501 is the work of VovaRychkov, and he’s recreated the Russian titan beautifully. There’s lots more to see at Vova’s photostream – click the link above to take a closer look.

Lego KamAZ 63501 Truck

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Avtoros Wamah Shaman 8×8

Lego Technic Avtoros Wamah Shaman 8x8

Nope, us neither – but apparently the Avtoros Wamah Shaman 8×8 is a Russian amphibious all-terrain vehicle presumably designed to get teams of engineers to remote pipelines and suchlike, but which will probably end up with diamante paint-job parked outside an exclusive Moscow nightclub.

Which is a shame, as the Shaman is quite a vehicle; able to climb 45 degrees, crab steer, and propel itself across open water. This incredible Technic recreation of the Russian ATV is the work of previous bloggee Madoca 1977, and it can do most of that lot too.

With each axle powered by a separate L motor and two servo motors for steering, Madoca’s Shaman has both 8-wheel drive and 8-wheel steering. Just like the real vehicle it’s able to crab steer too, which is remotely selectable by a M motor. Another M motor powers the winch, there’s 3 sets of LEDs, all-wheel independent suspension, and opening doors, hood and roof hatch.

Power is provided by twin on-board rechargeable batteries and is distributed to the eight Power Functions motors by two third-party SBrick bluetooth controllers. It’s one of the most impressively engineered creations of the year and there’s a whole lot more to see, including a video of it in action, at the Eurobricks discussion forum – click this link to check it out.

Lego Technic Wamah Shaman Remote Control

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Trolleyed

Lego Trolleybus Remote Control

Looking like a normal bus, but powered by electricity via overhead cables (just like a dodgem), the Trolleybus is a very smart solution for emissions-free urban transport. With the current focus on air quality and global warming it seems very strange that the humble trolleybus is now completely extinct in TLCB’s home nation.

However trolleybuses do still exist in other parts of the world, and in Ukraine amongst other countries they’re still a reasonably common sight. This ZiU-9, a remnant from the extensive Soviet trolleybus system constructed in the 1960s, is the work of previous bloggee paave, and it’s packed with functionality.

Lego Technic ZiU-9 Trolleybus

Hidden within the realistic bodywork are three Power Functions motors, five linear actuators, a LiPo battery, two IR receivers, and a set of LED lights. An XL motor takes care of the drive whilst a Medium motor controls the steering, and a Large motor completes the set providing power to each of the automatic opening doors. All of this is remotely controlled via LEGO’s excellent Power Functions infrared system.

There’s lots more to see, including a video of the trolleybus in action, at several of the key creation-sharing platforms; click on a link to climb on-board: MOCpages, Brickshelf, Eurobricks.

Lego Technic Remote Control Bus ZiU-9

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Over Syrian Skies

Lego Dassault Mirage IV-P

Our Elves are getting lazy. Five builds from two builders in two days… but we guess we can’t blame them for builders uploading their wares in batches. And we like beating the Brothers Brick, so they know we’re going to blog their finds! Previously blogged Kenneth Vaessen returns just a day after we featured his spectacular Panavia Tornado with two more beautiful builds. Apparently good weather in his home country means now is the time to take photos!

First up (above) is this glorious Dassault Mirage IV-P, as used as a fighter-bomber by the French Air Force since the late 1960s as part of France’s nuclear deterrent. Its opposing foe during the cold war is pictured below, Russia’s (at the time) formidable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23M. Both these aircraft have since been superseded by their descendants, and are in action in the skies over a very messy Middle East, with France strategically targeting the scumbags in Islamic State, and Russia seemingly targeting anyone who isn’t President Assad.

The are lots more stunning images available at Kenneth’s Flickr photostream – click the links above to be taken to the gallery for each model.

Lego Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23M

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Socialist Snowmobile

Lego Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Snowmobile

Communist revolutionary, ‘Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Union’, and Ming the Merciless inspiration Vladimir Lenin is one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, pioneering the development of communism and the Marxist socialist state.

Decreeing that all resources should be under common ownership – thereby removing the need for money, reliance on social class, and inequality – Lenin was driven around in a 1915 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, modified by Adolphe Degrease in 1922 to run on tracks, whilst 6 million people died of starvation during the Povolzhye famine. Yay communism!

Nevertheless, Lenin’s Silver Ghost was a very cool vehicle, and today it resides in Russia’s Gorky museum. If that’s a bit far to travel, previous bloggee Karwik has the answer, with his gorgeous Town-scale version of the unique vintage Roller. Click the link above to make the jump to Flickr.

Lego Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Lenin

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White Knight

Lego T34-85 Tank

It’s time once more for some TLCB history. This is a Russian T34-85 tank, the most-produced tank of the Second World War and the second most-produced tank of all time. Whilst America’s contribution to the outcome of WW2 cannot be underestimated, it was not America, nor the British, that first rolled into Germany to end the conflict. It was the Russians, who made the biggest sacrifice of anyone – with more casualties than the US, UK, France, Japan and Germany combined – that got there first, thanks largely to this vehicle.

Over 84,000 T34s were built, and they remained in service within the Soviet Union until the late 1960s. Which makes this tank’s role in humanity a muddled one. It is possibly the vehicle with the single biggest contribution to the liberation of people, helping to end the Nazi oppression of millions, only to be re-purposed post-war as a tool of the Communist regime to oppress millions itself. How awful it must have been to escape the tyranny of Nazism in Eastern Europe to then be shackled by Communism a few short years later.

Still, much as we dislike megalomaniacal, nationalistic, homophobic, war-mongering Russian presidents (and we may not just be talking about Stalin here), Russia’s sacrifice for peoples’ freedom is perhaps the most remarkable and incredible of any country in all of history. Without the T34 tank Russia’s story, and the story of the World, may have been very different.

The Lego T34-85 featured here is the work of previous bloggee LegoMarat. It has four motors (controlled by the third-party SBrick, allowing operation via mobile device) which power the tracks, turret rotation and gun elevation, plus an authentic working recreation of the T34’s clever suspension system. There’s lots more to see on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.

Lego T34 RC Tank

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Extreme Loggers

Lego MAZ 537 Truck

This monster MAZ-537 logging truck was discovered not by our Elves, who are now sulking, but by one of you. It’s been built by Pavol Vanek of Flickr, and it is quite simply one of the most impressive Technic models we’ve seen this year.

The MAZ-537 was designed for the soviet military (like pretty much everything else from Communist eastern Europe) and was manufactured from 1959 until 1990. It was powered by a 39 litre 12-cylinder diesel engine coupled with a three-speed hydromechanical transmission, featured 4-wheel-steering and 4-wheel-drive, and it could carry 50 ton loads.

Pavol’s superb Lego recreation features all of this (minus the crazy gearbox), plus some clever pneumatics that allow his MAZ-537 to fulfil its post-military civilian role.

There’s lots more to see at Pavol’s photostream – join in the extreme logging here.

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Three Garys

Lego Technic Gaz Trucks

Today, like every pub in Birmingham, TLCB has three Garys present. These beautifully built Technic GAZ 51 trucks – in dropside, tipper and crane flavours – were discovered on Eurobricks. They’ve been built by newcomer super-jaschka and each one features a range of Technic functionality.

Lego GAZ 51 Crane Truck

Our favourite is this one, the crane truck, which features a working engine, steering, stabilisers, lifting boom, winch, crane rotation and opening doors and bonnet. There’s more to see of all three of super-jaschka’s GAZ 51 trucks at the Eurobricks forum – click on the link in the text above to join the discussion.

Lego Technic GAZ 51 Truck

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Russian Coal

Lego Town Classic Truck

This gorgeous unpronounceable Russian truck was discovered on Flickr today. It’s been built by Patrick Taylor and you can see more here.

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Hippies on Ice

Lego Volkswagen Transporter Snowcat

Dude! We like, totally need to tie-dye some warmer threads if we’re going to take a trip in this Vee-Dub. Andrea Lattanzi aka Norton74 has transformed Volkwagen’s faithful T1 Transporter van into something far more winter-ready. Time to take the Russian President a flower of peace? Something* makes us think Putin probably won’t appreciate the arrival of hippy rainbow colours though…

*Possibly it’s the homophobic, country-destabilising megalomania.

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Russian Roulette

Lego TVR Vixen

After struggling to find any cars for the past few days one of the Elves has hit an automative jackpot; previous bloggee Harry Gravett has published no less than seven TVR sports cars in one go to MOCpages! Here we pick two of our favourites.

Beginnings

TVR were founded in 1947 in Blackpool, England, producing cars in kit-form as well as turning existing production cars into specials. Soon they were building their own sports cars, using mostly off-the-shelf components from larger manufacturers such as Ford and Rover, and then hitting the race track with their products.

One of TVR’s most loved early models was the Vixen, as built by Harry in the above image. Powered by a little Ford 1600 engine from the Cortina, and later by the big Triumph six-cylinders in Tuscan form, the Vixen sold well, with around 1,000 produced between 1967 and 1973. Quite a few survive today too, as plastic bodywork meant the Vixen didn’t suffer from the no.1 British classic car killer; rust.

The Middle

The seventies ushered in a new era of wedge-shaped Rover V8-powered sports cars, like the 350S pictured below. Small, and always seemingly on the brink of financial crisis (like most independent British sports car makers of the time), TVR continued right up until the mid 2000s, by which time they had developed their own engines, raced successfully at the highest level in sports and endurance categories, and created some of the most stunning shapes ever seen on road cars.

Lego TVR 350S

The End

And then it all went horribly wrong. The architect of TVR’s modern era, Peter Wheeler, sold the company to Russian millionaire Nikolay Smolensky. The new ownership lasted less than 3 years before Smolensky first tried to move production out of England, and then folded the company altogether. And thus TVR became yet another victim of the clueless millionaire ownership club.

In the subsequent years many rumours circulated of TVR’s return to vehicle production, all of which amounted to nothing (like most independent British sports car makers of the time) and TVR quietly disappeared from the public conscious, save for the occasional child-delight when a distinctive straight 6 or V8 sports car rumbled past down a British street.

New Beginnings?

In 2013 Nikolay Smolensky decided to sell the dead TVR name to British businessman Les Edgar. Edgar has now started the long process of developing a new range of sports cars with the aim of reviving the once legendary name.

Here at TLCB we’re not expecting much (or indeed anything) to result in this well-meaning revival attempt – history is not on Edgar’s side – but we wish him the very best of luck. Who knows, one day we might even hear a new rumble…

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Cold War

Lego F4-B Phantom

The news is making for pretty grim reading at the moment. Russia is on the war path again (yay…), albeit covertly and surrounded by furious Kremlin denials, and America is too, although this time they have the support of forty countries including some unlikely middle-eastern allies (even Iran).

Unlike the era from which today’s models originated, the two great nuclear powers are currently fighting on different fronts, and merely throwing testosterone fuelled political doctrine at one another in regards to their respective conflicts. Of course during the Cold War it was only strong words that were exchanged too, but it could have been so very different.

The awesome F4-B Phantom was the cornerstone of America’s air attack in the 1960s-’80s, and this incredible recreation of the multi-role fighter is the work of the brilliant Bricktrix on Flickr. Featuring custom decals, working flaps, air-brakes, tail rudder, tail hook, folding wing tips, retractable landing gear and flashing nav lights, you can see the Phantom’s full gallery via the link above.

To defend the Soviet Union from the likes of the Phantom the Soviets responded with this, the Tunguska 9K22/2S6 Tracked Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft System. D-Town Cracka‘s perfectly recreated Lego version is detailed right down to the eight 9M311 surface-to-air missiles that would have been used to defend the motherland’s air-space.

Thankfully the two giant (and moronic) superpowers never exchanged fire. Just two decades earlier they had stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the Second World War to defeat Nazism too. How quickly we forget the lessons of history…

Lego Cold War Soviet Missile-Launcher

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Gazza

Lego GAZ 67

It might sound like the Match.com identity of a guy in a pub in the midlands*, but the Gaz 67 is actually a rugged little off-road vehicle that was originally developed for the Russian military. Which explains the ‘Z’ in the name, as the Soviets seemed to name everything with a Z (‘cos Z’s sound cool), and also why it was a bit rubbish. [Maks] mini-figure scale Gaz is anything but rubbish though, and you can see more of his ace little creation on Flickr at the link.

*Apologies to our non-British readers, who probably have no idea what we’re talking about.

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