Tag Archives: Ship

Not a Car

Lego Tug Boat

This beautiful Lego tug boat is not a car, but for reasons unknown this TLCB writer quite like tug boats, and thus it’s appearing here! Built as a commissioned piece by Arjan Oude Kotte it’s an example of exceptional Lego model-making, and there are more superb images to see at Arjan’s album on Flickr. Tug yourself off at the link above.

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Ocean Custodian

Lego RV Calypso Research Boat

Built by TLCB debutant Luis Pena, this is a 1:100 scale replica of the research vessel ‘Calypso’, complete with a helicopter and ‘diving saucer’ submersible vehicle.

The Calypso was originally a US-built wooden-hulled British minesweeper that served in the Mediterranean during the Second World War. Following the Allied victory the ship returned to US hands before being recommissioned as a Maltese ferry.

Within a year however, British millionaire Thomas Loel Guinness purchased the ship and gave it to the diving pioneer, film-maker, conservationist and adventurer Jacques-Yves Cousteau for use as a marine research vessel, a role the Calypso fulfilled for five decades. During an incredible half-century of oceanic exploration Cousteau and the Calypso made numerous discoveries, including the wreck of the HMHS Brittanic sunk during the First World War, the ability of marine mammals to use echolocation, and halted the dumping of radioactive waste in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1996, almost fifty years after it entered service with Cousteau, the RV Calypso was accidentally rammed by a barge in Singapore and it sunk in the harbour. A week later the ship was raised and transferred to a shipyard, however Jacques-Yves Cousteau died the following year of a heart attack aged 87, and the Calypso was left to rot as various parties fought over the boat’s ownership, its restoration, and unpaid bills.

Today the ship, which has featured in film, documentaries, song, and even has a namesake in Star Trek, is still quietly dissolving in a shipyard in France, a victim of mankind’s inability to put progress over profit. However Cousteau’s legacy remains almost unfathomably huge, and continues to today via the environmental protection foundation that he created which now numbers over 300,000 members.

This beautiful homage to a ship which as done probably more than any other can be found in greater detail at Luis’ photostream on Flickr, and includes both above and below the waterline versions (each pictured here). There’s more to see via the link above, and you can read more about the Cousteau Society that continues Jacques-Yves’ work today by clicking here.

Lego RV Calypso Research Boat

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You Don’t Frighten Us English Pig-Dogs!

Lego Galleon Battle

I don’t wanna talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food-trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!

Much like the aforementioned medieval altercation, it looks like the French have got the better of us English-types in Sebeus I‘s galleon battle. There’s more to see of this beautifully epic scene on Flickr – click the link above to join the fray.

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I’m on a Boat

Lego AMELS 180 Superyacht Driftwood

Ok, this writer isn’t on a boat. He’s on a wheelie chair in the crumbling hovel that is TLCB Towers. But it’s nice to dream.

Flickr’s Edwin Korstanje (aka VFRacingTeam) makes dreaming slightly easier with his incredible commissioned replica of the AMELS 180 Superyacht ‘Driftwood’. Built over two months from 14,000 LEGO pieces, Edwin’s 1:53 model of the 180 foot ship measures over a metre long, and both Edwin and his daughter had a tour of the real yacht as part of the commission.

There’s more to see of this spectacular commissioned build on Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum, you can read our interview with Edwin as part of the Master MOCers series via the link above, and if you’re over 18 you can watch today’s title track video here (strongest possible language warning!).

Lego AMELS 180 Superyacht Driftwood

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Building the Panama Canal – 2000451 Set Preview

LEGO Education Panama Canal Set

One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Panama Canal opened just over 100 years ago, taking over 30 years to complete and costing an estimated 28,000 people their lives. Started by the French in the 1880s, the project was completed by America in 1914, whereupon it completely transformed the worldwide shipping industry. No longer did vessels have to navigate the lengthy and dangerous Cape Horn – the tip of South America – instead able to cut straight through the centre of the Americas.

LEGO Education Panama Canal Set

To date almost 1 million ships have passed through the canal, each taking around seven hours to traverse the 77km mix of channels and artificial lakes, and the three huge sets of locks.

It’s these locks that are the defining characteristic of the canal, allowing the water and the ships that float upon it to rise and fall with the land in order to cross from one side of the continent to the other.

So important is the Panama Canal and the locks that allow it to function that their width and length has become the determining factor for shipbuilding, with ships built specifically to the largest size that is able to fit through them, known as ‘Panamax’.

Today though, we have a set of locks that are rather smaller. This wonderful new set comes from LEGO Education, and it recreates the third set of locks of the Panama Canal.

Constructed from over 1,180 pieces, the 2000451 El Canal de Panama set is built in five sections (plus a few micro-scale ships), allowing five children (or adults!) to contribute to the finished model simultaneously. Each section contains a set of gears and mechanically operated lock gates, allowing the ‘water’ to rise and fall as the gates are opened and closed. We’ve seen similar mechanisms in paper or card form, but not yet in LEGO, and it seems to work beautifully – making this set a great learning aid for the those wishing to understand both mechanics and hydrodynamics.

Originally destined just for sale in Panama, the LEGO Education 2000451 El Canal de Panama set is now available with worldwide shipping (we do hope this means that some sets will travel through the real world counterpart!), and can be bought via the Panama STEM website.

If you’d like to get your hands on this unique limited edition set click on the link below to visit Panama STEM, and you can watch the Lego locks in action on YouTube by clicking here.

Click here for the Panama STEM LEGO Education site 

 

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Shipping Forecast

Lego Tugger

TLCB Towers is located in an island nation (over 6,000 islands in fact). This means that – if we so wish – we can listen to a uniquely crap bit of radio. The Shipping Forecast can be heard four times a day courtesy of our state broadcaster and the Coastguard & Maritime Agency, updating the sailors in our waters to the incoming weather, sea conditions and currents, and boring everybody else into a gentle coma.

Still, it’s useful stuff if you’re tug boat captain. Fortunately this hi-vis adorned mini-figure is, and the Lego tug boat under his helm is a work of maritime art. Previous bloggee Konajra is the builder behind it, and he’s constructed an absolutely beautiful harbour scene to accompany his stunning ship too.

There’s lots more to see at Konajra’s Flickr photostream – click here for the complete gallery of superb images.

Lego Harbor

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A Desert Island and a President

Lego PT-109 - 80' Elco Motor Torpedo Boat

This may not be a car, or even completely LEGO, but it is a stunning build nevertheless. TLCB regular Daniel Siskind is back with another superb military creation. Built utilising third-party Brickarms weaponry, thirteen custom mini-figures, and a third-party Brickmania flag, Daniel has created a near perfect replica of Elco Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109.

PT-109 was one of hundreds of Patrol Torpedo boats built in the 1940s by the U.S for service in the Pacific theatre. However PT-109 is more noteworthy than most due to both its fate, and the man that commanded it.

Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, who would later become the 35th President of the United States, was aboard the PT-109 in the dead of night on August 2nd 1943. The boat was idling so as to remain undetected by Japanese warships when, in a (probable) freak accident, it was run down a severed in two by the Japanese warship Amagiri.

Lego PT-109 Patrol Torpedo Boat

Two of the thirteen crew were killed as PT-109 exploded, and the remaining eleven survivors clung to one half of the boat as it drifted through the night. As it became apparent that what was left of the ship would soon sink, Kennedy and his crew decided to abandon it for land, swimming 5.6km to a tiny uninhabited island, with Kennedy towing a badly burned crew member the entire way.

Unfortunately the island the crew found themselves on had no food or drinking water, so Kennedy swam to the nearby Olasana islands in search of a more habitable refuge. Finding coconuts and clean water he then led the crew to their new island home, hiding from the passing Japanese boats.

6 days later the crew of PT-109 were rescued, and Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and Purple Heart. This fitting tribute to one of the Second World War’s more remarkable feats of survival can be seen in greater detail at Daniel Siskind’s PT-109 album – click the link above to see the full gallery of images, which includes several interior shots of the boat and a close-up of the custom-made mini-figure crew.

John F. Kennedy was elected the 35th President of the Unites States in 1961, and died by assassination on November 22nd 1963.

Lego PT-109 Patrol Torpedo Boat

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Not a Car…

Lego Galleon

…but we rather like ships and we have control of TLCB keyboard. This beautiful 22-gun light frigate comes from previous bloggee and shipbuilding master Sebeus I. Built entirely from Lego, save for the rigging and sails, and with a wonderfully detailed mini-figure scale interior, Sebeus’s ‘Raging Fire’ galleon is definitely worth a closer look, even if you’re only here for the cars. You can see the full gallery of images via both MOCpages and Flickr – click the links to climb aboard.

Lego Galleon

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Technic 42064 Ocean Explorer | Review

LEGO Technic 42064 Ocean Explorer Review

It’s review time here at The Lego Car Blog, as the first of 2017’s Technic sets is placed under the microscope. Reader and previous bloggee Nils O has got his hands on the new 42064 Ocean Explorer set, and he joins us here at TLCB Towers to let you know whether you should get your hands on it too. Over to Nils…

Worth a second look?

OK, this isn’t a car, but it’s Lego Technic and it’s a vehicle. So, who cares…? When I saw TLCB’s preview for the first 2017 Technic sets I was a little disappointed by the picture of the 42064 Ocean Explorer. It was already written in the blogpost that the model looked more like a City set than like a Technic model, and there weren’t many Technic functions visible on the photos.

Despite this, I really liked the look of the ship, so I thought that I’d give it a second look when the set became available in stores. When I finally saw the set I was pleasantly surprised; it really had enough functions to wear that Technic logo on the box. So I made a wish for my birthday and now I’ve got it!

Ok, so what do we get? We get quite a big ship with a clean, studless, almost LEGO City like look. We also get a small submarine and a small helicopter. Each of the three models has one or more Technic functions. The scale is more or less in line with LEGO City, so if you like you can use a crew of mini-figures with it.

First of all there is the ship, a big explorer vessel of the type you would expect to search for a sunken ship or to explore the deep sea fauna. There are three ‘hidden’ functions operated by ‘HOG’ gears on top of of the ship’s bridge. The first function is the steering of the ship. The model has four little wheels for smooth movement on the floor. The rear wheels have a steering function operated by the bigger gear mounted in the centre of the bridge. The steering is also connected to two steering rudders on the rear end of the vessel. The second and third function are for the operation of the crane. The crane can be rotated and lifted by turning the two smaller gears on the left and right side of the bridge. It works perfectly to drop the submarine into the ‘water’ and get it back on board.

The second model is a little deep sea submarine. It’s quite small, but it has two Technic functions built inside. One gear is connected to the rear propellers, so when you turn it, they turn too, whilst the second gear is connected to a mechanism that opens and closes the pair of robot arms like a pair of pliers. With a little practice you can grab ‘specimens’ and bring them back to the vessel.

The third model is a small helicopter. Even though it’s smaller in size than most LEGO City helicopters it has the typical Technic helicopter function of both rotors being connected to an ‘operation gear’ outside the model, allowing them to spin simultaneously. Both smaller models – the submarine and the helicopter – have a canopy big enough to carry a mini-figure, and by adding one or more ‘half pins with a stud’ you can even fix the figures inside.

So, after all, the 42064 Ocean Explorer is really worth a second look, and for me it really was worth buying it. My son loves it, too. For him it’s like his LEGO City models, just better. I think it could also be cool to see all the functions of the vessel motorised with Power Functions elements (hmm, I think I see a new project appearing on the horizon…).

Thanks to Nils O for joining us as a Guest Reviewer to add another set to the Set Review Library. If you’d like to write a set review as Nils has you can; simply get in touch with us via the usual channels.

LEGO Technic 42064 Ocean Explorer Review
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Floating Bricks 2017 | Hamburg – Reader Report

Lego Konajra Kustwacht + Pump Dredger

TLCB staff don’t often get out to LEGO shows. Partly because our mysterious identities may be revealed, but mostly because the Elves have a habit of sneaking into our luggage, and our insurance is nowhere near that comprehensive.

Luckily our readers can be more mobile than us, and one such reader contacted us with an offer to cover a LEGO event. Over to today’s Guest Blogger, Jan Mueller…

On the 18th and 19th of March 2017 the exhibition “Floating Bricks – The maritime World of LEGO Bricks“ was held in Hamburg. It took place, appropriately, at a retired ferry terminal in the Altona district of the city.

Up to 1863, Altona was a harbour town which belonged to Denmark, and the Danish influence is partly still present until today. That weekend there were a lot of ships in town, made of Danish LEGO elements.

The fair was organized by the city event guide Hamburg-Führer and powered by the North-German RLUG Stein Hanse (recognized LEGO User Group). The Stein Hanse has organised several well-received exhibitions before and this was their first one in Hamburg. Members of the Stein Hanse had built a detailed oil platform, part of the Hamburg Airport, the Hamburg tube (which mostly goes overground) and many other models, which were put on display for the two-day event.

Lego Floating Bricks Hamburg 2017

The RLUG, founded by Martin and Lutz in 2013 has more than 150 LEGO fans as members. One of the invited exhibitors was Brynjar Karl with his 6.5m model of the Titanic to Hamburg. The LEGO Titanic was on its way to New York, but was damaged on the way. Not kidding! Now the Titanic was undergoing some dock-time for repairs in Altona and Brynjar Karl was on-site for live building, supported by some of the other builders present at the show.

Two further additional LEGO artists were also invited: Arjen Oude Kotte (aka Konajra) and Edwin Korstanje from the Netherlands, who are both specialised in large highly detailed ship models.

The location of the exhibition, the old ferry terminal, offered a wonderful view of the Hamburg harbour with its container vessels and cruise ships and made it the perfect place to present maritime LEGO models. There was a fine collection of food trucks present to cater for the 6,000+ visitors, and the attendees also had the chance to build a huge mosaic of Hamburg’s newest landmark: the Elbphilharmonie, a new concert house on the river Elbe.

Many thanks to Jan for joining us here at TLCB with his summary of the Floating Bricks exhibition in Hamburg! If you’d like to report on a LEGO event as Jan has then we’d love to hear from you – simply get in touch via the usual channels and your words and pictures could appear here too.

Lego Terminal at the Evening courtesy of Hamburg-Führer

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Brick Built Boats

Lego Yachts

No these aren’t cars, but they are wonderful. Plus we like boats, and we’re the ones with access to TLCB Keyboard. Anyhoo, these two beautiful yachts complete with superb brick-built hulls and fully tuneable rigging come from Flickr’s Felipe Avelar, and each is a masterclass in fine detailing. There are more brilliant images available to view at Felipe’s photostream – click the link above to set sail.

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Not a Car

Lego Ship

It’s 2017! And we’re kicking off the new year with a creation that, er… isn’t a car. No matter, it is lovely. This medieval warship has been constructed by Felipe Avelar, it’s crewed by a rag-tag band of mini-figures, and there’s more to see on Flickr here.

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Not a Car

Lego Ship

…but a brilliant build nonetheless, Robert4186‘s beautiful mini-figure scale wooden ship is packed with stunning details. There more to see, including some cunningly photoshopped images with real-world backgrounds, on Flickr. Click the link above to set sail.

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2017 LEGO Technic Preview!

Lego Technic 42066 Jet 2017

Yes it’s that time of year again, when a crack team of Elves ‘volunteer’ to be fired over the perimeter wall of The Lego Company’s HQ, tasked with bringing back the brand new Technic sets due for release next year. Elves that manage to successfully navigate the maze of air-conditioning ducts and dodge the guard dogs return as heroes, by which we mean they get fed, and we get to reveal LEGO’s newest Technic sets before they hit the shelves in the new year. On to the sets!

42066 – Air Race Jet

Pictured above, the LEGO Technic 42066 Air Race Jet puts the Technic line-up’s on/off relationship with aircraft back into the ‘on’ position. Clearly based on a well-known military aircraft, 42066 covers up its death-from-above intentions with some jazzy stickers, but they look passable if nothing more than that. The set features working elevators and tail rudders, folding landing gear, and an opening cockpit, and will sit in the middle of the 2017 Technic range when it’s launched early next year.

Lego Technic 42065 Tracked Racer RC

42065 – RC Tracked Racer

We have absolutely no idea what this is. None. Built purely for play value rather than a demonstration of technical engineering, 42065 does – admittedly – look like a hoot to drive with twin Medium motors and skid-steering. We’ll leave that to someone else though, as its aesthetics are about as appealing as the Elves that make up our workforce. Next.

Lego Technic 42062 Container Yard

42062 – Container Yard

This is more like it. 42062 is the first double-vehicle set of 2017, and it looks like a lovely way to introduce Technic to builders stepping up from City and other simpler themes. The neat articulated truck features working steering whilst the heavy-duty forklift includes rear-wheel-steering and a mechanically operable boom lift and grab. Good stuff.

Lego Technic 42060 Roadwork Crew

42060 – Roadwork Crew

2017’s other multi-vehicle set also sits towards the bottom of the Technic range and it too looks like a good introduction to more complex building. The truck features working steering and a tipping load bed, whilst the excavator includes a mechanically operable shovel. Both vehicles feature a few stickers and more visual detailing than Technic sets of old, and should be priced well within pocket-money ownership.

Lego Technic 42058 & 42059

42058 – Stunt Bike  &  42059 – Stunt Truck

Pull-back motors. Nothing else. Next…

 Lego Technic 42057 Ultralight Helicopter

42057 – Ultralight Helicopter

An unusual vehicular streak seems to be running through the 2017 Technic line-up, as a second aircraft joins the range. The 42057 Ultralight Helicopter actually looks more like a gyrocopter to us, but as we assume both the main and tail rotors are connected to the inline two-cylinder engine 42057 is indeed technically a helicopter. More stickers abound and the tail fin steering, controlled via a hot rod style pitman arm, looks novel. Expect 42057 to be priced under $20 when it arrives in stores next year.

Lego Technic 42064 Ocean Explorer

42064 – Ocean Explorer

Things are starting to get really weird now. This attractive looking ship, complete with a helicopter and submersible, looks more like a City set rather than something from the Technic line. And it may as well be, as so far as we can tell it does nothing more than the equivalent City set would. If it wasn’t for the superb-looking BMW R 1200 GS Adventure set revealed here earlier in the month we’d be wondering what the hell’s happened…

Lego Technic 42061 Telehandler

42061 – Telehandler

Finally, some redemption. 42061 is a long way from being the best Technic set ever made, but it is probably the best non-licensed Technic set of the 2017 H1 line-up. All-wheel steering, a mechanically extending boom, and a tilting bucket all feature, and its simple construction should mean 42061 is reasonably priced too.

So there you have it, all nine 2017 Technic sets due to reach stores in the new year. Aside from some decent starter sets in 42060 and 42062 we’re somewhat underwhelmed, although there are three empty spaces in the 2017 range due to be filled later in the year. At least there’s that brilliant BMW…

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Catching Clouds

Lego Flying Boat

Today’s post is not a car. Or even a boat. Or an aircraft. In fact we’re not really sure what it is, but we know we like it. The delightfully strange Dwalin Forkbeard is behind this floating weirdness and you can see more at his wilfully odd photostream here.

Lego Flying Boat

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