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!
This is an 1857 Blackburn Agricultural Engine, and steampunky as it may appear, this really was a working* steam-powered traction engine, complete with a boiler and two-cylinder steam engine mounted inside the enormous front wheel.
Recreating this Victorian oddity is Nikolaus Lowe, who has not only replicated the Blackburn’s remarkable appearance, he’s included Power Functions motors so that his version can trundle around too. Only it’s likely geared much higher than the real thing was, as Nikolaus’ model is much too fast for a steam traction engine. This may not be Victorian-authentic, but it sure pleased the Elf that found it…
Sitting atop its find, the aforementioned Elf trundled into the Elves’ cage room and simply flattened those that were milling about on the floor, so evenly and precisely they could have been cookie cut-outs. Thank the Blackburn’s huge heavy drum for that neatness. Pressed Elves do not produce wine as it turns out, just vomit and other bodily fluids, so we’ve got some cleaning up to do. Whilst we get on with that you can check out more of Nikolaus’ amazing machine on Flickr – click the link above to take a look.
*No proof exists today, but there is a photo of an updated version from the 1860s, so we like to think this really did work.
Ah the age of steam, when no-on had to worry about catching a deadly virus named after a beer, and idiots vomiting ‘advice’ on social media in the name of clicks were just idiots vomiting advice down the pub that could be quietly ignored. There was polio, consumption and no National Health Service though, so on balance today is probably a better time to be alive, however romantic the past may look.
This particular piece of romantic looking past is a Thompson Class L1 steam locomotive, produced between 1948 and 1950 and run – in this case – by the London North East Railway.
Built by Britishbricks it’s a breathtaking replica of one of the ninety-nine Class L1s constructed, with custom valve gear and beautiful decal work too. A convoy of superb trucks follows and there’s more to see of the complete train at Britishbricks’ Album on Flickr. Head to a romanic looking past via link above. Toot toot!
We’re much too mature to link this post with today’s other one, however tempting it is. If your mind has connected the two though, that’s on you…
Now we’ve got that out of the way, on to the vehicle. This is an 1870 Batho 25-ton road roller, a prototype that would become the world’s first mass-produced road roller (‘mass’ being a relative term we suspect).
It’s also both the oldest (we think) and most unusual vehicle that this site has ever featured, and it comes from previous bloggee and weird-vehicle extraordinaire Nikolaus Löwe, who has based this exquisite recreation of the 1870 Batho on a scale model of the original vehicle.
Working steering and a considerable quantity of old-timey cogs and gears are present and correct (they’re for-real cogs and gears too, not any of that steampunk nonsense), and there’s lots more to see of Nikolaus’s remarkable model of a remarkable machine at his Batho 25-ton Road Roller album on Flickr – click the link above to see more of his impressive steamer.
TLCB Elves haven’t brought much back over the past few days, but fear not readers, we have some cracking cars for you tomorrow! Until then, here is something that is definitely not a car, but it is rather lovely. This usually-scaled steam engine is a Prussian T3, as built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Lowe of Flickr in 12-wide Lego form. There’s more to see of this neat German steam locomotive at the link above, and we’ll see you tomorrow with some particularly awesome cars…
We’re not sure what’s got into The Lego Car Blog Elves this weekend, but they’re bringing back builds of a very classical nature. From the inventively old to the actually old now, and two absolutely beautiful Technic steam tractors from Flickr’s Nikolaus Lowe.
An unusual choice for a Technic build we think these – somewhat oddly – qualify for ‘Technic Supercar’ status, being equipped with working steering, brakes, piston and valve gear, and a two-speed transmission.
Head over to Flickr for the complete gallery of images, where you can also find a link to vote for Nikolaus’ design on LEGO Ideas, whilst we figure out how the Elves have been watching ‘Downton Abbey’.
The Lego Car Blog is normally full of Porsches, hot rods and fighter jets, but not today! Today we’re bringing you something much classier. And much older too…
Traction engines were the tractors of the late 1800s-early 1900s, effectively self-propelled steam engines for the roads that could pull immense loads. Very slowly, but immense loads nonetheless. The arrival of the internal combustion-engined tractor saw traction engine use decline massively, but many do still survive to this day. In fact this TLCB writer passed one close by to TLCB Towers recently that was comfortably towing both an enormous wooden caravan trailer and a Land Rover Defender behind that. Very slowly.
This superbly rendered turn-of-the-century traction engine comes from newcomer Bricked1980, and whilst it’s not our normal fodder we absolutely love it! Constructed in LEGO’s newer hues of dark green and gold, Bricked’s model features authentic chain steering, a spinning flywheel, much plumbing accoutrement, and a drawbar trailer full of assorted old-timey stuff. Which it will pull, very slowly.
Suggested to us by a reader there’s much more to see of Bricked1980s brilliant mini-figure scale traction engine design at both Eurobricks and Flickr, where you’ll also find a link to the model on the LEGO Ideas platform.