Tag Archives: Technic

Italian DTM

Italy and Germany have a long rivalry. Two of the best football teams in Europe, they’ve met 35 times, with Italy winning 15 of those encounters to Germany’s 8. They’ve fought on the track since Formula 1’s beginning (and even before that), with Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union battling Alfa Romeo and later Ferrari for dominance. Oh, and they fought against one another in World War 2, but only after Italy overthrew racism and changed sides.

Recently though, all the victories have been German. Mercedes-Benz have annihilated Ferrari in Formula 1, Italy haven’t beaten Germany in their last four soccer matches, and Ducati are now owned by Volkswagen.

However, go back to the mid-’90s and you’ll find a remarkable story of Italian dominance in Germany’s own back yard; the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).

In 1993 Alfa Romeo decided to take their new 155 V6 to DTM, building an all-wheel-drive 11,000rpm Class 1 Touring Car to take on the domestic German teams from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Opel. The car proved unstoppable, with Nicola Larini winning a record eleven of the twenty-two races and teammate Alessandro Nannini another two, taking Alfa Romeo to a dominant manufacturer’s title.

This incredible replica of the ’93 championship-winning Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti comes from previous bloggee Zeta Racing of Flickr, who has recreated both the car and its iconic livery in stunning detail.

Underneath that beautifully stickered exterior Zeta has accurately constructed the 155’s drivetrain, including a jaw-dropping V6 engine, all-wheel-drive system, working suspension, gearbox, and a suite of Power Functions motors to control it all remotely.

A spectacularly detailed interior is included behind the four opening doors, with a bucket seat and racing harnesses, a full roll cage, and even the 155’s fire suppression system replicated in bricks.

Zeta Racing’s creation is a work of art (as any Alfa Romeo should be) and there’s a huge gallery of images available to view at his photostream on Flickr. Click the link above to remember a time when the Italians beat the Germans at their own game, and here to see (and hear!) the 155 DTM’s 11,500rpm V6 in action way back in ’93.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Scorpion King

Notable only for being Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s first lead role, the 2002 fantasy adventure ‘The Scorpion King’ is an appalling turd of a movie. A spin off from ‘The Mummy’ franchise, it took the shonkily CGI-ed character from the second Mummy instalment (itself only worth watching for Rachel Weisz) and dragged it out over ninety stupefying minutes.

However some scorpion spin-offs are worth a look, and the car in this post is one of them.

The Autobianchi A112 was created through collaboration by Fiat, tyre-maker Pirelli, and bicycle manufacturer Bianchi, launching in 1969 and being – as most Italian cars of the time were – rather excellent.

Over a million Autobianchi A112s were produced before the brand was eventually merged into Lancia, with the design also forming the basis of the rather good Fiat 127, the less good Seat 127, the pretty bad Polski-Fiat 127, and the miserable Yugo 45.

Of course being effectively a Fiat, Italian tuners Abarth got their hands on the A112 too, and uprated the tiny 900cc engine to 1,050cc, taking power from around 45bhp to a mighty 70 in the process.

Today’s post is an A112 in Abarth flavour, as built by previous bloggee Zeta Racing in full ‘Technic Supercar’ specification. Capturing the look of the real car brilliantly, Zeta has engineered his Lego replica with a working engine, gearbox, steering, and suspension, along with opening doors, hood, and hatchback. Zeta’s model also includes fully remotely controlled Power Functions drivetrain, with motors powering both the front-wheel-drive and steering, the gearbox, and equipping the car with working brakes.

It’s a fantastic build, presented beautifully, and enhanced with few choice decals (including the famous Abarth scorpion), and there’s much more of Zeta’s Autobianchi A112 Abarth to see at his photostream. Click the link above to check out one Scorpion King worth viewing.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Land Rover Defender | Picture Special

We love it when builders gets in contact with us here at TLCB. Firstly it means a few people actually read the ‘inane blather’ (to quote a comment by a reader) that streams from the hovel that is TLCB Towers, and secondly because it sometimes unearths incredible creations.

Case in point is Zeta Racing, who recently messaged us on Facebook. We recommended Flickr as a tool for sharing his creations and bam! – We now have no less than five unbelievable builds to blog.

This is the third, Zeta’s magnificent fully RC Land Rover Defender, and it – like the two builds already featured here – is a work of engineering brilliance.

Based on an earlier design by TLCB Master MOCer Sheepo, Zeta has captured the aesthetic of a moderately modified Defender 110 brilliantly, with a lift kit, snorkel, roof cage, tow bar, and more all represented in Lego form. The doors, hood and tailgate all open, and there’s a superbly detailed interior inside too.

It’s what’s underneath that’s most impressive though, with Zeta’s model equipped with a complete Technic Supercar drivetrain (engine, gearbox, suspension, and steering), and full remotely controlled motorisation.

Power Functions motors drive the four-wheel-drive system (which also turns the accurate inline 4-cylinder engine under the hood) and control the working steering, with superbly accurate suspension allowing the power to be used both on and off-road.

Four IR receivers are hidden in the cabin, allowing control of the aforementioned drive and steering, and also – by our guess – a motorised gearbox and front-mounted winch too.

It’s a stunning build, immediately jumping into the Technic off-roader All-Time Greats list, and there’s a whole lot more of the build to see at Zeta Racing’s Flickr photostream by clicking here. And there are still two further incredible creations to come…

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Mid-Engined Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette has finally gone mid-engined. This is not it, but it is built only from the parts found within the front-engined 42093 Technic Chevrolet Corvette set, so it’s kind of a mid-engined Corvette. Sorta.

Whatever you want to call it, it is a rather good B-Model, coming from previous bloggee Horcik Designs and featuring functioning steering and a working mid-mounted V6 engine.

There’s more to see at the Eurobricks forum, where you can also find a link to building instructions should you wish to convert your own 42093 Corvette set into a mid-engined Corvette. That’s not a Corvette. But now could be.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Numero Uno Turbo

It’s the 1980s and literally everything has got ‘Turbo’ written on it. Aftershave, sunglasses, and – as of 1985 – even Fiat shopping cars. The Fiat Uno Turbo i.e. did actually feature a turbo too, with an IHI unit, complete with intercooler, fitted to its 1.3 litre engine.

Power jumped to 105bhp, which may not sound a lot (and isn’t), but ’80s Italian cars had the structural integrity of a paper bag, and thus were almost comically light. This gave the Uno Turbo a 127mph top speed and a 0-60 time of 7 seconds, which was properly quick for the time. We just don’t want to think about crashing one…

Fortunately Fiat had an answer, creating the Uno Turbo i.e. ‘Antiskid’, which was equipped with a rudimentary form of ABS. It’s this version that Zeta Racing has chosen to recreate – beautifully – in Technic form, adding another stunning ’80s Italian hot hatchback to his catalogue, following the incredible Lancia Delta HF Integrale’s published here yesterday.

Like the Lancias, Zeta’s Uno Turbo replicates the real car with jaw-dropping authenticity, including a full ‘Technic Supercar’ driveline consisting of a transverse 4-cylinder engine, suspension, steering, and gearbox, all motorised via LEGO Power Functions components.

The model also includes a fantastically realistic interior, with folding seats, a tilting sunroof, and some rather ingenious seatbelts that we suspect we’ll see on a lot more Technic creations after this is published. Opening doors, hood and hatchback complete the model, and there’s loads more to see at Zeta Racing’s photostream.

Click the link above to make the jump to Flickr for all the photos, whilst we squash down our hankering to buy one of these tiny tinny Italian deathtraps*…

*It seems that improbably thin Italian steel didn’t survive UK winters very well. Just a dozen Fiat Uno Turbo’s are left on UK roads, and only two ‘Antiskid’ versions. They may have crashed less, but they rusted just us much…

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Positively Charged

Formula 1 is looking increasingly out of place by the day. Despite the return of some great tracks in 2020 and the addition of some new ones (thanks to Coronavirus), the multitude of penalties, strict development regulations, huge costs, and one-team dominance often make it not very fun at all.

Worse, it seems manufacturers can’t translate the sport to the products people actually buy. Honda have announced their departure, just as they have a decent engine after years of struggle. Williams, once a dominant force, have handed themselves over to an equity company in a desperate bid to not be completely crap. And Ferrari… well they’re still earning a disproportionally huge revenue and marketing cigarettes to children.

So what alternatives are there for racing fans? The WRC is becoming cool again, but is still in the shadow of its glory days, WEC/Le Mans would be fantastic if more than one manufacturer could build a top-tier car, and NASCAR is still blobs driving round in a circle. Which leaves Formula E… We know we know, it used to be awful, but hear us out.

No less than nine of the twelve teams are backed by manufacturers, including BMW, Porsche, Nissan, and even Jaguar, and gone are the ridiculous days of drivers having to change cars mid-way through the race because the batteries were too small to last race distance.

The batteries are a common part shared between all teams however, along with the the chassis and aero – which we think is a shame as all the cars look exactly the same – but the motors, inverter, gearbox, and software to run it all are team-specific. The stupid fan-boost remains, but apart from that it’s really starting to look rather good, with the current Formula E cars called ‘Gen 2 Evo’ to ensure their differences to the formula’s  slightly rubbish beginnings are clear.

It’s one of these Formula E ‘Gen 2 Evo’ cars that we have here today, as built by previous bloggee R. Skittle and featuring its own electric propulsion thanks to LEGO’s new Powered-Up bluetooth system. A full gallery of over twenty images is available to view and you can charge over to Flickr via the link to take a closer look. Which it might be worth doing with the actual Formula E too…

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Lancia Delta HF Integrale – Picture Special

The most remarkable Italian car manufacturer is not Ferrari. Lancia’s story is one of incredible technical innovation, fantastic racing cars, an appalling corrosion scandal, and now – effectively – their death at the hands of a parent company that really should try harder.

However even during Lancia’s painful decline they still produced the best cars in the world. This is one of them, the amazing Delta HF Integrale.

Based on Lancia’s 1980 ‘European Car of the Year’-winning family hatchback, the HF Integrale added turbocharging and all-wheel-drive, and in doing so became the most successful rally car in history. By the time it was retired the HF Integrale had won six consecutive Constructors World Championships (a record that is still unbeaten), fuelling the sales of over forty thousand road-going versions.

These two incredible recreations of the HF Integrale are the work of newcomer Zeta Racing, and they are – without doubt – some of the best Technic Supercars that we have ever published.

Each is spectacularly detailed both inside and out, merging both Technic and System parts to create an almost unbelievable level of realism. Stunning period-correct decals add to the authenticity, yet the exteriors – astonishing though they are – aren’t the most impressive aspect of Zeta Racing’s builds. For that you need to look underneath…

Hidden within each build is some of the most brilliant Technic engineering we’ve seen, with both Deltas qualifying for ‘Technic Supercar’ status, with working steering, gearboxes, highly detailed transversely-mounted inline 4-cylinder engines, and working suspension. But the functionally does not stop there.

Each model is also fully remote controlled thanks to LEGO Power Functions motors, operating the drive, steering, gears, and – if we’ve interpreted the images correctly – equipping Zeta’s creations with working brakes too.

It seems that in Zeta Racing we may have found our favourite new builder of 2020, and if you agree you can take a look at both his white and black Lancia Delta HF Integrales via the links, where you can also add yourself to his current ‘follower’ count of one (which is only us at present).

Zeta Racing has also uploaded several other astonishing Technic Supercars alongside these two incredible HF Integales, mostly of the Italian hatchback variety, which we’ll be publishing here over the coming days. Check back here for more soon, including some you may never have heard of…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The World’s Most Expensive Recovery Truck

This astonishing creation is a fully working replica of the U.S Glomar Explorer, constructed by Master MOCer and world-renowned builder Paweł ‘Sariel’ Kmieć, and you’re in for a truly remarkable story…

It’s 1968, and the Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-129 has been lost with all 98 crew, plummeting over 16,000ft to the ocean floor. It’s just a few years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War is very real indeed. The Soviet Union is looking for its lost submarine, but 150 miles in the wrong place. The U.S. however, knows where it is…

And so begins one the strangest and most expensive recovery efforts in history, as the CIA commission the building of a ship designed solely to pluck the wreck of K-129 from the seabed to learn its secrets, without the Soviet Union knowing.

Costing $1.4billion, it was one seriously expensive recovery truck, although of course its true purpose was hidden behind a ‘drilling for magenese’ cover story, fronted by millionaire aviator and film-maker Howard Hughes.

Six years later and the 50,000 ton 600ft long ship was ready. Named the Transocean Glomar Explorer, it was positioned above the wreck using radio beacons (GPS being some way off) and the CIA began the enormous recovery of the 330ft, 2,700 long ton (before it was filled with water) nuclear-armed submarine.

A giant claw dropped through a moon pool in the centre of the ship, gripping the wreck of K-129 and winching it to the surface. However during the 16,500ft ascent a mechanical failure occurred, and two thirds of the submarine broke loose and sunk back to the ocean floor, taking with it the sought-after nuclear missiles and code book. However, two nuclear-tipped torpedoes and cryptographic machines were recovered, along with the bodes of six crew members, which were not returned to the Soviet Union, but back to the sea.

The Glomar Explorer was purposeless after the mission was (partly) completed, and in 1976 it transferred to the U.S Navy for storage in a dry-dock. In 1978 however, the ship was leased to test prototype deep sea mining equipment, before being converted to a drilling ship in the 1990s. It was finally scrapped in 2015.

Recreating this incredible feat of engineering is Sariel, whose floating brick-built replica of the Glomar Explorer measures over 3 metres in length, uses 60kg of LEGO pieces, and can really (partly) recover a lost Soviet submarine, thanks to a fully working recreation of the monumental grapple crane fitted to the real ship.

We won’t write too much more here as there’s really only one way to appreciate this spectacular build – take a look at the video above (or click here to find it in the Eurobricks discussion), and watch how one of the most impressive Lego creations of all time was built, and how it can recover nearly all of a brick-built submarine from the bottom of a swimming pool…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Evolution of the Camel

The camel – our favourite humped, even-toed ungulate – did not start out as a large desert-dwelling domesticated animal. The camel’s beginnings, around 50 million years ago, are more rabbity. Later it had grown to around the size of a goat before, c5 million years ago, evolving into a nine-foot tall arctic-living creature, whose hump may have existing to help it survive the cold.

The Camel is an animal that’s gone through a bit of change, and so too has newcomer Fabiomaster‘s Land Rover Defender in Camel Trophy spec. Which is as seamless a link between two barely related things as you’re likely to find.

Beginning as an off-road chassis by TLCB Master MOCer Sheepo, the design evolved into a Land Rover Defender Camel Trophy in the hands of RM8, whose Sheepo-based creation appeared here four years ago.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the design has subtly evolved again, with Fabiomaster updating the Defender with the latest parts and unique off-road accessories, presenting it beautifully as you can see here. So it’s not really Fabiomaster’s creation, but rather the work of three builders over the course of several years, and it looks properly good as a result.

There’s more to see of Fabiomaster’s Land Rover Defender Camel Trophy on Eurobricks via the link above, and you can follow the evolutionary tree back through RM8’s version to Sheepo’s original chassis via the links in the blog text.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Scuderia Stirling

What? A green Ferrari? Despite TLCB competition winner James Tillson’s previous form, this magnificent Technic Ferrari 250 GTO isn’t built in a  colour that would make the Tifosi throw things at their screens. Because Ferrari really did make a green one, and only one, for the late racing legend Sir Stirling Moss. Which makes it probably the coolest 250 GTO of them all.

Featuring an accurately replicated V12 engine linked to a five-speed gearbox, working steering and suspension, plus opening doors, hood and trunk, James’ Technic 250 GTO is a truly beautiful thing, and – unlike the real car – you don’t have to be Sir Stirling Moss to get your hands on one, as James has made building instructions available.

There’s more to see of this stunning creation at James’s photostream and on Eurobricks, where you can watch a video demonstrating the model’s features and find a link to the instructions so that you can build it for yourself.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Universally Speaking*

This 1950s East German oddity is not a tractor. It is, apparently, a RS09 ‘universal carrier’, and we’ve deliberately chosen an image that hides just how weird it is. Powered by a two cylinder diesel engine that made about one bhp, the RS09 was produced from the mid-’50s until the mid-’70s, and could be attached to any number of Communistical mechanised items.

Built by Jundis, this smart Technic recreation of the RS09 features a straightforward digging bucket in place of some of the weirder attachments, and also includes a working two-cylinder piston engine with power-take-offs, a mechanically raising/lowering drawbar linkage, and an oscillating front axle with steering.

There’s more to see of this Radschlepper 09 Universal Carrier on Eurobricks, where you can see further imagery including a photo of the decidedly strange real thing, and where Jundis assures us some of the weirder attachments are soon to follow. Click here to check it out.

*Today’s title song

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Mr. Kleinstein’s Steam Powered Amusements

Today at TLCB we’re trumpeting this glorious traction engine and trailer built by previous bloggee Nikolaus Löwe (aka Mr_Klienstien), who has opened up his own steam-powered amusement arcade!

Frogger, Time Crisis, and Sega Rally probably aren’t included, (and we’re not really sure what a steam powered amusement might consist of. Well, we had some ideas but they’re definitely not right), but you can see more of the beautiful traction engine that would power them along with the trailered living accommodation that accompanies it at Nikolaus’s ‘Showman’s Engine ‘ album on Flickr.

Click the link above to let one rip!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Super Stripe

This stunning Technic Supercar comes from previous bloggee Nico Lego (aka Levihathan), and it might just be our favourite of the year. Which may or may not be because of that wicked-cool stripe. There’s more than just the stripe to like though, as Nico’s creation is packed with old-school Supercar functionality, including working steering, suspension, a mid-mounted transverse V6 engine hooked up to a 5+R gearbox, and an opening engine cover, front ‘trunk’, and cockpit canopy. Plus it has a wicked-cool stripe.

There’s more to see of Nico’s stripe and the Technic Supercar attached to it at his Flickr album, where over thirty high quality images are available to view, detailing the exterior, chassis, working functions, and stripe. Click the link above to make the jump to our favourite stripe Technic Supercar of the year so far.

Tagged , , , ,

Skippy

No, not that usefully nosey kangaroo (which was effectively a two-legged knock-off of Lassie), but this marvellous Scania P220, known to The LEGO Company as a ‘container truck’. Which of course it isn’t, because it’s a ‘skip lorry’.

Said skip lorry comes from Oliver 79 of Euroricks, who has recreated a Scania P220 truck with a skip hoist mounted on the rear. A pair of manually controlled linear actuators raise the mechanism just like the real thing, there’s a working 6-cylinder engine underneath the detailed tilting cab, functioning steering and suspension, plus working stabiliser legs too.

It’s a superb blend of Technic functionality and Model Team detail, finished with a perfectly recreated yellow skip. Well nearly; it is missing an old lady’s bathroom as all skip lorry models seem to be. Despite this omission it’s a stellar build and one that’s definitely worth a closer look. Skip over to Eurobricks via the link above to do just that.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Secondary Silo

LEGO’s 42112 Technic Concrete Mixer Truck set has split opinion here at TLCB. It looks rather good, continuing the trend of almost Model Team levels of detail alongside working Technic functionality, but to help it accomplish this (and presumably to save cost), the rotating drum is a single purpose-made part, which surely isn’t the point of LEGO at all.

However proving us wrong is Eurobricks’ blaz62, who has redeployed this seemingly single-use piece to a new purpose with his silo transport 42112 B-Model. Featuring working steering, fifth wheel, trailer support legs, and a silo loading/unloading mechanism, blaz’s alternate is packed with Technic functionality centred around the 42112 drum part.

There’s more to see of blaz’s 42112 B-Model, including full specification details, a video demonstrating the model’s features, and a link to building instructions, at the Eurobricks forum. Click the link above to take a look, whilst TLCB Team ponders other uses for that drum piece, with suggestions so far limited to a submarine or a bomb…

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: