Since mid-October I have had a pretty crazy time at work, very much at the expense of my blogging and pretty much everything else. I have built a few things, but I told my fellow contributors that I would only write something if it knocked my socks off. Well, consider me barefoot. The culprit is Swiss builder Beat Felber and his AR-1200M Mobile Crane. Tadano is a Japanese manufacturer of cranes and the model carries a Japanese livery, of the Showa Co., Ltd. of Kobe. This already makes it a bit more interesting than your average Liebherr. Furthermore, as you would expect from a builder who goes by the name Engineering with ABS, his model is full of working features.
It uses Power functions for the drive, for steering on all five axles and to extend the stabilisers on both sides, with pneumatics used to raise and lower the struts. The crane boom can be raised, slewed and extended using Power Functions and, of course, the winches are remote-controlled. It also has working lights. The boom reaches a height of 2.15 m (more than 7 ft.) and can be extended even further by adding a separate jib. This is not the tallest crane we’ve ever blogged, but size is not everything. It is gorgeous.
Sariel shows his Power Functions mastery yet again with this motorized model of Kaneda’s Bike from Akira. The model features remote-control steering, working lights and even a dauntless driver who you get to find out by watching the video below. You can learn more about this project from the builder’s website.
Most truck builders I know either aim for looks, with relatively little functionality, or they go for the full Technic treatment, with lots of working functions, but often at the expense of the looks or details. With his Mack Granite heavy-duty truck, Ingmar Spijkhoven (2LegoOrNot2Lego) has combined the best of both worlds.
It has Power Functions remote control for the drive and steering, working lights and working suspension, and can be fitted with a flatbed trailer than can be raised and lowered via remote control. It also looks brilliant, with a beautifully sculpted hood, a detailed interior and a carefully modelled representation of the engine.
Following fellow Dutch truck builder Dennis Glaasker the presentation of the all the goodies is top notch too, with a clever photo-edit that shows some of the inner workings and details. It wouldn’t look out of place in the manufacturer’s brochure.
Polish Lego builder Michał Skorupka (Eric Trax) made a functional Claas Jaguar forage harvester featuring rotating cutting discs, lights, RC function with steering and more. Check out the YouTube video to see this amazingly realistic model in action.
The mastermind of RC Lego vehicles, Sariel, built a RC batpod featuring steering and lights. The genius lies in incorporating function into such a small model. Check out the video below to see it in action.
Check out this Kickstarter project by Mark Bollobas that introduces a Lego-compatible smart brick that lets you control your power-function vehicles with a smartphone via bluetooth.
It’s even more visually pleasing to watch a GBC with a theme. This creation by IamKritch is worth a look. The first second of the video is enough to get me hooked.
This monster construction vehicle by Technic guru pipasseyoyo is a complex blend of Technic engineering and skillful brick sculpting. The articulated dump truck is fully controlled by remote and features a tipping bed, six-wheel drive, and powered articulated steering. Be sure to check out the video of it in action.
Today is the start of this year’s Dakar rally. This off-road race, for trucks, cars and motorbikes used to run from Paris to Dakar in Senegal, but because of worsening security in Northern Africa is nowadays held in South-America. Back in 1985, a Dutch team led by Jan de Rooy finished second in the truck category. They raced a much modified DAF 3300 known as The Bull, recreated by Nanko Klein Paste (nkle). The model has a Technic chassis and is remote-controlled using Power Functions, to participate in Truck Trial competitions organised by Lowlug.
I don’t think I’m particularly prone to nationalism, except when it comes to my choice of beer and the sort of trucks I like. Forget your Scanias, Volvos or Kenworths; to me DAF trucks are king of the road. DAF has its home base in Eindhoven, in the south of the Netherlands, where I lived for more than ten years. I used to see trucks operated by De Rooy Transport haul DAF cabs through town on a regular basis.
Back in 2009, LEGO released two sets (8183 and 8184 ) that got me pretty excited. The reason for my excitement was that these sets contained a car chassis that could be remote-controlled using a Power Functions IR-remote. This would make it relatively easy to build your own relatively compact remote-controlled car. I bought one, but it had about as much directional control as a puppy on a wet floor; it constantly bumped into walls or bits of furniture. It was fast, though.
Curtis D. Collins (curtydc) has now used a similar chassis to build his “little big rig”. He too reports that the steering isn’t great, but also that it is a zippy a little RC. I believe that, certainly with those big wheels. I also think it looks pretty cool. Like Barry Bosman’s Monster Masher, it has a certain toy-like quality to it that reminds me of the RC cars that were around when I was a child.
Cole Edmonson just posted a great sculpture of his cat, Cooper. The light up eyes on this piece really put it over the top. My cat-loving daughter is going to want to build something like this of one of her cats…
Spanish LEGO fan Fernando (Sheepo) shows his crazy engineering skills with this beautiful recreation of a Caterham 7, a small British sports car. Technic builders never cease to amaze me with the amount of functionality they can build entirely with brick and still pack into a small frame, and this model is at the top of the game. It’s got all the LEGO R/C car bells and whistles, including disk brakes, a full transmission, and complete suspension.