Tag Archives: Technic

The LEGO Technic line was first released as “Expert Builder” sets in 1977, and LEGO has been producing Technic ever since, including Bionicle and MINDSTORMS. The custom Technic models featured here on The Brothers Brick include some pretty crazy and amazing mechanisms that’ll blow your mind, from self-sorting LEGO to automated Rubik’s Cube solvers.

Digging deep

Many of you may know Arjan Oudekotte (Konajra) as a LEGO shipbuilder. However, when he started posting his models on-line a few years ago, he mainly built large diggers. I know he is working on several new ships, but he has now gone back to his roots and built this impressive Caterpillar 7495 rope shovel. These machines are used for open-pit mining

Cat 7495

It is power functions remote controlled, like most of his diggers, and while the size of this thing may suggest otherwise, it’s actually minifig scale.

Full R/C Articulated LEGO Technic Dump Truck

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.

Friday Night Fights (Round 32)

We’re reaching for the skies tonight, with two models that on the one hand are very similar, but on the other could hardly be more different. Both represent a Liebherr LTM 11200 9.1, which is currently the world’s largest mobile crane.

In the red corner we find the heavyweight contestant: a 1/15.5-scale model by Huib van der Hart (liftingbricks). I blogged this last year, when it was still a work in progress. Its size imposed daunting technical challenges and, at the time, it couldn’t yet be erected. Now it can, however, and it is so big it’s intimidating.

Project Lego liebherr ltm 11200 9.1

In the blue corner, we find a minifig scale version by Maksymilian Majchrzak (MAKS). This is his largest model to date and at 2 kg and with a height of 70 cm, when fully extended, it’s not exactly tiny. In this competition, however, it’s the bantamweight. Despite its much smaller scale though, it looks very much like the real deal, is highly detailed and has many working functions.

Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 (3)

In last week’s dragontastic installment, Stormbringer’s Skrill Showdown narrowly beat Jonas’ Smaug the Stupendous, with a final score of 8 to 7. It’s up to you this week, dear reader, to decide whether size matters.

DAF Dakar racer

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.

DAF 3300 by nkle on flickr

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.

The Miura is a red raging bull

Italian tractor manufacturer Ferruccio Lamborghini was a man not to be messed with. When he complained to Enzo Ferrari (of the eponymous sports-car manufacturer) that the busted clutch on his Ferrari was the same one as he used on his company’s tractors and about poor service, Enzo Ferrari famously snubbed him by telling him that, as a tractor manufacturer, Lamborghini couldn’t know anything about sports cars. Lamborghini set out to prove him wrong, by starting a company to build the best Grand Tourer money could buy. He chose a raging bull as the company’s emblem.
Since then Lamborghini has become famous for its supercars and, according to the guys from Top Gear, is the maddest car company of them all. Senator Chinchilla has built an excellent model of one of the fist ones: the Miura Jota

Lamborghini Miura Jota

Unlike Ferrari, Lamborghini doesn’t have a racing history, focusing on road cars. The Miura Jota however, was a development of the road car intended for racing. This explains the particularly unadorned look of the car, when compared to the already very clean design of the ‘normal’ Miura. The car never took part in a race, however. In typical Lamborghini fashion it crashed and then burned to a cinder during a test drive.

Most of the car models we feature are basically detailed sculptures, with perhaps a few functions such as steering or opening doors. I don’t tend to blog pure Technic models. This is not because I don’t appreciate the skill involved in building them, but for me it’s about the aesthetic. I prefer the look of system builds. Senator Chinchilla’s Miura has a beautifully sculpted body, with opening doors and an opening clam-shell engine cover. Underneath the voluptuous curves lurks a Technic chassis with steering, working suspension, gearbox and a transversely mounted engine, like the real car. It combines the best of both worlds.

Thanks to Jack Marquez (Ewok in Disguise) for the suggestion.

This hot rod is bigger than yours

It was inevitable, really. We’ve blogged hot rods and a full size LEGO car before and British LEGO-Technic enthusiast Simon Burfield built a working Lego vehicle large enough to carry a person a while ago (which we sadly neglected to blog at the time), but now there’s an actual full-size drivable LEGO hot rod, large enough to carry two people. This crazy contraption was built by Australian Steve Sammartino and Raul Oaida, from Romania.

About half a million bricks were used in the construction. The wheels aren’t made out of LEGO elements, obviously, and neither are a few of the other structural bits. The engine, however, is built with no fewer than 256 LEGO pneumatic pistons, which are powered by compressed air and can propel the car to a speed of about 20 km/h. According to Steve he is neither a car enthusiast nor a Lego enthusiast, which makes me wonder just how big things get if he is enthusiastic!

Via the BBC. Thanks to billyburg for the suggestion.

If you have Power Functions in your castle, magic is superfluous

Perhaps it’s just me, but I would never have imagined that LEGO Power Functions and LEGO Castles would go well together. There may be other examples out there that I am not aware of, but Marco den Besten (Ecclesiastes) proves me wrong with his Acirhon’s Nest.

Acirhon's Nest

At a first glance it’s a decent-looking castle with a bit of a fantasy theme. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll note a moving representation of a waterfall, a bear that moves in and out of its cave, some sort of bat circling one of the towers and warriors emerging from hatches in the top of another tower. Powerful stuff.

Technic: 42005 Monster Truck [Review]

42005 Monster Truck is one of LEGO’s new assortment of Technic sets, and has an MSRP of $50 USD and 329 pieces. This year, LEGO entered an exclusive partnership with Toys R Us in the United States granting TRU exclusive retail rights to the Technic line. They’re still available online from sites like Amazon, and of course in the LEGO Brand Retail stores, but sadly, you will no longer find Technic sets at other retail establishments. That aside, LEGO’s new Technic line-up looks pretty cool.

42005 Monster Truck [Review]

I’m not really a Technic guy, so this is the first Technic set I’ve bought in quite a while. I’ve enjoyed Technic sets for as long as I’ve been a LEGO fan, but I gravitate toward building System, so naturally my purchasing skews that way as well. Like the Technic sets of old, most modern Technic sets follow the 2-in-1 box method, meaning that they have instructions for two complete models to be built with the same selection of pieces. The Monster Truck is, of course, the primary model here, but the set also builds a dune-buggy/hot rod type car. Thus far I’ve only had time to build the primary model.

With only 329 pieces, the price seems a bit high if you’re used to System sets, but many Technic pieces are more expensive to produce than traditional bricks, and at $0.15 per part, the price is actually typical of Technic sets. Many of the largest Technic sets have lower price-per-part ratios, but that’s largely because the piece count is buoyed by insane numbers of Technic pins, which are very inexpensive.

Opening the box frees three bags of pieces, a sticker sheet, an instruction book for each of the two models, and four loose tires and hubs. If I had been building a set any larger than this, sorting the pieces would have been useful, since scrabbling for Technic pins amongst all the pieces can be tiresome, but it wasn’t an issue with this size of set. As with many Technic sets, it’s initially difficult to even tell what aspect of the vehicle the instructions have you build first. Unless you peek ahead in the instructions (or are far more familiar with Technic than I am) you just start building some complicated mechanism. In this case, the first part is the central steering gearbox. This Monster Truck contains a cool feat of engineering; it not only has dual-axle suspension, but it also has four-wheel steering. This is accomplished via a special hinge piece that I can only assume is crafted just for this purpose. This piece is essentially a hollow ball-and-cup joint that allows an axle to be threaded through the center from each side, connected by a universal joint. It only appears in five sets, and this is by far the smallest of those, so the set may be of interest to some people based solely on that. There are two included here, one facing the rear and one facing the front, and each houses the axle that controls the steering mechanism. Both the front and rear steering assemblies are identical; in fact, it’s not until the body is built as a finishing touch that front and rear have any meaning.

The instructions then had me do something I have never before done (it’s probably not unique to this set, but I’ve never encountered it before). The instructions called for subassembly that served only as a temporary frame to hold the joints in place while other pieces were attached. Once attached, the subassembly was disassembled and the parts recycled into other areas later on.

The finished model is quite cool. The truck has an indistinct pick-up truck body, which, as I mentioned previously, serves only for aesthetics. The mechanical aspects of the model are completely functional without it, and as such, this kit is ripe for easy customization, turning the body into any sort of vehicle you wish. The suspension is supported by four springs, giving each axle a good deal of travel. The four-wheel steering is controlled via a small gear protruding from the roof. The ridiculously large tires make the truck exceptionally easy to roll around on the carpet or over almost any obstacles. I was left wishing that the truck had some additional play-feature though, like a bumper mounted winch.

42005 Monster Truck [Review]

All told, this is an excellent model. There’s not as much lasting play-value inherent in the instruction-built model as with the largest, motorized Technic sets, but there’s also not that hefty price-tag motorized kits have. With the exception of the new joints, the parts won’t be particularly exciting (but likely useful) to anyone with a good collection of Technic already, but this model would make an excellent foray into Technic kits for someone who has thus far stuck to System. I imagine it would also make a good gift to a young teenager who imagines they have outgrown LEGO.

Mad Monster Masher

We don’t often feature Technic models on this blog. The Technic aesthetic is rather different from the ultra-realistic models that I tend to favour. In other words, I like models that look realistic (albeit with just the right sprinkling of studs), but don’t care too much whether or not it functions like the real thing. The subjects also tend to not excite me. I have great admiration for the cleverness that is involved in getting the mechanical bits to work, but the tenth Technic supercar, say, to me, looks just about the same as the first or second: both have got lots of gears and lots of holes in them. That said, sometimes a Technic MOC does hit the spot, like the Mad Monster Masher by Barry Bosman (Barman76).

Mad Masher Monster Truck 12x12

It is based on the eponymous toy from the eighties, which I thought was pretty cool, and looks great. Like the toy, Barry’s model is remote-controlled. The front and rear wheels are steered using a Power Function M-motor and the vehicle is driven by no fewer than three XL motors. If you’re in the Netherlands, you’ll be able to see it in action at Lego World Utrecht, which is due to take place next weekend.