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.
Thanks to flickr user Jim van Gulik, we now have photos of several of LEGO’s newest big Technic sets (see the others after the jump). We can’t confirm the precise set name yet, but it’s set number 42056, and is a Porsche 911 wrapped in zebra test patterns (used by auto manufacturers to disguise the outlines of an unreleased vehicle). Some sources say that the test pattern will not be included in the final model, though. You can bet that this will be an expensive set, clocking in well over $100 USD.(Update: You can now read our review of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.)
Well, the winter holidays are long gone, but Kirill doesn’t want the outdoor fun disappear. So, here is his Arctic Truck Mk II – an ultimate snow-rover in the scale of a regular Technic minifigure. One may find the exterior quite plain, but Technic vehicles are all about functionality.
Check out this video to see this impressive crawler in action.
And I can’t help mentioning a couple of the builder’s other models.
Jason and Kristal from JK Brickworks continue to pump out amazing mechanical inventions created using LEGO. When last we featured them it was with Jason’s holiday cookie decorating robot, but today’s creation comes from Kristal and is a delightful little skating penguin.
The heart of the moving sculpture is a Trammel of Archimedes, a mechanism that traces out an ellipse. This is usually used to make “useless machines” such as the mischevious black box that JK Brickworks created a few years ago.
Full instructions for your own Happy Feet are available right here.
Of all the LEGO great ball contraptions I’ve seen, this is the first that can spell out a message. Leave it to the great mind of mahjqa to come up with a Mindstorm-powered device to arrange the balls in a pattern to form letters across a conveyor belt.
Serbian builder Djordje really is one of the best in the game when it comes to capturing characters in LEGO, as this model of Yoda demonstrates. From the ears made of green Kraata, to the upper lip recreated with a single flipper, to (my favourite) the entirety of his robes made with two technic lift arms. It’s. Just. So. Clever.
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.
We’ve come to expect great things from Jason Allemann, a talented builder who combines strong LEGO engineering skills with a great artistic flair. Back in 2013, we featured his post-apocalyptic Strandbeest and last month jaws all over the world hit the floor with his working combination safe. Jason’s latest build takes its inspiration from Greek mythology, with the cursed Sisyphus rolling that awful rock up the hill throughout eternity.
In addition to the main model, the base itself includes brick-built bas relief sculptures.
You can see the model’s moving features, along with comments from the builder himself, in this video Jason made:
Jason Allemann has used nothing but LEGO to build a fully functional combination safe. Not only does the safe lock with a three-number combination, Jason has designed the safe so that the safe itself cannot be removed from its outer case and opened without either knowing the combination or physically breaking LEGO pieces!
A picture doesn’t really prove it, so here’s Jason’s amazing video.
If you want to build you own LEGO safe, you can download instructions from Jason’s website.
Great Ball Contraptions (GBCs) are a staple of most LEGO conventions, the idea is simple create: a mechanical device to move balls from point A to point B, with a certain set standard. Then sit back and watch a) balls go flying b) kids be mesmerized for hours. It’s a challenging feet of engineering to create a mechanism that can withstand hours of continuous operation, typically the most prized honour for a GBC builder is the ‘Most Reliable’ award (or some variant). Unlike a lot of LEGO builds we see on The Brothers Bricks, aesthetics is not primary goal.
But sometimes, someone steps forward and combines all the above, and makes it beautiful, just cause. For example, Benjamin Corey (Bricktech) built this gorgeous GBC at BFVA this year:
You can watch it in action here:
You can also check out the whole GBC video from our friends at Beyond the Brick.
We don’t often post Technic builds here, so this is something of a treat. And also awesome. Because I love me some classic cars, and this big red beast is just lovely. Martinj Nab has added plenyy of details into this beauty, including opening doors and folding seats. I mean, just LOOK at the fins on this.
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.
For over a century the name Rolls Royce has been synonymous with extreme automotive luxury. And through its many iterations, the Phantom has been an integral part of that legacy. Martijn Nab clearly did his homework in creating this LEGO version of the 1934 Phantom II Coupe, which is impressively constructed using almost nothing but technic connections (versus the usual bricks and studs):
As well as being picture perfect on the outside, this model is also full of hidden details such as the straight-6 engine, hinged engine hood, and backward-opening “coach doors” – a quirk that lives on in this convertible’s modern descendant, the Drophead. Oh, and it’s fully remote controlled! Check out this charming video: