Combining LEGO Technic and System bricks into a cohesive model can be challenging, but Arjan Oude Kotte is a master LEGO engineer. Arjen brings us this incredibly detailed model of the Caterpillar 7495 Electric Rope Shovel built to minifigure scale. This model of the titanic heavy equipment machine towers over the minifigures and pickup truck in the image below. I love the attention to detail evident in the catwalks, ladders, and upper deck of the model visible from its left profile.
The model also includes a dizzying array of realistic power functions. An operator can remotely lower and raise the digging arm, close the bottom trap of the shovel, move on its treads, and swing the model side-to-side on its base. Check out the video to see it in action.
Among the largest excavators in the world, the Bucyrus RH400 stands over three-stories-high and can move 9,000 tons of earth in an hour. Sheo. miniaturized this mining giant to a minifigure scale model, complete with Power Functions.
The top deck of this machine shows thoughtful details like railings, water tanks, fire suppression equipment, and even a service crane. The digger arm contains graceful (and functional) curved shapes combining Technic and System brick. The operator cockpit even has space for minifigure operator.
Click to see a video of this excavator in action
Just take my money already! Combining three of my favorite things, Alexis Dos Santos has raised the bar on mind-blowing creations with this Star Wars Racer game, made out of LEGO and powered by MINDSTORMS.
The game itself is a three-dimensional, brick-built version of the pod-racing scene from Star Wars Episode I. The player controls Anakin’s podracer between obstacles coming at it while the MINDSTORMS Intelligent Brick provides the logic and sound effects for the game.
As the caution on the game warns, “HIGHLY ADDICTIVE GAME, THANKFULLY IT’S FREE TODAY!” But where do I
buy get it … ?
The 17101 BOOST Creative Toolbox represents the latest initiative from LEGO to introduce children to the worlds of engineering, robotics, and computer programming. LEGO recently expanded their range of supported devices, so we’re finally able to bring you a review without purchasing a brand new iPad. LEGO has targeted the 7- to 12-year-old age range for the BOOST product, one of the youngest demographics for a LEGO robotics kit. Unlike the MINDSTORMS series of products that features Technic, BOOST liberally incorporates LEGO SYSTEM brick (in addition to Technic) as the mechanical parts of the robots.
For this review, I engaged the services of an appropriate expert: my 6-year-old daughter, Artemis. Overall, she had few difficulties building the Vernie model, although she occasionally lacked the hand strength to push the Technic pins in holes (particularly when seating multiple pins at once).
Who has two thumbs, builds robots, and won’t eat broccoli? This girl!
Read our Boost review after the jump
This cordless drill by František Hajdekr shows how to hide functional elements in plain sight. Tucked under the handle, the Power Functions battery pack for this motorized technic drill looks just like the battery pack for a real cordless drill.
Of course, what good is a battery if it doesn’t power something? Pull the trigger on this model and the drill bit spins. The M-Motor that powers the drill bit fits neatly inside two half-cylinder “tipper drum” panels. By using a Power Functions control switch for the trigger, the drill can turn both clockwise and counter-clockwise.
You can also see this model in action on František Hajdekr’s YouTube channel.
Builder HallBricks blends the functional with the beautiful in this Technic Motorized Bus. I watched this video several times in awe of its clean lines, compact design, and marvelous engineering. This model exhibits many design features that blend SYSTEM brick and Technic parts to form elegant curves. The rear pillars and roof combine Technic panels with SYSTEM rounded slopes for a smooth, semi-oblate shape. On the outside, the model’s headlights and tail lights consist of multiple translucent tiles for a multi-faceted effect.
Click here to see more interior views
Though the original Lanz Bulldog wasn’t built for beauty, this model of the classic German tractor by Nikolaus Löwe truly shines. Combining SYSTEM and Technic parts, the model has some nice design touches; a brick-built seat, elegantly curved rear mud flaps built from Technic beams, a vertical exhaust pipe (for a hot bulb engine, perhaps?), even running boards. The hood and sides of the engine compartment blend Technic panels and beams for a clean look.
Click to see more views including a peek under the hood of this tractor
You may occasionally still see the unmistakable Citroën 2CV gliding along the lanes of rustic French towns, some 70 years after its first introduction. Builder Nico71 pays homage to the iconic economy car with this 1/15 scale model.
The model features independent front suspension and rear suspension, opening front and rear doors, wheel-operated steering, and an opening trunk compartment (with a surprise hidden feature inside!). It also sports many brick-built stylistic touches, from the engine under the hood to the exhaust pipe in the back.
Rather than using Technic panels, each door consists of multiple Technic beams stacked pin holes-up to form a single, solid surface. Likewise, the roof, A-, B-, and C-pillars of the 2CV combine multiple beams to create the silhouette of the vehicle. The wheel wells and mudguards, however, show the curved building technique that strings Technic 1 x 3 beam pieces along a soft axle hose, creating an elegant arch. It’s a similar technique to one the that impressed us in the recent Shanghai LEGO Architecture set, where it was used to construct the twisting Shanghai Tower.
You can read more about the design and functionality of this model from Nico71’s website.
Yes, the future is now! No more tying your own shoes: Flickr user vmln8r has designed the “Self-lacing shoe.” Better late than never, Marty!
The design looks simple and requires relatively few parts. The single axle accomplishes the real work of winding the shoe laces taut. The genius of this contraption, I think, shines in how the powered components—Power Functions L-Motor, IR Receiver, and AAA Battery Box—wrap snugly around the sides of the shoe. The transfer of power bears attention, as the machine uses a series of gears, including a worm gear, to direct the twisting motion from the vertically-oriented L-Motor to the horizontal axle.
In case you’re wondering: yes, the contraption works! You can watch the self-lacing shoe in action in this YouTube clip:
Elegant, functional mechanical models don’t need to be large. In their “LEGO Technic Micro Stepper Mechanism” video, Lego Technic Mastery demonstrates how to build a simple, manually-operated stepper motor that can attach to any Technic beam. This stepper machine has four 90° stops, allowing for precise quarter turns in both the clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.
At 0:56 in the video, Lego Technic Mastery provides a shot of all the parts needed for this mcahine plus step-by-step instructions. I followed the instructions and built my own “little stepper” with little difficulty (although I did break a LEGO rubber band in the process).
Check out Lego Technic Mastery’s YouTube channel, which includes an awesome pneumatic robot hand!
Consider, for a moment, if you will, the not-so-humble hot rod chassis. Builder Green Gecko Lego Technic Workshop certainly did with their “Lego Technic Pneumatic HOT ROD Chassis.” This Technic model features independent front suspension, precision pneumatic steering, solid axle rear suspension, and even a working V8 engine with realistic sound and revving.
Green Gecko has posted a video of the complete hot rod that includes body panels, a mean-looking front grille, opening doors, and chromed pipes. This video also shows the custom controller for the full remote control car, which includes a pair of cylinders that control the steering and a pneumatic switch to control the engine.
Take a look at Green Gecko’s YouTube channel for more detailed custom Technic models.
Just as the Lamborghini Centenario pays homage to the vision of Ferrucio Lamborghini, this LEGO Centenario built by Lachlan Cameron gives tribute to the already iconic supercar. Clad in black with red highlights, this model features illuminated headlights and taillights, elegant scissor doors, chromed tailpipes, and even a personalized California license plate! The wheels from the Porsche 911 GT3 RS complement the overall impression of this model.
Click to see more views of this supercar