Unpopular opinion time: not every mech needs to be a military hard suit covered in weapons. Oh, sure, they look cool. But what about mechs made for peaceful purposes? Search and rescue? Exploration? Or, best yet, construction? Sure, it’s a bit meta, but I like the idea of things made out of LEGO that are intended to make other things out of LEGO. That’s why the Kroniton Cybernetics I-Beam Bolter from builder Scott Wilhelm makes me smile. This giant robot (piloted by our favorite construction guy, Emmet, of course) features a striking black and orange color scheme, solid articulation, and an action feature that, frankly, caught me by surprise.
Sure, the extending lifting arm with it’s working grippers is cool, and shows that Scott thought about how this sort of mech would need to function in a real construction situation. And the rotating fastening device on the other arm combines form and function. Even the roll-cage around the operator cabin says “real world compatible.” All of those things are quality, but none of those things are shocking. Not compared to this:
This is the first extendo-mech I’ve ever seen. I’d wager it’s the first one you’ve seen, too.
And that, friends, is why I love this build.
The LEGO City is expanding in 2020, and we’re happy to show you a preview of one of the new sets! Today we’ll be looking at 60252 Construction Bulldozer. Designed for younger builders, this 126 piece set features two minifigures, a bulldozer, wrecking ball, and an assortment of construction-zone extras. Set 60252 will be available beginning December 26th in the UK and January 1st in North America, and it will retail for $19.99 USD | $24.99 CAD | £17.99 UK.
You’ve heard of concept cars, but how about concept construction vehicles? Builder Pierre E Fieschi built just that with his slick, orange Liebherr Tunnelier. This tunneling powerhouse looks capable of boring some serious holes, perfect for starting your own subway system or mineral excavation. I love the modern look of Pierre’s model, which features tread links around each individual wheel as opposed to a continuous tread along each side. If this isn’t enough Liebherr for you, be sure to read our review of the LEGO Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator!
When LEGO came out with these massive tires a few years back vehicle builders rejoiced, but sometimes you need something more for building large tractors, monster trucks, post-apocalyptic mono-wheels, or other things needing outrageous tires. A builder who goes by the name of Sariel found some amazing non-LEGO tires that fit LEGO hubs perfectly, and used them on this legendary Caterpillar 797F Dump Truck. The real thing is 25 feet (7.7m) high to the canopy, 49 ft 6 in (15.1 m) long and weighs in at a staggering 624 tons when empty. This model is considerably smaller but no less impressive and, as LEGO vehicles go, it is a force to be reckoned with.
With its rugged stance and attention to detail, I would have been impressed enough if this were a stagnant model. However, as this image illustrates, it is jam-packed with Power Functions and a robotic Mindstorms EV3 unit to give it that extra push of awesomeness. I can see myself playing with this big Cat for hours all the while making truck noises like a six-year-old. It doesn’t take much for me to revert back to a six-year-old but, given this post’s title, you would have guessed that already.
In fact, you can even see it in action in Sariel’s video!
[Update: an earlier version of this article mistakenly identified the tires as LEGO elements. We regret this error.]
Accomplished LEGO artist Ted Andes has presented us with a cute riddle: What’s under twenty pieces, adorable and could potentially demolish your house? Baby’s First Bulldozer. This is a prime example of minimal part use for the win. Also known as the Pamper Pusher, this little guy was built as a part of a collaborative effort for Brickworld Chicago. I always enjoy seeing simple two- or three-piece combinations that just work. The tread system made of the microfighter wheel base, a 1×3 thin Technic lift arm, and a stretched tyre, is absolutely one of those.
When it comes to earthmoving equipment, the Caterpillar brand stands out as a time-honored tradition. The company’s 320 Hydraulic Excavator packs some serious digging power, and looks amazing as this 1:30 scale LEGO model built by Sheo. It looks accurate to the original, right down to the tracks and hydraulic digging system. The driver’s cab is particularly impressive, expertly formed with rigid tubing, clip, hinge, and bar elements. Other inspired details include black whips for handrails and studs-not-on-top building to form the shape of the CAT logos on the vehicle’s body.
Sheo. even used his tractor to recreate an action-packed scene from the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall.
Sheo, the master of beautiful, organic, strange, and sometimes creepy LEGO art, is back with yet another bizarre creation. While it may not be quite as creepy at first glance, imagine the slow turn of the ever-smiling head. Or maybe take a look at that smaller pair of hands, with their evil-looking claws. Yep, terrifying. Freakiness aside, CoRob the construction robot is actually pretty cool.
This automaton can transform into a variety of helpful job-site equipment. I’m a big fan of the crane… and that drone! Just look how happy he is! Do you like Sheo’s style? Like construction? Check out his motorized Bucyrus mining shovel replica. How about weird builds? Perhaps his dapper dragon or giant space fish is right up your alley.
LEGO castles have been a fan favorite subject for builders for a very long time, possibly ever since the release of the classic castle set back in 1978. And we here at TBB feature many castles and other medieval constructions every year. Typically, castle models we feature are fully completed structures, but every now and then, we come across a model that shows the long and arduous construction process that went into building the real-life castles and fortifications that so many builders get their inspiration from.
And that is exactly what we have in this outpost under construction by Ayrlego The keep is situated on a very nicely sculpted riverside setting and features two sections in various stages of construction.
The slate roof uses collectible minifig bases and shows an internal structure of brown pipes. The roof even includes a small stack of slates and a section in progress where 1×1 plates and tiles are used to show the installation process.
At the top of the keep, the main turret is incomplete. The star of the model, for me, is the crane with a wheel which uses human power to raise the rocks needed to complete the work.
There are also many great details in the completed portion of the keep, such as the perfect amount of plates and tiles in alternate colors to give a little wear to the walls. Also, sturdy, well-fortified arrow slits on the first floor, balanced by more detailed windows on the second floor provide a blend of form and function.
Leibherr mobile cranes are like buses, two come along at once and you are not sure which to jump in. Thankfully we can admire both of YU KEE LIU‘s builds as these all-terrain mobile cranes are fantastic in both accuracy and build quality. The first build depicts the Liebherr LTM 1350 mobile crane and the model is capable of extending, lifting items and moving them on its rotating axis.
Yu Kee Liu has managed an impressive feat of engineering with his LEGO version as you can see from a view with the crane arm extended.
Click to see an even larger LEGO version of a Liebherr mobile crane
Leibherr’s LTM 1090-4.1 mobile crane is an impressive piece of construction equipment with a top speed of 85km/h, a telescopic boom up to 50m, and a maximum load capacity of 90 tonnes. If that doesn’t impress you, then this scaled LEGO version of the mobile crane by Dirk Klijn should attract your attention. Dirk has spent 3 and a half years working on this 80cm long model that has 5 Sbrick‘s controlling 17 functions, including driving, working rear lights, indicators and reversing lights, boom and jib extension, power-lifting objects, steering and motion, as well as non-motorised functions such as full suspension, opening doors, and the manual folding jib.
On a model this big, there are plenty of details to pore over…
The Construct-o-Mech is one of the most iconic parts of The LEGO Movie and LEGO 7 just took that idea to the next level. The color scheme is perfect and the stickers add lots of detail. The articulation is great, using small ball joints for most of the build. And with the slick frame and wheels it also looks quite mobile too.
Sometimes LEGO construction workers need to move large amounts of soil and dirt during the early stages of a new project, but fear not, Devid VII has built a lovely yellow excavator to do the job. This tracked vehicle is well shaped and sized for it’s minifigure operators. I particularly like the fact that it is completely built in bricks rather than utilising one of the ‘scoop’ moulds from the LEGO construction sets.
Those strings and pulleys on the excavator arm are not just for show — Devid has made his excavator functional. It just needs to find some soil to excavate now.