I was recently at the Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria, looking at the big construction vehicles made for shaping the Earth in a profound way, from the gigantic mining dump trucks to the tiny little excavators. Somewhere in between are the bulldozers, offered in nearly a dozen sizes. The biggest Caterpillar, the D11, is one huge rig, but shockingly it isn’t the biggest dozer around. That title belongs to the Komatsu D575A-3 Super Dozer, weighing in at 336,400 pounds and measuring 38+ feet long, 24+ feet wide at the blade, and 16 feet high. While Beat Felber‘s LEGO model is not quite so large, it is not small, either. The builder has a whole series of 1:28.5 scale machines, from dump trucks to mining shovels, and the Super Dozer is a super addition to the lineup. The little kid inside of me is drooling all over the keyboard as I look at this beast, because this is the bulldozer every kid imagines driving as a construction worker.
Polish LEGO builder Sariel is famous for his huge LEGO models that incorporate LEGO Technic and Power Functions elements for working features without sacrificing details or the overall look of the model. His recent MAZ-535 artillery truck was no exception, and it reminded us that we had overlooked his fantastic KV-1 heavy tank and KV-2 heavy artillery tank. I’ve built LEGO KV-1 and KV-2 tanks myself, so I have an appreciation for the challenging angles of these early WW2 Soviet tanks.
If this 1:28.5 scale model of the Marion 5760 Mountaineer stripping shovel doesn’t make your jaw hit the floor, then I suggest you take a closer look. Personally, I am glad that it is equipped with robust power functions to lift mine back up. Beat Felber, also known as Engineering with ABS, has created an absolutely stunning model of this monster of a machine used to scrape off the top layers of earth from seams of coal in Ohio. The Mountaineer was in operation from 1956 until 1979, and considering how massive the LEGO model of it is, I can only imagine how enormous the real thing was. It must have moved a lot of dirt. I almost said “a ton of dirt”, but I’d bet the shovel could lift a lot more than a ton of rock and dirt in every scoop. (It was closer to 60 tons per scoop! – Ed.)
Builder Vincent Kiew presents his latest LEGO creation combining both System and Technic, and it’s an eye-catching racing scene that features a grinning gorilla gear-shifting through the grass!
There’s a convenient storage crate in back for all the accessories needed for an afternoon joyride around the jungle in the off-road racer. Continue reading
Last week it snowed a fair amount in the Pacific Northwest. Here in Seattle, citizens were all but losing their minds, stockpiling food and survival supplies, and fearful of leaving their homes. As someone who comes from a place that sees a lot of snow, it’s a little funny. But now serious snow is hitting states all across the country. This terrified LEGO snowman, built by Joseph Grysban, may not be built for this purpose, but it’s the perfect mascot for Snowmaggedon.
Other than the look on his face, the best part of this build is that he’s motorized and runs away from the snowballs! A pair of Power Functions L motors and a battery box are perfectly hidden inside his body. Additionally, the snowballs don’t just drag behind; instead, they roll around their center.
Snowpocalypse jokes aside, we realize that these storms have been very serious and scary for thousands of people. We hope those of you who have been affected are safe and we wish you a swift return to normalcy. Hopefully you were at least able to get a good amount of building done while stuck indoors!
If you don’t know already, I’m a little obsessed with pinball. I’m also a little obsessed with mechanical LEGO builds, kinetic sculptures, and automaton. So naturally, I was overly excited when I saw that one of my favorite builders, Teun de Wijs, has married a couple of my favorite things together! This legendary pinball game turned LEGO automaton is incredible.
The way Teun uses gearing and switches to make the lights blink and the pot-bellied man tilt the machine makes me jealous at his ingenuity. I do have to say that the hip thrusting is a little intense though…
If you like this build, you’ll love Teun’s other magical LEGO creations. They are a step above anything else I’ve seen! Also, if you like pinball and haven’t checked out my own 100% LEGO machine, Benny’s Spaceship Adventure, you should take a look!
We’ve been following the ongoing evolution of a series of mechanical LEGO dinosaurs built by Dan Schlumpp. Each iteration has become more and more streamlined, and the latest addition to his Mesozoic menagerie is no exception. The body-shaping is excellent, as well as the color choices.
This stegosaurus not only looks great, but lumbers around beautifully! It’s amazing to get such an organic body while still trying to create and hide all the right mechanical components.
If you’re curious about the previous iterations, check out our feature on one of Dan’s previous dinos.
In American car culture, the rat rod has come to symbolize rugged individualism. You might think of it as the automotive equivalent of a cowboy. Over the course of seven months, Manuel Nascimento built a LEGO Ford Model A rat rod. Manuel’s Model A oozes personality, with its “rust brown” patina, chrome trim and chopped, lowriding body. His model captures the subtle curves and angles of the real car. I’m particularly impressed with how the sides slightly slant upward.
Manuel’s rat rod is as impressive mechanically as it is visually. The car is equipped with power functions motors for moving, steering, and the ability to raise and lower the rear. Because the engine is exposed, you can also see it in action. Manuel chose to highlight these features in the following video.
A little over a year ago, Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, killing thousands of residents and leaving many more without power, water, and basic necessities for many months afterward. Contrary to the words and actions of some American politicians, Puerto Rico is no less a part of the United States than Washington, D.C. itself is, but recovery efforts have been hampered by racism, callous politics, and name-calling. LEGO builder Nathan C. lived through Hurrican Maria, and recently created a LEGO model that illustrates the fear, terror, and destruction he experienced as the storm passed over him.
Not only does his detailed LEGO diorama capture the destruction that Hurricane Maria caused on the island, Nathan has animated his model with LEGO Power Functions — the tree and satellite TV dish sway in the wind, roof boards flap, and more. Also be sure to click through to the photo above to read Nathan’s detailed notes about the specific ways in which Maria affected the people and buildings of Puerto Rico, ranging from the implosion of concrete walls to broken water mains.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve featured a strong political statement in LEGO about a terrible storm. Back in September 2005, I commented on the Federal government’s poor reaction to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans with a much smaller LEGO vignette.
Donny Chen is a musician, piano teacher, and piano tuner. That would explain the epic mastery behind this phenomenal LEGO instrument. I’m a piano player myself, and grew up fascinated with the inner-workings of our own (life-size) grand piano. I must say, this little marvel is basically the complete package!
While it doesn’t have all 88 keys that a real grand piano would have, it does have a very similar mechanism.
LEGO has announced it is going green with the re-release of an old fan-favorite set currently owned by very few: the 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine. The original set (numbered 4999) was released a decade ago as a limited production run for Vestas, a sustainable energy company, and never saw wider availability. That changes on Black Friday.
Following in the path of the last year’s re-released 10256 Taj Mahal, LEGO is “opening the vault” once again with a slightly updated rendition of the Creator Expert Vestas Wind Turbine. The set comes with 826 pieces (11 more than the first version), three minifigures, a dog, and Power Functions motor and lights, as well as the first spruce tree element made from plants available in a retail set.
The set is slightly more than three feet tall (one meter) and will retail at $199.99 USD from LEGO (coming in at $249.99 CA and £159.99 UK respectively). It will be available for purchase by everyone starting Friday, November 23 (also known as Black Friday).
Click to take a closer look at the Vestas Wind Turbine
Builder Shadow Elenter dubbed this the “3D Dizzy” and subjected Technic figures to do the Technicolor Yawn (aka barf). This is an imagined thrill ride at a theme park that spins ever so smoothly like a gyroscope and will surely induce nausea and leave anyone vertiginous with the constant spinning and rotation.
This feat took 14 motors that spans from Power Functions to custom SBrick controllers. It weighs almost 115.8 lbs (7.2kg) and measures 54x24x19 inches (90x59x47cm) in its dimensions.
Don’t let the spinning structure steal the show. The ride actually takes you through the full experience from buying tickets to access paths and ramps for the figures. The safety bars are programmed to secure the adrenaline-hungry humans just like in a real-world ride, and the ramp access automatically moves out of the way. Perhaps this will indeed inspire a real-world theme park ride!
Check out the full video here: