Lego is not Denmark’s only market-leading company; Vestas, the world’s largest builder of wind turbines, is also Danish. After I built my mega-windmill trailer with a Vestas wind turbine nacelle, I seriously considered building a truck carrying one of the wind turbine’s blades. However, these blades are so big that, even at minifig scale, the model would have to be more than a meter long. This did not strike me as a particularly fun build, but I found a suitable alternative. It is a truck that carries the wind turbine’s hub. The tractor unit is a Volvo FM; another powerhouse from Scandinavia.
There’s a Dutch twist too. It is in the largely orange livery of Dutch heavy haulage specialists Van Der Vlist. And the trailer represents a semi-low loader built by Nooteboom, which is also Dutch. Its load is a lot more manageable than a turbine blade, but it is still a fairly substantial piece of equipment. It is wider than the trailer and so tall that its nose cap is transported separately on the trailer. It tapers and it has a complicated geometry because of the holes for the three blades in the sides. I built three identical sections, with angled panels between them. These all attach to a six-section bottom ring. There is a smaller ring and a separate truncated cone on top. Building all of this did turn out to be a fun challenge.
In the Netherlands, wind turbines are a big part of the transition to renewable energy. With the turbines getting bigger, moving their components to wind farms requires ever larger vehicles. My latest LEGO model represents such a vehicle: a Volvo FH16 with a so-called mega-windmill trailer, in the livery of Dutch heavy haulage company Van Der Vlist.
The real truck has a six-cylinder engine that produces 750 HP. It needs all that power because the Vestas wind turbine nacelle that it carries weighs a whopping 70 tons. And the nacelle’s transport frames add another four tons. This also explains the combination’s large number of axles. They distribute the weight to protect the road surface. As a result, this is a big model. Even on a small scale suitable for LEGO minifigures it has a total length of 93 cm (about 3ft).
Hot on the heels of my Mammoet mobile crane, I decided to build another minifigure-scale crane. This time it is a truck-based crane: a Liebherr LTF 1060.
Unlike the Mammoet crane, this one uses a commercial truck chassis built by Scania. This type of cranes typically has better on-road mobility than those that use dedicated chassis. I primarily liked it because it was different and, when I found a yellow one operated by the Dutch company “Kuiphuis” pulling a trailer with accessories, I was hooked.
LEGO’s long history and the quality of the elements mean that there is a vast collection of parts suitable for this type of build. For instance, among the real crane’s accessories are a crane crab and a concrete bucket. And LEGO made a crane grab in yellow. And there is a suitable handle for the bucket, in yellow too. These parts are thirty and twenty years old, respectively.
A fair few of the Dutch builders that I occasionally hang out with are very much into building heavy-duty trucks and construction equipment, such as cranes or mining excavators. And they tend to like to build them BIG. I’ve dabbled a bit in the genre, but I’ve always been somewhat the odd one out in our little group, mainly building smaller models. And I’ve gone progressively smaller: in recent years more and more of my models are scaled for minifigures. I rarely have the time or patience to build really big things. I am also running out of space to display large models.
If you take a big crane and build it to a small scale, you still end up with a fairly substantial model, though. Case in point: my Liebherr LTM-1350 mobile crane, as operated by the Dutch company Mammoet (Mammoth). Despite its relatively small scale, there is just enough room for some functionality. For instance, the crane’s outriggers and boom can extend and it has working steering on five of its six axles. When fully extended, its boom reaches a height of close to a metre (about three feet). Furthermore, cranes like this may be mobile, but they do require a fleet of support vehicles. This includes a separate truck to carry its counter-weights. The crane’s crew also tends to have a small “pool car” to drive around. If the crane is in transit, an escort van usually accompanies the convoy. The small scale meant I could build all of them.
Of course, I don’t mean to imply that Land Rovers are unreliable vehicles. However, if you were in the UK, were to own a classic Land Rover and, God forbid, it would break down on you, what would you do? One of your options could be to call the AA. That is the organisation formerly known as The Automobile Association. Not the other famous organisation with the same initials that helps people overcome another expensive and destructive habit.
The AA operates a roadside assistance service, with mechanics crisscrossing the country in vans. However, if one of their mechanics can’t fix the problem, because it is actually pretty major, they also operate a fleet of recovery vehicles. A lot of those are German-built MAN TGL flatbed trucks, one of which I have now built in LEGO. Like the AA vans, these are a common sight on British roads, also quite commonly seen carrying Land Rovers. I’m still not saying those are unreliable, mind you. I actually like Land Rovers. My LEGO Land Rover model is something of a classic in its own right; I originally built it more than ten years ago and it has never broken down, except for when one of the wheels fell off as I was taking pictures of the truck. Since I’m a stickler for scale and I have not changed the style of my building for this, these two vehicles fit together really nicely. Continue reading →
I love the nostalgia that surrounds Route 66, and Crises_crs shoots for the sky with this retrofitted reimagining of a Route 66 diner. The trucks parked as they are adds a depth of everyday realism to the build, and the repurposed vehicles really compliment the futuristic design, with hover conversion technology erupting below the trucks’ original frames. The diner itself has a nice amount of detail, with space allowing for the trucks to moor, and for the drivers to sit and rest. The adverts that homage the Route 66 of long ago is the perfect finishing touch.
Some legends just keep on trucking. This LEGO creation by LegoMathijs is a model of a KrAZ-255, a rough and tumble off-road truck that was in production from 1967 to 1994. That real-life inspiration alone is enough to call this build legendary and with excellent detailing and suitably rugged terrain, that would be an apt moniker for it. But this model is also inspired by Ingmar Spijkhoven. More than a year after his passing, other builders are still finding inspiration from the pivotal truck builder. It just goes to show that some legends never die, really. I’m smitten and I think Ingmar would be too.
It’s no secret that I love teal. Most people do as well, for its wonderful blend of blue and green and The LEGO colour’s interesting history – which you’d rather not have me ramble about it here. Maybe some other time. But another colour that does it for me is vibrant coral. Introduced in 2019 with The LEGO Movie 2 sets, it was an odd but pretty colour. Many LEGO builders struggled to put it to good use, especially with other colours so that they don’t clash. Seasoned Technic builder Peer Kreuger (mahjqa) uses both colours as a racing highlight on a dark blue American-style semi-truck. And the colour combo of all three is just *chef’s kiss*.
The smooth and colourful exterior of the truck hides the Control+ motor system allowing it to be driven from a smartphone. Peer has decades of experience with motorised and remote-controlled Technic builds, and each time he builds a new one I’m still impressed. This time, the real icing on the cake is the vibrant coral coloured seahorse adorning the hood of the truck. I never thought I’d see an accessory from LEGO Friends on a Technic build…
For years, fans have been demanding a LEGO Back to the Future vehicle – and LEGO has listened. Their latest Creator Expert vehicle is indeed a way to go back in time to the 1950’s – well, in a nostalgic way, at least. The Creator Expert 10290 Pickup Truck is a classic interpretation of vintage farm trucks from that era. Available for pre-order now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $129.99 | CAN $169.99 | UK £119.99 this 1677 piece set will will be generally available October 1st. But does this surprising choice of vehicle merit your time-travel dollar? Come along as we take a close look at this set!
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
You may or may not be familiar with the Unimog – Mercedes’s all-wheel-drive multi-purpose utility vehicle. Usually they can be found constructing European highways or operating farm equipment. LEGO Technic veteran Kyle Wigboldy built the Unimog U-400 with an orange cab cleverly constructed with a combination of Technic elements and traditional LEGO. It took me a closer look to realise that this isn’t an official set from ten years ago, but rather a smaller build. Now that I have taken a closer look, this is in the same scale as the upcoming LEGO Technic 4×4 Zetros, which is based on a similar Mercedes truck.
This build is packed to the brim with functions, such as the Technic essentials: engines, steering, suspension, all-wheel drive. This Unimog model also offers pneumatics, and power take-offs linked to the drive, which allow attachment equipments to be powered from the truck, as demonstrated by the motorised LEGO set. While this build does not come with attachments, it does have a flatbed with variable three-way tilt. You can check it out in the video below:
Check out some other Unimogs that other people have built!
Like many men my age, at heart, I don’t necessarily feel all that different from when I was six years old and playing with my LEGO train. Besides LEGO and trains, as a boy, I liked fire engines, diggers and trucks, preferably with lots of lights. My latest build still fits that pattern. It is a Mercedes Actros truck with a stepframe trailer, as operated by the Dutch company Mammoet, which is Dutch for mammoth.
They specialize in heavy lifting and transport of oversized and heavy objects. So, by their standards, this truck is actually quite small. Their vehicles have an attractive and distinctive color scheme. It uses a lot of red, but the vehicles’ cabs are usually black. The trailer, built by the Dutch company Nooteboom, has a yellow edge for increased visibility. When I started building the truck, I wasn’t sure what load I’d put on the trailer, except that I wanted it to be predominantly yellow. Ultimately I picked a Liebherr wheel-loader with nicely chunky wheels. As a display base for some future LEGO event, I also built part of a road, which I decorated with some flowers and two road signs, both of which (would you believe it?) I already had as a six-year-old.
When you think of a small-town hardware store during Christmas, this has to be what you think of. At least, this is the exact image that comes to my mind. Excellent at architecture and storytelling, the Midwest Builders have struck again with a modular worthy of LEGO store shelves. The line of detailed buildings is in dire need of a hardware store, and this fits the bill perfectly. If we were looking at images of the newest release, it’d be at the top of my Christmas wish list.