Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bricks issue 15

As you may know, the AFOL scene got in the past years, several generalist magazines about this great hobby. Among them we have Bricks magazine which have now reached issue 15, available in digital and print form.

Bricks 15 edition dedicates several articles to the Technic theme, models and their own LEGO Fan Media days interview.

As well it takes a look on inventive ways to use LEGO Technic elements in inventive and decorative ways.

Hence it is worth a note here, and we are glad to share the respective press release, which probably arises your interest.

The art of movement

Bricks issue 15 takes a look into the world of Technic and how it provides movement across all LEGO disciplines

The Age of Technic is here! A discipline that often plays second fiddle, considered by most a ‘love it or hate it’ theme, yet lets not underestimate the key role it has played in the development of LEGO models and their functionality. Technic is in almost every official set we see, from Nexo Knights and Ninjago to Star Wars and Super Heroes. Technic is not purely a range on its own; it’s the go-to-guy that provides engineering solutions, structurally sound frameworks and increasingly complex playable functions. Without the Technic system, most moving elements would not be possible.

This year the theme has firmly stood up to be counted with an onslaught of huge scale sets that have taken LEGO engineering to the next level; a voice that we could not ignore and so this month, we hail the wonderful world of Technic and its applications.

A great example of boundary-pushing design came in June with the release of 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS: a set like no other, hand-packaged in a black satin box adorned with luxurious artwork and a 500-plus page instructions booklet that’s more like a car manual. Racing past the Porsche, our Technic expert Ryan Welles moves his keen eye onto another licensed set, the new 42053 Volvo EW160E. Steven Jarratt gets all agricultural with 42054 Claas Xerion 5000 tractor before Ryan reappears to examine the role of Technic within System sets, and James Pegrum takes a different approach by showing you techniques for using Technic parts for their decorative rather than their functional qualities.

This issue, we also take a look at one of the new aftermarket LEGO-compatible controllers, BuWizz, before Tim Johnson takes a visit to Verona to see how shows are done ‘Italian-style’, while Li Li introduces us to the world of making LEGO circles in part two of his MOC Recipes series. This month also see the start of our new LEGO User Group section, where we showcase models of the month from Swebrick and Communidade 0937.

As ever, there’s also reviews, masterclass builds, Bright Bricks and much more. Enjoy the issue and keep building.

With 124 pages packed full of inspirational models and exclusive features Bricks is the premier LEGO fan magazine. With a price of just £4.99, why accept anything less?

Order your copy today and enjoy the reading!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

SBrick universe in continuous expansion

It has been time for Vengit to polish the rough edges from SBrick, specially on the Android app front, and add functionality to the overall solution (Firmware, App, Profile Designer).
While SBrick get matured and causes good impression/interest in the community, others have been demonstrating intent to develop their own SBrick like alternative prototypes via own Kickstarter campaigns, like BlueSmartControl and BuWizz or even quite different alternatives as RCBricks, with more or less success. So far only one of this terminated a KS campaign but without reaching its stretch goals.

Meanwhile SBrick continues to evolve with new features and options.

More Colors

Option to replace the default plastic LBG case, with brand new colored cases (black, withe, red, yellow)

You can order them in packs of four of the same color or one of each color, for a small bargain at SBrick Store.

More Programming Options

Scratch was added to SBrick ecosystem and allows to deploy pre-programed actions to any SBrick powered LEGO model.

Scratch is a free-to-use education platform available for an increasing number of robotics solutions, which uses drag and drop method to teach kids the possibilities of programming and robotics. This opens a new world of possibilities for SBrick in Education programs, something that creators of SBrick envisioned when they first imagined it.

Scratch is developed and maintained by the Scratch Team at the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT Media Lab.

Read more at SBrick Wiki and learn how to connect and program SBrick from your computer here, provided that you have an adequate BLE dongle. I've done it myself and can assure you it is really easy.

More (bigger) Market

Building-up on the possibilities offered by the recent SBrick compatibility with Scratch, Vengit is expanding their target market by creating their first "SBrick - Education Pack".

This pack has been designed around SBrick, a powerful remote control platform for LEGO, to teach programming to children aged as young as 7. Immersive lessons combine physical dexterity, mechanical thinking, programming fundamentals and robotics for a learning experience children love.

Each pack contains 20+ hours of lessons divided into short 40 minute activities, as well as the instructions needed to build 12 unique models. The pack also includes a teaching guide for educators.

Expected to be available by end of August, this pack is already available for pre-order from official SBrick Store.

And still more to come... Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

4x4 A25F Articulated Hauler is a reality after all

You might remember two years ago (Aug.2014) when the 42030 Remote-Controlled VOLVO L350F Wheel Loader was released, there were some wondering and discussions about the B-model Articulated Hauler for several reasons [1].

Main one was probably the fact the B-model was presented in a two axles version (4 wheels as there weren't more included with the main model). No one was able to find any online reference that proved the physical existence of a 4-wheeled A25F Articulated Hauler, unlike its predecessors A25D and A25E which were also made available in 4x4 variants.

A25F seemed to be available only in the 6-wheeled version at the time and digging into VOLVO CE catalogs I got the impression that 4x4 versions could eventually be possible to order as customized models.

The LEGO Technic team was also aware of the fan community discussions about this topic, and promoted the production of the video below asked us to share it with you. If you look carefully you can finally see the physical version of the 4-wheeled A25F Articulated Hauler.

So it seems now that licenses are getting more and more importance to the LEGO Technic line, the relations between TLG and VOLVO CE are kept live an strong. The release of the new 42053 VOLVO EW 160E Excavator is just another evidence of that and so I believe we will continue to see licensed VOLVO models at the LEGO Technic assortment in the years to come.

Other Articulated Hauler comments were related to the unrealistic longitudinal engine position and the "cage look" of the tipper because of it not being closed and having too many "holes", rendering it almost useless. But of course there was not enough panels in the main model to build it differently.

Thanks for the heads up to the LEGO Technic team, who demonstrates to listen to their fans!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

LEGO Fan Medias Days, 2016 - LEGO Technic Interview

Last 2nd and 3rd of June the LEGO Fan Media Days took place in Billund, where some guided visits to cult spots took place, like the LEGO Memory Lane (aka Vault) in the basement of the LEGO Idea House, and the Kornmarken LEGO Molding Factory.
They were great LEGO experiences, but probably the most fantastic and valuable moments were the interviews done with some LEGO Teams (Technic, Bionicle, LEGO Ideas, LEGO House, LEGO Rebrick, LEGO Worlds and LEGO Knights) that took place in the second day at Innovation House.

TBs did interviews with most of them, and we will publish here the resulting video interviews as they get released.
As it couldn't be otherwise we're starting with the interview to the LEGO Technic Team, where we spoke to Andrew Woodman (Andy), Senior Design Manager LEGO Technic and fellow AFOL Milan Reindl, Designer LEGO Technic well known in the community.

I and Paul (Sariel) agreed to join efforts and each to produce videos with the interview footage of booth. Unfortunately the hamsters were not present to help.

You can watch and listen to what we managed to get, and even have a sneak peak on the upcoming 2H16 LEGO Technic models.

Unfortunately many of the questions received from you and prepared beforehand did not fit in two 30 minute interviews and thus remained to be asked under the video cameras. Eventually we may have another opportunity next year...

And no, there were no saucy questions about the successful 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS caught on camera.

Have fun!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Build the Porsche of Your Dreams - Contest

As you might have noticed LEGO Technic team as launched a new contest, using Rebrick as a platform to collect the participants entries.

As a side note, Rebrick moved from its initial mission where users could bookmark LEGO creations shared in other websites, into a LEGO contests platform. As I was never a big fan of the Rebrick bookmark philosophy, I can only applaud this strategic move.
It is also the first time LEGO Technic uses Rebrick as the platform for a contest, which makes full sense. If you remember the 9398 4x4 Crawler contest was run directly at LEGO Technic website, and so the loose ends finally ties up.

Back on topic, the contest description reveals the purpose...

“In the beginning I looked around but couldn’t find the car I dreamed of, so I decided to build it myself.” - Ferry Porsche
Now you can go in the legendary footsteps of Ferry Porsche and build the Porsche of your dreams using LEGO bricks.
We are giving you complete creative freedom to build within the Porsche brand design and LEGO Technic look and feel.
Whether you prefer to build a sports car, a race car, a historical Porsche tractor, or another Porsche model we invite you to build the Porsche of your dreams with no limitation to a specific era or model type.

The contest is open for submissions until 2016.08.01 at 10:00 PM CEST, and you may submit your creation at Rebrick contest page.

The 'How to Enter', contest rules and prizes can also be found at the same page.You can submit any physical or LDD model, but remember it must have a LEGO Technic look and feel, you can only use LEGO elements plus stickers, and your model must resemble a Porsche vehicle regardless whether you prefer to build a sports car, a race car, a historical Porsche tractor, or any other Porsche model.

If it makes you feel more likely to participate, here are the prizes

The Grand PrizeThere will be one grand prize winner. This person will receive
1. Trip from their home country to the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart Germany
2. An exclusive guided tour of the Porsche Museum and the Porsche production facilities in Stuttgart
4. One 911 limited die cast model of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS scaled 1:18
5. One 42056 LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS signed by LEGO designer Uwe Wabra
6. One certificate of winning

Runner-up PrizesThere will be nine runner-ups. These will receive
1. One 911 limited die cast model of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS scaled 1:18
2. One 42056 LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS signed by LEGO designer Uwe Wabra
3. One certificate of winning

The judgement will be done in two stages, where first a panel of 3 expert LEGO Technic guest judges will select 20 semi-finalists, and later a panel of judges from LEGO Technic and Porsche will select one grand prize winner and nine runner-ups from the 20 semi-finalists.

In both stages, the judgement criteria will be:
  • Overall coolness and originality (25%)
  • Most inspired details and functions on the model (25%)
  • Understanding of the Porsche brand design and competition theme (25%)
  • Overall LEGO Technic look and feel of the model (25%)

Take your chance! The prizes are worth it!

Friday, June 3, 2016

42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS - Video Review

We are just getting ready for Fan Media Day and interview the LEGO Technic team in Billund in a few hours, among other LEGO teams.
Unfortunately this means the full Porsche 911 GT3 RS written review won't be ready until I return home. Meanwhile the video review version of it has just been uploaded, and here you have it to see.

Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What would you ask the LEGO Technic Team, if you could?

I was thrilled when I found out that TechnicBRICKs was invited to attend the FAN MEDIA DAY event happening next 3rd of June, at the LEGO headquarters in Billund, Denmark.

Can you imagine?... We will have the great pleasure to get together and interview the LEGO Technic team, and by the way also a few other LEGO teams and franchises.

Help us - What would you ask if it was you going there?

Post your questions and we'll take some with us.
But please understand certain questions may collide with TLG trade secrets and also LEGO does not comment on future products and releases. This means it is not worth to ask such questions like, will you ever do this set, release that new element, when will the first LPF 2.0 elements start to appear in Technic sets, etc.

Let your imagination run wild and ask about anything else Technic.

We still have no idea how to make it fit, but this could be also an opportunity to ask the designers about some technicalities that we never completely understood, like certain friction pins that sometimes are used where apparently their frictionless counterparts should have been used instead. We remember this happening for instance with the outriggers in 42009 Mobile Crane MK II and the shaft that turn changeover catches in 8043 Motorized Excavator. Both in parts of flagship hence large sets where friction penalizes performance and easily the batteries struggle to make the respective functions work flawlessly [1, 2]. Do you recall any similar situations which made you wonder .

If you fill likely you may also raise some other general questions. There will be opportunity to interview a few other teams and franchises (e.g LEGO Worlds, LEGO Ideas, Rebrick, etc.) and depending on the questions raised we will book a slot to interview them as well.

Thanks for your contribution. It is much appreciated!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Technicopedia New Update (1999)

Today we made a return to tell you Technicopedia recently got yet another update. This time Eric Albrecht (Blakbird) added his usual detailed descriptions and images for all the LEGO Technic models released in the year of 1999.

This was a year with many new sets (25) but most of them were small vehicles and weird figures which I hardly can identify as Technic, but we all know these kind of obscure years when LEGO was entering in a dark era that almost took the company into bankruptcy...
But since not everything needed to be bad news, this was also the year that brought a major change for the Technic theme. A new supercar was born - 8448 Super Street Sensation aka Super Car Mk II.
By this time the innovative Technic beams had already been introduced, but a new world of curved panels and flex cables just emerged.

Out of curiosity this set resulted from styling exercise. LEGO sponsored a design project at Coventry University and used those ideas in creating the model. They used rounded beams and new fairing panels to suggest body panels and the new flexible cross axles and corrugated tubes to create a curves that were simply not possible with older construction techniques. The result was by far the most realistic looking of the auto chassis released to date.

Apart from the 8466 4x4 Off-Roader, which is super but not exactly a car, the 8448 was in the opinion of many the last LEGO Technic supercar released, but just until we get our hands in the upcoming 46056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

© 2007-2014 TechnicBRICKs
TechnicBRICKs contents may be sporadically updated, if the authors finds further relevant info about a certain post, or content/spell mistakes. Hence please don't be surprised if you find few changes at later visits, relative to a previous read.

TechnicBRICKs often shows other peoples' creations and/or images. We always try to credit the author(s) and link to their main publishing website, and if possible with their name in real life.
Since this is not always possible, we request that if you find something here that is yours or from someone you know, you leave a comment on the respective post and claim the authorship.

TechnicBRICKs is optimized for Firefox 16.0 and 1600x1200 resolution displays or wider.

LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this blog.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configurations, the Minifigure and MINDSTORMS, are registered trademarks of The LEGO Group.
Original LEGO images are copyrighted by The LEGO Group and are used here in accordance with their fair play policy.
You can visit the official LEGO® website at www.LEGO.com.