Friday, November 30, 2007

Excavators "Hall of Fame"

Well... it is not a secret nor the first time, I confess that 'Excavators' are my favorite subject to see built with LEGO TECHNIC.
Take a look at some, photographed from LEGO events as detailed below and some other sources I've been finding along the time:

LIEBHERR A 314 Litronic Mobile Excavator, model at '75 years of LEGO' event in Billund, 2007.Aug.9-11

See more, starting here and here (Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, TLG CEO, playing with).

Full external pneumatic control.

Edit (2009.08.29):
Found later, this to be a creation from Beat Felber, who runs the Engineering with ABS website.
Find many more and a video about this model here, or the author's announcement at LUGNET.
This model wasfirst built, back in 2005 to exhibit at the Suisse Toy Fair.

VOLVO excavator model on top of a "Volvo FH16 - Goldhofer trailer combination", at the '75 years of LEGO' event in Billund, 2007.Aug.9-11

See more images, starting here.

Edit (2009.08.29):
Later I've also found this is a model from Anders Gaasedal, a well known Danish TECHNIC and Model Team builder.
You may find some magnificent models at his website "LEGO Trucks and Cranes", however not this Excavator which was left as an ongoing project in Jun.2005 and never fully documented.

A comment left at this post by a French builder, raised the question about origin of this excavator pneumatic cylinders. I'm not sure whether they are functional or not, however I believe they are. Likely custom made and not a LEGO prototype as I've first suggested to be one possibility in the comments section too.
I have meanwhile contacted Anders, asking for more information (a video would be really nice...) about this model and its pneumatics.

Edit (2009.09.03):
Have meanwhile just realized , that Anders turned LEGO Designer in between [btw a TECHNIC designer (Goose Valley)], so it makes very unlikely to get an answer with further details about the cylinders. But on the other way it would make our chances to get a decent official TECHNIC Excavator with longer pneumatics in the future, somehow higher...

Edit (2010.02.15): 
I got an answer , so here I leave some quick-specs about this model functions, and the confirmation that this is a full functional model.
  • Individual driving on each track, driven by one 9V motor each.
  • One 9V motor for turning the superstructure.
  • Two 9V motors for driving the 4 cylinder pump. Also equipped with pressure-valve.
  • The boom is fully pneumatic driven with non-lego industrial cylinders (customized to fit into the LEGO system).
  • The end of the boom is equipped with pneumatic quick-shift, which allows for 'remote controlled' shovels exchange.
  • The model can be driven both by batteries (also used as counterweight) and with external AC supply.
  • The 'remote-control' is equipped with 4-way joysticks.

LIEBHERR R964 model, from Fabio Sali, at LEGOWorld 2007

See more about this model from here.

Electric control with Power Function motors.

Initial model was upgraded with PF motors and newest treads.
Most photos taken before adaptation to PF motors, but also a few after!

And off-course these other ones below, already shown here at TBs , sometime ago.

JCB JS220 model by Jennifer Clark, completed in 2003.

Model details here.

Full external pneumatic control with external compressor.

And another LIEBHERR model (R996) from Thomas J. Avery, shown at his TEXBRICK website.

Model details here. This model was finished and exhibited the first time in 2002 at BrickFest (Oregon, US).

Full external pneumatic control with compressor placed internally to the model.

Later Additions

LIEBHERR R974B (Top) and LIEBHERR A904B (Bottom), are another example of great excavators made with LEGO TECHNIC for the time.
These were built by Dennis Bosman (another well known Dutch TECHNIC and Model Team builder) and completed respectively in 2000 and 2003.

My main note about these models, would go to highlight that pneumatic cylinders are dumies made of non-LEGO plastic and aluminum pipes. Thus the way Dennis imagined to lift both excavators' boom and operate digger arms or bucket (in one model), was using ropes coiled into a motorized reel or fishing rod.
If you take a close look into these models images on the right side, you will be able to find the mentioned ropes.

You may also find full details about this models, at Dennis "LEGO Trucks & Heavy Equipment" website. Namely here and here respectively.
A video from the latest A904B model in operation, can also be seen from YouTube.

CASE CX800, an 80t excavator made of LEGO by a French builder (pithivier57) in 2009.

Main characteristic of this excavator, are its 4 custom made extra long pneumatic cylinders.

You may find some other photos from this model at the author's BS folder and also several demonstration videos can be seen at YouTube, from which this is an example.

If you know any other good example, please feel free to tell me, or to add it into the comments.

As this is still of of my favorite posts here at TBs , I decided to make it a kind of 'Hall of Fame' for some best TECHNIC Builders excavators or even excavators that somehow stand. Thus started to add some I found meanwhile, immediately below Thomas' model (the LIEBHERR R996), as "Later Additions".

Also added some information meanwhile found, about Gaasedal's VOLVO model.

Last Bottom Update: 2009.Aug.29 17:24 GMT


Alex Campos said...

It is because of marvels like this that I hope LEGO launches an excavator of their own, but in size/functions bigger than the 8149!
Sure, yet another construction vehicle may get boring, but this would be a great chance for LEGO to come up with bigger turntables (preferably with bearings) and pneumatic Power Functions elements.
Oh well, let's wait and see what is in store (or better yet, what will be in store) for us next year.

Anonymous said...

Good news! Lego are bringing out one, the 8294 - Excavator, in late 2008. I hope to see pictures of it soon. These excavator designs are fantastic - I'm considering making one of my own. I wonder, how did they get hold of so many cylinder brackets? There 2 in 8421, and 4 in 8275, but to build model with eight is just incredible.

TechnicBRICKs said...

These are GREAT news!! ;)
Wonder where did you get the info ;).
Eagerly waiting to see images of such set!

Since 1st half 2008 TECHNIC sets, are all of small size and there is still a small excavator on sale (8419), guess this would be a larger one.
Hopefully with some PF elements, and maybe new ones. Will I get the desired PF pneumatic integrated components???...

Anonymous said...

"I wonder, how did they get hold of so many cylinder brackets? There 2 in 8421, and 4 in 8275, but to build model with eight is just incredible.

Tj didn't use any cylinder brackets, I thin the model was completed before they even came out.


TechnicBRICKs said...

To be honest, I don't see any 'Cylinder Brackets' in these MOCs.

If they were used, the aspect should be like this,

I believe all these models should have been built before the release of such part in 2005, or they simply do not use it all.

The design used in them is somewhat similar to what LEGO used in 8460/8431/8438 Pneumatic Crane, and looks like this,
or this,

Anyway if they intend to use the 'Cylinder Brackets' you mentioned, they should be very easy to buy in large quantities at BrickLink.

Best regards,

Anonymous said...

i think lego should build a wire-remote controlled pneumatic excavator and create longer pneumatic cylinders and pf integrated compressors and (auto) valves

Anonymous said...

I've made custom actuator

Anonymous said...

In the VOLVO model, where he found the pneumatic actuator??

TechnicBRICKs said...

Great custom actuator and Excavator! Will write later about it in a new post.

Have some specific comments, but will leave them for the post.

Remember to to have seen a similar custom adaptation, but don't remember where anymore.

For the Volvo Excavator, believe it also uses some custom excavator. Unless it was some LEGO prototype... as it was displayed in Billund event. :-/

TechnicBRICKs said...

Well, this is going slow, but I've added a few iconic excavators into this post.

Also have found further details, about the Volvo excavator and its author, which I've added too.
Contacted the author trying to know more about the pneumatic cylinders and will let you know here, if I find something.

Tomorrow, plan to feature the CASE machine, into a new and separate post.

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