Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TBs TechPoll 26 (Results) - 2011, 2nd Quarter - Favorite week TechVideos

TBs poll for '2011, 2nd Quarter Favorite week TechVideos' is now closed, with near 200 votes submitted during the usual two weeks voting period.
Poll objective was to let you choose your favorite videos, from those weekly highlighted here at TBs 'Week TechVideo' category, during the 2nd quarter of 2011.

Below, the usual 1st, 2nd and 3rd most voted videos for your review.

#1- "Week TechVideo, 2011 #19 - Massive Porsche", by Sheppo

#2 - "Week TechVideo, 2011 #14 - Pilatus PC-21 trainer aircraft", by Khan

#3 - "Week TechVideo, 2011 #20 - Super 8 film projector", by Fiedemann Wachsmuth and Kalle

Once more congratulations to the producers of the most popular videos among those featured here during the 2nd quarter of 2011!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rumors about 2012 LEGO Technic sets

It's about time!...

Via Smashing Bricks, we got to know about some unconfirmed LEGO Technic sets for the 1H2012.

LEGO Technic 2012
9390 Mini Tow Truck
9391 Tracked Crane
9392 Quad Bike
9394 Jet Plane
9395 Pick-Up Tow Truck

I'm putting my faith in the these rumors! At least the Plane reference matches with some credible whispers, I was told before.
Yes, finally a new plane as some have been waiting for long.

Out of curiosity there is one middle reference missing (9393), which was also not released before. Can it be another LEGO Technic exclusive for 2012!?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week TechVideo, 2011 #33 - Run away!... The poison machine is back

Don't get confused about the title... It's a private joke.

Maybe some of you remember this former TechVideo post, about Ricardo's Vending Machine v2.5.
Since then, Ricardo continued to work at an "improved" version of this, so called v3.0...
Not much different in terms of functions, but there was an intention to rebuild everything, now based in LEGO elements only or officially produced OEM elements, while replacing the old RCX also.

In the last months he has been in Gothenburg (Sweden) at an Erasmus, doing a very interesting graduation project at the industry in cooperation with TLG (but that's a topic for a later post). Short time before his last return to home base, Ricardo made a video featuring a kind of demo and explanation about the machine "features" to his mentor (Johan) from the graduation project.
It turned to be a quite genuine and funny video in raw format and without production, that he showed to me one night this summer. Hence I asked him for an YT upload to share here at TBs .

Ok!... Not everything working perfect at first try, but still more than enough to give us a good preview.
Maybe some time later Ricardo will produce a more formal presentation about the functions of his new vending machine, like he did for the previous version.

This new version includes:
  • 1 NXT
  • 7 Touch sensors (4 for the keypad)
  • 1 Light sensor (NXT 1.0)
  • 1 Color sensor (NXT 2.0)
  • 1 Ultrasonic sensor
  • 4 NXT servos
  • 4 PF XL motors
  • 1 PF M motor
  • 1 RC motor (used in the air pump for the liquids dispenser)
  • 6 PF lights
From HiTechnic we have:
  • 1 Touch sensor mux
  • 1 Sensor mux
  • 1 IRLink
There is also one port splitter from (likely to be removed in the next revision).

The whole contraption is programed using NXC.

During his quest to finish the new VM version, Ricardo took the machine across several places (Lisbon, Billund, Stockholm, Zwölle, Gothenburg,...). It looks it hasn't been an easy task, regardless of the efforts put in applying proper cushioning to make it travel safe.
It's LEGO after all... It is made to be assembled and disassembled.

So it looks Ricardo had to rebuild it several times, while trying to improve the software functions further, at each new destination where the VM arrived. Always thinking it would be the last one and it would get ready...

But... Do you see the drops of one famous beverage, spread over the parts in the image at the right side?...
Yes, in one of its trips it looks there was an exploding can...

Friday, August 19, 2011

NK Concept Car available as a Kit

For those who have expressed their will to buy Nathanaël Kuipers' Concept Car as a kit (Building Instructions and Parts included) you may have here the opportunity...

In order to promote the BI for this model, Nathanaël and Crowkillers decided to put one complete kit for auction at eBay.

Guess it won't be cheap and don't know if other copies will follow (as you know some parts are really rare by now). Take your chance!

If you just want to buy the BI for $15, this is the way to go!

Login and Password for access will be provided after funds have been processed and then sent to the e-mail attached to your PayPal account.

One way or another, I'm sure you will find the way to have your own copy of the most wanted LEGO Technic unofficial set from the moment.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Markus writes about the Unimog History

In the sequence of the 8110 Unimog U400 release, LEGO Designer Markus Kossman writes about the Unimog history at the blog.

Read it out, here!

He writes it was an honor to build the first LEGO Technic replica of an Unimog.
Although I always thought that 8854 Power Crane from 1989, had also an Unimog inspiration despite not officially advertised.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Building Instructions for Nathanaël Kuipers' Concept Car, now available!

After a final revision process held during the last few weeks, the Building Instructions for Nathanaël Kuipers' Concept Car are finally available for ordering.

208 page high quality Building Instructions in PDF format with full parts list, prepared by Joshua Delahunty, for building the 1.458 piece Concept Car designed by Nathanaël Kuipers.

The model features are:
  • Studless fully customizable Modular design.
  • Working 5 Speed Gearbox with Reverse.
  • Full 4 Wheel Independent Suspension.
  • Fully Functional Steering System.
  • Drive train can be selected from either Front or Rear Wheel Drive.
  • V12 Engine that can be either front or rear mounted.
  • Opening Doors, Hood, and Trunk.

Because of the extensive work that Natanhaël and Joshua put to produce these high quality Building Instructions, you are requested to pay a small $15 compensation, before you get the credentials that grant you access to download the PDF file.

Login and Password for access will be provided after funds have been processed and then sent to the e-mail attached to your PayPal account.

If it turns to be your preference, alternatively you can also initiate your payment from this page at Crowkillers website, who is also supporting this initiative.

After having seen the BI preview here at TBs , some of you have mentioned difficulties to identify the right color for some of the parts included in the Bill of Materials (BOM), at the end of the BI. Because we want help you to build the model as accurate as possible, here it goes a lookup table where you can find the official LEGO Color ID and respective Name for those colors most difficult to guess from the BOM.

BOM 1st Page:
  • 4227683 - 42 Transparent Light Blue
  • 4222960 - 182 Transparent Bright Orange
  • 4249039, 4267881 and 4296514 - 298 Cool Silver, Drum Lacquered
  • 4264301 - 131 Silver
  • 4495932, 4297202 - 208 Light Stone Grey [MINDSTORMS]

If you need a translation from LEGO Official Color Names to other public databases color name conventions, I'm pretty sure you know where to find them.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week TechVideo, 2011 #32 - Yet another transmission

Crowkillers presents us a new transmission concept for his next car in 2012 (which car will it be?...).

The transmission shifts in the same pattern as the real 5 speed models of the Ford Mustang and Subaru WRX with the Reverse Gear on the Right Side below the 5th Gear. However the Reverse Ratio is similar to First Gear which is how it should be...

The first part of the video has the Power functions motor hooked up to the Output of the transmission so you can see the engine speed changing (which would normally be "constant", besides the engine throttle) and the second part shows the Power Functions motor hooked up to the Input so that you can see the speed of the rear wheels changing, which is the proper way that the transmission would be displayed, but not as easily visible when changing Gears...

Ratios are as Follows:

  • 1st Gear 2.08:1 (Close to Reverse as it should be)
  • 2nd Gear 1.60:1
  • 3rd Gear 1.25:1
  • 4th Gear 1:1
  • 5th Gear .75:1
  • Reverse 2.25:1 (Close to First as it should be)

If you want to compare, "Standard" Gearbox Ratios like in 8448 and 8466, are:
  • Reverse 2.5:1
  • First 1.66:1
  • Second 1.5:1
  • Third 1:1
  • Fourth 0.9:1
  • Fifth 0.6:1

This new design looks perfect so maybe it's time for a change from the standard...
The tranny works smoothly and everything is lined up underneath so nothing is off 1/2 a stud throwing the whole thing off from connecting to the rear wheels unevenly...

With the transmission plate only 6 studs wide, this will easily fit into a 1:10 scale car with the same exact distance between the seats as Paul's previous models including the last Supercar Deluxe he did.

For additional photos, take a look at Crowkillers BS folder.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

TBs TechPoll 26 - 2011, 2nd Quarter - Favorite week TechVideos

This time, I almost forgot the quarterly poll...
Let's do it for the videos featured weekly at TBs , during the previous quarter of this year (2011Q2).

In the next two weeks you can vote on your favorite video(s) among those highlighted during the 2nd quarter, under the 'Week TechVideo' category.

Here it is the list with the videos posted within this period:

You may leave your vote for more than one video, if it reflects your preference.

- This video poll does not aim to select the best MOC, but rather well done videos featuring a LEGO Technic model, a nice video reportage from a Technic subject as part of an AFOL event, or
some cool/innovative thing with interest for the Technic fans community.
- These are videos that somehow caught my eye at some point, thus based on a personal choice, and do not intend in any way to be considered as the best representatives from the work done by the Technic fans.
- Please notice, this is a poll taken for the fun. The authors of the videos here featured are not rewarded, independently of the final rank position they will achieve.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

16 teeth gear with clutch, got smooth

There has been a 'rumor' for sometime, that newest LEGO Technic sets started to ship with a new design of the '16 Teeth Gear with Clutch' (6542).
Presumably the new design won't have the small teeth, on the hole rim.

Today I saw a first image of the new part, through the BrickLink database.
You may find it here: '16 Teeth Gear with Clutch, Smooth' (6542b) , as part of the Unimog inventory.

The old design on the left and the new one, on the right side.

I can't be sure about the motivation for the change, but I guess the original molds may have reached their end-of-life and it was time for a revision.
Never saw it used in a set or even a MOC (there are still many things I never saw...), but the traditional crown fits some old parts (e.g. the original Toothed Half Bushes, Type I and II - 4265a and 4265b) which had the same type of crown and have disappeared from production long time ago.

I presume the new mold with smooth finishing, has superior production yield rates, requires less maintenance and cleaning. Not to speak about production costs...

Which other aspects, may have motivated the change?
Always wanted to know more, about the parts design decision process.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week TechVideo, 2011 #31 - 6x6 Articulated Hauler

Han Crielaard (Designer-Han) from the Netherlands presents his latest model. This time he designed one 6x6 Articulated Hauler.
Appearance is quite characteristic and based on the original Volvo A40D Hauler.
Here it is another good example from a combination of mechanical/gearing and pneumatic functions, in the same model.

The main technic specifications of the 'Articulated Hauler' are:
  • 6x6 drive-train, whereof each wheel-unit has it's own differential unit.
  • Remote controlled driving (PF XL-motor) and steering (PF M-motor).
  • 3-point suspension on both rear bogies, interconnected with a 3-point bogie beam at both sides of the trailer chassis.
  • Independent Tractor - Trailer movement by rotating hitch + frame steering.
  • Steering based on double Linear Actuator mechanism.
  • Working steering  wheel within the drivers cabin.
  • Working V6 engine, including fan.
  • Manual pneumatic tipping of dump bed by 2 twin-cylinder units.
  • Headlights equipped with Power Functions LED's.

The model lacks one motorized pump and the center differential which is specially noticeable on flat surfaces and sharp curves. However the space restrictions and intention to follow the original aesthetics within adopted scale, were the main drivers for these choices.

And also some non-technic features are:
  • Swing-down front grill.
  • Engine hood open/close.
  • Maintenance 'doors' at both sides of the Tractor.

He made also a description about his experience building this scale and how close it should be, to the limitations of building with LEGO Technic in terms of part resistance and involved forces, as we have already been discussing here before. And yes, some gears broke during the video-shoot.

Looking for additional photos and a full description? Visit the respective Han's page on his own website.

For the usual BI that Han uses to produce, maybe by the end of this year, if we're lucky...

HispaBrick Magazine 011

Hispabrick Magazine 011 is out since a few days...but it is never to late to read, if you have not already been doing so.

Besides some reviews and tutorial already well known from most of you, there are also some other interesting readings for the Technic and MINDSTORMS community (e.g. Then new LDraw All-In-One Installer, The Rosetta touchdown in LEGO, The Globe plotter, BT remote control with NXT, and although not directly related to Technic the world famous cars by Firas M Abu-Jaber).

Read it here! (Click for a fullscreen view)

Hispabrick Magazine 011 can also be downloaded from the usual HBM website.

Friday, August 5, 2011

TBs glimpse at BrickFair...

A few weeks ago, Paul Boratko asked me for a TBs logo in high-resolution...
He wanted to produce a shirt with it on the backside, along with the Technicopedia and his own logo (, to wear at BrickFair 2011.
The BrickFair LEGO® Fan Festival opens tomorrow and lasts for the whole weekend (6-7.Aug).

Naturally Paul will be there to display his great cars.
In a gesture of genuine fair play, he brought a replica from the Concept Car designed by Nathanaël Kuipers, with a reference to him and Joshua Delahunty who produced the respective detailed building instructions.

A great opportunity for you to admire also NK's car, in real bricks.

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