Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week TechVideo, 2012 #39 - Hyundai Excavator

Today this gonna be fast!... I'm dead tired after a great weekend in Skaerbaek, at LEGO Fan Weekend. I was showing a few models of mine (not all necessarily Technic) and great Technic models designed by some friends. Also I did met some people which until now, I knew from online contacts only.

But jumping into the model I'd like to feature this week, here I leave you with another... Excavator with a few months of existence at YouTube.

It was done by Trawaify, a Polish Technic fan member of LUGPol, with already some Technic creations published.
Spent the whole weekend with some LUGPol members just a couple of meters away, in the same table where I was also showing a few models, and ended without speaking with any of them (my fault as I spent almost no time in place).
Didn't find much information or extra photos about this one, so here it goes the video only.



Best!


Disclaimer:
Please avoid sending requests to post specific models on this TBs section.
We understand some of you would enjoy to see your creations featured here, but please understand  that because only one video gets highlighted per week, it is impossible to accommodate all the great MOCs continuously build by the Technic builders out there. They simply won't fit all and that's also not the purpose of this blog (see the header statement).
Many of your MOCs are scanned anyway and listed for later publication when they do not fit immediately. However some remain in the backlog queue just for too long and eventually loose the relevance or the publication opportunity window. As a rule of thumb, we also avoid publishing MOCs that have been featured by their authors or other fans at some other great web places dedicated to the Technic community out there. It doesn't mean that occasionally some won't get published here anyway.

Thanks for your understanding!

YOU DESIGN IT - THEY MAKE IT

Yesterday at LFW Skaebaek, Niels Hendrik (the LEGO Technic Marketing Lead) came to present and talk about the next Technic Challenge - A Co-creation campaign.



And yes! It is like the rumors we have heard since the London Toyfair last January, which later I got to know in more detail.
In a few sentences, lets see what is it all about:
  • You're challenged to create your own LEGO Technic model based on the 9398 4x4 Crawler flagship released this year.
    Just what you need is to keep the chassis and built anything on top of it. Of course it doesn't need to look like a 4x4 Crawler.
  • The LEGO Technic team is eager to see which models the fans will come up with and which functions you can add to this model.
     
  • You don't have to buy the original Crawler, to make and submit your design to the Challenge.
    You can even submit just a drawing or a sketch about your idea. Don't need to build it in real bricks. Then if this becomes the wining idea, it's the job of the LEGO designers to "brickform" your idea.
     
  • The winning design is finalized with a LEGO Technic Designer.
     
  • The new set will become available in the summer of 2013 as a 20.000 units Limited Edition along with the new 2013 flagship release and it will be available through D2C (Direct 2 Consumer) channels.
     
  • You can use any parts to go on top of the chassis, and LEGO Technic Team is even open to customize some parts for this small production run (e.g. the wheels or something else they still don't know - it's up to you!).
    The intent is not really to make big profit from this special model, but to engage with the LEGO Technic fans community. Hence the small production will allow to create such fancy elements (if it turns to be the case).
     
  • It is not yet clear for me whether you can submit only one, or several models.
     
  • On the 1st of October the Campaign will start and you can upload your design at technic.LEGO.com untill 31.Dec (11:59 PM). The sooner you'll do it, the better chances to get an higher number of votes or supporters to your design. This is important as you will see below.
     
  • Then after returning from holidays, the Technic team will pick top 100 fan voted models and select the best 10, that will follow to the "Go-vote" campaign with the fans.
     
  • On 2013 CW2-3, the "Go-vote" campaign will start and the winner announcement should happen on the 22nd of February.
     
  • If will be followed by the design of the final model according to LEGO Technic design frame rules and the pre-order campaign should start on 1st July 2013.
     
  • On 1st of August 2013 the sales will start through D2C

As criteria for the designers to select the 10 best models, you may think of:
  • Overall coolness
  • Design details
  • Belief that other people will want to buy your design
  • Great color schema
  • It is build-able with LEGO Technic elements
  • Well though functions
  • Model/age relationship
  • Copy of any 3rd party properties or trademark will be eliminated as a potential winner

Below you can see a record that someone... did from Niels' presentation at Skaebaek yesterday and listen to his own words.



If you want to jump directly into the deatils, just start here.

And here are the main keywords for you to read shortly.
  • Something Special!... How could we make a Technic model special?
  • ... a product to life we cannot do in a standard retail product.
  • How can we make it special is something we will find out during the competition.


Set free your imagination, and take your chance!

More to come, these days...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sariel's book is being printed

Sariel's book (The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide) is being printed and it is expected to become available on 31.Oct.

In the meantime the publisher, No Starch Press (NSP) made available a couple of PDF documents with the Table of Contents and the Index, for you to get a preview.

Eight pages TOC is quite a feat!...


The book is also available for Pre-Order from:

Monday, September 24, 2012

TBs TechReview 18 – Concept Car, by Nathanaël Kuipers

You certainly know one of the best LEGO Technic Supercars that TLG ever released, the classic 8448, Super Street Sensation, aka Super Car Mk II.



Somewhat inspired on this one, Nathanaël Kuippers (former LEGO Designer) developed in 2008 a Concept Car [1, 2], aka as 88448, in the form of a Roadster and with a more modern aesthetics. He tried to build it in separate modules and as end result, engine, gearbox, front suspension, rear suspension and bodywork can all be removed. V12 engine can be put in the front or in the rear (like in 8448) and one can select among front wheel or rear wheel drive.

One year later (2009) he added two other variants built with the same chassis (a Gullwing Door and one Convertible) and later he made it evolve into a Concept Jeep (2010) - Using the same V12 engine and 5+R gearbox, and leaving most of the frame untouched, the model went through a makeover to turn into this Concept 4x4 [3, 4] with AWD and independent suspension.



This "review" does not intend to be a technical review from the model itself, but instead to complement what was already done before and better show the model, the several variants created by Nathanaël and how the model transforms from one into another.

For the pure Technical analysis on this model, you may read the excellent reviews done by Anio about one year ago, at Eurobricks and the automatic english translation from SeTechnic.


I built this model months ago following the BI prepared by Joshua Delahunty (which are available from Crowkillers website), and got amazed with the clean and well engineered design of this model.
Every part seems to enter in the perfect place and it is used to take the most of its potential.
Now that we have newer Technic panels, the older ones used with this model still look amazing and guess no one could think about changing them for this car.

At the time I spoke with Nathanaël, and we decided to try exchanging the necessary information to build the other variants (Gullwing Doors an Convertible). And so did I!


Let's start with the Roadster version, as built per Joshua's BI (below the front and rear views).



Yeah! I know... I should buy a wireless remote control for my camera... In fact I already ordered one from eBay!


Carefully removing some of the rear elements and replacing them with the well designed convertible roof module, we can change the Roadster into a stunning Convertible car.


From the left to the right: The parts to remove; How the rear will look like in between; And the elements to include for the Convertible variant.
You may click on the images to enlarge them and see the details you might be interested in.


Across the design of the several variants, there were a few things that Nathanaël tried to do in different ways. One of them was the rear lights, which we see here to change from one design to another. The reason for trying these different designs was in this case how rare and the exaggerated prices that the trans-red 2x2 round bricks (3941), became at BrickLink. You will see these changing again ahead, as I've used them in fixed combinations for the several car variants.
There were however some other different attempts that Nathanaël also did (e.g. the colors with the headlights and colors of parts in some other areas).

After the parts substitution, there is now a Technic connector in the rear, above the registration plate, that closes and opens the roof  with a few turns.

Initially I had some difficulties to make the roof to fit perfectly and nicely into place when retracted. But after pushing some bricks here and there to make very small adjustments, it turned to be a fully working and very reliable design.




This is the only variant that doesn't allow to setup the V12 engine in the rear compartment, like it is possible to do with the Roadster and Gullwing variants (besides not shown in this post). The space required for the engine is in this case fully used by the roof retractile mechanism.

Now lets' transform this into a Gullwing Door variant.


From the left to the right: Remove the convertible roof module; Remove the driver and passenger doors; How the mode will look like in between; And the elements to include for the Gullwing variant.


It is amazing how such complex modules (Convertible Roof and Gullwing Doors) can be exchanged with minimal changes to the car. Everything was carefully handcrafted, to make it fit and work perfectly. The gullwing doors can be opened individually via one pair of 12t double bevel gears just behind the car's roof. These are not in the best position to handle manually, but I also do not have a better idea...





There is a pleasant color contrast between the body (all red) and the interior (mostly gray), which pops out when the Gullwing doors get fully open. But of course this is not unique to this variant.

And finally, let's see how to go back to the Roadster concept design,


From the left to the right: Remove the Gullwing Doors module; How the model will look like in between; And the elements to include in order to make it return again to the Roadster variant.




Now you can also do all the way back (Roadster > Gullwing Doors > Convertible > Roadster). You just need to undo all the steps above, by removing now all the modules that were added, and adding those removed in reversed order...
These steps include all the transition combinations not shown above and are pretty straight forward.


Now one final note for the 5+R gearbox present in this model. It was built to be just like any another module that fits in place when needed, and indeed it does perfectly.
As far as I can tell, this was the first studless version of the same gearbox used by LEGO in its 8448 and  8466 4x4 Off-Roader models, thus using the same gear ratios (1.66:1; 1.50:1; 1:1; 0.90:1; 0.60:1; -2.50:1) and suffering from the same pros and cons. It was however a remarkable achievement and very well done!
Later on, Crowkillers made his own studless design of the same classic LEGO gearbox for his own cars, to then develop a full new transmission concept with more natural gear ratios (but that's another story...).



Next weekend Nathanaël and I, with a bunch of other AFOLs, will attend the LEGO Fan Weekend at Skaebaek (Denmark) and I'm sure it will be a big fun for everyone.
Both of us will have a copy of the concept car at the exhibition, and I will have with me all the parts required to make the transformations above. So the visitors will be able to see any of the versions functioning live, if they will.

Likely I will take there some footage to prepare and later add here, one video of this amazing car.
Subscribe to the TBs Youtube Channel, and you will automatically get notice when the video comes out.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week TechVideo, 2012 #38 - NXT Tripod

This week, some MINDSTORMS creation for a change.

It is a cute walker (jumper) with 3 legs, designed and programmed by Daniele Benedettelli.



The Tripod was built by Daniele after he got inspiration on the alien invaders from the War of the Worlds movie. Its unique way of walking allows this monster to walk straight in three directions, and can turn within its footprints. This robot can be built with the NXT 2.0 retail set 8547, and it was initially meant to become a bonus model of this set.

Free detailed building instructions and NXC program, can be downloaded from Daniele's website.


Disclaimer:
Please avoid sending requests to post specific models on this TBs section.
We understand some of you would enjoy to see your creations featured here, but please understand  that because only one video gets highlighted per week, it is impossible to accommodate all the great MOCs continuously build by the Technic builders out there. They simply won't fit all and that's also not the purpose of this blog (see the header statement).
Many of your MOCs are scanned anyway and listed for later publication when they do not fit immediately. However some remain in the backlog queue just for too long and eventually loose the relevance or the publication opportunity window. As a rule of thumb, we also avoid publishing MOCs that have been featured by their authors or other fans at some other great web places dedicated to the Technic community out there. It doesn't mean that occasionally some won't get published here anyway.

Thanks for your understanding!

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