Thursday, February 28, 2013

Congratulations Sheepo

Congratulations Sheepo (Fernando Benavides) dor the 10.000 suporters!
This is indeed a great achievement and you managed to get the first Technic model hitting the LEGO CUUSOO official review phase. Just in time for the next Spring review.



It was like last minute rush and as it seems that Land Rover itself made a great job pushing their own fan community to make this happen.
I'd say it seems Land Rover would be happy to negotiate a license with TLG to assure the Defender will pass the review phase, but I'm not so sure about the same intent on TLG side, if we take a look from the outcome of the last review.
This model is huge, has lots of expensive parts like PF motors and so on... It will also depend on how much the average supporter told he would be willing to pay for such model. One possibility could be to consider a major shrink to the model itself, but this is also something we never saw to happen to models in previous reviews (ok, most of them were not that large, but we will probably have a glimpse when we get to know the results from the ongoing review to the UCS Sandcrawler).


If you cannot stand the wait, you can always buy the building instructions online from Sheepo website and build it yourself (after having collected all the required elements...).




Or get prepared for an huge wait till we get to know the LEGO review results, on this!


New behind the scenes video production

You may have already seen the latest official videos from LEGO Technic.
They were published some weeks ago, at LEGO.com/Technic website and later at LEGO YouTube Channel. It was released a first video about the 42010 and 42011 Pullback Racers, and more recently another video also including the 42000 Grand-Prix Racer.

 


Yesterday we got to see another video with the behind the scenes video, taken during the production from the first one above.




We can see Uwe Wabra was present which makes me think he was the LEGO Technic Designer behind some of these models.


And to complement the digital media produced here the latest flash animations for all the models above.













Enjoy!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week TechVideo, 2013 #08 - Motorized Stingray

As rule of thumb, I usually tend to avoid publishing here at the weekly TechVideo post, any videos which are already presented at EB, or some other Technic related websites.
But as every rule has its exception, occasionally this also gets one...

VMLN8 from New Zeland made a motorized stingray. All the fascination goes with the simulated undulating movement of the wings (see it on the video below).



All the propulsion is provided by the stingray (no hidden propellers). Power and flotation devices goes on the top (at surface).

You can find additional photos from this model, at VMLN8's flickr gallery.

Enjoy!


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!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Instructions for Land Rover Defender 110

While the Land Rover Defender 110 from Fernando Benavides (Sheepo) is close to hit the 10.000 supporters mark at LEGO Cuusoo and most of us foresee what will happen in the LEGO review, Sheepo decided to provide an alternative way, if you would like to know more about the building details of this model or even if you want to build your own exemplar.
Earlier this month he made available the Defender 110 building instructions, prepared in collaboration with other prominent Technic AFOLs (Eric Albrecht, Jurgen Krooshoop and jorgeopesi) who just constitute a quality guarantee of these when we have their names involved.



For a small amount you could purchase the Defender 110 building instructions and have them e-mailed to you by Sheepo.
Over 448 pages you will get detailed guidance on how to build this model, in comprehensive sub-assemblies and detailed steps.




This is gonna be a SHIP (Significantly Huge Investment in Parts), but you will certainly like the end result.


In the meantime and if you have not done so, you could help the Defender to arrive at the LEGO Cuusoo reviewers' desk and challenge them!



Hurry up! If you want to take part on this Epic CUUSOO submission.

Friday, February 22, 2013

TBs TechPoll 36 (Results) - Which Exclusive Color?

If this means something...



my "Boss" should be shipped in Dark Blue!



You chose it!...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week TechVideo, 2013 #07 - Scammell Crusader

Makorol from Poland (LUGPol), presented his latest creation into a nice and quite innovative "How it works?" video.
It is about a Scammell Crusader truck, with EKA recovery equipment. Some sort of Service Truck or Tow Truck.

The truck is fully motorized and remote controlled. For that purpose it includes 6 LEGO motors and about 5 meters of cabling.



You cand find additional photos from this Scammell Crusader at Makorol's Brickshelf folder and flickr gallery.

And also see this other video from the same model, where the main functions are shown in action.




Enjoy!


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!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Defining a good Technic model


My attempt to end this discussion, although I know it's pretty much useless, because many people just like to complain and express their personal view, just like me now. Anyway, here we go...

Whether MOCs or official LEGO Technic models, everybody has an opinion about them. Some are lyric about almost any model, others have always something to complain and criticize. This often leads to some hot debates, in which everybody tries to defend his/ her standpoint. So apparently it's not so easy to define what a good model is. Perhaps it's not even possible at all to come up with a uniform format, because in the end it's always a matter of opinion, right?

Well, yes..., and no. First why we're not able to define objectively what a good model is.

The fact is that most of us are visual orientated suckers, and that includes myself. What this means is that we are biased purely by the looks and presentation of something. Just look at how the whole advertising industry works, and you'll get my point. So when we see pictures of a great looking (LEGO) model we get all warm and fuzzy inside. That those pictures are probably edited to make things look nicer and shinier than reality is something most of us would take for granted. We just like to be fooled.   

The few of us who still have a critical mind about things are often treated these days with fancy and well edited videos. So, yes, of course a video will give a better impression of the model, but most importantly is that now, o WOW, THINGS ARE IN MOTION!! I can't help it, but I get so e-motion-al and excited when things move! *snif*
So, yes, I suck even more for motion pictures. I reckon it's no different for you.
Oh, and one more thing, Technic models definitely have to be BIG, because bigger is better, and certainly more impressive! Although I can't really reason why...



Now that we're aware of this, let's see if we can objectively analyze a LEGO model. But then, what criteria do we use and more importantly how do we define the standard?
From the above we can conclude that the aesthetics are crucial, so it has to look nice. The problem is how to define nice looking, because I like brunettes and you like blondes...*

Well, let's totally ignore the visual aspect for now and set another criteria, which is essential in Technic models: all functions have to work properly and should be reliable. Even though the way this is written is not 100% quantifiable, it is way better measurable than the aesthetics. When we're talking MOCs, the problem here is that many of us have only seen the pictures and perhaps a video, but never got to test and play with the model in real life. So how can we then decide if the model works properly? Not, unless we are actually able to build and test the model ourselves.



This leaves us only with MOCs with building instructions and the official LEGO sets. Which brings us to the next point: should we include the overall building experience as part of what a good model defines? And then what is a good building experience anyway? Obviously Technic models should give someone a serious challenge to build it, but not become frustrating. There is a fine line between those 2 factors, and the problem is that for almost anyone this line is different, depending on skills, experience, and model. Again it seems like there is no quantifiable method to rate this, but completely ignoring this facet as well is ludicrous, especially because building/ creating is the whole essence behind LEGO!



Looking at official Technic sets we can assume that those models are designed in such a way that most kids should be able to build them. Anyone familiar with statistics knows that this means that someone with below average skills also belongs to this majority.
Based on this piece of information should we then set the same standard for MOCs? When we want to be absolutely objective, we should treat all models equally, but again many of us are biased, arguing that official models are mainly designed for children, whereas MOCs are mostly for grown-ups. Even though they have a point, it doesn't really change the parameters; truth is that most adults still have a hard time to build a (official) Technic model, and it's not unusual that kids these days actually outperform them. 
" Yeah, but I meant grown-ups like me, who are technically skilled, like to build with LEGO, have plenty of experience, and really look for a challenge...", I can imagine some say. Without perhaps realizing, those people actually set a very specific list of requirements.
This list of requirements is the tool that most designers/creators set up in advance to be able to evaluate objectively afterwards whether or not a/ their design is good. The thing is that your preferred, individual, and - may I say - narrow-minded list is probably totally different than the model designer has got(ten) in the first place.



So in conclusion, a good model/design can be defined as one that meets the list of requirements that was initiated before the project started. A great design even goes beyond that. The problem is that in almost every case we don't know these set parameters, and are therefore not able to judge a model, whether MOC or official, objectively. (Besides the fact that most of us are visual orientated suckers anyway. Oh, and BIG) Sometimes it even happens that a designer just executes a design based on a list of requirements from someone else. If this list is poorly put together, and the result suffers, it's actually not the designer to blame. He can still claim he did a good job - and sometimes a great job -, delivering a product that matches the list, but it's the list itself that is debatable.
So summarizing, in our case, arguing whether or not a model is good (or in a similar way bad), is all a matter of opinion, leading to absolutely useless discussions, unless we know the original requirements or intentions. So instead of wasting everybody's time, just enjoy the hobby, appreciate what others do and actually go build something! That's what I do.



* Several studies have shown that beauty is not entirely in the eye of the beholder. Some guidelines can be set up on how something can be perceived as visually appealing, similar to the Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week TechVideo, 2013 #06 - SR 3D Builder adds pneumatics support

From time to time, when there is significant progress or new features being released, I use to show some videos from SR 3D Builder, by Sergio Reano.

It is the case again! And so I've a couple of videos to show you this time.

After 4 month of work and some preview videos, Sergio has finally released his latest version of SR 3D Builder (Ver. 0.8.3.18).
There is a long list of new features and fixes you can find in this new release. For details, have a look to the official website.

Looking at the two videos included in the presentation of this new release, you can immediately notice the news: Pneumatics support!
With this application you can not just create your models using pneumatic components, but you can also animate your model with them, like they would work in real life. Only a part of the whole LEGO pneumatic components are currently supported, but the other will be also added in further releases.

Another characteristic of the application is the computational capabilities improvement: the animation of the 8258 Crane Truck is computed in real time while the video is recorded. It runs on a Intel DualCore 3GHz PC with 4GB RAM with an old enough nVidia GT8800 and the fluidity of movement is amazing for a nearly 1900 parts LEGO Technic model.



Bravo!!


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!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

TBs TechPoll 36 - Which Exclusive Color?

Once the Boss from rm88, was the winner for the LEGO Technic 2012 Competition, we might expect this or something very similar, to make into an official LEGO Technic set by this summer.



According to the competition initial premisses we should expect this to get also some exclusive and cool elements, which will likely mean some Technic elements with exclusive color(s).

I've made a short list of colors not being part of actual mainstream LEGO Technic sets, and made a poll to let you choose which would be your favorite colors (mostly from the current LEGO Color Palette), that you would like to see appearing in some of the Boss parts.

The colors added into the poll are (some of these were used in Technic sets from the past):
  • Bright Pink
  • Dark Azure
  • Dark Blue
  • Dark Green
  • Dark Purple
  • Dark Red
  • Dark Tan
  • Dark Turquoise (Teal) - This one seams quite popular among some of you, but it is not in the current LEGO Color Palette.
  • Lavender
  • Magenta
  • Medium Blue
  • Olive Green
  • Purple
  • Reddish Brown
  • Sand Blue
  • Sand Green
  • Tan

You can vote for more than one, but if there is none of your choice listed, you can also leave a comment to this post, with your preferred colors.
Of course there are also other colors commonly used for LEGO Technic elements, but which were never used for some elements (e.g. All new panels in DBG and some in Blue...)

Tell us also in the comments, which parts of the model, you think would be nice to get some exclusive colors? Panels, Wheels, Seats, Chassis, Decorations, whatever...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week TechVideo, 2013 #05 - Land Rover Defender 90, in a red version

Jaap Kroon from The Netherlands, made a Red version of his Land Rover Defender 90.

The original version was the 2nd most supported in the innititial phase of the LEGO Technic 2012 Competition. Unfortunately didn't made into the second phase, likely because it clearly violated one of the competition rules, which stated that IPs wouldn't be allowed.

The red version has some differences to the original, namely in the suspension. Also it uses PF XL-motors, instead of the L-motors in the original.
You can observe how it performs against the elements, in the nice video below.



Find more from Jaap at his own blog, JaapTechnic and also at Rebrickable.


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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