Friday, September 26, 2014

42030 Behind the scenes

In a couple of days we got the teaser and the Behind the Scenes video for the 42030 Remote-Controlled VOLVO L350F Wheel Loader.
These videos are always very interesting and informative on certain aspects of the LEGO sets design process, commercials production and many other unseen details. We didn't see one since the commercials production of 42010 / 42011 Pullback Racers [1], but the best of bread up to now were the videos with Markus Kossman, produced for the 8275 Motorized Bulldozer, after its introduction in 2007 along with the new Power Functions system back then.

This time we first got a Behind the Scenes teaser,

Immediately followed by the real stuff.
Here we see a lot of known faces, can become aware about some details on how the LEGO and Volvo collaboration went through, and how does Jeppe drives and digs up one of the heaviest machines in earth...

But we also get to see some details about the photography studio, sets boxes' artwork production and mock-ups printing, or if you pay some attention you can see sketch models, early prototypes or mockups for new parts and 3D prints for the definitive ones.

There is even a nice poster from the upcoming 42039 LMP Racer on the wall...

A few weeks back we got to see also a couple other videos, with Milan Reindl about this and another 2H14 model, but I cannot embed them here. These were not published at LEGO's YouTube channel and latest LEGO content management system turns it virtually impossible to retrieve the videos on their website...

Although you can see them at the movies section from LEGO Technic website.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week TechVideo, 2014 #38 - Han's new 2014 model (Dragline Crawler Crane)

Han Crielaard (Designer-Han) is a seasonal builder who uses to present us a new large model of his creation, roughly every year.

2014 brings us a Dragline Crawler Crane, made in a very nice and unusual color scheme (green + orange).
It has a very realistic appearance, either from from aesthetic or functions point of view.

A large number of PF elements were used in this model to assure all the functions are motorized and remotely controlled.

  • 5x PF M-motors
    • 2 motors for Swing
    • 1 motor to Lift/Lower the boom
    • 2 motors for decoupling the drums - Free fall mechanism

  • 2x PF L-motors (Crawl)
  • 2x PF XL-motors (Wind/Unwind two drum winches)
  • 4x IR-Receivers (2 motors being connected to the same output)
  • 2x PF Battery Boxes (1x Rechargeable; 1x AA cells)

This includes many features and main characteristics are:
  • Length for transport, only A-frame + boom foot: 65cm
  • Height superstructure: 18cm
  • Width undercarriage: 21cm
  • Length boom (3 sections): 92cm
  • Height with raised boom (3 sections): 98cm
  • Boom angle range: -10 till 80 degrees
  • Weight: 2,7Kg (including 2 battery boxes)
  • Lifting capability:
    • 250g (save range for full PF operations)
    • Max 500g (heavy stress on PF operations) 
  • Total number of parts: tba

Among all the features more or less expected to be present in such kind of machine, the one that most impressed me was the "Free Fall" mechanism whereof the drum winches are temporary released from their motors.which was the main requirement for this model to act as a real Dragline (you can see it in action from the video above).

For more detailed explanations about the model, its functions and development phases, you may read it all, at Han's website.

And if you're eager for the usual building instructions prepared by Han, 1Q2015 doesn't seem too far!


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, September 20, 2014

Technicopedia Update (1996)

I'm sure you didn't hear about Technicopedia here at TBs , for a long time.

...although after more than four years, Eric Albretch (Blakbird) made a long lasting update, which adds the models from year 1996, along with some other updates.
  • September 17, 2014:  Added a page listing the supplemental sets and detailed 8712 and 8714 Technic figures.
  • September 14, 2014:  Includes 1996 with sets 8207, 8223, 8230, 824, 8286, 8408, 8425, 8443, 8456, and 8480.  Fills in all missing LDraw files for all models 1977-1996.  Replaces all history pictures with computer renders.

This was also the year when the mythical 8480 Space Shuttle set was released. Hence I'm adding here one of those Eric's magnificent cut through renders, for this model.

You should not miss this opportunity to read about the whole collection of classics, recently added to Tecnhicopedia - History 1996.

So Eric, you have now just 14 years to catch up...

But hurry up!! Soon they will be 15...

Friday, September 19, 2014

SBrick tests latest prototypes

Vengit team as been testing their SBrick prototype v4, where they have fixed some issues from the previous versions, and presented us some videos about the progresses.
Watch them below.

Testing early WP 8.1 application for SBrick.

Testing SBrick v4 with an old style LEGO 9V power source, and the problem with original PF M-motor.

SBrick load & stress test

SBrick v4 radio range test

So it looks we're one step closer to get them produced.

You can follow the progress at SBrick Community.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

42030 Commercials

Just in case you have not seen them yet, here the new TV commercials for the 42030 Remote-Controlled VOLVO L350F Wheel Loader.

The standard version for young men, in English

And a second version for Men... in German, once this is a marketing campaign started in Germany a few years back - LEGO for Men.


Monday, September 15, 2014

The images from 1H 2015 LEGO Technic sets, you won't see here...

Mostly for the fun, this weekend I was doing a video with images from real life models, suggesting what the 1H 2015 LEGO Technic sets could be, based on their names which we got to know a couple of weeks ago.

It was done in good time, since the preliminary images leaked a few hours ago, together with images from a few other themes. I got them in very good quality this time, although very preliminary box artwork.
No PF signs, 1:1 reference pieces, part count and stuff like that.
Even some of the indicated age ranges are different from what we got to know before. Honestly both sources seem to have their own discrepancies.

There is virtually no red this time and even yellow got a very modest presence for a change.
This half main colors are: white, blue, orange and green.

There are also some new parts easily visible and eventually some others we can't distinguish from the preliminary boxes artwork

As you know we are not allowed here to publish or link any watermarked images like those leaked today, so I'm just going to do a brief comment on each model, based on what I can see. As usual I may update this post with further details in the coming days.

So let's see one by one. Notice the final sets names in English are not yet know, hence these are best guesses.

42031 - Platform

If we take the video above as reference, it would look similar to this.

Mostly black and yellow, it doesn't seem to have even steering. Only function seems to be the ability to lift the arm with a platform attached to the tip.

42032 - Compact Track Loader

White and black, but because it is a small model, the typical blue seat also stand-out.
It looks like the white Bobcat below and uses the same conventional arms on each side to lift the front bucket.

There is also a kind of gfork over the bucket, which I don't understand if it is to protect the driver, or it has some other function.
In terms of functions it is a push-pull tracked vehicle. It can lift / tilt the bucket and handle the fork independently.

42033 - Action Rocket Car

This is one of the two pull back models in 2015. Like foreseen it resembles a rocket car somewhat similar to the one below.

It is mainly white and blue, and it uses the first SYSTEM canopy I remember to see into a LEGO Technic set.
Functions won't go much further the pull back motor as usual, if any.
It uses the 11x3 curved panel version with 10 holes [Design ID: 11954]. These may look Dark Blue as in 41999 4x4 Crawler Exclusive Edition, but it might be an illusion and guess these are plain blue, which would mean a first of any of those panels in blue.
Some stickers around.

42034 - Action Quad

Something like this.

Mostly black with bits of yellow and fussy stickers...
Another pull back model for the year, which might feature steering, but don't know about suspension (eventually something heavily oversimplified).

 Wonder how these two will combine to form something together.

42035 - Dump Truck

If I recall it right this is the first heavy dump truck in the Technic portfolio.
Something like an entry level vehicle in the mining dumpers. Something like the Komatsu below or event a similar CAT.

It uses the 42024 Container Truck wheels and tires, but most noticeable fact is the presence of a new panel - a trapezoid which make the 5 height to 3 height panels slope transition quite well. Here in yellow, I'd call these as "11 x (5-3) Technic panels" for the moment.
It also includes a mono-cylinder engine... and no stickers with this one.

Functions here, seem to be HoG steering and container tipping, from the two gears visible.

42036 - Street Motorcycle

Well... it is a street bike an there is not much more to say about it.
Don't feel very attracted by the color scheme, which is primarily blue with some black panels and red highlights. Because of the lightning the blue it even look medium blue sometimes, but guess it will be blue in the end.
It has at least a two cylinder engine and the same front suspension and wheel/tires as used in the last motorbike (8051) from 2010.
No stickers in the image available, which is a bit unexpected. Maybe with the final version!?

42037 - Formula Off-Roader

Something like this, with the same prominent front suspension.

Color scheme is blue/lime - again the blue may look medium blue, but think it is a lightening illusion.
It includes steering, suspension to the 4-wheels and uses the same wheel hubs, wheels and tires as used in 42029 Motorized Pick Up Truck. It seems to use also identical or similar rear and front suspension setup, steering arms, etc...
The V4 engine camshaft seems quite exposedand there are some stickers around the drivers place.

42038 - Arctic Tracked Vehicle

A glorious large all orange vehicle.
It uses 4 tracked drive trains like those in the picture below, but is a bit different vehicle. It has a middle crane with rear cargo bay.
Guess the building process may turn a bit repetitive when it comes to the drive trains, as they seem all identical. The rear ones use suspension, though!

It seems we get the 11x3 flat panels also in orange now and some rare beams in orange too.
No stickers visible.

This is a very preliminary box artwork. There is no reference to any PF motorization, although there is still some hope for this to be a motorized set, or at least PF Ready with included instructions for motorization with 8293 Motor Set.
This is a PF Ready set. It includes instructions to be motorized with 8293 Motor Set.

42039 - Long Distance Race Car

And finally this semester flagship. It looks like an endurance Audi R18 e-tron quattro running in Le Mans, but obviously with a different color schema.

Green on the sides a bit like the second car in the picture below, and center LBG in the front and white in the rear. Cockpit looks black as far as I can see.

Most prominent novelty are the new arch large panels that make the fenders here. These seem to have two attachment points only and appear in green (front) and black (rear). Additionally there are several panels in green color, some of them never released in green before (11x3 flat, #5, #6, #17 and #18).
There seems also to be two new panels in the front, with a new size never released before - 3x9 curved with slope. These will fit exactly between the correspondent previous 3x7 and 3x11 panels. The new panels are green.

It uses the same wheel/tire combination as 8070 Supercar, with black wheels and inner stickers.
The headlights use 4 curved slopes [Design ID: 30602] never released in trans-clear before.

It includes also loads of stickers and it is something really new to the LEGO Technic assortment. :fixe:

As for the functions it might have steering, A V-Engine in the rear side and hopefully the engine cover can also lift, which is probably the function of the gear we can see at the right side in the bottom. Maybe there is something more, but it is hard to imagine what it could be only from the image so far available. Some fancy opening doors? Lights? This is what comes to my mind sudden.
Main doubt goes to whether there is 4-wheel suspension included or not. Ground clearance is really low as in real cars like these which leaves too less margin for suspension travel, although the wheels top distance to the fenders is pretty high.

This is a very preliminary box artwork. There is no reference to any PF motorization and for the price tag previously found (94,99€) don't think it will have any included PF elements. Hope goes for it being also PF Ready to motorize some of the functions whatever they are, including instructions for motorization with 8293 Motor Set, as well.
This is a PF Ready set. It includes instructions to be motorized with 8293 Motor Set.

And that's it for now! I'm sure you can find your way to the original images if you have not done so already.

Updated a few comments about some sets functions and confirmed which are the PF Ready sets.

Last Update: 2014.Sep.22 23:57 CET

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The LEGO Ambassador program will become the LEGO Ambassador Network

Soon, the LEGO Ambassador program as we know it will be deeply changed. Keith David Severson, Senior Manager of LEGO Community Support, has this to say:

The LEGO Ambassador Network will go LIVE November 1st, 2014
The LEGO Ambassador program was introduced in 2005 and has gradually evolved over the past 10 years. The LEGO Group considers the close dialogue with LEGO User Group (LUG) representatives globally extremely valuable. Due to the significant growth of the AFOL Community and increased interaction between LUGs and between LUGs and the LEGO Group, it has been decided to change the format of the LEGO Ambassador program and rename it to become the LEGO Ambassador Network (LAN). The LAN will continue to strengthen the LEGO Group’s relationship with the global AFOL community as well as provide new opportunities for AFOLs to better connect globally. The goal with the upcoming LAN is to offer LUGs the opportunity to become recognized by the LEGO Group. This recognition will put more structure and focus to the relationship and hopefully provide an even better basis for the LEGO Group to stimulate the interest in the LEGO® Hobby together!

A Fresh Start
When the new LEGO Ambassador Network goes LIVE on November 1st every LUG will need to apply for access into the program. This will allow access into the new LEGO Ambassador Network Forum site and 2015 LEGO Community Support Programs. After December 30th, 2014 the current LEGO Ambassador forum will be closed.

Today’s announcement includes the release of three documents in which the AFOL Community can read and learn about all the details of the new “LEGO Ambassador Network”.
• LEGO Ambassador Network
• LEGO Ambassador Network - FAQ
• LEGO Ambassador Network - APPLICATION – Recognized LEGO User Group
• LEGO Ambassador Network - Release Form

What’s Next
Applications to sign up as a Recognized LEGO User Group will not be accepted until September 1st. Any questions or applications can be sent directly to the regional community coordinator/manager.

• North & South America
o Kevin Hinkle – Senior Community Coordinator

• Asia, Pacific, Russia, Eastern Europe
o Jan Beyer – Community Manager

• Europe and Online LUGs
o Kim Thomsen – Community Coordinator

• All other regions
o Keith Severson – Senior Manager, Community Support

In case your LUG wishes to apply for the LAN, you can find important documents here:
LEGO Ambassador Network
LEGO Ambassador Network – FAQ
LEGO Ambassador Network - APPLICATION - Recognized LEGO User Group
LEGO Ambassador Network - Release Form

This is the timeline for the process:
September 1st – LUG’s can start submitting applications.
Mid October – All LUG’s which have been approved will start receiving login information into the new forums
November 1st – GO LIVE
Please reach out to your regional community manager (Kim, Kevin, Jan) if you have questions regarding the sign-up process.

Also, Jorgen Vig Knudstrop (The LEGO Group’s CEO) will give an interview about the LAN, somewhere around mid-November. So, this is a great opportunity to have your questions about the program answered! They have to be sent in before the 15th of October, so, to have time to aggregate and forward them, I’d like to receive your questions before the 10th of October.

Here’s hoping that the new LEGO Ambassador Network will further even more the links between LEGO fans and The LEGO Group!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tire Wide Ø81,6x44

As you know LEGO released a new tire with set 76023 The Tumbler, from DC Comics Super Heroes theme.
Its characteristics will make it very useful for certain Technic models (either official sets or MOCs), I'm sure!

Hence I decided to make a video to show these tires more in detail.

Because I'm not used to do such kind of videos where I speak and my English is also not very good, I didn't get much happy about this and decided to make a post to complement with some extra info not shown in the video.

First lets list the main data regarding these new tires.
  • Design ID: 18450
  • Element ID: 6084656

  • Dimensions: Ø81,6 x 44 mm
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Soft rubber
  • Weight: 38g
  • Tread pattern: Checkboard or Crossblock
  • Compatible with wheels: Ø43,2 x 26 mm (56908 or 41896)
  • Unit Price: Country dependent (e.g. UK 8,51GBP, Germany 9,85€, Portugal 10,18€). Search for your price at LEGO Bricks & Pieces

The new tires have an overall racing appearance and may look nicely in some sports cars, like formula cars (although the tire tread is not a perfect fit) or endurance race cars.

They present the same outer diameter as other LEGO tires like: straight (2997, x1825), thin sporty (32196), balloon (45982) and motorcycle (6596, 2902). All these have different widths and use different wheels.

These tires have a kind of "rumbling" appearance because they protrude significantly sideways, from the wheels where they fit. This fact caused concern among some AFOLs, fearing such design using tiny wheels means there will be not enough room inside the wheel to create accurate steering and authentic suspension setups. Low profile tires with large and deep wheels are commonly  perceived to allow the steering knuckle and ball joints to align with the inner face of the tire as it happens with real cars.

I think this is a misconception because there are several LEGO tires which do a very good job in this regard.
And the Tumbler tire also got a large inner chanfer to allow space for the wheel linkages at the proper place as we can see from the image below.

In the pictures below you can also see how the tires conceal almost completely the steering gear, looking at it from the front view. I also wanted to show this does not differ from the old steering gear (x873c01), the yellow one in the images. For these images I've attached the steering gears to both sides just to highlight these LEGO wheels are usable from each side interchangeably, although they have Negative Offset.

Still I wonder about the newest steering gear design from LEGO, which moved the steering knuckle and ball joints 1L away from the wheel center. Although this may affect differently the several suspension types one may want to use

Below I wanted to show how much more (easily) compressible the new tires are and how it differs from other tires. Although it may not have significant impacts on LEGO vehicles within reasonable weight ranges.

To finish I'd like to show how the new Tumbler tires fit with 42029 Customized Pick-Up Truck front axle.
These behave perfectly and like the original tires without steering or suspension limitations, once there is enough space for everything to move as you can see from the image on right side.

One can here also easily observe the consequences caused by the new steering gears design, in the double wishbone geometry. The suspension arms became much more apart which I personally don't like to see, but it probably turns to be more realistic.

Given this I think the new wheels are very welcome to the new 42039 Long distance Race Car, if it happens to be the case.

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