Here is my next model, a 1:10 scale replica of the BMW X3. This model was made as a non-exclusive commission. It is my first model that uses SBricks to control the model.
My customer wanted to have a model that would have both a manual mode as well as an RC mode. And since the BMW X3 is a four wheel drive car with multiple drivetrain settings he would like to get that replicated as well. So inside there are four motors that are used to drive (2L motors), steer (1 M motor) and select the drive mode (1 servo motor).
The drive modes that can be selected are:
rear wheel drive
rear drive with driven center differential (effectively giving a 75-25 power distribution between rear and front axle)
four wheel drive
Next to the motors the model is also equipped with eight LEDs for the front and rear lights. The outer LEDs function as indicator lights as well as normal lights. Everything is controlled through an SBrick profile on your smartphone.
PDF Instructions are available in my webshop. JaapTechnic has made stickers for this model, these are available on his website. The partslist can be found on Rebrickable. A custom profile for the SBricks can be found on the SBrick site.
This time I have a model that is different in many ways. It may look like just another 1:10 scale LEGO Technic supercar, but it’s conception, the execution and what will happen to it are all different than normal.
It all started in May 14th 2018 when I sent a message to Grum64, a member of the Eurobricks forum. Grum64 is posting detailed accounts of the process of him building official LEGO Technic sets.
Now you could think that this is something many people do, but the special thing about him is that he is a C4/C5 tetraplegic. In layman terms, he is paralyzed from the neck down. Despite this massive handicap he has a cheerful, buoyant take on life. Even though it takes him weeks to assemble a set that I can build in a couple of hours, he keeps his spirits high and shows incredible determination to get the task done.
So when he finished the largest LEGO Technic model in existence at the time I sent him a message that I wanted to design something for him as a token of respect for him. I told him in the same message that I wouldn’t take no for an answer, since he is the kind of guy that would refuse such an offer.
As predicted he wanted to refuse, but since I didn’t give him that option he instead proposed to design a model and then auction it for charity. I agreed on the condition that he would determine the model. After careful deliberations he chose the Pagani Huayra.
We than quickly settled on the colourscheme of the BC version and the design could start. I don’t know whether it was due to the special circumstances, or because of the design of the real car, but I have never had a design that was such a joy to work on. From day one the design simply flowed from my fingerprints.
I started with the gearlever, since that is such a centerpiece in the design of the real car. I wanted to get the same functions in that lever as the real car has. That meant to design a lever that could move sideways to select between Drive and Reverse. With the LEGO gearbox elements that automatically gave a Neutral in between. When the lever is in the Drive position it should be possible to move it forward and backward to shift up and down.
I drew inspiration from a lot of different cars I had designed up to this point. The gearlever mechanism was inspired by the mechanism in my BMW 328 Hommage. The adjustable chairs with their own HoG’s are much like the ones in the Mercedes-AMG GT R. The HoG of the gearbox was the last addition to the design and was inspired by the similar HoG on the Aston Martin DB11.
One of the challenges of building LEGO Technic supercars is to make them stiff enough. For this car that was extra hard because there is no central column in the car. Normally that is a major part of the structural design. Instead the model uses torsionducts at the doorsteps. I had a similar design in the McLaren 675LT Spider, so I drew inspiration from that. The endresult is a model that is so structurally sound that you can lift it by the roof with hardly any flex in the chassis.
One of the joys of designing this model was the way the puzzle pieces continuously seemed to fall in place. In the real car for instance the gearbox is mounted transversally in the chassis to save space. I wanted to replicate that, because, surprisingly, that would save space. As a consequence it made a lot of sense to use the old type differential. And that meant that the whole rear axle could be built lower, because that differential is just a little bit smaller.
The cantilevered suspension setup was another such pleasant surprise. The old yellow triangle pieces seemed just perfect for the upper cantilevers. But that meant that the lower wishbones should have a length of 2.8 studs (2*sqrt(2)) to keep a parallel travel of the wheel. Using a 4×4 bent liftarm in the chassis a near perfect geometry was possible that gave a close to vertical travel.
I can continue with these examples, but I’ll restrain myself to just one more example. One of the (many) defining elements of the Huayra is the aerodynamics package that consists of flaps in the front and rear of the car. I wanted these to be in of course, which meant I needed to route two axles all the way from the front to the back. When it was time to add them I found that there were actually two 1 stud wide channels available in the chassis. If I would have designed for it they wouldn’t have been better placed.
The real Pagani is an amazing work of art. There are so many details that make this car unique it forced me to think about every part I added. The engine is a mix of carbon fiber, gold-coloured metal and big grey pipes, enclosed in a mesh of thin rods. I’ve tried to replicate it as truthfull as possible.
The rearview is just as expressive. There is no detail on this car that doesn’t immediately identifies it as Pagani. The signature 2×2 grid of exhausts, the slightly tilted lights and everywhere the ellipse shapes from the Pagani logo.
The little black panels above the upper blue line are the rear aerodynamic flaps. They are operared with the steeringwheel. That aforementioned blue line is actually made from parts that are not available in blue on the market, because LEGO never released them. I however had still a few in my collection from the time that I worked as a LEGO Technic designer.
The attention to detail is of course nowhere so visible as in the cockpit of this beautiful car. We chose a dark-blue and white interior with chrome accents and a few blue details to bring that BC colouscheme inside as well. This colourscheme is carried to the inside of the doors as well.
Of course there is also a video available on my youtube channel:
When the model reached the finishing stages Grum reached out to the Pagani company to see if they would like to sponsor our charity auction. To our delight they responded very positive. They in fact offered two huge computer drawings of the real Pagani Huayra BC, signed by Horacio Pagani himself. They will be added to the auction of course.
All in all this model was an absolute joy to design and build. As I said at the start, this model will be auctioned for charity, so you can become the owner if you place a bid. The auction will be held on Catawiki from April 19th-26th 2019.
Here is my latest commissioned model, the Ferrari Testarossa.
This car has been a childhood memory for me. I remember seeing it for the first time and I was blown away by it. It is really special that I have had the chance to make one in LEGO. As usual I have tried to add as many authentic features as possible:
– Independent suspension on all wheels
– Steering with Ackerman geometry and working steeringwheel
– pop-up headlights with a
– 5+R manual gearbox
– Flat V12 fake engine
– openable hood, doors, trunk
– adjsutable seats
– detailed engine bay & interior (with working glovebox 😛 )
If you like what you see and want to commission a model yourself, please pop over and apply for your own commission.
To finish a shot from the top to show the bodylines and a shot of the enginebay:
It is the Aston Martin DB9 Volante. The model is packed with features:
– Independent suspension on all wheels
– Steering with Ackerman geometry and caster angle
– A 5+R manual gearbox
– A V12 fake engine
– Adjustable seats
– Openable doors, hood and bonnet
– And a convertible roof
The roof mechanism is not automated like on my Ferrari 458 Spider, but it does fold itself in exactly the same way as the real car.
The doors use a special 4-link mechanism to make the door completely flush with the bodywork when the door is closed. I have made a small video in which I showcase the various functions.
Here is my next commissioned model, the Ferrari 458 Spider:
It is a 1:10 scale replica with the following working functions:
Steering with Ackerman geometry
Independent suspension on all wheels
A fake V8 engine
A 4 speed sequential gearbox
Openable doors, hood and trunk
It is a right hand drive model. I really enjoyed designing and building this model. The convertible roof was a particular difficult challenge, especially in combination with the gearbox and the engine that all had to fit in the space behind the seats.
I also made a small video to showcase the different functions. It can be found here.
It is time to present my next commissioned model. It is a 1:10 replica of the Mercedes-AMG GT R.
This time I also made a short video showcasing its functions.
This model features the following functions:
independent suspension on all wheels
steering with HoG and working steering wheel
V8 fake engine
working lights (with custom lighting bricks)
opening doors and hood
detailed interior and engine bay
a 4D+N+R gearbox
an active aerodynamic spoiler in the front which opens when 4th gear is engaged
four wheel steering with speed (read gear) dependent behaviour:
– in 1st gear the wheels steer against each other
– in 2nd gear only the front wheels steer
– in 3rd gear the rear wheels steer a bit with the front wheels
– in 4th gear the rear wheels steer with the front wheels
This model was a real challenge in terms of packing all this functionality into it. It has over 2200 parts, despite being a 1:10 model. The mistress is of similar scale, but has only 1600 parts, whereas the 1:8 DB11 has ‘only’ 2700 parts. Still, I am very pleased with the end result. Especially the gear dependent four wheel steering setup works like a charm.
This is the first model that has custom stickers (not shown since my client wants to build the model himself so I didn’t apply them) and custom lighting. Here are some shots with the lights on:
The model was commissioned with an exclusivity clause, so there will be no instructions.
Here is my next commissioned model, a Ford Focus ST:
It is in a smaller scale then I usually build. It still has the following features:
– Steering (with a virtual pivotpoint and Ackermann geometry)
– A 3 cylinder fake engine
– Opening bonnet, trunk and doors
– Adjustable seats
– Working steeringwheel
The model is very sturdy and can be handled from any angle.
The model is packed with half stud offsets to be able to capture the lines of the original car despite the smaller size.
This is a replica of the iconic Ferrari 308 GTSi. My client provided photos of his real life version of this car so that I could replicate it with all details (red grilles above the front wheels, extra lower lip below the bumper, tan leather interior, etc.).
It has the following features:
– Independent suspension on all wheels with anti-roll bars
– Steering with proper geometry (ackerman, kingpin inclination, camber, etc.)
– pop-up headlights (operated with a switch in the dashboard)
– adjustable seats (forward/backwards + recline forward/backwards)