With the lockdown keeping us all confined to our homes giving us way too much spare time I decided to release the instructions of the Tomcat I built a couple of years ago. At nearly 4000 pieces and with a myriad of functions it is a build that will keep you occupied for quite some time I hope. You can buy the instructions in my webshop. When you have two sets of 42066 you’ll have about half of the pieces needed to build this model.
I wrote a longer article on all the functions here, but here is a short summary of the functionality:
Motorized landing gear
Motorized landing gear bay doors
Motorized Gatling gun
Motorized onboard pneumatic pump
Motorized swing wings
Motorized cockpit canopy
Pneumatic arrester hook
Pneumatic air brakes in the wing and on the fuselage
Pneumatic leading edge slats
Pneumatic intake bleed doors
Pneumatic delta wings
Pneumatic switch to choose between the inboard pneumatic pump and the of board manual pneumatic pump
Manual joystick that is connected to the control surfaces
Differentially operating elevons
Manual ejection system. This will eject the canopy and the two chairs
After a long, long period of silence it is time to showcase some new models. One I already blogged about a while (actually over a year) ago, the other one is a non-exclusive commissioned build. Both of them are inspired by models of the same supercar manufacturer, but I am not allowed to use their name, so you’ll have to guess for yourself which company that is.
Let me start with the elder brother.
Il Toro Azzurro
This model came out of a cooperation with Marco van Overbeeke. Marco is a talented freelance automotive designer who has earned his stripes in the hypercar market. He designed the bodywork, like he would for real cars and I converted that design into LEGO Technic. Here is the final result:
This car has a V10 in the front, a 4 speed sequential gearbox operated with flappy pedals at the steering wheel, a D-N-R switch in the console, independent suspension on all wheels, 4 wheel drive and of course all doors can open. But the feature that makes this build special is the 4 wheel steering. Not only does this car have 4 wheel steering, but it also changes behavior depending on the gear you are in. In first gear (low speeds) the wheels steer in the opposite direction, so you can turn in a tighter circle. In fourth gear (high speeds) the wheels turn all in the same direction, so you can go smoother switch lanes at high speed. A second special feature in this car is the fact that the bodywork is completely removeable from the chassis:
Instructions for this model are now for sale in my shop. The partslist can be found here.
The PF Tribute
The second blue brother is another supercar. Below it is shown in a dark-blue, medium-blue livery, but since the medium blue is full of rare parts I made instructions available for a dark-blue/white combo. Also this car is righthand drive, whereas the instructions are for a left-hand drive version.
It of course has the usual supercar features:
A V10 engine in the back
An 8 speed gearbox with separate D-N-R switch in the central console
Independent suspension on all wheels
Electrical flappy pedals, using a servo motor to switch gears
And it also has a couple more special features:
The front suspension can be raised using the LEGO PF IR remote control
The roof can open and close using the LEGO PF IR remote control
Especially the convertible roof mechanism is a joy to watch. Have a look at the video below to see it in action and keep in mind that only one button press is needed to complete the entire process of opening the deck lid, folding out the roof and closing the lid again.
Also for this model instructions are for sale in my shop. The partslist can be found here.
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.
Time for a post on a quick model I have finished some time ago, but didn’t get around to post about. It is the Spinner of the movie Bladerunner.
The model is motorized with three functions:
– Opening left door
– Opening right door
– Switching between fly modus and drive modus
The last function is actually a bit more intricated. It consists of the following movements:
– First the covers around the front wheels move outwards
– Then the covers rotate 90 degrees
– And at the same time the front wheels come down
After nearly 10 months
of hard work I am finally able to present the LEGO Technic replica of
the Liebherr LTM11200 crane. It is one of the biggest roadworthy
cranes in the world and I have tried to do it justice in LEGO as
This is actually a
redesign of the model I made in 2013. At that time I had designed the
carrier, the superstructure and the outer section of the boom. I have
gone through the entire design, updated it to improve on the weak
points of the original design and updated it to the newer parts that
are now available. I also designed the complete boom from the ground
When I started this
model I wanted to make it the most complex remote controlled model
that I could think of. At the same time I didn’t want to exceed the
limitations that the LEGO PF system set. Which meant no more than 8
motors could be used in the model.
They are equally
divided between the carrier and the superstructure. In the carrier
one motor is used for switching, whereas the other three are used to
drive different functions depending on the position of that switch.
It has two positions. In position 1 the three motors are used for
driving, steering and switching the steeringmode (you can steer
normally, or you can crabsteer). In position 2 the three motors are
used to expand the outriggers, elongate the outriggers and finally
extend the outrigger feet.
In the superstructure a
similar setup is used, only this time there are four positions for
the switch. Which gives 12 different functions that can be remotely
controlled. Of these 12 functions 8 are located in the superstructure
the boom via the cylinders
the boom via the rope-and-pulley system
the arm of the operator cabin
Rotating the arm
of the operator cabin
And 4 functions are
routed onto the boom:
Extending the 4
section boom *
stabilizer arms *
the supporting legs (needed in case the boom has to be transported
separately from the rest of the crane)
This model was always
intended to push the edge of the possibilities with LEGO Technic. And
unfortunately that edge pushed back. The model is incredibly complex
(as an example: it uses over 300 gears) and doing all that in plastic
proved to be too difficult for some functions. The functions with an
asterisk require manual assistance when operating. And believe me,
even though lifting the boom is possible by combining the cylinders
and the rope-pulley system, it is really scary to see how much force
is going through all that plastic.
Nevertheless, I feel that this model does not meet my quality standards. I therefor decided that I will offer instructions at 50% of the intended price, which means you can buy the instructions for 37.50 euros instead of 75 euros. You will be able to pay full price for the instructions if you want to encourage me to keep pushing the Technic boundaries with my upcoming models.
A big thank has to go
to Merlijn Wissink who spend a huge amount of time on making the
instructions. The instructions are done to LEGO standards and fill a
book of 1174 pages. We did our best to make sure that every step is
clear, but as you can imagine I might have missed something. Please
let me know if there is anything unclear and I’ll try to explain what
The partslist on
Rebrickable was also compiled with the utmost care, but also here
errors could have been made by me. If you find out there is a piece
missing (or too much), please let me know and I will update the list.
I hope you enjoy
building and playing with this model as much as I did designing it.
The end result is a nearly one meter long mammoth that can reach up
to 2.5 m high. It is by far not the biggest crane made out of LEGO
Technic, but it sure is one of the most complex.
It has been quiet on this blog for quite some time. However that didn’t mean not much was going on. In fact a whole array of exciting models are going to appear in the coming weeks. They all happened to be ready around the same time.
I will kick off with my LEGO Technic version of the Millennium Falcon:
Since it is a LEGO Technic model it has a few working features. First of all the top gun turret is fully articulated. By turning the controls you can rotate the gun 360 degrees in the horizontal plane, but independently it can also rotate from horizontal to vertical. This gives a full hemisphere coverage above the ship.
The landing ramp is also remotely operated. By turning the control on top of the corridor to the cockpit the ramp lowers and closes.
The radar dish can be adjusted as well, but has no special controls.
This model was made as a commission without an exclusivity clause. I therefore made instructions for a slightly adjusted version (with fewer rare parts, but with the same functionality). Instructions can be bought in my webshop.
Time for another update on my Liebherr crane. I have made a first version of the 4 stage boom. The thing is massive! It weighs over 4 kg, it has 90 long panels (3×11 curved, 3×11 flat, 5×11 flat) in it and it reaches 2.5 m when fully extended.
Due to the weight it is now impossible to lift the boom with just the cilinders. So I added a system with rope and pullies to lift the boom. There is some fearsome bending of axles in the current setup when the boom is lifted, but it works.
I devised a new way of extending the boom to maximize the size of the inner sections, but also this system is struggling with the sheer weight of it all.
Rotating the superstructure has also become impossible with out a helping hand.
On the plus side, the whole crane can stand on it’s own when fully extended, which is an awesome sight. Also the speed of the ropes is not as slow as I feared.
Even though it looks finished, it is not. There are still quite some things to improve:
The rope for lifting the boom and the extention of the cilinders need to go to the same group of RC operations (if you remember there are 4 sets of 3 functions each in the superstructure).
A driving mechanism for extending the inner sections needs to be made that is strong enough (at least it is self braking now)
The structure where the pulleys in the rear are connected to needs to be strengthened (there are even some form-locked constructions that are being pried apart)
The stabilizer arms need to lift further upwards
The small LA’s in the stabilizer arms need to be replaced with big LA’s (that will bring the total amount of big LA’s in this model to 12)
The rope for the hook needs to be properly guided along the boom
The legs to put the boom on when moving the boom from the carrier to a transport wagon need to be designed and added
Here is the heavy road configuration version (without the extra pulleys to lift the boom):
Finally I am pleased to announce that the work on instructions has started. So please stay tuned.
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: