Monday, April 27, 2009

Legoland visit

Legoland is a big theme park where almost everything is made of Lego. The first one was opened in 1968 in Billund, Denmark and since then there is only three more worldwide: California, Windsor (UK) and Günzburg (Germany). We visited the latter one with the family.

The facts:
  • It has a shop where you can buy bricks by the pound. 100 grams for 8 Euro. I swear, I only wanted to buy a couple of bricks... :)
  • You can buy every set, like these. But there are no bargains.
  • In the mini-world you can see Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Amsterdam and Switzerland too. Last year Berlin showed the Love Parade but this year Mr. Obama took over the place in front of the Reichstag with Frau Merkel.
But let's finish talking, take a look at the gallery!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Not Technic

When a man has daughters in increasing numbers, sooner or later he will be forced to invest in Lego that is not Technic. Like this:

A loving father is willing to much for the kids... More photos in the album.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Automatic gearbox from Sariel

What is a Lego gearbox good for anyway? How about an automatic one? Sariel has always great ideas, this video explains everything:

The original entry on Sariel's blog.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

8880 Super Car

Meanwhile I got a 8880 car in my possession too. I was thinking for a long time which one to get from the many super cars. Although I like the others too, the 8880 is special because it is still made of studded bricks and it has many working parts. Finally I have managed to get one.

The car has so many interesting details that I rather do not spend much time on how it was built. As a short summary, Grandma was here and played with the kids so that I can devote my day to it. At the end I succeeded.

How does it work? First, it has double wishbone suspension on front and rear. On the image above the blue items are the front wishbones. All wheels are driven, universal joints carry the rotation between the wheels and the differentials. The car has three of those - above you can see the front one but there is one in the rear and one in the middle too. In contrast to real all-wheel-drive cars there is no self locking feature, wheels can spin easily. But an owner of a Lego car can live with that.

The above picture also shows the gears of the gearbox. It is more sophisticated than
classic Lego gearboxes: there are freely rotating gears on two axes and moving the lever will attach them to the axles through special transmission rings. This set has 4 forward gears and no reverse but it has a fully functional neutral state. The lever can be operated the same way as on real cars. On the picture below shows the lever in fourth gear.

The car sports all-wheel steering as well: rear wheels steer in the opposite direction and less than the front wheels. It requires a good amount of force, there is no power steering :)

At the end of the drive chain there is a V8 engine driven by a real chain. The amount of moving parts can be felt when we try to push the car - it is much harder than with the 8458 racer. Engine brake is also realistic - the selected gear influences it a lot besides the speed of the pistons.

If you are interested in more visit the album too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Arvo Porsche

Besides Lego Technic the other thing that gets me excited is realistic and not too big models. Like this from the Arvo brothers:

How much time have they spent to put all the bricks in place? How could they get so many special bricks? And how could they build such a curvy thing from bricks?

And how could I have one too?

Via Brothers Brick.