Jetro's blog

42063 - B-Model

LEGO has published a press release to announce the B-Model for the 42063 - BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

This licensed model is part of the 1H2017 line-up which includes a total of 10 models. What's special about the B-Model is that it is not only quite different from the main model, but has been designed together with the BMW motorcycle team. In addition, it is the first time a Technic B-Model has had its own press release.

Below is the official press release and a few imigas of this exciting model:

Munich, February 16th 2017 – BMW Motorrad partnered with LEGO® Technic to transform one of the best motorcycles in the world into a LEGO model. The BMW Motorrad R 1200 GS Adventure model celebrates innovative design and engineering. A pure building adventure in 603 pieces. The alternative model as part of the typical LEGO Technic 2-in-1 building set is now taking this icon one step further – into the future.
In a very creative and inspirational atmosphere design teams from BMW Motorrad  and   LEGO   Technic   joined   forces   and   jointly developed the
LEGO Technic Hover Ride complete with innovative functions and the signatory GS flyline allowing all fans to rebuild the BMW Motorrad R 1200 GS Adventure into a unique design concept model that removes all limits to motorcycles and allows imagination to fly without vesting technical plausibility.
“What would happen if we designed a bike together? What would happen if we removed all limits for the alternative model? So we set the BMW Motorrad and LEGO Technic design teams a challenge, a challenge that has resulted in this amazing bike. Collaboration between our two teams was driven by passion and respect for the DNA of each other’s brands. It was fantastic to see how engaged and inspired each team was by working together, but I don’t think either of us ever imagined that this project would turn out as it did. I guess it just proves that you can create anything with LEGO Technic. Even the future”, says Andy Woodman – Senior Design Manager for LEGO Technic.
“It was a great idea and a superb creative challenge to develop a fictitious model from the parts of the LEGO Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure set. Our concept not only incorporates the BMW Motorrad design DNA with typical elements such as the boxer engine and the characteristic GS silhouette, it also draws on the LEGO Technic stylistic idiom”, says Alexander Buckan, Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design.
The life-size model of this design concept Hover Ride will be presented today during the LEGO World event in Copenhagen and will travel afterwards to different locations in Denmark and the “BMW Welt” in Munich.
The model will retail for €49,99

LDraw All-In-One-Installer 2016-01

Want to start creating digital models of your MOCs and want a simple solution to install e erything you need in one go? Use the LDraw All-In-One-Installer and you'll be done in no time. The latest version is now available and includes the following updates:

The AIOI supports Windows XP (Home and Pro), Windows Vista or higher (all versions). On 64-Bit Operating Systems it will install in the "Program files (x86)" folder. The Installer will NOT run on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT Ver 4, 2000, or XP below SP2.

It contains the following changes:

* Update to Parts Library 2016-01 (published 31.12.2016)

* Update to MLCad.ini 2016-01

* Update to LDView 4.2

* Update to LPub3D

* Update to LeoCAD 0.83.2 - 9306

* Update to LDCad 1.6 beta 1a

* Update to Offline Parts Catalog 2016-01

* Addition of LICreator 3.0

You can download the AIOI from:

Home > Help > Get Started > LDraw All-In-One-Installer

Many thanks to all the programmers who contributed to this release.

Willy Tschager

( Content Manager) 2016-01 Parts Update

The LDraw Team has announced the latest parts update for the LDraw Library of Parts. Below you can find the complete announcement which includes links for downloading:
The 2016-01 LDraw Parts Update has been now been released. This adds 572 new files to the core library, including 475 new parts and 43 new primitives. This update also includes updated versions of the colour configuration files (LDConfig.ldr and LDCfgalt.ldr) thanks to enthusiasm of Sven v. Beuningen and the co-ordination of Willy Tschager and Magnus Forsberg.

Thanks are of course due to all the part authors who created or corrected parts for this release, including several first-time authors. The reviewers also play an important role in keeping files moving through the parts tracker and deserve just as much credit. 

You can preview the new parts in 2016-01 here, download the zip-file update or Windows install package here. Alternatively you can use the LDView menu option File | Check for Library Updates... to install the update.

Please accept our apology for this being the only parts update of 2016. 

The LDraw Team

Humble LEGO Bundle Extras

There's still a little over 2 days on the clock for the current Humble Bundle — the perfect opportunity to get a great selection of No Starch Press LEGO books for vitually no money and help a charity in the process.


Review: The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide, 2nd Edition

The LEGO book publishing business is flourishing. Hardly a month goes by without a couple of new titles being released. There are titles for every type of fan: from step-by-step instructions for just about anything you can imagine to collections of MOCs, from mini scale to LEGO MINDSTORMS.
In the segment of books dedicated to LEGO Technic there are two household names: Yoshihito Isogawa and Sariel. Both of them have not only written go-to manuals for this theme, but are also respected builders and part of the international AFOL community. Of course, HispaBrick Magazine has reviewed their respective titles. Back in 2013, we published our review of the first edition of The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide and the conclusion at the end of the review stated that this was “Probably the best Technic book for any builder, independent of their level. A must have for your collection.”
If you are a Technic builder (or would like to become one), read no further – go get your copy of this book and start studying it! If you already have the first edition of this book, let me give you a couple of good reasons why you should consider getting the second edition.
The second edition of this “bible for the Technic builder” contains 70 pages of extra material. There are several reasons for this increased page count. For starters, the second edition contains four completely new chapters. “Part I: basics” now has a chapter dedicated to wheels, which in a sense is an expansion of the already existing wheels chart on Sariel’s website.[1] It explains reasons for choosing one wheel over another and even ventures into non-LEGO alternatives..
“Part III: motors” has a new chapter about the LEGO RC system. The chapter not only explains how the system works, but also how it compares to Power Functions. Although the system was only used in a few LEGO Technic sets and was discontinued over 10 years ago, the addition of this chapter really completes this section of the book.
The final two additions are chapters 21: planetary gearing and 22: 3D printing custom pieces in part IV: advanced mechanics. Also in this case, the additional information really rounds off what is available and possible in LEGO Technic at this time.
These four chapters combined only make up 28 pages, meaning there are an additional 42 pages of new material to be found in the book. There are updates and additions to 13 of the original 21 chapters. A lot of the text has been revised and rewritten to make it clearer, adding tons of information.
A case in point is chapter 6: gears and power transmission basics, which virtually all the illustrations have been updated to make them clearer. It now also contains a table with gear ratios for quick reference. Throughout the book new LEGO elements have been included in the descriptions and explanations and there are additional step-by-step instructions for a number of mechanisms, like a small and a large virtual pivot steering system.
If you are a Technic fan or build with LEGO Technic elements (e.g. for use in MINDSTORMS), The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide, 2nd edition should be at the top of your shortlist of must-have titles.

New Humble Bundle with LEGO books

NoStarch once again collaborates with Humble Bundle, in the creating an excellent opportunity to stock up on your LEGO book collection and donate to charity at the same time: The Humble Book Bundle LEGO


The LEGO Animation Book

LEGO Animation is becoming more and more popular. There are more and more YouTube channels with stop motion LEGO stories and even recent ReBrick contests have included animation challenges. The LEGO Animation Book – Make your own LEGO movies! (no starch press 2016) was written by two outstanding LEGO Stop-Motion creators – by David Pagano and David Pickett – and provides the perfect introduction to this exciting way of using LEGO in a novel and creative way. In their own words, the aim of the book was to create a “definitive reference for folks of all ages and skill levels”. Have they succeeded? Let’s take a closer look at their book and find out.
Stop motion is a complex art that, like many other arts and crafts, takes time, patience and skill. The LEGO Animation book is very much a hands on manual and is set up in such a way that you can start animating from chapter one, with only the bare basics. The tone of the chapter is accessible and entertaining. It truly is a book written for an audience ranging from the “8-year-old YouTuber to the 45-year old AFOL”. After setting the stage, introducing the basics, each chapter digs deeper into a specific area of LEGO animation, broaching more and more complex areas of stop-motion filmmaking. 
Throughout the book, each concept is illustrated with pictures and stills from the companion film, The Magic Picnic. This example stop motion film is used to explain different techniques and the book contains a series of pictures of the sets and technical setup used to create the film. The authors of the book also turn up occasionally in the shape of minifigs, offering some additional advice and ideas. The central pages contain building instructions for the puppet used on the cover of the book. All these practical visuals make for colourful pages that are attractive to read, whether you want to dig deep into the subject or just pick out a paragraph or two.
The book not only covers “obvious” techniques like body poses and walking cycles or how to set up your studio and build a background. It goes much deeper and also covers subjects like how to convey expressions with body posture and animation or how to plan and put together a script and storyboard for a brickfilm. Last, but not least, there is lots of technical advice from what kind of software or camera to use to how to add sound and digital effects. 
Whether you have just started or already have some experience making brick films, The LEGO Animation Book is a must have tool to take your stop-motion efforts to the next level. And even if you have never made a brick film in your life, after reading through this book you will be primed to get started on the LEGO movie of your dreams.

Review - The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book

The second No Starch Press title of the season (after Tiny LEGO Wonders) is also about tiny builds, but with a completely different angle. Chris McVeigh presents a series of miniature builds that serve (mostly) as Christmas ornaments.
The book contains 15 builds. Each build starts with a nicely set picture of the model, followed by an inventory with LEGO part numbers. 
The step-by-step instructions that follow are clear and easy to follow and always on the same festive, light-green background.
The book has a contents page, but there is no visual reference to the models and I found it quite challenging to remember the difference between the Barrel, the Ball, the Bow and the Lantern, to name several of the “ball-shaped” ornaments in the list. The fact that all the pages are the same colour makes it slightly less easy to locate the start of each model.
There is really only one page with text in the book, the Introduction, which is a kind of postcard to the reader and an invitation to mix up the colours and check out the author’s website: for more ornament designs.
Of course I did, and I was surprised to find that most of the designs in the book are already available as free downloadable PDFs on the website, although for the most part with different names. Only the last three models are not (yet?) on the website [1] and they are also some of my favourites: the computer, the camera and the burger. 
The great thing about these builds is that with a few exceptions they use standard parts that are easily obtained. They also include a couple of nice building techniques, but at the same time, these are simple though fun builds.
The book is beautifully bound in a hard cover and looks like a perfect holiday present. 
[1] It turns out thses models are in fact on the website, just not in the Ornaments category, but under Tech and Food!

Review - Tiny LEGO Wonders

It’s that time again: No Starch Press kicks off a new series of LEGO themed books and the very first in the series is Tiny LEGO Wonders. 

Goodbye Seymour Papert

Last Sunday, July 31, Seymour Papert passed away at the age of 88. Papert was the first LEGO Professor of Learning Research and inventor of LOGO, the first programming language for children.

Seymour Papert worked closely with LEGO on the development of the first generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS, but that was not his only contribution to the company. His theory of learning, called constructionism, had a profound impact on what is now known as LEGO Education.

On the occasion of his death, HispaBrick Magazine has republished an article from HBM016 about the evolution of LEGO MINDSTORMS in which Seymour Papert plays an important role.

You can read the article here and download HBM016 (or any other edition of the magazine from our dowloads page

Upcoming LEGO titles

no starch press is presenting its line-up of LEGO related books for this summer, kicking off with a book by Mattia Zamboni, titled Tiny LEGO Wonders.
You might recognise his name from an earlier no starch press title we reviewed as he prepared the beautiful building instructions for The LEGO Build-It Book (1 and 2) with models by Nathanael Kuipers (reviewed in HBM017 and HBM018 respectively).
Build-it books seem to be all the rage as some of the other titles that will be released shortly include Geeky LEGO Crafts – 21 Fun and Quirky Projects and The LEGO Christmas Ornament Book.
Stay tuned for more information on all of these and some other exciting titles soon to be revealed. And remember, you can use the discount coupon code HISPABRICK on any of the upcoming titles to get a 30% discount!!

42056 LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Set number: 42065
Set name:    Porsche 911 GT3 RS
# of parts:    2704
The growing size of the Technic flagships appears to be an unstoppable trend. The LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS completely obliterates all previous records for size and sets the bar almost 50% higher than the previous model. In a couple of months even that record will be history, but until then I can boast I have the largest official Technic set ever.

BlueSmartControl - Automate your LEGO creations

Recently I’ve had a chance to test the latest versión of an exciting new platform that allows you to control your Technic (and other motorised) creations via Bluetooth. The product is called BlueSmartControl or BSC as the developers abbreviate it. Up to now, the product wasn’t commercially available, but recently a Kickstarter camapign was lauched to fund the product and so I decided write an entry on our blog.

21305 • The Maze Review

Without a doubt, the old-school mechanical mazes, where one had to carefully navigate a ball through a treacherous path, were among the most common items on the children's Christmas wishlists for decades. While nowadays less common in their original wooden form, thanks to the LEGO Ideas programme they have recently been reincarnated as a new LEGO set.
If you are familiar with the originals, the similarity of their LEGO counterpart has surely not escaped you. The colours, the layout, the wheel controls at the sides, and even the rotating mechanism are precisely reconstructed, and offer the very same functionality.

LDraw All-In-One-Installer 2015-02

A new version of the All-In-One-Installer for LDraw has been release (2015-02), which contains pudated versions of a number of programs and the latest LDraw parts library. 
This is the full announcement::
An updated version of the LDraw[1] All-In-One-Installer, in short AIOI, has been released. 
The AIOI supports Windows XP (Home and Pro), Windows Vista or higher (all versions). On 64-Bit Operating Systems it will install in the "Program files (x86)" folder. The Installer will NOT run on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT Ver 4, 2000, or XP below SP2. 
It contains the following changes:
Upgraded to LDraw Parts Library 2015-02
Upgraded to LPub3D
Upgraded to LDCad 1.5
Added LSulpt 0.5.0
Added tons of OMR-Models
Lets you decide the location of the LDraw parts library
You can download the AIOI from: 
Many thanks to all the programmers who contributed to this release. 
Willy Tschager 
( Content Manager)
[1] LDraw is an open standard for LEGO CAD programs that allow the user to create virtual LEGO models and scenes. You can use it to document models you have physically built, create building instructions just like LEGO, render 3D photo realistic images of your virtual models and even make animations.