2013 was another good year for my LEGO portfolio, though not quite as prolific as 2012. I created 7 MOCs over the course of the year, which I guess is respectable considering the size and complicity of some of my MOCs. As a recap, this year I completed the Spitfire, the Talon Track, the CargoMaster Crane, the Cat 573c Feller, the Bedford MWD, the Sod Farm, and the MAN TGS. I also spent some time creating instructions for my popular T-72 and the Kenworth T55.

Some thoughts as I look forward to 2014.

First, instructions seem to be very popular. Various people ask for instructions often, and I suspect this is consistent with other builders. While many of my MOCs have instructions freely available, I have decided to start charging $5 USD for some, particularly the more complex and unique MOCs. The reality is that creating instructions is a lot of work. I hope to keep offering a mix of both.

Second, I have been enjoying building more MOCs that do not include Power Functions. While creating another Trial Truck is always exciting, creating something smaller with lots of features has been very exciting. Still some of the works I enjoyed the most both in building and in playing are my 4×4 8081, the Sod Harvester, the Mini Feller, and the MAN TGS. Also, these builds are more accessible to other builders who may have a smaller collections. The simplicity allows them to build one of their own. Good design should not require a large collection.

Third, I really do enjoy the big modeling projects. The Spitfire is my proudest accomplishment, but yet there are many parts of the airplane that can be improved. While the Spitfire was much better than my FW-190, I can do even better on the next one. As I write this I am in the planning stages for something large and functional to follow in the steps of overly-large brick based Technic airplanes.

For 2014, let me publish some goals.

Attend Brickworld 2014, and bring the following:

Create a Studless Supercar with a short-throw 6 speed shifter.

Model another large plane. I have to use those dark green parts for something.

Make another working helicopter.

Design another small forklift.

Build another Trial Truck with independent suspension; 6×6 or 8×8.

Two small projects. These usually develop organically, so planning for them is a little hard. But each will be not more than 500 parts.

Also, 2014 will be my ten year anniversary of returning to LEGO from my Dark Ages. I hope to return to the set that brought me back, with a modified version of 8386.

Until these are completed, happy building, and thanks for visiting.

MAN TGS Tipper Crane

I like to have a LEGO MOC on my desk at work. I find it to be a good conversation starter for visitors. It also gives my fidgety fingers something to do while I am on the phone. Plus it’s just cool. After I finally removed my 4×4 8081, I figured it would be time to add something new.

The full gallery may be found here. Instructions may be purchased for $5 USD.  Buy Now Button


After a little research, I decided to make a MOC based on a MAN TGS tipper crane truck. I knew the MOC would not have any Power Functions, so I had the space to add a number of features. The truck would have 3 axles, a 4 function knuckleboom crane, three way tipper bed with drop sides, working outriggers, and of course working steering.

I started with the crane. It gave me a little trouble, but after trying countless linkages and connections, I came up with a simple design. I worked from the hook down to the truck. I started with the extending boom which was simply a 13L gear rack, and then added it to the main boom. I used a mini linear actuator (I love these) connecting to a simple linkage to the boom could rotate nearly 180 degrees. While the linkage could be a little more sturdy, it functions well and is controlled from a gear on the back of the crane. Finally, I mounted the second mini linear actuator directly on the turntable to lift the crane. This would be controlled with a gear on the back of the truck.

After the crane, I added the outriggers directly to the turntable. After toying with a lot of complex designs, I settled on something simple. Two 13L gear racks would move to out of the truck, and a pin with stop would be connected at the end and would move to stabilize the truck. I worked with the gearing for the stabilizers and the crane, and managed to get a working system. The center of the truck is pretty dense.

Next was the bed. I developed a simple linkage that would allow another mini linear actuator to tip the bed up. I connected the linkage so the bed could tip three ways. The whole system is three studs tall. At each corner of the bed, I added a simple connector so the bed could tip each way. The direction of tip could be adjusted based on which axles are removed. You can also remove a axle for each side, so contents could be dumped in three directions.

Finally, I worked on the body and the finishing of the truck. I think I got the look of the TGS pretty close, and added features like working doors, an exhaust pipe and an intake. Also, every Technic model in this scale needs to have blue seats, so I added them.

I wish the crane on the truck could support a little more, but other than that, I am pleased with the results. I really liked how the bed turned out. It’s simple and effective. And it all looks quite nice on my desk.

Until my next MOC (or MOD?), happy building.

Instructions can be purchased for $5 USD. Send and email to thirdwigg@gmail.com if you want a set.