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2011 Roundup & 2012 Plans

December 25th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Summary of another year of building and plans for the year ahead.

2011 was a good year for building and for being a fan of LEGO in general, with many new pieces becoming available and an amazingly ambitious 8110 Unimog set being released. For me personally, it was a busy year because I’ve spent large part of it working on my book that will be released in 2012, and therefore I had less time for building that usual. Still, 2011 resulted in 26 MOCs, which is quite a nice number.

The 2011 started with my biggest and most complex MOC so far: the Tow Truck 2, with 17 motors and nearly 19 meters of wires on board. In February I have undergone a surgery and it took me a couple of weeks to recover, resulting in just one simple MOC until April. In April I have started exploring a completely new area of building with the LEGO Monorail system, which is somewhat closed but still brings new challenges and possibilities, different than the ones associated with typical vehicular models. Later, in May, I have created first outdoor video of my MOC for a very long time, and one that I consider very nicely edited, so I will take the liberty of showing it here.

Also in May I have ventured into yet another building area: the marine vessels built entirely out of LEGO, first with my Quadramaran, and then with a demonic Trimaran one month later. The latter was also my first opportunity of making use of the LEGO RC unit – an element I have long wanted to have and finally managed to purchase. Sending it out on a lake for start was perhaps not the safest idea, but luckily it survived 🙂

June was an interesting month even without the Trimaran – I have failed at building a hamster-powered crane (the power supply was unwilling to cooperate)  and then I failed again at building a motorized sentry turret from the Portal game – I managed to make it look the way I wanted it to look, but I had to give up on most of the functions I wanted to include in it. Which is, I hope, a lesson for the future. The turret also happened to be my 100th MOC in my adult building career, and it also marked the moment when my YouTube accout hit 5,000,000 total views.

After not doing much in July, I have set my personal record by releasing 6 MOCs  in August. Among them was a Pushback Tug that has reached my goal of towing 20 kg of load with a LEGO vehicle, and two off-road vehicles (one using the 8110 set’s new suspension pieces) which failed to perform as expected, thus prompting me to finally quit participating Truck Trial races. I feel it’s a change for the better, especially since I keep filming these races and I can now focus on it  entirely. It’s worth mentioning than one of these two vehicles included a tiny vehicle inside it, controlled remotely through it, thus being something like a MOC inside a MOC. The rest of the year was less building-intensive with my book requiring more and more time; there were two small-scale tanks, a Monorail creation with 100 minifigures included, and my first vignette.

2011 was also a year I’ve become a YouTube partner. It does not change much in the way my videos are published – some of them will simply be released with some lame, royalty-free background music. I hope you can put up with this, as thanks to this I am able to get some money from YouTube, and they cover at least part of my LEGO expenses. It also seems that I’m getting more views being a YouTube partner, because I have over 7.2 millions of them now, at the end of the year, and that means 2.2 million views just since June.

At 5,999,598 total views halfway through September, the Rodent Overlord was pleased with my progress

All in all, I feel happy with how this year turned out – I have built more than I expected, and I think I’ve reached the goal of building more diversely than the year before. One thing I’m certainly unhappy about is the fact that I haven’t managed to finish a single supercar model, even though I got one mostly complete by the end of the year.

As for the 2012, some of my plans simply include building what I failed to build in 2011 – for example, the K2 Black Panther tank model and a model of the Rusich tank transporter to accompany it. I want the two of these to work together and perhaps I will manage to build them both in matching colours, which should look really well. It’s possible that K2 will be my last tank, at least for a longer while, and I’m planning to put together a roundup of all my tank after its release, because I feel that tanks are particularly good at showing my progress as a builder.

Among other 2012 plans are: a reach stacker, which I’ve been planning to build for really, really long, and an articulated Caterpillar hauler with unique ejector system. I would also like to make another try at building a huge model of a bucket wheel excavator, something I have abandoned two years ago when my model reached 7 kilograms and its chassis couldn’t support it properly. I think I’m now better prepared for such a challenge, and if I succeed, the result can be a truly impressive MOC, probably my biggest one ever.

Other “large” plans include an articulated Solaris Urbino city bus, the type I’m using to commute on a daily basis – I want to build it at large scale, which should be an interesting challenge. Just building a frame that will hold it together is challenging already. I would also like to try to work on something aesthetically pleasing by building a large model of the famous Mercedes Benz 540K Special Roadster, and finally I would like to build a large and complex fire engine based on the Volvo FH16 truck. I want to make it actually shoot water, and it should result in a good-looking and very functional model, something a little close to my aforementioned Tow Truck 2.

LEGO Technic Control Center

The 2012 is also the year of some new possibilities. I have recently managed to buy the LEGO Technic Control Center, which opens up a lot of options, including installing it on some large vehicle (such as the Caterpillar hauler mentioned earlier) and programming it to drive on its own. I have also acquired an EL wire, which can be interesting on the aesthetic side, and has, in fact, already inspired me to make two small and simple MOCs.

EL wire

I intend to keep trying out new things and new areas; some Monorail creations are very likely to come, and I would also like to try to build an amphibious vehicle – something that was suggested many times when I started with the marine vessels. As usual, I keep a few secret projects that are bound to come out into the daylight sooner or later, and I reserve the right to build things on a spontaneous impulse.

2012 is, last but not least, the year my book hits the shelves, and I hope it will live up to your expectations. I am often unable to share my knowledge in an accessible or efficient manner – there is a lot of people who expect me to somehow transfer it by e.g. YouTube comments – so it is my personal wish that the book can help you, guide you, teach you and inspire you, thus being of more use than any comment could be.

Finally, I should mention that I have developed a secondary hobby during 2011: playing a bass guitar. It’s something I enjoy no less than building with LEGO pieces, and while I’m unlikely to become skilled enough to pursue a musician’s career, it will certainly be taking some of my time. Who knows, it may even become a part of some MOC someday?

The culprit – Yamaha RBX 270 J

I feel good looking back at 2011 and even better looking forward at 2012. I want to thank you for following my work through this somewhat though and busy year, and I hope that 2012 will bring you at least some of the MOCs you wish to see.

Happy New Year 2012!


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  1. Adam
    October 23rd, 2012 at 20:58 | #1

    I hope to see Solaris Urbino 18 in your’s version 🙂

  2. bertolli
    April 22nd, 2012 at 11:01 | #2

    you’ve made a MOCception(a MOC in a MOC)

  3. Sariel
    April 15th, 2012 at 12:35 | #3

    Thanks, but:
    1. I’m not planning on another submarine
    2. If I did, it would use horizontal propellers, not ballast tanks
    3. I already have water pumping system, it’s trivial
    4. And I’m not going to submerge this system

  4. April 15th, 2012 at 11:57 | #4

    ‘set’ should be ‘said’

  5. April 15th, 2012 at 11:56 | #5

    Hey Sariel,
    I don’t know if you’ve worked out the mechanism to shoot water yet, but it can be a major step for your submarine. When you build a submarine, the density (Kg/M^3), should be equal to the density of water (around 1000kg/M^3 = 1kg/l). When you’ve achieved that, you’re constructions doesn’t sink nor does it float. This beign set, you can use your water pump (from the fire truck) to pump water into places that were filled with air previously. This makes the density higher/lower, so it will sink/float. Calculating the density can be done easily by putting parts of your construction in a bucket of water, and then filling the bucket. Then you take the parts out to see the difference. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but there is another builder who’s going to work on this (me).

  6. Sariel
    February 7th, 2012 at 21:57 | #6

    For example at Bricklink

  7. derek
    February 7th, 2012 at 19:31 | #7

    how to buy control center?

  8. Tony
    February 6th, 2012 at 01:28 | #8

    Hi Sariel, I am really looking forward to when you build the bucket wheel excavator. should be awesome!

  9. January 16th, 2012 at 17:19 | #9

    Wow, fantastic work. I just saw your steering system video from 2009 on you tube and followed the web link here.

  10. Sariel
    January 14th, 2012 at 13:15 | #10

    It will be using regular LAs, I will make it work with their size.

    Only if their insides got wet.

    Well, I need some snow for that and there seems to be none coming.

  11. jeppe
    January 14th, 2012 at 12:50 | #11

    hi sariel can you build a snowmobile and have a video of it in the snow?? i think that would be very cool 😀

  12. EpicTechnic
    January 13th, 2012 at 22:16 | #12

    Hi Happy new year! I drove my Lego Model of a tank in the snow and it worked pretty well. I am concerned that the motors will rust and battery box will get damaged, because they were exposed on the bottom of the tank and got dredged in the snow. will they become damaged?

  13. TLT803
    January 13th, 2012 at 22:08 | #13

    Hi, looks awesome! What scale will the container stacker be? Because if it’s longer than like, 20cm LAs will be to small for the cylinders. If that’s the case I can’t wait to see how you will make them!

  14. Sariel
    January 13th, 2012 at 11:20 | #14

    @Mladen Horvatic
    It should be out by summer. The title is not official yet.

  15. January 13th, 2012 at 11:17 | #15

    Hello Sariel,

    When is your book coming out? What will be its title?


  16. Sariel
    January 11th, 2012 at 18:30 | #16

    Yes, definitely. I actually have a working prototype for this system already.

  17. david301
    January 11th, 2012 at 17:19 | #17

    wil the k2 black panther have the elevate system for the roadwheels like the s tank (the real vehicle does)?

  18. sugus1
    January 6th, 2012 at 20:11 | #18

    Muchas gracias Sariel por compartir un año más tus genialidades con nosotros…

    … Un abrazo

  19. Sariel
    January 4th, 2012 at 13:48 | #19

    No, I don’t think it’s close to what I want to build.

  20. craig
    January 4th, 2012 at 12:38 | #20

    okay, but i just thought you could download instructions or pictures for inspiration, just a thoiught!

  21. Sariel
    January 4th, 2012 at 07:09 | #21

    I don’t have 8295.

  22. craig
    January 4th, 2012 at 03:12 | #22

    interesting idea about the reach stacker, maybe you could base it around the 8295 telescopic handler set, it looks similar to that except for the grab claw…

  23. Sariel
    January 2nd, 2012 at 18:17 | #23

    I haven’t really had the problem of Lego suspension limiting the size of the engine bay. But a typical MacPherson strut would be difficult to build with specialized Lego suspension pieces, and resorting to basic pieces will probably result in something big and not very strong.

  24. Dane
    January 2nd, 2012 at 17:34 | #24

    Hey Sariel

    Im an AFOL myself, but i confine myself to building models as close as real life as possible, including suspension, gearbox, and interior. I dont model the engine, instead swapping with a medium PF usually.

    My question however is, i’ve tried to find a way to construct a macpherson strut. Using the wishbone lego parts results in a very cramped engine compartment (im building fairly small scale, 1:8-10 ish). Do you ever tinker around with creating your own suspension systems, and have you thought about publishing? I’d really like your input on how to create a macpherson strut.
    My best bet is modifying one of the small springs, cutting off the black connector, and using an axle extender and towball thingy.

  25. kyle m
    January 2nd, 2012 at 15:35 | #25

    if you make an amphibious vehicle you should use the cargo boat as a base for the a.v.

  26. Sariel
    January 1st, 2012 at 18:55 | #26

    @George Creanga
    Thanks George! All the best to you!

  27. George Creanga
    January 1st, 2012 at 17:10 | #27

    Happy New Year! May the new year bring you lots of successful projects, happiness, joy and everything you wish for! Good luck with the book. Can’t wait for it!

  28. Sariel
    January 1st, 2012 at 10:08 | #28

    Well, I won’t be using polystyrene.

  29. Fin
    January 1st, 2012 at 09:18 | #29

    I once tried to make an amphibious vehicle that was based around a block of polystyrene

  30. kyle m
    December 31st, 2011 at 21:47 | #30

    its still a work in progress

  31. Sariel
    December 31st, 2011 at 19:48 | #31

    That looks like a fairly common European type of a heavy tow truck. I’ve seen plenty of these.

  32. Tony
    December 31st, 2011 at 19:29 | #32


    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/Falck_heavy_salvage_truck_2.jpg Here is a pic of the truck for reference. I could only find 2 pics of that truck, not sure if there are anymore.

  33. Sariel
    December 31st, 2011 at 16:17 | #33

    Never heard of it.

  34. Tony
    December 31st, 2011 at 14:40 | #34

    Hi Sariel!, i am really enjoying your site and learned some from it as well. I was wondering if you will attempt to build the Volvo salvage truck from denmark. Its a really cool truck and big too. happy new year! looking forward to your future builds.

  35. Sariel
    December 30th, 2011 at 00:13 | #35

    It’s nice to hear that and I hope your sons enjoy building a lot. It’s a great hobby for them and I’m sure it contributes greatly to their development. But I really have no interest in Halo. You certainly realize how troublesome the kind of attention I mentioned can be.

  36. BCWJ
    December 30th, 2011 at 00:09 | #36

    That’s too bad. I understand what you mean though. The reason I suggested it that that my two sons (ages 13 & 7) love Legos & play HALO, so obviously, they like the Megablocks HALO series. I also show them things on your website and they get a lot of ideas from your models.

  37. Sariel
    December 30th, 2011 at 00:00 | #37

    No. I don’t play Halo, and from my experience anything related to it tends to attract hordes of teenage fanboys, so no, no Halo.

  38. BCWJ
    December 29th, 2011 at 22:53 | #38

    Looking forward to your 2012 models, you have a great knack for realism & functionality, spectacular! Thanks for the inspiration.
    Have you given any thought to creating HALO vehicles? In particular the Warthog or Scorpion? Megablocks has their small versions, but those doesn’t do HALO justice like one of your models would.

  39. Sariel
    December 29th, 2011 at 22:16 | #39

    @kyle m
    Since when ripsaw is amphibious?

  40. kyle m
    December 29th, 2011 at 22:02 | #40

    i would sugest the ripsaw for an anfibious vehicle

  41. random
    December 29th, 2011 at 01:00 | #41

    i got the unimog awesome set!!!!!!!!

  42. Jake
    December 28th, 2011 at 11:19 | #42

    Well thats funny, i got it, too!!! I`m thinking of building a new Trial Truck with it in the front axle. It´s very useful!!

  43. Sariel
    December 28th, 2011 at 11:05 | #43

    Thank you. Yes, I got 9391 with the new turntable.

  44. Jake
    December 28th, 2011 at 11:01 | #44

    Merry Christmas Sariel and Happy Birthday!!! Have you got some nice Lego Technic Sets? 🙂

  45. wyatt
    December 27th, 2011 at 03:02 | #45

    oh yay your trying again on the big saw……..thing (forgot what it called)

  46. random
    December 27th, 2011 at 00:46 | #46

    merry christmas lookin fowards to the books and mocs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. December 26th, 2011 at 23:46 | #47

    looking forward to seeing these take shape. Great job on the website by the way love the look and design of it – bet its taken a massive amount of work. All best with 2012.

  48. Sariel
    December 26th, 2011 at 15:48 | #48

    No, I don’t think so.

  49. qwertyuiop
    December 26th, 2011 at 12:57 | #49

    and happy new year! looking forward to your plans for 2012

  50. qwertyuiop
    December 26th, 2011 at 12:56 | #50

    just one question about 4×4 vs 2×4: if you were to take a 4×4 model, and remove the drive from one of the axles without altering the motors/gearbox/chassis/etc, would more stress be put on the motors because the power from them is only going to one place?

  51. Technikfreak
    December 26th, 2011 at 11:49 | #51

    cool plans

  52. Sariel
    December 26th, 2011 at 10:05 | #52

    Yes, that’s why it’s mentioned here.

    What 10×10?

  53. Mehley
    December 26th, 2011 at 08:53 | #53

    Hello Paul,

    Congratulations to your successful year of 2011! This year you showed us intresting MOCs again!
    I was not aware of your intention releasing a book. Oh man, what a good idea! I hope it will be available in a lot of countries and in english as well.

    Welcome to the world of the lego builder musicians! You should write a chapter about the connection between building and playing music. I realized that a lot of persons do both of these. Creative people need both hobby at the same time 🙂 I hope some day you will build some kind of Lego creation making music 🙂

    A few months ago I started to record music for my Lego videos, this is the latest one:


    I hope some day you will show us your bass player abilities as well, as recording a soundtrack for one of your creation.

    Wish you a happy new year! Have a good time building mocs, playing the guitar, I am sure you will reach and inspire more people with the book like the digital way on the net only.

    Take care

  54. will
    December 26th, 2011 at 02:51 | #54

    what about a big 10×10?

  55. mili
    December 26th, 2011 at 00:53 | #55

    are you going to build your first bus ever?

  56. michal
    December 25th, 2011 at 22:46 | #56

    Wszystkiego najlepszego!
    Z niecierpliwością czekam na Volvo.

  57. Sariel
    December 25th, 2011 at 21:43 | #57

    Thank you Bjorn, I had no idea someone has been following me for so long without getting bored 🙂 Best of luck to you and your young Lego fans!

  58. December 25th, 2011 at 21:36 | #58

    I think/know most of your followers are really looking forward to it and this can have only two outcomes: people are disappointed they won’t turn into Sariel after reading it or they are inspired like I am with every book I read on the Lego-subject. Don’t worry to much about that. Guessing the number of unique viewers on YT combined with your followers via website and FB, the sales will not disappoint you (at least I hope). I will certainly buy one, once available here.
    I have to say honestly I’ve followed you for almost 3 years now and none of your MOC’s ever bored me. They might have been not my liking, but that doesn’t take away the fact you take time to think about detail, mechanism, scale and functionality. Needless to say: keep up this way of working.
    From my desk/laptop I wish you a Merry Christmas and happy 2012, where books will finish, MOC’s will emerge from the brain and the web will be kept up-to-speed with your footage of your work and others. Thanks for sharing a large portion of your personal life with me brick-fanatic, AFOL and proud father of two Lego-loving boys (thank god…)


  59. Sariel
    December 25th, 2011 at 21:20 | #59

    @David Luders
    Thank you David 🙂

  60. David Luders
    December 25th, 2011 at 21:07 | #60

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

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