Older and Misc. Models

side view

side view

crawler base

main hoist block

top of back mast

boom truss design

top of jib

side view from above

rear quarter view

ballast carrier

winch assemblies

side view

top of main boom

in the backyard

Crawler Crane

I started building this crane near the end of 2000 and finished up in April or May of 2001. I launched my first real website with this crane as the main feature. I've come a long way since then :-)

This model stood close to 12 feet tall and realized a dream of mine: to build a large, fully motorized crawler crane on real tracks. All features on this model were functional, although some worked very slowly due to high gear reductions. I learned a lot about the limitations of LEGO gears :-) (see my article on gears and gear breakage)

One valuable thing I learned from this model was that the truss structure, using string as cross braces, did NOT work well. The truss was laterally unstable and would wobble badly under load. Since then, I've built all my trusses using rigid cross bracing.

Crane on Rollers
circa 1993

First real crawler
circa 1989

Minifig-scale crawler
circa 1992

Truck Crane
circa 1994

Crane on Rollers
circa 1993

quad track
circa 1991

First tower crane
circa 1995

Misc. Cranes

I've been building cranes for years now as this collection shows. Here are 6 cranes build in the decade+ prior to the large crawler crane in the previous section.

The first two photos are of a large crane that I built on rollers. I did not have enough crawler tracks to complete it, so I just used a line of rollers (LEGO tires) instead.

The other models were built with either motorized functions, hand-powered functions, or a combination of both. For a long time, I only owned two 4.5 volt motors and was limited in powering my creations.

Row Buildings

This is just a simple set of row buildings I made in 2002 for a TexLUG meeting. We put a large train layout together that included a small city.

Flag Mosaic


Cargo Ship

mosaic in construction

Here are a few random creations built over the years.

The mosaic of the Texas flag was done for a TexLUG meeting in 2002 (I think).

The forklift was a simple model that I put together in probably 1991.

The cargo ship was built around 1993 and was about 5 feet long. I did this just for fun - this wasn't the usual sort of creation that I liked to build, but one day I just had an urge to build a large ship in minifig scale. I guess I had to satisfy my old childhood desires to build such a thing :-)

Bridge A (pic 1)

Bridge A (pic 3)

Bridge B (pic 1)

Bridge C (pic 3)

Bridge C (pic 1)

Bridge A (pic 2)

Bridge A (pic 4)

Bridge B (pic 2)

Bridge C (pic 4)

Bridge C (pic 2)


Bridge A was built in February 2006 for a TexLUG meeting. I could not attend, so I shipped it to the TexLUG group. It was about 7.5 feet long and carried a dual set of train tracks.

Bridge B was a little conceptual span that I put together in March 2002. I like the idea of making a truss out of axles and connectors, but they do not hold tension very well and therefore sigificantly limited the strength of the span.

Bridge C was a quickie bridge I built sometime in 2001. This was just for fun. The bridge turned out to be too flexible and wobbly to be of any use.

Thomas J. Avery 2008