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[REVIEW] 5571 Giant Truck / Black Cat


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#1 CP5670

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 08:26 AM

Set Name: 5571 Giant Truck
Theme: Model Team
Released: 1996
Pieces: 1743
Original Price: $139.99 (US)

This is an overview of the famous 5571 truck. The scale is larger than that of most Model Team sets, and the overall level of detail still remains unparalleled among any realistic vehicle that TLG has released. The 1743 piece count was also the highest among any Lego set for several years, until the UCS sculpture models came out. Although not entirely perfect, it is in many ways the definitive Model Team set.

This set had the (rather generic) name Giant Truck in the US, but was called the Black Cat in UK/Europe. I applied most of the stickers on mine, but left off some of the multi-part ones.

Over the years, many people have also built MOC trailers to go along with it. This and this are some examples (not made by me).


Side view. The doors and windshield are much larger than what most Model Team sets have. There is a third, smaller door on the sleeper compartment. There is also a black cat figurehead on the hood, in keeping with the set's name.
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The other side. The wheels are the 68.8x24 variety. They look very similar to the 62.4x20 wheels that are common in Technic sets, but are slightly larger. They only ever appeared in one other set, 5563.
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Top view.
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Front view. The set doesn't include a driver, but the Technic figures are almost the right size and scale for it and fit inside nicely. The gray control sticks are wipers, although they aren't really the right size.
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Rear view. A ladder allows access to the roof.
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The hood opens to reveal a V8 engine. I think this was the first time the pneumatic T-joints appeared outside Technic sets, as decorative pieces.
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Close up of roof. The sunroof panels can be opened and the black knob controls the steering system, as commonly seen in Technic models.
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There are tool compartments on either side. The red cabinet door on the left is unique to this set. The cabinets contain the standard six-pack of tools, for quick roadside repairs. There is also a shovel on the back, a piece originally from Fabuland.
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Some interior shots. The cabin is nicely decorated and includes a coffee machine. You can see a bed and a reading light in the sleeper area. There is also a TV (sticker) and a radio near the bed, although they're kind of hard to see from the outside.
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Close up of front grill. The MT on the license plate obviously means Model Team, but I never figured out what the TIR stands for. :tongue:
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Size comparison with the older 5580 Highway Rig from 1986. It's around twice as big.
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Pros
+Immense detail on every part of the model, both outside and inside
+Larger scale than most Model Team sets and goes well with Technic figures
+Highly versatile part selection; it was a real plate bonanza for its time and also includes a number of chrome plated pieces
+Includes various tools and equipment
+Expandable, and provides a great starting point for a full tractor-trailer MOC

Cons
-No glass in door windows
-Lacks doubled rear wheels like most real trucks have
-Wipers are too small

Overall score: 9/10

Edited by CP5670, 31 August 2010 - 09:58 PM.


#2 Raphy

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 08:54 AM

Mind if I'm a bit cocky here? I'm about to explain what TIR means.

I'm surprised that the truck has a TIR sticker, as they are a european thing. TIR means Transports Internationaux Routiers, or where I live, Międzynarodowy Tranzyt Drogowy, in American: International Road Transport. The word TIR, however, is originally a French word.

btw nice review! 139.99 is a bit steep though in my opinion. What did you pay for it?

~Raphy~

#3 metalandi

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:31 AM

You won't believe what memories this review of yours is waking in me! :wub: This was one of my first lego sets i owned back then, i can exactly remember getting it for christmas and then sitting till night with my grandpa and assembling it. This is a really wonderful, detailed model team truck, and i wish TLG would still make more such models (besides the Volkswagen, which is great of course).
Sadly, i don't have it anymore, like all of my other sets i owned as a child. :sceptic:

Edited by metalandi, 07 February 2009 - 09:32 AM.


#4 Brickmaster

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:47 AM

Such a brilliant set. Huge in size, and every inch covered in great details.
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#5 rriggs

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 07:02 PM

A great review of a model that I always wanted!  Thanks for sharing the pics as decent photos of this set tend to be hard to come by!

Raphy - Although you told us what the letters TIR stand for you did not explain what it actually means!  :tongue:  The TIR Convention applies to international road transports, with the aim of facilitating cross-border truck traffic. TIR trucks are not supposed to be inspected at every border they cross, and the transports are insured. The TIR Convention currently applies in 63 countries.

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#6 CP5670

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:13 PM

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Quote

I'm surprised that the truck has a TIR sticker, as they are a european thing. TIR means Transports Internationaux Routiers, or where I live, Międzynarodowy Tranzyt Drogowy, in American: International Road Transport. The word TIR, however, is originally a French word.

btw nice review! 139.99 is a bit steep though in my opinion. What did you pay for it?

Quote

Raphy - Although you told us what the letters TIR stand for you did not explain what it actually means! :tongue: The TIR Convention applies to international road transports, with the aim of facilitating cross-border truck traffic. TIR trucks are not supposed to be inspected at every border they cross, and the transports are insured. The TIR Convention currently applies in 63 countries.

Interesting, that explains why that sign appears here. It looks like TLG did their research on this. My copy of the set is in fact a French one, although the American and other versions have the same sticker.

I got this one from Bricklink in 2003, unopened for $340 shipped. :tongue: It's still the most expensive Lego set I have ever bought, but it was something I always wanted as a kid and the price was actually pretty good in hindsight, compared to what they sell for now. I kept the box as well, but it's not with me at the moment so I wasn't able to get a picture for the review.

Quote

You won't believe what memories this review of yours is waking in me! :wub: This was one of my first lego sets i owned back then, i can exactly remember getting it for christmas and then sitting till night with my grandpa and assembling it. This is a really wonderful, detailed model team truck, and i wish TLG would still make more such models (besides the Volkswagen, which is great of course).

Good to hear. :classic: Yes, it would be really nice to see a return of Model Team at some point. Some models in the Creator line have come close to the smaller MT sets in terms of detail, but this Giant Truck has remained in a league of its own.

Edited by CP5670, 07 February 2009 - 09:18 PM.


#7 VBBN

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 02:50 AM

You're mean. You're going to make me buy this set. :cry_sad:

JK, thanks for the review! A wonderful set indeed! Time to go buy off Bricklink/ebay. :thumbup:

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#8 Widdi

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:42 PM

Nice review to my favourite set ever. This was the first big 1000+ piece set, I got back in 1997. Saved a long time for this beast, back then. It's still assembeld, after having the Alternate model built for a few years. I've rebuild it to it's original state in 2005, but some stickers are worn out and don't hold up perfectly, anymore. But they're still all on it, since they were the clear ones, not the newer white stickers, which keep peeling off through the years.

mFg Widdi

#9 Sinner

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:56 PM

I missed this review when it was posted; I only discovered it when it was moved here. What a great idea this new structure is... :tongue:  Anyway, I love this set... but I'll have to just try to make something similar out of parts as the price to a bit much these days.  :cry_sad: I didn't know about the tires being bigger. Looking at the peeron pics...

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...and my they are nice!  :wub: Thanks for the great review!  :sweet:





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#10 CP5670

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:41 AM

Quote

But they're still all on it, since they were the clear ones, not the newer white stickers, which keep peeling off through the years.

All the Model Team sets had clear paper stickers fortunately. The clear ones are much more resistant to UV damage over time than the white paper ones.

Quote

I didn't know about the tires being bigger. Looking at the peeron pics...

Yeah, it's a shame we didn't see any more of those wheels in sets. They are pretty close in size to the 62.4x20 wheels, but would be useful for models built at a slightly larger scale. The Bricklink prices for them are crazy today at about $40 for one wheel and tire, even a used one.

#11 Blakbird

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:28 PM

This is one of my favorite sets.  In the "Great LEGO Purge of 2008" when I had to get rid of many of my sets, this was the only Model Team set that survived.  Actually, just today I finished converting mine into Grazi's Tow Truck model.  Makes a good thing even better.   Sorry, I haven't taken any photos yet, but here's a render.

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Edited by Blakbird, 13 March 2009 - 10:04 PM.

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#12 CP5670

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 07:54 AM

That model is wonderful. :thumbup: It seems that the towing arm and platform actually work too. I see pneumatic pistons on them.

#13 Blakbird

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 05:55 PM

View PostCP5670, on Mar 11 2009, 12:54 AM, said:

That model is wonderful. :thumbup: It seems that the towing arm and platform actually work too. I see pneumatic pistons on them.

Yes, this model is supremely functional.  There are 12 pneumatic cylinders.  4 for boom lift, 2 for rear outriggers, 2 for tow pad lift, 1 for tow pad tilt, 2 for lifting mid axle, 1 for pressure regulator.  There is a compressor inside the sleeper with two small pumps and two old 9V motors.  The battery box is hidden in the fuel tanks.  There are two motors and a pair of pole reversers behind the sleeper which telescope the boom and control the winch.  The hood tilts forward revealing a working Technic V-8 connected to both rear axles with differentials.  There are 12 of the big Model Team tires.  The front wheels are pendular (side to side) and sprung (up and down) as well as steerable.  The mid axle raises and lowers and is pneumatically balanced.  The rear axles are pendular (side to side), independently pendular (front to back), and sprung (up and down).  Here's a picture showing many of the features engaged.

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This is the most perfect blend of Model Team and Technic that I have personally seen, and I thank Andrea Grazi greatly for the creation.  But at 4,000 parts, it's not cheap!

Edited by Blakbird, 13 March 2009 - 10:05 PM.

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#14 Widdi

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 12:53 PM

View PostCP5670, on Mar 10 2009, 02:41 AM, said:

All the Model Team sets had clear paper stickers fortunately. The clear ones are much more resistant to UV damage over time than the white paper ones.

You're wrong! The 2550 Ferrari F1 Shell Promo from 1998, which is a Model Team set had the white ones.
They're damaged on mine, almost peeled off after eleven years. But the other Model Team sets had clear stickers, even in 1999


mFg Widdi

Edited by Widdi, 10 May 2009 - 12:54 PM.


#15 CP5670

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 04:40 PM

You're right, I forgot that set was a Model Team set too. The stickers have been ruined on mine too, although I only used a handful of them, the ones that did not cover multiple parts.

#16 Eastwood

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 03:34 PM

This is soooo awesome. Iam so lucky that I have this set :P. I remember when I built it with my dad :) I got it for christmas too haha x].  Sucks that I lost instructions...  :sceptic:

#17 DLuders

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:14 PM

On his Flickr photostream, BlazerMan posted these two images of the official alternate (B-Model) of the 5571 Giant Truck/ Black Cat set from 1996.  He wrote, "There are two sets of instructions printed on opposite sides of a single book. One side instructs you to build a cool big rig truck with a black cat for a hood ornament. I assume that is the "Black Cat". The other side instructs you to build the giant truck pictured here. We think it's a fire truck because it has a water tank and a ladder."  I did not know that there even was an official Alternate for this set....

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#18 efferman

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 05:51 PM

before my dark ages i had three black cats, but i have never built the B-Model. And i think it was not the wrong decission.
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#19 lotusman

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:03 PM

View PostBlakbird, on 11 March 2009 - 05:55 PM, said:

Yes, this model is supremely functional.  There are 12 pneumatic cylinders.  4 for boom lift, 2 for rear outriggers, 2 for tow pad lift, 1 for tow pad tilt, 2 for lifting mid axle, 1 for pressure regulator.  There is a compressor inside the sleeper with two small pumps and two old 9V motors.  The battery box is hidden in the fuel tanks.  There are two motors and a pair of pole reversers behind the sleeper which telescope the boom and control the winch.  The hood tilts forward revealing a working Technic V-8 connected to both rear axles with differentials.  There are 12 of the big Model Team tires.  The front wheels are pendular (side to side) and sprung (up and down) as well as steerable.  The mid axle raises and lowers and is pneumatically balanced.  The rear axles are pendular (side to side), independently pendular (front to back), and sprung (up and down).  Here's a picture showing many of the features engaged.

Posted Image

This is the most perfect blend of Model Team and Technic that I have personally seen, and I thank Andrea Grazi greatly for the creation.  But at 4,000 parts, it's not cheap!

Hi All,

New here.  I know this is a long time after these original postings, but hoping people are still around.  I am really interested in building the towtruck, but am struggling.  I have tried loading the ldr files into MLcad, but it lists a bunch of missing parts including (but not limited to) p_lcyl.dat, p_larm.dat, x137.dat, 6558A.dat, x203.dat, x55.dat, etc.  Anyone know:

1. Where I can find the dat files for MLcad as I have been unable to track them down to date.
2. Where I can find the physical parts themselves and a crossreference of part numbers (if needed)?

Thanks
Rob

#20 weavil

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:58 PM

View Postlotusman, on 16 February 2013 - 10:03 PM, said:

Hi All,

New here.  I know this is a long time after these original postings, but hoping people are still around.  I am really interested in building the towtruck, but am struggling.  I have tried loading the ldr files into MLcad, but it lists a bunch of missing parts including (but not limited to) p_lcyl.dat, p_larm.dat, x137.dat, 6558A.dat, x203.dat, x55.dat, etc.  Anyone know:

1. Where I can find the dat files for MLcad as I have been unable to track them down to date.
2. Where I can find the physical parts themselves and a crossreference of part numbers (if needed)?

Thanks
Rob

I'm new here too. I wanted it too and found it here. You can check http://www.bricklink.com.

#21 Blakbird

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:27 AM

I used to have full instructions for this on my Brickshelf including a parts list, but Brickshelf got rid of all the PDF files so it is not there any more.  I still have the files though.....
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#22 drdesignz

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:17 PM

I got very lucky recently and found this truck for sale at a good price, and bought it:

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More pictures here.

#23 DLuders

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:52 PM

View PostBlakbird, on 17 February 2013 - 04:27 AM, said:

I used to have full instructions for this on my Brickshelf including a parts list, but Brickshelf got rid of all the PDF files so it is not there any more. I still have the files though.....

With Blakbird's permission, I have posted his PDF Building Instructions for Andrea Grazi's Lego Technic Tow Truck on SkyDrive here (66.3 MB).  His PDF Parts List is here (1 MB).  Thanks for sharing them, Blakbird!  :classic:

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#24 lotusman

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:33 PM

View PostDLuders, on 17 February 2013 - 09:52 PM, said:

With Blakbird's permission, I have posted his PDF Building Instructions for Andrea Grazi's Lego Technic Tow Truck on SkyDrive here (66.3 MB).  His PDF Parts List is here (1 MB).  Thanks for sharing them, Blakbird!  :classic:

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Yes, thanks for the pdf files - I am working on downloading them now (Skydrive seems to be extremely slow right now).  Thanks all for the help!!

Quick question - is the parts list the additional parts needed for the build beyond the Blackcat?  Or is it all the parts needed for the entire build?

#25 DLuders

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:04 AM

@ lotusman:  The PDF Parts List that Blakbird prepared for Andrea Grazi's 5571 Tow Truck contains ALL of the parts needed, not just the "additonal" parts missing from the 5571 Giant Truck set.  One could use the Bricklink Parts Inventory or the Rebrickable Parts Inventory for the 5571, and compare the two lists.



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