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[REVIEW] 9396 The Big Helicopter


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#51 jadedomg

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:34 AM

Put this set together over the past 2 days, it is bigger than I thought it would be the blades are very long. Since I only have the red and white helicopter from last year it seemed a no brainer for me to get to expand my collection :) The biggest minus for me is it doesn't look that great without the stickers and I am tempted to make it a solid colour because I tend to dislike using stickers. Overall a really great set and one that will probably stay together for a while.

#52 CP5670

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 11:40 PM

This is a great and surprisingly large set. It could use a more powerful motor though. The geared down M motor is too wimpy for it, although I see why they did that for safety reasons. I put in a 9V RC motor instead. When the rotors are pitched downwards, it actually generates noticeable airflow, enough to make light objects like papers fly off the table.

This is also one of the few cases where I think the alternate model really rivals the main one. The concept is something genuinely original in Technic, and it's amazing to watch it run off the RC motor. It has the same collective pitch mechanism as the main model too, but for both rotors.

#53 mrklaw

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:16 AM

seems fiddly with the battery box switch being used to control direction. Also they don't seem to have synchronised the actions - eg when the battery box is in the right direction to lower the gear, it raises the cargo door. Personally I'd prefer if one direction on the battery box was 'down' for gear/door/winch, and the other direction was 'up' - less confusion.

Even better would have been for them to include instructions on how to put a simple up/down switch somewhere on the body.

#54 Tadej

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:27 PM

This switch on the battery box has been a problem on many sets that include PF, but adding a separate switch would drive up the price of the sets and make them less interesting.

#55 mx2000

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:25 PM

View Postpaul_delahaye, on 30 July 2012 - 08:40 PM, said:

I've just finished building the 9396 helicopter and it's big!  no doubt about that, I think it was a great build, with the only mistake I made being missing a 16 tooth cog on step 75, which I only realised on completion and rotated the knob and nothing happened!
Exactly the same thing happened to me! :laugh:  Except that I noticed it by the end of book 2 - at this point, the tail is only connected to the main section at the very bottom, so with some flexing and bending, I could squeeze it in without disassembling half the model.

Generally, I really like the model, very swooshable, very light and sturdy despite its size.

I also like the very compact gearbox design, and that they used liftarm linkages instead of the usual axle&gear connections for the landing gear and the ramp. Definitely a good choice for Christmas. :grin:

#56 trekman

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:57 AM

View Postfreakwave, on 10 July 2012 - 01:03 PM, said:


Other interesting Technic Parts include the new 4L Axle in Tan, I will point out the locations where it will be used. We also get four of the not so new anymore triangles, but this time in Dark Bluish Grey. Let’s see if the new form-factor is required. Also there are two of the new connector piece, which Zblj calls... aehm well I do not quote him...

Posted Image
9396_07_TechnicParts by 1wave, on Flickr



Posted Image
9396_17_Build by 1wave, on Flickr



Is this new tan 4L axel the shape of things to come? At the point where the clutch gear is in contact with it, there must be reduced friction thereby allowing the rotors to run more efficiently.  On heavy wear points surely these will be useful where axles intersect into studless beams or for clutch gears which permit a through drive to another function.

I have built this helicopter and have been impressed with the build.  The battery box can be a bit of a nuisance, but TLG have covered themselves well with the rubber tipped blades, and the rachet mechanism.

#57 Sariel

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 06:50 PM

Allow me to drop a little video-review here. With hamsters & stuff :)

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#58 hrontos

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:13 PM

This model is really impressive. We have just finished it with my son (it tooks us a bit longer than Sariel's 2.5 hours). I was prepared that it will be a big model and I have to say, I am really not disapointed. It's big and very nice model with good proportions. May be it is not marked as a flagship, but with from technic point of view, with all those functions operated from just one power source through gear box it has all attributes of a flagship.

I will just take the oportunity and mirror landing gear and cargo ramp linkages so that main rotor and landing gear function can be operated both at the same time. To get more realistic take off.

#59 JunkstyleGio

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:21 PM

@ sariel:
Excellent video!

But since when is difficulty in building a con?

One thing i had to change to my own model: the rotor blades..
For a "never going to fly" model those "more realistic blades" take away the technic feeling.

So what I did (apart from building a black model) was to replace them with some homemade axlebuilt versions..

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#60 rriggs

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:39 PM

I quite liked the look of this chopper when I saw it in the shops and online but only since reading this review have I realised how bulky the rotor hub is and it really puts me off.  I know they're trying to cram in both PF-ability and adjustable pitch but it spoils it for me.

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#61 hrontos

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:50 PM

View Postrriggs, on 29 December 2012 - 11:39 PM, said:

... how bulky the rotor hub is ...

As we were building the model, I had the same concerns about the size of the rotor. It seemed to be to high and bulky, but after adding the "engines" it does not look so bad or too much out of proportions.

#62 jantjeuh

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:27 PM

This review and Sariel's convinced me to buy this set :-) Will post my impressions after I've built it.

Edited by jantjeuh, 31 December 2012 - 05:27 PM.


#63 Sariel

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:10 PM

View PostJunkstyleGio, on 29 December 2012 - 11:21 PM, said:

But since when is difficulty in building a con?

Since by "difficult" I mean "I had to go back several times to correct my own mistakes". There's plenty of intricate linkages inside that rely on very specific connections which are not shown clear enough in the instruction. That, or it's my getting older :)
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#64 andythenorth

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:22 PM

View PostSariel, on 31 December 2012 - 06:10 PM, said:

Since by "difficult" I mean "I had to go back several times to correct my own mistakes". There's plenty of intricate linkages inside that rely on very specific connections which are not shown clear enough in the instruction. That, or it's my getting older :)
I had the same issue, with possibly the same cause :wink:
(I missed out a gear, and connected the RHS mini-LA to the landing gear instead of the door, meh).  Studless flexes though, right? :devil:

Good set, fun to build, big.  The kids like it.

Functions are interesting.  
I often don't apply stickers, but this one needs them.
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#65 davidmull

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:55 PM

Just finished building this set,I'm not normally into helicopter s but this is nice and quiet impressive :) I also missed the 16 tooth gear on step 75 and only noticed at the end when nothing worked but I got it in afterwords :)

#66 Jim

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:40 PM

View Postdavidmull, on 05 January 2013 - 11:55 PM, said:

Just finished building this set,I'm not normally into helicopter s but this is nice and quiet impressive :) I also missed the 16 tooth gear on step 75 and only noticed at the end when nothing worked but I got it in afterwords :)
I missed it too :laugh:

It's a great model! One of my favorites!

Edited by Gekke Ted, 06 January 2013 - 01:40 PM.


#67 Hopey

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:58 PM

Don't forget to build the B-model. I found it rather impressive.

#68 jantjeuh

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

Building my copy now :-)

#69 davidmull

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

View PostHopey, on 06 January 2013 - 01:58 PM, said:

Don't forget to build the B-model. I found it rather impressive.
I won't bother,I don't like the look of it.

#70 Hopey

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:56 PM

View Postdavidmull, on 06 January 2013 - 05:03 PM, said:

I won't bother,I don't like the look of it.

To each their own. I'll admit that the colour scheme's a bit off, and only having two gearbox functions is a bit weak, but the intermeshing rotors are very cool. I also like that the functions (limited though they are) are driven via the tail propeller rather than a little knob on the side, so you can get quite a bit of speed up.

#71 rener

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:53 PM

View PostHopey, on 06 January 2013 - 05:56 PM, said:

To each their own. I'll admit that the colour scheme's a bit off, and only having two gearbox functions is a bit weak, but the intermeshing rotors are very cool. I also like that the functions (limited though they are) are driven via the tail propeller rather than a little knob on the side, so you can get quite a bit of speed up.

Not to mention that it's easy to mount a motor instead of the tail propellor, which really speeds up the main rotors. Integrating a battery box is more of a challenge (which I failed...).

#72 jantjeuh

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

Does anyone know what the function is of the 'Light Bluish Gray Technic, Liftarm 1 x 4 Thin with Stud Connector' that is added in step 3 of page 57 of instruction booklet 1? A 'Blue Technic, Axle Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise' is inserted into its open end in the next step, but this pin will not be connected to anything else further on.

Edited by jantjeuh, 07 January 2013 - 04:56 PM.


#73 Jim

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:00 PM

View Postjantjeuh, on 07 January 2013 - 04:55 PM, said:

Does anyone know what the function is of the 'Light Bluish Gray Technic, Liftarm 1 x 4 Thin with Stud Connector' that is added in step 3 of page 57 of instruction booklet 1? A 'Blue Technic, Axle Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise' is inserted into its open end in the next step, but this pin will not be connected to anything else further on.
I was wondering the very same thing!

Haven't found an explanation for it.

#74 jantjeuh

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

Good, I thought I had missed something ;-)

By the way: this set is a masterpiece! Another great effort by Markus Kossman. The building experience is very enjoyable, and the end result is great. Best Technic set of 2012 imo!

Now to motorise everything.. :-) I'm planning on adding RC with 3 additional motors: 1 L and 2 M's.

#75 Jim

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:25 PM

View Postjantjeuh, on 07 January 2013 - 05:06 PM, said:

Good, I thought I had missed something ;-)

By the way: this set is a masterpiece! Another great effort by Markus Kossman. The building experience is very enjoyable, and the end result is great. Best Technic set of 2012 imo!

Now to motorise everything.. :-) I'm planning on adding RC with 3 additional motors: 1 L and 2 M's.
I cannot agree with you more! I bought a second set (besides the NXT, for the first time) because I like it so much.

Then I ordered one from Marktplaats for a friend. However, the box was severely damaged and already opened (hence the low price, but it was not in the description). Too bad I could not give this to my friend so I had to keep it myself as well :head_back:

I am currenty working on the second one, in black. I have added pneumatics to the landing gear and a Mini LA to the collective control. Also two bug LA's for both doors, although I might change the setup. They don't reach far enough and are a bit to slow. Maybe I will use some racks to improve on this.

I have changed the color scheme of my first copy as well, as you can see here:

http://www.eurobrick...pic=72742&st=50




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