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The "Golden Age" for lego Technic, is it now?


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#26 skylinedan

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:20 AM

Right now I,m in the process of building a studless version of the classic 855. The 855 was one of two sets I got for Christmas, I got to open it Christmas eve, I remember staying up late, bound and determined to build it before I went to bed. so for me , I,m not sure I could say I had a " golden age" , but I sure do have some memories of the sets I got as a kid, and I happy to say I still have them here some where in all my pieces n parts LOL.


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#27 imajor

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:50 AM

I don't understand people complaining about the weakness of the studless technique. The beams are narrower, so they are obviously weaker than studded beams, no doubt. But you can make weak models with studded beams, and I'm pretty sure you can make strong models from studless beams. This is a decision of the design I think. It seems TLG doesn't think that strength is so important, so they sacrifice some of it for other things, maybe more functions, or just to cut costs by using less beams.

Back to the topic, I also feel that this is a very good era for technic. I think the FP helped a lot, because I think there would be much less good mocs out there if there was no FP and no remote control. I guess the whole TT scene wouldn't be so strong without FP and remote control.

#28 Lipko

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:31 AM

View Postimajor, on 30 November 2012 - 10:50 AM, said:

I don't understand people complaining about the weakness of the studless technique. The beams are narrower, so they are obviously weaker than studded beams, no doubt. But you can make weak models with studded beams, and I'm pretty sure you can make strong models from studless beams. This is a decision of the design I think. It seems TLG doesn't think that strength is so important, so they sacrifice some of it for other things, maybe more functions, or just to cut costs by using less beams.
I guess studless is weaker because it has only one direction for connecting and attaching stuff, while studded has two perpendicular directions to do so. Inserting plates between studded beams then reinforcing them vertically with 3L beams makes a very stiff frame (because the "layers" can't slide on each other). You don't really have to care about corner-stiffness in any directions.
But with studless, corner-stiffness is always a big issue. You have to use L/T shaped stuff or the rectangular frame pieces and still, the whole frame will likely to twist in some direction.

I agree that it's a design decision at TLG and I personally like this decision, because the models they produce seem so elegant and neat compared to MOCs that are much stronger.

Edited by Lipko, 30 November 2012 - 11:33 AM.


#29 Anio

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

View Postimajor, on 30 November 2012 - 10:50 AM, said:

I don't understand people complaining about the weakness of the studless technique. The beams are narrower, so they are obviously weaker than studded beams, no doubt. But you can make weak models with studded beams, and I'm pretty sure you can make strong models from studless beams. This is a decision of the design I think. It seems TLG doesn't think that strength is so important, so they sacrifice some of it for other things, maybe more functions, or just to cut costs by using less beams.

Back to the topic, I also feel that this is a very good era for technic. I think the FP helped a lot, because I think there would be much less good mocs out there if there was no FP and no remote control. I guess the whole TT scene wouldn't be so strong without FP and remote control.
I would rather say that the studless parts are less sturdy / more flexible.
But generally, the studless model are so much stronger than studful models.

I mean take a studless model and drop it in the stairs. The model has more or less no damage.
Now, do the same with a studful mo... no don't do that. You don't want to see the result.

Studless beams are obviously much cheaper to produce because they are can be made with a simple mold.
But they are also square shaped (well, it is not exactly a square, but regarding a construction, it does not make any difference and it can be considered as square shaped).
Eventually, they have round ends, which is a very very big asset in order to build in tricky direction. Something you can barely do with studful Technic bricks.

Edited by Anio, 30 November 2012 - 02:06 PM.


#30 allanp

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:02 PM

Oh dear, this is turning into another studless vs studfull debate!

I have just build the 9396 helicopter and already have the whirlwind rescue helicopter built for comparisson. Now these are only two models, and only 2 models, a proper sample, no make! But seeing as they seem to represent the two eras most comparred here I think a comparrison may be helpful.

Ok so first the build experience. This is not something exclusive to these two sets and is actually more to do with studless vs studful construction (dang it!). The whirlwind rescue (8856 from now on) had you build using a variety of connection types. There was pins in holes, axles in holes, flex system connections, traditional studded building, toggle joint assemblies and so on, whereas 9396 is pins/axles into holes, and that's it. Whilst both builds had their tricky (for children) moments the 8856 wins out here for keeping the build experience more interesting from start to finish, so one point to the old!

Next we have authenticity. Both the main rotorblades for these models demonstates some neat functions, however neither of them are that authenticly executed. If you wanna see realistic then there are better MOCs out there than either of these. As for the other functions well they're just gears and levers and so on, not much to go on in terms of how authentic those functions are. Bear in mind i'm not talking about weather or not rescue helicopters have these functions, i'm talking about how realisticly said functions are executed. So authenticity from functions is a draw. However when it come to the looks department, 9396 definately wins here. As much as I like the look of those studded beams, 9396 looks much more like a real rescue helicopter. Plus, those rotor blades also have a more authentic shape. So for overall authenticity, point goes to the new.

So what about functionality/complexity? Well, they both work very well and even better when motorised (WAAAAAY better when motorised with an RC buggy motor, 9396 generates quite a draft!). However 9396 has a nice gearbox to work everything and more gears and interesting linkages overall. The clever linkage that operates the landing gear is nicely visable and looks great when operating. When motorised with the stock motors, niether of them produce any lift (the whole point of a helicopter) but like I said, with an RC buggy motor 9396 makes some wind boy! So for functionality/complexity, point goes to the new!

So it's 2-1 and now all that's left to talk about is overall coolness. Put the two side by side and it's pretty clear that the whirlwind rescue, a long time legend, pales in comparisson to 9396. 9396 looks soooo much better in real life than it does on the box (same for every technic set!) and it's bulky looks make 8856 look whimpy in comparrison. The colour shceme really makes the thing pop out and the way the red and yellow intersect is great! So, point goes to the new!

And there we are, the winner, by quite a large margin, is the new, studless 9396. And yes I realise that 8856 was much cheaper when it was first released, but that was about 20 years ago! So with inflation the price is probably about the same. And for the extra number of parts you get as well as the much larger size and overall better model, this is fantastic! BRAVO TLG!

So back to the original question, does this mean we are in a new golden age? Y........No! Of course not. This is only one model. But it does show the potencial is there for a new golden age better than ever before. The signs are good that a new one is upon us. But it's too early to tell just yet. To understand why the golden age of the late 80's to mid 90's was so fantastic you have to understand what came before it. From the auto chassis (a car with no body) you got the test car, a huge improvement in functionality and looks. At the time it was hard to see how it could be improved upon, then some time later came 8880, Not only did it improve on the test car, it made it look as stone age as it does today! I have yet to see a supercar that I would consider to be an improvement on 8880. And it's not like that car was a diamond in the rough either (like 9396 and 8110) It was surrounded by great sets that obviously all had the same attention do design, big or small. Some of the smaller sets of that time are way better than the larger, modern counterparts, like the front end loader with the airtank from 1997. So maybe this is a new golden age, but the sets that will decide that, are the ones being designed right now by the designers at TLG!
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#31 Alasdair Ryan

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:22 PM

View Postallanp, on 30 November 2012 - 07:02 PM, said:

Oh dear, this is turning into another studless vs studfull debate!

I have just build the 9396 helicopter and already have the whirlwind rescue helicopter built for comparisson. Now these are only two models, and only 2 models, a proper sample, no make! But seeing as they seem to represent the two eras most comparred here I think a comparrison may be helpful.

Ok so first the build experience. This is not something exclusive to these two sets and is actually more to do with studless vs studful construction (dang it!). The whirlwind rescue (8856 from now on) had you build using a variety of connection types. There was pins in holes, axles in holes, flex system connections, traditional studded building, toggle joint assemblies and so on, whereas 9396 is pins/axles into holes, and that's it. Whilst both builds had their tricky (for children) moments the 8856 wins out here for keeping the build experience more interesting from start to finish, so one point to the old!

Next we have authenticity. Both the main rotorblades for these models demonstates some neat functions, however neither of them are that authenticly executed. If you wanna see realistic then there are better MOCs out there than either of these. As for the other functions well they're just gears and levers and so on, not much to go on in terms of how authentic those functions are. Bear in mind i'm not talking about weather or not rescue helicopters have these functions, i'm talking about how realisticly said functions are executed. So authenticity from functions is a draw. However when it come to the looks department, 9396 definately wins here. As much as I like the look of those studded beams, 9396 looks much more like a real rescue helicopter. Plus, those rotor blades also have a more authentic shape. So for overall authenticity, point goes to the new.

So what about functionality/complexity? Well, they both work very well and even better when motorised (WAAAAAY better when motorised with an RC buggy motor, 9396 generates quite a draft!). However 9396 has a nice gearbox to work everything and more gears and interesting linkages overall. The clever linkage that operates the landing gear is nicely visable and looks great when operating. When motorised with the stock motors, niether of them produce any lift (the whole point of a helicopter) but like I said, with an RC buggy motor 9396 makes some wind boy! So for functionality/complexity, point goes to the new!

So it's 2-1 and now all that's left to talk about is overall coolness. Put the two side by side and it's pretty clear that the whirlwind rescue, a long time legend, pales in comparisson to 9396. 9396 looks soooo much better in real life than it does on the box (same for................
zzzzzzzzzzzz
Why do you have to make stuff sound so boring? :laugh:

Edited by Alasdair Ryan, 30 November 2012 - 07:26 PM.

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Updated 10/03/15
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#32 Anio

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:59 PM

View Postallanp, on 30 November 2012 - 07:02 PM, said:

The whirlwind rescue (8856 from now on) had you build using a variety of connection types. There was pins in holes, axles in holes, flex system connections, traditional studded building, toggle joint assemblies and so on, whereas 9396 is pins/axles into holes, and that's it.
Well, regarding the usefulness and value of the parts  themself, it would make one point for the 9396 IMO.
If 9396 can achieve everything he does with "only" pins and axles, it shows that today parts are much more polyvalent than the parts used in Technic sets 2 decades ago.

#33 Carrera124

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

For me, using only millions of axles and pins is rather boring.
Within studded models, axles and pins were often used as axles in the means of gearing, movement, etc.
Today, axles and pins have changed their purpose to connectors.

#34 hrontos

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:32 PM

Isn't this a question that should be asked and answered only when looking back in time? :classic:

Technic these days is definitely nice. Models have smother shape thanks to panels, can be remotely controlled, so kids can built themselves RC cars and working machines. TLG definitely focused on the attractive part of the technic. Studless vs. studfull - both of them have some pros and cons and every body can select his own system. I personally like studless models and studless parts, because the allow to make more compact structures. They are not so stiff, but I do not expect to lift kilograms by LEGO crane.

Looking strictly at the technic part, these days models are less technic. Supercar does not even have a gearbox. 1200+ parts and no gear box. Not even working steering wheel. 8860 had only 600+ parts, but from the technic point of view it was much more realistic. Old style working machines were powered by one motor or pneumatic pump and all energy was taken from that. Just like on the real machines. These days machines have many independent motors, no realistic transmissions.

I understand why it is so and I consider it being good for the company and also for kids. Models have to be playable and atractive. After they play well, they can start studying mechanics and build their own realistic and more complex models focused on technical accuracy and realism.

So golden age is probably a matter of criteria. I really enjoy technic these days. Many new models each year, each year new flagship, just like in the other themes. Increasing number of parts for the flagships is a good signal that technic line is getting stronger and I am glad it is so. Focus on atractivity and not so much on technical accuracy guarantees success on the market and also continuity of the technic theme. Without that, we would have technically pefect models, less playable or very expensive and due to lower sales there would be only two or three different models each year and probably one flagship sold for two or three years to cover developement costs.

Edited by hrontos, 30 November 2012 - 08:33 PM.


#35 Kierna

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:19 AM

I think people have missunderstood the question, or it has just derailed...
The question is, "Is this the golden age for Technic", NOT "Is this the golden age for you?"

For example, the golden age for videogames was the late 90's (Official Australian Playstation magazine, December '99) when the market was dominated by adults, wheras now, teenagers and children buy the most videogames.  Capitalism has taken its course, and now popular videogames are endless franchises.

I think it is the golden age for Technic as a building medium, beacause one can build a MOC today that is more complex, functional and graceful than ever before, thanks to the huge inventory of parts and the smaller, studdless beams. Power Functions are better than ever before.

However, I cannot speak for those who cannot or do not build their own models, and rely on technic sets. I really only think of lego in individual parts and MOC'S, and have only one official set currently assembled.
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#36 Anio

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:00 AM

View PostCarrera124, on 30 November 2012 - 08:31 PM, said:

For me, using only millions of axles and pins is rather boring.
That was not my point in my previous message. ;)
Cause I also prefer building studful sets. :)

Edited by Anio, 01 December 2012 - 01:00 AM.


#37 DarkShadow73

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:53 PM

View PostZblj, on 29 November 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:

I think it is! With the power functions, more colors, panels, gears the models really come to life in a relaistic and asthetically pleaseing manner.
Agreed, lots more color choices, just wish there were more blue in the sets out these days, like many on his forum, I'd like a good set in mostly blue, wonder what the deal is.  Yellow, black and red seem to be their only choice now.

A bit off topic but I took a look at Lego S@H and they must have released the 1H2013 sets already.  I saw a mini-backhoe, a couple of 'pull-back' racing cars and a small Hovercraft..  Kind of a crappy lineup as compared to the last 2 years with 1H sets, last year we had the 9395 Tow Truck which was a large set for 1H, and the year before the 8069 Backhoe released right around Christmas as a true 1H model.  

Funny they released them in late November instead of the usual Jan. 1 release, but maybe, and I haven't seen anything, not that I've looked too much at 1H2013 lineup, but last year we got the 9397 Logging Truck and the year before the 8070 Supercar in Feb-March timeframe.  I checked TRU online and they aren't there yet.  I'm a guy and hate crowds, and from here on out until the holidays are over I'm betting the retail stores are mobbed with long lines and such.  But, usually if they are not available online, they aren't in stores yet anyway.  The only one that vaguely interested me is the 42004 Backhoe, but its no 8069 either.  Funny they used 5 digit set #'s instead of sticking with the usual 4-digit set #'s, I'm sure there are plenty left to use, usually the special sets use the 5-digit set #'s, usually with a 1 starting the set #...odd

Edited by TechnicFreak, 01 December 2012 - 02:57 PM.


#38 Lyichir

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:44 PM

View PostKierna, on 01 December 2012 - 12:19 AM, said:

I think people have missunderstood the question, or it has just derailed...
The question is, "Is this the golden age for Technic", NOT "Is this the golden age for you?"

For example, the golden age for videogames was the late 90's (Official Australian Playstation magazine, December '99) when the market was dominated by adults, wheras now, teenagers and children buy the most videogames.  Capitalism has taken its course, and now popular videogames are endless franchises.

I think it is the golden age for Technic as a building medium, beacause one can build a MOC today that is more complex, functional and graceful than ever before, thanks to the huge inventory of parts and the smaller, studdless beams. Power Functions are better than ever before.

However, I cannot speak for those who cannot or do not build their own models, and rely on technic sets. I really only think of lego in individual parts and MOC'S, and have only one official set currently assembled.

Defining an ongoing "Golden Age" is almost always a matter of opinion, though, unless some consensus is arrived at by authorities in the field. For instance, while that one magazine alleged that the late '90s were a Golden Age of video games because of the number of videogames aimed at adults, I might argue that the past 5 or so years have been a Golden Age because, between the growth of casual games on systems like the Wii, Nintendo DS and Kinect, and social games on Facebook and smartphones, a wider variety of people are playing video games now than ever before. There's no consensus. A better example of an agreed-upon golden age would be the Golden Age of Comic Books, which is called such not because of the quality so much as because of the surge in popularity of the medium, and because of the many elements of comics of that time period which would become standard within the industry. For that reason, I would argue that it is hard to define a "Golden Age" except in retrospect.

#39 DLuders

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:08 PM

If one considers the information and opportunities available to Technic FANS (as opposed to just the official sets), the "Golden Age" of Lego Technic is happening now, for these reasons (to name a few notable ones):

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Edited by DLuders, 01 December 2012 - 06:29 PM.


#40 Rijkjavik

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:06 PM

^If you don't look to just the sets themselves, then it will get better every year, with new parts released, while old parts are still available at Bricklink (although some older ones getting rare). I don't think that's a fair comparison, and I have the same with Allanp adding a motor to a helicopter. Your opinions of course, but then it's obvious the '80s and '90s don't make any chance. Back then internet was in it's beginning, and I doubt there was any kind of AFOL community.
But sure, I'm glad we have internet now. And even I want to design some PF-powered vehicle.

Well, that Technicopedia logo reminds me: it has been two and a half years since the last update! Blakbird? :wink:

It's multifunctionomical.

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#41 Carrera124

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:03 AM

View PostKierna, on 01 December 2012 - 12:19 AM, said:

However, I cannot speak for those who cannot or do not build their own models, and rely on technic sets. I really only think of lego in individual parts and MOC'S, and have only one official set currently assembled.
That's a good issue. I'd really like to create studless mocs, but they require a really different paradigm of thinking. SO, it is very hard for me to learn that.

#42 Kierna

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 02 December 2012 - 11:03 AM, said:

That's a good issue. I'd really like to create studless mocs, but they require a really different paradigm of thinking. SO, it is very hard for me to learn that.

Buy some, build them, and learn how it goes together now, because modern technic is only getting better. :thumbup:
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#43 Carrera124

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:41 PM

View PostKierna, on 02 December 2012 - 01:11 PM, said:

Buy some, build them

I did, I already own 8070, 8109, 8110, 9392, 9397, 9398 and 8547. And of course, I built them all.
But it is still hard for me to create MOCs that are worth to be called a MOC.
At least for me, classic studded building and constructing is much more intuitional than studless building/constructing.

#44 bb15080

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

View PostCarrera124, on 02 December 2012 - 01:41 PM, said:

I did, But it is still hard for me to create MOCs that are worth to be called a MOC.
At least for me, classic studded building and constructing is much more intuitional than studless building/constructing.

your not the only one who is having trubble making moc.
still trying :wink:
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#45 Carrera124

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:01 PM

Well, I decided to stop buying modern/current Technic sets.
Instead, I started to buy older studded Technic sets. Thanks to Bricklink and Ebay, I managed to get even sealed sets at reasonable prices.
There are so many classic sets out there, that I did not buy as a child (because they were too expensive or not available any more) or that were released during my dark ages.
I also like sets like 8446 and 8448, which offer a good combination of studded and studless building.

#46 Kronos

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

View Postbb15080, on 02 December 2012 - 01:56 PM, said:



your not the only one who is having trubble making moc.
still trying :wink:


I also have trouble with MOC's. I've been building every official set and MOC I can get instructions for.  Someday, maybe.....

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#47 DarkShadow73

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:59 PM

Interesting take Allanp...you are right, but usually this topic doesn't come up too often, sometimes in topics that are started in a different way, though I'm not here all the time and some topics on studless vs studded so way down the topic list since this is such a popular forum/website.  I've gained a lot of knowledge and ideas here on creating some simple MOCs and I save all the mods to existing sets, some are very good, especially the Ultimate 8043 Excavator. I really wasn't a huge fan of studded because the modern studless models look so very sleek with the smooth fairings, beams, liftarms and such, but I got the bug mid-summer and decided to start collecting vintage studded sets (got an MISB 8843 Pneumatic Log Loader, 8235 Front Loader, 8437 Future Car, 8446 Crane Truck, an 8837 used Excavator, an 8286 3-in-1 car, just looked cool and a 8853 used Front Loader (in some ways I think the 8853 beats out the more recent 8453 and 8271 Front Loaders) and many are very nice, attractive models...only 1 on my list I still want is the 8462 Tow Truck but it is fetching a rather high price, not over the top like the 8285, 8421 and 8275 that skyrocketed in price...but luckily I have copies of all 3 of those sets.  I actually took apart my 8275 dozer and built the 'inspiration model' with the claw, I modified it myself, built a nice cab with LED lighting on 4 trans-clear blue 1x1" round plates and then modified the claw to make it shorter and added some to it to make it small enough to pick up and hold tightly to some Bruder (sorry...) log trunks I bought from Amazon.  It grabs on to the log trunk which is about 1.5" in circumference and holds it tightly in place as the motorized jaws grab and lift it up.  There are many talented MOCers on this site, and I wish I had those skills but I'm learning with the help of this forum.  I made a completely MOC semi flatbed trailer complete with independent suspension on 4 sets of dualies on the trailer.  I used those smooth black panels and many black studless beams for support underneath and designed my own landing gear.  It will hook up to one of my 9397 Logging Truck since it is an attractive tractor taking off the log loader sides, designed a 5th wheel for the pin on the trailer to drop down into, and took off the crane jib on the set and made it into a motorized winch.  I also took one of my 8464/39/59 Pneumatic Front End Loaders and took off the bucket and designed a forkset for it to unload pallets and other things from the trailer I built.  My next project is a lowboy trailer w/ ramps for hauling construction models like the 8464/59/39 (have 4 of them), one of my 8294 Excavators (too small for the 8043), and other wheeled or tracked construction equipment, forklifts, etc.  I will have to have the smaller rims, planned on 3 sets of the small rims like the ones that came in the 8053 Mobile Crane set, you get 8 black rims and when I built the harbor crane model I just modified the 4 supports for the crane w/o the wheels, instead using half and full bushings in place so it was a static harbor crane (IMO that alternate model of that set surpasses the main model).  So, its a learning process, and can be frustrating at times.  I recall retrofitting the Front Loader with the forkset and changing my mind on how it would go together and be most authentic looking, but it looks great, just have to take some decent pics of it to upload to this site.  I'm proud of what I've accomplished with the inspiration of the many talented members who design and build MOCs here.  This is the best forum to get ideas from others and I take each and every one of them.

#48 Carrera124

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

@TechnikFreak, I recommend 8846 and 8851. Two classic Technic sets, that are not too big and therefore not too expensive. Both offer lots of technical features and are fun to build.

#49 parda

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 07:58 PM

I think that the situation of technic will improve in the next years.. :classic: :sweet:

#50 jorgeopesi

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

I left my dark ages with the studless and now I donĀ“t know how to build in a classic studded, in fact I only use it for the aesthetics and to strengthen structures. In my opinion this is the Golden Age, we have two building styles that perfectly complement, but I also think that the Golden Age for technic is every year while Lego exists.
My condolences to France.




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