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[REVIEW] 42052 - Heavy Lift Helicopter

42052 - Heavy Lift Helicopter - Rating  

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REVIEW - 42052 - HEAVY LIFT HELICOPTER

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INTRODUCTION

Helicopters, planes...basically everything airborne is +1 for me. The 9396 - Helicopter is one of my favorite models. I own three copies, which says it all. the news about a new helicopter made me very excited. The news about twin rotors made me even more excited. Although I must admit I was hoping for a Chinook style tandem rotor, instead of a double rotor where one is positioned on top of the other. This set does come with a Chinook style B-model, so maybe that will be worth building. One thing I immediately like better than the 9396 is the color scheme. I love the bright orange-white combination. This set seems to have a huge number of panels, which is not to everyone's liking. Let's find out what's going on underneath that smooth surface!

Note: All images can be clicked for hi-res versions.

SET INFORMATION

Number: 42052

Title: Heavy Lift Helicopter

Theme: Technic

Released: 2016

Part Count: 1042

Box Weight: 1831 gr

Box Dimensions: 57,0 cm x 37,3 cm x 8,0 cm

Set Price (MSRP): € 119,99

Price per Part: € 0,115

Links: Brickset, Bricklink

THE BOX

The box is fairly big, which indicates a pretty big model. Unfortunately the box was damaged. Some cracks and dents, but luckily it wasn't ripped apart, like my Mercedes box. I'm not sure if TLG sends out the sets the same way when they sell via S&H, because I would be slightly disappointed to receive my sets like this. Update: I've seen more complaints about wrecked and/or damaged boxes, so there's room for improvement in the shipping department.

The front of the box shows the helicopter lifting it's load. The model is 60 cm long and 53 cm wide. It also shows the contra-rotating rotors. As you can see an M-motor and battery box are included, so there are some powered functions.

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BACK

The back of the box shows which functions are powered. We will deal with the functions later. It also shows the Chinook style B-model, which has motorised functions too. Looking at the front of the B-model I am not very tempted to build it. It looks like a flying guinea-pig :laugh:

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CONTENT OF THE BOX

The box contains:

  • Sealed instruction booklet with stickers
  • 6 Helicopter Blades
  • 1 Sealed M-Motor
  • 1 Battery Box
  • 2 Soft Axles
  • 10 Unnumbered Bags

SEALED INSTRUCTIONS WITH STICKERS

The stickers are sealed with the instruction booklet, like we are getting used to with bigger sets. I've said it before, but TLG deserves a big thumbs-up for this!

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The sticker sheet is still in perfect shape!

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HELICOPTER BLADES

This set contains six of the Large Technic Rotor Blades, first released in the 9396 - Helicopter in 2012.

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PF BATTERY BOX AND M-MOTOR

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SOFT AXLES

Two Soft Axles, or Flex Axles, are delivered unbagged. 19L? Who knows! More on these later :wink:

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BAGS

Ten bags containing the rest of the, mostly white, parts.

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HIGHLIGHTED PARTS

This chapter describes new and interesting parts. Not sure if it's a trend, but like the 24 Hours Race Car this set also has an abundance of panels. I've counted 51 of 'em (not counting the engine covers). It does have two new panels, introduced in most of the 1H 2016 sets.

As from today this set officially contains the most Technic Panels. One more than the 42025 - Cargo Plane.

BLUE 5x3 BENT PANELS

These new Bent Panels seem to be very suited to make fenders/wheel arches and seats.

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AXLE AND PIN HOLE

The axle counterpart of the Pin and Pin Hole.

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YELLOW 5L AXLE

From what I can tell at the moment, the yellow 6L Axle is unique to this set.

I made a mistake here. It's actually a yellow 5L axle instead of 6L.

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RED 6L AXLE

Like the yellow 6L axle, the red 5L Axle seems to be unique to this set. This will obviously change over the course of time, but for now it's the only set containing them.

I made a mistake here. It's actually a red 6L axle instead of 5L.

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19L SOFT AXLES

Finally, the black 19L Soft Axles! A lot of people will be glad to see these being used again. Only released in the 8450 - The Mission in 1999, this part has become very rare.

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DRUM TIPPER

Of course these are no Cement Mixer Drum Tippers (60018 - Cement Mixer, 7990 - Cement Mixer). These are Helicopter Engine Covers, and quite good looking ones. They seem to be more versatile then you'd imagine, since they already appeared in 4 other sets.

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GREEN 3x11 PANEL

Two green 3x11 Panels, not to be confused with bright green, used in the 42039. This is the same green as the 42008 - Service Truck from 2013.

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ORANGE PANELS

A collection of 13 orange panels.

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WHITE PANELS

A collection of 34 white panels.

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WHITE 5x11 TAPERED PANEL PLATE

Introduced last year in the Fire Plane, this is a relatively new panel.

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2x4 PERPENDICULAR BENT PIN CONNECTOR

This 2x4 Perpendicular Bent Pin Connector was introduced in 2013 and it's one of those parts flying under the radar. You won't be needing this every day, but who knows when it might come in handy.

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PART LIST

The set consists of 1042, shown below.

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THE BUILD

Upon opening the booklet with building instructions, I noticed the color of the pages has slightly changed. The pages are lighter blue than we're used to. Probably to increase the contrast and make the difference between the darker colors better visible. This new color is used in every booklet of the new sets.

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The build setup is a bit different than we're used to. Usually you start by building one side, followed by adding things inside and finished by closing up the model. This time you start by building the fuselage, after which you continue with the gear box and rotors.

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ROTORS

The image below shows the mechanism for the contra-rotating rotors. Actually I made a mistake here. I switched the two turntables. Luckily it didn't take me long to find out. At the top you can see an Axle Connector with Axle Hole which is connected to an axle going through the turntables. This axle is only connected to one of the turntables (obviously).

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The first set of rotors is connected to one of the turntables, while the other is connected to the axle going through the turntable. This is demonstrated in the video below.

GEARBOX

Here you can see the setup of the gearbox. A basic setup with a single layer of gears (more or less). You can see the 3L Driving Ring on both sides of the model, used to switch between the different functions.

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CARGO BAY DOORS

I found the mechanism to open the bottom cargo bay doors to be very intriguing. Here you can see three stages of moving the H-Frame down.

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The video below demonstrates the gearbox and the mechanism for the cargo bay doors.

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This video shows the gearbox mounted on the fuselage, and the contra-rotating rotors.

CARGO CONTAINER

The cargo container wraps up the build.

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FINISHED MODEL

Leaving the other building steps for you to discover, we skip right to the finished model. There's always a lot of debate about panels and closing a Technic model with them. I personally love a finished look with panels. Looking at the image below, I can only compliment the designer with his accomplishment. The helicopter looks fantastic! The design itself is fantastic and the color scheme is really spot on. This helicopter looks even better than the 9396 - Helicopter, which I will compare later in this review.

The Drum Tipper parts used as engine covers is very well done. You would almost think they are designed to be used in this helicopter.

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SIDE REAR VIEW

In this picture you can clearly see the rear cargo bay door/ramp and the landing gear. The tail rudders are operated manually, which is slightly disappointing. The solution in the 42025 - Cargo Plane was much better. The landing gear is pretty clever though. Very simple, but it works like a charm, using nothing more than gravity.

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SIDE VIEW

The side view shows how well the helicopter has been designed. The panels align very well and the model is almost entirely closed. This is a matter of personal preference, but I absolutely love it.

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BOTTOM VIEW

Yup, there it is...the battery box. You can also see the mechanism to operate the tail wing. I find this to be a weak spot of the model. The lever is positioned very close to the wing itself, which feels a bit useless. It would have been great to operate the wing with the orange Bionicle Tooth located near the tail gate.

You can clearly see which panels are used for cargo bay doors. Two 3x11 panels are used as bottom cargo bay doors, and a 5x11 is used as the back cargo bay door (ramp). Both are operated by the Power Functions motor (see features and functions).

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FRONT VIEW

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REAR VIEW

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES

Here are two additional images from different angles.

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PARTS LEFT

It's interesting too see TLG provided an extra 19L Soft Axle. It appears to be used in the B-model, but it somehow feels like an added bonus, since this part is wanted by a lot of builders. The 6L"]http://alpha.brickli..."color":11}"]6L Rigid Hose[/url], which is also used in the B-model, is extra too. Since the instruction booklet tells us we are only supposed to get a single 19L Soft Axle, I am not sure whether it's used in the B-model (it looks that way though).

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FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS

This set has the following features:

  • Contra-rotating rotors (Power Functions)
  • Opening bottom cargo bay doors (Power Functions)
  • Opening rear cargo bay door/ramp (Power Functions)
  • Operating the winch
  • Operating tail wing (Manual)
  • Operating tail rudders (Manual)
  • Landing gear
  • Castering nose wheel

The following video demonstrated all of the functions/features. I have added an IR receiver and I am using a PF remote to operate the powered functions.

As you can see all the functions work very smooth. The powered functions work pretty fast, so there's no waiting for ages before the cargo doors open up. The winch is the slowest of them all, but that makes sense.

As you could read in the review, I don't really like the manual tail wind and rudder functions. I know a designer needs to make concessions, but wasn't it possible to operate the tail wing with the orange bionicle tooth.

The castering nose wheel does work properly, and so does the landing gear. Both very simple, but they do their job.

SUMMARY

Like I said at the beginning of my review, I am fan of flying machines. And to be honest, I am an even bigger fan of helicopters than planes or jets. This might influence my judgement. I am also a big fan of white, orange and grey, so that's another plus. And I happen to like models finished with panels. Do you see where this is going?!

I absolutely love this model. The 9396 - Helicopter was one of my favorite models, but I like this one even better. The closed design is something I like a lot, as long as the model is packing some functions too. Panels alone don't cut it. Well, this set has some cool features under those panels. The mechanism for the contra-rotating rotors is pretty nifty. So are the bottom cargo bay doors.

The things I like the least is are the tail wing and tail rudders. The tail wing is operated manually, but it's a simple lever positioned very closely to the actual wing. And the rudders are operated by simply moving the rudders themselves. As with the Mercedes I am not a big fan of operating a model by using the switch on the battery box. It confuses me, and you can't easily reach it. I understand TLG can't throw in a remote and IR receiver each time they supply a PF motor, but it's probably one of the modifications most AFOLs will immediately apply.

That being said, I absolutely recommend getting this fantastic model!

SCORE

Okay, so how do I grade this set?

9 DESIGN

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Absolutely magnificent.

8 BUILDING EXPERIENCE

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Great build with some clever techniques.

8 FEATURES

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Great functions, but rudder and tail controls need improvement.

8 PLAYABILITY

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Lots of things to operate, but would work better with a remote control.

9 PARTS

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Contains lots of new parts and loads of white panels.

9 VALUE FOR MONEY

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Worth every penny. Will buy another one.

8,5 ABSOLUTE EYECATCHER

BONUS COMPARISON

I will end this review with a comparison between the "new" and "old" helicopter. As you can see my 9396 has a yellow and black color scheme, instead of the original yellow and red, but it will give you a clear picture on how these two compare.

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More pictures can be found on my Flickr page. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.

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Jim, the functions video is still set to private.

And awesome review, i agree with you that the panelled up look is brilliant, they really closed the bodywork up very nicely, even the bottom. Shame the rudder/elevator at the back dont have a more interesting linkage though.

I was planning on getting this set, but it looks very good, i might just pick it up halfway through the year if the H2 sets dont do it for me (either this or the crawler crane, which ive been eyeing as well)

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Jim, the functions video is still set to private.

And awesome review, i agree with you that the panelled up look is brilliant, they really closed the bodywork up very nicely, even the bottom. Shame the rudder/elevator at the back dont have a more interesting linkage though.

Thanks for the heads-up. It was the only one without an automatic publishing date. I have corrected it.

The rudder and wing need improvement, but it's no biggie. Hopefully I will find some time to combine the 42052 and 9396 and make a proper Chinook style helicopter.

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Thanks for the heads-up. It was the only one without an automatic publishing date. I have corrected it.

The rudder and wing need improvement, but it's no biggie. Hopefully I will find some time to combine the 42052 and 9396 and make a proper Chinook style helicopter.

Thanks!

Im a bit shocked how much the tail bends when you pick it up to show the winch, but i guess that is to be expected with that heavy battery box and all those mechanisms in the main body.

I love how responsive and fluid the functions are, very nice!

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Im a bit shocked how much the tail bends when you pick it up to show the winch, but i guess that is to be expected with that heavy battery box and all those mechanisms in the main body.

Actually, now you mention it. I didn't really notice. Guess you are not supposed to pick it up like I did :wink:

I love how responsive and fluid the functions are, very nice!

The functions work like a charm, that's for sure. Indeed very responsive.

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"Looking at the front of the B-model I am not very tempted to build it. It looks like a flying guinea-pig"

*pages Sariel*

Anyway... mama mia, what a helo! Impressive functionality, looks that make you do a spit-take... gah, if only I wasn't so poor.

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Didn't you mix the 5 and 6L axles ? The yellow ones look like 5L and the red ones look like 6L.

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Didn't you mix the 5 and 6L axles ? The yellow ones look like 5L and the red ones look like 6L.

You are absolutely right sir! :look:

It's clearly stated in the instructions. I will correct my error. Thanks for the heads-up.

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This outstanding helicopter is made by Milan Reindl, he confirmed it on facebook page.

This set is great many functions and very sleek design.

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Jim - as you are a big fan of anything that fly's do you have in your collection all other Lego Technic helicopters ? If you do , could you post a picture comparing them with the newest one?

I am interested especially in the 8856 :)

Best regards

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Jim - as you are a big fan of anything that fly's do you have in your collection all other Lego Technic helicopters ? If you do , could you post a picture comparing them with the newest one?

I am interested especially in the 8856 :)

I'm sorry but I don't have that helicopter in my collection. And the 9396 is the only one I currently have assembled.

This outstanding helicopter is made by Milan Reindl, he confirmed it on facebook page.

Do you have a link?

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I'm sorry but I don't have that helicopter in my collection. And the 9396 is the only one I currently have assembled.

Do you have a link?

Here is that link, but you probably need to have facebook .

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Which I happen to have :laugh:

Thanks! Nice to see Milan sharing my review :sweet::thumbup:

I wasn't aware that he designed this set by the way.

Last two aircraft(Fire plane and this helicopter) have plane registration starting with OK which is czech republic registration, and Milan is czech designer so this is for me safe bet :wink: .

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Last two aircraft(Fire plane and this helicopter) have plane registration starting with OK which is czech republic registration, and Milan is czech designer so this is for me safe bet :wink: .

I remember reading something about that, but I forgot. Thanks for reminding me.

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Even though I am no set guy, this review would almost persway met to buy one... :thumbup::classic:

That's the best compliment a reviewer can get :sweet::thumbup:

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That's the best compliment a reviewer can get :sweet::thumbup:

I thought that was the best compliment a salesman can get :laugh: . Seriously though, even though I am not quite sold on the helicopter your reviews are very well done. You put a positive light on it whilst still being completely honest. :thumbup:

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I thought that was the best compliment a salesman can get :laugh: . Seriously though, even though I am not quite sold on the helicopter your reviews are very well done. You put a positive light on it whilst still being completely honest. :thumbup:

Hehe you have a point :laugh: Thanks for the compliment though :thumbup:

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Thanks again for the review. I am not sold on this one yet, but I confess it took about 2 years for me to finally appreciate 9396. Maybe I need to see this in person.

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Thanks for the review. I wonder if the design inspiration came from the Russian Ka-32 helicopter.

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Thanks for the review. I wonder if the design inspiration came from the Russian Ka-32 helicopter.

It sure seems that way.

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