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Lego 42049 Mine Loader

Thanks to Lego and EuroBricks for making this review possible! This was supposed to be a preview-review, before the Dec 1 release date for the set, but it got stuck in customs or something and didn't arrive in time. Well, I'd rather do a good, late review than a rushed review, so here it is.

Name: Mine Loader

Set Number: 42049

Pieces: 476 (I think)

Price: $39.99 (I think)

Minifigs: 0

Theme: Technic

Year of Release: 2016

Links: Bricklink Brickset

The Box


Another standard Technic box, not that there's anything wrong with that. It is a littler weird that the mine loader is shown OUTSIDE the mine, but whatever.

The Back of the Box


Again, very standard. It's oddly technical, showing the exact angle of the machine when turning, but that's the sort of nerdy detail that Technic people like. The alternate Mine Cutting Machine model looks interesting and unusual as well.

The 1:1 Part


The 1:1 part on the top of the box is especially helpful with this set. These mining machines are very oddly proportioned, since they need to fit in mine tunnels, so it's hard to judge the model size based on the wheels or seat like you can an ordinary set.

The Contents


You get manuals for both models (a single book for the B and two books for the main), a medium size sticker sheet, 4 bags, and 4 loose tires.

The Special Parts


This set has 4 of the new mudguard panels in yellow, two cylinder halves in red (a new color), some of the new color red and yellow axles, a couple of the new-ish Technic spacers, some of the axle-pin combination pieces, and a couple swords! I'm pretty sure that's "an antenna" and a spare.

The Start of the B-Model


Since I like the main model better, I'm building the alternate first, so that's how I'll write the review. There's "power" for something (probably the engine) being taken off the one axle here. Overall, a pretty standard Technic frame beginning with some structural beams, a frame, and using liftarms to support axles out to the sides.

More of the Frame


The far end of the model has some obvious steering mechanism being formed, as well as a pivoting arm right in the center that's probably the connection from the Hand of God knob.

The Steering


Yup. Called it. Oddly, there is a different turning radius between right and left right now. I wonder if that'll get fixed...

More Mechanisms


That's looking more Technic now. Sad to see a u-joint being used just as a fixed straight connection like that, but it is the alternate model...

The Engine Block


Because all engines should be enclosed in a red cylindrical housing, am I right?

The Chassis


It's definitely coming together now. And yes, the B-model instructions tell you to put the stickers on. It doesn't matter whether you build the main or alternate first, you'll get the stickers on (almost - there were a couple leftover that didn't get used in the B-model).

Almost Done


With the rest of the body done and the wheels on, you really get the scale of this machine. That blue seat is tiny compared to the rest of it! And yes, the uneven steering lock got fixed. After putting the wheels on, you add a couple of "pin with ball" pieces to the underside to restrict the steering. They didn't do that at first so that you could turn the axles sharper while putting the wheels on, which made it easier to do.

The Grinder


Keeping in mind the scale of the machine, this thing looks terrifying! The tan gear at the back drives the spinning blade up front. The red bushes near the turntable let you adjust the angle.

All Done


The arm quickly attaches to the body and it's done. Sadly, that tan gear doesn't connect to anything - it's just a knob so you can spin the blade by hand.

Raise Your Hand, If You're Sure...


(I think I'm dating myself with that title...) This thing has massive reach. I'm imagining this inside a mine, grinding away the rock overhead. Pretty viciously effective machine! The crank on this side of the model is used to raise and lower the arm. Works well, and the grey spacer makes it nice to use since it spins freely.

The Leftovers


Not much left for a B-model. Nice usage!

Starting the Main Model


The main model starts similarly to the alternate, with a frame, some axles, and a drive connection from one axle to something later.

Getting Complicated Already


We're only a few pieces in and we already have three separate gear trains going on. There's the axle driving the tan beveled gears inside the frame at the bottom. There's more tan gears in the middle, and there's also a black gear sticking up as a knob that turns the grey connector in the center.

The Body is Done


I skipped ahead quite a bit, but it was a bunch of standard Technic building. You've got a fake engine with fan at the back, driven by one of the rear wheels, a knob sticking up for steering, and an axle coming forward to open and close the claw.

The Claw!


I like that they used a link system to open and close the claw instead of just gearing it. The axle comes forward from the chassis (it's the red axle) with a couple u-joints for flexibility and drives a worm gear. That rotates a gear below with a 2 stud liftarm on each side. Those arms have pin with towball in them and then a link going from that short liftarm to the claw. It's a small rotation of the liftarm, but makes the claw open widely and works very well.

Raising the Claw


A few black liftarms join the claw to the body of the loader and allow it to move up and down. It's a simple mechanism there - one yellow beam goes back and connects to a lever that lets you raise and lower the claw. When raised (as shown), the lever locks in place by going just slightly past the centerline.

And It's Done


Add some wheels, a cab, and some wheel arches and we're done. It's a great looking machine, pretty unique, and looks like the real thing. The main difference from reality is these usually have a scoop for moving loose rock. Since we've had so many scooping vehicles in the past (tracked loaders, the Volvo L350F, excavators, etc) the claw here is a fun change and adds to the playability for kids. Like the real thing, the body stays very low so the cab only has to stick up a little bit for the driver to see all around, because mines are cramped and busy areas.


From the Rear


This angle is great. I love the use of the new mudguard panels to make a nice curve to the back of the loader. The antenna is a little weird, but perhaps they had a big pile of flat silver fencing swords to use up. The black gear just to the left of the antenna is the claw control. Rotating that gear opens and closes it. The back end is a little lighter than a real machine would be, but Lego wanted to leave the engine exposed so you can see the cylinders moving.

The Conclusion

So, what's my conclusion on this model? I like it a lot. It's simpler than a big set would be, but it's got lots of design and playability crammed in a mid-sized set. It's a unique vehicle. However, it does have a few flaws. The steering on the main model needs some drag added. As is, you basically have to drive by holding the steering knob since it'll bend if you push it from behind. I don't like the use of pin with pin hole as mounting points for the orange and red trans plates for lights, since they can turn slightly and be at weird angles. The antenna is unnecessary and in the way. But none of these flaws are dealbreakers or even big deals. They're minor.

The Ratings

Value: 10/10 - Less than 10 cents a piece, lots of useful liftarms and such, nothing too weird or single-use.

Design: 9/10 - Looks very realistic for the size of the set, good functionality, not too dependent on stickers

Minifigs: n/a - n/a

Playability: 9/10 - Controls aren't perfect (loose steering, small knob for claw control) but very functional and cleverly done.

Parts: 9/10 - Nice selection, although heavy on the standard yellow and black. Almost zero studded parts.

Overall: 9.5/10 - It's a great intro to Technic set - a unique vehicle, good functionality, nice part selection, and decently priced. I like it a lot and plan to keep it around as a finished set.

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Great review with high quality pictures, well done!!

I'm glad you took the time to do it properly. Cool that you have built both models.

I agree with the mudguards. They sure look good on this model.

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I was waiting especially for review of this set.

Let me add few things about this... thing. It all will be complainging of person who works with these type of machines, so if you just want a unusual machine in your collection, ignore my complaining :)

I see underground loaders almost every day, and believe me, this model would now work in the underground mine.

First of all, its cab should stick out more from the frame. Each loader has cab placed out of the chassis, to provide better view for the driver. In this class of machine it would help a bit, but in low loader ones it is extremely important:


This is the view from the cab of a low profile loader (looking at front - and yes, front of the machine is where engine is placed, because at least at KGHM all machines drive engine forward):


Another thing about that cab is that seat and steering wheel/joysticks are placed perpendicularly to the machine chassis, to provide same view for driving forward and backwards. So another weak spot of the set.

The model lacks of trans clear lights on the engine part, because all machines that work underground have same lamps on front and back. Another thing that comes to my mind is that warning light and antena would not live too long in the mine, becuase it could be torn apart by ramming into tunnels roofs.

It does resemble shape of underground machine, but not a loader.

Only machine that comes to my mind is something that are used for moving/placing hydraulic support jacks in tunnels. Sorry for poor quality, I didn't find better picture of it:


It does have claw, four wheels and articulated chassis, but have much greater range of movement of the arm. Anyway, I'd give it at least 3/5 for overall look.

Model itself, as a set, looks unfinished (or cut down on pieces after visit of an accountant...) For me it looks like engine part was built differently, with knobs for steering/claw operating sticking out from back. Claw needs almost seven full turns of the worm gear to close from opened position, and is rather annoing to use it in way it is built in this model. Bracket that holds bevel gears responsible for steering is rather loose, being hold in place by single 3/4 pin. On the other hand, the steering works very well.

It seems that lack of differential will be more common in LEGO sets, becuase it is another model that have fake engine driven by single wheel (like in old russian RC cars...). I am OK with that, but it is a pitty that this model has only R2 engine.

Thing that I do not like the most in this model is how the claw arm works. First of all, it barelly lifts the claw of the ground, the movement could be much better. And it has major design flaw - universal joints are not placed in line with articulation points, and this is main reason of 5L axle not being suported on both sides under the turntable. While rainsing the arm, it bends a little!

I really would like to see this model built differently, with normal bucket and better range of movement.

Edited by M_longer

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Thanks for the thorough comments! I agree that the set has some limitations, both in construction and realism, but I think they're acceptable given the pricepoint and size. The antenna is definitely ludicrous - I really do suspect they had a surplus of the swords to use up! And yes, the way the steering knob is mounted is loose. I also noticed that the u-joints to the claw are not in the right spot like you mentioned, but didn't include it since it still works fine. That axle coming forward to the claw has a very long unsupported section that does bend a bit when you raise and lower the claw. It works, but is a bit of a cheat that I'm kinda surprised they let through.

I just checked and the bucket from 8043 is a couple studs too wide for this set. I'm betting that was seriously considered, but it'd have meant scaling the whole thing up and that would have put it into a higher price point. Or they could have pulled the mold for the 8x14 bucket back out and remade it for this set...

I really like the model you built! And that's interesting about the cabs being basically flush with the top but sticking out the side. In image searching as part of my research, I found both that style and ones like this, with the cab sticking up more (like the photo of the Caterpillar one in my review). I wonder if that's a US/European difference, or different types of mining, or what, because both styles definitely exist in the real world.

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Excellent review! Worth waiting for. The set itself is very interesting. looks like it may have one interesting build techniques.

Thanks for the review,

Andy Ad

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Think this is the only 1H set I'll be getting. Guess I'm waiting for 2H for the rest of the construction stuff! :laugh:

This set looks okay to me; it includes the instructions for both models, which is cool, and includes some great parts. I like that it's not just another bucket loader and that it actually tries something different, too.

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Great review and great pictures ! Many thanks for talking the time to review this set :thumbup: .

I am a fan of LEGO Technic construction stuff, but this set is not so appealing to me. But, then again I am sure some people will love it.

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Great review and great pictures ! Many thanks for talking the time to review this set :thumbup: .

I am a fan of LEGO Technic construction stuff, but this set is not so appealing to me. But, then again I am sure some people will love it.

Indeed very good review! and also good points pointed out by m_longer ;) this set doesnt appealing to me neither, but before i knew what it was i was thinking it was interesting but now... its so simple, a set close to 500 pieces with only 1 real function, and the entire rear section looks unfinished.

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Great review!

One thing reaaaaaally bothers me about this set, both models have the engine connected to one wheel, the other wheel on the "powered" axle is just left to rotate freely, and that really bothers me, as it did in 42022 (on 42022 even more TBH, since its main feature is being a frigging car). Looking at the pics it isnt even a space issue (as it was in the hot rod, where they "needed" to route the steering through), so they just cheaped out and didnt bother fitting a diff in there (or even a live axle link)

Im not very interested in this set (not into construction stuff), but i think this is a worrying trend :(

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Thanks for review, mostlytechnic. Not a must have for me, but this set have nice assortment of parts... new turntable, new panels (i like yellow). And if i'll buy two of this sets - i'll get enough wheels for proper 18-wheeler. And rubber connectors, that i almost don't using at all, but want to have more and more)

Edited by Victor Imaginator

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Definately a quirky set, I think I'd have prefered a bucket on the front with a complex lift and tip mechanism, but a grab is different.

As for the B model, I may prefer it's functions to the A model, certainly something different we have not seen before.

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some mods

"all wheel drive"


V6 instead straight 2 cylinder


Bucket instead Gripper


Back lights


and oldschool worngear mechanics instead of linear actuators


Edited by efferman

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Cool mod by effe. But the original model out of the box is one of the poorest models TLG ever released. Looks from front to rear as a cheaped out set with really lazy design effort. A shame for the responsible Lego designer

Parts assortment seems to be ok but this should Not be the most important Criteria

Sry Jim, i really appreciate your always very well done reviews and offen i agree with the Overall judgements/verdicts and of course tastes are different but especially that review sounds like gushing praise in my ears....

Just my 2 ct

Edit: ooops just saw the review isn't done by Jim...<blush>... So sry Jim... Now my final comment belongs to mostlytechnic

Edited by Kumbbl

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please i need help! wich engine kit i need to put on this lego to make remote control?

Have you tried Googling for Full RC Mods?

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