mostlytechnic

[REVIEW] 42045 - Hydroplane Racer

  

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Lego 42045 Technic Hydroplane Racer

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: Hydroplane Racer

Set Number: 42045

Pieces: 180

Price: $19.99

Minifigs: 0

Theme: Technic

Year of Release: 2016

Links: Bricklink Brickset

The Box

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Standard Technic box. Action photo, 2-in-1 logo, inset of functions. And the new "try our app" logo in the corner.

The Box Back

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More standard stuff with the B-model and a larger app ad.

The Contents

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3 bags, two manuals (yes, despite all the ads for their instructions app, they included printed manuals for both the main and B models!), a BIG sticker sheet, and two loose black beams.

The Interesting Parts

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There's a lot of panels in this set. Some are new colors (the blue curved panel) and the L-shaped blue panels are a new mold. I see them being used as mudguards on future sets (or maybe even this year; I haven't looked at the other 2016 Technic sets in detail yet). The hose, soft axle 7 long in black is new as well. The normal 7 axle in yellow is a new color too, and I have no idea why it's in this set. Both models use it in invisible places, so there's no reason other than making it easier to grab the right length axle to have it. I assume other sets this year are using it, but I'm not sure.

The Manual

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And the dumbing-down continues. Now they have to show people to compare axle lengths to the 1:1 prints on the page that have always been there. But how does the 1:1 work on the app? Might have to look into that... (for the record... I pulled out my phone and tried to find the app in the Google store. Couldn't find it. So then I went to the Lego website shown on the page and it had a link to it. Turns out it wasn't showing up because it's tablet only, so Google wasn't showing it to me on my phone. I'll try again later with a tablet...)

Starting the Build

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Two Technic standards. A bunch of pieces linked together to make a specific pattern of holes, and an engine block.

Some Weirdness

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This felt very weird to me - making the crankshaft for the engine, they have you build it right to left. I don't know if it's because I'm a lefty or what, but it felt awkward. I need to look in some old manuals and see if it's always been this way... (nope! I randomly looked at 2013's set 42000 Racer, and it builds it left to right.)

Assembling the Core

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Here's the core of the racer, upside down. The engine block, some gears at each end, and a couple boat studs for smooth gliding. And yes, they cheated and those are only attached on two studs instead of all 4. I'm always amazed at how Lego geometry keeps finding interesting ways that it works. Like here, with those boat studs. They fit perfectly into the bottom of the brick and against the beam.

The Front End

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Up front we get a standard blue seat with a couple "hidden" wheels behind it. A boat doesn't typically have wheels, but these will drive the mechanisms of this model, so we'll let it slide. An odd part choice here though - in the very front there are two tan "axle pin without friction" parts holding that 3 long liftarm on. Why? There's no need in either model for the non-friction pin, and there's lots of the normal blue axle pins in the set. So why include these two different pins?

And All Done!

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It looks like a huge jump here, but it's really not. The front and rear connect to each other, and then a bunch of big panels are added that make the model look WAY bigger. The stickers on this set really make it work. Without them it's pretty bland and boring, so I recommend using them.

From the Rear

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At the back we have a fan to propel the boat. That's not so accurate. All the images I can find of real-life boats use props in the water. But since this is a non-floating model, we have to make some tweaks I guess. There also should be fins going down into the water for stability and hydroplaning, but again, had to drop that. Here's an example of a real boat:

MissMadisonHydroplane2007.jpg

You can see they nailed the overall look quite well.

The Underside

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For those that want to see the mechanicals, here's the underside of the model.

Minifig Scale Technic?

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Nope, not quite. A fig will fit the seat, but sticks out of the cockpit and can't fit a helmet at all. So close...

Starting the B Model

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Again with the engine block, but this time an opposing 4 instead of inline.

An Odd Part

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It's rare for Lego to include parts specific to the B-model, so I was curious when I found this 2-axle with pin, a fairly new part. In the main model, it's used in a place that a normal 3 pin would have been fine, and it's the only one of these in the whole set, so it obviously must be needed in the B-model. Sure enough, there's an assembly here that needs it:

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The Front of the Boat

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More upside-down building. And that silver piston is basically only there as a spacer. It has no real function. (Yet.... it turns out later an axle goes into it, so it's a support for one end of the axle.)

Adding the Wheels

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We keep building around the engine. This model uses the same wheel setup as the main model.

Taking Shape

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The B-model instructions tell you to put the stickers on in case you haven't - they actually did a good job making the sticker work on either model. But the silver piston used as a cross-brace is a bit weird. It can spin, so that axle hole on the side ends up facing whatever way it wants.

The Back End

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The flex axles are used here under the panels just for appearance and to support the exhausts at the right angle. Same fan propulsion as the main model, and just as wrong here :) Worse, the gearing is switched. In the main model, the pistons and fan spin pretty quickly as you push the boat across the floor. In this one, they turn very slowly.

More Instruction Weirdness

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I'm always curious at how Lego decides to do instructions. Here's how the panels on one side of the boat are assembled. For the mirror image on the other side, they tell you to put all 3 pins into the short panel as step 1 (2 black and a blue), add the white piece as step 2, and then add teh second panel and stickers as step 3. Why two different ways?

All Done

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Here's a similar angle as most of the official images. Looks ok. I noticed though how obvious the wheels are. The back of the box image is a lower angle that hides them more. And I like the mudguard panels as seats. Pretty clever.

From the Side

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I'm not fond of the profile. It doesn't sit level like I think it should. The wheels are a stud too low sticking out of the bottom.

The Underside

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Like most B-models, there are compromises. There's pins and axles sticking out, but that's what you do when faced with a limited piece selection.

Minifig Scale Yet?

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Nope, not quite. A bit too big this time. I think the driver is supposed to sit in the seat with knees over the front of the guard (where the grey pin is). So the minifig is way too small.

Spare Pieces

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Very few leftovers in this B-model.

The Conclusion

So, what's my conclusion on this model? The B-model is fairly meh, and too similar to the main model. However, I LOVE the hydroplane racer itself. It looks great and is very swooshable. For the price, it's surprisingly large thanks to the big panels on the sides, Yes, this is one set that really needs the stickers to look good, but they look great and are well worth putting on.

The Ratings

Value: 9/10 - Close to 10 cents a piece, and a fairly large model for the price.

Design: 9/10 - Looks great other than the tiny fan on the back.

Minifigs: n/a - I was tempted to give a score since a minifig almost fits, but that'd be cheating.

Playability: 8/10 - Not much functionality other than the engine and fan spinning, but very swooshable and sturdy enough to be played with.

Parts: 9/10 - A bunch of panels (including some new ones), just about every kind of Technic pin, and quite a few thin liftarms .

Overall: 9/10 - The set is a solid winner, as long as your satisfied with the main model.

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Again, great review with superb pictures. The white and blue certainly works very well with your dark backdrop.

Thorough review for such a small model.

Small in size but great as a set. Tell me, why did I let you review this one?! :tongue::wink:

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And the dumbing-down continues. Now they have to show people to compare axle lengths to the 1:1 prints on the page that have always been there. But how does the 1:1 work on the app? Might have to look into that... (for the record... I pulled out my phone and tried to find the app in the Google store. Couldn't find it. So then I went to the Lego website shown on the page and it had a link to it. Turns out it wasn't showing up because it's tablet only, so Google wasn't showing it to me on my phone. I'll try again later with a tablet...)

Funny thing is that they changed colour of 7L axle to yellow, and on that picture it still is in LBG.

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Thanks for a great review! Too bad there is only one blue curved panel in this set.

My opinion on the frictionless axlepins is that the flex axle might be easier to stick in them than in regular/blue axlepins... Didn't actually try it though :-)

Edited by MajklSpajkl

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Excellent review! I am glad that you did not rush this or the Mine Loader review.

Could it be that the fan in the back is like a turbo prop propulsion.... Just reaching here.

Andy D

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Thank you for the review. I have this one in my pile to build. I wish there was more of the curved blue panels though.

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My opinion on the frictionless axlepins is that the flex axle might be easier to stick in them than in regular/blue axlepins... Didn't actually try it though :-)

Frictionless pins have accurate round hole, while blue friction pins have something squarish. Flex axle will fit in both, but using tan pins doesn't require strength. Conncetion with tan pins is weaker too.

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Great review!

Im a bit undecided on the set though, it has some nice parts (4 cil engine in such a small set!) and it looks good, but also a bit small and simple, not sure if it stands up to the standards of the small tracked loader or similar for sets of this size, and as a parts pack (for panels/flaxles) the display team jet is infinitely better.

Ill probably pick one up, but right now i really want another tracked loader... (last one was sacrificed to the MOD gods)

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