Jim

[REVIEW] 42038 - Arctic Truck

42038 - Arctic Truck - Rating  

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REVIEW - 42038 - ARCTIC TRUCK

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INTRODUCTION

Arctic vehicles aren't new to LEGO. Back in 2000 the Town theme already had several small orange arctic vehicles. In 2014 TLG again released a number of Arctic sets in the City theme (formerly known as Town). Some of these sets are actually pretty big, containing over 700 parts.

Looking back in history it seems that Arctic sets may have found their origin in the Technic theme. Although these sets were white instead of orange, they are unmistakenly Arctic.

The 1986 Technic Arctic Sets contained the infamous Technic Figures. Unfortunately the 2015 Arctic Truck doesn't contain any Technic Figures, but nonetheless it's great to see a new Arctic vehicle in the Technic line, not counting several snow scooters.

Let's see if the new Arctic Truck lives up to the expectations.

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

SET INFORMATION

Number: 42038

Title: Arctic Truck

Theme: Technic

Released: 2015

Part Count: 1219

Box Weight: 2110 gr

Box Dimensions: 47,8 cm x 28,0 cm x 7,2 cm

Set Price (MSRP): € 79,99 / US$ 84.99 / £ 59.99

Price per Part: € 0,088 / US$ 0.093 / £ 0.066

Links: Brickset, Bricklink

THE BOX

The box measures 47,8 cm x 28,0 cm x 7,2 cm and weighs around 1385 grams. The box actually feels pretty heavy which means it's filled properly. This seems to be a trend in the Technic theme. Slightly smaller boxes can save shelf space for retailers.

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THE FRONT

The front of the box shows the main model and in the lower right corner there's a image with the dimension of the model. It's 40cm long and 18cm wide.

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THE BACK

The upper part of the back of the box shows the functions of the main model. The lower left section shows the B-model, which looks very promising (more on that later). The lower right section shows the motorization options for the main model. The crane (partially) and the bed can be motorized. Besides motorization some LEDs can be added as headlights.

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THE SIDE

On of the sides shows one of the newer smaller style panels. This is the first time it appears in orange. When you take a look at the sticker you can see that it's not symmetrical. Not sure why TLG "cut of" one of the sides of the stickers, since the position of the panel is very suitable for a continuous sticker.

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CONTENT OF THE BOX

The box is pretty densely packed, which is better than semi-filled boxes. It feels like you actually bought something which matches the box size.

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The box contains:

  • 2 Booklets
  • 1 Sticker Sheet
  • 8 Bags

BOOKLETS & STICKER SHEET

Unfortunately the instructions and sticker sheet haven't been packed with cardboard protection, which results in a curved sticker sheet and slightly bent instructions. In my case this wasn't so bad. At least no real damage.

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HIGHLIGHTED PARTS

This set proves to be a great parts pack, especially when you might have missed some of the 2014 sets.

BLACK LINK TREADS

Usually the Link Treads come in Dark Blue Grey, but this sets includes 96 Black treads, which is great if you'd like to replace the DBG ones in your MOCs, or other official sets.

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UNDERCARRIAGE AND SUSPENSION

Several parts are included to build the undercarriage driving the treads. Four Large Tread Sprockets and eight Small Tread Sprockets, which are used as return sprockets. Also included are four Steering Portal Hubs and four Steering Portal Axles for driving and steering the vehicle.

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Several frames, including two C-shaped Pivot Frames and two Steering Ball Joints to create an undercarriage much like the 4x4 Crawler. The set even includes two H-shaped Frames (a.k.a. Dog Bone Frames).

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NEW CHANGEOVER CATCH PARTS

This year (2015) three new parts have been introduced to improve the changeover catch. More on these parts later.

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NEW PIN CONNECTOR

Another new part for this year (2015) is the "1L Round Pin Connector", which looks like a pin connector, but acts more like a bush.

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NEW PINS

Furthermore this sets includes quite a large number of three (relatively) new parts. 17 x Pin with Pin Hole, 14 x 3L Pin with 1L Axle and 11 x 3L Pin with 2L Axle, which have been introduced this year (2015). When the new 3L Pin with 1L Axle was introduced in 2014 it was only a matter of time before the new 3L Pin with 2L Axle would appear. Both new Pins are a great addition to the parts portfolio.

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PANELS

Last but not least this sets contains a fair number of orange panels, including the 3x11 Panel in Orange, which is the first time we've seen this part.

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PART LIST

Below is the entire part list for the 913 parts. As usual this part list can be found at the end of the second booklet.

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THE BUILD

The build immediately starts with some of the new parts, used to build the compact gearbox in the center of the model.

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Notice the two 20 Tooth Bevel Gears. One would have been enough to drive the 12 Tooth Bevel Gear, so the second seems to be useless. TLG probably used it in the A-model, because they needed it in the B-model, which you can see later.

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The front and rear suspension are almost identical. The front side also has the 13L Gear Rack, used for steering.

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The picture below shows the steering rack on the front suspension in more detail.

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At this point you have more or less finished the chassis. The gearbox is in place and the majority of the functions has internally been connected to the right gears. The small turntable shows where the crane will be attached later on.

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At the end of the first booklet, some of the bodywork has been attached to the chassis. The orange-black color scheme never fails to please me. Throw in some cool stickers for the extra effect and we have a winner.

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If you decide to motorize the model, using PF, the top of the cabin can be lifted to accomodate the battery box.

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The chassis uses lots of orange (and some black) panels to give the model it's distinctive look. The protective black bumber/railing is a nice addition which adds something to the exterior.

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The dumping bed at the rear can tilt to empty it's load. It's operated by a Mini LA.

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The Treads, which look very cool in Black, are driven by a Large Tread Sprocket and returned by two Small Tread Sprockets. The front and rear sections are identical. Building the undercarriages feels a bit repetitive, which is a problem for most tracked vehicles.

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FINISHED MODEL

Adding the crane to the model finishes the build. Your model should look something like this. When you take a close look at the finished model, you realize this is something else. It's trully a unique vehicle. The color scheme is brilliant and the fact that it's an Arctic Truck is really neat. It's a welcome change for the Technic line to see a vehicle like this.

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This picture emphasizes that's it's a very cool vehicle. Imagine this beast plowing through the snow! As far as I know it's not based on a real life vehicle. If's probably a combination of several vehicles and some imagination. I can be totally wrong though.

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The rear of the vehicle shows the crane and drum, placed on the tipper bed.

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From this angle you can see some of the internals of the model, the gearbox behind the cabin for example. The crane can be partially motorized (rotation and base), while the boom is operated manually. What I like a lot is the protective railing around the vehicle.

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LEFT OVER PARTS

Some leftover parts, nothing noteworthy.

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FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS

This set has several functions/features:

  • Steering
  • Driving
  • Suspension
  • Crane
  • Tipping bed

STEERING

As you can see in the image below the steering mechanism has quite a bit of negative caster (please correct me if I'm wrong), which causes the treads to rotate a bit upward/downward instead of only to the left and right.

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DRIVING

You mention driving as a feature?! Yes I do and let me explain why. Normally I would ommit this as a feature and take driving for granted. However, driving this vehicle (on a flat surface) causes it to simply slide over the surface. For other arctic vehicles this would be a plus, but with a tracked vehicle it limits playability. This is one of the main drawbacks of these tread, they simple don't work properly on smooth surfaces.

SUSPENSION

The suspension is working properly. You do need to apply some pressure, but all things considered it's not too bad.

CRANE

The crane has four degrees of freedom:

  • Base rotation
  • Lower boom
  • Upper boom
  • Hook

It does what it's supposed to do. Base rotation and lower boom can be motorized and switched using the gearbox, while the upper boom and hook are operated manually.

TIPPING BED

The tipping is operated via a Mini LA.

CONCLUSION

While the set does offer various functions and features, driving and steering is a serious issue. Therefor this set is more likely to be showcased than to be played with.

B-MODEL

Instructions for the B-model are of high quality. Looking at the image below, you will see what I mean.

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Here's the finished B-model, a tracked Jeep with a communcations device. This alternate model looks so good, it could easily have made it as a main model. One thing that does pop in mind; how would this look with tires?! More on that later.

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When you are in the artcic region it's imperative to have proper communication channels. Since there's no internet backbone, you will need a big antenna of some sort. This B-model actually features a small trailer wagon with a transmitter/receiver.

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Here's more detailed image of the B-model, without trailer wagon. I would buy this model in a heartbeat if it were a main model. Simply gorgeous.

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The side view doesn't give away that this in alternate model. The stickers also work really well in this model.

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And again, nothing to complain here. The model even has a small crane at the rear, operated by the Mini LA.

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Here you can see the arctic fleet, comprised of both the A-model and B-model. I bet these two can get some work done!!

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A bit of a messy picture, but this should give you an impression of the size of both models.

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LEFTOVER PARTS

Not too many parts left, which is obviously a good thing.

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ALTERNATE MODEL WITH TUMBLER TIRES

Just like me, you probably have been wondering how this model would look like with (Tumbler) tires. Well, here it is. As I imagined it does look great. Admittedly, these are not the type of tires we ought to use, but to be honest; I don't really care.

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Again, the negative caster results in quirky steering.

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The tires are a bit too big, so they hit the chassis when you compress the suspension.

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While this has absolutely nothing to do with an arctic vehicle, I really love this picture.

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SUMMARY

We're almost at the end of my review, so what do I think of this set. Let's start with getting the Elephant out of the room; this set lacks proper driving and steering. Does that make it a bad set?! Definitely not! It's a great set, but it lacks some playability when it comes to moving the vehicle. The crane and tipper bed do work properly, so there's still some playability left.

Does this set look cool? Definitely! I think it's one of the coolest (no pun intended) and most original models of recent years. The orange and black color scheme works great and the stickers are well designed.

The B-model is of very high quality and some might even prefer it over the A-model. And if you are not interested in either of these models, this set provides you with a variety of great parts!

All in all I think this is a great set! Maybe not to play with, but it scores high on all other criteria.

PROS

  • Original model
  • Great color scheme
  • Lots of interesting parts
  • Great B-model

CONS

  • Steering and driving don't work too well
  • Repetitive build of undercarriages (minor con)

SCORE

Below are my scores based on different categories.

8 DESIGN

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Original and good looking model.

7 BUILDING EXPERIENCE

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Fun to build, albeit a bit repetitive.

8 FEATURES

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Packs quite a few features.

7 PLAYABILITY

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Some features work, some don't.

9 PARTS

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Comes with interesting parts.

9 VALUE FOR MONEY

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Two great model in a single set.

8 COOL!

As a bonus, here's picture of the main model with Tumbler Tires. Why? Because we can!

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Very timely review Jim. My wife has just surprised me by giving me this set a few days ago and I have just built the A model two days ago and B model yesterday.

I agree with all that you wrote above.

I don't have Tumbler tires but I have 9398 tires. Driving is smooth but steering + suspension will be bad as you said due to negative caster and tires hitting the chassis.

Anyway, tonight I will destroy the B model and rebuilt this http://www.busterhau...8-c-model.html.

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I was supposed to publish it together with the 42039 - 24 Hours Racer, but it somehow got backlogged. After completing the reviews for the 2016 sets, I felt I needed to finish it (was already 90% done).

That C-model looks cool!

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The set is a looker, you've got to admit it, but what it gives in looks does not make up for what it lacks in functions. I really wanted this set, badly even, when I restarted my adventure with Technic about a month ago. Than I learned more and more about what a good model can do, mostly thanks to this forum and YT. Right now I'm a bit disappointed with the Arctic Truck - smaller sets offer more functions and teach you much more.

Jim it was a great review nevertheless

Edited by pgplay

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Great review. I bought this model several weeks ago and the box has sat on my shelf, so I think after this I will be digging it out for Christmas and I expect my son will have a lot of fun with it when it's built.

PS. these Tumbler tyres look amazing on this model, and indeed amazing in their own right!

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I think this model is more or less supposed to be a version of this thing. A pretty obscure topic, but also very interesting.

antarctica140_3030804k.jpg

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How about this one:

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PS I somehow didn't find this picture when I wrote my review.

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I could be wrong but I am 100% sure that I've seen this review before.

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You switched the sides for the panel with the unsymmetrical sticker. Otherwise you would see that the cut off part is where there's a beam in front of the panel. That's probably done because the beam could possibly damage the sticker, either while building or while placed against it for a long time. Or it's simply omitted because it wouldn't be (completely) visible :laugh:

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Great review and pictures as always. Its an odd combo, but I agree that the B model looks good with tumbler tires

I could be wrong but I am 100% sure that I've seen this review before.

I believe Jim posted the same one in the reviewers academy

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Another great review :thumbup:

I like this set very much, both models look good to me and it's a great part pack for me, the long list in the "high light parts" session tells everything.

As for the real world counter part of the A model, how about this:

Auto-Crane-L.JPG

Try googling Sno-Cat and there a lots of such things. :laugh:

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Until I saw photos of this set I wasn't convinced I wanted it. Now after seeing all the combinations (A+B and tumbler tires!) I am definitely buying two copies. I need orange parts and black treads anyway.

The only problem I have with this is that it's going to encourage me to buy many copies of the drag racer just to get enough wheels to play with.

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I could be wrong but I am 100% sure that I've seen this review before.

You are 100% wrong :laugh:

I believe Jim posted the same one in the reviewers academy

Unless you are indeed member of the RA. The review was posted there, but only for a week or so.

And I have posted links on Facebook, but that was after I posted it here.

You switched the sides for the panel with the unsymmetrical sticker. Otherwise you would see that the cut off part is where there's a beam in front of the panel. That's probably done because the beam could possibly damage the sticker, either while building or while placed against it for a long time. Or it's simply omitted because it wouldn't be (completely) visible :laugh:

Ooops :look:

(no special reason, just a stupid mistake)

Looking closely at it, makes me wonder how I missed that :cry_sad:

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so....paint them pink..........?

:look:

Some ski goggles also have yellow/orange-ish glasses, so I reckon orange and white form a contrasting combination.

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While this has absolutely nothing to do with an arctic vehicle, I really love this picture.

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This really puts me in mind of one of those Arctic 4x4s from the Top Gear Arctic Special:

arctic-trucks-experience.jpg

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You switched the sides for the panel with the unsymmetrical sticker. Otherwise you would see that the cut off part is where there's a beam in front of the panel. That's probably done because the beam could possibly damage the sticker, either while building or while placed against it for a long time. Or it's simply omitted because it wouldn't be (completely) visible :laugh:

This is probably the only reason (for TLG choosing to provide an asymmetrical sticker), but looking at the sticker sheet, I also believe they simply didn't have the space on the sheet for a symmetrical solution.

A symmetrically stickered panel could have more (re)uses for the MOC'ers. On Lego's own B-model, they handily camouflage it with the exhausts :devil:

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Jim/anyone....i built this set a few days ago, i dont like the way the crane arm section has no knob to turn the mini turntable.

you see the 20 tooth gear?....there is a pinhole located next to this....i would like to add something here to make it easier to turn the winch section.

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I have the 42038, nice set but I found the tipping of the bed clumsy. It was a pleasure to build and I do like the build with the tumble wheels :sweet:

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Thank you Jim, nice Review

It´s a great set: A lot unique parts and not just pins, axles and beams. I bough it to bring me back to Lego from my DA (10 years)...

PS. Soon I will post an alternative model

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You wrote a very accurate review of this set, Jim. It's a pretty good model (with some obvious problems) but it's an even better parts pack.

Your pictures with the Tumbler tires are great. What is the material of the gray background?

Lets not forget the C-model made by Buster Haus. Pretty sweet C model.....

:blush: Thank you for the mention.

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