JLiu15

[MOC] CLAAS Challenger 95E

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This MOC was originally planned to be a third submission for BrickFair VA 2018 - after finishing my Red Beryl GT I realized I still had a month before the expo, and seeing that I had an abundance of lime pieces I decided a CLAAS tractor would be a perfect build. However, problems soon arose when I overestimated the amount of pieces I had, and I had to begin compromising parts of the build. When I realized the number of compromises I was making would greatly hinder the model's functionality and aesthetics, I decided to put it off until after the expo.

The original chassis only contained M motors, had a poorly designed rear PTO and an inaccurate fake engine. However, after taking apart my BrickFair MOCs I was able to use the two L motors on my Red Beryl GT as the propulsion motors for the tracks. They sit side by side, driving the front sprockets with a 5:1 reduction. This left ample space in the rear of the chassis for the rear PTO and elevating mechanism. I originally wanted to include an inline-6 fake engine under the hood connected to the PTO motor, but due to lack of space, concerns of overloading the front end and the absurdity of an engine connected only to the PTO, I decided to omit it and simply connect the motor to the rear PTO. A driveshaft passes down the center of the chassis linking the M motor to the PTO, with a clutch gear and 3:1 reduction at the motor. The elevating rear attachment point was a modular build, which included a worm gear driving a pair of levers that uses links to raise/lower the attachment. This mechanism also uses a M motor with clutch gear and 3:1 reduction. Despite originally being a modular element, it fit into the chassis very well.

As for the aesthetics, the hood was the most challenging part to model. I spent the bulk of my work on this project before BrickFair on modeling the hood, trying to get it as close as possible to the real thing. The curvature and combination of lime/white were especially challenging, and I ended up "marking" the bottom curvature of it using lime flex axles and used System pieces at various points. It was not perfect, but I was pretty satisfied with it as to how it compared to the real thing. The cab was much easier, but getting the proper angle with the front windscreen was also quite challenging. Restricting myself to only using black axles was the main obstacle - as I could not use beams due to the angle towards the bottom of the cab. I also had to make sure the roof was not placed at an angle, since I'm not a fan of roofs that angle downward to accommodate the windscreen angle. I ended up attaching the front windscreen to the roofs with beams at an angle - not the prettiest but better than a leaning roof I guess. The rear attachment, simple as it is, was very fun to build. I decided not to go too crazy with it, so I made something similar to the mower attachment on the back of the 8284. The mower blades are manually folded with mini LAs which also allow them to be angled. The red tiles with the "DANGER" print are custom printed pieces I got at BrickFair.

The model, of course, has its share of drawbacks. The main one being the rear of the tractor, as I was simply too lazy to get the complex curves back there. I used panels to sort of get the curves, and left the battery exposed in the rear. Not everyone's favorite solution, but if they do it on official sets (e.g. 8043) then whatever I suppose. The lack of larger Technic sprockets was another problem - the tracks ended up "flatter" compared to the original tractor. I initially built the tracks with pairs of oscillating sprockets to sort of prevent this look, but this proved to be very bad as it would always cause the model to tilt on its front end. I eventually connected all the sprockets to a solid beam which solved the problem, but I cannot help but think the tracks are a bit out of proportion. I also had issues with the clutch gear in the rear PTO - it slipped with too little torque. This caused the mower blades to stop when bumped against anything. Adding another clutch gear or removing them altogether would have remedied the issue, but I simply overlooked it while building.

Despite not having fulfilled its original intent as a BrickFair submission, I was nevertheless very satisfied with the result. It had its drawbacks, but in my opinion this was a great experience with modeling a real vehicle. Such projects allow me to actually consider how the real thing looks before choosing what piece to use, which makes the building process much more interesting. 

Video:

Photos:

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Just now, Aventador2004 said:

Great work and all, but the hood could have used a little smoothing out.

True, I can see that with the curved sloped pieces.

I did mention that it was the most challenging part of the build, so I had to compromise at some points. Not entirely happy with it either, but gets the gist of it I guess.

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Very nice work, @JLiu15! I have been following your progress over the last couple of weeks, and I must say the end result is quite satisfying. Like @Aventador2004 said, the hood needs some smoothing, and the cab may be a bit too long, but over all I like the look of it.

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I had never seen this model, But before looking up an image I felt something was off with the tracks that seem too low. You mention it yourself in your post, but I wonder if there is no better solution. Maybe one of the tank building experts can give tips ... I think this would also solve the nose looking a bit too long.  Thanks for sharing this fascinating MOC with us. A tracked vehicle is always fun ...

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A little pinocho but it is always hard to put everything we need in tracked machine bodies even more if you use standar Lego tracks, good job in the end.

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The situation when one lego set gives room for creating tens of MOCs :thumbup:

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7 hours ago, Magical Duck said:

Very nice work, @JLiu15! I have been following your progress over the last couple of weeks, and I must say the end result is quite satisfying. Like @Aventador2004 said, the hood needs some smoothing, and the cab may be a bit too long, but over all I like the look of it.

Thanks! Glad you like it!

I’m pretty happy with the end result too, despite its shortcomings.

5 hours ago, WvG_853 said:

I had never seen this model, But before looking up an image I felt something was off with the tracks that seem too low. You mention it yourself in your post, but I wonder if there is no better solution. Maybe one of the tank building experts can give tips ... I think this would also solve the nose looking a bit too long.  Thanks for sharing this fascinating MOC with us. A tracked vehicle is always fun ...

Yup! I suppose a section of custom-built track using many 2L beams could have worked, but it’s thick, heavy, and parts-costly do not ideal for such a project.

5 hours ago, jorgeopesi said:

A little pinocho but it is always hard to put everything we need in tracked machine bodies even more if you use standar Lego tracks, good job in the end.

Thank you!!

9 minutes ago, Aleh said:

The situation when one lego set gives room for creating tens of MOCs :thumbup:

Haha, CLAAS MOCs are interesting. The best part in my opinion is getting to use the lime pieces :classic:

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7 minutes ago, Corrado said:

Wow first time i see this model of Claas. Looks good.

Thanks :classic:

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On 8/27/2018 at 8:37 AM, WvG_853 said:

I had never seen this model, But before looking up an image I felt something was off with the tracks that seem too low. You mention it yourself in your post, but I wonder if there is no better solution. Maybe one of the tank building experts can give tips ... I think this would also solve the nose looking a bit too long.  Thanks for sharing this fascinating MOC with us. A tracked vehicle is always fun ...

There are many possibilities to improve the look. Tracks can be driven with rubber wheels with plates on the sides. They will be higher and, consequently, they will look much better. At first model looks good and nice. However, the longer you look at it the more problems you see. The tractor is definitely too long or too low. If you wanted to use standard lego tracks, you had to shorten it 7 stud. The mask itself is too long for about 3-4 studs. I know that there are mechanisms inside but for the model's appearance it was possible to try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, ArsMan064 said:

Really nice model! I think, you can fold both half of mower just using two 16-teeth gears on knobs 

Thanks, but there’s two issues associated with that:

1. The spacing of teeth on the 16T gears would mean that the mowers would never be aligned perfectly. Easily overlooked issue as it’s negligible, but I don’t like it.

2. I wanted the mowers’ not only to be foldable, but also be positioned at any angle in between. I don’t care if 9393 and 8284 has them manually folded without any mechanisms.

I strongly oppose using gear trains on any mechanism where precise angle is very important, a good example is steering mechanisms. The offset is negligible, but offset is offset. 

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I dont know exactly what it is ( it is some kind of farmer machine ) but i have to say, great build and i love it..!!!

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4 hours ago, JDL1967 said:

I dont know exactly what it is ( it is some kind of farmer machine ) but i have to say, great build and i love it..!!!

Thanks! It is in fact a farm machine, because it’s modeled off a real vehicle. Look it up.

Edited by JLiu15

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3 hours ago, BrickbyBrickTechnic said:

Great build, but the proportions are way off and those A-pillars are horrid. The angle is so weird and throws off the look of the whole tractor.

As I said in the summary, I already tried a ton of solutions in the windscreen section that seemed to work out much worse (e.g. holding the entire roof at an angle). Place the top ends of the A-pillars one stud forward, the windscreen is at an even worse angle. I don’t see how the angle of the windscreen is off either. If anything it could be worse, as I mentioned.

I did not foresee the issue of proportions until I modified the tracks and got rid of those oscillating parts, which was when the build was 80% complete. I’m not taking apart the entire model just to fix some proportions issue.

I’ve looked at many pictures of the real thing, and sure this thing has its drawbacks but I don’t see how it’s way off.

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