Ngoc Nguyen

42108 - Mobile Crane

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18 hours ago, agrof said:

This is unfortunately no excuse. There is ALWAYS a way, here we see the result of rushed, unloved work.

I really wanted this set to be my next order, but this is the worst model in the last decade... ugly, no B-model, not only lazy but annoying operation. "Congratulation" for all the involved members who developed and approved this. It would have been even better to re-release the 8041/42041 again...

I definitely don't like the direction of Technic, my mood and love is being devastated.

Man, I feel you too.

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22 hours ago, agrof said:

I definitely don't like the direction of Technic, my mood and love is being devastated.

This is probably off-topic, but I can't help chiming in here: I feel the same way. There are some pretty ok models the past years, but they don't feel as exciting as they used to be a couple of years ago. Can't quite tell why this is, but I miss the oh-my-god-I-must-have-this-set feeling I had with for example the Claas, Volvo excavator and front loader, the 42009 and the 9396. Maybe the 2H wave will bring some more mechanically interesting sets.

Another thought is this: I always thought that the studless building system allowed for more complex systems in a similar scaled model, but when comparing this 42108 with the similar sized but studded 8460, that last one had more coherent mechanisms whereas the 42108 seems to have run out of space. Or is it just that the designer(s) run out of time and/or budget?

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@Cumulonimbus All four of the sets you mention are H2 sets in their respective years, and this has certainly been a trend, H1 gets the low end of the line-up, with a single ~$100 set (42000, 42039, 42066, 42077, 42096 and now 42108), the rest being smaller less compex sets (pullbacks, motorcycles etc..), while H2 gets the big boy sets, the Claas, the crawler crane, the various Volvos, the BWE, 42099, the Liebherr, the Arocs etc... H1 has been underwhelming to AFOLs since i got back in the hobby (around 42000)

 

I do agree that there is general trend though, take 42000, 42039, 42077 and 42096, all sets i consider to be a single lineage. 42000 looked cool, had pushrod suspension and two gearbox driven features with LAs besides the normal steering, springs and fake engine. 42039 retains most of those, but swap the pushrod for the regular double wishbone suspension, and imho looks a bit less authentic. 42077 then... loses the two features, so is just suspension, steering and fake engine in a "pretty" dress (42037 had the same features for nearly half the price), 42096 then takes the same technic complexity and adds 50% in parts and price for just looks...

Part counts have been going up, technical complexity hasnt followed proportionally, and due to sets getting bigger and heavier, we see lego hit the limits of what mechanically work with these materials, so functions start working less reliably. Licensed sets are a big thing these days, and while i really love the Porsche/Chiron, i dont think the design quality matches the pricetag, and while your average porsche nut will be blown over by 42056 and the fact that the pistons move etc... (and doesnt blink at spending $300 for something just because there is a porsche logo on it), i think Lego risks alienating AFOLs by lowering the design quality.

@Jim, i dont want to mini-mod, but perhaps this discussion could be split into a different thread? I think it is very much worth discussing, but doesnt belong specifically to the 42108 discussion

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The discussion of set sizes has been done before elsewhere on this forum, but it is rather relevant to the 42108 set. Beside the looks, the functions it provides are so underwhelming for its size. In my eyes, the 42108 is only slightly above the level of the 8067 Mini Mobile Crane function wise, yet it has more than four times as many parts. The 8053 Mobile crane had an almost identical part count, but had 4 actuated outriggers, with a novel mechanism and a gearbox. And don’t forget that the 8460 had 65% of the amount of parts of the 42108 but had more actuated functions, looked better and had pneumatics. I guess this is partly due to the studful design which requires less pins, but still …

But size is only part of the equation of a great set. To me medium sets where often great at providing interesting mechanisms at reasonable sizes (and thus reasonable prices): The beam mechanisms of the 9396 and the 42025, the linked mechanisms of the 8109 and the 42024, the ingenuity of the Claas steering modes, the two stage lifting of the 8416 Fork lift, the rope operated functions of the 8288, the adjustable ride height of the 8297, the container lift/dump mechanism of the 8052 to name a few. These where all fascinating mechanisms showing what was possible with the bricks at that time and taught me something new, so I grew as a builder. It also meant these sets were enjoyable during the build and long after it, each time I operated the set.

For me those are the truly great Technic sets, independent of their size. Personally I don’t really care for logos and the hype they bring. The only advantage to licensed sets is that fact that TLG seems to spend more attention to realistic proportions and to a lesser extent, imitating real functions.

EDIT:

@TLG: build a medium sized set, inspired by a real machine, with an interesting mechanism, proper proportions and preferably no PF and I will throw my money at you. I probably ask a lot, but you have done it before. So all I ask is don’t forget the Technic and technical minded (A)FOL while developing  all your car-centered sets.

Edited by Cumulonimbus

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I'm building this in Stud.io right now, can confirm the 4 outriggers are activated independently, the red towball pins being what lowers and raises the front two (meaning no gears on the front outriggers)

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One of my first big (in fact middle) sized set was lego power crane (8854) which was released in 1989. The part count is low at 518. I think it looks more than an unimog with a crane add-on than a real mobile crane but it seems the number of functions packed is this model is rather impressive :

- steering with HOG
- crane rotation
- raising and lowering the crane with pneumatics
- boom extension
- raising and lowering the (metal) hook.
- syncronised outriggers.

Not to mention that a B-model was included as well as the printed BI.

Main trouble was the turnable that was not as good as those we've got now.

IMHO, it performs pretty well for a 1989 set with half the amount of parts of the 42108.

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The return of the 3 by 11 panels in yellow they used in the 42009 too, be nice to get some more of them with out paying a fortune for them.

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18 minutes ago, skylinedan said:

The return of the 3 by 11 panels in yellow they used in the 42009 too, be nice to get some more of them with out paying a fortune for them.

Yeah, it looks like a good panel-pack for movers who are building cranes and telehandlers.

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@agrof

Im just reading back a bit and came across your "worst model in the last decade" line, and while i will agree this model is far from excellent, i dont think it stands a chance against the stinkers that are 42077, 42076, 42070, a whole bunch of pullback racers and lets not forget 2019s cherry picker re-release...

(ill admit though, it was harder then i thought to find sets that are really actually bad)

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I,m looking at is as good source for parts if nothing else, but the set over all looks good to me other than the out riggers. See how it's priced, might have to pick up a couple of them. Other thing I think was TLG came out with the new longer actuator and said, we have to put out a new crane that uses it. 

 

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9 hours ago, vectormatic said:

@agrof

Im just reading back a bit and came across your "worst model in the last decade" line, and while i will agree this model is far from excellent, i dont think it stands a chance against the stinkers that are 42077, 42076, 42070, a whole bunch of pullback racers and lets not forget 2019s cherry picker re-release...

(ill admit though, it was harder then i thought to find sets that are really actually bad)

Maybe it was not an academic statement from my side, but I believe I still can stand my opinion.

42070 - many say it is bad, but aside of the drivetrain I don't think it is THAT bad, with proper working functions. + B model.

42076 - well, it was something new, and all functions worked properly. + B model

42077 - I built it, and liked it. It is a good looking big empty shell mostly, but was good for the target audience (low budget big car lovers). + B model.

42088 (I would count 42041 here too) - At least it is a proper working set. +  B model.

42108 - proportions are out of the scale, nothing new or innovative - saying this, despite I love mobile cranes. Cheap and akward solution with the outriggers. NO B model.

Some points can be argued based on preference, but the latter - NO B model is only "understandable" and forgivable in case of licensed sets, but here it is such a wound on the Technic heritage... Also, not to mention, that this set is coming from the same designer who made the great Volvo EW 160 (42053) - which had a B model! As such, I dare to say, it is the worst.

Edited by agrof

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@agrof fair points, Personally i dont care for B-models much these days, as they always look much more compromised then the A-model to me, i tend not to have any interest in them. That is personal preference too i guess, and i fully understand that it is hard to swallow on an unlicensed crane like this set. That said, im not sure a B-model like the last cranes (42082, 42042, 42097) had is of any real value. Going back to my childhood my favorite B-model was the white hovercraft which turned into a helicopter, far more diverse then a slightly different type of crane built on the same chassis.

Im sure the AFOL community will come up with a B-model for this set, and looking at recent B/C models, it will probably surpass whatever lego would have come up with.

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On 12/7/2019 at 10:45 PM, Banana92 said:

2020_mobile_crane_moc_1000_pieces.jpg So far what I've figured out.

Could yo ushare the .io file? :)

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@vectormatic We agree on the trend of weaker and weaker B-models... though I don't see as solution, to not to create any B model than at all. B models should show the possibilities, to open the eye of children to use their creativity and inspire them for MOCing. I wouldn't like to push this job on AFOLs and TFOLs. This should be core value of LEGO. Inspire creativity and development? Only the best is good enough? Sounds like empty phrases nowadays. Sounds overstated for sure, I admit there are still good sets in the portfolio, but we definitely see the degradation as we look back. We can indeed note as symptoms the re-releases and some sets You also named. And here we are one step closer to the floor in 2020 H1 with 42108.

Sorry for the slightly off-topic discussion, I might be depressive as I don't get my cycling portion... apologies. :classic:

 

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Manually operated outriggers is one thing, to me totally manual slewing is even worse. On a mobile crane, IMO the core functions are related to operation of the crane itself, including slewing. I am aware of that all the "modern" mobile cranes (42009, 8053, 8421) have only manual slewing, but still... Slewing worked perfectly well on 8460, it shouldn't be to hard to implement in newer models. Perhaps LEGO believes that manual slewing gives better playability, easier to bring the boom to parked position etc.?

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21 minutes ago, kolbjha said:

Manually operated outriggers is one thing, to me totally manual slewing is even worse. On a mobile crane, IMO the core functions are related to operation of the crane itself, including slewing. I am aware of that all the "modern" mobile cranes (42009, 8053, 8421) have only manual slewing, but still... Slewing worked perfectly well on 8460, it shouldn't be to hard to implement in newer models. Perhaps LEGO believes that manual slewing gives better playability, easier to bring the boom to parked position etc.?

Maybe they ran scared from the geared slewing in 42097. "Draggy" doesn't even begin to describe it... :hmpf:

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8 minutes ago, Maaboo35 said:

Maybe they ran scared from the geared slewing in 42097. "Draggy" doesn't even begin to describe it... :hmpf:

I just looked at the instructions and noticed they used five gears to accomplish what could've been done with ONE.

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2 minutes ago, suffocation said:

I just looked at the instructions and noticed they used five gears to accomplish what could've been done with ONE.

So much for Alfred's rule of "Keep it simple"... :facepalm:

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29 minutes ago, suffocation said:

I just looked at the instructions and noticed they used five gears to accomplish what could've been done with ONE.

Another good reason I didn't buy the 42097... what a strange design... maybe cause of the risk of skipping when a bevel gear goes directly on the turntable?

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