mostlytechnic

[REVIEW] 42112 - Cement Mixer

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Technic Cement Mixer

Thanks to Lego and EB for this review set.

Name: Cement Mixer

Set Number: 42112

Pieces: 1163

Price: $119.99 (US)

Minifigs: 0

Theme: Technic

 

The Box Front

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Yup, it's a cement mixer alright. I really like that it's something so different - we've never had a Technic truck like this before. It's something other than a crane, forklift, or airplane. Got a mix of blues with a splash of orange highlights. Looks pretty decent to me. (Unsurprisingly, Lego picked the best angle as the front of box image. They do know product photography.)

 

The Box Back

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It's not the most functional set ever, but it covers the necessities. Looks like it has the ability to rotate the drum either by rolling the truck or manually cranking it. Dual axle steering - wonder if that's got proper steering geometry or not? And that is a super organized array of Technic Pin Connector Round 2/3 there.... I guess that's supposed to be a nice cement slab being poured? 

 

The Opening

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Unfortunately, the box is sealed with thumb tear-holes rather than tape seals. And when you open it, it looks surprisingly empty. It's only about 2/3 full which is less than most sets I've gotten recently. 

 

The Contents

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Dumped out, there's quite a bit here. There are bags divided into group 1, 2, and 3. There's a small bag of the joiners as bag 4, and there's an un-numbered bag of tires. And there's 2 more parts not in a bag....

 

The New Parts

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The cement mixer barrel itself. It's 2 identical parts that connect with 4 pins. Once mated together, the only connection points on them are a pair of 1x3 pinhole connections at the closed end. They are printed with a C logo. I appreciate the detail of having the dimple from the molding process right in the middle of the C, so it actually looks like it belongs there. And oh yeah, they are HUGE! Here's a bunch of comparisons to show just how big these pieces are. 

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I think this year's 42108 Mobile Crane might struggle to pick up something this huge (not really; the barrel is very light weight, but it sure LOOKS heavy)

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The dump truck from 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator is puny next to it. 

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No, you won't be using this as cargo on a train layout.

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It stands as tall as the Lunar Lander set (and I know the flag and astronaut figs are missing - my kids "borrowed" them and I need to get them back)

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Finally, it dwarfs the cement mixer barrel from City sets. In fact, you can open the Technic barrel and put the City barrel inside. The city barrel has been used more as other things than it has as a cement mixer - it's been engine shrouds on helicopters, spaceships, etc. It has the advantage of having more connection points since the end is anti-studs allowing both studden and Technic connections to it. Huge Technic parts often don't get any other official usage - think of the huge buckets made for the Volvo Loader or the Liebherr set. 

 

The Papers

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The instructions are split into 2 books and there's a small sticker sheet. And a Legoland promo - not sure how much those will be redeemed with the current events (although it doesn't expire until 2023), but it's in there. Or at least it's in the European box that I received for review, but the website that the brochure references covers all the Legoland resorts and Discovery Centers worldwide. 

 

The Build, Bag 1

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Bag 1 builds the chassis of the truck, more or less. 

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Up front there's a tiny inline-4 engine representation. There is also the dual-axle steering. Yes, the two axles steer at slightly different angles. To my eye though, it's barely noticeable. The steering mechanism is also redundant. There's both a black gear rack AND an orange 1x2 liftarm pushing each axle. I'm not sure why there's both. The gear rack is the normal and better method. Either one alone though should work. 

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The double axles in the rear are both connected to the driveshaft. The instructions are very clear to make sure you get the two differentials facing opposite ways so it works correctly. It even goes so far as to put a white round joiner in the back corner to give a reference as you build the otherwise very symmetrical structure 

 

The Build, Bag 2

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Bag 2 adds the supports for the barrel, the gearbox and driveshafts that connect the wheels to the barrel, and a few cosmetic parts. The driveshaft going to the barrel has one of the new linear clutches in it. Until now that part was only available in the massive Leibherr 9800 set. And oddly, they have you put the wheels on now. Most sets save that for last.

 

The Build, Bag 3

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Bag 3 finishes off the cab, fenders, and water tank. All that's left is to add the barrel:

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Oddly, as huge as the barrel parts are, it seems slightly undersized to me on the model. I suspect that's just my American view - this is clearly a European truck with its dual steering axles. Here in the US, I virtually never see cement mixers that rear-dump like this anymore. They've all been replaced by larger trucks that discharge in the front, allowing for a larger, longer barrel:

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The Front

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I totally get the rugged vibe that is intended on this truck. However, there's so many little details I don't like. First, I hate these grill stickers. They're not too bad here, since they're divided by the grey bar. But I've seen other sets (42098 Car Transporter) that use multiple of them stacked up, and it's ugly. They're impossible to get all aligned exactly the same, so they look bad. Then there's the dark blue sticker right above that on a black 1x3 liftarm. That part in dark blue has only been in 2 Bionicle sets 15 years ago - so they used a sticker instead. Edit: There ARE two dark blue 3L liftarms in the set, so why on earth not use one here? I also don't like how the dark blue curved panels with stickers don't match up with the curves of the white round parts below. And the orange lights on the roof are too small. 

 

The Gap

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There is a reason the main photos on the box are from angles. The back of the cab might be the biggest offender on the set. There's a huge hole between the cab and the mixer. Why? It feels like just empty, wasted space. The smokestacks don't come all the way down - they just end halfway down the cab. And worst, what is up with that exposed yellow axle for the steering? At least use black, but better yet, move it forward into the back wall of the cab. You can also see an example of wasted parts there. There's a grey Technic Pin 1/2 in the grey liftarm that the steering axle goes through. It's there JUST to fill the hole and make sure people don't try to run the axle through the wrong spot. There's quite a few of those throughout the set. I'm not sure why Lego feels that's necessary - this is a 10+ rated set and I guess they want to help out the younger end of that range? 

 

The Function

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There's a lever on the right hand side that switches the barrel from wheel-driven to non-driven to crank-driven. Here's how it works with the crank. This also shows one thing that should have been improved. You've GOT to hold the truck with your other hand while cranking, or it bounces all over. It really needed some functional chocks or outriggers to stabilize it while discharging the "concrete." 

 

The Turn Radius

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Here you can see both the wheel-driven barrel function and the terrible turning radius. Trucks like this aren't known for being maneuverable like a sports car, but still, this is barely able to turn at all. A slight redesign of the steering axle system should have allowed sharper turns. 

 

The Chute

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In the definite plus column is the discharge chute. This is a very clever design that gives it a great deal of flexibility to aim the concrete. The chute itself is an interesting design to get the V-shape. Given how fast the parts come out and how bouncy they are, it'd have been nicer to be a little deeper V though. 

 

Ratings

Design: 7

Build Experience: 7

Features: 6

Playability: 8

Parts/Value: 6

Overall: 7. Overall, it's a nice addition to the Technic range of construction vehicles. It's unique and will attract a lot of builders for that reason alone. The build is not overly repetitive and provides an array of beams in two shades of blue. The build isn't perfect though. I'm looking forward to seeing those barrel pieces being used in a future Iron Builder competition. And for value, it's ok. $120 feels a little steep for me, especially for a Technic set where not only are there the usual hundreds of pins but also 100 joiners in the part count. I'd personally have waited to purchase this set until I got a sale or at least a nice freebie from Lego with my purchase. 

 

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Thank you for the review. If driven backwards the drum unloads itself! With the drum indeed GBC comes to mind but only one end is open and you can't see any balls in the drum, not so attractive to use in a GBC therefore.

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For me the biggest aesthetic offender here are the ends of the watertank. Why not put a white 4x4 dish there to cover the ugly pinholes? Or better yet, the tank could've been constructed like the tanks in 8868, though the cylinder part was last used in 2000 so it would've to be brought out of retirement.

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On 7/14/2020 at 10:44 PM, mostlytechnic said:

...The steering mechanism is also redundant. There's both a black gear rack AND an orange 1x2 liftarm pushing each axle. I'm not sure why there's both....

I guess this helps to align both gear racks. Using just the gears and gear racks requires some attention.

Thanks a lot for the review!

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On 7/14/2020 at 10:44 PM, mostlytechnic said:

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Technic Cement Mixer

Thanks to Lego and EB for this review set.

Stated at the begining

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Then it looks like you have broken the embargo date set by LEGO which was 14:00 CET today.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Sariel said:

Then it looks like you have broken the embargo date set by LEGO which was 14:00 CET today.

I think not. On EB it is possible to create a topic, but hide it from public view until a predefined date and time. Maybe this function is not there for all members, but I know it exists. This topic was not visible this morning, so I assume it was set to reveil at 14:00 CET today just like the embargo asks.

Edited by Rudivdk
'Set reveil date' is for moderator level members

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19 minutes ago, Maaboo35 said:

Front-discharge truck should have been the B-model. Simple as.

Seems an easy subject to create from the parts available. I guess it will emerge as an alternate fan-build a few weeks after the first sets are sold...

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30 minutes ago, Maaboo35 said:

Front-discharge truck should have been the B-model. Simple as.

Feels to me like the drum is too short to do that properly.

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Just now, pleegwat said:

Feels to me like the drum is too short to do that properly.

No, there's enough length there.

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Thanks for the writeup and insights. These have helped me confirm that I will be skipping this set. Compared to the auto transporter, I can't see how LEGO can ask so much for this.

They didn't even bring in something nice, such as chrome or even "flat silver" for the exhausts, bumper, or fuel tanks, which are completely missing. There are no extensions for the chute, no bodywork above the "`V intake". It is as if all of the penny pinchers have come together and gone to works on this poor model.

And to add insult to injury. @Sariel published a book in which there is a LEGO cement truck in this scale which is motorised, has a brick built barrel and all of the little pieces of flair are present... and the building instructions are free. That book is 6 years old now!

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Thanks for the review, I always prefer photos than video.

Any chance to see a photo of the parts list?

I don't understand why they used a 3L black liftarm in the front, with a dark blue sticker, as it looks there are at least 2 3L dark blue liftarms in the set.

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2 minutes ago, mpj said:

Thanks for the review, I always prefer photos than video.

Any chance to see a photo of the parts list?

I don't understand why they used a 3L black liftarm in the front, with a dark blue sticker, as it looks there are at least 2 3L dark blue liftarms in the set.

I was also baffled by that colour choice. Seems a bit out of place, though I guess it's not too bad considering the sticker covering it.

The gap in the roof is even more baffling, really easy to cover with just 2 beams and no apparent reason to leave it uncovered.

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On 7/16/2020 at 10:41 AM, Berthil said:

Thank you for the review. If driven backwards the drum unloads itself! With the drum indeed GBC comes to mind but only one end is open and you can't see any balls in the drum, not so attractive to use in a GBC therefore.

Correct - it would have been nice to have a more complex gearbox that drove the drum the same way no matter which way the truck is pushed. 

As for GBC, about the only thing I can think of is having a chute sending balls into the rotating drum which feeds them back out, but you're correct, it wouldn't be terrible exciting since it's opaque. But I fully expect some GBC experts to find clever uses for the parts :) 

On 7/16/2020 at 1:12 PM, Rudivdk said:

I think not. On EB it is possible to create a topic, but hide it from public view until a predefined date and time. Maybe this function is not there for all members, but I know it exists. This topic was not visible this morning, so I assume it was set to reveil at 14:00 CET today just like the embargo asks.

I created the review in a hidden section of the forums for reviews, and then moved it to the Technic forum when the embargo was lifted. I forgot that doing that (instead of copy and pasting into a new post) keeps the original date/time of the post, so it does look like it was available too soon, when it actually wasn't. Sorry for the confusion! 

22 hours ago, pleegwat said:

Feels to me like the drum is too short to do that properly.

I agree, the drum wouldn't work as a front-discharge. The drums on those trucks are much longer and thinner, since they have to reach all the way past the cab. 

11 hours ago, mpj said:

Thanks for the review, I always prefer photos than video.

Any chance to see a photo of the parts list?

I don't understand why they used a 3L black liftarm in the front, with a dark blue sticker, as it looks there are at least 2 3L dark blue liftarms in the set.

You are correct, there ARE 2 dark blue 3L liftarms in the set (I checked the parts list shown in Sariel's review, since it was easier than pulling my manuals back out). So why not use one in the front grill? 

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Thanks for the review!

For once, I wished a part (the barrel) wasn't printed (well maybe this goes for the porsche panels as well). 

On 7/16/2020 at 6:59 PM, Sariel said:

Then it looks like you have broken the embargo date set by LEGO which was 14:00 CET today.

Come on, you should know how the EB forum works by now. And you could have sent mostlytechnic (or me) a PM instead if you were concerned about the embargo, instead of falsely accusing him in public. Disappointing.

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What is missing on this cement mixer is the feed hopper. How shall the cement be filled in without a feed?

Now, a friend who wrote a review on 1000steine.de has build a little extra to be added to the set.

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It certainly looks a little more complete with the suggested feed hopper.  I think this model, whilst initially looking good, is a casualty for Lego's cost cutting department.  There are too many items which are missing.  Feed hopper, end caps for the water tank, mirrors.  It is intended for a price point and I also accept that the mixer barrel may be more expensive to mould that we realise.

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Excellent review @mostlytechnic, I feel the same way about this set. I liked your GIFs illustrating the functions as well, nice job.

@Dirk1313 That is an great addition tho this truck, it makes it more complete in its looks and functions.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/18/2020 at 1:16 PM, Jim said:

Come on, you should know how the EB forum works by now. And you could have sent mostlytechnic (or me) a PM instead if you were concerned about the embargo, instead of falsely accusing him in public. Disappointing.

@Jim Never came across an antedated post on EB before and I had absolutely no idea that mostlytechnic was in any way affiliated with you or EB. Relax. Everything has been cleared within minutes of posting my comment.

Edited by Sariel

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Man I so much wanted to like this set but after reading this review I just can't. 

Thanks for opening my eyes, a definite pass for me. 

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