Bob De Quatre

[REVIEW] 42114 - Volvo Articulated Hauler

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Name: Volvo Articulated Hauler

Set Number: 42114

Pieces: 2193

Price: $249.99, 243.69€, £229.99

Minifigs: 0

Theme: Technic

 

As I write this review, I still cound'nt get the latest beta version of the Control + application which adds the Volvo Articulated Hauler to the sets that can be controlled. That means that I'm not able to show you the set in action, but as soon I'll be able, I'll add some videos to this review.

 

The Box

The set comes in a big box (58 x 47.5 x 12 cm) that feels quite full, and wheighting a little over 4kg. The front of the box shows a 3/4 view of the model from the front left, with the usual indications about the set, and the Control + logo at the bottom right with an image of the specific control interface created for this model.

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The back features informations about the set itself, but also about the actual Volvo A60H hauler. The model's features are also displayed at the bottom, and more captures of the control interface on the right.

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The Contents

Inside the box, we can find 12 bags numbered from 2 to 4, a Legoland promotionnal offer, and a huge white box.

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Inside the white box are the 6 tires, 6 bags numbered from 1 to 2, a non-numbered bag, the instuctions manual packed with a stickers sheet, and a (slightly damaged) black box. 

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The black box contains all the Control + elements: a L motor, a XL motor, a large angular position motor and a Smart hub.

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Interesting parts

This set is the first to feature the large angular position motor, and also the big yellow car mudguard panels with a printed black stripe. The set also comes with some parts in new color, like the smaller car mudguard in grey, the 3 x 13 curved panel in yellow and rigid hoses in orange.

 

Instructions booklet

The 450+ pages instructions booklet is pretty thick, with a good quality paper. The stickers sheet is quite big with some large stickers...

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The steps are easy to follow, except for some where you will have trouble seeing where or to what to connect the sub-assembly you've just built, like on the pages bellow. There is also one mistake, where the set is shown with a sub-assembly that will be actually built a step later.

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The booklet also has a double page featuring the model next to the actual A60H Volvo hauler. I'll let you judge if Lego was right to include these pages or not.

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The Build

The bags #1 let us build the "chassis" of the set, composed mostly of the gearbox and the L and XL motors, as well as the mechanism to operate the linear two actuators. The gearbox has 3 drive speeds, plus one to control the elevation of the cargo hold.

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With bags #2 we'll attach the start of the cabin to the chassis with the articulated neck. The set being a 6x6, all 3 axles are driven, meaning we got 3 of the newer differential, plus one old design central differential to transfer power to the front axle. The steering system uses arms to simulate the action of hydraulic rams, pivoting the tractor relatively to the trailer. The gear we can see above the angular motor is used to turn the steering wheel in the cabin.

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Bags 3 will complete the cabin by adding the impressive mudguards, the fake engine and the hood. The battery box will sits at the back of the cabin.

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And finally with bags #4 we'll build the cargo bed and add the wheels.

 

The Completed model and impressions

I can't say I'm very pleased by the final model. The front and the hood is pretty well done, with lots of angles and even curves that match the actual vehicle. But the cabin is bit too fragile and removing the Smart hub is a real problem, and the vertical orange railings look a bit too big.

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The "neck" doesn't seems sturdy enough, and when you remove the Smart hub (to change the batteries for exemple), it's a bit hard to put back all the cables in place. The mecanism to opearte the linear actuators is a bit too bulky (but I can't think of a way to make it more compact).

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The cabin interior feature a working drive wheel, and is pretty well done despite being built around only three parts: a grey mudguard as dashboard, a grey angled panel as seat and a 3L beam with a sticker.

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The set comes with a handfull of chromed parts, which is a good thing, but I would have liked if there were more of them. The side mirrors use reflective stickers, and looks a bit too bulky maybe.

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The front features the classic Volvo logo with the oblique bar. It is nice... but would have been nicer if this was a single sticker, and not three... and even better if it was a printed part. There are also headlights that seem to light the side of the road more than what is in front of the truck!

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The hoods opens to reveal the fake engine, which is pretty well done. A "Volvo" printed tile would have been more than welcome here.

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Ratings

Design: 6

Build Experience: 7

Features: 6

Playability: 8

Parts/Value: 7

Overall: 7

This set is a nice addition to the Control + family, and maybe the most interesting one as it features 3 different motors for a good price. The build is a bit repetitive at the end, but is otherwise quite nice, even for a Technic novice like me. Parts wise, the set is ok, with obviously a lot of yellow parts, but two big linears actuators are always welcome. The big mudguard pieces are also very nice. This set may not be the most good looking Technic set, but it may be the best to enter the Control + world.

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29 minutes ago, Bob De Quatre said:

a servo motor and a Control + hub.

That not a servo motor but the Large Technic angular motor.
Neither does there excist a Control+ hub
Control+ is the name of the app.
This hub is called the Technic hub.

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1 hour ago, JaBaCaDaBra said:

That not a servo motor but the Large Technic angular motor.
Neither does there excist a Control+ hub
Control+ is the name of the app.
This hub is called the Technic hub.

Actually, this part is still widely known as "Control+ Hub". Not an official name but causes no questions on its matter and membership of "Electrical" families (lie 9V, PF, Powered Up, Control+ etc.).
"Technic" is a name of LEGO theme and makes no sense on the part origin as didn't reveal that it's Control+ related part. The "Technic" theme has a lot of hubs, including Technic wheel hubs...

Edited by Void_S

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Thanks for the review Bob!

This does look like a set I will eventually pick-up. I'd like to have this one in my collection.

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4 minutes ago, Bob De Quatre said:

@I_Igor, @JaBaCaDaBra I corrected the information about the motors and Smart hub ;)

There is also one change suggested under title "The Build". Please take a look.

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I assume the review isn't complete yet?

I mean, Where 's the part on the functionality? I mean, how well does it perform? How's the power, how's the steering, how's the climbing ability? How much of a problem is it that there's no suspension? How much of a playset is it? How well does the cargo bay hold stuff? What is your opinion on the offroad/climbing performance? How easy is it to switch functions between the gearbox? What's the added value of said gearbox? Is it worth sacrificing the suspension for? What do you think about the app? How easy is it to control? Would it have worked better as a manual set with a manual switch?

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33 minutes ago, Erik Leppen said:

I assume the review isn't complete yet?

I mean, Where 's the part on the functionality? I mean, how well does it perform? How's the power, how's the steering, how's the climbing ability? How much of a problem is it that there's no suspension? How much of a playset is it? How well does the cargo bay hold stuff? What is your opinion on the offroad/climbing performance? How easy is it to switch functions between the gearbox? What's the added value of said gearbox? Is it worth sacrificing the suspension for? What do you think about the app? How easy is it to control? Would it have worked better as a manual set with a manual switch?

I assume you didn't read the part where I say that I couldn't get the beta app, and thus couldn't test the functionnalities?

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1 hour ago, Erik Leppen said:

I assume the review isn't complete yet?

I understand that you are missing some things in the review, but I don't really like the tone of this comment. You could have gone for something like this...

"Thanks for the review. I am however missing some crucial things. Blabla"

This is Bob's first Technic review, so it's understandable that it's not quite comprehensive. Allthough I would have prefered Bob waiting till tomorrow because that's when the app will probably be released.

Bob, can you add a section to the review when the app is available? I would love to see a simple video demonstrating the functions.

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5 minutes ago, Jim said:

Bob, can you add a section to the review when the app is available? I would love to see a simple video demonstrating the functions.

I was planning to, as soon as I can find the time to shoot the videos.

 

1 minute ago, Andman said:

@Bob De Quatre, the app seems to be available now. Thanks for the review so far.

Thanks, updated it a few minutes ago ;)

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6 minutes ago, Bob De Quatre said:

I was planning to, as soon as I can find the time to shoot the videos.

Sweet! Looking forward to it.

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4 hours ago, Jim said:

Thanks for the review Bob!

This does look like a set I will eventually pick-up. I'd like to have this one in my collection.

Looking forward to your review, Jim ;)

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Thanks @Bob De Quatre for the review.  This looks like an okay build on a decent scale.  I'm still on the fence about it through.  I have been wholly unimpressed by the Control+ system thus far and would probably like this far better without motorization at a lower price point.

I might consider ditching the the Control+ elements entirely and try using PowerFunctions stuff instead ( I'd take an IR remote over Bluetooth and an App any day when it comes to Lego ) but then I'm paying for "features" that have no value to me.  My Lego dollars are probably best spent elsewhere.

  

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I'm slowly warming up to this set, as I'm itching to get my hands on some nice new Technic set and it doesn't seem like 42113 is going to be available for me. I have high hopes for the future of C+ and this set would offer a nice palette of parts to start with.

Somehow though, I feel that ditching the electronics (or at least the gearbox) and building a proper suspension would've made a better set, as this sort of vehicle really must have a suspension better than what the set offers.

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I've already raised this point on the 42114 thread, but it would be great to know if the app still has the problems seen in Sariel's video review...

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8 hours ago, Bob De Quatre said:

I assume you didn't read the part where I say that I couldn't get the beta app, and thus couldn't test the functionnalities?

Indeed, I missed that. Sorry! Looking forward to the rest of your writeup :)

7 hours ago, Jim said:
8 hours ago, Erik Leppen said:

I assume the review isn't complete yet?

I understand that you are missing some things in the review, but I don't really like the tone of this comment. You could have gone for something like this...

"Thanks for the review. I am however missing some crucial things. Blabla"

Not sure what the dfiference is between my version and yours, but that's then probably just lost in translation over a text-only medium. I didn't intend to hurt anyone's feelings (I never intend to hurt anyone's feelings, ever), but let's say that tone is one aspect of communication I will probably never really understand (over any medium, including real life) ;)

I appreciate the well-rounded writeup and good photography, including showing aspects of the build-in-progress. I just wondered why the aspect that is the essense to the theme was missing and therefore I assumed that the review wasn't complete yet, so that's exactly what I wrote, and because I wasn't sure, I added a question mark. That's all.

Also, as it turned out, my assumption was correct. So there :wink:

That said though, this very point highlights the biggest weakness of this whole powered-up drama. What comes in the box, is not the complete package and if we can take any value from this little misunderstanding then it's that it shows what you're missing out on when you don't have the necessary software. The whole part that makes this set Technic falls away if you for whatever reason can't get the necessary app. So that makes this set unsuitable as a present, because you never know if the recipient has the required technology and if it will actually works.

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17 hours ago, Erik Leppen said:

That said though, this very point highlights the biggest weakness of this whole powered-up drama. What comes in the box, is not the complete package and if we can take any value from this little misunderstanding then it's that it shows what you're missing out on when you don't have the necessary software. The whole part that makes this set Technic falls away if you for whatever reason can't get the necessary app. So that makes this set unsuitable as a present, because you never know if the recipient has the required technology and if it will actually works.

Sadly, I have to concur. Power Functions wasn't perfect... but you got the whole working system within your purchase/gift etc. Lego chose to step into the future (or is it present day?) by choosing a third party device, a mobile phone and accompanying evolving OS, to control this particular model. I'm still sceptic whether this is a durable move. This review, which I loved by the way,  clearly shows that achilles heel.... you weren't able to utilise the full functionality when you wrote the review. Fair to say the set wasn't officially on sale back then. 

Hmmm, maybe I'm just an old fart :wink: I always believed that Lego was the ultimate distraction toy for kids and adults to get them far away from phones/tablets/screens, the lot. Nowadays it seems you can't separate the two. Bummer (for me at least).

Interested to see the reviewers thoughts about this and the overall functionality of the set. 

 

Cheers,

Jay

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2 hours ago, JayCal said:

 

Hmmm, maybe I'm just an old fart :wink: I always believed that Lego was the ultimate distraction toy for kids and adults to get them far away from phones/tablets/screens, the lot. Nowadays it seems you can't separate the two.

It seems that I'm becoming old fart too since I reason that way...but we can always use power functions elements with this set since online building instructions are available from today.

Regards

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Maybe its time for us old farts to embrace technology and get on board with it. Whilst this would be a great model with power functions it does truly showcase the possibilities for the control plus system, it truly can enhance the Technic system. I just need to learn more about  programming the app and controllers, as I would love to add automatic gearboxes like this into some MOCs.

 

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Thanks for the review.  Too bad you couldn't get the beta app work.  That's one of the annoying things I find with relying on software to make things work and you don't have the source code to fix problems yourself.  :classic:

 

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