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mostlytechnic

[REVIEW] 42120 Hovercraft / 42121 Excavator B-Models

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B Models!!!!

Thanks again to Lego and EB for these review sets. I've already reviewed the main models of these sets (Heavy-Duty Excavator and Rescue Hovercraft). Now that they're officially released, the B-model instructions are finally available. Here's a quick look at those, since the back-of-box artwork made them look VERY attractive.

 

The Sets

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Here are the two B models. The excavator turns into, um, a different excavator I guess? And the hovercraft becomes a small plane. At a quick glance, these look great. Both are clearly obvious, pretty well designed, and even incorporate the stickers into the design. In fact, the instructions show you putting the stickers on the pieces, so even if you build the B-model first, you have the parts correctly stickered. In a coupe spots in the excavator, the sticker is applied and then the part added upside down, so the sticker is not visible. It's a GREAT way to handle the stickered pieces. Additionally, all the stickers are "added" right as you put the part on. There's no times when you add a piece and come back 10 steps later to sticker it. It's obvious when you need the stickered part. 

The Other Side

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There's quite a bit of function on both sets. For the excavator, you have control of the arm in 2 places. There's an opening hood and 4-cylinder "engine" underneath. The pistons move when you roll the excavator along. It pivots in the center for steering, but there's no knob to control that. 

The plane has landing gear that collapses (it's half-folded in this photo, so it tucks up tight to the fuselage or locks in the down position). The propellers are driven by those wheels, so they spin as you roll it along. There are flaps on the wings (the grey panels) that are controlled by a lever in the cockpit. Finally, there's a knob on top that moves both the rudders and the rear wheel for steering. 

 

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Here's the sets with the functions in different positions. 

 

The Leftovers

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There are fairly few parts left. Almost everything is used on the excavator. Note that both bags here also include all the usual spare parts. 

Overall, I think these are some of the better B-models for this size set. And that's refreshing, after so many of the recent sets that haven't had them (from what I've personally built, that'd be the Ferrari 488, the Jeep, the 42108 Crane, Top Gear Rally Car, Cement Mixer, and the massive 42100 Excavator).

The excavator builds a different type of excavator, and it's almost good enough to be a main model. There's very few issues with it - yes, there's a few spots where different pins are used than would be on a main model. I think the exhaust is a little odd. The controls are very minimal - both linear actuators are controlled directly. In a main model, they'd have run axles through the model to have knobs somewhere at the back. In this case, there were no more axles to use for that. And they even used most of the 1x2 liftarms provided as "stuff to dig" in the B-model. I honestly might leave this set this way, and I'll put it with the other excavator sets as something different. 

For the airplane, it's not quite as close to being a main model, but it's a very solid B model. The stickering is a little weird - not likely to see a rescue plane labeled like this, and the danger stickers on the tail are out of place. The orange wings/grey flaps are a bit odd. Well, the whole color scheme is odd. Lime wheels, orange wings, grey underside, black roof, and red splashed around. The flap controls (being in the cockpit) are hard to reach with adult fingers. But it's nicely swooshable, solid, and playable. The mechanisms are well built, and the set as a whole is worth your time to try out. I'll be rebuilding this back to the hovercraft, but I'm glad I checked out the plane. 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you very much for the reviews! These B-models are the best ones I've seen in a while, both of them are interesting and not too similar to the A-model.

Edited by JintaiZ

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Nice review.  Much more interesting models than they appear at first glance.  For some reason, though, more so than most, the excavator specifically looks to me like it should transform into a robot at any moment!  :laugh:

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Oh man! I wouldn't even have expected that engine in the tractor! Fabulous stuff. :moar:

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2 hours ago, deraven said:

Nice review.  Much more interesting models than they appear at first glance.  For some reason, though, more so than most, the excavator specifically looks to me like it should transform into a robot at any moment!  :laugh:

Heh, I see it. The stickered fenders on each side of the digging arm look like they could fold out into legs or something. 

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Nice review! I look forward buying these, both seem to be fun little sets and the B-models seem to really add to the value you get for your money.

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1 hour ago, howitzer said:

the B-models seem to really add to the value you get for your money.

Exactly!

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