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[TC20] Pneumatic Front-End Loader (8459/8439/8464)

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https://brickset.com/sets/8459-1/Pneumatic-Front-End-Loader

Released three times (originally in 1997), and despite wanting it, I never actually purchased it.

At the moment I'm just sketching out the form and deciding on odd or even stud modules and resolving some junctions to get the appearance roughly right before going back and working on the chassis. The chassis is currently just there to hold it together in the right places and give me a frame of reference.

I will be using Pneumatics (they're too classic not to!) so the skeletal form will start to fill out once the iconic blue tank goes in.

The front axle is going to be fun - I want to show the diff as per the original, so will need to explore options as to how to brace this sufficiently.

51232591403_a60acbef36_b.jpgPXL_20210607_220930895_2 by Brickend, on Flickr

51232384961_3d9df0214a_b.jpgPXL_20210607_221614279_2 by Brickend, on Flickr

51232596388_816ae6c134_b.jpgPXL_20210607_221400108_2 by Brickend, on Flickr

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Good choice of set and approach!

This is one of the most completely functional classic Technic sets, so it should make a good model.

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I'm doing your exact thing for my personal collection (not for the contest) and I'm very curious to see how yours will turn out. I'm fighting to fit new (long) pneumatics to raise the boom, but they simply don't fit :wacko:

Will you use the original pneumatic actuators?

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8 hours ago, 2GodBDGlory said:

Good choice of set and approach!

This is one of the most completely functional classic Technic sets, so it should make a good model.

Thanks. I'm gaining a massive respect for the original. For it's part count, it's really dense with features and the internal packaging, especially towards the rear, is something else.

2 hours ago, mpj said:

I'm doing your exact thing for my personal collection (not for the contest) and I'm very curious to see how yours will turn out. I'm fighting to fit new (long) pneumatics to raise the boom, but they simply don't fit :wacko:

Will you use the original pneumatic actuators?

The idea will be to use the original length (48mm) pneumatics to keep it as close to original intent as possible, but with more modern valves to remove a few studs! Yours sounds interesting, like a sort of new, improved version of the original?

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35 minutes ago, Brickend said:

Thanks. I'm gaining a massive respect for the original. For it's part count, it's really dense with features and the internal packaging, especially towards the rear, is something else.

Very hard to make better, everything works as it should, best (front-end) loader TLG ever done. Same thing with the 8460 Pneumatic Crane truck from the same era, Again eveything works perfectly (a mobile crane were the outriggers do NOT work is a piece of junk) and funnily enough that was also re-released two more times

Looking forward to the build. Only think that can make it better is a motorized compressor :thumbup:

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3 hours ago, 1974 said:

Looking forward to the build. Only think that can make it better is a motorized compressor :thumbup:

In the back of my mind, I have an idea for driving the compressor off of the drive-train, so the tank is recharged as the model is pushed (with an extra valve to vent/open the system if required). The two areas I think I can save a tiny amount of space is on the valving with bb0874 and in the chassis due to the later differentials already having 90 degree inputs. Will see how that goes - won't be compromising the looks, so may have to do two versions.

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How this interpretation is developing is starting to be interesting... :moar:

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This is an absolute ledge of a set, so I'll be observing this one closely. Eager to see how it goes. :thumbup:

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I wouldn't mind if this set got a fourth release. :)

Looking good so far!

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Weekly non-progress progress update :classic:

Something I've noticed overall is the reduced visual 'bulk' of studless in comparison to studded beams, with a studless beam having the appearance of possibly only 2/3rds of the same studded item - it can make things built the same way, look a lot weaker or 'spindley'.

Have played with a number of chassis solutions; nothing here is finished and some are development dead-ends. 

I want to go with a predominately yellow chassis, which makes life harder as some of the solutions explored in the black chassis don't exist in those colours. The original has a 6 stud wide chassis, so I wanted to go narrower (5 studs) as bulking the chassis out is easier than reducing - this is proving to be trickier without the 5x7s in yellow. I'm still exploring 5 and 7 stud chassis width options.

I've also decided not to use the specialised hub elements as they are not super common on official sets with sub 700 parts and 68.7 wheels and I didn't like the redundancy in the portal axle part. The original used 'stubs' and the later and larger 8265 Front Loader works fine without special parts. 

I have a better idea of how to build the front end now (excuse the stand-in cylinder!) - I need to take a stud out length wide and do a bit of tidying, but it's strong enough and retains the visible differential. 

Cab roof refined slightly; still have a few amendments to make to it, but focus now on the chassis.

800x596.jpg

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After writing about not using the dedicated hub parts, first instincts are being followed and they are back on the build...They should handle the downwards forces from the pneumatic pump better. 

Middle bit of the chassis next to the engine is the next bit to work on (some bits are pinned temporarily). The half stud engine output has caused some headaches; the original actually displaced the engine with a half bushing and the clever use of modified plates. Unfortunately the stop on a 5.5l axle lands just at the wrong point above the differential, but a solution closer to the original's drive-train is in sight.

800x563.jpg

800x600.jpg

 

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I find in many of my builds that mounting the engine on thin liftarms (so engine block is 1/2 stud offset) can solve a lot of problems with the drive axle. (see here and here). It's a little trickier for V engines but it can be done. Mount the front of the engine on a 3x5 triangle and the rear can use a connector block (like you have) with a thin liftarm (1.5 total stud thickness) to support the angle of each cylinder bank. 

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Thanks for the thoughts @Thirdwigg One of the issues is that it's a wide V (4 studs at top, as per original), but I guess I could use a 6L liftarm at the front in place of a 3x5 :thumbup:

It's an interesting problem, as I'm trying to imagine if the original designers would have wanted a half stud offset if they had had studless available to them - I'm guessing in this case it may still be required due to half stud axle problem still being a thing.

 

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48 minutes ago, Brickend said:

Thanks for the thoughts @Thirdwigg One of the issues is that it's a wide V (4 studs at top, as per original), but I guess I could use a 6L liftarm at the front in place of a 3x5 :thumbup:

It's an interesting problem, as I'm trying to imagine if the original designers would have wanted a half stud offset if they had had studless available to them - I'm guessing in this case it may still be required due to half stud axle problem still being a thing.

 

I see. I would drop the 4 stud wide, as this bring no value other than historical accuracy, but that's your call.

With these remakes I am inclined to improve what can be improved by the original design to make them better. So all of these changes seem like a good idea to me. 

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I have an original 1997 Set. It's one of my favorite. Lots of manual functions in a rather small set, love it! Seeing this makes me want a modern version :)

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I am keeping an eye on this topic as well for the same reasons! Love the original set, this is MOC is moving in the correct direction.

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An update: I think it's about 95% there, have got a few colour tweaks and finishing details to address. Have been playing around with tire choice; I think I will go for the originals due to the rules of the competition, but I do like how the newer tires make the loader look like a version of a much larger real life loader. 

I also wanted to share at this point before I take off the compressor system prior to entry into the competition - it turned out to be a failed experiment as it doesn't deliver a enough air when wheel driven to be worthwhile, but I thought some would find it interesting - and something to think about for motorization. 

The hoses are currently aftermarket for the purposes of getting the hose runs right without ruining real hose. There are some improvements to be made here, but this will be easier with more space and less complexity once the compressor system is off.

 

800x497.jpg

800x541.jpg

800x556.jpg

800x498.jpg

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Thanks! The lights might end up being temporary if the stickers arrive in time and look better.

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Looks very nice; one of my 4 favorites in this content :thumbup:

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Great use of contemporary parts like the biscuit frames and the 3×7 panels as well!

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Thanks for the suggestion - you can see those tires in the earlier photos. I have to say I'm not really a fan of them due to their lack of sidewall, but I totally see where you are coming from.

As the rules are biased heavily on the similarity to the original and because the scoring system does not reward the use of contemporary parts over obsolete, for the purpose of the competition at least, I'm going to go with the originals. In an ideal world, they whole thing should be built out of current pieces, but we'd be a bit scuppered by the air tank.

 

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