Polarlicht

[REVIEW] Ingmar Spijkhoven Building Experience Kits

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Posted (edited)

A review of Ingmar Spijkhoven Building Experience Kits

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Introduction and Backstory

Now the late Ingmar Spijkhoven was a father, husband, and a talented builder of Lego trucks and machinery. I found his Flickr site about 8 years ago when i joined Flickr with my first account there. I followed him, and he followed me which is an honor for me still to this day.

Iam even using his fifth wheel design since then on a MOC truck i built at that time. (pictures of said truck down below)

Couple of years later he started his own website and business https://www.ingmarspijkhoven.com/ with selling instructions for you so you can build your own truck or trailer. Soon after he started selling full "Experience Building Kits".

On his site it says: "Our Building Experience Kits are exclusive sets, hand picked and packed of which only a limited number are made. Each kit has a unique limited edition serial number. The complete set comes in a luxurious high quality magnet box. It comes with printed building instructions with spiral binding and with high quality pre-cut custom stickers if required. Together with all genuine new LEGO® parts, added custom parts if required and all necessary so-called LEGO® Power Functions to remote control the model. These Building Experience Kits are complete and therefore ready to build!"

They also sell accesories like brick build realistic engines, like a Detroit Diesel or Scania V8. And also sticker sheets and chrome wheels for your build, if you only bought the intructions and wanna build it with your own parts.

I said to him on Flickr that sometime i want to buy one of your kits. But back then i couldn't afford it...

Fast forward to mid 2019... Ingmar sadly lost the fight against ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and passed away.

On his last picture i wrote again that one day i will buy a kit. So last week i did... bought 3 kits.

Last week i stumbled across @ritztoys thread about his Truck T17 moc which was inspired from Ingmar's builds. And it got my attention back into the whole theme. It all went quick. Ritztoys and I wrote back and forth and i wasn't really sure if i should buy a kit.

A day later, july 27th, i ordered Truck T12 in yellow and lowboy trailer Tr4 in blue, both without RC stuff. Two days later i also ordered Truck T18 with Chrome and RC stuff. Expensive week that was...

Nowadays his wife Esther, and probably some family members, are running the website and do the packing and shipping. All parcels arrived a week later...

With this review i hope to get some attention for these kits. They well deserve it!!

Disclaimer

This is my first review and feel free to write some critique, sure it is needed :D.

It is based on other reviews (like Jims and Sariels) throughout this forum.

I don't have any fancy photography equipment so my pictures aren't the best.

I can not show too much pictures of details and how everything is built. Spijkhoven also sell instructions and want to profit from that after all!

This review is not sponsored by anyone. I bought all this!

 

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Truck T18

Now lets start with Truck T18 which resembles a Mack Vision.

Released: 2018

Part Count: 2606

Weight: 2,20 kg

Size: 47cm x 15cm x 20cm

Scale 1:17,5

Building time: 6-7 hours

Price: 1240€ (cheaper without optional RC and chrome)


All boxes are custom and have a magnetic lid. The lid is closed and held in place by the limited edition number label, which unfortunately you have to cut to open the box.

Each box is 42cm x 31cm x 16cm in size.

I got edition #29 out of 100... Now there are either 71 of this kit left, which would mean they don't sell that often when its available since 2018, or they sell it random. So the next person might get #5 or so...

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Once you have opened it, you are greeted by a nice letter and about a million foam peanuts.

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Under that you have lots of bags. Some numbered and split in sections you build, and some unnumbered.

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The Instructions come as a single booklet with good quality paper and metal spiral binding. Everything is relatively easy to follow and straight forward. Again relatively! They are definitly not as easy to build as an official Lego set.

Sometimes it is unrepetitive, you have 3 parts for one step, and 30 for the next. At some steps you have to look really carefully since it doesn't show well where a part goes, even with arrows. You have to check the next step quite often to make sure where it goes.

Still, everything is possible and 99% thought through and doable!

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The stickers come precut from a 3rd party supplier and seem to be in nice quality. They are thicker and better quality than Lego! It even comes with extra Mack specific decals if you wanna build it in a different color.

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The chrome parts also come in its own bag. I think custombricks.nl is the supplier of those. They are good quality, but on the underside you see the original part color. And sometimes you have some chrome chipped off on one spot, but you can turn that spot to the inside.

These parts are for rims, bumper, exhaust, fuel tanks and other details, and replace the light bluish grey parts in these areas.

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Lets start with the build of Truck T18 aka Mack Vision

You start with the frame, suspension, detailed engine and some interior bits.

You also install a second servo motor inside the sleeper cab which is used for a mechanism to rc controll and auto-open the fifth wheel. And i can tell you right now, i don't like this feature. You span a string from the fifth wheel all the way to the servo

and there is lots of backlash in that system. When the servo turns and does it's thing, nothing opens on the fifth wheel. I had the string very taut and could not get it to work properly. Also that servo is only used to turn 90° to one side. The other way is blocked

and if you try to turn it that way, it stalls, which could damage it. So after taking these pictures, i took it out. Not worth wasting the servo and a second IR receiver just for that, in my opinion. I open the fifth wheel with my fingers easy.

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More sleeper cab wall, fuel tanks, exhaust and wheels installed

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Leftover parts. Everything red is used as stands to help building and get removed after you finished it. Everything light bluish grey got replaced by the chrome pack. (apart from that one dish piece which would be a chrome differential detail, which i didn't like).

I had a white rubberband missing in the kit. Should not happen at this price point!!

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And there it is, finished in all it's glory.

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The included RC control. Wheels for driving and one of the lever for the fifth wheel opening.

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Features:

Fully RC controlled tractor unit.

Openable hood and doors.

Highly detailed interior, exterior and engine.

Very sturdy model. Yeah some detail can fall off, but the frame is sturdy and everything feels well put together.

Full suspension on all axles (solid axle suspension front, walking beam suspension rear).


Truck T12

Next up is Truck T12 which resembles a Mack Granite. It is available in full yellow, or in orange with red stripe and white roof, but this one wasn't available at the moment. I ordered it without RC or chrome.

Released: 2017

Part Count: 1920

Weight: 1,70 kg

Size: 45cm x 16cm x 20cm

Scale 1:17,5

Building time: 6 hours

Price: 563€ (more expensive with RC pack)


The box. I got edition #8 out of 100

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After opening you have some numbered and unnumbered bags. For building you have to open all bags at once, since some chassis parts where inside the bodywork bags

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Stickers, same quality as T18's. Also has different colors available

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This Truck comes with some 3d printed parts for the steering. They replace some older hard to come by parts.

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You start building with the frame again of course. Everything pretty straight forward. Though, i had a cracked u-joint right away. Either this was a used part, or just bad quality...

An L motor would go into this build, but i didn't had those, so i used some XLs instead. Pretty easy to adapt, more torque and they look like fuel tanks.

Speaking of torque. The kits comes with 3 different set of gears. So if you need more torque or more speed you can choose.

Both XL motors combine to one driveshaft under the cab, but splits into two driveshafts shortly after. One for each rear axle.

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Cab, engine, wheels and hood almost finished. The hoods of both trucks have some interesting building techniques inside to get the half hight steps for the wheel arches.

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Leftover parts. Building helpers, different gear ratio gears and some bits i had to remove for the XLs.

I had two missing parts: 2 black 2l beams with a bar sticking out at a 45° angle. Again, should not happen at this price point!!

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And there you have you finished Mack Granite.

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Features:

Fully RC controlled tractor unit.

Openable hood and doors.

Highly detailed interior, exterior and engine.

Very sturdy model. Yeah some detail can fall off, but the frame is sturdy and everything feels well put together.

Full suspension on all axles (solid axle suspension front, walking beam suspension rear).

 

Trailer Tr4

Trailer Tr4 is an RGN (removeable gooseneck) lowboy trailer. I ordered it without RC or chrome. It can be ordered in blue, yellow, red and black.

Released: 2014

Part Count: 1440

Weight: 2,00 kg

Size: 95cm x 20cm x 14cm

Scale 1:17,5

Building time: 6 hours

Price: 610€ (more expensive with RC pack)

 

The box. I got edition #25 out of 100.

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Inside you will find only unnumbered bags. So lets go puzzle.

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Leftover parts. Everything red are build helpers. The other parts... i don't know. You don't really have spare parts in these kits, but i checked the instructions back and forth...

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And there you have your finished trailer. I have already put some LED cables inside while building.

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In this picture of the underside you see some axles running through the framework. These are the parking break. There are cam pieces at the front which push that long axle against the wheels when you lower the trailer to the ground.

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Features:

-Fully RC operable lowboy trailer

-Solid axle suspension on all axles

-Rear lift axle

-Removable gooseneck

-Parking break when lowered

-removable side extensions

 

Accessories

Spijkhoven also send me some smaller accessories kits with my purchase for free. I didn't order them, but it was a welcome surprise.

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Tanker Trailer Tr11

It's an american style tanker trailer, which resembles a model from a manufacturer called Polar. It can haul fuel, chemicals, oils or acids.

Now this is not a kit. I only bought the intructions, stickers and chrome rims from Spijkhoven. Most of the parts are from me or from bricklink. So this is a budget build. Also a full kit of this trailer is currently not available, and probably won't be anymore.

Soon after ordering, i received the instructions as a PDF and couple of days later, stickers and rims arrived.

I also customized mine a fair bit. I didn't use anything RC in this build. Parking brake and landing gear is RC operated original, but i made them manual operated. I also added LED lights powerd from the tractor unit, and a spare wheel where the battery box would sit.

Spijkhoven has this trailer (and many other cool models) on Rebrickable https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-19117/Ingmar Spijkhoven/trailer-tr11-dark-bluish-gray/#details so you can export the part list to Bricklink and just buy everything you need.

I had about a third of all parts in my collection.

Released: 2018

Part Count: 1430-ish

Weight: 1,80 kg

Size: 71cm x 15cm x 20cm

Scale 1:17,5

Building time: 4,5 hours

Price: about 300€ (includes stickers and chrome rims, and when you buy all parts used of bricklink)

 

When building you start of with two frame sections. Rear with suspension and front with landing gear and king pin. Then you build the huge cistern basically from ground up. The top is on the front, so you build a giant silo and lay it on the frame.

It is quite fragile while building but once everything is connected, it's very sturdy

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Stickers are great quality as usual.

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The trailer also has a parking brake. You turn the gear and some levers press on the front axle tires and blocks them. Again, this is originally a RC controlled function.

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Features:

-fully RC operable (landing gear and parking brake, if you build it after instructions)

-Solid axle suspension on all axles

 

Are they worth it???

...you might ask. Hmm tough question!!

I'd say yes. They are well built models with cool features and building techniques from a talented builder. It really is an experience!

Still, it is a stupid amount of money. If you just don't have it or don't want to spend that much money, just get an intruction and your own parts.

But you won't regret it either way!

 

 

Additional pictures

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Edited by Polarlicht

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the review :)

Forgot, what is that black truck? :)

Edited by Shiva
added text

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Shiva said:

Thank you for the review :)

Forgot, what is that black truck? :)

It's a moc i built about a decade ago. It shows its age and my old building "style". I call it Black Cat, since it's black and has a chromed cat hood figure.

However it has nothing to do with the Model Team black cat!

Edited by Polarlicht

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Really linked your review! All these moc’s of Ingmar’s are really special and I have built them all and still have some on display in my home. They are so cool that I can’t take them apart! Permanent keepers!

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Great review and TY for posting this.  Interested to perhaps purchase one of these. As I understand it.... one can buy the instructions only right? 

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22 minutes ago, nerdsforprez said:

Great review and TY for posting this.  Interested to perhaps purchase one of these. As I understand it.... one can buy the instructions only right? 

You can buy all the parts, stickers, Power Functions RC stuff and instructions in a single full kit. Basically like a Lego set!

You can select if you want to buy the kit without RC (and chrome) stuff if that is too expensive and you have RC stuff already. But you can't really build it without the RC stuff, unless you modify it.

If you want you can buy stickers, instructions etc. only if you want to get the parts and PF stuff yourself or you already have them in your collection of parts...

I bought both Macks and the lowboy as a kit with all the parts. And the tanker trailer  "Tr11" only as instructions, with stickers and chrome rims from the site. The major parts needed for that trailer i have myself or source from bricklink.

 

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@Polarlicht Great review of some incredible building kits, Ingmar would be proud. Glad I provoked you to purchase these great creations, nothing like them available anywhere!

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Thanks man! My wallet isn't that glad about that :laugh::wink:

I added the Tanker Trailer to the first post.

Does someone know why they have these walls on top? Seems like some un-aerodynamic wind brake...

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The tank sections are sepereated. Thats what i thought as well. So all of the liquid inside won't push against the front wall when you brake hard, when each section has their own front wall and way less liquid as all sections combined.

But their wall extensions on top? Maybe when you roll over the truck, it brakes the roll and helps to not crush the hatches up top as well?

I don't know if you can transport different types of freight at once in each section? Doubt it, though.  I think they are all combined with a little pipe at the bottom of each section.

Edited by Polarlicht

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Sections are separated, yes. Usually these types of trailers have 3 or more separated compartments.
Your idea of protecting the hatches in a case of roll sounds right.

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Thanks for the review. 

Rollover protection for the manholes on the top of the tank.   I guess you can call them tombstones since those round rib re-enforced tankers could carry the most dangerous chemicals from a hazmat point of view.  :jollyroger:

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Cool review, thanks! The tanker is really well done and probably my favorite of the models you built.  Also appreciate the loaded lowboy to show size.

wish these were HOG instead of powered, I would be much more inclined to purchase one or two!

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8 hours ago, KevinMD said:

 

wish these were HOG instead of powered, I would be much more inclined to purchase one or two!

@ KevinMD You could just eliminate the servo motor(used for steering) and replace(along motor's rotation center) with a Tech axle to a 90* gearbox inside cab, then vertical to HOG steering on roof.

Just an idea for HOG use, these trucks are what Ingmar wanted.....'Building Experience Kits'.....and that is exactly what building these trucks is all about.............take your time & enjoy! :wink:

Edited by ritztoys
left out info

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Yeah, just go ahead and order one without RC elements. Converting it to hog steering should be easy. Especially the T18 mack vision has normal rack and pinion steering with the servo directly behind the gear and a u-joint in between. Should be easy to go from there. Also lots of space inside the cab when there is no rc stuff in it.

Mack granite has 90 degree bevel gear box behind the engine. Should also be quite easy to go from there. But you would need to reinforce the roof and backwall since they are not made for a steering knob and pushing and pulling on it.

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Real-life trailers usually have a counter-bend when empty, so they become flat when loaded. Unfortunatelly, I don't think it is possible to make it of Lego parts without loosing the construction firmness. 🙁

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Yeah, probably not possible. Even adding more beams inside the lowboy wouldn't do much. It's already full of plates and beams sandwiches :D

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Ain't there a possibility for an extra dolly? at the front of trailer? to take a bit load from the truck?

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There is! >>> https://www.ingmarspijkhoven.com/products/building-experience-kits/trailers/building-experience-kit-trailer-tr4-add1

They offer a dolly set for the trailer. One goes between tractor and trailer and one goes on the back of the trailer.

The load on the axles is actually not the bad thing. And you can set a gear ratio in the Mack for more torque or speed, mine is in the middle.

The bad thing is, when the trailer is really heavy loaded and you want to go around like a 90° curve, the kingpin slips out of the fifth wheel, since it has to basically pull that heavy weight sideways.

Its fine when driving in a straight line. I only have this problem with really big loads like the Cat or All Terrain Crane set.

Looks like the lowboy trailers are sold out! Can't find them anymore on the site.

Edited by Polarlicht

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