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About mostlytechnic

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    bait, wait, SCUM!!
  • Birthday 11/25/1978

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  1. mostlytechnic

    10497 Galaxy Explorer 90th anniversary set

    Built it over the weekend and love it (have an original 497 here as well to display with it). However, WHY oh WHY did they use a 1x2 yellow plate in the nose? It's the only one in the whole set and it's visible under the 2x6 grey tile. Grey or black would have been much less ugly when they peek out there.
  2. mostlytechnic

    Tumble Train

    Fantastic! As soon as I saw the first picture I knew exactly what it was because I remember the toy from when my kids were little. That works so well, and I love the design of the tiny train. The pulley drive system gets the right speed, but it also looks cute.
  3. Now that I have the updated Control+ app, I can confirm that the controls are well implemented. It handles flipping very smoothly - so it flips over and goes forward again as it should. There's some cosmetic changes to reflect the orange or blue color, and there's shortcut buttons that spin it around quickly. However, it's still not nearly as nice as having a physical controller.
  4. You are correct! I did miss that - regular blue is such a common color, and that's such a common panel size, that I didn't notice. Thanks for the update!
  5. Technic All-Terrain Vehicle Thanks to Lego and EB for this review set. Over the years, Lego has made a lot of ATVs. However, most of them have been small, minifig sized models either as a vehicle in a larger set or as a small set on their own. Usually they're police or fire themed (as are most City sets), such as 2015's ATV Patrol: They have taken the ATV name quite literally though, all the way to other planets' terrain: Now though, Technic is tackling the ATV concept and taking the scale WAY up. They're sticking to Earth terrain though. Name: All Terrain Vehicle Set Number: 42139 Pieces: 764 Price: $79.99 Minifigs: 0 Theme: Technic The Box Front At first glance (especially if you don't look at the set name) it looks like a squashed truck. I think, after looking at actual ATVs, that the problem is the black handlebars being too low and blending into the black seat, black bed, and dark background. Compare the set to a real 6-wheel ATV that's currently on the market - the handlebars are FAR higher in the air. Also, from what I found, virtually all the 6-wheel ATVs are dark green/dark tan/black. They're primarily intended as working vehicles, so they stick to serious, dark colors. The ATVs that are in bright red/orange/white/blue are sportier, 4-wheel recreational vehicles. So given that, I'd rather see this set in dark colors rather than orange with aggressive stickers. The Box Back Since there's no B-model, the entire back is showing the functions. There's going to be some suspension, a 2-cylinder engine, a gear shift, and a tipping bed. The main photo though is just slightly a different angle from the front photo. Why not give us a new view? Is the other side weirdly ugly for some reason? (hint - nope. It's almost identical) The Contents The bags are for 3 numbered steps, plus an un-numbered back with wheels and tires. Like so many Technic sets lately, there is a very busy sticker sheet. It looks like a lot of the color in the set (what little there is) will be from stickers! There are only 13 orange beams or panels in the set. The Sticker Sheet Here's a closeup of the stickers. Clearly, lots of panel #21 and #22 are getting stickered in this set! Overall, the vibe seems to work for an ATV. The Build, Part 1 Bag 1 builds the core of the mechanisms. As is typical for Technic sets, this is a very solid block of parts to provide strength for the rest of the vehicle and the gear mechanisms. The Build, Explained Here's the functionality collapsed into this block of parts: Knob on side of ATV for manually controlling the winch Pair of bevel gears to route the rotation to the front of the vehicle The red bush acts as a stop to keep the winch from unwinding on its own This red ball is a handle you can press to pull the red bush away and let the winch extend Another set of bevel gears to change the winch control direction again There's a connection down this hole for the steering. Eventually the handlebars will attach here The steering routes through the middle, pushes the front dark blue grey beam side to side, and that causes these axles on the ends to steer the wheels. It's a classic Technic steering mechanism, using the "Pin Connector Perpendicular 3L with 4 Pins" with an axle through it This is the gear selector, to change the speed of the piston above when the vehicle is rolled along This frictionless pin is a connection for the suspension that's still to be added The Build, Errors in the Instructions! It's nice when Lego instructs you how to test what you've built to make sure things are working before you get them too buried to easily fix. However, look at steps 18 and 19 here. If you have built it as shown (with the dark grey driving ring centered) then turning the orange connector in step 19 will NOT make the pistons move! You have to push the driving ring to one end or the other to make them move. The Build, More Instruction Interestingness A few pages later, you'll find this diagram. Why do they show the driving ring just slightly off-center, so NOT engaged either end still, but also not centered correctly? They're very consistent - the red shift selector is angled in both the blown-up diagram and in the instructions off to the left - but it's still an odd position. But it's even slightly angled in the assembly steps above - step 7 in the yellow box! (While we're on the topic, anyone know why the red selector part is designed the way it is? The axle hole isn't quite deep enough, so when you insert something like the grey axle with ball, it doesn't go flush like it would in other parts. Why not make the selector a hair longer? I'm guessing that in some designs it'd hit something if it was longer, but I'm not sure) The Build, Part 2 Back to building... Both rear axles are connected together with mini turntables, so they can pivot. There are shocks on both sides to keep them centered normally (ditto for the front axle). It's not independent suspension, but it works for this scale vehicle. The base for the tipping bed is also in place. There's a small lever on the other side that twists the red liftarm in the center. A very direct and simple mechanism, but it works and adds a function to the set. The Underside Here's a better shot of the pivoting axles, if you're not familiar with this style of Technic construction. Each of the rear axles uses a 5x7 frame to hold a differential. There are axles going lengthwise connecting them through the center of the mini turntables. This takes the rotation of the 4 rear wheels forward, through the central gearbox (the red and blue gears with the grey driving ring between them) and then up to the piston engine. The Finished ATV Here's the finished set, and from the opposite side than the box. The only real different on the sides is that this one has the winch knob and the other has the winch release and the gear selector. The Front Lots of headlights. And unfortunately, they look bad. Why on earth do they insist on using the blue pins to mount these clear pieces? Lego, you make those pins in light grey. That'd look a TON better. Or even better - do what you did just on the center-most lights and put a white stud behind them! It'd make them pop against the mostly black front end. Instead, they're almost invisible, which is better than when you notice the blue pins. While we're here, let me point out one more ugly bit. Look way at the back - see the red piece? Not the red tube below the orange beam; that's the lever to tip the bed. I'm talking about the red axlepin sticking out the side of the black bed. There's one on each side, and they visually stick out so much. Now, scroll back up to the start of the review and look at the box photo. NO RED AXLE! It's black in the photo! So even Lego knew it looked bad, but decided (probably late in the design process, after marketing had taken their glamour photos), to use red pins. My guess is that originally they used the black "Axle 2L with pin" to go all the way into the bed of the ATV, but since it doesn't actually then click into the vertical side, they switched to the red "Axle 1L with Pin 2L" for a slightly more solid connection. It's also possible that they looked at photos of ATVs and saw that some have a red reflector on the side of the bed and used that to "justify" the color. But I'm not a fan. The Suspension The ATV has pendular suspension on all three axles - and 6 shock absorbers. Overall, it's a pretty stiff suspension. As you can see here, it's too stiff for the lightweight vehicle and so the back wheel doesn't touch the ground when there's something under the middle axle. However, the design of the suspension is pretty good and it's certainly something kids can learn from. Being pendular, the ATV can rock side to side but it cannot push straight down, like a vehicle with independent suspensions could: The steering works, but there's not much range of motion. Thanks to using a pair of knob gears, it also has quite a bit of delay and slop. However, like the suspension, the idea is there and pretty well done for the size: The Chainsaw Usually, ATVs in Lego are side builds as part of a bigger set. Here, the ATV is the big set and it comes with a chainsaw (and logs) as sidebuilds. The chainsaw is pretty small, but it's recognizable even without the blatant CHAINSAW stickers. However, I can't help but feel that the chainsaw and logs are filler. They're about 10% of the part count! There are 20 brown 2x2 rounds to make the logs, and the chainsaw itself is about 50 pieces. Almost half of those are the chain links. The Ratings Design: 6 - it's recognizable and overall looks ok, but there's a few misses (handlebars, blue headlights, red pins). For kids though, they'll be fine with it. I try to remind myself that this is a 10+ set, not an 18+, but on the other hand, these are so simple to do better. Build Experience: 8 - it's easy enough for kids, but not repetitive or boring Features: 7 - what it has works well, but some are just "why" - like why have the gear shift? It's a mostly useless feature in most Technic vehicles, and here, it's just a 2 cylinder engine with little difference between the two gears Playability: 9 - It's swooshable, sturdy, and works well. The chainsaw and logs may be filler-ish, but they do add playability to the set. However, is this something a kid would want to play with vs the usual crane / racecar / etc? I'm assuming that Lego's research says yes, and they've certainly made enough unusual vehicles over the years (hovercrafts, etc) to have some experience behind it Parts/Value: 9 - I originally rated this lower, since it has nothing new, but then I reconsidered. This is a GREAT parts pack or intro set to someone new to Technic. There's 6 wheels, 6 shocks!, lots of panels, and plenty of other assorted parts including a bit of chain. It's a solid parts pack for making your own vehicles, and it's a good primer on building with suspension, steering, differentials, etc. Overall: 7 - It's something Lego hasn't done in Technic before, and it's done mostly well. The flaws are mostly minor and common to a wide variety of Technic sets. I compromised on the rating - for experienced Technic builders, I'd rate it lower. For younger people or anyone newer to Technic, I'd rate it higher.
  6. Thanks for the heads up on that. Just checked on my android phone and see the same. It's something with how the Eurobricks forum software handles embedded images - not sure I can do anything about it, but I'll definitely pass it along!
  7. That's a great application! Sariel also pointed out in his review that the main part of the gear being thinner could reduce friction, since the double-bevel gears can rub on the sides.
  8. App-Controlled Transformation Vehicle Thanks to Lego and EB for this review set. Over the years, Lego has made a lot of motorized, remote controlled vehicles. Most have been in the Technic line. At a glance, this looks like another tracked, remote-controlled racer. But.... flip the box over.... Name: App-Controlled Transformation Vehicle Set Number: 42140 Pieces: 772 Price: $139.99 Minifigs: 0 Theme: Technic The Box Front That is a lot of text on the front of the box. The name, well, not a fan. "Transformation Vehicle"? What is that? And then you have all the warnings that you need batteries and a smart device to make it work. Lego fans could guess that just based on the price - $140 for less than 800 pieces? Must be motors in there! The Box Back Wait, I thought we already saw the front. Where's the features and functions (I'm not even expecting a B-model anymore, sadly...) Ok, so this is the back since you have the perforations to open the end, and you don't have the batteries not included notice. However, it's definitely a different way to do the back. For this set, it makes sense though. Clearly, this is a tracked vehicle with two different sides that can flip over. I remember having RC cars like that as a kid. But wait... those did it by having the body be very thin so the wheels were always above/below the body. This orange cab is definitely higher than the treads. And so was the race car body on the other side. I guess there's more to the transformation than just a flip. The Sticker Sheet Here's a closeup of the stickers. There are a lot of them to decorate both sides of the vehicle. The Interesting Parts NEW PART ALERT!!!! Let's start with the biggie. That is a 3x19 frame piece there on the left. I see SO many uses for this. Think how much easier crane booms, vehicle chassis, or anywhere you need size and strength. It has pinholes going all directions, so it will be pretty easy to attach anything you want to it. It's also NINETEEN studs long - making it the longest beam currently made. That also will simplify structures! Moving on - not all of these pieces are new, but they're uncommon or interesting at least. There are several of the liftarms with perpendicular holes in the set. In the top middle, those are two new gears. They're 20 and 12 tooth, but not double-beveled. I'm not really sure why they're necessary - the existing double-beveled gears work fine as standard gears. Plus I'm old-school - not a fan of the blue gears in multiple shades like this. Give me black and two greys for my gears please, with the occasional tan or white Below that - 3x3 "biscuit" pieces in unusual colors, along with wire clips in the same. None are new, but they're uncommon. Moving along - new 2x1x1 curved panels, to match the other recent new panels. These are included in blue and neon yellow. The liftarms are also neon yellow. It's a difficult color to photograph accurately. But think of a yellow highlighter and you've got it. It's a VERY bright color, new for 2022 found here in Technic and also in some of the City sets. Last in the line is a 2x5 quarter ellipse piece. That's new for 2022. You can find it in dark grey in the small motorcycle set, but this has it in blue. The Build, Part 1 The build starts with a solid core, using the battery hub as the center and adding some beams around it, holding two motors at the back. Everything will be color coded - you have the biscuits on the ends of the motor indicating right and left, and more will be added to keep the wiring organized and correct as we go. The Build, Part 2 The new frame piece makes for a very solid connection across the body of the vehicle. The wires are neatly clipped into place so they don't get caught in the "transformation" mechanism later. And unsurprisingly, the two motors just drive the two treads almost directly. There is a slight gear reduction, but not much of a geartrain to be found. There's certainly no transmission or gear selection or anything like that. The Build, Part 3 The frame for the treads comes together quickly. There's not a whole lot to it, but there's definitely been some geometry work done at Lego designing this. The Build, Part 4 Now we can sit the frame aside and start on the body. There's a long beam with dual cabs on the end. This side is - very blatantly - for RACING. I think the paint roller pieces for dual-lever throttle controls look great. (and note, there's a little wheel built into the top of the cab above the seat...) The Build, Part 4 (flipped) On the other side, there's a very orange cab. It also has wheels on the roof, plus we have a pair of shock absorbers.... The Build, Part 4 (flipped, closeup) Here's a better look at this cab. There's a yoke-style steering wheel, just for looks, and a lot of gauges on the sides of the seat. The other stickers are, well, interesting. I think they're supposed to be industrial, like construction-equipment-style, but there's a little sci-fi looking too. Why are there fake yellow and pink lights at the back of the cab? Boats and aircraft use red/green lights to indicate left and right sides, but nothing uses yellow/pink. The Build, Part 5 The dual-cab piece gets attached to the wheel/motor frame and a lot of cosmetic panels are added. It pivots at the back and has the shock absorbers connected at the front. It can pivot and the shocks make it snap up or down - that's the transformation function. As a bonus, the racing side has a spoiler at the back. It uses that dark grey liftarm pressed against the battery hub to push it up. When the vehicle flips, the rubber band around the two red balls pulls it down flat. Simple, but very effective. The Build, Part 5 (flipped) The other side doesn't have anything else added yet. There's not much to come, since the battery box has to remain exposed for battery replacement (and yes, this has the new version with the battery door screwed on. FOUR tiny screws. It's a pain.) The Build, Part 6 There's a simple "truck bed" built around the battery box, plus some heavily-stickered panels sticking out the sides. In the most repetitive part of the build, you make 8 of these bogies that attach to support the treads. The Finished Vehicle The last step is adding the treads, which thankfully DO include the single-stud rubber pieces to give some grip! There's just under TWO HUNDRED pieces of the part count right here. This is also a rare case where a motor gets stickered - since it's exposed here at the back, the graphic designers decided it needed decoration. Thankfully, it's pretty generic and won't look out of place elsewhere later. You can also see how important the cable management is. The wires from the motors go right under the treads, so if there was too much slack, they'd get easily caught. The Handstand? Just "The Stand?" The vehicle CAN stand on the spoiler like this and balance. But just barely. I tried getting it to do this by driving up a wall and could not. The momentum from going up always carried it the rest of the way over. Even if you could, it won't be stuck. Just drive a little and it'll flip down. The Drive I had to drive it with a handicap - the Control+ app has not been updated yet to include this set. That makes it difficult to operate an app-controlled set. I had to use a user-customizable app. Using the basic controls there, I was able to drive the vehicle around. It's reasonably quick, but not blazing fast. According to the Lego description, when the app is updated, it will recognize which way is up and change the controls (both functionally and visually) to match. That will help, and it's a great usage of the sensors in the battery hub. The transformation works very well. You can drive into a wall and the car will climb (thanks to the rubber grips on the tracks) to vertical and fall over backwards. The center section pops into place and it's ready to take off. You can of course also just grab it by hand and flip it over. Thanks to those tiny wheels on the roof, it doesn't scrape up anything doing this. The Ratings Design: 7 - The two sides manage to look VERY different, and they also are pretty well hidden when the other side is up. The racing side looks like a weird toy racecar, so I think it hits the mark. The orange side is less successful, mostly due to having to leave the battery box accessible. Build Experience: 5 - It's pretty short, very simple mechanically for a Technic set, and over a quarter of the part count is consumed in the tracks! It is though a 9+ set, not an adult-oriented set. Features: 8 - I was very torn on how to rate this. The car works well, it flips well, the functions work well. My issue is really the name. "Transformation" to me implies more than just flipping over and a hinged body. If they'd called it a Flip Vehicle, I'd have been much happier. Playability: 9 - I see kids playing with this for a long time. It's a well-working remote controlled car (though I'd prefer a physical control over a phone screen) and they'll enjoy the flip function. Parts/Value: 4 - I have to mark this down. Yes, it has a hub and motors. However, the aftermarket has valued these much lower than Lego. At Lego, the hub retails alone for $90! You can get them brand new on Bricklink for under $20. Overall: 8 - I'm rating this here from the target market's view. This is a 9+ set. It has enough pieces to make other tracked vehicles. It works well for what it's intended to do. It's a fun toy.
  9. mostlytechnic

    Building a small modular railroad layout

    Nice compact layout! That's a lot of bang for the space. I also like that you've got the track basically at the same location on all the panels. So if you needed to go even smaller, just leave out the straights on the short side of the oval. Going somewhere with more space? Add a couple more modules in any direction and make it a bit bigger. Curious - what didn't you like about the MDF underneath? Second question - I see you changed the switch layout for the sidings. Now you're stuck with a switch across the joint of sections. I liked the original layout that didn't need that. I'd be tempted to do the switch the way you have it in the diagram at the top and (*gasp*) cut the plain track pieces so your joints in the track are at the joint of the sections.
  10. mostlytechnic

    Lego High-Speed Train 40518 modified for monorail

    That looks and runs great!
  11. mostlytechnic

    REVIEW: 71032 LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 22

    This is the most figs I've wanted from a series in a while... Bard Acorn boy Chili girl (probably a couple) Repair robot Wheelchair racer
  12. mostlytechnic

    Custom Lego train MOC 30' CSX Caboose in 6 wide

    That's a really nice looking caboose! Even without the custom stickering, I think it'd be a very nice model. Do you have some photos of the interior you can share?
  13. mostlytechnic

    [MOC] Temple of Technology

    Love it! Perfect use of the spinning gimbals. I might prefer it though in the reverse color scheme - mostly white, with grey accents (and of course, the grey sphere in the center) to make it pop a little more. Or go crazy and use Naboo or Tatooine in the center
  14. To me, one of the biggest flaws in this is the scale... not that a huge bike is bad, but that you don't realize how big it is. Lego needs a better way to indicate scale on the box, such as a hand playing with it or something. I've built several other Lego motorcycles (8051, and the Harley), and so when I first saw this I was shocked by the price tag. At a glance, the wheels/tires looked to be the same size as the existing ones and I didn't grasp how much bigger this is. Even in the review (which was great by the way), it wasn't fully clear the scale. So thanks JunkystyleGio for that screencap just above this post with the sets together!
  15. mostlytechnic

    [REVIEW] 40518 High-Speed Train

    Sad that you had to mention that instructions are included - I know it was a joke, but the Mario sets (for example) do not include printed instructions because you need the app. Argh. I like the white ingots as doors, but I think they'd look better recessed instead of sticking out. Overall, a decent looking train, but it suffers a little for being so small (and therefore hard to do details). But I agree, I don't see the point. It's not train scale, so won't go on tracks. There's no alternate builds - Creator sets like this are usually 3-in-1 models with alternates. And really oddly, on Lego shop, this is listed as Creator Expert, not just Creator. All that combined to me says that this was probably originally intended as a gift with purchase set (such as with a big, actual Creator Expert train set purchase or something) but that set got delayed and so they went ahead and released this as a buyable set.