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About Cumulonimbus

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    Technic, Creator, City


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    The Netherlands

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  1. Great work again, impressive build. I don't fully understand why there are two motors; I expected the movement of the axles and the hitch assembly to be coupled via a linkage. Or did I miss something?
  2. I have checked your rev_1 instructions and they look good. The two errors have been fixed and the other issues have been greatly improved. For the record: I understand the limitations Efferman has when making these instructions, so any builder will still need to follow the original instructions for guidance for the stickers, cables and strings if needed. Great work as usual, thank you very much! I look forward to your custom helicopter build.
  3. For the first time in a very long time, I have bought myself a new Technic set. A new Technic helicopter with realistic pitch mechanisms was really tempting, despite the high price tag. The modifications @efferman presented here won me over. So I recently finished the Efferman V1 MOD of this set and I thought I could share some experiences and tips for anyone who considers this MOD. Disclaimer: I have not built the original set, so I can’t really compare the two. Also note that the following is not meant as critique to the excellent work of Efferman but is merely my feedback for anyone who might find this useful. The following images should help illustrating my comments: Instruction errors I found two errors in the manual which could be confusing or cause frustration: Step 173: The black 2M axle connector should not be added to this sub-assembly, it is already present In the main assembly. Step 267: the 3L pin is upside down. In its current position, parts of the next steps cannot be mounted correctly. Manual unclarities The manual is a bit unclear in some places. I do not consider these as errors, but it will require some building prowess to understand the building step correctly: Strings, power cables and stickers are not shown in this manual. Referring to the original manual will help you here. The one thing I did struggle with was threading the motor cable through the build in step 423. I also needed to remove the door to be able to insert the connector to the battery box. Step 428 shows a grey 5M axle, while a black 6M axle is noted and needed. Step 442: The correct orientation of the ball in the swash plate assembly is not that clear. Since the image is a bit simplified (the black half is also shown as grey) it could be confusing. The original manual helped me here. Step 460: When assembling the rotor head, care must be taken to correctly orient the swash plate, starfish piece and the vertical beam. The parts have some arrows for orientation, but these are not shown in the new manual. When in doubt, look to the original manual. Step 633: the cover sub-assembly cannot slide in its place because the rail holder at the end is already in place. Simply turn the white connectors out of the way before adding the sub-assembly. Other note Maybe it's obvious for others, but it wasn't for me: You will need a number of parts which are not included in the original set, including three examples of the new 1x2x3 panels (sorry, I'm not familiar with all the part names). I will need to order some parts in white, since I did not have them in my inventory. In conclusion, I’m very happy how this set turned out with this mod. The movements feel very positive and some of the proportions issues have been solved, I really appreciate the hard work Efferman has put in to design the improvements, making a manual for the complete build and providing that manual free of charge. It is definitely a strongly recommended MOD, but remember that it will require some building experience and extra parts to finish it.
  4. I once had the privilege to see a Sikorsky Sea king rotor head up close while a highly knowledgeable aerospace professor explain all the different mechanisms. It was an eye-opening experience, the complexity is just mind-boggling. Especially the different self correcting mechanisms, all purely mechanical are very impressive to see and learn about: One of the mechanisms which I will never forget is the spring loaded flapping hinge, which allows the blade to cope with sudden vertical gusts during flight. The amazing thing about this is the fact that there's another spring loaded subsystem, blocking this movement until the rotor speed is high enough in order to avoid hitting ground object while spooling up the rotor. When the rotor speed it high enough, the centrifugal force moves the locking mechanism in such a way that it frees up the flapping hinge to move. Add to this equation six rotor blades, a blade folding mechanism and very high safety factors ... simply stunning. The best image I found online of something similar to what I saw that day is this (from a Super Frelon helicopter): The said locking mechanism is the upside down T-shaped bar under each rotor blade.
  5. Nothing is sure until the model is reviewed by someone, this is all speculation based on the available images. I know the arrow on top is confusing, maybe it is meant as an indication of the rotation of the whole rotor. Anyway, you can see that the swash plate in that image (the LBG part just above white body) is clearly tilted and the axis of rotation (the vertical beam) is still at a right angle with the body. Even the red cover still sits in line with this beam. Only the rotor blades are pitched, as it should.
  6. No, this set actually represents a a real helicopter mechanism quite good. The vertical axle remains vertical and the plane of the rotor head remains horizontal (in relation to the helicopter body) at all times. Only the angle of the rotor blades (this is called the pitch) changes depending on a combination of the collective and cyclic control input. A real helicopter rotorhead is an incredibly complex mechanical system, since it must automatically compensate for all sorts of undesired physical effects by pitching, lagging, flapping, etc. It is inevitably that a modeled version simplifies the mechanisms, so my question was in what degree this set has tuned down the realism.
  7. Well, that is an nice surprise. I really did not expect they would design at least three new parts (starfish piece, swash plate and new ball joint) for a new helicopter. I guess the Airbus license and cooperation has paid of here. From a MOC-er point of view, it a pity that the five blade geometry does not allow many other helicopter designs, but lets be grateful for the new possibilities. At first I thought the set also had tail rotor pitch control, but now the better quality images are here, it seems that the extra parts are needed to set the axle of the the tail rotor at the correct angle specific for this helicopter. Really curious to see the mixing mechanism in this set which combines the inputs of the two controls into one rotor setting, as can be seen in this overview of a real control system : I'm also curious how far the realism is taken in this set. If I understood correctly, in real helicopters the input has a phase shift of a 90 degrees due to the gyroscopic precession, In other words, in order to go forwards the swash plate should tilt sideways. Would TLG go so far to implement this as well?
  8. I zoomed in quite a bit on the available image and I thought I saw corners in that hub, hence my assumption that it might be pentagonal. I agree it would make more sense if it was circular and could interface with the turntable part. In that case, I think this assembly will act as the swashplate to which the black steering links are connected. Anyway, a Lego mechanism which integrates cyclic and collective pitch control is still rather difficult to achieve with these parts. Edit: I updated my image (see below), but now I'm confused: At first I thought the starfish piece would snap with 'LOWER PART FOR TURNTABLE z28'. But then I realized that this piece has a square hole as well. Inserting a beam through both would block any rotation, so I'm interested how this is solved in this set.
  9. That is a very interesting setup. I like how close it resembles a real gear selector mechanism. Without the need for all those extra gears for the "multiplier function" in the official gearbox, this would result in a much more compact gearbox, right? It would be great if the fork design would make it possible to connect them to a manual gear shifter. Not sure about the size of the pin on the forks and width of the channels: to me it seems that any lateral play between the two axes could be enough to miss-align the fork and the selector disk.
  10. This is my interpretation of the same observations: The central square hole allows a beam to slide through while transferring any rotation of that axle to this starfish piece (and the connected rotor blades). This makes a robust and compact collective pitch control with five rotor blades possible. The bad news is that this design probably means that the starfish piece will not be able to tilt in relation to the vertical beam. This is a requirement for a cyclic pitch mechanism to work since the swash plate needs to be able to slide up and down in relation to the rotor shaft for collective pitch control while simultaneously be able to tilt along the two axis perpendicular to the main shaft for cyclic pitch controls (resulting in roll and pitch of the helicopter). The rotor of the 8856 had that freedom thanks to a special ball joint piece but that design didn't have the freedom to slide along an axle still limiting its uses. I would be surprised if a small turntable piece will fit in this new part as you suggest: As a result of the pentagonal outer shape, square hole and injection moulding constraints, the resulting opening at the bottom is very oddly shaped. I hope I'm wrong, but it seems the illusive realistic swash plate is not here yet.
  11. I was hesitant to post this because this is a never ending discussion, nobody here needs more negativity and the chances of this discussion will changing anything are minimal. But recently I have realized that I have reached a point where the joy of buying, building, modifying and owning Lego (Technic) sets has disappeared. For what it’s worth, below is my point of view (forgive the long text, I tried to keep it as brief as possible): Profit vs values Yes, The Lego Group (TLG) is profit oriented and is doing rightly so since it is a commercial company. But I get the sense that TLG is trying to maintain its profits by inflating part counts, prices and licenses at the expense of B-models, enineering standards, LDD support and part quality. These are all worrying trends that eat away at what I have always seen as the basics of the “Leg godt” philosophy: accessibility, creativity, open ended and high quality nature of the building system. Additionally, the ever increasing retail prices are staggering in my eyes. Flagship and sub-flagship sets are now in serious adult gadget territory: real RC cars, high fidelity die cast models and other boys toy. I think TLG has more to lose than to win when competing with these. To be brutally honest: the Lego system will never be good enough to beat them, but TLG will lose sight of their strong suit while doing so. Premium prices come with premium expectations. For me this means functions, build techniques, part quality. TLG is intentionally cutting corners on all those aspects to reduce costs. That is their rightful choice, but once you lose your quality reputation, it will cost you a long time to restore that reputation. All I know is that the last two new (and expensive) sets I have bought were the 42083 Bugatti and the 42082 Crane. In both cases I committed to the high price but felt disappointed in the build and play value they offered for that price. Creativity vs display models Yes, you can modify Lego at your heart’s content and for many years I have done so. Almost all sets in my collections are tweaked, modified, rebuilt or even redesigned. But this process takes time and the backlog has grown into an unmanageable mount. If every set is just the starting point, eventually you begin to wonder why you even buy the set instead of just some critical parts. Plus, it seems that modifying a set has been made increasingly difficult by TLG: exotic color choices, exclusive parts, printed panels, rigidity of the C+ system all seem to suggest you’re not really meant to change much to the model or build something else with the same parts. In my book, this fundamentally goes against what Lego means to me: a flexible medium to express my technical creativity. Marketing choices TLG knows what sells and what sells will guide new developments, no surprises there. Unfortunately, I apparently don't identify with those new developments. I'm not a car enthusiast so I don’t really care about yet another set of a car I will never own or even see in real life. Similarly, I don’t care for RC. Call me old fashioned, but I like to manually operate my Lego vehicles and feel what a mechanical mechanism does. Consequently, the added cost for the C+ parts i see more as a burden than an advantage. I especially don't care for Lego branded non-brick products like clothing lines, shoes, dots braces, storage boxes, collectable coins, apps, … It all looks rather familiar to the dark ages of 20 years ago. It's not that I'm adverse to changes (ok, maybe a little) I really like the studless era for example. But I miss novel developments at part, mechanism or set level. Even worse, there are a lot of missed opportunities: If you must develop a C+ system, where are the micro motors, the programmable lighting and sound kits, the plug and play compatibility with your own creations? Instead we get ridiculously expensive huge bricks with built in dependency of a fast developing technology like a smartphone that is prohibitively tricky to build in a MOC (for a kid). Added frustration are the Lego Ideas selections. For example: I felt very disappointed when the Lego Ideas Space shuttle stranded after the review. Other Lego Ideas sets are not appealing to me. Ideas is meant as a source for more niche-minded set, but apparently not my niche. Competitors We have seen many non-Lego brands creating sets with ever increasing complexity, quality and not least creativity. The CADA not-a-ferrari has proven to be a gateway set for many AFOLs and this forum. I’m amazed that this set is openly discussed on this Lego-oriented forum, but it was always a matter of time I guess. Of course this set has its own issues (licensing for example), but it is an indicator of thing to come. I see more and more new brands making really attractive, original Technic-style creations. I don’t believe that TLG has a proper long-term answer. Instead, the Lego brand has lost it innocence in my opinion. I know TLG is a commercial and global company, but for a long time I had the illusion that the company was a collection of like-minded people passionate about the building process and creative sets. The recent threats and litigations around the use of the image of a brick as a logo, and now even the use of the term ‘lego’ is so hard to match with that illusion. To me, it is a sign that TLG is in trouble. Trying to hold on to an image that probably is no longer reality. Instead of putting effort in creating more attractive products to keep ahead of the competition, they lash out to easy to reach public figures. Several times these actions have backfired and I'm still not sure what they try to achieve. My (personal) conclusion Lego sets don’t give the joy and satisfaction they used to, I don’t have the time to modify every set that might be interesting up to the level it could give that joy and I can certainly think of other ways to spend the amount of cash. It probably doesn’t come across as such, but I’m not bitter about it. Our paths have parted and may one day meet again. I will keep an eye open for a Technic set that might reignite the flame. I still hope for a full pneumatic backhoe, a helicopter with cyclic pitch mechanism, a car with convertible roof, etc (mind you all those things have been done before decades ago). But for now, I have moved on. Yes, I will stop complaining, but only because I have stopped caring.
  12. Cumulonimbus

    [MOD] My digital City vehicles

    My next collection of vehicles are some expedition trucks. These are obviously inspired by the truck in the 60160 set and by a youtube movie with three MAN KAT trucks. The series consists of three vehicles which bring all the tools you need for your expedition: Here are some details about each truck: 4x4 Scout: the most compact and lightest of the three trucks. It can plan a route through the terrain to the next campsite, carries a kayak for river exploration, has a winch to get out of trouble and living quarters to set up camp when it reaches the destination. 6x6 Mobile lab: the brains of the bunch. It has a laboratory for chemical and botanical studies, storage for specimens, satellite and other data links, ladders for tree exploration and a workshop for repairing test equipment. 8x8 Equipment carrier: the muscle. This vehicle brings all the other resources needed for your trip like fuel, tools, dirt bikes, food, etc. It has a compact crane to load an unload independently. I hope you like this trio.
  13. Cumulonimbus

    [MOD] My digital City vehicles

    I can't claim all the credit for this idea, it was inspired by a set from my childhood: the 6667, which had something similar: I completely agree, it is fascinating that those pickups can be used as a basis for just about anything. Fancy an ambulance? The set reminds me of the Ford E350 RV I once hired on a holiday cruise and I am considering building an RV based on my modified set. I'll keep you posted.
  14. Cumulonimbus

    [MOD] My digital City vehicles

    You're welcome.Your version looks good, I like the two tone line. During modelling, I was thinking about a hose or string piece to connect the jackhammer and the compressor, but since the lego jackhammer piece has no studs, I dropped the idea and the added advantage is a cleaner look on the trailer.
  15. Cumulonimbus

    [MOD] My digital City vehicles

    Not at all, I'm glad you like it. I haven't checked if all parts exist in the colors I chose, but you'll find a way. Below are some a close-ups that can help you recreating it. Can you share a photo once you have built it in real bricks, I'm curious how it turns out.