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About DrJimbo

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    42110 LandRover

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  1. I struggle to see widespread appeal of a grader, although I know there is at least one very enthusiastic proponent. What would it grade? Lots of 1x1 plates/studs wouldn't really work, finer material (e.g. sand - eek) would not work well with lego. I acknowledge that lots of sets don't have great playability with lego pieces as the 'material' to move around. Two of my favourites, Volvo loader 42030, and BWE 42055, don't really work well with lego pieces (both are great with pasta shells). But for a grader, I just don't see a way for it to have good playability.
  2. So I think this is what you get when you pay the lego premium, compared to other manufacturers - not allowing designs that are a bit 'on the edge' (or not really fit for purpose) reach the market, better QC of instructions, and higher part standards - I think there are cases where a 90% good part is not good enough. I'm not saying lego is perfect, people will have their own exceptions for all these come to mind (Perseverance rover that cannot drive over terrain, errors in instructions (but I think usually cosmetic only), colour variation, etc). But I do still think there is a quality difference that is sometimes important to how much I can enjoy the set.
  3. I'm sharing my (very late) review of the Fantasma car. I was quite excited about this set based on reviews, but was let down by the implementation. In theory the variable speed gearbox and the rear wheel steering looked great, but in reality there were too many gears and linkages for the systems to work well. The doors did work, and was very cool, but were really sensitive and fragile, so once they needed any re-work they were difficult to get behaving again. I've seen videos (perhaps in Japanese?) demonstrating these functions working well, but I could not get them going as smoothly, (or for the rear wheel steering, at all). I'm a very experienced technic builder, so found this very frustrating. I think there are a few things going on here, and 2 make me wary of getting future CADA sets: First, and unforgivably, errors in the instructions that meant not all the gears could be accessed in the final model. By the time I found this out, I was too far gone in the build to want to go back. Second, the part quality from CADA is not quite there. It is some very high percentage of Lego quality, and good enough for most purposes, but there is, for example, clutch power variability, and some stickiness I think contributed to the poor functioning. I believe I am an experienced enough builder to make the mechanisms in this one successfully. Thirdly, some functions may be too ambitious - they may be beyond the capability of plastic bricks to implement - I am thinking of the doors here. Fourthly, there can be pointless functions, perhaps to distinguish from some of the recent LEGO Technic sets with too few functions. Here, there was a very elaborate train of axles, gears, etc from rear to front, that when the last parts were in place was revealed to.... wiggle some panels near the front wheels that were only visible from the underside. Hmmm. Call me underwhelmed. Other aspects of the build were interesting, and the final outcome was very solid - the form-locking was incredible. However, I think I am getting bored of sculpting authentic looking supercars out of lego pieces and panels. Anyhow, I leave you with the 'Fantasma' and his little step-brother.
  4. After some disappointing sets and hearing mixed reviews, I ended on the fence on getting this set. But I picked this up for €75, reduced from €95, so clearly didn't need too much incentive. On paper, it was right up my street, as I do like real space-themed sets. What I liked: the build was fine - there is not a huge amount going on in the set, function wise, but there is something in each set of bags. The alternative steering modes are ingeniously executed, I thought. And finally we have a lego model with a decent turning circle. The final model looks fine, and the motion in the arm is good - a bit slow on the non-manual movements. The new wheels look good and authentic, but in practice are a bit frustrating. It can only really move on a flat soft surface (basically carpet). Any obstacles (even a lego stud or slope) and the wheel mount bends back. I guess that is just a limit of the material and the wheel mount design, which can't be any other way on a model like this. It'll be interesting to see how those wheels behave on a more traditional axle. I also have to agree that the lack of info on the model is a big miss. I was lucky enough to get the Cuusoo (as Ideas was) Curiosity rover 21104 (as my return from the dark ages set) and that had lots of extra info in the booklet. This included an emphasis on the suspension, including explaining how the suspension system ensures that all 6 wheels stay on the ground, regardless of the terrain, and even had some bumpy landscape as part of the build to demonstrate this in the display model. This set (42158) has a working implementation of the same suspension, but there is no mention of it, even in the AR app, that I can find. The implementation is good - the central DBG bar is very asymmetric in the photo below, as the wheels on each side cope with the different slope directions. In practice, the model can't drive over rough terrain (except for carefully engineered rough terrain, which kinda defeats the purpose) due to the wheel mount flex issue. The Cuusoo model implements this really well at a small scale, but of course cannot steer. See the photo below for a demo of the two rovers in action. Overall I'm reasonably happy with the set at the price I paid, and good to have another member of the Little & Large club: loaders: not technic: not technic: not all lego:
  5. DrJimbo

    10497 Galaxy Explorer 90th anniversary set

    I have to say I am a bit disappointed in this after building it recently. The build experience is fine, but the wing shaping that some were enthusiastic about is very similar to the recent space shuttle Discovery. Not a bad thing about the current set, but there was no new 'wow factor' for me there. The set is not swoosh-able. Pick it up by a wing one-handed, and tiles pop off as often as not. The other natural pickup point is the red bulges where the canopies meet - this does not reliably support the set weight. I realise it is true to the original, but there is a lot of wing area and grey in this. The 'lasers' at the front - let's face it, they are weapons - don't look great, not smooth or finished looking enough for me. I do really like the interior, the airlock, the ramp in the rear bay - these are really well-executed. But I think I will build the alt models and then use this for parts.
  6. Holy cow, that looks terrible. Just the Mars rover for me.
  7. I actually like taking apart large models and sorting the pieces. A different sort of relaxation to building - less concentration required. And then there is the anticipation of building the next MOC from the parts.
  8. After living space and technic as a kid, my own kids gave me an excuse to buy Lego again. I got a big (huge) box of bricks for my son when we moved house 8 years ago, then realised I could get stuff for myself too. Mars Curiosity River was my first set, it really piqued my interest. Soon followed by 42030 Volvo loader (still one of my favourites, yet to be matched from a playability point of view). Many technic and NASA sets later, am now running into storage problems.
  9. DrJimbo

    Unpopular Opinions about LEGO

    View from Ireland here (native speaker of English). Lego is a brand name, so I would go into a shop and ask ‘What aisle is the Lego in?’ In the sense of the bits of plastic, I would consider Lego a mass noun, like gravel (or, say, pasta), and that is how I use it in relation to the actual bits of plastic. So if I dump a load of it on the floor, I have a pile of Lego. People who say Legos are using it like ‘stones’ instead of ‘gravel’. It sounds slightly odd to me, but nothing to get upset about. English is weird, and flexible. ‘Lego brick’ I never use, seems a bit corporate, and many bits are not brick. I would say ‘piece/pieces of Lego’.
  10. Surely Extreme Adventures was the set of 2017? It was great value, unusual, and a fun build. I know it is the only set I got with the special 40th anniversary piece.
  11. I received a few parts that looked interesting: hard shocks, long LAs, black friction half-pins, and also the set of 8 LED lights. The lights are naked LEDs that don't lock into a stud hole or any other element. They are small enough to fit through a pinhole or axle hole. The wires are super-thin, and I didn't want to pinch them. I came up with a few options, I'm sure there are more. They can be secured in a boat stud with a 1x1 piece, leaving room for the wire: This allows lamps to be built in the lego style, with a bit of a gap to any backing behind the clear piece. Wires can be threaded neatly. The wires also fit past an axle in a pinhole: A few options, not sure if it can be done at less that 2 studs deep: Looking forward to putting these into a build:
  12. Finally built this. I got a v1 copy at a good price, built it largely to the v2 instructions. I found the build a bit underwhelming, to be honest. Less good aspects - many of these well discussed: axle clearance is poor, speed is slow, phone interface not as good as a physical controller. The v2 updates to keep the doors and bonnet closed do have an inelegant, bolted-on feel. Without stickers, the colours are mostly bland. I often feel that some cosmetic details on these models are off in a way that would be easy to get better. For instance, the use of multiple colours in the diagonal beam on this, when all parts are commonly available in black; the nozzles on the fire extinguishers are prone to breaking off; the extinguishers are too big and badly placed; the exhaust is unsecured; rear lights are prone to breaking off; the fake fuel tanks are clumsily secured at the back. Most irritating - the bed of this truck is ridiculous - the bed not filled, and the sides too low to hold anything. I made some cosmetic fixes: The good: the model does climb remarkably well, and is a good parts pack for me, for control +, planetary hubs, new diffs, etc. I did not realise the green is the same as 24hr race car - good to have a few more parts in this colour.
  13. IIRC, I put in a V6 using standard Lego pistons when building this without too much difficulty. There was a bit of shenanigans to get the input for the drivetrain to mesh well. My impression is that the standard Lego cylinders are a bit too large to be realistic at this scale. The 1 stud/axle scale used here may be close to the true cylinder scale, but exposed in the ‘fake engine’ used here it feels / looks too small to me. Using standard Lego cylinders fills up the engine compartment in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, to me at least.
  14. Has anyone got their hands on these yet:? https://decadastore.com/products/1-with-8-lamp-groups-jv3046?variant=39666233999448 basically a bunch of 8 LEDs ending in what looks like a stud. Looks like great potential for making neat headlight clusters or light bars.