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About Mithrandir

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  1. Mithrandir

    What did you buy today?

    I went to TRU today to see what I could find, and I noticed that the UCS Batmobile was on clearance for $20 off. I wasn't planning on getting it (I guess I always thought it was too blocky), but the price changed my mind. I guess it's going away soon though.
  2. Yeah, there's only one remote in the model, and I'm afraid they do require you to change the channel selector. Sigh.
  3. Mithrandir

    French Toy Fair 2007 : the pictures !

    Anyone know if the new Technic Ferarri has any advanced functions? The 1:10 Enzo was a good parts pack (especially for the CV joints which go for $5+ on bricklink, heh), but there was very little in terms of function. Yes, I know it's "Racers" and not "Technic", but damn, without the functionality of technic models, there's not a lot redeeming about building models in the technic style.
  4. Mithrandir

    Technic - Summer sets

    The remote looks like the Spybotics IR remote. So it's probably IR :(
  5. Oh, I didn't put any of the stickers on. I don't believe in them :P I think it looks fine without them :D
  6. Mithrandir

    Fast Flyers and House on US S@H

    I got the jet the other day, built it in about an hour. I like it; it's got a really clever swinging wing mechanism. It's basically an F-14 painted like it was in the Thunderbirds, which actually kind of annoys me (heh, I'm a jet buff) because the thunderbirds never used F-14's since they were a US Navy-only plane and the thunderbirds were USAF. Minor detail though :D
  7. Okay, I just purchased the 430 Challenge. For some odd reason, TRU had about 80 boxes of this set. It was super weird, because they accounted for about 40% of all the lego sets in the entire store. The box itself says 690 pieces on it I haven't counted them, but it definitely seems like there are more than that. There were pieces to build either the red car or the yellow car, but not both. Two instruction books were included, one for the red car, one for the yellow. The pieces were in groups of numbered bags, 1, 2, and 3. 1 was for the shared parts, 2 was for the red body, and 3 was for the yellow body. The back of the box makes it look like you can easily swap the body of the car between red and yellow, however that is not the case. By step 8 I already had to dig into the yellow parts bag, so if I wanted to switch to the red car, I'd have to basically tear the whole thing apart and start over. The set is different from the original 430 spider in more ways than I expected. Not only is the top there, but it's got some kind of strange "jack" mechanism, the seat is different, and the back is different in a few minor ways as well. I actually like this set better than the spider, but it's not a "must have" if you've already got the original. I only bought it because I like the yellow better than the red (I just don't like red cars that much). In fact, if this was out at the same time as the spider, I would have bought this and not the spider. So anyway, if you liked the spider, you'll probably like this more, but it's up to you to figure out if you want this in addition to the spider. If you don't have the spider and were looking towards getting it, I'd say get this instead.
  8. Mithrandir

    New Treads from 8272 Snowmobile

    New axle is in the $20.00 set, 8271 Wheel Loader. There's two of them. It's 8 studs long and has a stop at the end, which is incredibly useful for getting it to fit into tight places, as the model does quite nicely. I might decide to get another one of those sets too.
  9. Mithrandir

    New Treads from 8272 Snowmobile

    Here's a sneak preview: Gallery isn't moderated, but images range from 001 through 033. :)
  10. I just got the three new technic sets today, but I won't have time to build them until the weekend. However, as a sneak preview, I opened up the Snowmobile just to see the treads, since I have a love of treaded vehicles. Here's my impression: Cool! They're big; I didn't expect them to be so big, but I actually like that. They're exactly twice as wide and twice as long as the old technic treads; making them 5x2 per tread. They're a lot sturdier than the old treads, which was my biggest complaint about the old ones; there's no way these things are going to decouple from each other (well okay, I'm sure someone with a fast enough motor can figure out a way ;-)). Another plus is that they have a deep pattern on them, as opposed to the old "5 small holes" on the old treads, so this means that they'll grip into surfaces much better than the old treads. They seem to have a lot more friction due to this, and will work better (but still not nearly as good as a rubber wheel) on smoothe surfaces. However, there is a downside; they had to make a new notched wheel piece to use with them, since the standard teeth of a gear are too close together to fit into the treads now. So the bad part is that you can't use gears with these, and you're required to stick to using the new cog piece. However the good news is that the model comes with four of these cogs, and they're the same size as a 24T gear. So, my initial verdict: I like em, and I think I'm going to buy another snowmobile to get more. I think I'll post my reactions to the snowmobile itself when I build it sometime later this week.
  11. Mithrandir

    New Technic pics

    Here's my problem; They look cool, expecially the skidoo... But dagnabit, they're yellow and red. I have waaayyy too many yellow and red technic parts. I want GREEN! I want BLUE! I want ORANGE!!!! Enough with the yellow and red! *sigh* Here's my theory: Lego chooses pieces/colors based on how cheap a piece is to manufacture. This makes sense, because, why use a really expensive piece when a cheaper one is available. You can see this effect in the "Inexplicably Blue Hidden Piece" syndrome, where for no reason at all, a big piece of a model will be in blue when the rest of the model is red/grey/whatever; it's hidden, and no one sees it, and they chose that one blue piece because it was cheaper than a red/grey/whatever piece. So for example, in a year, if Lego made a lot of yellow or red technic pieces, then the next year, yellow and red will be cheaper than any other color, due to overstocks, not having to change the machines, etc. So of course, every year, yellow and red are always the cheapest colors to use, and therefore they always choose the red and yellow pieces when making next year's sets, and it will lock Lego into a yellow/red majority for a long time. *sigh* I want blueeeeeee. Particularly that dark navy blue that came on some of the Bionicles last year!!
  12. Mithrandir

    Racer/Technic 8286 Reviewed!

    In my opinion, I found this to be kind of boring. I bought it because the power was out in my area for a week and I was absolutely dying for something to do, so I took a trip 60 miles to the next city over and bought a ton of lego sets, this being one of them. Essentially, it's a black technic parts pack to me (price was nice though), with a few huge single-use pieces thrown in. Other than that, the review pretty much covered everything.
  13. Mithrandir

    USC AT-ST - Photoshoot & Review

    My take: The good: - holy cripes! It's HUGE! I seriously did not think it would be that big - Amazingly accurate - lots of pieces for the money The bad: - No numbered bags. If there was a set that ever needed them, this is it. Building it was almost painful at times, since I spent up to 5 minutes searching for a single small piece at times.
  14. Mithrandir

    Review: 8288 - Crawler Crane

    Okay I got antsy and rebuilt the crane with the alternate model. I kept looking at the pics and I felt like the alternate would be a much better model. I was right. Sort of. First off, the alternate is huge (about 3ft high). The crane actually wobbles now, which really can't be helped due to the nature that Lego really wasn't designed to make that large of a structure at scale. So I'm not going to subtract that. They use a triple-pulley (as opposed to the double-pulleys they used for everything in the main model) for the joint inbetween the long beam and the short beam, which is cool. I think they did that because a double-pulley would have caused too much torque on the click-mechanism, but regardless, I like it even more than a double-pulley. Now, I thought the counterweight was weak before, and now that this extends even further out, I feel that the counterweight is even less useful, which is the huge problem. You can somewhat allieviate this situation by turning the crane so that it's perpendicular to the treads. Since the treads are wider (21studs) than they are long (15studs), you get an extra 3-stud's of leeway with the center of gravity (COG). For those of you who need to brush up on your physics, if the COG extends past the base, then the structure will topple over. If you increase the base, then, you get a more stable structure (ala outriggers). However, that didn't quite solve the problem altogether. So I got my bix-box-o-lego out and dug out my two boat weights that I already owned prior to this (I now have 4, woo), and extended the counterweight structure backwards by two studs. This was actually pretty easy to do (add 4 2x6 plates, a bushing, a 1/2 bushing, remove the pole reverser handle and replace it with a perpendicular axle joiner + 4stud axle). Not only did this double the weight of the counterweight, but it also made it slightly more effective, since it was now extended two studs further back. Again with the physics, the farther away something is from the COG, the more torque it applies on the structure. In the counterweights case, the newer rear weights "weigh more" than the older ones which are closer to the COG. It even looks better this way too, in my opinion. So now this is noticably more effective than the old counterweights. I can extend the crane almost completely down (I can get about 60 clicks away from the fully extended position before it topples over) now. So this set really does need 4 boatweights, and not just 2. 6 would be perfect for the alternate, and I'm pretty sure 4 is perfect for the main model. The looseness of the treads began to annoy me, so I tried removing one link from each tread. This was a little difficult to attach, and in retrospect was a bad idea, because I ended up warping the connects of one of my links. So don't do this. Also, when building the main model, it says to cut the longest string so that it's 80cm (I think?), which is a good length for the main model, but if you plan on building the alternate model, I would suggest you cut it longer, since the alternate doesn't allow enough length for the main string to lower the hook below the bottom of the treads (which you might want to do if you have the crane working in a quarry-type environment where you lift things which are down a cliff from you). There's a ton of string, so don't worry about not having enough. I think that's about it? I want to build it even bigger now, but unfortunately I don't have a lot of white technic beams (actually just 4 more 15stud beams), so I may buy another if I find it on sale somewhere (more treadlinks and boat weights, can't really go wrong).