Erik Leppen

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About Erik Leppen

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    Game development, roller coasters, mathematics, LEGO


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  1. Erik Leppen

    Issue with 10261 Roller Coaster

    My guess would be that some part of it bent and got loose during transport. It's not the easiest set to move, or so I understood. The support structure has many rectangles that can deform into parallelograms, and only a few triangles (which are rigid). So maybe a support beam got disconnected and it's not perfectly straight anymore?
  2. This is probably because overestimation results in much more dissatisfaction and frustration, and less sales, than underestimation. You gotta remember, for a commercial organization there is, in the end, only one measurement that counts: the profit. Whatever they do; ultimately, the goal is to increase profits.
  3. I actually dislike the large flat panels. That's partly because of those silly out-of-style stripes on them, but also because they're often too large, have holes in the surface and leave ugly gaps because of their rounded edges. I often find large Surfaces consisting of 5x11 or 3x11 panels to look very messy because of all there different shapes involved. In some cases I prefer stacked beams if done well. Or else, there's always tiles you can use to cover the holes :) I much prefer the asymmetric panels (the numbered ones that come in left and right variants), because they can be put in many different ways because of their asymmetry. Every angle has a different effect on a build. Especially the smallest 1x2x5 variant, which I think if my favorite panel. Anyhow, to prevent this from becoming a new Technic pub topic, let's return to opinions on Technic theme… I think what we're seeing is that flagship sets are becoming borderline too large, but the mid-size models are very often really nice sets (for their target audience). There are a lot of good mid-size sets lately, and I think the new parts, colors, building techniques, colored axles, new pins etc. contributed to that.
  4. That said though… I can remember fondly my favorite studded set, 8460, the great mobile crane, and I had tons of fun playing with that, and I was really impressed by multiple things in that set: the tiny steering circle the fact that when the outriggers are extended, the wheels are not touching the ground the lifting capacity the large movement range of the boom That set was perfect. As a bonus it had a really nice B model. Granted, I was young at the time, and I have always been technically-minded (but isn't that who Technic is for? ), but I can't help but think children can definitely feel disappointed with a set like 42070 (whose color seems to indicate "this is for the kids"), that doesn't have the nice steering radius (does it even steer? That's hard to see ), that doesn't have outriggers that actually support the whole truck, and whose crane doesn't seem to be the strongest ever (I don't own the set, so I don't know). And it's not like I picked a cheap set. I know my MOCs don't have lifting capacity either, but that's three functions where 8460 achieved better than 42070, making it more playable for less money. Yes, it's not "BIG!!!", but it was a blast. I think for kids, the best 2018 Technic sets are the First Responder and the upcoming forklift. (Edit: and indeed, 8109 and 42008 are both great sets. Technic the way I like it.)
  5. Which implies Technic is drifting away from its raison d'etre, its unique selling point. Technic IS about functionality. If there's one thing that should be good, it's the functionality. All the rest should be secondary to that. For looks, there's System, which does that much better. So, when that one single thing Technic is the absolute king at, is declining, it's no surprise - and even justified - that AFOLs start acting up and complaining. Take the Chiron 42083 set. That gearbox is great and an absolutely thrilling development. But I think it's worrisome that in a €350 set, they couldn't add suspension that works as well as that of 8865 (or 42083's own rear suspension). "It still is Lego" is no argument here - it should be an easy fix and I thin AFOLs perfectly feel whether something is an easy fix or not. (The W16 engine with its 3 crankshafts can't be easily improved, for example, and the function works as well as it can, so I don't complain there.) And the set is 16+, so we are in the target audience so if we don't like it, we have all reason to speak up. I want to end saying something about that "if you don't like it, don't buy it" argument that often comes up when discussing flaws. Speaking for myself: I don't care if the set I buy isn't perfect - I buy for the parts anyway. But I feel with those who buy the set for the model, don't know it has flaws until they have built it, and don't know how to fix those flaws. So I complain if a set has flaws, even though they don't influence my own buying decision.
  6. - Change ground clearance, so that it's low when transported on a truck (so that a trailer with the loader on it stays within height limits), yet it can be high for off-road conditions on building sites.
  7. I'm not a fan of the futuristic theme, it looks like something is missing (a cabin), but what speaks in favor of this set, I think, is that it's pure technic, without fuss. No PF stuff, no unnecessary frills, just a model with a decent amount of parts and 5 or so manual functions. I won't buy it (I have no need for the wheels or bucket, and it seems to be light on new parts) but I think for the target audience, it's a cool set.
  8. Good post Jim. I wanted to add that I'm not so sure that all of this is just criticizing because we can. I think part of this is also the technical mind of Technic lovers enjoying trying to tinker with and improve things. Whenever the first images of new sets occur, our technical mind goes to work and we start trying out improvements. Because a model isn't physical yet, we'll have to do with suggesting and discussing flaws, ideas, ... There's this saying that if your only tool is a hammer, everything turns into a nail ;)
  9. Erik Leppen

    42080 Forest Harvester

    It could make the set 15 euro cheaper. This would have been the perfect set to combine with the existing PF motor set 8293. But you're right it's more realistic with a motor, in a way.
  10. I can remember a interview Jim or Sariel had with Technic designers, and one of the questions I sent in and that was asked, was: what made a 4000-part set like the BWE possible, and if I remember correctly, in the interview the designers said: "well, basically, you guys!". Meaning us, AFOLs. So we do have influence. Even if it's only that one set, it's still quite something.
  11. Erik Leppen

    Discussion Etiquette

    One of the things I have always learned is that if you want to state an opinion, say it as an opinion and not as a fact. If you think X, don't say "X", say "I think X". That way, you keep X as something part of yourself (namely, as your opinion). If you think "not X", I think it's much harder to be offended by someone saying "I think X" than by someone saying "X". Of course, discussion goes beyond "I think X", by not only stating opinions but also providing arguments. Maybe the person thinking X and the person thinking "not X" have drawn two opposite conclusions from similar premises, and by seeing each other's reasoning people can learn new ways of thinking about things.
  12. Erik Leppen

    42080 Forest Harvester

    Can someone tell me what exactly is wrong with the B model, and what exactly could be improved, given the parts available in the A? Also, I think the yellow-white-gray version looks really good! As much as I like weird colors, it looks more coherent this way (Also, the small panels are long overdue in yellow). However, I do agree with @Lipko that the problem is not the main color, but the random-colored nitbits (especially the red parts). And the white half-boom looks off.
  13. I have no problem with the Technic theme as a whole or how it would be declining or whatever, but I do complain when a set says "2 in 1" yet appear to be more like "1.2 in 1". And since the discussion came about when 42082's B model was presented, it looks like that's what more people oppose. And this seems to be more common recently than in the studded era (even the Claas lacks a proper B). I can't remember many studded sets that didn't have a full alternative, besides the power puller. I do agree though, that sets are sometimes getting unwieldily large. A set should be as large as needed to incorporate the functions kids would reasonably expect such model to have, and not larger. 42070 is too large, and feels rushed as a result. 42069 is too large, and has too many parts as a result. I think 42082 is also too large, but what that does to quality remains to be seen. The Arocs's (42043) size feels justified because it's a very complex model. After that, the too-large sets began to emerge. I think the only really large set whose size is actually justified, is the BWE 42055. I think that one just needed the size to work as it did. All the other huge models, not so much. The Porsche and Chiron are arguably not even Technic, despite their intricated gearboxes. They are sets focusing on their looks, and studless is not suitable for sets focused on looks. I am still confident that a Porsche and Chiron would work much better as creator 1:17 cars like the F40, Mini, Beetle and Caterham. I'd much rather see a well-built studded Porsche or Chiron of, say, 1300 parts for €130, and I would expect car lovers not specially into Lego to prefer that too. System builds are just much more recognizable as Lego to a non-Lego-fan; also the smaller size make much better display pieces to put in a living room instead of in a glass case. And Technic lovers probably wouldn't have missed the two supercars if they weren't there.
  14. That angle will be to sharp for the U-joint, probably.
  15. I have the same feeling hre (except I like 42080 and the B model seems decent. Nothing stellar, but given the parts and wheels I think they did well. I don't see much better options. How different this is with 42082, which has more than 3x as many pieces. 42082 is begging for a good B model, and while original, reusing the carrier is not good. I'm sure we will see great C models in the community within the first month after release. Why is it that so many great models have such lacking B models? The Claas had the same issue.