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  1. Avast, me hearties! A Pirate set marked down? I need a Bluecoat to fight my Redcoats. I must acquire this piece of AFOL treasure. SET INFORMATION: Number - 70409 Name – Shipwreck Defense Theme – Pirates Year – 2015 Minifigures – 2 Pieces – 84 Price – $15.99CAD, $12.99USD, £8.99 Links: Brickset - http://brickset.com/sets/70409-1/Shipwreck-Defence BrickLink - http://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?S=70409-1#T=S&O={} LEGO Product Summary Recover the hidden treasure from the pirate’s shipwreck hideout! Ahoy there! A Bluecoat Soldier has discovered a marooned pirate living among the ruins of his fortified shipwreck, along with a stash of stolen treasure. Launch a surprise attack! Fire the spring-loaded cannon and blast the swaggering pirate’s hideout to smithereens, then recover the treasure and put the rogue behind bars where he belongs! Enjoy swashbuckling adventures with the LEGO® Pirates Shipwreck Defense, featuring a pirate’s shipwreck hideout with a hinged port side for realistic cannon-impact effect. Combine with 70411 Treasure Island for an even bigger pirate adventure! Includes 2 minifigures with assorted weapons: a Bluecoat Soldier and a pirate. • Includes 2 minifigures with assorted weapons: a Bluecoat Soldier and a pirate • Features a pirate shipwreck hideout and a spring-loaded cannon with torch and flame • Pirate shipwreck hideout features a fireplace with hidden treasure, collapsing port side, mast with crow’s nest, flag, bottle and a paddle • Weapons include a gun, pistol and a cutlass • Hoist the Jolly Roger! • Hide the treasure • Blast the pirate’s shipwreck hideout • Shipwreck hideout measures over 4” (12cm) high, and 4”(11cm) wide and 1” (5cm) deep • Spring-loaded cannon measures over 2” (6cm) long, under 1” (2cm) high and under 1” (2cm) wide • Combine with 70411 Treasure Island for an even bigger pirate adventure! THE BOX: The front of the box shows a Bluecoat soldier attacking the pirate's shipwreck hideout with a cannon. The pirate has some precious gem stones treasure the Bluecoat might be after. The box features the pirates artwork logo and in the background there are sharks in the distance. There are the usual LEGO labeling. The ages 5-12 is merely a suggestion that AFOLs don't have to follow. Do be aware of the choking hazard warning. My box also has a discount sticker stuck to it. I got it for $10.98CAD plus tax. The back of box shows the features of this set. It demonstrates how to shoot the 1x1 cylinder bricks out of the spring loaded cannon. There is an insert picture of the 70411 Treasure Island set. 70411 can be combined with this set if you have it. This side of the box shows where the components are made in English, French and Spanish. It also have the same of the set in French and Spanish. Interesting if you like reading other languages. Here we see the choking hazard warnings in French and Spanish. Not for childrens 3 and under. Here we have the UPC barcode, trademark and copyright notices, URL for LEGO service and club, and the logo for responsible packaging. There is 08R5 packaging code which probably means it was packaged in Mexico in the 8th week of 2015. This side has a picture of a fish chasing after Bluecoat who is chasing after the pirate with the treasure. There is an actual size cutlass picture. We have finished our journey around the box. INSIDE THE BOX: There are two bags of parts and an instruction booklet. The bags are not numbered. I don't think it is necessary for a small set like this. Here are the contents of the two part bags spreadout. The pirate flag is a printed piece. Yay, no stickers. My favorite piece is the cannon. There are also plenty of other weapons like rifles, pistols and swords. There is not much reddish browns or dark brown pieces to reuse for pirate MOCs. THE MINIFIGURES: Here is the front of the minifigures. The pirate has the new style head rag wrap. Not everybody likes the new style. He has an anchor tattoo on his chest. His clothes are pretty ragged and patchy. He has a hashtag or tic-tac-toe mark on this cheek. The Bluecoat soldier is better dressed than the pirate. He has a shako, white epaulette, and is clean shaven. The shako appears to be same design as the Redcoat ones in 2009. Both minifigures feature back printing. The head rag wrap looks a bit like tied down bunny ears from the back. THE INSTRUCTIONS: Here is a sample page of the instruction booklet. The steps are well laid out and clear. I had no problems following them. In the back of the instruction booklet is a parts list. Handy for ordering replacements or extras through LEGO or BrickLink. THE BUILD: With 84 pieces and good instructions, the build was completed quickly and without any problems. I guess you can call it a speed build. Here is the finished set. Yikes,the pirate is looking down the barrel of a cannon. These are the extra leftover pieces from the build. You get a flame, two pistols, two swords, 1x2 curved slope, a white epaulette, and a piece of cheese Let's look at some of the features in detail. Removing the fish cooker from the barrel shows hidden treasure gems. The Bluecoat will never think to look under there. The side of the shipwreck hull tilts backward when struck with a cannon shot. Good thing the pirate has clutch powers in his feet to keep him from falling off. The crow nest provides the pirate a good view of the approaching Bluecoat. 70409 VS 6239: This set feels like a Bluecoat version of the 6239 Cannon Battle from the 2009 Pirates wave. How do they compare? 6239 has 45 pieces and sold for $6.99CAD. 70409 has 84 pieces and retailed for $15.99CAD. Canadian price per piece is 15.5 vs 19, a 23% increase. For playability, 70409 has more features and accessories. 6239 does have a nicer gun carriage. Personally, I think 70409 is more fun to play with. It is easier to right the shipwreck hull back up after a cannon ball hit than reassembling the wall pieces from 6239. SUMMARY: Playability: 9/10 Design: 8/10 Price: 7/10 Parts: 8/10 Minifigures: 9/10 Overall: 8/10 There is something fun shooting LEGO 1x1 cylinder bricks around with a spring loaded cannon trying to hit the shipwreck hull and that feeling when it is on target. This set certainly provides that kind of play. Along with the extra accessories and weapons, you can let your play imagination go wild. I give it a 9/10 for play. The design is good for a small set. I like the rock works and shaping of the hull. Also the tilt function is useful to reset the target after a direct hit. There are places to hide things and for the pirate to be located. 8/10 for design. Price-wise, it is what it is. It was the lowest priced set you can get a Bluecoat in the 2015 Pirates wave. I managed to get it on sale at a 13 cents CAD per piece which is around 10 cents USD at the exchange rate. 7/10. Looking at the parts, the cannon, weapons, and bottle of rum are great for pirate MOCs. The other pieces can find some use here and there in MOCs. It is good the pirate flag is a printed piece instead of stickered. 8/10. I really bought this set for the Bluecoat soldier. Having a pirate fig is a bonus. You can never have enough Bluecoats (and/or Redcoats). 9/10 for the minifigures. Overall, I give it at 8/10. Bluecoats and Redcoats are more interested in fighting each other than the pirates. So the pirates get treated to a good show with some food and drinks.
  2. REVIEW - 42069 - EXTREME ADVENTURE INTRODUCTION It's time for yet another review. This review will handle the second most expensive set of the 2H 2017 wave, the 42069 - Extreme Adventure. It represents a Land Rover like vehicle with a modified undercarriage. This vehicle has link treads instead of wheels. I am not the biggest fan of link treads, unless the vehicle is full RC. This is because treads limit the playability, especially on smooth surfaces. This is actually the first Technic set with rubber inserts, so I am eager to find out if they will improve playability. I couldn't help but think how this model would look with wheels on it. At the end of this review I will be attaching several different types of wheels, so you can check out for yourself. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42069 Title: Extreme Adventure Theme: Technic Released: 2017 Part Count: 2382 Box Weight: 2,79 kg (approx) Box Dimensions: 58,0 cm x 37,4 cm x 9,8 Set Price (MSRP): € 139 Price per Part: € 0,058 Price per kilo: € 49,8 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX The box is as wide as the box of this year's flagship (42070 - 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck). Since it is less deep and high it doesn't look a lot smaller. You can't judge a book by its cover and sometimes you can't judge a set by the box! This set contains 520 more parts than the 42070 (2382 versus 1862). The part count obviously isn't the most important factor, but it doesn't happen often that a non-flaghip set has the most parts. The snow does a good job of making the model stand out. BACKSIDE There is barely enough space to show all the functions of the main model. The B-model looks more like a Research Exploration Vehicle than the one used in the 42070. It is called Mobile Base Vehicle though. The base seems to be detachable and it even packs a crane. It does help when the designer of the main model is one of the best B-model designers CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 1 Book and Sticker Sheet (packed together) 20 Bags (unnumbered) BOOK AND STICKERS THE BAGS No loose parts, just 20 unnumbered bags. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS PURPLE PARTS A modest collection of new purple parts. We already got some 3x13 Curved Panels in the 42048 - Go Kart in 2016 and now we can work with the parts below as well. Hopefully TLG will release sets with the bigger panels in purple, so we can all start building a purple Porsche SILVER RIMS Eight Wheel 18mm D. x 14mm with Pin Hole, Fake Bolts and Shallow Spokes in metallic silver have been provided in this set. That is quite a few, considering the fact that they only have been released in two sets, where you got one and two of 'em respectively. Sorry for the unsharp picture btw. 6x3 PANEL IN DBG For the first time this panel has been released in dark bluish grey. 40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BRICK This set also contains the 3L liftarm, also known as the 40 Year Anniversary brick. PERPENDICULAR 3L CONNECTOR WITH CENTER PIN HOLE It has been a while since we have seen this in yellow. As a matter of fact I only owned two of these from last year's (2016) Volvo EW160E. Always funny that some common parts are actually not so common at all. Glad to see these making another appearance, much like the red #3 connector. RUBBER TREAD LINK ATTACHMENT These attachments already appeared in two Nexo Knights sets and now they make their first appearance in a Technic set. You get 52 attachments. In the Factory Store in Legoland Germany you can buy bags with these attachments, where each bag contains 28 of 'em. This is how such a bag looks like. SUSPENSION Not a very special part, but I still wanted to highlight the fact that you get six shock absorbers, four soft ones and two hard ones. Two of the soft ones will be used to dampen the door opening mechanism. ROPE This set contains a new rope. It has kind of a metallic touch to it. It is slightly thicker than the regular rope. Thumbs up for this new version. It looks and feels a lot better. (ctrl+c, ctrl+v from the 42070, which contains the same rope) 11L AXLE LBG Seemingly ordinary, so I almost forgot to shoot a picture of it, but this set introduces the 11L Axles in light bluish grey. Also found in this year's 10257 Carousel and 75172 Y-Wing Starfighter. Strange enough TLG introduced the 11L Axle in yellow first. DARK GREEN JUMPER PLATE Also a quite common part, but released in a new color, a dark green 1x2 Jumper Plate. PART LIST This set contains 2382 parts, spread out over two pages. THE BUILD Time to get building! This set contains 10 u-joints and in case you are wondering where they are going?! You already need four of 'em early on, in the middle of the chassis. After some additional building steps, you will be attaching the V8 engine to the chassis. It's very cool that this model has V8 engine, instead of a V6. Or even worse...a 4 cylinder engine. Thumbs up. You can also see the first few purple parts invading the model. As opposed to All Terrain Tow Trucks, we actually do find a winch at the front of this vehicle. How on earth would you go on an Extreme Adventure without a winch?! It has a cool lock which is made, using a simple Rubber Double Axle Connector. It has enough leeway to unlock the winch and it bounces back into place upon release. A very simple, yet very effective mechanism. The front of the vehicle shows the initials MR, which stands for Milan Reindl. Milan is one of the members who made the switch from Eurobricks to TLG, so it feels extra special to be reviewing one of his sets. I sure hope that Milan isn't in charge of designing the stickers though, because there are quite a few MR stickers on this model Here you can see the start of the door opening mechanism. The rotating axles will be connected to springs, to provide some cool damping when opening the doors. The axles are connected to the soft springs. This results in the need to apply some pressure when opening the doors, but when you have passed a certain point, the doors will ease out. Yet another thumbs up for this mechanism. Have we lost count of the thumbs up already?! Another cool feature is the roof that can be tilted up and down. It is operated by the mini Linear Actuator, connected to the liftarms. I will show the entire mechanism in a bit. Several steps further the doors have been attached and you have created the rear side compartments. This model has a ton of cool little details... ...which you see in the image below. Both side compartments contain a fire extinguisher and one the compartments even contains a medkit with a syringe. Adding these kind of "LEGO Sytem details" really add appeal and playability to the model. I will elaborate on that in the Features and Functions chapter. Here's is view from the other side, where you can also see the fire extinguisher. The following two pictures show the two states of the folding tent. I especially like the white color of the panel to emphasize that this is a different material. Another thing I really like about the tent is that it actually looks like a tent, even though it's just a simple panel. I am not really sure you would want to sleep in the vehicle with arctic temperatures though, but that's a totally different discussion The compartment under the tent holds a shovel, so you can dig in the snow or maybe even dig a hole in the ice to catch yourself some fish. You can also see the door lock which prevents the door from opening while you are driving. At this point we are almost done with the bodywork, except for the roof rack and the bonnet. Now it's time to build the undercarriage. The rear axle doesn't have a rack for steering, but it does have a differential. The front axle does have rack-and-pinion steering. Both axles are live axles, so they don't have independent suspension. At this point the bottom of the chassis looks like this. Two axles going to the front of the vehicle, one for steering and one for driving. One axle going to the rear of the vehicle, which is obviously for driving. There's no center differential in this vehicle, but it is 4x4...or 4WD...or AWD. There are subtle differences, and there will be discussion by the purists, but most of the time it boils down to marketing mumbo jumbo. For the average Technic enthusiast this is considered a 4x4. Voila, undecarriage complete. Live axles attached and we can hit the snow!! Let's not be hasty and get ourselves a proper bonnet and a roof rack first. Maybe we can throw in some jerrycans while we're at it. That's more like it. The roof rack has three different type of jerrycans, so be careful mixing them up. You don't want to be drinking fuel and driving on water (unless it's hydrogen powered). Luckily the cans have been color coded for our convenience. The roof rack even holds a couple of spare link treads, in case we ruin some of them. If you do actually need them, you must have had a pretty rough (and enjoyable) ride. The first time I laid eyes on this vehicle, my intial response was "yuck, what is that supposed to be. And what's with the color scheme?!". This was obviously after seeing some preliminary images. When the images from the toy fair popped-up things had changed for the better. And when looking at the following image, you can only say...WOW! I know some people aren't too fond of the black and purple color scheme. They think it's too dark, and while they might be right about it being dark, I personally think TLG nailed the color scheme. There's that typical Ken Block Monster vibe going on. FINISHED MODEL Unlike the All Terrain Tow Truck this model actually is a finished vehicle! The level of detail is extraordinary. There's so much to look at and to play with. Of course there will always be debate about purple and/or the color scheme, but I really love this purple color. Hopefully we will get more panels, liftarms and connectors, so the AFOLs can make better use of this color when building their own creations. The 3L printed liftarm is prominently placed in the front bumper, near the winch. Here you can see that Milan takes pride in his work...MR stickers all over the place. Narcissistic personality disorder maybe?! Just kidding of course. Milan is a great guy. Recently I had the pleasure of talking to him for a couple of hours and I am sure he will stay as friendly as he is now, even though his LEGO star seems to be rising! Enough with the praise, because this picture also shows a minor concern. The weight of the vehicle results in the treads slightly bending. It's not a very big problem, but it is noticeable. The rear of the vehicle, with the quadruple metallic silver exhausts, has been designed as beautiful as the rest of the vehicle. I do like the use of the yellow connectors and half bushes to add some yellow details. Yellow and purple make a nice color combination. Orange and purple works nicely on the Go Kart, but yellow and purple works even better. The tread wheel on the rear door provides a lock to prevent it from being opened. You have to turn the wheel before you can open the door. The side view shows the fake dampers in the suspension. All these cool details add value to this outstanding model. For the chassis lovers Milan didn't take the easy way out when creating the chairs. These aren't simple panels, but actual chairs. And last but not least....the icing on the cake....the jerrycans! 360 DEGREES VIEWER Back by popular demand, the 360 degree viewer! Okay...nobody actually asked, but I will throw it in anyway Swipe the picture to rotate the model. NOTE! In some browsers or in some cases the 360 degree viewer doesn't seem to work. I have yet to figure out why. Sorry for the inconvenience. FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS This set contains so many cool features that I don't even know where to start. ACKERMAN STEERING GEOMETRY This vehicle has HoG (Hand of God) steering. It works okay, but the vehicle is a bit too heavy to operate the steering when you are not driving. Other than that; the gear easily comes off. On the bright side; this model uses Ackermann steering geometry, which is something we hardly see in Technic sets anymore. 4x4 Four wheel drive has been realised with a differential in both axles, without a center differential. SUSPENSION The suspension is comprised of two live axles, which is done nicely. There's no independent suspension. WINCH Missing on the 42070, but present on this vehicle is the winch. Works like a charm and has a cool locking mechanism. The winch is operating by turning the 12T gear on the shotgun side of the vehicle. FOLDABLE ROOF/TENT By turning the gear on the driver's side of the vehicle, the roof can be lifted and the tent will pop-out. OPENING BONNET The bonnet can be opened manually, nothing out of the ordinary. OPENING DOORS What is out of the ordinary though, is the mechanism for opening the doors. Using a spring for each door, there's damping when you open and close the door. The door opens by moving the upper side up and the lower side down. This is a unique mechanism which we have never seen before and which will be hard to trump. OPENING REAR DOOR The rear door can be opened manually, by pulling the tread wheel. REAR DOOR LOCK The rear door has a lock to prevent it from being opened. You need to turn the tread wheel to unlock the door. OPENING SIDE COMPARTMENTS Both side compartments can be opening manually. SLIDING REAR COMPARTMENT The rear compartment slides out and contains a shovel. There's a mechanism in place to prevent the compartment from falling out of the vehicle. ADDED EXTRA DETAILS Something I like to emphasise is the added extra details, like the jerrycans, medkit and fire extinguishers. Not only do they look cool, but they actually add playability to the set. I highly recommend that TLG designers do this more often. Here is a video demonstrating the functions: PLAYABILITY I like to go into more detail about the playability of this set. One of the reasons this review has taken some more time is that I had my nephews visiting for a couple of days. They are aged 4 and 6, so they like to be entertained. And they brought a 7 year old friend LEGO-lover and his 4 year old sister. This is my chance to be the cool uncle. And a cool uncle has cool LEGO! This gave me a perfect opportunity to see how kids enjoy Technic models. They are too young to be building these models, although the 7 year old would probably be up for the job. Anyway, they all started with "WOWs" when I brought the sets downstairs. They have seen big Nexo Knight sets, but never any big Technic sets. Score one for the cool uncle. They definitely like RC vehicles, but they tend to operate the functions manually....at least they try to. After some time they asked for paper towels to make artificial snow and they were actually playing with the Extreme Adventure vehicle. It is so cool that this set includes new Technic figures, because the kids love to add them to the mix. Ohh, wait a minute....those were my 30-odd year old Technic figures. Come on TLG, bring back these guys. Kids really don't matter that they don't have the proper scale. Just sell them as a separate set if you are concerned about that, but how cool would it have been to include a Technic figure in this set. I can see the guy carrying the jerrycans, using the fire extinguisher, etc. You have done an outstanding job adding details, now go another extra mile and design some cool new Technic figures. I am not a big fan of models with link tread, except for RC ones (8043 is probably still me favorite model). The reason is that they tend to lack playability, especially on smooth surfaces. The slide over the surface, instead of driving. This bothers me. Luckily, this set contains the new rubber attachments, to make up for that. Obviously the total amount of grip depends on the number of attachments. You can add two to each tread, one on each tread, etc. This set doesn't have one on each tread, so it still slides over smooth surfaces. The weight of the vehicle does help though. I was surprised to see the kids drive the vehicle through the entire living room and kitchen. Apparently there is enough drivability in this vehicle, more than I expected. Fun fact is that the mother of the 7 year old and his 4 year old sister was picking them both up, so she was also looking at the models. She loved the purple look and figured it must have been used to appeal to girls as well. I am pretty sure this is not the case, but it shows what goes in the mind of potential customers. The 4 year old girl loved the Extreme Adventure, she couldn't stop playing with it. Technic Mini-dolls anyone?! All in all we had great fun and it was interesting to see these kids playing with both models (hadn't built the 42068 yet). The All Terrain Tow Truck required alternating turns, but the Extreme Adventure offered the possibility to play simultaneously. They liked both models, but they all prefered the 42069. And I did get the impression that having the jerrycans and the other playable extra's did the trick. I highly recommend TLG to motivate the designers to do this more often. B-MODEL The Mobile Base Vehicle looks interesting enough to give it a go. I am tempted to buy an extra set so I keep the main model built as well. The vehicle has a base which can be deployed. The base can open and close, and it even packs a crane. SUMMARY This set absolutely takes the cake. I was a bit hesitant about the playability with the treads, but my test team has proven me wrong. When you hear kids asking if they can play with the set again, you know you did a good job as a designer...and me as the cool uncle An impressive list of functions and features: Ackermann steering geometry 4x4 Suspension using live axles Winch Foldable roof/tent Opening bonnet Coolest door opening mechanism ever Opening rear door Rear door lock Opening side compartments Sliding rear compartment Added LEGO System details (jerrycans, medkit, fire extinguisher) I am starting to like the vibrant colors more and more after each build. Black and purple work really well together. Besides the color scheme, the design of the model is outstanding. From the well formed chairs to the jerrycans, the details are amazing. Even @Kitty (my partner) is very enthusiastic about this set and she is not into Technic at all. I am not allowed to put the wheels back on after switching back to the treads. Even though this model doesn't contain as much gears as the flagship, this still was a very enjoyable build. The cool mechanisms definitely make up for the lack of gears. Technically it's a very sound build as well. This set offers outstanding playability and at a total price of € 139 (5,8 cent per part ) you just can't go wrong with this set. We've lost a lot of good men out there! Milan Reindl a.k.a. grohl was one them. I feel sorry we lost him from our community, but I am very happy that he started working for TLG. As a wise man once said: "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". I really liked his Heavy Lift Helicopter and the Extreme Adventure is definitely a winner too. Please, do bring back the Technic figures SCORE How do I rate this set? 9 DESIGN Absolute eye-catcher. 9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Lots of cool techniques used. 9 FEATURES Long list of cool features. 9 PLAYABILITY Playability proved to be endless. Treads do somewhat limit drivability. 8 PARTS Nice collection of parts, albeit mostly common parts. Does have a unique purple selection. 10 VALUE FOR MONEY Can't go wrong for 5,8 cent per part. 9,0 ANOTHER HIT BY MILAN EXTREME ADVENTURE ON WHEELS As promised I have added a bonus section to this review, showing you different wheeled setups. This is how the front and rear axle look like. It took some time to come up with a proper solution. I am pretty sure there will be better solutions, but this one does use four Technic 5.5L Axle with Stop, in order to prevent the wheel from falling off. I started with a different setup just to shoot the wheels, but since I had me nephews around, I needed a more "kid-proof" setup. I haven't had any problems with the setup below. As you can see I have also changed the antenna setup. They kept falling off, so I ran them through the connectors. The front and rear axle setup. The next pictures still use the old setup where I used yellow axles. POWER PULLER TIRES AND RIMS Technically these are the 8466 - 4x4 Off-Roader wheels, but people like to call them Power Puller wheels. These wheels do touch the chassis when steering. TUMBLER TIRES AND BLACK RIMS Batman just isn't up for this job. 4x4 CRAWLER TIRES AND BLACK RIMS These look okay, although we might need to try yellow rims. CLAAS TIRES AND RED RIMS Somehow red does look okay, but we would need some more red details in the car itself. These wheels do touch the chassis when steering. CLAAS TIRES AND YELLOW RIMS A little bit too much, don't you think. These wheels do touch the chassis when steering. With hub caps. I cheated a bit here UNIMOG TIRES AND SILVER RIMS I do like the Unimog tires for this vehicle. UNIMOG TIRES AND YELLOW RIMS Now this is what I'm talking about. I really do like this setup. Big wheels and yellow rims, but not exaggerated. With minor details (pulleys) in the rims. BACK TO TREADS Although I absolutely love some of the setups, I have come to the conclusion that this model is better with treads. Maybe not for playability, but they make this a unique set, instead of yet another 4x4. Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  3. REVIEW - 42043 - MERCEDES-BENZ AROCS 3245 INTRODUCTION So here we are, finally. Last year the Volvo review was published at the beginning of June, so you all needed to wait a little bit longer for this one. Rumors started early December of a licensed Mercedes set. What could it be, a truck, a car? Christmas Eve revealed the LEGO Technic 42043 Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245. The eager anticipation of news about a new model always has its special moments. This time Paul (Boratko) had seen a first glance of the model. This resulted in one or two questions being asked. What's the color scheme? Does it have pneumatics? Does it have new pneumatic parts? Does it have double wheels on the rear axles? Does it have front suspension? Does it have this, does it have that? Was I excited at the moment? Hmmm not really. To be honest; I figured this would be the Unimog all over again. It's a public secret that I am not the biggest fan of the Unimog. A pneumatic crane that doesn't work too well, flaws in the steering mechanism and the model is leaning to one side, because of the battery box. Don't get me wrong; it is a decent model, and it definitely looks great, but it just doesn't cut it for me. So my initial thought was "will this be better than the Unimog?". We will find out at the end of this review The model is designed by Markus Kossman, who is lead designer at TLG and is known for some other flagship sets (among other models): 8421 - Mobile Crane (2005) 8275 Motorized Bulldozer (2007) 8110 - Mercedes-Benz-Unimog-U-400 (2011) 42009 - Crane Mk II (2013) It's safe to say that Markus has some experience when it comes to designing trucks. At the beginning of each stage, I state how long it took me to finish it. Mind you, that when I'm building for a review, I lose a lot of time shooting pictures. So your building time will probably be 70% to 80% of my time. Note: Pictures, taken with a Canon 70D with 50mm Canon prime lens, can be clicked for hi-res versions. SET INFORMATION Number: 42043 Title: Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 Theme: Technic Released: 2015 Part Count: 2793 Box Weight: 4455 gr Box Dimensions: 57,8 cm x 47,8 cm x 12,2 cm Model Dimensions: 54 cm x 23cm/51cm x 15cm (wo crane/w crane) Set Price (MSRP): Approximately € 200 Price per Part: Approximately € 0,072 per part Links: Brickset THE BOX The box is the same size as last year's 42030 - Volvo L350F (review). It's huge and it's heavy. Weighing in at almost 4,5kg, this actually does feel like the biggest Technic set ever. Unfortunately my box was severly damaged upon delivery. Even the outer box was damaged, and looked like someone had opened it. Luckily, the actual box was only damaged, instead of opened, so all the parts where still there. FRONT SIDE The front of the box shows the model (nothing new here), the Power Functions logo AND the new Pneumatics V2 logo. Hopefully we will see the last logo more often in future sets. Under the Pneumatic logo, all new pneumatic parts are shown. Three of the five parts are simply redesigned parts, but the two 11L cylinders (1x1 and 2x2) are brand new. INSIDE The inside of the box shows most of the features and functionality, combined with some fun facts about the real Arocs. The model will measure 54 cm upon completion. SIDES One of the sides shows the model and the two logos, while one of the other sides shows all the Pneumatic V2 and Power Functions parts. CONTENT OF THE BOX Being the biggest Technic set to date, means lots of parts. 2793 to be precise. 2 bags with 6 wheels 1 bag with instructions and stickers 1 bag with pneumatic parts 1 bag with L motor 1 battery box unbagged 4 bags #1 2 bags #2 5 bags #3 2 bags #4 6 bags #5 2 bags #6 SQUARE BOUND BOOK Like the 42039 - 24 Hours Race Car (some of them) this set has a square bound book sealed in a bag together with the sticker sheet. I really do like a single bound book, but when TLG divides the build into 6 stages, providing 6 booklets also makes sense. This would make building with your children a great deal easier. The instructions for the A-model count 105 steps, covering a whopping 471 pages! The sticker sheet with stickers for the A-model and two stickers (#25) for the B-model, apparently a Mercedes-Benz Actros 1845. For the first time (to my recollection) the 62.4mm D. x 20mm Tires are packed in bags. Normally they are scattered between the sealed bags. The new Pneumatic (V2) parts have been neatly packed together in a single bag. The hoses are cut to length, which makes assembly more straightforward. There's no need to measure and cut the hoses yourself. The L-motor comes in a bag, while the battery box doesn't. Normally the battery comes in a bag too. Since it has a slightly different color than the previous version, maybe the manufacturer or manufacturing process has changed. NUMBERED BAGS A total of 21 numbered bag, divided over 6 build stages. You can click on the bag to show a hi-res version of the picture. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This chapter describes the interesting and/or new parts in this set. BATTERY BOX The color of the new battery box is slightly different than the old one. The dark bluish grey is much darker and the light bluish grey seems to be slightly different too. VERY SMALL SMOOTH PANELS IN WHITE For the first time a set comes with very small white panels (#21) and very small white panels (#22). These two panels complete the range of white panels available. WHITE PANELS Four other types or white panels are used in the cabin. NEW 60T TURNTABLE That kinda looks like a new turntable under the crane. Allanp was absolutely right about the introduction of a new 60 teeth turntable, resembling its smaller brother (bottom and top). As you can see in the comparison shot below, it's not much bigger than the old version. The design is much better, resulting in a smoother operation. The potential downside is that the new turntable doesn't have teeth in the inside, which can be limiting. That being said; I still think that this design is better than the old one, so thanks to TLG for bringing us this new turntable! Hopefully TLG will some day release an XL version with this design. TIRES Nothing special about these tires, besides coming in a sealed bag. So, why am I showing these tires anyway? It has nothing to do with the tires itself, but with the quantity. For the first time an official LEGO set contains more than 10 of these tires. The 42009 - Mobile Crane Mk II counts 10 of them and the same goes for the 8285 - Tow Truck from 2006. The latter also had double wheels on both rear axles, but it only had two front wheels. CRANE AND OUTRIGGER LIFTARM BRACKET AND GEARRACK I'm not sure what the part names will be, but crane arm outside and crane arm center are used for similar parts in the City theme. I will stick to Liftarm Bracket and Gearrack. These two new parts are perfect for outriggers and crane sections, but I am eager to see what MOC-ers come up with. I do see an application for Mindstorms Robots or TC7 Contest entries. The red section, containing the gear rack, is 15L. The gear rack itself is 14L. CLAMSHELL BUCKET Two clamshell buckets are introduced in this set. After the Grabber Arm Claw, this is welcome addition for crane enthusiasts. PNEUMATIC V2 Save the best for last, the new Pneumatic parts! Some people like pneumatics, some people don't. Nonetheless, it's great that TLG hasn't abandoned Pneumatics in favor of Lineair Actuators. They have redesigned some of the existing parts and even designed brand new ones. Some people on this forum will be so thrilled with these new parts. The outlets of every element have been redesigned in a way that the hose will be easier to attach. This means the existing elements do have new moulds too. SMALL PNEUMATIC CYLINDER The Small Pneumatic Cylinder isn't a new part, but it has been redesigned with new outlets. On the right you can see a comparison between the old (right) and new (left) cylinder SMALL PNEUMATIC PUMP 6L Like the small cylinder, the Small Pneumatic Pump 6L has also been redesigned. And TLG has used blue again, instead of the Unimog pump, where they used grey. I do like the blue version better, although you will probably not clearly see the pump in the finished model. The right pictures shows the three different versions of the pump. NEW 2x2 11L PNEUMATIC CYLINDER The new 2x2 11L Cylinder is 4 studs longer than the old Pneumatic Cylinder. I wonder if TLG will release a new version for the 7L cylinder as well. The picture on the right shows the 7L (right) and new 11L cylinder (left). NEW 1x1 11L PNEUMATIC CYLINDER When you do need length, but not a lot of power this new 1x1 11L will perfectly fit your needs. PNEUMATIC SWITCH The new version of the switch is simply a redesign of the old Pneumatic Switch with modified outlets. The pictures on right shows the comparison. PART LIST The part list, spreading over 3 pages, counting 2793 parts. THE BUILD The build consists of 6 stages: Front-end of the chassis Outriggers and gearbox Rear-end of the chassis Crane Cabin Tipping bed STAGE 1: FRONT-END CHASSIS Bags: 4 Duration: 120 minutes You start by building the front section of the chassis, with a small part of the cabin. No new parts are introduced in this stage, except for some newish parts from 1H 2015 and 2014, like Pin and Pin Hole and 3L Axle Pin with 1L Axle. The Arocs has a 6 cylinders inline fake engine. Of course the piston will move when you drive the vehicle. Here's a picture of the actual engine, used in the new Arocs. New 6-cylinder in-line engines with a particularly robust design and a longer life. An 88003 - PF L Motor is placed behing the fake engine, facing backwards. This motor is connected to a gearbox, which we will build in the next stage. This single motor will power all the motorized functions. Below you see the first front axle, with suspension. The 9L Technic Link is used to steer the front wheels. The front suspension uses the yellow Hard Spring Shock Absorbers, resulting in pretty stiff suspension. When the assembly is connected to the chassis, the 9L Technic Link is connected to a pivot point. Rotating the pivot point will move the link back and forth causing the front wheels to steer. The second axle is connected to the chassis. This axle uses a 6L Technic Link for steering. Using different links results in different steering angles for both axles. I did notice a strange anomaly; the front axle does have 1L Round Pin Connectors, while the second axle doesn't. The leftover parts only show one extra?! The video below shows how the steering mechanism works. Make sure the 12 Teeth Bevel Gear on the right is placed properly. I placed the gear in the same position as the one on the left, resulting in one of the lights making the model steer to the left side when turned right, and vice versa. The two pictures below show the model after stage 1. The build is okay so far. The most interesting thing about this stage is obviously the steering mechanism, attached to the pendular suspension. The mechanism is unlike steering mechanisms found in other models, so this required some out of the box thinking. STAGE 2: OUTRIGGERS AND GEARBOX Bags: 2 Duration: 45 minutes The first step of the second stage starts with the new bracket and gear rack. The outriggers could easily have been designed without this new gear rack, but since TLG designed it for the crane (probably); why not use it here. The stabilizers on the outriggers are operated manually. It would have been great to have motorized pads too, but it's not a big deal. The two outriggers are linked together in opposite directions. The new parts provide a compact solution, but there are no fixed mounting points for the driving gears. The gearbox consists of two layers with gears. The lower part of the gear box contains the Pneumatic Pump, much like the one found in the Unimog. Two black 12T Bevel Gears are driving the gear racks. The upper layer of the gear box contains the white Clutch Gear. This gear prevents the motor from stalling and overheating when the end of a function has been reached. At the end of stage 2 the gearbox and outriggers are connected to the front-end of the chassis. The truck is slowly taking shape. At this stage I was still not 100% convinced what I would think of the complete model. STAGE 3: CHASSIS REAR-END Bags: 5 Duration: 135 minutes With 135 minutes, the second longest stage in the build. In this stage you will build the rear-end of the chassis, with suspension and drive train. Four Flexible Rubber Axles are used in the base of the chassis. I am not entirely sure why TLG used these parts, since you will lock the assembly using liftarms. Possibly, it's a construction used in the real Mercedes, or these parts will be used in the B-model. I would love to hear your thoughts. The tilting mechanism for the bed uses a Linear Actuator, instead of Pneumatics. I have made a mistake by placing two of the Pin Connectors in a wrong angle. Won't be the last error with these connectors. The Rear suspension on the real Mercedes is actually a leaf spring suspension. TLG is mimicking this suspension type, by using the relatively new Steering Arms found in the 42021 - Snow Mobile and 75060 - Slave 1. Picture of the real rear suspension. The steel suspension on the Arocs impresses in every situation with its robust, solid construction, high performance and loadability. Two differentials are linked together using a small turntable. Although being linked together, the two axles still have the ability to move independently. The model will have two live axles, linked together by a drive train through the small turntable. Live axle vs Dead axle A live axle is a type of beam axle in which the shaft (or shafts, since live axles, while connected to move as a single unit, are seldom one piece) also transmits power to the wheels; a beam axle that does not also transmit power is sometimes called a dead axle. While typically used in vehicles with Hotchkiss drive, this suspension system can also be used with other types of power transmission. Or, to quote Allanp, who was right again: The rear axles are a single unit (suspended by 4 springs) that pivots longitudinally to allow the two axles to twist independently from each other by means of a 28t turntable piece allowing full suspension and both rear axles to be connected to the engine whilst all fitting between the dual rear wheels. Simples! Here's a video showing the rear suspension and drive train. WARNING We've all been there, a model with two differentials and one of them is turning the wrong way. TLG has published an explicit warning in the building instructions. Pay attention to the position of the differentials! After building the rear-end of the chassis, you will be merging it to the front-end of the chassis. This was the point where I needed to move my camera backwards a lot. The model is growing big. Double rear wheels on both axles, suspension and two live axles is quit a feat, especially regarding the limited available space. For me this stage was the turning point in the build. From now on you actually see the impressiveness of the model. STAGE 4: CRANE Bags: 2 Duration: 120 minutes Only two bags are provided for this stage, but it still took me quite some time. Connecting the pneumatic hoses does take more time than simply adding connectors. This stage did offer a variety of new parts, like the Pneumatic V2, new Turntable and the two Clamhell Buckets. Pre-cut hoses are quite convenient. The instructions clearly show which length you will be needing. There's little difference between 216mm and 240mm so watch out. The new 60 Teeth Turntable is mounted on the base of the crane. It turns a lot smoother than the old version. TLG really nailed this one! Normally I build in my LEGO room, but this time I was building in the living room. I was building, combined with reading topics on Eurobricks. At that moment I was reading Drakmin's response in the Technic Photography topic. He stated that he'd like to see making of pictures, combined with the end result. This made me take the next picture, where you can see my working place. And as you can see, sometimes a LEGO model needs a little spicing up The bottom view of the crane shows lots of tubing, which will add difficulty when you connect the crane to the chassis. The tubing is touching one of the gears, so you need to push the hoses aside. There's quite some stress on the hoses, so it can be difficult to get everything into place. A lot of Pneumatic Hose Connectors are used to guide the various tubes alongside the jib and booms. Instead of using a single longer hose, the sections are linked together using these connectors. The picture below shows the complete crane assembly. Normally I am not the biggest fan of pneumatics or building the crane on a truck, but I had a lot of fun building this one. Not sure why, but the size of the crane is very impressive and the techniques/parts used are pretty cool. STAGE 5: CAB Bags: 6 Duration: 150 minutes Stage 5 is the longest stage in the build. And it's probably the most rewarding, since you will see the truck come to life. You start by building the front bumper. The rear view shows how the slanting grill is achieved. The name Kossmann is clearly visible on the plate, making no mistake that Markus Kossmann designed this model. The front bumper is connected to the chassis by simply using connectors. The axles with the gears are sliding into the 7L liftarm, keeping them in place. At this point the chassis with crane is mostly done. You only need to add the rear bumper, before you can start building the cabin. The cabin grill is comprised of lots of Perpendicular Double Split Axle and Pin Connectors. I really like the design of the seats, because of its simplicity. The printed Mercedes logo adds a lot of value to the cabin. Here you can see another mistake I made with the pin connector. No way the steering wheel will fit like this. The Mercedes introduces two new white panels. They are used as "cab side edge turning vanes", which improve aerodynamics. There was some discussion about the looks of the cabin, but seeing it in real life, I can only draw a single conclusion; this cabins is one of the most beautiful cabins LEGO has ever designed/released. The front view is stunning! Here you can clearly see that I accidentally moved the head rests and didn't return them to the proper position. You will see this discrepancy returning in multiple photo's. I found a mistake in the manual, which can be somewhat confusing. I didn't look at the image when connecting the cab to the chassis, but when I did take a look when I was shooting pictures, I noticed this small flaw. The circle with the arrow, doesn't match the outlined image on the right. The circle with the arrow needs to be placed lower than its current position. Here you can see the tilting mechanism on the actual model. Front view of the cabin and grill. It does make you wonder whether this could have been the right moment to introduce a Dark Bluish Grey 11x3 Curved Panel. The front is instantly recognizable as a Mercedes. Obviously the Mercedes emblem helps a lot, but without the star it would have been clear too. At first I wasn't too happy with the white and dark bluish grey color scheme, but seeing it in real life makes a world of difference. Here's a picture of the actual cabin. The main difference is that the LEGO version only has three bars, instead of 4. I can live with this. The bottom front section of the cabin seems to be some sort of metal, so maybe Markus was right by using the light bluish grey panel. The radiator grille designed in a bucket tooth look lends the Arocs a striking, unmistakeable face and underlines its power and robustness. The leftover parts, I forgot to add to the previous shot. STEP 6: TIPPING BED Bags: 2 Duration: 30 minutes This is by far the easiest stage of the build, consisting of mainly grey panels and liftarms. The intersection shows the simple construction of the tilting bed. The finished bed looks....well uhhmm grey. A cool thing about the tipping bed is the lock at the end. This locks the tailgate of the bed to prevent cargo falling out. FINISHED MODEL After 10 hours of building the model is finally finished! I reckon most of you will do this in 8 hours (or less), if you don't rush the build. Markus delivered a great looking model, which is even more impressive in real life, than in pictures. As you can see in the picture below, there is quite some strain on the base of the crane assembly, where the pneumatic switches are mounted. Some of the hoses at the base can probably be cut a little shorter, to save space. BOTTOM VIEW The bottom view shows the entire chassis, with suspension, steering and drive train. Some of you said the wheels are too small and there's too much space between the wheels and the arches. Looking at pictures of the real Arcos, the second front arch, could have been placed a stud lower. Those minor details set aside, the finished model resembles the Arocs a lot! Even the rear view gives you the feeling you are looking at a real truck. With extended outriggers and stabilizers and operating the crane. I forgot to put the wheel chocks between the rear wheels for extra safety. My reviews always contain pictures taken in a photo studio. Unfortunately, this doesn't do this model real justice. That's why I left my comfort zone and went out to shoot some pictures at a local construction site. A friend of mine is the manager of the site and he happens to be building his own new house over there as well. There's no better excuse to take the Mercedes for a drive in his natural habitat. And while we are at it, why not let the Volvo tag along for the ride. FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS This set has quite a few features and functions. Controlling them is done by a combination of using the L-motor as a pump for the Pneumatic functions or by switching it to control three other functions. Switching is done by moving the levers on either side of the model. Reversing the function is done by the switch on the battery box. In the beginning this can be quite confusing. Since you are used to using a lever to switch between back and forth, I ended up switching between functions, instead of reversing the current function. MOTORIZED FUNCTIONS The Mercedes uses a single L-motor to motorize 4 functions: Rotating the crane Extending/retracting the outriggers Tilting the bed Compressor pump PNEUMATIC FUNCTIONS When the motor is driving the compressor, again 4 functions can be operated (as shown in the two images above): Opening and closing the bucket(s) Lowering/raising lower boom section Lowering/raising upper boom section Extending/retracting the jib MANUAL FUNCTIONS There are also quite some manual functions on this model: HoG Steering Tilting cabin Working fake enginge Wheel chocks Opening doors Stabilizers Tailgate tilting bed lock FEATURES Below is a list of the most important features: Double wheels on both rear axles Leaf sprung suspension on rear axles Two live rear axles Independant pendular suspension on front wheels OPERATING THE FUNCTIONS The long list of functions and features is great, but the most important question is "do they work properly?". Operaring the functions takes a little getting used to. Maybe it's just me, but I tend to get confused on whether to move the switch on the battery box or the lever on the side. For example; when you extend the outriggers and you want to retract them, you need to switch the battery box, instead of the lever, resulting in rotating the crane. Actually, I know that I am not the only one, since the guy demonstrating the model, didn't quite get it right too. Of course, after making the same mistake several times, you get used to it It helps a lot when you manage to use the right switches and levers. All the motorized functions work perfectly. The pneumatic functions do work a lot better than the crane on the Unimog, with a side note that movement can be a bit jerky sometimes. This is caused by gravity or strain on the pneumatic hoses. Besided the incidental jerky movement, you can actually fully operate the crane, which is something you'd expect from a flagship like this. Before we go any further, let's take a look at a video I shot demonstrating the functions: The video seems to be slightly out of focus. Sorry for that. As you can see in the video, I still need to find my way around the functions. The jerky and sometimes slow movement of the pneumatic functions is also visible. However, I still think the crane is as good as you will get using LEGO and Pneumatics. Lifting the entire crane simply requires a lot of power. All in all I am very pleased with the playability of the model. Here's an extra image, showing the truck with the cabin and bed tilted. B-MODEL Since the building instructions are not available yet, I couldn't build the B-model. This appears to be a Mercedes-Benz Actros 1845, as you can see on the back of the box. The cabin has more or less the same design, but the chassis is different. SUMMARY Here we are, at the end of this review. The main question I posed at the beginning of this review "Is this set better than the Unimog?" can be answered with a loud "Yes!". Your milage may vary, but the pneumatic crane is more advanced and it is working better than the one on the Unimog. There's no problem with the model leaning to one side and steering, although not perfect on this model either, works better than the Unimog. Which brings us to the obvious next question. Is this set also better than the 8258 - Crane Truck? The 8258 is absolutely a fantastic set (probably the most highly acclaimed truck to date), but to be honest; I think the Mercedes just kicked it from the throne. Without stickers, the 8258 doesn't look nearly as good as the Mercedes. Add the ongoing list of functions to the mix and the only possible conclusion is; the Mercedes is the best LEGO Technic Truck TLG has ever released. Aren't there any negative remarks? Of course there are, but they are minor. Because the steering mechanism uses more gears than usual, there's more torsional strain on the axles. Pneumatic control of the crane can be a bit jerky or slow. There are a lot of hoses between the switches and underneath the base of the crane, which requires applying some force when you attach it to the chassis. You also need to be mindful that the gear on the chassis doesn't touch one of the hoses. Here's a complete list with Pros and Cons: PROS The model looks awesome Biggest Technic set to date New Pneumatic (V2) parts 4 Motorized functions 4 Pneumatic functions The crane actually works Double wheels on rear axles Leaf sprung rear suspension Pendular front suspension CONS Steering causes torsional strain on axles Pneumatic controls can be a bit jerky (or slow) Lots of hoses underneath the base of the crane The last question I need to ask myself, is this set better than the Volvo L350F or the 8043 - Motorized Excavator? I'm not sure about that, but I will conclude this review by saying that the Mercedes did land a spot in my Top-3. SCORE How do I grade this set? 9 DESIGN Resembles the real deal a lot. 9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE The model grew on me during the build. 9 FEATURES Packs a ton of features. 9 PLAYABILITY The model offers lots of playability 9 PARTS Pneumatics V2 and lots of other interesting parts. 9 VALUE FOR MONEY You get a lot of Mercedes for your money. 9 BEST TRUCK TO DATE Thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions! More pictures can be found on my Flickr page. FINAL WORDS For those of you who are interested, I have tracked the time working on this review. I ended up putting around 35 hours in it, divided over: 2 hours of unboxing and taking pictures of contents 10 hours of building 3 hours of photo processing 18 hours writing the review 2 hours on construction site
  4. THE UNOFFICIAL LEGO® TECHNIC BUILDER’S GUIDE: 2ND EDITION INTRODUCTION November 2012. That was the month that Nostarch Press released the first edition of the Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide. Written by, arguably, the most skilled LEGO (Technic) builder we all know. This book was the first to deal with all the aspects of building LEGO Technic models. October 2016. Four years after the 1st edition, the 2nd edition has been released. With 42 additional pages, this volume has even more content than its predecessor. The author, Pawel "Sariel" Kmiec, is a LEGO enthusiast based in Warsaw (Poland). He runs a well known blog on Sariel.pl and he is a respected member of our Eurobricks community. The book has been technically reviewed by Eric "Blakbird" Albrecht, who runs the Technicopedia and is also a well respected member of the Eurobricks community. Sariel and Nostarch have given me the opportunity to review this book. I'm very thankful for that! Obviously, I am very sorry that I haven't published this review earlier, but life happens sometimes. TABLE OF CONTENTS Below is a rundown of the contents of the book. Four brand new chapters have been added to the 2nd edition and thirteen have been updated and extended. A total of 25 chapters comprise the entire volume of this latest edition. A whopping 394 pages of pure LEGO Technic pleasure, which is 42 pages more than the 1st edition (352 pages). Part I: Basics 1. Basic concepts (updated) 2. Basic units and pieces (updated) 3. Studless or Studfull? 4. Axles, bushes, and joints (updated) 5. Wheels (new) Part II: Mechanics 6. Gears and power transmission basics (updated) 7. Chains and pulleys (updated) 8. Levers and linkages 9. Custom mechanical solutions 10. The LEGO pneumatic system (updated) 11. Pneumatic devices (updated) 12. Building strong (updated) Part III: Motors 13. An inventory of LEGO motors (updated) 14. LEGO Power Functions system 15. LEGO RC system (new) Part IV: Advanced mechanics 16. Wheeled steering systems (updated) 17. Wheeled suspension systems (updated) 18. Tracked vehicles and suspensions (updated) 19. Transmissions (updated) 20. Adders and subtractors 21. Planetary gearing (new) 22. 3D printing custom pieces (new) Part V: Models 23. Form vs. function 24. Scaling a model 25. The modeling process PART 1: THE BASICS BASIC CONCEPTS The book starts with some basic concepts, like speed, torque, power, etc. This all seems quite obvious at first, but reading them does provide some interesting insights for both beginning and experienced builders. I found the sections about camber angle, caster angle and toe angle particularly interesting. BASIC UNITS AND PIECES The next chapter explains what FLU (Fundamental LEGO Unit) entails. It tells us that the width of a 1x1 brick is 8mm. This knowledge allowed me to answer that there are approximately 31 two-by-four bricks in a meter during our last annual Eurobricks Event. That's why you always need some basic knowledge when it comes to LEGO units This chapter also discusses the available pins and their characteristics. STUDLESS VS STUDFULL Something that has been keeping the community busy for quite some time is the debate about Studless vs Studfull (intentionally written with two L's). While Studless building is here to stay, there are lots of people still building Studfull. This chapter provides some useful insights when it comes to both building techniques. AXLES, BUSHES AND JOINTS The next chapter describes every axle, bush and joint. Together with the chapter about pins, this will prove to be very valuable information, especially for people getting back into the hobby. WHEELS Recent years have given us lots of different new rims and tires. This chapter describes most of them, explaining what the difference is between top speed and acceleration. It even describes some of the popular 3rd party wheels for truck trials etc. This concludes the first part of the book. PART II: MECHANICS GEARS AND POWER TRANSMISSION BASICS Having discussed the basics in the previous chapter, we are ready to dive in the mechanics. Mechanics are the heart of Technic and they define what Technic makes Technic. The first chapter about Mechanics is about Gears and Power Transmissions. An elaborate gear ratio table is included to calculate every possible gear ratio. Sariel also has an gear ratio calculator on his website. All the different gears are discussed, much like the pins and axles. I really do like these chapters, since the provide a nice overview for beginners and experts alike. CHAINS AND PULLEYS One of the chapters that deals with things you might not think of every day. Chains and pulleys can be quite useful though, so having some basic knowledge is imperative. The section about the different pulley setups is very interesting and useful. How many of you know what a "threefold purchase" is? I reckon, not a lot. LEVERS AND LINKAGE Levers can be found on many Technic models, but using them in a MOC can be more difficult than you would imagine. This chapter provides useful insights on using levers and linkages. CUSTOM MECHANICAL SOLUTIONS This chapter is about custom mechanical solutions, like custom differentials, differentials locks, rachtes, lineair clutches, and them some. PNEUMATIC SYSTEM The (new) Pneumatic System gets a lot of attention. The different pumps and actuators are discussed. PNEUMATIC DEVICES The next chapter shows a variety of pneumatic devices made using the pneumatic system. The picture below shows an example of a pneumatic compressor. BUILDING STRONG The last chapter in Part II explains why things will fall apart when we don't build strong. It's about finding weak links and understanding where to reinforce. PART III: MOTORS MOTORS The third Part of the book is all about Motors. It starts with an overview of every motor ever produced by TLG, even the watertight motors for propelling LEGO boats. LEGO POWER FUNCTIONS SYSTEM Chapter 14 covers the complete range of Power Functions (PF for short) elements. It's a nice summary of the total range and it even includes building instructions for a Remote Control with Central Steering Wheel. THE RC SYSTEM The third and final chapter in Part III is about the RC system. While the RC system hasn't been around for some time, it is still widely used by car builders. It allows for RC cars with relatively high top speed and high torque, compared to the current PF system. PART IV: ADVANCED MECHANICS WHEELED STEERING SYSTEMS After lots of interesting chapters we have come to the fourth Part, covering Advanced Mechanics. This sounds interesting! And obviously it is very interesting. It starts with an elaborate chapter about wheeled steering systems, covering quite a few different mechanisms. The picture below shows the Ackermann Steering Geometry, which is a well known system. WHEELED SUSPENSION SYSTEM What's a steered vehicle without a proper suspension system?! Like the steering system, suspension comes in a wide variety. Quite a few of them are covered in this chapter, together with some building instructions. TRACKED VEHICLES AND SUSPENSION Since not every vehicle is a wheeled vehicle, tracked vehicles get their attention in the 18th chapter. Different track types and suspension systems are shown with detailed images. Even some custom made track types are covered. TRANSMISSIONS Chapter 19 is all about Transmissions, covering systems like orbital transmission, ratchet transmission, lineair transmissions and lots more. This chapter proves to be very useful when you are designing your own gear box and drive train. ADDERS AND SUBTRACTORS Adders and subtractors are mechanisms used to couple two motors together. Coupled motors can be used to control a single functions. Working on a big robot project myself, I probably need to couple two motors to drive the behemoth. You can couple motors the easy way and the right way. Sariel covers the right way to do this. He also covers the math to calculate the torque and speed. PLANETARY GEARING There's an entire chapter devoted to Planetary Gearing, a system used in some bicycles, different kind of toys and even in mechanical pencil sharpeners. 3D PRINTING LEGO Purists probably will skip this chapter, but for other people this can be very interesting. It's about 3D printing certain parts, which are not available as official TLG parts. You can think of hubcaps and turntables, but also of a mounting connector for a GoPro camera. The possibilities are endless. This chapter concludes Part IV of the book. PART V: MODELS FORM VS FUNCTION We have come to the last part of the book, Part V about Models. The first chapter is about Form versus Function. How can you make a model work well and look good at the same time. Finding good reference material is key when it comes to designing. SCALING A MODEL Blueprints are types of reference material which work very well when it comes to modeling. Together with Sariel's LEGO Model Scaler you will be off to a good start. THE MODELING PROCESS The final chapter of this part, also of the book, covers the modeling process. It's about turning your idea into reality. Which leaves us with one last question... SUMMARY Whether you are a skilled builder or a novice, this book contains a wealth of interesting information. It is without a doubt the most comprehensible builder's guide to LEGO Technic. I highly recommend picking up a copy and enjoy the read! PROS The books looks fantastic. Full colored pictures on every single page. A wealth of interesting information. Useful for both novice and advanced builders. Great reference book. CONS This book offers little playability. Turning pages becomes cumbersome after a while. The parts are all glued together, which is probably why it's not an official book. Building experience is virtually non-existent. The title is incorrect. Obviously, it should have been "The Official LEGO Technic Builder's Guide" Obviously, I'm joking with the Cons. I rate this book a solid 9 out of 10. Why not 10 out of 10? Because there will probably be a third edition and I need to keep Sariel sharp CONCLUSION SHOULD BE TITLED OFFICIAL BUILDER'S GUIDE
  5. As could be expected, the 42069's B-model is way more interesting than the 42070's one, even if it's not too pretty:
  6. REVIEW: 41001 Mia's Magic Tricks

    Number - 41001 Name – Mia's Magic Tricks Theme – Friends Year – 2013 Minifigs – 1 Pieces – 90 Price – $12.99CAD, $9.99USD, £9.99 Links: Brickset - http://www.brickset....il/?set=41001-1 BrickLink - http://www.bricklink...m.asp?S=41001-1 LEGO Product Summary Practice and perform Mia's Magic Tricks for the big show! Mia's practicing hard for the big Heartlake City magic show. Help her to learn tricks with cards, a magic wand, flowers, her bunny and a top hat. Build her stage for the big performance then stun the crowds with a cute performing bunny that disappears into its own magic cabinet. Amaze the crowds when the bunny disappears! Includes Mia mini-doll figure. • Includes Mia mini-doll figure and a bunny • Features a magic cabinet with disappearing function and magician's stage • Accessories include magic wand, flowers, coins, cups, scarves and a top hat • Use the magic cabinet's magic function to make the bunny disappear! • Practice Mia's tricks and perform for Heartlake City! • LEGO® Friends pieces are fully compatible with all LEGO bricks • Collect all of the LEGO Friends sets for a whole world of LEGO Friends fun! • LEGO mini-dolls are LEGO figures made especially for the world of LEGO Friends that can be customized and combined in thousands of ways • Measures over 2" (7cm) high, 1" (5cm) wide and 3" (10cm) long" I purchased this set on a whim. Maybe because I like Mia in her snazzy new black tux. THE BOX: Typical Friends front box design with the girls in the upper corner. The back shows the features of this set. Warnings in French and Spanish on the side. Canadian price tag and IPC barcode on the bottom side. Actual size of bunny and the name of the set in French and Spanish on the other side. INSIDE THE BOX: There are two bags of parts and one Technic open center brick by itself. Not shown here is the instruction booklet. We'll see that later. Here are all the pieces laid out. The hat and wand look like they could be from Collectible Minifigs. Close-up of the printed 1x2 card tile. Bonus points for not being a sticker. These are the extra pieces after the build. THE MINIFIG: Mia looks fabulous in her black tux. There are nice small details like molded back pockets on her pants. Her back and arms say © 2009 LEGO. THE INSTRUCTIONS: Here is a sample page of the build instruction. This is the secret on how the bunny disappears. (Don't tell anyone.) THE BUILD: With Mia's magical help, the build was quick and easy. Instructions were clear and nothing was confusing. In a blink of the eye, it's done. SUMMARY Playability: 8/10 Design: 7/10 Price: 7/10 Parts: 7/10 Mini-figure: 10/10 Overall: 8/10 I really like Mia in her black tux. The bunny is cute and fun to make disappear. The magic cabinet could have been better colour coordinated. Although the grey pieces are in the back of the base of the cabinet, I think it would have been better to use white parts. The printed card tile is nice. There is not really much unique parts in this small set. At $12.99CAD, it is around 14 cents per piece. Interesting that the Lego product info on Shop@Home mentioned accessories includes coins, cups, scarves. But I don't see them on the box artwork nor in the bag of parts. THE MAGIC SHOW: And now, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to make the bunny disappear. Are you ready, bunny? This won't hurt a bit. ABBRACADBRA! Viola, the bunny is gone! Please note, no bunnies went missing or harmed in this magic show. The magic cabinet also makes a good diving board or walking the plank if you're a pirate fan.
  7. REVIEW - 42070 - 6X6 ALL TERRAIN TOW TRUCK INTRODUCTION It is that time of year again. The time when the most interesting new Technic sets will be (or already have been, in some cases) released. The flagship set is obviously builds loads of anticipation and expectancy. Interesting enough this year's flagship set isn't the biggest set, when we are merely regarding the number of parts. Even though the 42069 has more parts, this set is still considered to be the flagship. It's quite obvious when you see the size of the box or when you look at the price. At first sight the set looks as impressive as the box. Six big wheels, introduced in the Claas last year. Full RC, which means you can use a remote to drive the vehicle and to operate the crane and outriggers. There is only one remote however, so the functions need to be switched, using gears and levers. I am anxious to find out how the gear box works. Since several videos and reviews have been released, we already know that this set received a lot of criticism. One of the main complaints is the hefty price tag. It's as expensive as the Bucket Wheel Excavator, yet is has less than half the parts. There must be something in this set justifying the price tag. Why don't we start building, so we can find out what that might be. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42070 Title: 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck Theme: Technic Released: 2017 Part Count: 1862 Box Weight: 4,0 kg (approx) Box Dimensions: 58,0 cm x 47,7 cm x 11,9 cm Set Price (MSRP): € 279 Price per Part: € 0,15 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX Upon looking at the box, it's clear that this set is this year's flagship. Obviously the lid/flap is a clear indication that we're dealing with the flagship, but the box itself is also pretty impressive. INSIDE FLAP The inside of the flap shows a single picture of the model, with the outriggers extended. Admittedly, it does look cool and appealing. According to the designers this is the truck that will tow the truck that was supposed to tow your car. If this bad boy doesn't get the job done, what will?! INSIDE The inside of the box shows the different functions, translated in no less than eight languages. At the bottom you can see an overview of all the Power Functions components. BACKSIDE The backside of the box also shows some of the functions, together with the B-model, a Research Explorer Vehicle. Not that I am particularly familiar with research vehicles, but it doesn't resemble anything I have ever seen CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 1 Single book with stickers 6 Tires 18 Bags BOOK WITH STICKERS The way every bigger Technic (or LEGO set in general for that matter) should be packed, the sticker sheet combined with the book. BOOK The book is quite heavy and it contains almost 400 pages for 590 building steps. STICKER SHEET Since the sticker sheet is packed with the book, it's unharmed during transit. Hopefully the bear is unharmed too. The colors of the stickers are very vibrant, which perfectly match the Dark Azure look of the truck itself. TIRES One of the key elements of this set are the six big tires, introduced in the Claas in 2016. I am big fan of these tires, so I was delighted that the rumors about a 6x6 Truck with Claas tires were true. BAGS This set contains 18 unnumbered bags, containing a total of 1862 parts. The PF components are combined with the rims and are packed in two separate bags. By looking at the bags you can already see a lot of different bright colors. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This section describes the interesting parts. POWER FUNCTIONS This set contains the following Power Functions elements: Battery Box Infrared Receiver Infrared Remote Control M Motor XL Motor Compared to the Bucket Wheel Excavator this set does have the IR Receiver and Transmitter, while the BWE doesn't. And it has an M Motor, which the BWE lacks. So it has three more PF components. This is important for comparing the price. It's a nice PF Starter Pack for those of you getting (back) into the hobby. 24-16 TEETH DIFFERENTIAL Surprisingly, this set contains two old style Differentials. Upon close inspection, it seems that the mold has changed a bit, since the innards of the gear slightly protrudes, which wasn't the case with the previous versions. Admittedly, I would probably not have noticed if Sariel hadn't mentioned it. Actually it makes sense that this set contains at least one of these differentials. Since it's full RC and 6x6 we do need a center differential to prevent strain on the axles when powering all the wheels. DARK BLUE AZURE PARTS When we first saw the pictures of this set, we had to guess which color blue was used. This is because TLG has treated us with a wide range of blue elements in the Technic line. Compared to medium blue or medium azure, I definitely prefer this blue color. It would be great if TLG picked one (or two) shade(s) of blue and worked with that for a while though. They probably have heard enough complaints by now, so hopefully they will stick to dark azure as the alternate blue. Downside of getting new colors is the range of available parts. Over time the inventory will hopefully grow, but for now we have to work with this selection of dark azure. Currently there are 215 registered parts in dark azure, but they won't be very useful for building Technic. Unless you like to add Duplo to your truck 4x Liftarm 2x4 13x Liftarm 5L 13x Liftarm 11L 1x #1 and #2 Panel 1x #13 and #14 Panel 6x Curved Panel 11x3 3x Panel 11x3 9x Panel 11x5 4x Tapered Panel 11x5 CURVED PANEL 13x3 For the first time we get these panels in black, which is a very welcome addition to the parts selection. If we can get them in white too, that would be great, thanks CURVED PANEL 3x6x3 Earlier this year this transparent version of the curved 3x6x6 panel was intruced in the BMW R 1200 GS and Uwe conveniently used it as headlights in this truck. DOG BONE For the first time one of the frames (technically it's called a liftarm) is produced in a different color than light bluish grey. Six H Shaped Liftarms in red will be used in this set. One of my favorite parts and they perfectly fit the Mindstorms EV3 color palette. AXLE AND PIN CONNECTOR HUB This year the Axle and Pin Connector Hub is released in red. I already found these at the Factory Store in Legoland Germany and I wondered which set would use these in red. They are most likely not produced in red for this set, but for Baze Malbus from the Star Wars Buildable Figures. ROPE This set contains a new rope. It has kind of a metallic touch to it. It is slightly ticker than the regular rope. Thumbs up for this new version. It looks and feels a lot better. RED #3 CONNECTOR Last but not least, the rerelease of the red #3 connector, last seen in 2011. Lots of MOC-ers will be very happy to be able to use these parts for an affordable price again. I almost forgot that these parts were pretty rare, so I shot this picture afterwards. Four parts is exactly the number I have (or had before now) in my collection. So basically I doubled up! Whoop whoop. INVENTORY This set contains 1862 parts, which is not that many for a flagship these days. THE BUILD Let's build ourselves a 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck, now shall we! As with most trucks we start by building the center section, where the gearbox will be positioned. We immediately get cracking with quite a few gears, including the white safety gear (a.k.a. Clutch Gear). Early on the M Motor is attached to the gear box. This motor will be used to drive several functions, switched manually by two levers. This picture clearly shows that there are four switches to be operated. Eventually there are only two levers (one on each side of the vehicle), so let's wait and see how this will end up. So far the build is enjoyable. It's fun to add the gears and to slowly find out how they will be operated and which function(s) they will be driving. After building most of the center gearbox you will work your way forward and attach the front wheel steering linkage. As you can see the steering is operated off center and the second 12T Bevel Gear is only used to guide the rack. One of the things that also meets the eye is the different colored liftarms on the port and starboard side of the boat...uhmm truck. It seems odd at the moment, but it will prove to be useful later on...if you don't screw up anyway Talking about screw ups. I had quite a few of 'em during the build. It was late and I wasn't really sharp. An example of lack of sharpness is taking the XL Motor to the photo studio (I was building downstairs) and not thinking clearly about where the cable should be positioned. I can tell you...not this way. There is little extra length on the cable, so you will need every centimeter (or even milimeter). Connecting it this way will end up with having too little length on the cable. Lucky for me I was able to turn the motor around without taking too much of the model apart. I had a friend over who is interested in LEGO Technic as well. Obviously, he didn't want to be in spectactor mode during the entire build, so we alternated building every now and then. Since I misplaced the XL Motor, you can see what happened in the picture below. The dark azure liftarms were placed over the wire, which got us into trouble half an hour later or so. Let's talk a bit more about the different colors on the different sides of the truck. Since people tend to frequently make the mistake of misplacing the differentials in a 4x4 model, TLG provided a fool proof way of connecting the differentials. This way you almost cannot make this mistake. So, you would think. Unless you are building with a team mate and you incorrectly correct a mistake. That is exactly what happened during this phase of the build. My buddy had built both live axles. He had built them correctly, but he reversed the second one, resulting in the red liftarms being on the wrong side of the vehicle. I noticed the mistake, but instead of simply turning the second live axle around, I started rebuilding the second live axle. This resulted in both differentials being on the same side. Needless to say, that didn't improve driving performance. This was the moment that we called it a night. As you can see the wire is still incorrectly attached and the rear live axle has an incorrectly placed differential. Little did we know that we *cough* my buddy *cough* also missed a 20T bevel gear right smack in the middle of gearbox. As you can see in the picture below, there is no extra length on the cable of the XL Motor. This is not the most elegant solution, but after you finish the cabin, you won't see the cable anymore. At this point we still had the rear differential the other way around, so when I hooked up the battery box to test all the functions, we noticed the two rear axles turning in different ways...a clear indication you screwed up. I immediately realised that my buddy didn't screw up the build, but simple attached the rear axle incorrectly (or is this also considered a screw up hehe). We both had a laugh and fixed the mistake. Here you can see that the red connector is a tight fit. Not much margin to work with. The finished cabin looks cool. Although, I wonder why TLG keeps using blue panels as seats. I mean, this blue doesn't really match the rest of the truck. I'd say that any other color would have worked better than blue. Yellow would have been okay, or simply dark or light bluish grey, since the set is already very colorful. Come on guys, you can do better than that. The engine powering this behemoth is a powerful 4 cylinder engine. Wait a minute?! That can't be right. A 4 cylinder engine....hmmmph. I reckon its real life counterpart wouldn't use a 4 cylinder engine, but Uwe probably prefered a non-V engine over the correct number of cylinders. I would rather see a big 8 cylinder engine, even if that meant a V8. Even Dokludi used a V8 in his replica, so there is space enough. Other than that; the engine with the two black panels looks cool. The rear outriggers use more or less the same mechanism as the side ones, using an axle instead of gears to operate the stamps. Cool aspect about this technique is that it's quite rare for the outriggers to be operated by a motor. Usually you have to manually extend the stamps, which is rather cumbersome. Or be very patient when you have to wait for the 42009 outriggers to be extended. These outriggers are deployed in no time! Here's the attachment of the gearbox to the mini LA. The axle still needs to be pushed through the bracket. When you are done with the rear outriggers you move onto the crane. The crane looks rather flimsy for a truck this robust. Some panels could be added to make it look more sturdy and robust. It feels unfinished this way. At this point the model looks like you will be adding quite some stuff. On the contrary, you are almost done at this point. I remember my girlfriend looking at the parts I had left, looking at the model and saying "but you still need to build a lot". This is how your 98% complete truck looks like. The fenders and the side panels cover up the chassis and after that you are done. As you can see, the rear of the truck lacks a proper bed, which leaves you with an unfinished feeling, again. The rear and (the looks of the) crane are definitely not the strong suit of this model. The front of the model does look cool though. Unlike the cute bear, the front says "don't mess with me, I will ... you up". At the bottom you can see the 40 year anniversary brick (3L Liftarm), which is present in all of the 2017 sets. Several "Tow 067" stickers need to be applied, but what they mean still remains a mystery. Since set 42067 is missing from the line-up many of us figured the 42067 would be introduced as a new supercar (or something similar) being towed by this truck. The designers were actually quite surprised with this theory (or they acted surprised) and they said it wasn't related at all. It is supposed to have a meaning though, which we will find out later. FINISHED MODEL Without further ado, I hereby present this year's flagship.....the 42070 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck! Some basic observations when looking at the model. I didn't like the color at all when it was first presented. During the build I actually started liking Dark Azure. It works really well with red and the yellow details. There is quite a gap underneath the doors. It's a plus that TLG included the bigger panels, but I can't help but think that the gap could have been avoided. The yellow rims with the black dishes work really well. The overall look of the truck is rather impressive. When you start building and you see the six big tires, it's a sign that it's gonna be "yuge". And that the Mexicans are going to pay for it...oh wait now, that's something totally different. It is huge though. I am well aware that bigger doesn't always mean better, but I am a sucker for big models. The front of the truck with the bull bar definitely matches my expectations for this kind of truck. The chains and the Teddy Bear add nice touches to the exterior. The center of the chassis seems to be bending a bit, which isn't really surprising, given the size of the model. When I go on a cruise, the ship is bending all the time and that's not even a bad thing. I don't really mind this model bending a bit, although one could claim that it needs some reinforcement. Is it even road legal to have the tires sticking out of the vehicle?! I wonder how it looks if you position the panels 1L farther to the outside. This is how the vehicle looks from the back (sorry for the mirrors). As you can see I have attached both chains to the rear end of the vehicle, instead of one to the side. From the rear you can easily see the chassis underneath. The bottom shot of the chassis shows the old style center differential and the pendular axles. A couple of soft springs on each side would have been nice. Some extra pictures for your enjoyment. FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS Now that we have built the model and we know what it looks like. Let's talk about the functions. This model packs six functions powered by two motors. Steering Driving Rotate crane boom Raise/lower crane boom Raise/lower the hook Raise/lower the outriggers Unfortunately you can't switch functions with the IR remote, so you need to change the functions manually, using two levers. Each lever is mounted on one side of the model. The left lever (the one on the driver's side) switches between the Driving Functions and Operator Functions. When you switch this lever to driving mode, the position of the second lever doesn't matter. STEERING Instead of using a servo motor for steering, this truck is using the M Motor, which is also used for some other functions. Steering is very smooth and operates nicely. There is no return to center, but you hardly miss it. I really like the way this is implemented. Downside however is the turning radius. As with many Technic models, this model has a very wide turning radius. You need to go back and forth quite a few times to make a 180-degree turn in a somewhat confined space. Here are two video's demonstrating the steering mechanism. DRIVING Because of the weight of the vehicle, it's geared down using a 8T on a 24T gear in the portal hub. So, don't expect spectacular performance when it comes to top speed. It does have proper torque and it drives smoothly. Using an XL Motor instead of an L motor results in the model coasting when you release the "throttle", instead of abrubtly coming to a halt. All in all I am quite happy with the ability to drive (and steer) this model. Here's a short video of driving the truck: Since I am not really interested in Truck Trial and/or outdoor operation, I won't go into much detail about how suitable this model is for that. If you are interested in that, I can highly recommend watching the video review of our top video reviewer Sariel. What I do like to address is the inability of the IR system to be operated outside. I have never done truck trial or other outdoor PF IR related activities, but it just not possible to operate the model outside of your home. I never really realised that this was a big issue, but when you buy a € 279 RC set you probably expect it to work in your garden as well. Makes me wonder how many calls have been answered by TLG's customer service regarding this matter. It's time for TLG to step up their game and come up with a better solution. OPERATING THE CRANE AND OUTRIGGERS When you switch the lever on the driver's side to upper position you are engaging the non-driving functions of the model. That is operating the crane functions and the outriggers. When you are using this mode you are depending on the second lever to select the functions you want to operate. It's either the outriggers combined with lowering/raising the boom or rotating the crane and raising/lowering the hook. This takes a bit of getting used to, but I found this model easier to operate than the Arocs, which uses a similar approach. The following video demonstrates the operator functions: One thing that kind of bugged me during operating the outriggers is the fact that a 7L axle has been used and it has been stopped by two full bushes. This resulted in the outrigger getting stuck near the panel on the right side. I was surprised by this, since TLG usually makes sure that there is ample space for moving parts. I will be modding this by using an 6L axle and half bushes. MANUAL FUNCTIONS Besides the motorised functions, this model has some manual functions like opening the doors and the bonnet. And according to TLG's website, it has moveable lights. They have yet to be found though. B-MODEL The B-model of this set is what TLG calls an Research Explorer Vehicle. A polar vehicle comes to mind, but the big tires are more suitable for other types of environment. I am not sure what TLG is aiming at. Usually I don't really care for B-models and that's no different for this set. I would be happy to see someone build this vehicle and show us what it's all about. I will take a rain check. PRICE Now that we are almost at the end of this review you have probably noticed that I am rather enthusiastic about this set. Although we haven't found a clear explanation why this set has an MSRP of 279 euro. I was hoping we would find out during the review, but we haven't. Therefore, I am afraid we need to do some math to be able solve the mystery. The most logical way to determine the price of a set is to compare it with similar sets. Other than the usual Technic elements, this set contains PF components and six big tires. Let's look at the Claas because of the tires, the Volvo L350F for the Power Functions and the Bucket Wheel Excavator because it has the same price. Claas has 1977 pieces and has an MSRP of € 149. Four big tires, PF Battery Box and M Motor.. Volvo has 1636 pieces and has an MSRP of € 219. Lots of PF including 2 PF IR Receivers and 2 Transmitters, big tires and a big bucket. BWE has 3929 pieces and has an MSRP of € 279. PF Battery Box and XL Motor. 6x6 Truck has 1862 pieces and has an MSRP of € 279. More PF than BWE, but way less PF than Volvo. So the BWE has over twice the number of parts, no PF Receiver or Transmitter and a single motor, but it still has the same price. You can argue that the BWE was actually cheap compared to other sets. Okay, let's call the BWE cheap and ignore it. Leaves us with the Volvo to compare to, since that set has a lot of PF components. The volvo has the entire range of PF components, including 2 PF IR Transmitters and Receivers. So it has a lot more PF components than the 6x6 Truck. The Volvo has approximately 200 parts less than the 6x6 Truck. At around 10 cents a piece, this would make up for a maximum of € 20. The Volvo is € 60 cheaper and it has almost double the number of PF components. The Claas isn't overly expensive, so the price of the tires probably don't add extreme costs to producing the set. When looking at the price of other sets, I simply cannot explain why the 6x6 Truck should cost 279 euro. Therefore, I can only jump to the conclusion that this set is overpriced. I'd say the price should be somewhere between the Claas (€ 149) and the Volvo (€ 219). € 149 + 2 tires and more PF components makes me feel like € 199, but no more than that, and definitely no € 279. SUMMARY When I first saw this set, I wasn't very thrilled about it. Even seeing it in Billund didn't change my mind. It's just a big truck which can drive and has yet another shade of blue. I do like big models and I do like the Claas tires, but it just didn't do it for me. Bright colors for a truck like this?! BUILDING EXPERIENCE During the first stages of the build it was clear that this set packs and interesting gearbox to operate some cool features. The set contains over 100 gears, so there obviously is interesting stuff going on. During the build we (I had some help during some of the building stages) made some serious mistakes. This wasn't because of the instructions. This was because it was late and we weren't paying enough attention. The funny thing is that this actually added some fun to the build. We had to take some stuff apart, and investigate where the problem originated. This was somewhat reminiscent of the good old days, where you sometimes had to puzzle your way through the build. So yeah, I really had fun during the build, even though I (we) made some very stupid mistakes. DESIGN Dark azure is a very nice shade of blue. It's way better than medium azure or medium blue. Now let's hope that TLG makes a pick when it comes to blue and add some connectors to the mix. Some parts of the truck look very cool and some look unfinished. Especially the rear of the vehicle and the crane look unfinished. It feels that some modding needs to be done to complete this model. I have very much come to terms with the bright colors though and I have started to appreciate them. What I don't get is the use of bright orange parts in the chassis. Why not throw in some dark azure if you need to use another color than grey. I can totally understand that TLG want to make the build process as understandable as possible, especially with the target audience in mind, but in some aspects they are overdoing it. PLAYABILITY Sometimes when I build a Technic model, the functions just don't seem to work properly. They look like a Proof of Concept, instead of actual working mechanisms. The good thing about this model is that the functions work properly. Steering, driving, operating the crane and the outriggers, everything works fine (except maybe the minor issue with the outriggers). Outdoor playability is virtually non-existent though. Don't expect your kids to have fun in the garden with this thing. They will get frustrated. FEATURES The main functions of the model are all operated by a remote control. Upside is that these functions work really well. Downside is that you still need to manually switch the functions, and you need to be inside. The outriggers are a blast to operate, they are so cool. PARTS In term of special parts this set isn't exactly special. You get six big tires, which you might already own four of, when you own the Claas. For existing PF users, it's mostly parts in new colors. If you are new to Technic or new to PF, this set is a pretty decent starter pack. VALUE FOR MONEY This is where things get ugly. The hefty price tag of € 279 is way too much. Around € 199 would have been reasonable, but € 279 is nowhere near reasonable. VERDICT After building the set and spending some time playing with it I can only come to the conclusion that I really like it. I am even thinking about modding this set and that is something I seldomly do. This set reminds me of the 42039, where I felt like the president of a fan club with very few members. Sometimes a set just works for me and this is such a set. And that's not because it's the best set right out of the box, but it has potential to have a lot of fun with it. Some sets are perfect, but you will hardly touch them after building. The real question is whether people will be forking out such an amount of money for a non-licensed set. 6,8 Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  8. INTRODUCTION: Ready, aim, fire. Can you shoot the apple off hedgehog's head? I won this set in a contest. Can't go wrong with free LEGO review. SET INFORMATION: Number - 41120 Name – Adventure Camp Archery Theme – Friends Year – 2016 Minidolls – 1 Pieces – 114 Price – $12.99CAD, $9.99USD, £8.99 Links: Brickset - https://brickset.com/sets/41120-1/Adventure-Camp-Archery BrickLink - http://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?S=41120-1#T=S&O={} LEGO Product Summary Hit the target to help Mia win the archery trophy! Practice your skills with LEGO® Friends Adventure Camp Archery. It features a bow with shooting function and a target that falls over when hit, along with picnic accessories and a shelter to rest and watch the little hedgehog in its den. Includes a Mia mini-doll figure plus a hedgehog. Includes a Mia mini-doll figure in sportswear plus a hedgehog. Features an archery range with a knock-over target, a bow with shooting function, a shelter with a chair to rest on and a den for the hedgehog. Accessory elements include a trophy, flag, apple, sandwich, bottle of water, cherries and a barrel with projectiles. Fire the bow to hit the target and knock it over. Sit on the chair in the shade to enjoy a lunchtime sandwich. This set offers an age-appropriate building experience for ages 6-12. This set includes over 100 bricks. Archery range measures over 1” (4cm) high, 2” (6cm) wide and 1” (3cm) deep. Picnic shelter measures over 2” (7cm) high, 2” (6cm) wide and 2” (6cm) deep. Hedgehog den measures over 1” (3cm) high, 1” (3cm) wide and 1” (3cm) deep. Combine with 41121 Adventure Camp Rafting and the 41122 Adventure Camp Tree House for more Adventure Camp challenges! THE BOX: The front of the box shows Mia shooting targets at the Adventure Camp Archery. She has a barrel full of crossbow stud ammo. There is a shelter for her to rest and have some snacks. Hedgehog also has a hog house to rest in. The box has curved sides of the Friends line of boxes, plus the image of the fives Friends on the corner. The back of the box shows the features and accessories of the set. You can see Mia resting and going for a nice sandwich. The target has a knock-out bullseye. Mia is feeding cherry balls to the hedgehog. This side of the box contains URL to get service, origins of manufacture, copyrights, UPC bar code, item codes and notice of responsible packaging. Here you have text in several languages and graphics warning not for 0-3 years-old. This is the non-North American version of the box. This side has more text in several languages, warning graphics, and a 1:1 scale image of the hedgehog. INSIDE THE BOX: There are two bags of parts and an instruction booklet. The bags are not numbered. It may not be needed for a small set. Although I find I can build faster with numbered bags. Here are the contents of the smaller bag. You get a printed 2x2 bullseye target round tile. There are a couple of cherries and an assortment of flower/leaf pieces. Here are the contents of the larger bag. You get an apple and a hedgehog. The hedgehog has only been available in 4 other sets. You get one crossbow that first appeared in the 2015 Millenium Falcon set. THE MINIDOLLS: The set comes with one Mia minidoll. Mia is sporting new torso and legs for 2016. The same torso and legs would later be reused for the 2017 Friends Heartlake Sports Center set Mia. THE INSTRUCTIONS: Here is a sample page of the instruction booklet. The steps are well laid out and clear. I had no problems following them. THE BUILD: With 114 pieces and good instructions, the build was completed quickly and without any issues. Here is the finished set. Mia looks like she is ready to shoot something. These are the extra pieces. SUMMARY: Playability: 8/10 Design: 7/10 Price: 7/10 Parts: 7/10 Minidolls: 9/10 Overall: 7/10 There is something fun about shooting targets with a crossbow. It is a challenge to aim Mia's arm correctly. For play, I give it an 8/10. For design, I like the target stand and hedgehog house. But I am not sure about Mia's shelter. It feels like it was an afterthought add-on. Maybe it should be a weapon storage shed instead. I give it a 7/10. The price seems in line with other sets. I got mine for free so I can't complain. 7/10. Most of the parts are pretty Friends set generic. I don't see it as a part pack set. I do like the printed bullseye and stud shooting crossbow. You also get a hedgehog. I give 7/10. You get a Mia minidoll in a new 2016 outfit. She is my favorite Friends character. There may be some bias in the 9/10. Overall, I give this set a 7/10. It has good play value. It is not all that great for a parts pack. The weapon, minidoll and hedgehog are cool. Ok, hedgehog, please stay still... Pew, pew, pew... (Ok, so I like Star Wars sound effects.) The set goes together nicely with other Adventure Camp sets. Is there an archery challenge? Note: Chewie is not included with the Friends sets.
  9. Hello, I know this is around two months since they are launched in Malaysia, but I'm happy to be able to review these four beautiful sets that represent Malaysia. Thanks to LUG of Malaysia (LOM) that gave me this opportunity to review these sets. These four sets are called Bunga Raya, Rumah Kampung, Wau and Ketupat which were lauched week by week in Toys"R"us Pavillion, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. *All the minfigures are NOT included in these sets. Let's get started. Bunga Raya (Hibiscus). Let's start with the first of the four Malaysia Limited Edition set, Bunga Raya. As we all know, Hibiscus (also known as Bunga Raya in Malay), is our national flower. Its scientific name is Hibiscus rosasinensis. After our independence day (Merdeka), our Agriculture Ministry was instructed to suggest a suitable flower to be our National Flower. However in the end of 1958, the ministry of Agriculture actually came up with seven suggestions which were Bunga Kenanga (Cananga odorata), Bunga Raya, Bunga Melur (Jasminum or Jasmine in English), Bunga Teratai (Nelumbo nucifera or lotus in English), Bunga Mawar (Rosa or rose in English), Bunga Cempaka (Carson Magnolia sp. or Champak flowers in English) and Bunga Tanjung (mimusops elengi or Spanish Cherry Flower in English). After discussion on 28 Julai 1960, 'Bunga Raya' was declared as the national flower of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu and continued to be until now. The Box. This set is not packaged in ordinary polybags but it came in a small yellow box instead. Front part you can see the poster of City of Wonders, and a piece count with 133 pieces in this box. At the back you can see other three sets to be collected and at the side, you can see the Bunga Raya but it is NOT actual size. As you can see here, it can be opened up like a lunch box. I liked it as you don't need to damage the box when you are opening it. Yeay! Lets pour everything out! You get the 133 pieces of LEGO which is mostly red in colour, and a piece of instruction paper. Its very amazing that this pile of LEGO will bloom out and become a beautiful flower. The parts consist of three main colour, red, green and yellow. As you can see in the picture, the pieces are mostly plates, inverted slopes and smooth curvy parts. I like the green and yellow parts showed up in the sea of red in this picture. They become the striking component here. Lets start building. Step one you can see the base is mainly plates. Then covered by curved parts for the bottom two petals in step two. After a few minutes building, you will get four petals attached nicely as in the picture. Step four is completing the five petals of our national flower. Its already a very nice looking flower just as it is. I love how the curved parts attached to become not squarish as LEGO parts are mostly square. Then tadaa! Build the green stem and yellow anther and you get yourself a very nice beautiful flower! In this picture you can see the bottom part of the flower. It was supported by those inverted bricks so that it won't fall apart like how it was before these slopes were attached. Then you can hold it on the stem and it will stay at your hand firmly. Lastly this is not a minifig scaled flower. With so much details inside it is quite hard to make it smaller. However, Antman (which is not included in the set) is always 'scaled' to any sized object so he can pose here nicely standing beside the beautiful Hibiscus. Pros What I really like about this set was the flower is very nicely designed with the striking combination of red green and yellow colour. Its a very nice display set where you can put on your working desk to proudly show that I LOVE MALAYSIA! Cons The only cons I think was the long pillar holding the anther tends to fall off quite often. But it doesn't really affect the appearance of the flower. Look how realistic is this. It almost looked like a real Hibiscus. Rumah Kampung (Village House). Hi, today I'm proud to present to you the second set of the LEGO City of Wonders, Rumah Kampung. Rumah Kampung is a traditional Malay houses in Malaysia. It originates before the arrival of foreign or modern influences, and constructed by the indigenous ethnic Malay of the Malay Penisula, Sumatra and Borneo. It was built with traditional architectural forms such as tropically suited roofs and they are captured in this very beautifully designed LEGO set. Let's go to the set. This set has 137 pieces, almost the same number of pieces with the Bunga Raya set but quite small compared to the Hibiscus. Emmet is excited to start building the nice village house with these bricks, plates and slopes! *Emmet is not included in this set. This is part one of the part list. The Rumah Kampung consists of brown plates, light bluish gray slopes and a dark brown clip. Part two consist of tan coloured windows and door, dark red tiles and tons of brown profile bricks. Lets open up the instructions and start building! Step one you can already see the base of the house lined with cozy dark red carpet. Emmet is comfortably sitting there watching me building. Hi! We have a helper now. The carpenter had already finished the windows and Emmet is helping him to install them for the house! After installing the windows, it started to rain! Luckily the base of the roof was done for Emmet to 'not getting wet'. Where did he get the umbrella? Hmm... Yeay! The roof was done! Now Emmet is happy that the house has two air vents at the roof to make the inside of the house cool. This is very important in our all year hot country! Then the pillars are installed. Now that the roof is taller than Emmet, he can't help but wondering 'How to get inside the door?' With the ladder, of course! I like the simple and accurately designed ladder. These are the views of the finished model. Amazing design! This house is stable and the slope of the roof are built at two nice gradient. The hole was purposely left brickless to resemble the air vent at the roof which I feel its an amazing touch to the house. In conclusion, this is a very nice set to get for your work desk! Thanks for reading and I'm not sure how tree beard feels in the next picture. Emmet: 'Can you keep that wood plank and the saw now?' *Emmet, Tree Beard and the carpenter are not included in this set. Pros Amazing design! This house is stable and the slope of the roof are built at two nice gradient. The hole was purposely left brickless to resemble the air vent at the roof which I feel its an amazing touch to the house. Cons The cons of this set is that you need to be careful of the legs that quite often fall off so you need to count the eight legs every time you bring the house from one place to another. The use of the profile bricks to make it looked like wood planks is a very nice touch to the house. It really has the village cozy feel here. The other two sets will be reviewed at the comment area. Please continue reading.
  10. Hi, today I will be reviewing something different, a medium or ordinary sized friends set. Friends sets started since 2012. The sets were targeted for girls and the mini-dolls are mainly female characters. The sets include pieces in pink and purple color schemes and depict scenes from suburban life set in the fictional town of Heartlake City. The main characters are Stephanie, Olivia, Emma, Mia and Andrea. But if you are to collect all variants of them, there would be tons to collect. As this is my first few sets of friends, let's start looking at it. Introduction This set was launched in 2015 and it was included in 66256 value pack. It featured Olivia who needs to get ready the studio for Livi the pop star to record her latest album. Overview Name: 41103 Pop Star Recording Studio Theme: Friends Year: 2015 Pieces: 172 Minifigures: 1 minidoll Price: £12.99 / $14.99 / 14.99€ Resources: Brickset The Box As usual, the box has the striking look of purple and pink color scheme which you will know this is a friends set at first glance. At the back of the box you can see Olivia is test running all the musical equipment for the superstar's arrival. At the side you can see Olivia's picture in the 1:1 actual size column. In this set you get one instruction booklet, one sticker sheet, and three unnumbered bags. Small, medium and large bags catering for their respective part sizes. I am quite fond of the parts distribution like this which makes it easier to find the parts even though they are unnumbered. There are three stickers in this set but I'm not complaining as the amount of printed parts are way more satisfying than the stickered parts. The instruction manual is a normal booklet and I suppose the one holding the mic at the top right corner is Livi the pop star. The Parts. These are the special and printed parts in this set. I loved them so much! You get a smart phone in azure blue 1x2 tile, a CD, a Cassette, purple Guitar, two keyboards, two glittering golden microphone, Mozart's notes, a newspaper in heartlake city and a normal looking panel. Wow! So much printed fun in such a small set! The Build. You get to build six small 'furniture' sized builds first before building the wall. These are the music note holder with a gold stand, video recorder on an octagonal base, and a mic stand. All of them are held by a pink flower at the base. These three minibuilds are great for modular interiors decorations. Then you get a controller with a keyboard, a pink sofa with a cup and the newspaper and a couch. These furniture are very nice especially if you are taking photos for your LEGO photographs. These are very nice household decorations as well! Let's start building the wall. First we build the CD player at the base of the wall with these grooved bricks. Then the CD ejector with a purplish black colored build. This is the sliding mechanism of the CD player. Its quite an interesting build here and I liked it. When we view from the top, this is how it works. Push the gold button and the CD will be ejected. After a few steps, you get the whole wall of the recording studio. It is quite well equipped with those smart phone controlled console, two speakers and a large music note signboard. There is a poster sticker at the trans clear door but the sticker on the right is actually a cupboard with musical certificate and trophies. The back of the wall is quite dull with a guitar hangar. Note that the cupboard screen is actually pure white instead of trans clear in color. A close up view of the controlling panels. Here you can see the music equalizer in a studio, a CD player, a smart phone and buttons. It does look like a recording studio. Tada! Completed build of the studio. I actually liked it very much after building the set. Now Olivia is ready for anyone to come for a musical recording! The extra parts are quite a number of 1x1 round plates and headphones. The Mini-doll. Olivia is the only Mini-doll in this set with a nicely printer torso and legs. The hairpiece is large compared to normal minifigure hair. Please don't put minifigure hairpiece on minidoll's head or else you will have a very hard time removing it. As with the headphone, its rubbery but it can't really stay on Olivia's hair and keep bouncing off. So I considered that as an 'extra' part. The legs are limited to bend forward, no other movements permitted. Here you can see the comparison between a mini-doll and a minifigure. Olivia is taller than C3PO while standing but the height is quite similar while sitting. The wrist of the mini-dolls are not movable so it makes them can only hold things in one direction but it was brilliantly put at an angle in which the accessories are held quite nicely. *C3PO is not included in this set. And Olivia invited all her friends for a jam in her newly set up studio! *Only Olivia is included in this set. Review summary Playability: 6/10 - The only thing to play is the CD ejector.Design / Building Experience: 9/10 - The design is very close to the real studio and the mini builds are very fun to build.Mini-doll: 9/10 - Olivia is a very nice figure in this set. The only downside is the headphone's weak clutch power to the hair.Price / Value for money: 9/10 - This set is quite worth the price with all those printed parts.Overall: 9/10 - For the first few sets of friends set, this one is quite fun and nice to build with very nice pink and purple color scheme. Conclusion This is my first few friends set and it amazed me of the design and mini builds. I thought I wouldn't like this set that much but it turned out differently. This is a very recommended set to have especially if you are building a modular building with a recording studio in it. I hope you like the review and thoughts and comments are welcome! Some karaoke session?
  11. If you thought the 42070 A-model was bad, the B-model is here to convince you it was actually pretty good. In fact, it seems to have been built solely for that purpose:
  12. REVIEW - 42054 - CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC INTRODUCTION First of all my apologies. Sorry it took so long for this review to be published. Sometimes there are other things in life that need attention. Next year I will try to keep July free for LEGO reviews With all the news about the 42056 - Porsche GT3 RS and the 42055 - Bucket Wheel Excavator, you would almost forget there are two other great sets coming up during the second half of 2016. One of which is the 42053 - Volvo EW160E, while the other is the 42054 - Claas Xerion 5000 Trac VC. Today we will be reviewing the latter. Like LEGO it seems that CLAAS also likes its name spelled with capitals, so from now on I will happily oblige. While I live in an area which is flooded by tractors and farm equipment, the CLAAS doesn't seem to be very popular in Holland, while CLAAS is a brand which originated in Germany, not too far away. I have never been a real fan of LEGO Technic farm equipment models. To be honest; I have skipped all of them. They just didn't look interesting enough. How different the CLAAS is. I'll just throw it out there...this is love af first sight. Sometimes the real model looks even better than in the pictures. If this is the case with the CLAAS, it's definitely one of the best looking models ever made. Usually you don't draw conclusions in the introduction, but I simply felt the need to address the feeling that I have when I look at this model. CLAAS being one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) manufacturers of combine harvesters, we might be treated with another CLAAS model in the future. So, not having bought a single farm equipment set, combined with my limited knowledge of real farm equipment, I had to invest some time to get acquainted with the CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC. In case you are wondering what VC stands for, it's the designation for Variable Cab, meaning the cab can be rotated backwards, to facilitate driving backwards....or is it forward?! At CLAAS, VC stands for Variable Cab. The rotating cab is the most convenient reverse-drive system imaginable. At the press of a button, the entire cab moves from its central position to the rear-facing position above the rear axle in seconds. The controls rotate automatically with the cab, so all functions remain the same when operating in the rear position. For high driving comfort on the road, the cab is centrally positioned between the axles. In the silage clamp, on the field, in the forest or in the mountains, the XERION with the cab rotated over the rear axle becomes a user-friendly self-propelled machine with a unique view of the job in hand. If you are looking for more information, here's the Brochure and Technical data. Funny fact about this set is that it's simply addressed as one of the 2H 2016 sets, while with almost 2000 parts, it would definitely have qualified as a flagship a couple of years ago. This is a clear indication that the Technic product line has been evolving rapidly. I start to wonder how big this model actually is. Let's open the box and find out. SET INFORMATION Number: 42054 Title: Claas Xerion 5000 Trac VC Theme: Technic Released: 2016 Part Count: 1977 Box Weight: 2834 gr Box Dimensions: 58,0 cm x 37,2 cm x 9,8 cm Set Price (MSRP): € 159 Price per Part: € 0,080 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX Having the Porsche and BWE around almost makes you forget that this isn't the Prima Donna of 2016. The box doesn't help either, since it's quite a big lady. A few years ago it could have easily passed as a flagship set. As usual, the front shows a nice picture of the model. The right side indicates that this is a PF powered set, where the M-motor and PF Battery Box are included. Bottom right tells us the crane arm and cabin are motorized. At this point it's not exactly clear what the motorization entails, but I bet the backside of the box will show us more details. BACK The back of the box (click to enlarge) shows us that the boom of the crane can be raised and lowered using Power Functions, as well as rotating the crane. Also, the cabin can be rotated using Power Functions, which is obviously super cool! I'm really anxious to find out how this works. The lower left corner shows us the three steering modes of the CLAAS XERION. Yes, you heard it right, three steering modes! Just like the Porsche should have had The lower right corner shows a picture of the B-model, which is actually the same tractor, with a different attachment. The crane has been transformed into a silage plow. As you can see, the cabin (and thus controls) are facing a different direction than in the picture of the A-model. Like the Unimog I expect lots of modifications and attachments for this model! CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains the following items: 1x Sealed instruction manual and sticker sheet 11x Bags for step 1 4x Bags for step 2 1x Unsealed PF battery box 1x Sealed PF M motor 4x Red rims 4x Awesome new tires This is how it looks when you throw everything on one big pile. INSTRUCTION MANUAL AND STICKERS The instructions are provided in a square bound book, sealed in a bag with the stickers. I really like this way of packing the manual and stickers. Keeps both the book and sticker sheet unharmed. Below are detailed pictures of the book and sticker sheet. The latter contains lots of little stickers for switches and controls. This means the model will have lots of functions....yay! PF COMPONENTS A PF Battery Box and a sealed PF M-motor. RIMS AND TIRES Without a doubt the single most eye-catching elements when opening the box are the new tires! 11 BAGS FOR STEP 1 4 BAGS FOR STEP 2 HIGHLIGHTED PARTS Back by popular demand is the Highlighted parts section. For this set it's quite elaborate. Not because it contains loads of new parts, but it does contain quite a few new-ish parts in large numbers. This indicates that the designer used some of the new building techniques in this set. And there's something funny going on with the axles, so let's start with those. AXLES Red and Yellow axles have been introduced in most of the 1H 2016 sets. What's striking though, is that this contains axles in both the regular black and grey color, as well as the latest yellow and red versions. Here you can see that we get both the grey and yellow 5L and 7L axles. I have included only a single grey version to make my point. Actually there are 11 yellow and 5 grey 5L axles and 6 yellow and 15 grey 7L axles. Same goes for the red 4L and 8L axles, which have a black counterpart (also a single one included in the picture). This set contains 9 red and 4 black 4L axles and 2 red and 2 black 8L axles. Makes sense, right?! At this point I am really starting to wonder what the strategy behind the axle color distribution is. Is TLG getting rid of their old stock or is there a better explanation? Hopefully we will discover some logic, but I highly doubt it. On the left you can see the new (2016) 3L Axle with Stop and on the right you see the 2012 4L Axle with Center Stop. Inclusion of the latter is not so special, if it weren't for the quantity. A total of 12 are included, which is more than in any other set. And even a single 11L axle in yellow, which completes the uneven yellow axle family (3L, 5L, 7L, 9L and 11L). Fun fact; the 3L axle in yellow has been introduced in 2015 (in the LEGO Ideas Wall-e set) and has been used in quite a few 2016 sets, but not in any of the Technic sets. Same goes for the 9L axle, which has been used in three non-Technic sets. Adds another layer to the axle mystery. Let's talk Pins and Pin Connectors. 3L PIN WITH 1L/2L AXLE This set includes 20 3L Pin with 2L Axle from 2015 and a whopping 31 3L Pin with 1L Axle from 2014. AXLE/PIN WITH PIN HOLE If you are in need of Pin with Pin Hole from 2014, look no further. This set contains 49 of 'em. Yes that's right, 49!! And 14 of its axle counterpart Axle with Pin Hole from 2016. AXLE AND PIN CONNECTOR HUB WITH 2 AXLES This set also comes with 12 Axle and Pin Connector Hub with 2 Axles. Already introduced in 2012, but relatively new in black. 1L PIN CONNECTOR Introduced in 2015, received with some surprise from the community. Why do we need this 1L Pin Connector?! Well, there's 54 in this set so we are bound to find out why it's useful. H-FRAME (DOG BONE) In my review of the 42023 Construction Crew (one of my two first reviews) I introduced this part. The Liftarm 3 X 5 Perpendicular H-Shape Thick a.k.a. Dog Bone Frame or H-Frame. A compact versatile frame which appeared in quite a few sets but never in such quantities. This set contains 10 of them. CURVED PANEL The 3 x 6 x 3 Curved Panel was already available in blue and yellow and now it's also available in black. You only get a single one in this set though. TURNTABLES This new turntable was introduced in 2015 and it's the first time it appears twice in a single set. It's comprised of two parts, The Top and The Base. STEERING WHEEL HUB Introduced in the Porsche (only because it was available first) and now also available in the CLAAS. Two of them in the Porsche but if you like to build 4W steering this is the set for you. It contains 4 Steering Wheel Hub Holder with 2 Pin Holes and 2 Axle Holes. LIME GREEN IS THE NEW YELLOW A reasonably large selection of lime green parts. Not sure if it's visible in this picture but apparently lime green is the new yellow, when it comes to parts being identically colored. Variation in lime green is significant. This picture shows a detailed view of the color difference. It's clearly visible near the 2x1 plate. The connectors and liftarm do differ as well. Good news is that there are some new parts available in lime green: 1x Panel Fairing # 5 Long Smooth, Side A 1x Panel Fairing # 6 Long Smooth, Side B 1x Panel Fairing # 1 Long Smooth, Side A 1x Panel Fairing # 2 Long Smooth, Side B 2x 16L Soft Axle (Flex Axle DISHES This 6x6 Inverted Rader Dish isn't new, but it's the first time we see it in red. This picture also shows the reflection of the light bounced off the ceiling. RIMS The rims are your run of the mill 56mm D. x 34mm Technic Racing Rims, with the unique feature that, like the 6x6 Inverted Dishes, these come in red for the first time. TIRES Four brand new 107 x 44R Tractor Tires! PART LIST Here's the complete list of 1977 parts. THE TRACTOR The build consists of two phases, the tractor and the crane. Obviously we will start with building the tractor. Get your #1 bags, rims, tires and PF components....we are about to begin! We start by building the chassis. The back side of the chassis to be specific. You can already see part of the steering mode selector mechanism taking shape. REAR MOUNT The manually operated rear mount which will later be used to attach the crane (or other attachments). Manual operations include raising and lowering the attachment. There's a PTO (Power take-off) which will be connected to the PF motor, so it's not operated manually. Here you can see the rear mount attached to the chassis. The bottom view shows the PTO drive shaft. STEERING Since this tractor has 4 wheel steering, the rear axle also needs to be steerable. To accomplish that, the new wheel hubs are used. No rack and pinion yet?! Or no rack and pinion at all?! I was wondering why the blue Axle Pin is used in favor of a Pin without friction. Normally my best guess is that these parts are used in the B-model, which isn't the case for this model. The only possible thing I can imagine is that the friction is needed to prevent wobbling, and the axle end makes sure the steering is smoothly. Best of both worlds kind of thing. The yellow 1/2 bush limits the steering angle. A limited steering angle is something that's bothering me frequently in Technic models. So I tried to remove the bushes and replace the 3L axles with 2L axles. This does improve the steering angle. However, as you can see in the pictures below, there's a reason the steering angle is limited. The left tire is touching the chassis. We will need to work with the default setup. Which actually isn't that bad in the end. The following picture clearly explains why we need red 4L axles, while there are also black 4L axles in this set. Or does it? Clearly no rack and pinion steering. Instead there's a cleaver mechanism transforming rotational movement into linear movement and back into rotational movement again. The linkage on the red axles can be moved into three different positions for the three different steering modes. Here's a short video demonstrating the mechanism: A manually operated lever on the back sets the linkage in one of three positions, selecting the steering mode. Stickers are used to indicate the different modes. Another short video of the steering mechanism: The pictures below show the different steering modes, respectively: Crab steering Front wheel steering Four wheel steering The video below shows a demonstration of the different steering modes: The bottom view of the chassis: The video below shows the bottom view of the steering mechanism: BARMAN Of course this mechanism is no surprise at all, since our good friend Barman already figured it out ages ago. Obviously a variation of the setup, but the basic are definitely the same. Well done Barman! PTO In the picture below you can clearly see that the PTO runs from the front to the back. Even though this model doesn't have a powered front attachment, it's prepared to have one. Kudos to the designer for this feature! GEARBOX This gearbox is used to power the different functions. As you can see there are two Clutch Gears. One is for the PTO and the other one is for the cab rotation. Here's how the gearbox will be attached to the chassis. Switching the change over catch results in changing direction of the function. This is confirmed by looking at the left side of the gearbox, the "differential like setup". MOTORIZATION A Power Functions M-motor is used to power all the functions. Since there's no driving or steering involved, the M-motor is just fine! CHASSIS Picture below shows the chassis without the battery box, but with both front and rear mounts Here you can see a video of how the battery box switch works. This is a rather ingenious mechanism. CONTROL PANEL In the images below you can see why we need 54 1L Connectors. They might not be necessary, but I do like 'em. They are aesthetically pleasing and avoids having gaps in the model. Otherwise bushes would be used, which definitely don't look as good as the 1L Connectors. Here's a detailed view of the control panel on the side of the vehicle. One switch will turn the battery box on and off, while the other rotates the cabin back and forth. Here's the control panel attached to the vehicle. This surely is one of the best looking control panels I have seen. HOOD The lime green hood, combined with the white roof and red rims, is one of the most recognizable sections of the CLAAS. Unlike other hoods this isn't just a couple of panels and done. It's actually quite a big build. The front of the hoods actually needs a CLAAS stickers, which I forgot before taking pictures. The hoods can be lifted and held up with a support axle. Usually you will see the fake engine, but now there's a battery box. To be clear; there's no fake engine at all. Which is perfectly fine given the fact that the battery box is well hidden inside the model. Closing the hood results in this pretty picture. I am already starting to like the looks of this model. The build also gets more interesting along the way. In the beginning there's much going on without really making sense. Seems like a bit here and a bit there. Some constructions seem rather flimsy. However, the further you progress, the better the builds get, to a point where it's actually a great building experience. CABIN Here you can see the base of the cabin, which actually has a nice feature. When the cabin rotates a little wheel underneath lifts the cabin a stud or two. This results in the cabin freely rotating around its axle. When it has turned 180 degrees, it falls in place again. Here you can see the up and down mode of the base of the cabin. The finished cabin looks stunning!! The back of the cabin has some intricate details, like the fire extinguisher and the 50 km/h sign. In the cabin there a computer display showing the field. I think you can even fit a minifig on the chair. Here's a sequence of images demonstrating the rotation of the cabin. You can clearly see the raising and lowering of the cabin when it rotates. FINISHED TRACTOR After finishing the cabin, you end stage 1 and the tractor is finished. I can only come to this conclusion: Yes, it looks great in real life too! And great is an understatement. This is one of the best looking Technic models ever! I wasn't a big fan of lime green, but it just went up a couple of notches on my ladder. Especially in combination with white and red! I can't think of a single thing I don't like about the tractor. Even the battery box is nicely hidden inside the model, while it still can be easily switched on and off. Cabin rotation is how it's supposed to be and there's a front and back PTO. Simply amazing! OOPS! I missed two of the headlights. Thanks to Charlesw for pointing this out THE CRANE After the 1st stage, you enter the 2nd stage...building the crane! I have included a picture of the crane on my work desktop, instead of my photography desktop. Looking at the pictures, it appears that I have no OCD when it comes to arranging parts before the build. On the left side of the crane (where I already applied the stickers) you can see the controls for the crane. Two levers, both with an up and down mode. One of them will rotate the crane, while the other will raise and lower the boom. For all you photography enthusiasts; these two pictures are taken with f14 instead of f20, resulting in a sharp picture but slightly blurred (out of focus) background. This draws attention to the model, while still being able to figure out what's going on in the background. I used to shoot everything with f20, which would have resulted in an entirely focused picture. Three more images of the base of the crane. This time without the unnecessary cluttering with extra parts. FINISHED CRANE Lo and behold, the crane! First of all, I am not the biggest fan of cranes. Why not? Because they have a tendency not to work properly, especially the Pneumatic ones (apologies to the Pneumatic fanboys). Therefor it's worth to mention that I actually like this one. A decent design with functions that actually work. Admittedly the manual functions are not that great and maybe a bit flimsy, but that will always be the case when building in this scale. Most important are the two motorized functions, which work like a charm. The mechanism to attach the crane to the tractor is nifty too, although it can be a bit of a struggle to attach it to the PTO. This takes some practice. FINISHED MODEL Meet the CLAAS XERION 5000 TRAC VC! I have said it before and I will say it again; this is one good looking model. The shapes, the design, combined with the CLAAS color scheme makes it really stand out. Admittedly, the crane doesn't improve the looks of the model. Being an attachment, I don't really mind. The nose of the CLAAS looks so cool. Especially with the weights on the front attachment and those new tires. I really love this picture. Another think I absolutely love is the cabin of the model. All kinds of small details and the overall look is stunning. The crane is....well.....a crane. It's not ugly, nor is it a beauty. Technically it's working properly, which is the most important thing. It does kind of bend over a bit, but it doesn't bend the chassis. It's caused by the way it's mounted to the rear attachment. Raising the attachment will straighten the crane a bit. The rear attachment is quite solid, which is good thing. The outriggers need to used for extra stability. This side view show what I mean by the crane leaning over. The rear view of the entire model. I love the fire extinguisher and the 50 km/h sign! Another front view of the model. LEFT OVER PARTS Quite a few 1L Connectors left. Makes you wonder whether I skipped a few. Or they are used in the B-model. FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS So the model looks good. Does it function properly?! And what exactly are the functions?! After the last building step, the manual shows four pages with functions! The first two pages concentrate on operating the crane and cabin, using the PF functions. The other two pages focus on the different steering modes. Let's take a look at the video to see these functions in action: The front attachment is manually operated and can be raised and lowered. Attaching to the chassis is easy, so it can be easily changed for another attachment. There's a front PTO, which leaves you with loads of options. I'm sure we will see some nice MODs being published in the future. Rotating the cab is quite fun to do. It works as expected and the automatic raising and lowering of the cabin adds coolness to the operation. Thumbs up for the rotating cab Then there's the three mode steering. Basically the steering modes work fine. The mechanism is very clever. So it all good? Well, there are some minor issues. Turning the steering gear needs quite a bit of force, which can result in accidentaly turning the cabin instead of steering. Another issue is the significant amount of slack in the steering mechanism. New wheel hubs were introduced this year, but they are no improvement in terms of slack. This model is best steering when driving it. This will reduce the amount of force on the steering linkage and it will also diminish the slack. All in all the steering modes work properly and the entire steering mechanism is awesome. This makes up for the lack of rear wheel steering in the Porsche! Like I said earlier; usually I am not a big fan of cranes. However, this one works properly. The motorized functions have been implemented very well. They are easy to operate, without confusion about which function does what. The manual functions work as expected, nothing special. I haven't paid much attention to the tires so far. I reckon they deserve a review of their own. Enough has been said about them already, so I will simply echo what other have been saying; they are awesome! Best tire since the Unimog tires. They have enough grip for Truck Trial. One thing I am not sure about though is how well they will stick to the rim. As you can see in the video, they detach pretty easily. Something which might happen when driving through rough terrain. I hope TLG will release a smaller version of these tires in the near future, for other tractors or even combine harvesters. Both the attachments can be mounted and dismounted easily and the mechanisms to do so are nifty. Attaching an axle to the PTO can be tricky, but it will get easier after some practice. B-MODEL When building the B-model the tractor remains intact. The crane turns into a silage plow, which actually looks quite good. I will leave this one for you to build SUMMARY To summarize how I feel about this set is pretty easy. I love it! This set has everything a proper Technic set should have. Stunning looks and lots of great functions. Not sure if this is the best Technic set ever, but it is the best Technic set I ever reviewed. PROS Looks amazing Lots of functions Super cool three mode steering Functions working properly Lots of playability Front and rear PTO Suitable for MODding Lots of new pins and connectors Cool new tires Some parts in new colors Battery box nicely tucked away inside the model CONS Slack in steering Steering needs some force and can result in turning the cabin instead Makes you want another one I'd like to stress that these cons are really minor cons! SCORE Okay, so how do I grade this set? 9 DESIGN CLAAS written all over it. Looks amazing. 9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Starts a bit unstructured, but ends well. 10 FEATURES Can't do any better than this. 9 PLAYABILITY All the cool functions offer lots of playability 9 PARTS High quantities of new pins and connectors. Oh, and them tires! 9 VALUE FOR MONEY This is what to expect of a big Technic set. 9,2 PINNACLE OF LEGO TECHNIC FINAL WORDS This set will be modified heavily, utilizing the front and rear PTO. Can't wait to see what people come up with. It's only a matter of time before we see a double wheeled version: Well, that didn't take long (posted by ctx1769, see next page): And what to think of a potential new CLAAS Lexion Combine Harvester with new smaller versions of the CLAAS tires in the rear. Yes please! Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found in my album.
  13. Both BrickTsar and DunksterBricks seem to have had a lot of fun making a review of our automation system! BrickTsar focuses on how to get the system up and running while DunksterBricks shows what it looks like in a real layout. Now that the switch motors, traffic lights and sensors are out, what do you think we should focus on getting out next ?
  14. REVIEW - 42030 - VOLVO L350F WHEEL LOADER INTRODUCTION The Nuremberg Toy Fair is always an exciting event when it comes to revealing new LEGO sets. This year was no exception. We finally got to see visuals of the upcoming Technic Flagship. This time LEGO teamed up with Volvo to create an impressive version of the Volvo L350F Wheel Loader. In this review we will find out how TLG's interpretation compares to the actual Wheel Loader and whether it's worth the whopping 220 euro you need to fork out to own this bad boy. The designer behind this model is Uwe Wabra, who has designed other great models like the iconic 8258 Crane Truck and the 8285 Tow Truck. It took him about eight months to design the Volvo L350F. Volvo Spirit Magazine "The Nuremberg Toy Fair in February saw global toy giant the LEGO Group unveil its latest flagship model from LEGO®Technic. With 1,600 individual pieces and the largest individual element ever created for the brand, the Volvo L350F wheel loader is not simply one of the company’s 2014 star performers – it is just as impressive as the real-life machine it is based upon." Read more... Volvo Press Release Volvo Construction Equipment and LEGO® Technic have joined forces to create a miniature remote-controlled L350F Wheel Loader in Volvo livery that not only drives, steers, lifts and loads just like the real thing it also converts into an equally impressive hauler. Read more... Credits Before we continue I would like to thank LEGO for providing the set and the possibility to publish this Exclusive review. Furthermore I would like to thank Volvo and Superkalle (our LDD Moderator) for giving me some very useful Volvo insights. All images can be clicked for hi-res versions. SET INFORMATION Number: 42030 Title: Volvo L350F Wheel Loader Theme: Technic Released: 2H 2014 Part Count: 1636 Box Weight: 3541 gr Box Dimensions: 57,5 x 47,8 x 12,0 cm Set Price (MSRP): 219.99 EUR DE / 169.99 GBP / 249.99 USD Price per Part: DE 0.134 EUR / UK 0.103 GBP / USA 0.153 USD With a price tag of almost 220 euro, this is the most expensive Technic flagship to date. The average price of 0,134 euro part part immediately makes clear that this is no ordinary Technic set. A high price per part normally indicates that a set has lots of special parts, like motors and other Power Function elements. THE BOX The box measures 57,5 x 47,8 x 12,0 cm which is equal to the height and width of the box for the 42009 Mobile Crane Mk II. The main difference is that this box measures a depth of 12 cm instead of the Crane's 9 cm. The additional 3 cm is necessary for housing the new Bucket, which will be discussed later. The difference in weight between the Crane Mk II (4172 gr) and the Volvo (3541 gr) is about 631 gram which is not that much, taking in account that the Crane has 970 pieces more (2606) than the Volvo (1636). One thing is sure; this box will leave little room for other Christmas presents under the tree later this year! FRONT SIDE The front of the box shows an impressive picture of the model, no surprise here. Like with most bigger models the size of the model is printed on the box. When finished, this model will measure a length of 58 cm and a height of 38.5 cm. The front also shows a Power Functions section stating it has "fully remote-controlled driving and digging functions.". The bottom right shows the large number of Power Function components this set contains. BACK SIDE The back side shows the B-model which is the Volvo A25F Articulated Dump Truck. The preliminary image of the back side explicitly showed an iPad with the digital building app. The iPad didn't make if to the final box, which makes you wonder whether the iPad instructions won't be available at all. Could it be that the size of the B-model is pushing the boundaries of building with the iPad app?! Another possibility is that the iPad app will be available later than the release of this set. INSIDE When opening the flip-up cover some cool facts of the real Volvo are revealed, together with a picture of the Power Functions and a demonstration of the manual functions. There's also a picture to emphasize the green engine. Name: L350F Horse Power: 540 HP (397 kW) Weight: 52 metric tons Bucket Volume: 6,9 m3 INSIDE COVER The inside of the cover is devoted to the Power Functions. Again all the PF elements are shown. Two remote controls are used for operating the boom and driving the vehicle. It's not necessary to switch between these functions. Three small pictures explain how the Power Functions are controlled. SIDE The side of the box shows the actual size of the bucket, which measures a width of 18,2 cm! Now it's clear why the box needed to be bigger than last year's flagship. CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 14 Bags 1 Booklet 1 Sticker Sheet 1 Bucket 4 Yellow Rims 4 Tires 9 Power Functions Components BAGS The box contains 14 bags in varying sizes. Business as usual so far. BOOKLET One of the first times we encounter a single booklet for a set this size. When you have built the 42009 Crane you might have seen this before. The first production runs of the Crane included 6 booklets, which later changed into a single booklet. I really appreciate a single booklet, since it more or less reflects the size of the model. STICKER SHEET Not only does the sticker sheet contain stickers for the A-model, but it includes stickers for the B-model as well, which is pretty unusual. This does mean that you either need to remove the A-model's stickers when you are building the B-model, or buying a few extra parts dedicted to the B-model's stickers. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This section describes the unique and/or highlighted parts. We'll start with the massive Bucket which obviously is the star of the show! BUCKET This type of bucket is called a Spade Nose Rock Bucket. It's primary use is lifting blasted rock and the spade nose is to obtain maxium penetration when digging into the gravel. On a real bucket, the teeth are interchangeable, because they wear out. Volvo’s range of buckets is very comprehensive, encompassing buckets for all types of jobs and all types of materials; from rock and stone to ore and wood chips. Type: Spade Nose Rock Bucket Capacities: 1,8 – 7,5 m3 Applications: Hard and stony material, shot rock and where good penetration is needed. Options: Pin/hook-on, bolt-on edge, welded teeth & segments. Using a real Volvo with spade nose bucket, you could easily haul over 200 LEGO Volvo boxes and probably more than 300 LEGO Volvo models. The following two images show a comparison in size with the Bucket formerly known as the Big Bucket. The older big bucket is used in 8265 Front Loader. As you can see the previous version can easily fit inside the Volvo's Spade Nose Bucket. Makes you wonder how big the finished model will be!! The distance between the upper and lower holes for attaching the bucket is 5L, where this is 3,5L for the older bucket. POWER FUNCTIONS COMPONENTS The number of Power Functions components is unprecedented. No other Technic set has such a vast array of PF components. Admittedly, the 8043 Excavator also has 9 PF elements, but that set only contains M-motors. 1x Battery Box 2x Infrared Receiver 2x Remote Control 1x M-motor 1x L-motor 1x XL-motor 1x Servo motor All of the four available types of PF motors are included in this set. The new L-motor and Servo Motor are found in the 9398 Crawler and it's Exclusive Edition counterpart, the 41999 Crawler Exclusive Edition. The L-motor is also available in the beforementioned Crane Mk II. What's special about this set, is the return of the XL-motor. This motor was about to become a rare PF motor, since it hasn't been used in an official set since 2009. The last Technic set it appeared in was the 8258 Crane Truck (also by Uwe Wabra). What I really like about the XL-motor is it's coasting behavior. Coasting is performing a natural deceleration of a motor when the power is removed. In simple words; the motor doesn't immediately stall after you stop applying power to it. This results in fluent vehicle deceleration. The L-motor doesn't coast which results in the vehicle abrubtly stopping. I very much dislike this shocky behavior on the crawler, so I am glad TLG used the XL-motor for propulsion. Although it had probably more to do with the torque (40 N.cm for XL vs 18 N.cm for L) than the coasting behavior. WHEELS For the first time we get to see the Wheel 56mm D. x 34mm Technic Racing Medium, 6 Pin Holes in Yellow, which is great for bigger construction vehicles. TIRES I was hoping the, so called, Unimog tires would make their way into an official flagship set at least once more. So I was glad to see TLG apparently had the same thought and used these great tires for the Volvo again. WHEEL AND TIRE ASSEMBLY Below is a picture of the complete wheel and tire assembly. ENGINE CYLINDERS Technic Engine Cylinders come in two variants, Cylinders with Side Slots and a newer version Cylinders without Side Slots. The newer version only got produced in light bluish grey, up until now. One of the characteristic features of Volvo machines is their green engine color, originating from the Penta Corporation. Volvo was founded in 1927 and the first engines were bought from Penta Corporation who made green engines, and so just shipped the same color to Volvo. In 1935 Volvo bought Penta (which became Volvo Penta, the marine division). The engines were continued to be painted green. All engines back then were petrol engines. Volvo's first diesel, VDA, was made in 1945. From the 1950's some engines were painted red, but mostly these were for Volvo Cars, and were petrol engines. As for production Diesel Engines in heavy machinery and trucks, they have always been painted green since the start. THIN LIFTARMS The Black Thin Liftarm 1x7 is not very special, but it doesn't appear in Technic sets that often. The Yellow Thin Liftarm 1x6 used to be pretty rare, since it was only included in the 8457 Power Puller. However, last year this part got reintroduced in the 42024 Container Truck. The Light Bluish Grey Thin Liftarm 1x5 with Axle Holes on Ends was introduced in Black in 2013. This is the first time this part appears in another color. AXLE AND PIN CONNECTOR The Yellow Axle and Pin Connector #6 - 90 degrees was last used in the Technic 8258 Crane Truck in 2009, until it made it's comeback in 2012 in the 5885 Triceratops Trapper. Just like the XL-motor Uwe Wabra is using this part again in a Technic set. PANELS Finally we can see a small selection of panels. Mostly old style Yellow Panel Curved 11 x 3 with 2 Pin Holes and a single Black Black Panel Curved 11 x 3 with 10 Pin Holes. PART LIST Here's the complete list for all 1636 parts. BUILDING EXPERIENCE Enough with the boring part...let's build a Volvo! CHASSIS You start building the chassis and after a few steps, the pendular rear axle is taking shape. The small turntable proves to be an asset to the Technic parts catalogue. Another useful part is the Steering Portle Axle, which is rapidly becoming the workhorse of big Technic vehicles. Ordinarily it's placed vertically to provide higher ground clearance, but as you can see, it can be used horizontally as well. Here you can see images of the front and rear sections, which will be joined a bit later in the build. The front and rear section joined together. The wheelbase does not reflect the size of the finished model. Here's a picture of the articulation mechanism of the vehicle. PF MOTORS The four motors are equally divided over the front and rear section. Because two of the motors (M and L) are placed in the front section, there's no need to transfer gears or axles from the rear section. Three (M, L and Servo) of the four motors are placed vertically, while the XL-motor is placed horizontally in the back. VOLVO D16E LAE3 ENGINE The Volvo D16E LAE3 is a straight six-cylinder high performance, low emission turbocharged diesel engine with direct injection, air-to-air intercooler and Internal Exhaust Gas Recirculation (I-EGR). The engine has a one piece cylinder head with four valves per cylinder one overhead camshaft. Furthermore, the engine has wet replaceable cylinder liners, replaceable valve guides and valve seats. The Engine with V-ACT (Volvo Advanced Combustion Technology) features split injection, optimized air handling and turbocharger with waste gate. High torque at low engine speed gives the engine its characteristic feature: quick response at low rpms, even under load. The three white Round Pin Connectors with Slot are the engines oil filters. Two of them are normal, high flow filters and the third one is a fine filter that is optimized to catch finer particles, but has a slower flow. When engine load is moderate and oil/lubrication need is also moderate, much of the oil is directed to the fine filter. When the engine is working at maximum, all oil is instead passed through the two normal filters. LOAD SENSING HYDRAULIC SYSTEM The L350F features an intelligent load-sensing hydraulic system. Two variable piston pumps provide exactly the flow rate and pressure required at any given moment in time, distributing the power where it’s needed, when it’s needed. When flow is not required in the hydraulic system, all engine power is diverted to the drivetrain. This provides smoother operation, lower fuel consumption, and more precise control of machine and load. You always get full power, regardless of revs. The LEGO version uses three Linear Actuators instead of an hydraulic system. NOTE I made an error placing the LA. The top LA in the picture below should be flipped, resulting in the attachment point being at the bottom instead of the top. Thanks to Jantjeuh for pointing this out. CHASSIS AND BODYWORK At this point the chassis and bodywork are almost finished. LOADER Z-BAR LINKAGE The L350F is a heavy duty, primary production loader intended for multi-shift, high production applications. High breakout force in the digging position, high lift capacity and fast hydraulic speeds are the essential requirements for a primary production loader. The Z-bar linkage is a field-proven, effective linkage in this loader size class. The refined geometry is the same for both standard and long boom and allows common bucket range with an open design. Below is an image of the Linear Actuators operating the Z-bar linkage. ROTATING LIGHT A small detail I particularly like is the small rotating light on the top of the cabin. Other models use a transparent 2x2 Round Brick which is way too big. This smaller version fits better! STEPS The image of the real Volvo on the inside of the box shows the steps on the left side of the vehicle, while they are mounted on the right side of the LEGO version. After some research I found out that the L350F used to have the steps on both sides of the cab, but it was not a safe solution for the operator when he had to climb up the steps into the cab with a lunch box. So late last year Volvo changed the design and eliminated the steps on the left side and made the steps on the rear fender standard. Another cool feature that Volvo included was the “remote door opener”, so as the operator approaches the machine, he presses the remote door opener and the door opens automatically and the entrance lights shine down on the steps for additional safety when climbing into the cab when it is dark. INFRARED RECEIVERS The infrared receivers have been placed nicely behind the cabin, hardly visible. Although the box states that V2 receivers are included, there is no V2 sign on the ones I found in my set. FINISHED MODEL It took me approximately 7 hours to finish this model. I reckon most of you will finish it in about 6 hours. FRONT VIEW The finished model looks stunning! It's really massive. Even though I love the looks of this model, I can't help wondering why TLG didn't make some wheel caps to fill the rims and make the wheels look more massive too. REAR VIEW The rear looks great as well. In this picture the battery box is clearly visible, but from a normal viewing angle, it's almost hidden from sight. BOTTOM VIEW Just as you would expect. Nothing out of the ordinary to see here. THE GAP The side view of the Volvo is one of my main concerns. While the rear section looks massive and lifelike. The front section looks unfinished, especially the part in front of the cabin. Also, the bottom of the first section of the boom could use some more bricks to make it look more immense, just like the real machine. PARTS LEFT Quite a few parts left, even three Axles (5L, 6L and 7L). Of course nothing the bucket can't handle! FUNCTIONALITY This model has quite a few functions. The main four functions are: Articulated Steering Driving Raising and Lowering the Boom Operating the Bucket Besides these motorized functions, there are some manual features. ARTICULATED STEERING Wheel Loaders typically use articulated steering. Articulated steering is a system by which a four-wheel drive vehicle is split into front and rear halves which are connected by a vertical hinge. The front and rear halves are connected with one or more hydraulic cylinders that change the angle between the halves, including the front and rear axles and wheels, thus steering the vehicle. This system does not use steering arms, king pins, tie rods, etc. as does four-wheel steering. If the vertical hinge is placed equidistant between the two axles, it also eliminates the need for a central differential, as both front and rear axles will follow the same path, and thus rotate at the same speed. Long road trains, articulated buses, and internal transport trolley trains use articulated steering to achieve smaller turning circles, comparable to those of shorter conventional vehicles. Articulated haulers have very good off-road performance. (Wikipedia) Steering is controlled by the Servo Motor. There was some disappointment in the community because the steering looked very jerky in the videos from the Nuremberg Toy Fair. I must admit I didn't like it either. The Servo Motor has two modes, on (in either direction) or off. This means there's no gradual steering mode, it's hard left, hard right or straight on. This is illustrated in the images below. Playing around with the LEGO model, I experienced that the steering indeed is a bit jerky, but for playability it isn't as bad as it seems. A solution with Linear Actuators would have been more realistic. But since the Volvo basically is a kids toy, I can accept the jerky steering. LIFTING THE BUCKET The boom and bucket are also operated using Power Functions. Both the boom and the bucket are operated with the remote and both functions are working properly at a nice speed! LIFTING LOAD The Volvo is powerful enough to lift it's own weight. That no surprise, since it can lift up to 1 kg of load!! ENGINE BAY The engine bay can be opened from various sides for maintenance, like changing the oil filters. Opening the back reveals the big green 6 cylinder engine with the cooling fan. The D16E engine has a hydraulically driven, electronically controlled cooling fan and intercooler of the air/air type. The system not only results in quieter operation, but also lowers the fuel consumption. BATTERY REPLACEMENT Replacing the batteries in the battery box is fairly easy. Remove the two axles with red bush and unlock the black long pin with stop bush and you can easily detach the battery box from the vehicle. COMPARISON WITH 8265 Inevitable is the comparison with it's predecessor; the 8265 Front Loader. For a non-flagship set, the 8265 already was an impressive Front Loader. The following pictures show how big the Volvo actually is. It trumps the old Front Loader in every way. SUMMARY The LEGO Volvo is nothing short of spectacular! I might even go out on a limb by claiming that this is one of the coolest LEGO Technic models....ever! If not THE coolest! True, there are better looking models. True, there are technically more advanced models. However, this models combines a lot of factors, like playability, looks and the sheer size is stupendous. Adding the Volvo brand and stickers is the icing on the cake. My all time favorite Technic model is the 8043 Motorized Excavator, since this model combines, looks, functionality and playability. The Volvo shares the exact same properties, but it contains a lot more cool parts than the Excavator, a wider variety of Power Functions for instance, a gargantuan unique bucket and Unimog wheels. In all fairness; reading my own summary, I can only come to the conclusion that I like the Volvo even more than the Excavator! Even though the price is pretty steep, I would definitely recommend getting this set. PROS Offers lots of playability No need to switch between functions Finished model is massive LEGO Volvo looks like a genuine L350F Gargantuan unique bucket Unimog wheels CONS The gap in front of the cabin Front section looks unfinished compared to the rear section Omission of wheel caps to make the wheels look more massive Jerky steering due to servo motor (minor con) SCORE Design 9: Stunning looks and the sheer size is impressive. Volvo stickers are the icing on the cake. Build 8,5: Very enjoyable build, but nothing too spectacular. Functionality 9: Four different fully remote controlled functions, combined with some manual functions. Playability 9: Fully remote controlled and no need to switch between functions. Parts 10: It doesn't get any better than this. Entire range of PF motors (including XL Motor), Unimog Tires, unique Yellow Rims and much more! Value for Money 8,5: Although the price is pretty steep, you get a lot of bang for your buck. 9 Bucket Size Does Matter! Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and please rate this set at the top of this topic!
  15. I'm happy to report that this thing is a delightful change from the awful 42070, especially in terms of suspension and details. It's like these two sets were designed on separate planets.
  16. I guess this belongs here, since we don't have a specific forum section for Creator cars and it looks Model Team-ish enough. I present you the bus that suffers from subpar accuracy (the front end looks atrocious) and marketing bull...t (no, it's NOT built at the same scale as other Creator cars), and yet manages to look really, really good on a shelf:
  17. The smallest of the 2H2017 Technic set is, in most aspects, a pleasant surprise. I was expecting something dead simple, but got something ambitious and complex instead, with a brilliant steering system and 2 boom functions that can be easily motorized. Additionally, I like how normal and realistic it looks compared to 42070 and 42069. It's a pretty, functional, well-designed set and it's delightful to steer. On the underside, 42068 contains literally zero new pieces or pieces in new colors, leaving you little reason to buy it - chances are, you can build it with the pieces you already own. And some parts feel like a few corners have been cut.
  18. Hi, today I'm going to re introduce you to the LEGO Lord of the Rings characters in their glory days. They started to emerge in 2012 and five years later, I hope they are still remembered. Let's get started. The Fellowship of the Ring. 1. Gandalf the Grey (Mithrandir). Gandalf is the wizard in the fellowship with his classic pointy hat here. He is carrying a brown bar as his staff and a sling bag full of weeds I suppose. He has a crisp grey cape but no alternate face in this variant. This is a quite common minifigure and he appeared in 9469 Gandalf Arrives for Lord of the Rings theme and three more sets in Hobbit theme 79003 An Unexpected Gathering, 30213 Gandalf at Dol Guldur polybag, and 79010 The Goblin King Battle. This is another variant of Mithrandir with grey hair and cape. The difference from the first one is that he has his hair to cover the alternate angry face (pointy hat doesn't). This Gandalf is quite needed as you have to get his battle face. Anyhow he is quite easy to find in a small set 79005. He appeared in two sets in The Lord of the RIngs theme and one set in The Hobbit theme. The one without cape was in 79005 The Wizard Battle and the one with cape was in 10237 The Tower of Orthanc and 79014 Dol Guldur Battle. 2. Frodo Baggins. Ring bearer. Frodo has three variants but only two was shown here as I lost the third one. The three variant shared the same hairpiece, same rumpled jacket with red vest torso and same short brown legs. The differences are the capes and the facial expressions. The Frodo in 79006 The Council of Elrond has a worried and angry face headpiece without cape, this is the one not shown in picture which I've lost. The other two shared the same worried and poisoned facial expression but different cape. The one with dark green cape is from 9472 Attack on Weather Top where he was stabbed by Ringwraith with a Morgul Shaft. The other one with Grey Cape is from 9470 Shelob Attacks where he was poisoned by the giant spider. All of them came with the Sting and the Great One Ring. Three of them representing Frodo from different scene after the Fellowship started their journey. Its very nice that LEGO actually made a new mold for the Sting rather than using the standard sword for him. 3. Samwise Gamgee. Samwise the brave. I want to hear more about him. He is Mr Frodo's Gardener and being punished to follow Frodo with his quest for eavesdropping Gandalf and Frodo's conversation about the ring. Sam was the youngest son of Hamfast and Bell Gamgee, and had many brothers and sisters. He lived with his father, Hamfast Gamgee, known as "The Gaffer", on Bagshot Row in the Shire, close to Bag End. Sam's mother was Bell Goodchild. He had five siblings: Hamson, Halfred, Daisy, May, and Marigold. After Shelob attacked and seemingly killed Frodo, Sam took the Ring, confronted Shelob with the Phial of Galadriel, intending to complete the quest on his own. For this minifigure, he ONLY appeared exclusively in 9470 Shelob Attacks together with Frodo and Gollum. He had a grey cape similar to Frodo's, and wearing a dark tan outfit. Accessory wise he is holding a typical LEGO sword and a diamond as the Phial of Galadriel. He had two expressions. Frowny face and scared face when fighting Shelob to save Frodo. 4. Meriadoc Brandybuck. Meriadoc is also known as Merry in the movie. He was the only child of Saradoc Brandybuck, Master of Buckland, and Esmeralda Took, the younger sister of Paladin Took II, making him first cousin to Paladin's son Pippin, who was clearly his closest friend. Both of them always appeared together in the movie until they are separated after Pippin followed Gandalf the White to Gondor. Here he appeared also exclusively in set 9472 Attack on Weathertop. He has dark orange hair and wearing a dark green coat with yellow vest. His facial expression with a smirking pattern is very special in LEGO and the other expression was a shouting face. He is equipped with a standard sword and short brown legs. 5. Peregrin Took. 'Fool of a Took!' yelled Gandalf after he did something stupid that would bring danger to the company or the quest. In the movie he is well known as Pippin. Pippin was born to Paladin Took II and Eglantine Banks. He was the youngest of four children and had three older sisters, Pearl, Pimpernel, and Pervinca. His father's sister, Esmeralda Took, was the mother of Meriadoc Brandybuck, thus making Pippin and Merry first cousins. Here in LEGO, he exclusively appeared in 9473 The Mines of Moria to perform the act of summoning the cave troll and orcs to the company. He was in his dark blue coat, with his dark tan scarf, holding a standard sword. He has two expressions which were the anxious looking face and the scared face. I supposed that he ought to be scared of Gandalf after what his curiosity did to the Fellowship. Orcs! Some group photos that you can do for the Hobbits. Have you noticed the difference in the hair colors? Go away you evil wraith! I really like the color of their shirts. Alright let's proceed to others. 6. Aragorn. Aragorn II, the son of Arathorn II and Gilraen, also known as Elessar as well as Strider. He was later crowned King Elessar Telcontar and first High King of Gondor and Arnor, since the short reign of Isildur. He was a great warrior and a great lover for Arwen, and as the heir of Isildur bore the shards of Narsil, reforged and renamed Andúril. He appeared in three sets in this brown outfit which makes him quite commonly found. The three sets are 9472 Attack on Weathertop, 9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep, and 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush. In these sets, Aragorn was yet to have the Anduril as his weapon but I am happy to assume that long sword that he is holding is the legendary Elven forged sword. The torch is for him to burn off the ringwraiths that attacked the Hobbits at the Weathertop. 7. Boromir. He is the eldest son of Denethor II, who was Steward of Gondor during the War of the Ring, and his wife Finduilas. He is the older brother of Faramir. He is wearing a blue outfit with a belt just like in the movie but printing a Gondorian horn at the back of the torso would be a nice addition to this very nice minifigure. He came with a long sword and a special shield designed just for him. Boromir actually set out from Minas Tirith to Rivendell by order of his father, Denethor to decipher a riddle that was given to him and his brother in their dreams. Seek for the Sword that was broken, In Imladris it dwells, There shall be counsels taken, Stronger than Morgul-spells. There shall be shown a token, That Doom is near at hand, For Isildur's Bane shall waken, And the Halfling forth shall stand. Then only he joined the Fellowship in the Council of Elrond. He appeared exclusively in set 9473 The Mines of Moria. A little scene with his killer Uruk Hai. 8. Legolas Greenleaf. Laiqalassë, is actually his name when he is in Tol Eressëa ages after he left Thranduil at the end of 'The battle of the Five Armies'. Legolas was a Sindarin elf who was part of the Fellowship of the Ring in the Third Age. and the son of the Elvenking Thranduil of Mirkwood. He then gave his bow to Frodo, pledged to the protection of the Ring Bearer in the Council of Elrond. He appeared in two sets, 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush and 9473 The Mines of Moria. In recent year (2015) he reappeared in LEGO Dimension set 71219 with new clenched teeth expression. He is wearing an olive green outfit which is the same in the movie, with all the Elven curves at the torso. I like it that the print that extended to the legs actually made him looks taller. The Elvish hair is also very nicely carved but it was too big and blocking his head to be fixed to look at the center. He also comes with alternate angry face. 9. Gimli. Son of Gloin. Gimli was the son of Glóin and a nephew of Óin, both former companions of Bilbo Baggins. He was a remote descendant of Durin the Deathless, father of the first house of dwarven people. Gimli stemmed from, but was not an inheritor of, the royal line. Through his father, Gimli was also the first cousin once removed (or "nephew", for simplicity's sake) of Balin, Lord of Moria, and his brother Dwalin, two more former companions of Bilbo. It is also stated in the Unfinished Tales that Gimli was prevented from traveling with his father on The Quest of Erebor because Thorin and company thought him too young, though Gimli, being in his sixties, considered himself ripe for adventure and was disappointed to be left behind. He is a great minifigure despite being common. He is holding a big and a small axe which makes him not so stable but luckily the long bar can act as a stick to make him stand. The beard mold was very detailed but it covers all of his torso, so i took it out to see clearer. The logo of the belt resembles the shape of an axe. Without the manly beard now he looks like a boy. He has an alternate angry face. Hmm the angry face was kind of unnoticeable due to the large beard and helmet. He appeared in four sets, 9473 The Mines of Moria, 9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep, 79006 The Council of Elrond, and 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush. Similar to Legolas, he then reappeared in 71220 LEGO Dimension set with new headpiece. 10. Gollum, or Smeagol. Gollum, originally known as Sméagol, was at first a Stoor, one of the three early Hobbit-types. The name Gollum was derived from the sound of his disgusting gurgling, choking cough. To include him as in the Fellowship of the Ring, he met and followed the company in search of his lost Precious, the One Ring that corrupted him for almost four hundred years in the Misty Mountains, eating raw fishes on his small boat. He grabbed the ring from his cousin Deagol as his birthday present and killed him after he refused to give. He then met Frodo and Sam again when they parted at Amon Hen, being their tour guide to Mordor with his wicked plan to bring them to the giant spider, Shelob. He exclusively appeared in the set 9470 Shelob Attacks. This one is the Wide eyes variant 'equipped' with a juicy fish. There is another variant with narrow eyes which appeared in 79000 Riddles of the Ring and 71218 LEGO Dimension Fun Pack. I am very happy to have them in my display and please share your thoughts regarding this review and the collection of the Fellowship. Thanks for reading and I'm happy to prepare for next series of collection in this theme.
  19. [Review] 30611 R2-D2 Polybag

    Hi today I'm reviewing the very nice and exclusive version of the famous Astromech Droid, R2-D2 in polybag 30611. Overview Name: 30611 R2-D2 Theme: Star Wars Year: 2017 Pieces: 70 Minifigures: One Brick Built Figure Price: Free from shop.LEGO.com and LEGO Brand Stores with qualifying LEGO Star Wars purchases, May 2017. This is the front and back for the polybag. You can see R2 is standing on the sand scene, maybe going different direction from C3PO after a little fight. At the back of the pack, you can peek through the translucent part and see the head of R2 hiding inside. Open the polybag and bring out my beloved R2-D2! I liked the design of the polybag art where you can feel the heat of the desert already. *C3PO and Jawa are not included in this set. They will be in pictures below for illustration purpose. The plastic bag material is quite fragile, so you need to be very gentle or else the whole thing will be thorn apart and you'll need to pick up the pieces scattered on the floor. The first thing I took out was the big head of R2. Inside you'll get a small bag of smaller parts, an instruction booklet, and other parts listed in the picture below. *C3PO and Jawa and small R2D2 are not included in this set. They will be in pictures below for illustration purpose. These are the parts included in the set. Quite a few technic pins and parts for articulation and curved top bricks for the body of R2-D2. Wake up R2, the Jawas are going to sell us or melt us! I prefer selling, at least we got a new master. Lets start building. The first step will have something like a post box as the main frame of the body. Then you will build the outer curve of the body fixed to the post box. Oh now you get a photocopy machine as the body. The jumpers are for the vents to be attached later on. C3PO is holding the bottom part of R2 that will hold its center leg. Now you'll build both R2's right and left legs and attached to the body via the technic pin. See how C3PO is so impatient that he asked me to put R2D2 together faster. These two are the printed parts in this set and I really love the dome shaped head! So nicely printed and it has a slight metallic feel of the silver colour. Here is the comparison between the brick built R2 head and the minifigure R2 head. The difference is that there is a stud on top of the smaller R2 and all other printings are quite the same. Tadaaa! Now we are completed the build of R2D2! The Jawas are taking them in their sandcrawler to seek for new buyers. These are the extra parts for this set. Just in case you lose one of these. As you can see in the picture, the brick built R2 will lean forward at a gradient as the center leg is longer than both right and left. Unlike the minifigures, this R2 cannot stand straight unless you remove the center part of the leg and the clip. However, I liked the fact that its head can be rotated 360 degrees, just like in the movies! *Light blue R2D2(10225) and dark blue R2D2(75136) are not included in this set. They will be in pictures below for illustration purpose. Now I've removed the center leg and you can pose it like others with any degree of inclination you want. I like it so much that he is so flexible! Oh no! The Jawas are catching us! Run faster R2! Haha, now who's laughing? Summary reviewPlayability: 8/10 You can rotate the head and make those beeping sound to make him alive. This is something that minifigure R2D2 can't do. This is the main reason to get this polybag.Design: 9/10 The printing of the dome shaped head is top notch and very nicely done. But I think the torso part can have more printing for more details. Price: 10/10 Its a free promotional item! Overall: 9/10 I love this polybag rather than having a minifig inside only. Astromech collectors must not miss this set as it is a great addition to those cute little droids parade. Conclusion This polybag is very nice to be collected if you are a Star Wars fan. The built is very accurate instead of bulky feel. It has a very sleek design and very detailed in this size. Now I hope there is a brick built C3PO to be his partner. Thanks for reading!
  20. Review: 21034 London

    Review: 21034 London Introduction "A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping, "Dirty and dusty, but wide as eye "Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping "In sight, then lost admist the forestry "Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping "On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy; "A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown "On a fool's head - and there is London Town." --Lord Byron London Set Number: 21034 Theme: Architecture Subtheme: Skylines Piece Count: 468 Price: USD $39.99 Source: Brickset, LEGO Shop Official Image: Box "By seeing London, I've seen as much of life as the world can show." -- Samuel Johnson I guess I've got a ways to go then! But to get as close as I can at the minute, let's see what this set has to offer! In keeping with other box art from the Architecture Skylines, the London set is shown on top of a couple of blueprints. It's a very clean, modern presentation. The back identifies the buildings shown in the model. Like other Architecture sets, the box is nicely designed with an opening flap. Instructions "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford." -- Samuel Johnson (...again) I suspect there are a few things outside of London - say, in Denmark - that might also fall under the heading of "all that life can afford" for us Fans-of-LEGO, but be the truth of the quotation what it may, it figures prominently on the inside page of the instructions booklet for this set. The front, however, repeats the same design as the front of the box. The instructions are printed on a black background, which made the first few steps - the black base of the building - slightly difficult to follow, but not too bad. On the back of the instruction booklet there's an interesting design of the skyline fading into a blue-print style outline. At the front of the booklet, before reaching the instructions, there are several pages showing large color images of the landmarks represented in this build, and including brief descriptions of each one. It was neat to see some little fun facts scattered throughout the booklet as well: Parts “A person who is tired of London is not necessarily tired of life; it might be that he just can’t find a parking place.” -- Paul Theroux Inside the box are four bags, unnumbered. Tan, greys, black, and white predominate here, though there are plenty of trans-clear pieces and a few blues and golds. A few of the parts that caught my attention were the azure flexible bits, the silver "bowl," a host of 2x1 trans-clear tiles (40, to be exact!), a light grey clip (a first for me), an azure bar joint, a few tan front-facing teeth, the olive 1x1 round tiles, light bley 1x1 curved tiles, a nanofigure in white, and an azure jumper. These were the extra pieces by the time I was done building: (note: the transparent 1x1 round tile is trans-light-blue, not trans-clear) The construction process is fairly straight forward. There were a few clever bits, but due to its nature as a skyline, there are no hidden "solutions." It would probably have taken longer, but this is the kind of set that would be pretty easy to build just by looking at the picture on the front of the box. Final Set "London, thou art the flower of cities all! Gemme of all joy, jasper of jocunditie." - William Dunbar Flower of cities or not, this is certainly a gem of a set - lovely bright colors, instantly recognizable models, and to crown it all, some really great new pieces! It's a great set to display, though I'm afraid one of these days it will succumb to my desire for 40 trans-clear 2x1 tiles... I believe this exceeds the average skyline set in length, and as you can see from the back view, it has two sections that stick out slightly. Landmarks "Nothing is certain in London but expense." --William Shenstone First stop in your lovely, because free, tour of London here - The National Gallery! Located in Trafalgar Square, this art museum sits atop the ancient location of the King's Stables. Home to a collection of twenty-three hundred paintings, the museum is broad in scope, with important works representing all the main developments of Western art! Plus, admission is free! Note the 3x2 white tile on the back. That escaped my eye as I was collecting the interesting pieces, but it's a part I'd never seen before! Next stop: Nelson's Column! "England expects every man to do his duty!" From the cement bottom to the sandstone tip of Nelson's hat, this monument measures a full 169 ft 3 in (51.6 m) - the real one, of course, not the LEGO one... Moving on, we reach what is probably one of the most iconic sights in this skyline - Big Ben. Well, officially it's named Elizabeth Tower. Not catchy! Fun fact: on top of the pendulum there's a stack of penny coins to help regulate the time. Adding one will change the clock's speed by 0.4 seconds in a day. Although I've discovered this before, and actually used it myself just recently, the geometry of the slope bricks making up the roof never ceases to amaze me! Our fourth stop dominates the skyline - appropriately, as it is, after all, the London Eye. Or, to give it its full name (as of 2015), the Coca Cola London Eye! At the time of its erection (1999) it was the world's largest Ferris Wheel, and each capsule weighs in at 10 tonnes! It's a little tricky to bend the flex tubes that make up the Eye into a perfect circle, but it breaks up the skyline very nicely. The Eye is cleverly connected to the base of the skyline with a 4L bar pushed through a couple of technic pins. And last but not least, the Tower Bridge! Another iconic symbol, the Tower Bridge opened officially on 30 June 1894, Prince of Wales (future Edward VII) and Princess of Wales (Alexandra of Denmark) officiating! It must not, however, be confused with the London Bridge, another half a mile downstream. Let the poor sailboat on through! That concludes our little tour of London! I think you'll have to agree that the designers did a good job choosing landmarks to include in this skyline. Each one of them is quickly recognizable - at least, as soon as you know what the original looks like. Plus, they go together excellently well! Conclusion What a great way to get a lot out of a little! This is one of those builds where every piece counts. The final set is solid, well-worthy of being displayed! And as a bonus, it's a great educational springboard. I learned quite a bit about London thanks to this set! Playability: 10/10 - Kidding! This set is obviously meant to be gloated over, not played with... But if I had to give it a rating for playability, it'd be 5/10. After all, you can swoosh it around. Building Experience: 6/10 - Enjoyable, but nothing too amazing and a few repetitive parts. And attaching all 40 2x1 trans-clear tiles right was confusing... Design: 10/10 - Seriously. The micros are spot on, detailed, and beautiful. And unlike my microscale creations, these are actually attached! If you've built microscale, you probably know that that's a feat in and of itself! Aesthetic: 8/10 - On the whole, this is a very pretty set, with hardly any spots for even the pickiest to find fault. I've said it before, but the variety of heights and shapes in the landmarks chosen is really pleasant to the eye. Plus, there's just the right amount of color with the bits of olive, azure blue, and gold! Price: 7/10 - Although the set is on the small side, that's just because the pieces are small, not because they are few! On the contrary, there's a lot to like about the parts selection. And then there's always the high-quality box and instruction booklet! Overall: 8.5/10 - This is definitely one of my favorite straight-out-of-the-box sets. Lots to enjoy and admire. Well designed, aesthetically beautiful, and a fun building experience. Plus, as a MOCer, I really like the idea of those 40 2x1 trans-clear tiles. - Just in case that wasn't already obvious. And so I'll leave you all with one parting quote! “London is a splendid place to live in for those who can get out of it.” --Lord Balfour of Burleigh I have a feeling that might be true in a lot of cities... Till next time!
  21. 42055 - BUCKET WHEEL EXCAVATOR INTRODUCTION I never thought LEGO would make a bucket wheel excavator (BWE). First of all, the vast majority of Earth's population have no idea what it is (excepting the Germans). Secondly, such a model would have to be scaled around a bucket and therefore would be enormous even if made at the smallest possible scale. It just didn't seem likely, yet here it is. Bucket wheel excavators are among the largest pieces of mobile equipment ever created by humans. Whereas a standard hydraulic excavator removes material one bucket at a time and must empty each load individually, a BWE removes material continuously and transfers it via a complex series of conveyors to a fleet of waiting trucks. These machines are used in open pit mining to remove the over-burden: the loose soil and rock on top of the seam of target material. They excavate not downward, but forward. The machine is placed below grade, and then slews across a wall of material to bring the grade down to the level of the machine. Although they may have on-board hydraulics, these machines are electric and are tethered to the power grid via a cable large enough to run a small city. Though technically mobile, the machines move rarely and slowly and doing so is a major operation. They are constructed on-site at the mine since it is impossible to move them over long distances. Only the Germans have a unit large enough to describe the amount of material these machines remove: the scheisse-tonne. The LEGO model happens to include several scheisse-tonnes of overburden for your pit mining enjoyment. All BWEs share a common feature of a rotating bucket wheel, usually with at least 16 buckets. After that, the designs vary considerably. The largest and most familiar type of BWE is the gantry type. This type uses tall gantry booms and cables to support the bucket wheel arm. Set 42055 is clearly not intended to be a gantry type BWE, but seems modeled after a C-frame type like the Sandvik PE100. Even so there are clear differences. Whereas the LEGO model has the counterweight on the opposite end of the bucket wheel arm, the real BWE has the counterweight much lower for greater stability. Given the structural limitations of LEGO, this seems like a reasonable compromise. Although there has never been an official LEGO Technic model of a BWE before, the topic is not unknown among AFOLs. A couple of examples are shown below. The first, from Holger Matthes, is a gantry type built from traditional studded Technic. The second model by Desert752 uses studless building. Both models have many more parts and motors than 42055. SET INFORMATION Set Number: 42055 # of Parts: 3927 Main Model Weight: 3.5 kg Main Model Size: 83cm x 40cm x 30cm THE BOX This is a big box, roughly the same size as the UCS star destroyer and death star boxes. Unlike those boxes though, it does not have a cover that lifts off. Instead it has a top flap which shows the functions with a huge picture. The box opens to either end. Front Back Front flap CONTENTS OF THE BOX Instructions The instruction book is a massive brick nearly the size of the Porsche manual. It has 552 pages, 72 steps in the truck, 669 steps in the main model (not including callout steps). The manual is reasonably protected in a snug plastic bag along with the stickers but no cardboard. Mine was in good shape. Stickers There is an ample sticker sheet with all of these used for the main model. Quality is typical. Bags The parts are split into 8 sets of numbered bags which nearly fill the box. Some large bags contain smaller bags. 3x bags numbered 1 4x bags numbered 2 3x bags numbered 3 5x bags numbered 4 2x bags numbered 5 9x bags numbered 6 3x bags numbered 7 3x bags numbered 8 HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This set is a smorgasbord of parts, and not just because of the total part count. There are a huge number of useful and/or rare parts here including: 53x 5x7 frame 22x red 16-tooth idler gears 19x 20-tooth bevel idler gears 24x 90deg corner pin connectors The biggest obstacle to a model like this is the slew ring. The turntables in the LEGO parts palette were simply too small and weak to support a large overturning moment, so custom solutions were always required. LEGO has finally solved that problem with some new parts. These giant parts can be used as ring gears (like in the bucket wheel) or as huge turntable (like in the slew ring). 14 of them are included in the model. When four quarter segments are connected together, you get a complete circle with 140 teeth. There are also 8 new buckets. The 3 hole attachment along the back of the bucket was needed for this model. THE BUILD Bag 1 - The Truck The build begins with the mining dump truck in white. There is nothing special to say here except to note that it is NOT the same as the 42035 yellow truck. Although the scale and subject matter are the same, this truck does not have a moving engine. There are also a pile of rocks included for the BWE to dump into the truck. Bag 2 - The Carrier The second portion of the build is the main structure of the carrier. As you might expect, this needs to be really strong to support such a huge model. Looking at the picture, you can see that the entire thickness is supported with 5x7 frames making this thing a real brick. The corners are reinforced with 3x5L liftarms and 11L double angled liftarms. This assembly is mostly structural; the only moving parts here are the axles to drive the sprockets. The 4 red pins with bushing will be used to attach the superstructure. Bag 3 - The Treads The third bag builds the tread assemblies. These are two identical assemblies (rather than mirrored). I was a little surprised to see the black tread links here given that the conveyor uses DBG links. There is no suspension. Then the two tread assemblies are connected to the carrier, completing it. I was worried about the use of bevel gears in what is sure to be a highly loaded drive assembly, but the use of a gearbox bracket prevents slippage. Bag 4 - The Slew Ring The bottom of the superstructure is build next and sits atop the slew ring. There is a LOT going on here as you can see from this plan view. The only function that passes through the slew ring is main drive, but the smaller turntable also passes the power for the output conveyor. A few DBG wedge belt wheels can be seen positioned circumferentially. These ride on the slew ring to support the imbalance of the superstructure. The assembly is then connected to the carrier along with the linear actuators used for tilting the main arm. The three vertical axles seen in the front will receive power from the arm. Now the support towers have been started as well as the mechanism to control the angle of the output conveyor. Another 180 degrees worth of ring gears are used to support it and are concentric with the main slew ring. A pair (upper and lower) of standard size turntables are used to center the superstructure while the slew ring supports the weight and moment. Bag 5 - The Output Conveyor The relatively simple bag 5 is the output conveyor. It is just some sprockets, supports, treads, and a wall. This is suspended at a fixed elevated angle above the upper turntable, and a chute above it funnels the rock and earth from the main conveyor to the output conveyor. This is centered so that it works regardless of which direction the output is facing. Bag 6 - The Bucket Wheel Bag 6 represents by far the major portion of the build and makes up the main digging arm. We start with the support for the bucket wheel including the chute that funnels the material from the bucket to the conveyor. It is important that there be no gaps so parts can't into the mechanism and jam it. The bucket wheel itself is pretty simple. It uses 8 ring gear segments and 8 buckets. After the bucket wheel is attached, you can see the 6 pairs of 12-tooth double bevels gears which center and support it held by a radial spiderweb of structure. Now the main conveyor is built and a lot of structural reinforcement is added. This arm is cantilever a long way from the main frame, so it needs to be stiff not only in bending but also in torsion. The 5x7 frames and diagonal members you see help a lot with this. Here is a view of the completed bag 6 arm (bag 7 will build the back of it). The yellow axle protruding is used to drive the conveyor. Bag 7 - The Counterweight The back of the arm contains the counterweight. Why make it a boring inert mass when you can use batteries and a gearbox for weight instead?! The gearbox here is pretty intricate and is explained further later on. A single XL motor drives all functions and has plenty of power. At the stage shown, the gears are all present but nothing is supported yet. Now a bunch of structure has been added to properly support the gears. This view is from the bottom of the gearbox. After the gearbox counterweight is attached to the front of the arm you have a very long, but very rigid, beam assembly. The panels and labels for the switches effectively hide the awesomeness of the gearbox. I kind of wish the panels were transparent. The completed arm in a perspective view. Now the arm is attached to the main frame via a pair of small turntables about which it pivots. Then the top of the frame is added. The model may look complete at this point, but there are still a lot of aesthetic details to add. Bag 8 - The Operator Areas Box 8 adds the details needed for a human (or minifig) to actually operate such a beast. This includes railings, ladders, and the operator's cabin. This is what the model might look like to a mini figure for scale. Note however, that this model is much smaller than minifig scale. HOW DOES IT WORK? OK, we've built this thing and we know that it's huge, but what about the functions? Does it work, and how does it work? Is it just a big monster that doesn't do much? Hopefully this picture will answer that last question in the negative. There is in fact a lot going on here. In case you couldn't figure it all out from just looking at that cutaway, let's look at a color coded animation. This breaks the functions apart to make them more understandable. Blue is motor drive, orange is inside the gearbox, yellow is main drive, green is conveyors and bucket wheel, and red is rotation. Let's dig in further. Here is a view of just the gearbox, but it is still too hard to understand without some colors. You can see the 3 white clutch gears which are used to protect the gearbox from stalling. That's better. Blue is the motor drive. The XL motor is geared down 5:1 at the point that it rotates the center blue driving ring. If no driving rings are engages, nothing turns except for the blue parts. The center driving ring can engage either the orange or the green parts. The orange parts and internal to the gearbox and don't drive anything directly. The two orange driving rings rotate in opposite directions. The yellow driving ring outputs to the main drive, and can make the model go either forward or reverse depending on which direction is engaged. Note that the main drive is VERY slow, but I think this is probably scale accurate. Even if you desired the model to go faster, I wouldn't recommend trying to get any more power down that long gear train. If the green gears are engaged, they output to drive the conveyors and bucket wheel. The red driving ring can be engaged only if the red is already engaged. This controls the slewing and, like the orange gears, can reverse direction without reversing the direction of the motor. In fact, the battery box is blocked so the motor can only run one direction. Like the driving, the speed of the other functions is slow, but quite scale accurate. This shows the system for main drive, not counting the gearbox. The power has to go a LONG way to get down to those threads. As you can see, it has to run concentrically through the turntable and there are a pile of idler gears used along with an additional 5:1 reduction for a total of 52.1:1 (there was an additional 20:16 in the orange gears). I found that it works surprisingly well with no trouble moving the model on a level surface. The linear actuators for adjusting arm angle are as simple as it gets. I was surprised to see the the whole axle rotates even though it also supports weight. This is generally a bad idea, but in this case the arm is so well balanced that there is hardly any load here. Next is the slewing function. Note how the 20 tooth idler gear is used to pass the torque past the arm pivot axis. After than, it is just a pile of spur gears used to get us over the fixed internal ring gear. This shows the conveyor drive system. The sprocket for the main conveyor just tees off from the driveline. Note that the drive of the bucket wheel is actually powered by the tread links of the conveyor; there are no gears or axles running out the length of the arm. The main and output conveyors run off the same driveline so are always moving together. The gears for the output conveyor must pass through the upper turntable to allow the conveyor to pivot. Here is a close-up of the bucket wheel. The greatest inefficiency in the model happens here. The black double gears don't just drive the wheel, they actually support it. This means that the upper gears in particular have a lot of weight on the teeth which causes a bunch of friction. A real BWE would support the wheel with bearings so the gears only carry torque. With that said, the bucket wheel still works fine. I have not had any trouble with it but it can be a bit jerky because of all the compliance in the system. Finally, the output conveyor locking system is one of the more clever and unexpected functions in the model. The lower turntables rotates with the superstructure, and the upper turntable rotates with the output conveyor. If the driving ring is in neutral, then these turntables are independent and you can freely adjust the position of the output conveyor. If the right hand driving ring is engaged, then the conveyor is grounded to the superstructure and rotates with it. On the other hand, if the left hand driving ring is engaged then the upper and lower turntables are locked together and rotate in opposite directions. The effect of this is that position of the output conveyor remains fixed with respect to the ground while the superstructure slews. This is exactly what you want while loading a truck. Of course, there is plenty of backlash in the gears so it doesn't work perfectly, but it works well enough to demonstrate the idea. SUMMARY What can I say other than to utter lots of superlatives? This is the biggest Technic model ever in terms of dimensions and in terms of parts. It's complexity is right up there with the best, it works great, and it is a wonderful parts pack. Yes it costs a lot, but if you were starting a Technic collection from scratch this one model would provide everything you need for years of building (except, strangely, wheels). The main con is that many people probably don't know what it is. This may be a positive depending on how much you like to fool your friends. So just how big is it? It was hard to take a picture next to another big model, but I managed one with the Unimog. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of The LEGO Group. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG.
  22. 1:21Lego Forbidden Island 6270 Timelapse Review by JackyWackySmacky 7 views19 hours ago Classic 1989 Forbidden Island review. Hope you enjoy, and I will gladly accept any suggestions/constructive criticism.
  23. I have not done a review in ages so I thought I would do my take on a review of a technic set (some of you may remember some of my past reviews) from one of many unopened sets I have laying around. Name: 42061 Telehandler Theme: LEGO Technic Year: 2017 Parts: 260 Price for set: £24.99 / $39.99 / 29.99€ The Packaging Not much to say here.....its a small box made from cardboard with a picture printed on it,all be it a glossy picture. The Manual In the left hand is a 7 long light brush grey axle while in the right is a 8 long axle,who needs diagrams? The Parts Upon opening the box I was relieved to find it was not empty and it contained something.....two instruction manuals. Here are some interesting parts,I really like the new worm gear.I am however not a fan of the colour vomit. Happy birthday to you happy birthday to you happy birthday to you Lego Technic happy birthday to you. The Build Right lets get building......as always I like to sort my parts. I did not capture much in terms of building it is as you would expect for a small set. Construing the boom Here we are at step page 25....not much to say really. The Finished Model And Final thoughts Here is a picture of it finished driving past ,that is why the picture is a bit blurry as it was travelling a a good speed. I don't like how they did the rear upper part of the boom. Is it just me or are Lego's take on seats getting more weird? So the functions in this set include: 4 wheel steering 1 stage telescopic boom Boom lifting Boom tilting I am sure you would like too see a size comparison,and if it can lift anything? Spare parts and parts list So too wrap up my review I would say it is a good little set,it come with some rather useful parts. All the functions work well an has a decent level of playability too it. I am disappointed by the rear of the boom but apart from that it is a good little set. Scores: Parts 7/10 Playability 7/10 Design 5/10 Appearance 8/10
  24. A quick review of the 2017 LEGO City Coast Guard "4x4 Response Unit" set (# 60165). The set comes with a coast guard 4 x 4 Jeep type vehicle, a rescue boat, a dinghy, an octopus, and three minifigures including a SCUBA diver.
  25. REVIEW - 42039 - 24 HOURS RACE CAR INTRODUCTION When the preliminary images of the "Le Mans Racer" surfaced somewhere last year (2014) it got a lot of praise. This changed dramatically when the final images of the 24 Hours Race Car showed up. The front side of the car, especially the head lights, and the curvature of the side of car had changed a lot. The car obviously still resembled the prototype, but the new design raised a lot of eyebrows. The new design was considered a step back instead of forward. Eventhough I still liked the design, I must admit I liked the earlier design better too. With the emphasis on past tense liked. I am not sure anymore and this review will show you why. Like the Arctic Truck this set has a B-model which is well worth checking out. That's why this review includes both the A-model and B-model. For people who are on the fence, the B-model might actually convince them to buy the set after all. Let's see what this set is all about! Note: All images can be clicked for hi-res versions. SET INFORMATION Number: 42039 Title: 24 Hours Race Car Theme: Technic Released: 2015 Part Count: 1219 Box Weight: 2110 gr Box Dimensions: 47,8 cm x 37,3 cm x 8,7 cm Model Dimensions: 40 cm x 18 cm Set Price (MSRP): €99.99 / $? / £99.99 Price per Part: €0.082 / $? / £0.082 Links: Brickset, Bricklink THE BOX The box measures 47,8 cm x 37,3 cm x 8,7 cm and weighs well over 2kg (2110 gr to be precise). The width of the box is the same as the box of the Arctic Truck. This box also feels like it's filled to the brim. THE FRONT The front shows a picture of the main model in action, with radial blurred wheels to emphasize the motion of the car. The lower right section shows the dimensions of the model. Upon completion, it will measure a length of 40cm and a width of 18 cm. THE BACK Like the front, the back side has exactly the same setup as the box of the Arctic Truck. The top shows the functions of the model, while the lower left side shows the B-model and the lower right side shows the motorization options. The picture of the B-model looks so cool, it could be a model of it's own. At this point I was very eager to build both models and compare them. THE SIDE One of the sides usually shows a part in 1:1 scale. This time it's one of the wheels indicating the size of the model. CONTENT OF THE BOX The box contains: 1 Book(let) 1 Sticker Sheet 13 Bags 4 Tires INSTRUCTION BOOKLET Since I own two copies of the set, I also received two instruction booklets. What's catching my eye is that my second copy is supplied in different packaging than the first one. It's for the first time (that I am aware of) that the instruction booklet and stickers come in a sealed bag, without cardboard back. Hopefully this will be a new standard for all sets with sticker sheets. Instead of multiple booklets, this set contains a single square bound book. In earlier reviews I have epxressed my preference for a single book. I don't see any advantage in having 2, 3 or even up to 6 booklets. STICKER SHEET Like the actual model, the sticker sheet looks very vibrant. The bright green, white and black color combination has found it's way to the stickers as well. Either you love 'em or hate 'em. Since I started writing reviews I have been applying stickers and I am happy I started doing it. Stickers do give the model it's finishing touch. BAGS WITH PARTS Thirteen bags with a total of 1219 parts (give or take a few) are supplied in the densily packed box. The rims and flex are sealed in a bag as well. Sometimes looking at the bags makes you wonder what the logic is, behind the distribution of the various parts across the different bags. Well this time it really got me confused. Take a look at two of the bags below. There's a bag containing all the 3L Blue Pins. Then there's a bag with various parts....and a single 3L Blue Pin. I figured this might be an error, but both of the sets have the same anomaly. TIRES The tires have been supplied unbagged, as usual. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This chapter describes new and interesting parts. This set actually contains a lot of them. This set also contains an abundance of panels. If you aren't into panels, this isn't the set for you. CHANGEOVER CATCH This year (2015) the new changeover catch parts were released. It's a combination of three parts. The advantage of the new parts is that the red gear is the same on both sides, which avoids mounting it the wrong way around. It also avoids the changeover catch slipping out of the driving ring, like it used to do. You can apply lots of pressure, but the catch doesn't slip out. PINS Some of last year's new pins are also included in this set. 12 x Pin with Pin Hole and 21 x 3L Pin with 1L Axle. Securing Technic Beams can be quite simple with the new Pin with Pin Holes. The new 3L Pin with 1L Axle gives you more possibilities when connecting Beams and other parts. Below are two example situations where the new pins have been used. Granted, the examples below can be accomplished by using other techniques. However, some predicaments from the past can be easily solved by using these new parts. Like me, you will most likely appreciate the ease of use. ENGINE AND SUSPENSION Also included are two Steering Portal Hubs and Steering Portal Hubs with Ball Joint Arms and four Steering Portal Axles for driving and steering the vehicle. These parts are commonly used nowadays. The picture below also shows some other parts, like gear rack, steering arms and suspension. FRAMES This set comes with a single 5x7 Frame and three 5x11 Frames. PANELS This set contains a whopping 47 panels in three different colors. I personally like panels a lot and I do appreciate the variety we have at our disposal lately. This set even contains a new 13x3x2 Curved "Mudguard" Panel. NEW 13x3x2 CURVED PANEL This is the first set to contain the new 13x3x2 Curved Panel. Looking at the pictures doesn't do these panels justice. In real life they are actually quite big. I figured they would be smaller, but they are even longer than the 11 x 5 frame, with a length of 13 (including the attachment points). Hopefully this part will be available in other colors as well, preferably white, for adding variety to your EV3 robot. 19L WHITE FLEX-AXLES The White 19L Flex Axles have only been released in a single set, the 8461 Williams F1 Racer in 2002. Current prices on Bricklink are as high as 15 Euros! Needless to say we are very happy with the return of these White Axles. Now we can build Jeroen Ottens' awesome Alfa Romeo 4C Spider for a decent price as well. I am really happy that useful rare parts are being used more often by TLG designers PART LIST Here's the complete list for all 1219 parts. As you can see in the Highlighted parts section, this set contains a lot of interesting and useful parts. If you don't own sets like the 8070 - Supercar, this might be the set to pick up if you want to start building your own supercar. THE BUILD Enough with all the set and part information, let's build the model. REAR SUSPENSION The build starts with the rear suspension and drivetrain. As you can see in the picture below, the length of the Axle between the Steering CV Joint is 4L, where it usally is 3L. This is an indication that the finished model will be a bit bigger than usual (8070 for example). The finished suspension is one of the cleanest suspension setups I have seen in an official model. It's pretty basic, but it works like a charm. This setup is defintely worth using in your MOC. Here's a video: After attaching the suspension to the frame you rotate the module and secure it. At this stage the rear section of the chassis with suspension is almost finished. V8 MID-ENGINE Extending the chassis forward results in the picture below, where the front spoiler is already visible. What's also visible is the V8 engine placed right in front of the rear axle, resulting in a Mid-engine setup, perfectly suited for sports and race cars. Two exhaust pipes have been fitted on either side of the engine, together with two hoses attaching them to the engine. The instructions are easy to follow, although you sometimes you need to bend the beams a bit. Minor improvements are possible here and there, but nothing shocking. FRONT SUSPENSION The front suspension is a bit more complicated than the rear suspension, which makes sense considering the fact it contains the steering rack. The shock absorbers are placed in a different angle than the rear ones, resulting in a somewhat stiffer front suspension. All in all the front suspension is well designed and the steering rack can be easily powered with a Servo Motor. The picture belows shows the front suspension attached to the chassis. If you follow the official instructions to motorize the model, the area in front of the suspension is used to mount the battery box. When you are modding this model to make it Full RC this area can be used to mount the servo motor. GEARBOX Like the gearbox in the 8070, it's not used to switch gears powering the drivetrain. It's used to switch between two functions, opening the doors and the hood/bonnet. The gearbox is located at the left of the vehicle, near the cockpit. The mechanism to open the doors is located on the left side, while opening the hood/bonnet is taking place at the right side. To accomplish this, some axles traverse under the cockpit to the other side of the vehicle. Following the axles to other side of the vehicle and adding some gears, results in the situation below. The video below shows the gearbox in action. DOOR OPENING MECHANISM The mechanism to open the door is comprised of some Knob Wheels, Links without Stoppers and Pins with Towballs. Take a look at the doors opening and closing. THE FRONT Using the new mudguards and various other panels you finish the front of the car. The front is probably the most controversial part of the car. This is caused by the preliminary pictures shown before the release of this car. In the early pictures the front of the car had smooth curves and beautiful lines, while the final car lost these smooth lines and got a more blocky look in return. I must admit that at a first glance, the new design lost some of it's appeal. However, this model grew on me pretty rapidly. The headlight design can be found, in more or less the same way, on several real Le Mans type race cars. THE REAR The rear of the car looks great, with the stickers continuing from the mudguards to the panels underneath the spoiler. The two exhausts sticking out give some details to the back. I absolutely disagree with all the negativity surrounding this car. Maybe it's one of those models which needs to grow on you. FINISHED MODEL Here it is, the finished model. I know some of you don't like the looks of the car, but I think it looks great. The color scheme is outstanding. The new (for Technic) bright green parts, combined with white and black make this car look very vibrant and colorful. I am not a big fan of the green used in the 42008 - Service Truck, but I do like this bright green a lot. It fits perfectly well with the Mindstorms EV3 set. The curves on the side of the car are not as smooth as some of us hoped, but I still think the car looks more than acceptable from the side. The stickers add some nice details to the car, giving it that characteristic race car look. The model looks great in pictures, but it does even look better in real life. I love this picture of the front of the car. However, I do wonder if a dedicated 24 hour Le Mans Racer has the seat and steering positioned off-center?! Using the good ol' Google Machine I come to the conclusion that they do have centered seating and steering, at least the majority of them. There's ample space in the cabin, which makes me wonder why TLG decided to place the seat off-centered. The rear view looks cool too, with some of the suspension showing and the two exhaust pipes clearly visible. The bottom view is very useful to determine the size of the car in studs. It measures approx 59 x 27 studs. The chassis looks organized and well designed. The engine has been placed close to the ground, which is perfect for the weight distribution. A low center of gravity improves the handling of the car. I really enjoyed building this baby. The build is very clean and organized, although there are some steps where you need to bend the beams a bit to get things into place. Seeing the model come to life and seeing it grow to pretty impressive proportions is very satisfying. For me it was fun, but I reckon kids will go nuts over this set and the build. SIZE COMPARISON What became obvious during the build, but what's emphasized when you have finished the model, is that it's quite big! The size of the car is pretty impressive. The pictures below show the car next to the 42030 - Volvo L350F. The side view emphasizes the size of the car. It's even longer than the Volvo, if you dismiss the bucket. PARTS LEFT Some parts left. Nothing out of the ordinary. FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS Unlike the B-model, this model doesn't implement any unexpected features. The functions it does implement are exactly what you would expect from any car. Steering (HoG) Working fake engine Suspension Opening doors (gullwing style) Opening bonnet/hood Opening trunk Gearbox for switching between functions Unfortunately the steering wheel hasn't been linked to the HoG (Hand of God) steering mechanism. Placing the seat in the center would have provided an easy way to link the steering wheel to the steering mechanism. it's a shame we hardly see actual steering anymore. Opening the hood actually opens up the entire rear section of the car, providing you with easy access to the motor compartment. The mechanism to open the hood works properly, which results in smooth opening and closing of it. The same goes for the gullwing style doors. Both functions are operated manually and you need to switch with the lever to the left of the cockpit. These two functions are also the ones which can be motorized by placing an M-motor near the cockpit and a battery box in the trunk. All things considered I think this car offers lots of playability. The model is solidly built and the functions are easy to operate. I'd say it's pretty safe to let your kids play with it. B-MODEL Unlike the A-model, the B-model for this set received (almost) universal acclaim, and I can see why. Often the B-model is a pale shadow of it's part donor. In this case the model looks so good, it could be a model of it's own. It even incorporates a neat feature, which actually deserves to be in the A-model. There's a lot a variation in the quality of digital building instructions TLG is providing, but these ones are of very high quality. The picture below shows most of the chassis with suspension, fake engine and gearbox in place. FINISHED MODEL Some concessions have been made, but overall the car looks fantastic. The black of the roof has been extrapolated from the hood, which definitely works for me. The rear section of the car feels a bit empty, but the panels do cover up most of it, so it's hardly noticeable. The V8 stickers will be upside down if you use the parts from the A-model. Since I could apply new stickers, I have placed them using the proper orientation. The bottom of the car shows the chassis. It's obviously a bit smaller than the A-model's chassis. FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS Taking the functions into account, this model isn't playing second fiddle to the A-model. Besides the obvious functions like steering, opening doors and hood, this car features folding fog lights, which deserve a better podium than a B-model. Steering (Hog) Working fake engine Suspension Opening doors (manually) Opening hood/bonnet (manually) Opening trunk (operated by gear) Folding fog lights (operated by gear) Gearbox (used to switch functions) FOG LIGHTS One of the most interesting features of the B-model are the folding Fog Lights. It almost feels a bit weird that a feature like this is implemented in the B-model, instead of the A-model. Below are 4 steps showing how the mechanism works. I have also included a video. The mechanism is somewhat reminiscent of fork mechanism used in the 8109 - Flatbed Truck, which has been described in Efferman's Review. Take a look at the video to the fog lights in action. PARTS LEFT A fair number of parts left, which isn't uncommon for a B-model. SUMMARY To summarize how I feel about this set, you need to take a look at the picture below. The combined image reflects the quality of this set....or better yet....sets! You actually get two great models, for the price of one. You don't like the A-model? No problem, you can have lots of fun with the B-model. I can't stop playing with the fog lights, it's mesmarizing. The color scheme on both models is outstanding. I simply can't emphasize enough how well this color scheme pleases the eye. The regular green is dull and boring, but this bright green really pops out, especially when combined with black and white, and possibly some red details. Black, white and a little red?! Sounds familiar? Yes, bright green can easily be combined with your EV3 robots. So while you are combining the bright green with your robot, why not use the great new curved "mudguard" panels. These new panels are introduced in this set and they look great. They open up a lot of possibilities in the design department. The build of the A-model is outstanding. It is fairly simple, but since it's so clean, I really enjoyed it a lot. I think the build should be entertaining, which doesn't mean it needs to be a real challenge. And let's be honest; when is a build really challenging?! The rear suspension is a good example of why I liked the build. It's very simple, yet very effective. Works like a charm. The same goes for the other functions in both models. And the star of the entire show can be found in the B-model. How's that for a surprise?! Being aware of the fact that I like this model a lot better than most of you seem to do, I really encourage you to give this model a chance. The sheer size is impressive, the color scheme is awesome and you get a bonus model, which is actually worth building. SCORE Okay, so how do I grade this set? 8 DESIGN Open to debate, but I like it a lot. 8 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Fun and clean build. 9 FEATURES Superb function in B-model steels the show. 9 PLAYABILITY Both models offer lots of playability 8 PARTS Lots of new parts and cool existing parts. 10 VALUE FOR MONEY Two models for the price of one. 8,7 TWICE THE FUN I hope you enjoyed this review! More pictures can be found on my Flickr page.