Saturday, February 1, 2014

Reflexion on the 2H14 LEGO Technic sets

That's weekend and I was to update my comments in the previous posts [1, 2] from this week about the new LEGO Technic sets for 2H14, which debut at Nuremberg Toy Fair. But since it took me quite awhile to find the time for doing this, I decided for new post about the two sets revealed.

So here we go, one after the other!



42030 - Volvo L350F Wheel Loader

Some comments and observations taken from the previous videos and some images meanwhile made available.

Main and accessory functions:

  • Loader bucket arms lift (driven by L-motor and two large linear actuators)
  • Loader bucket tilt (driven by M-motor and one large linear actuator)
  • Steering (driven by Servo motor) - as some have feared...
    This turned to bee too fast when compared to real wheel loaders and wobbly or jerky. Definitely the most controversial design decision in this model, amongst AFOLs.
    While it is quite unrealistic it also doesn't seem to work very well. Although it was a good excuse to introduce another PF Servo motor into a set and eventually set their prices down in the after market.
  • Driving the beast... (XL-motor driven

  • Rear pendular axle/suspension
  • The rear right mudguard folds out to ease access to the engine
  • L6 engine
  • Backdoor and upper side panels open, to let us see or service the inner engine

Parts:
  • New mold and huge bucket as anticipated, which justifies the larger box used for this flagship.
    The new design mimics the specific Volvo L350F bucket.
    Here we have already the finished molded part, while the box mockup still shows the early 3D printed prototype.
  • 4x Unimog tires as we already knew
  • 56mm wheels (15038) released in yellow for the first time
  • It uses portal axles (92908) at least in the front axle with a 24t/8t (3:1) reduction
  • 4WD - Front axle differential and u-joint barely seen at articulation point
  • Two IR receivers in the rear side (likely the V2 is being used)
  • New Green engine blocks like the color of the real Volvo L350F engine

Highlights and remarks:
  • At a certain point we was expecting two L-motors as depicted in the preliminary box artwork, although we already new the previously advanced motor configuration was not 100% accurate
  • PF Battery box goes at the bottom of the rear part, for easy battery replacement

  • At first sight one of the videos where the Wheel Loader is operated, suggests the servo was not able to 'Return to Center' (RTC). Eventually because the model was too heavy and there is too much friction from the tires on the floor (but that's why there is the differential in the front axle).
    Explanation was that the operator was holding the remote stick for steering while operating the other functions.

    In fact the steering is manually controlled by the large gear and looking better into this, considering the way one usually handles this I think it perfectly natural the one continues to hold the gear while steered and operating the other bang-bang stick controls.
    Then my verdict is that RTC is working here. Wobbly and shaky but working!

  • The PF remotes setup looks a bit strange in the box, which together with the initial apparent lack of RTC, may have raised some rumors and suspicion.
    A closer look shoes this is just a bad Photoshop in this still preliminary box artwork. In fact they're are just using the remote + hands image from the 9398 4x4 Crawler and duplicated it side-by-side.

  • 3D Building Digital App compatible

It looks the LEGO Technic team intentionally missed the best opportunity in many years to release longer pneumatic cylinders, PF electric valves and so on...
Certainly it would cost a lot to develop, but some fans wish these so hard!...

Eventually the cylinders or better said a feasible LEGO pump (component or discrete) would not provide the same strength and precision for such a large loader, as LAs will. When I mention lack of strength, I'm thinking about the huge bucket and the load kids may want to carry on it.
But on the other end I still think it would be feasible and cope with high standards.



The new and huge bucket has a kind of grill in its upper side what makes it a bit too specific to build other machines IMHO.
I understand it because this is a licensed model and they want to make it look as close as possible to the original. Let's say the L350F bucket is really huge and it might be an iconic element for this Wheel Loader.
Although I'd have preferred a custom bucket design for the 8043 Motorized Excavator, were the shovel used at the time seemed quite wide and inappropriate. It would have helped also to improve model performance by reducing weight and minimize the problems we saw with the stressed Linear Actuators...
After all a new large bucket for excavators would have more potential for re-utilization IMHO... And could be used also for a large scale and remote controlled backhoe...


Meanwhile there is a new video taken at LEGO booth from Nuremberg Toy Fair, from where we can see some further details and also a wobbly drive...






42029 - Customized Pickup Truck

From this one we have still the same video available, but a closer look and some analysis made meanwhile engaged with Technic fans, can be summarized in the following statements.

Main and accessory functions:
  • Front winch, probably one could motorize it extra PF Motor set
  • Lift the tipper bed on the rear

    It looks one can switch among these function with the yellow lever on the side of the left seat or the changeover catch in the center.
    The gear knob below the left door should be used to manually run each of the two functions above.

    Hopefully this set is also prepared to be motorized with an extra 8293 Motor Set!?
    It looks there is plenty of space behind the seats and prepared attachment points to accommodate a PF Battery Box.

  • 4 wheel suspension
  • HoG steering
  • V6 engine
  • Doors that can be open
  • Hood that opens too
  • Tipper tail gate which opens, probably by means of a large Linear Actuator (it pivots on the bottom side)
  • Fold able mirrors

Parts:
  • It uses the same front and rear wheel hubs as the 42000 F1 Grand Prix Racer
  • Return of the 6x2 steering arm (57515) at front axis
  • Rear axis suspension setup uses conventional beams, and eventually we could have also a new part here (something like a kind of small C-frame!?) to limit the suspension travel, otherwise it may just use some already known parts but in quite an odd arrangement...
  • 9x 1x5x11 red panels (quite rare nowadays)
  • 2x 1x3x11 panels, now in red too
  • 3x 3x11 curved panels (new mold with 10 pinholes on the side) now also in red color

Highlights and remarks:
  • No 4WD unfortunately, as it seems
  • The engine sticks out from the hood
  • For a scale perspective it uses the same wheels and tires than 42005 Monster Truck (also red btw)
  • 3D Building Digital App compatible

Opinions divide regarding the looks of this pickup truck, but it is what it is
There is however a more positive consensus around this set as being a great sort of existing and new red panels (some currently quite rare and expensive)



42028 - Bulldozer

Still no sight of this one in Nuremberg. Maybe at New York Toy Fair (Feb. 16-19), which would be quite surprising, considering the 1H14 Technic sets are not yet selling in NA...

Although this is expected to be a set box with exactly the same size of 42005 Monster Truck.
  • Yelllow
  • V4 engine
  • Triangular shaped tracks
  • Some stickers
  •  Functions include the front U-blade and rear ripper with three shanks
  • Panel and brick built blade



Now let's wait for August!

2 comments:

Dave said...

To make the Loader move more smoothly, perhaps The Lego Group should consider substituting a Power Functions IR Speed Remote Control unit for the regular PF Remote. It only costs USD $2.50 more ( http://shop.lego.com/en-US/LEGO-Power-Functions-IR-Speed-Remote-Control-8879?fromListing=listing ), and would allow the operator to SLOWLY ramp-up the PF motors. The jerkiness would be eliminated.

Fernando Correia said...

@Dave

$3,50 / 4,00€ more. And it would be a premier in a Technic set. :)

But at this point with the set already presented publicly, I doubt they would change even a Technic pin... :)

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