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Lego Technic, go big or go home...

thedoctor46thedoctor46 Member Posts: 213
Was wondering, how does the build of a Technic kit compare to that of a Lego system? I'm intrigued by what Technic has tooffer and have been eyeing up the Volvo, kit #42030. My real question is would it be wise to start with such a large kit or would it be more sensible to choose a more managable size of kit first to get a feel for things, something like the blue motorbike that's available (I haven't the set number to hand)?


  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Member Posts: 1,560
    edited August 2015
    As a fully paid-up Technic fan, I'd say start on a small to middling, sub-£50 set.  Technic doesn't appeal to everyone, and while I've no doubt that you'd be able to build a larger set, you might find it's not for you.

    I'd suggest #42037 Formula Off-roader or #42040 Fire Plane as good places to start.  They have more of the 'Technic' functionality than some of the pocket money sets like the Cherry Picker, but they're not crazy complicated / expensive like the Merc Arocs or Volvo Wheel Loader.

    Whatever you choose, have fun!
  • thedoctor46thedoctor46 Member Posts: 213
    My concern is you're not going to get the true Technic experience (if there is such a thing) with a smaller kit...
  • ecmo47ecmo47 Member Posts: 2,101
    If you like what the finished product does and looks like than go for it! The only difference in "the build" is that Technics is unforgiving if you miss a part or step. Very frustrating to get to page 237 and find out you misplaced a gear back on page 42. Big sets will test your patience.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,478
    As someone who really isn't into technic i tried a couple of sets at rount the £20 price point and hat was enough to confirm it for me, the atyle of building is so different to standard system sets that i just found even the smaller sets tedious. I can appreciate the clever design and engineering aspect, but I don't need to have built the set for myself to appreciate that so no appeal for me personally.
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman Member Posts: 1,524
    edited August 2015
    Nowadays alot of non technic models use technic as a base.

    Check out the UCS Slave 1, Sandcrawler, Tumbler and probably others. So Technic is becoming more mainstream.
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Member Posts: 1,560
    It's true that a small set won't have as many features / functions as the larger set, but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the build.

    For example, recently I built the #9392 Quad Bike from a few years back.  It'll sit on the palm of your hand, and function-wise, it's not exactly laden down.  However, it gave me a perfect understanding of dual wishbone suspension, which I hadn't fully understood before.  It didn't take long to build, but I really enjoyed it.

    Last week I built the new flagship, the #42043 Mercedes-Benz truck.  That's got everything but the kitchen sink.  Power functions, pneumatics, active suspension, working in-line 6 cylinder engine, tilting cab and so on and so on.
    I enjoyed that too.

    What I would say, is that if you're after an appreciation of how Technic works, then starting with something like that is a mind scrambler.  I'm no Technic expert, and building the massive gearbox, which drives any number of functions off a single motor, didn't enhance my knowledge of gearboxes, it simply made me think 'How on earth does anyone design that?'.  Whereas with the smaller sets, it's understandable.  Manageable.  You get what's going on.

    Don't let me put you off.  If you want to go and drop £150+ on a huge set - do.  Chances are you'll love it.

    But try a couple of small ones too!
  • AanchirAanchir Member Posts: 3,044
    Building a Technic set can definitely be more of a challenge than building a System set, especially with the larger sets. You have to pay very close attention to the instructions or you might very easily make a careless mistake that will require you to undo many pages of building steps once you finally notice it. Also, System sets (regardless of complexity) tend to still involve a lot of vertical stacking. Technic sets, on the other hand, involve building in all directions, and sometimes it's hard to even tell which side is "up" until you've made some major progress with the build. The functions in larger Technic sets can also be very complex, and often won't work if you make even the slightest mistake.

    However, the largest Technic sets definitely offer the most rewarding building experience, in my opinion. Building them is time-consuming, but you get a lot of functionality out of it in the end. The larger sets are basically the only Technic sets my family gets anymore (but to be fair, I get my smaller Technic building fix from Bionicle and Hero Factory sets, which are generally a lot simpler). As such, even if it would be better starting with a smaller Technic set, I'd have no idea which currently available set to recommend! I certainly doubt any of the smallest and most affordable sets like pull-back vehicles would give you a real, genuine taste of the kind of complexity you could expect in a larger set.

    I dunno, maybe a more dedicated Technic collector can offer you some better advice. Personally, I think the motorcycle could be a good buy if you're just starting out. Decent price, good display presence, nice functions. One warning is that unlike the Volvo, it's probably a set that won't look as good without the stickers. But Technic stickers usually aren't too difficult to apply from my experience, especially if you have experience applying stickers from other themes and have a general idea of how to center them. And as with the build, it's good practice.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 Member Posts: 2,101
    ^ A good pair of tweezers helps with sticker application.
  • pharmjodpharmjod Member Posts: 2,916
    If I am going to apply stickers, I cut them out from the page and fold the backing just a little bit. Then I peel it back slowly when I have one end secured to the piece. This has worked pretty well for me.
  • TechnicNickTechnicNick Member Posts: 279
    It is expensive, but I'd recommend the Volvo #42030. Mostly because while it's huge and functional, it's actually relatively straightforward to build for a large set (no gearbox - each function separately motorised) and what you have at the end is a great display piece and even better remote control toy.

  • thedoctor46thedoctor46 Member Posts: 213
    Thanks all for your comments. The Mrs did correctly point out I don't have the funds to drop on the big yellow Volvo so a smaller kit it may have to be. I'm determined to pick up the Volvo at some point though and with Christmas on the horizon it certainly isn't an impossibility. I actually popped out last night to find the motorcycle, my local Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's didn't have one (I'm sure I've seen it in one of those fairly recently), turns out I'll have to wait a little longer to scratch this itch.
  • TechnicNickTechnicNick Member Posts: 279
    The current blue motorcycle is an OK set but not outstanding, If you can stretch to #42024 Skip Lorry - and a motor to put in it - that's a proper dose of Technic goodness. It's probably discounted on Amazon as well.
  • rdflegordflego Member Posts: 324
    As a Technic novice upto 2014 I was dubious myself. This year I got the Unimog, Volvo and Arocs truck which have all been fun as I jumped in at the deep end. I would recommend the Volvo first as it gives you space to work with unlike the other two.
  • ChanMcLChanMcL Member Posts: 1,224
    Might have got slightly out of hand on technics. First one was the supercar when it went on sale. Also have the volvo and the #9398 which of course it doesnt have space to go on the shelf. Currently looking for parts to make the #8081 into a RC one.

  • KavsterKavster Member Posts: 75
    The Lego Volvo set is currently on sale at Smyths.
    I picked it up for £139.99 (£40 off) CLICK HERE!

    I was also new to Technic until recently.
    I just made a huge leap of faith into the Arocs, and I loved it.
    It was my longest build so far, but it was enjoyable.

    I'm sure other people are right with their suggestions of starting with a smaller kit.
    But, I'm a bit of an impulse buyer. Saw it, wanted it, got it.

    When I saw the Volvo on sale, that was just an excuse to myself to buy it!
    I'm yet to build it, but I can't wait to get started!
  • rdflegordflego Member Posts: 324
    rdflego said:
    As a Technic novice upto 2014 I was dubious myself. This year I got the Unimog, Volvo and Arocs truck which have all been fun as I jumped in at the deep end. I would recommend the Volvo first as it gives you space to work with unlike the other two.
    Having said all this a piece has just fallen out of the Arocs and I have no idea where it came from
  • iplanteiplante Member Posts: 164
    Personally, I love building the smaller sets, but didn't really enjoy the larger builds
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