Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lego Adventure: Technic Quad Bike Part 1

What am I assembling actually?

Completing the detailing work on Keropla Tamama Robo Mk-II in the previous posting reminded me that I haven't assembled anything for review on this blog for quite a while now. For this month alone, the last model kit I assembled was Master Grade Zeta Plus, which was like two weeks ago. ^^ Painting and panel lining parts from Keropla Tamama Robo Mk-II made me feel like building something again. ^^

I do have two BB Senshi Sangokuden Gotaitei Sonken Gundam Korinpaku and Tenshouryu Koumei Nu Gundam waiting to be assembled, but I'm thinking of working on something extra special instead of model kits. ^^

And I do have something like that in my collection. ^^


This is Lego Technic No. 9392 Quad Bike, a 2012 model which I got a few months back. Even though the past few Lego sets I reviewed were all from the Creator series: No. 5765 Transport Truck, No. 4993 Cool Convertible, and No. 4997 Transport Ferry, Quad Bike is actually my second set from the Technic series. The first set was No. 8045 Mini Telehandler which I got back in December 2010, but I never did a proper review on it back then. ^^

On that note, Quad Bike would be the first Lego Technic set to get a dedicated review series, but it'll certainly not be the last one, because I got No. 9391 Tracked Crane together with it in that Lego purchase mentioned earlier on. ^^ A simpler set, I'll save the Tracked Crane for another review some time in the future. ^^

Anyway, despite the lack of exposure on this blog, I like the Technic series very much. ^^ That sentiment is just natural in my opinion. The Technic series is meant for Lego fans who are looking for sets that are both more challenging to assemble and with realistic mechanical gimmicks incorporated. ^^ I like Lego sets with those two features. As a matter of fact, that preference of mine is true for model kits too. ^^

Then again, on top of assembly and gimmicks, versatility is a feature I would love to have on my Lego sets as well, which is why I prefer the Creator series more. ^^ While lacking mechanical gimmicks, each Creator model do have their own simple but fun functions that you can play with after completion. Creator models are usually more colorful as well because of the types of bricks they use. However, the most outstanding feature that separates my preference for the Creator series more is the range of models you can assemble for a single set. No. 5765 Transport Truck, No. 4993 Cool Convertible, and No. 4997 Transport Ferry have three models each, with Transport Truck and Transport Ferry having more than one independent models for each variation. ^^ There's just so much fun with each Creator set. ^^

That versatility is usually not emphasized for Technic sets, which normally have just one alternate model each. Also, in my opinion, most of the alternate models are not as impressive as their respective main models in terms of look and mechanical gimmicks inherited. ^^; I'm not sure if that's intentional on the designer's side, where the main model and everything about it are the most important attractions, and the alternate model is only included for the sake of having a second model. ^^;

Anyway, back to Technic No. 9392 Quad Bike. ^^


Also known as ATV (all terrain vehicle), quad bike is basically a bike that runs on four wheels. ^^ The most notable thing about ATV for me is how Stone Cold Steve Austin used to ride one to the wrestling ring in certain appearance after his retirement from WWE. XD


Stone Cold Steve Austin doing his usual bad-ass business with his ATV. ^^
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.

This Technic set has two special mechanical gimmicks:


(1) Realistic front and rear suspension, and
(2) handlebar that controls the front wheels

Other gimmicks not shown on the main box image is how the rear wheels' movement is linked to a chain that you get to assemble piece by piece and moving piston inside the engine block that gets triggered when the chain moves. ^^ I find the usage of stickers for the head and tail plates to be very interesting as well. It's a rare feature for Lego sets in my opinion, not to mention the sticker design looks really good and totally compliments the feel of the entire model very well. The designer put a very clever touch in the numbering used on the sticker pieces which I like very much. Are you able to detect that from the images below?




A somewhat simpler, less flashier box side design as compared to the three Creator sets in my collection. ^^



The alternate model is a race car (formerly known as a race buggy) that shares the same two main mechanical gimmicks as the quad bike, expect the handlebar has been turn into a knob.


Box open.


Content



All the pieces are organized into different packages according to their rough sizes.


Rubber tires and sticker sheet.


The manual for the main model.


Simple pictorial guide on organization of the bricks.




Some images of the quad bike's assembly from the manual.



Promotional images of No. 9394 Jet Plane, No. 9395 Pick-up Tow Truck and promotion for the official site of Lego Technic and Lego Club on the last two pages of the manual.


The manual for the alternate model.



Some images of the race buggy's assembly from the manual.


Two dedicated pages showing a much clearer piece count of the entire set on the back of the race buggy's manual.

As usual, the main model will be assembled first, but before building anything, a bit of organization of the parts is necessary. ^^


The body will go first:



The very special spring loaded part that is the key to the suspension gimmick. ^^



Done for the first part foundation component of the body.




Adding on more parts for the body.




Frame parts added to build the front set.




More frame and other parts added, including two clear buttons that form the headlights. ^^



Progress thus far: a very weird-looking mix-match of frames and rods. ^^;



Adding on orange bars and more rods to link the head set with bottom frame.


Totally incomprehensible mesh of Technic parts is the temporary result to be carried forward to the next posting, but so far the build process has been very fun. It's not as difficult as I first imagine it to be, most likely because the quad bike is still a relatively smaller set as compared to other big "players" like No. 9395 Pick-up Tow Truck or No. 9397 Logging Truck. Quad Bike's total part count is 199, but it's 954 and 1308 for Pick-up Tow Truck and Logging Truck respectively. ^^;

Unlike Creator sets where I could tell which component on the model I was assembling at a particular moment fairly easily, it's very difficult to tell what I was doing with all the bars, rods, gears and connectors as I was going through the pages in the manual. ^^; I suppose guessing and imagining how things would turn out in the end is part of the fun of the Technic series as well.

On that note, if a smaller set of just 199 parts is enough to generate the uncertainties, what about the larger ones? ^^

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