Tag Archives: 8480

The Ultimate Supercar

… Is one that goes into space…

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Until 1996, the top-of-the-range Technic set was always a car. Then Lego had another idea. Welcome to TLCB’s review of set 8480, the Technic Space Shuttle.

With only a handful of pieces more than the 8880 supercar, but the addition of some 9V electrics, this retailed for $30 or so more. Since I was recently privileged to put one together, I thought I’d tell you, our esteemed reader, all about it.

First of all, the box is huge. Ma-hoo-sive, as I’m told some people say… rather more than is necessary; although having a plastic tray to sort the pieces into is a boon. Unlike new sets of this size, there is just the one – thickish – instruction book, which covers both the shuttle and the submarine B-model. This naturally means that every build step involves quite a lot more than it would now… the assembly of this large and complex model is broken down into just 40 build steps.

You know that warm feeling of accomplishment you get when you complete a model? Well, you get a similar frisson for completing EVERY PAGE of this. You do need to concentrate, partly because of the relatively large amount of pieces added at each step, but also because there will be ONE piece added somewhere, at the other end of the model from most of the rest, that you will miss. It’s like  40 pages of ‘Where’s Waldo’… If this sounds like complaining, it isn’t; this was a properly challenging and very enjoyable build.

I do have a couple of TLCB Top Tips: At an early stage, you attach two 2×6 black plates with holes to the underside. Leave these off until much later, as you’ll only knock them off many times until they are attached at more than one end. It’ll spare your sanity, I promise… Another thing – make sure you test these near-20 year old electrics; especially the two long wires that are carefully routed along the length of the fuselage from an early stage of the build. If you discover one of these doesn’t work later on, it’s major surgery to remove it. This leads to swearing…

After many hours of careful assembly, you will have a Technic model of unusual handsomeness, and a (for the time) quite staggering technical density. Time to see what it does. Continue reading

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