This magnificent 1953 Esso service station is the work of previous bloggee Andrea Lattanzio (aka Norton74) and it’s probably as close to perfect as a Lego creation can possibly be.
Designed by Dutch architect Willem Dudock 112 of these beautiful structures were built across the Netherlands following World War 2 in order to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding road network. Dudock’s brief was to design a station that was cheap and simple to construct, and that minimised the raw material usage – a critical factor for a country rebuilding itself after years of conflict.
Andrea’s incredible recreation of Dudock’s ingenious design is not light on raw material however, as every conceivable detail has been replicated perfectly in Lego form, from the beautiful art deco fuel pumps (attended by Andrea’s previously blogged Volkswagen Transporter) to the brilliantly detailed workshop tooling.
We highly recommend taking a trip Andrea’s wonderful Flickr Photostream where you can see more of the Netherlands in 1953, and we may also be seeing more of Andrea here at TLCB soon…
With the red and green, it looks like it could belong to a jolly fat man… welcome to TLCB’s review of the Lego Technic 42008 Service Truck.
Not quite the latest in a long line of mid-range truck models that always seem to be the meat of the Technic range, this one with its 1276 pieces and £100 price is definitely edging upwards from mid-range, despite its still-modest size.
It’s got most of the sophistication of a much larger model too, as we shall see.
First impressions: Well, you’ll either get on with the green or you won’t… Personally, I think a grey or black (not red) chassis would have helped. Nevertheless, it is good to see Lego broadening the Technic colour palette once again – long may that continue! You get an entirely typical box, well stuffed with goodies and three instruction books. And a sticker sheet, natch. You’ll need that…
Building it is a reasonably familiar experience for anyone who’s had any other mid-range truck set in recent years, apart from the pneumatics, possibly. This may be unique in combining pneumatics, linear actuators and a PF motor in the same model – I can’t think of any others that have all three – and it’s this fact that makes the price seem pretty reasonable. It’s a fairly intricate and densely packed thing, with little wasted space, but the instructions are typically clear and simple to follow.
After a leisurely afternoon’s building, you’ll have a pretty impressive model with many functions:
Steering: A very well engineered progressive-rate system that operates on the first two axles via the usual gear on the roof. It works very smoothly, there’s a reasonable amount of lock and nothing for me to complain about. Technic steering systems would seem to be improving, at last.
Rear Stabilizers: Operated via the left hand gearbox and motorized, like all the following functions, these raise and lower via a pair of small linear actuators and are of limited use, frankly. They don’t lock in place and they’re not strong enough to lift the rear of the model. Next!
Hook: Anyone expecting this to take an age to raise and lower, like every other motorized crane, is in for a surprise. The thing fairly rips along, assuming you’ve lifted the stop-lever if you’re extending it…. which item won’t stay up on it’s own so you need three hands to do so. Grrr! It has the strength to pull a similar size model onto the ramp, so it does it’s job.
Boom Lifting: Done by a single large linear actuator and operated via the right hand gearbox, this works smoothly and well. It goes a lot further up than it needs to for a service truck, but I’m not complaining. Much.
The pneumatic compressor is actuated via the right hand gearbox and this powers the boom extension and the ramp lowering mechanisms. Each of these items uses a small pneumatic piston to actuate it, which works fine – if rather suddenly, as is the way with airtank-less pneumatics – without a load, but the small pistons don’t have enough grunt to do much actual work. The standard, larger, pistons would have been better.
That’s an impressive array of working functions for what is still a relatively small model; the more so because there’s a motor and battery box packed in as well. Most of them work alright, after a fashion, and it does make this an extremely playable set. The only major gripe concerns operating the motor via the switch on the battery box; you’ve got to be delicate to avoid switching it to the other direction when you want it off. Adding a PF switch would make this a much more manageable thing to use.
You can use it well enough, though…
Model Team trucks are pretty but they break down a lot…
42008 will never be called pretty, exactly, but it looks… purposeful. There’s a fairly minimal amount of detail around the cab, but there’s enough. The doors open to reveal the usual pair of angled-liftarm seats and a rudimentary dashboard and (unconnected) steering wheel. As for the colour, it’s certainly striking… I don’t usually apply stickers to my sets, but with this it’s very necessary; and they do successfully break up what is a big slab of green without them.
Overall, I like it. It ain’t perfect, it ain’t pretty, but it’s packed with features and you get a sense that the designers were being ambitious with it. Perhaps a little over-ambitious, but there’s a lot to admire here. 7/10