Containers are just big boring boxes right?… Er, yes actually. They really are. But what’s inside them can be very interesting indeed. Motorcycles, exotic fruits, LEGO sets, illegal immigrants… the list is endless. All make the world a more interesting place, and pretty much anything in your home that’s come from abroad will have arrived in one of these.
The vehicles that move them about can be pretty interesting too, from the trains and trucks that transport them on land to dockside cranes and giant container ships that bring them to the shores for which they are bound.
It’s these that builder ExeSandbox has digitally created for us here, with this enormous 100,000 peice container terminal that would measure 6ft wide if it were built for real. Spectacular detailing is in evidence everywhere and there much of Exe’s amazing scene to see at his ‘Tour at the Container Terminal’ album on Flickr.
Click the link above for a lot of big boring boxes making up a creation that’s really rather interesting indeed.
Scrolling through the Brick Badger website can be a dangerous business, especially if you haven’t bought any new bricks for a while. It was a dull Sunday afternoon at TLCB Towers. The Elves had decided to find out which colour of 32009 Technic beam could do the most damage when beaten against a colleague’s head (medium lilac apparently). We were wandering the interweb and spotted the 42062 Container Yard was nearly 40% off on the famous riverine retailer.
The set contains 631 pieces, including a selection of beams in LEGO’s standard blue and orange colours, plus eight, grey 64782 flat panels. Not owning the 42056 Porsche 911, a source of orange Technic pieces is always welcome and the grey panels looked like they’d come in handy for making neat bases for MOCs. There’s also one of the new worm gears and a good number of 18654 (15, plus spares). LEGO insists on calling these 1×1 beams, despite the pieces obvious inability to perform this engineering function. The most obvious new pieces in the set are the 18942 and 18940 Gear Rack & Housing. It will be interesting to see what use MOCers come up with for these parts. The set continues Technic’s trend of axles coming in a variety of colours: red, yellow and brown in this case.
Building the models is the usual, enjoyable adventure with Lego. There is a very nicely produced instruction book for both the main build and the B-model. The different colours are well differentiated and the days of dark grey and black getting confused are long gone. The parts come in numbered bags; building the tractor unit, the trailer and finally the telehandler. It took us a couple of hours of building and tea-drinking to complete the build. Builders at the youngest end of the suggested age range might find this quite a marathon of building and concentrating. Perhaps an advantage of this set is that you can build the lorry (and pause to play with it), build the trailer (and pause to play with it) and finish off with the telehandler. We certainly did!
As you would hope from a set with two different models, there are a good variety of mechanisms for young (and old!) engineers to build and play with in this set. Each vehicle has a different steering mechanism, plus the four-bar linkage that raises the arm on the telehandler, which also uses that new worm gear. Purists might be annoyed that the A model doesn’t use the gear rack to extend the telehandler’s arm. However, the B model does and the A model uses an interesting camming mechanism similar to the locking mechanism found in early repeater rifles. The container grabbing claw is another very neatly implemented version of a locking knuckle. For a set with a relatively small number of pieces there’s a lot here to inspire amateur engineers to experiment and build their own machines.
Sadly, the one thing that this otherwise excellent and exciting looking set doesn’t do so well on is its playability. Compromises have had to been made to keep the set within a certain price range, which is understandable. Continue reading →