REVIEW - 42080 - FOREST MACHINE
This has to be the least appealing set of the second wave of 2018 sets, when it comes to aesthetics. Of course, this is a personal preference, but the use of two different shades of green just doesn't cut it (you get it?) for me. And the RRP (recommended retail price) of 129 euro doesn't help either. Basically, this is a rather expensive not so good looking set. So, why am I interested in it anyway?! Because it packs some pneumatic functions, and even a new pneumatic valve (two to be precise). After longer pneumatic cylinders, TLG again listened to certain Eurobricks members hehe and designed new elements to work with the Pneumatic V2 system. And judging by some visible gears here and there, this set probably packs more than meets the eye. Nuff said, let's start our engines and do some logging...sustainable of course!
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Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album.
This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG.
Title: Forest Machine
Part Count: 1.003
Box Weight: 1,67 kg
Box Dimensions: 47,5 cm x 37,0 cm x 6,2 cm
Set Price (MSRP): £ / $ 149.99 / € 129,99
Price per Part: £ / $ 0.15 / € 0,13
Links: Brickset, Bricklink
The front shows the model, with quite an impressive logging apparatus. You don't want to get cought in the claws of this bad boy. It will turn you into minced meat in no-time. As I said before, I am not a big fan of the color scheme on this thing, but I am very interested to find out what this thing is packin'. The right side of the box is already showing some spoilers. Not only does it pack a battery box and a large motor, like the Rough Terrain Crane, but it also contains quite a few Pneumatic V2 elements, including two brand new valves. I can only say....whoop whoop :wink:
Like the Volvo Zeux, the backside is divided in an upper and a lower section. The upper section, for the main model, tells us that this model has a Motorised Pneumatic Crane, Articulated Steering and the cabin with boom can rotate about 270 degrees. The bottom section shows the B-model, a Log Loader. At this point, I am somewhat indifferent about it. It utilizes the Pneumatic and Power Functions elements to have some functionality, but it seems to be more or less the same as the main model.
CONTENTS OF THE BOX
The box contains:
BOOKLET AND STICKER SHEET
The sealed bag with booklet and sticker sheet.
A single booklet with instructions for the main model.
The sticker sheet with various stickers.
TIRES AND LARGE MOTOR
The bag containing eight balloon tires and the large motor.
POWER FUNCTIONS ELEMENTS
As usual the battery box comes unbagged, while the large motor resides in its own bag within the bigger bag.
Pneumatic hoses, to go with the cylinders. How convenient.
And of course, the numbered bags. Seven in total.
This set does come with some interesting parts.
First of all the new pneumatic valves. These are new molds and are an improvement over the older ones. We will see why later in this review. This set also contains two of the new V2 longer pneumatic cylinders and a small cylinder. I forgot to include the blue pump.
Eight balloon tires. No sure why I am highlighting these, because they are quite common. Only 41 sets have used these in the past :wink:
These rims aren't very rare either, but in this color you will only find them in three sets. Flat silver if I am not mistaken.
BLADE AND SPIKES
Here are two odd-looking fellas. One of 'em is a Circular Saw Blade, found in lots of themes like Ninjago, Power Miners, etc and the other is a 2x2 Round Brick with Spikes. The round brick with spikes has been used before, but this is the only set which has them in Yellow.
I almost missed these ones, but upon building the model, I suddenly realised that these panels might be new in green. And indeed they are.
These small panels are new in Lime Green.
The part list showing 1003 parts.
The build starts with the front steering linkage.
Here you can see the new valves attached to the back of the cabin. The main difference with the old ones is the axle going through the valve. This means that they can be operated using an axle (most likely with a gear attached). This gives us lots of opportunities for better pneumatic models. Like the old valve, it isn't very easy to switch. This must be due to the nature of the valve, but there is quite some resistance when you try to switch the valve.
The new valve also implements the slightly smaller ends, to make it easier to attach the hoses.
The battery box, motor and valve are neatly packed in the rear compartment of the vehicle. The rear is connected to the front using thew new large turntable.
Both rear axles have pendular suspension. Albeit a very basic implementation, but it's worth mentioning.
At this stage the front and back of the vehicle are done. The rear can be opened and closed to easily replace the batteries in the box.
After building the crane, and some added details (two logs, a chainsaw, a small log and some sort of rest for the log) the model is finished! To be honest; I am not completely sure what to think of it. Still looks a bit messy to me, but maybe the functions can compensate for that.
Here you can see the completed model, with the added extra's. You can click on the image to see alternate versions of the boom position.
The picture below clearly shows how big the head on the crane is. It packs the grabbers/grinders and the saw blade. The weight is rather high, especially when you look at the size of the crane boom. It's not a real problem for the crane itself, but it does tend to get top heavy and it can easily tip over the vehicle over when moved to the side.
These semi-new macaroni parts sure are popular. They come in every Technic set, don't they?! I do love 'em btw, so keep 'em coming.
And one final image from the rear. It is interesting, and to some even useful, that TLG included two new green panels (not counting the lime panels) and green parts, but I think this vehicle would have looked better with a dark bluish grey chassis, and more lime green parts for the rear compartment.
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES
Below are two videos demonstrating the functions. Both videos are basically the same (take 1 and take 2), but I figured I might as well include the both, so you will see the grabbers work at least once :wink:
I have said this before in previous reviews, but to me, Pneumatic models often are proofs of concept, instead of actual working models. Admittedly, the big cylinders work like a charm. These have enough power to do the heavy lifting. But the small cylinder simply doesn't have enough power to operate simple functions. As you can see in the video, I sometimes have to help the grabbers near the saw blade to contract. Besides that, it takes a long time before they open and close. They are not very responsive.
The valves are very hard to operate. You really need to apply a lot of force to the 12T gear, which makes you wonder whether the axle isn't breaking. I love the new design, but operating them by gear/axle doesn't feel safe or comfortable. I'd rather use the lever.
The pump is located in the rear of the vehicle. When it's turned on, that part of the vehicle tends to move a lot. You can see it shaking a lot. This is caused by the lack of weight, but the suspension doesn't help either.
The crane is rather heavy, so when you rotate it, the vehicle is bound to tip over. This is partially caused by the suspension and partially because the head of the machine is too heavy.
All in all I am afraid that the functions don't compensate for the overall look of the machine. I really appreciate what TLG has tried to do with this set/model, but the execution is not that succesful. A full blown Forest Machine might have been a better choice, because the appearance and functionality of this model doesn't justify the price of the set.
The alternate model isn't very exciting, an eight wheeled vehicle with a pneumatic crane. At a glance I had to look twice to see it's a different vehicle. It looks poorly executed and the placement of the battery box is rather awkward. It's not the worst B-model *cough* 42082 *cough*, but I do think it could have been better, if the designer hadn't focus on a vehicle with eight wheels and a crane.
Before building this model I was hoping that the functions would compensate for the poor exterior of the model. Unfortunately, they don't. There are simply too much negative aspects to make me enthusiastic about this set. I would think twice, or thrice, before forking out 129 euro for a couple of new panels and some Pneumatic parts. Even at a decent discount I think it's better to order these Pneumatic parts via S&H or Bricklink.
How do I rate this set?
Color scheme and overall design is so so.
7 BUILDING EXPERIENCE
Kind of okay, but there is much fiddling going on.
There are enough features, but they don't work very well.
Functions should work better to improve playability.
If you are into Pneumatic models (or MOCs), this is a nice parts pack.
6 VALUE FOR MONEY
At 13 cents a piece, this set is rather expensive.
6,5 MEDIOCRE MACHINE
Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.