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Lego Unimog U400

Rick W

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Just found on the internet, new technical Lego Unimog.


"THIS IS the most complicated Lego Technic model ever put into production, with a total of 2,048 pieces and five separate instruction manuals. No, really. This is the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400 in miniature.A model it may be, but it’s not exactly small. I don’t have a tape measure, but it’s almost exactly five times the length of a HTC Desire smartphone and taller than a bottle of Robinsons squash, even before you consider the pneumatically-controlled arm on the back.

It’s a bit of a beast, and not the sort of thing you can build from scratch on a Sunday afternoon. A gearbox that would puzzle a Lotus engineer is at the heart of it, while a functioning winch is at the front and that impressive claw at the back.

Under the cab, which looks fit for two Technic figures, there’s a big four-cylinder engine (diesel I suppose) with moving pistons, drive shafts, cogs, differentials, suspension, pneumatics and lots of other stuff that takes you back to the age of 12. Brilliant!

But at first it’s just a picture on a box, and it’s not until you open the box, count the bags of parts and lay the first batch out that you realise you might be there for some time…

Appropriately, you start with the most complicated bit, the gearbox, and you really need to pay attention. Cogs meet small half-cross pushy-in bits, they go into five-hole girdery pieces and then a couple of the basic pushy-in clippy bits follow on. It’s relentlessly fiddly, and why in the name of all that’s plastic and frustrating don’t the pieces have proper names?

Slowly the gearbox builds up, somehow never looking all that finished, and grows a chassis around it. Thankfully, when its turn comes around the engine is a doddle to complete compared to getting the rear drive shaft sorted, which transmits power to allow the arm to turn. It needs to be about 2mm longer, but let’s not grumble…

Then the very fussy suspension arms are sorted, the wheels and upper chassis go on, the bright orange cab comes together, the grey load bay makes it look almost finished, and then it’s the turn of the pneumatic arm – the bit every 11-16 year old (at least that’s what it says on the box) Lego fan will have been waiting for.

It’s every bit as finicky as the rest of the model, especially the routing of the air lines. Sometimes one of them is just too short so you have to wiggle things around to get it to fit. There are also one or two probably deliberate mistakes in the model’s instructions – legend has it they do that to test and develop your teenage ingenuity and improvisation skills.

Once it all comes together and you slot the battery holder in, the really fun bit starts. As the motor whirs and chatters away with each new movement of the levers, the winch winds in and out and the arm rotates on its base.

Different levers then control the position of the arm and grabber, and soon enough you’ll be picking up small objects all over your desk/kitchen table to then drop into the load bay with a cry of “YESSS!” Try explaining that one to your wife.

It’s a mightily impressive thing and I love it all the more for the effort it cost. If I hadn’t already got other plans for it I’d build a shelf especially for it. How hard can it be? After all, who’s ever heard of a shelf with 2,048 pieces and five instruction manuals?"

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I've just searched for it on YouTube!! Woowzers!!!!!!!

Hmmm it is the cubemeisters birthday in a couple of weeks time, wonder if he wants one? £109 in a certain catalogue shop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


All sold out :(

Edited by rosie
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I got given the Unimog lego set this Xmas (:thanx:) I have not made it yet - it is still in the box much to the annoyance of my daughter :angel: but only get minor nagging:angry for not making it yet as the Airfix jet engine working model from Xmas 2010 has not been made yet and that gets major nagging:argh: to build it!



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