Lego 9397 Snow Plough and Tipper Truck

The Lego 9397 has a set of alternative instructions on-line at the Lego website for a Snow Plough and Tipper Truck.   This took me a good four hours to assemble and probably contains over 1200 Lego elements.

The design incorporates a 4 selection gearbox that powers the opening and closing of the cab, the raising and lowering of the snow plough and the rear tipper and also the rear wheels that can be raised and lowered to turn the truck into a 4 or 6 wheel vehicle.

The front snow plough can be rotated to tilt to the left or right via a worm gear assembly; it is a little bit wobbly but is a fairly sturdy design.

Construction of this truck was a little more enjoyable than the default logging lorry design, my only complaint is that the instructions for this second model could have come with the kit rather than having to download it as a PDF.

Tipping in action

The underside, showing gearbox and differential gears

Powered opening and closing of the cab to reveal the engine

Rear wheels can be raised and lowered by the gearbox

A rather realistic looking vehicle

Lego 9397 Logging Truck

I've recently been assembling the Lego Technic 9397 Logging Truck which turns out to be a monster of a kit.  This set contains 1308 Lego elements and no less than 3 instruction books, so be prepared for a lengthy build!

This set comes with a Lego motor to drive a rather complex gearbox that provides power to the mechanical grabber arm and the extendible outriggers.   Three gear shifts provide control the rotation and arm lift motion; controlling the arm is a little tricky as one has to also combine the motor forward/reverse power switch with the gear shifts. The grabber claw can be rotated on its axis as well as opened and closed, so one has full control to pick up and drop the thickest of logs.

The engine has 4 working pistons that send power down the chassis to the back wheels via a differential gearing.  The engine cover opens up to allow easy access to the engine.

The cab has working doors however the steering inside the cab is just for decoration and the rack and pinion steering is controlled using a small wheel on the top of the cab.

One has to go online to fetch the plans for the container truck and snow plough as these plans are not provided with this set.

I took a leisurely 5-6 hours to build the trick over Christmas and it was a fairly challenging build.   Recommended for the more advanced Technic Lego builder.

The completed truck

Looks rather realistic

Not exactly a small truck

Engine hood down reveals the 4 cylinder engine

Engine hood, engine and cab

Differential gearing to first set of real wheels

Four selectable power controls

The electric motor is hidden inside a fuel tank

Powered outriggers stabilize the vehicle

Lego 4204 Mining Set

My son received a Lego 4204 Mining Set for Christmas - the set is simply packed full of features that can keep kids amused for hours.  A mining machine with a spinning drill can be driven into the cave to extract rock and nuggets of gold.  A small gauge railway carries ore from deep within the cave to the surface and the ore can be picked up from the truck and dumped onto a hand powered conveyor belt using a crane.  The crane has a sprung loaded rock grabber and can swing on a sliding base to give it all the mobility required to move ore around the mining site.   The conveyor belt moves rock into the large tipper lorry so that it can be transported off site.

The set comes with four mining mini figures to help keep the mine busy.  Any gold that is found is placed in a secure safe room to be safe from criminals.  Also included in the set was a wheel barrow, some sticks of dynamite, a sign, some suitable mining tools and some large rocks that can be opened up and filled with small rock and gold elements.

The set was easy to assemble and came with some large rock elements to enable the cave and mine to be quickly built.   Combined with the Lego 4201 tipper and loader set my son now has a fun active mine with plenty of play potential.

Mining machine spinning up for action
Tipper lorry taking away some rock debris..
..and tipping out the rocks at the destination.
The completed mining set.
Drilling into the rock face with the mining machine.
A busy day at the mine.
Train bringing some rock to the surface.

Lego 4201 Loader and Tipper Set

My son received a Lego 4201 Loader and Tipper Set for his birthday from his Grandparents to complement the Lego 4204 Gold Mine Set.   This set comprises of a loader to pick up rock and a tipping lorry that carries and dumps the rock.  Also incorporated with the set are two miners with tin hats and also a large rock, some gold nuggets, a stick of dynamite and a warning sign.  

Loading up the lorry with some rocks
Miners with their golden bounty
So much rock to shift with the loader
Watch out for explosives!
Dumping some rock and picking them up with the loader.