As you probably already know we have the best job in the world working with Lego. We love it, it’s opened up a whole new world for my family as we have attended some fantastic Lego blogging events, had VIP trips to Legoland every year and then there is building their new products just as they are about to hit the shops.
Little Bird started building Lego just before he was four years old and it didn’t take long before he was building sets designed for children aged 6 – 8years old plus. My mighty four year old was building sets solo using the manuals and to my surprise he didn’t seem to be making any mistakes. Little Bird is Autistic and seemed to enjoy throwing himself into his Lego, I started to notice that the Lego was his escape, it was where he could relax and be at peace whilst building.
We are lucky because we get send lots of Lego products to review and each one I try and do something different with. I try to make it a challenge for Little Bird as I sit him down and set his mission. Three weeks ago we were given a pretty spectacular mission that came in a huge box which was nearly as big as Little Bird. That mission was to build a Lego Technic Mercedes Benz Arocs 3245, when I showed Little Bird he was amazed at what was inside the box. I knew he was desperate to build it but it is designed for children aged 11-16 years old so I knew it was more for me and Mr M to build.
When we started this mammoth build Little Bird was itching to help me, there was so many bags of Lego Technics to get through that I could see this job was to much for my 7 year old master Lego builder. I jumped in the hot seat and took over, the manual for this set has a whopping 471 pages. I love the new style instruction manuals they are pretty spectacular and more like a book than a manual.
Little Bird sat with me for around 5 minutes before admitting it was to hard for him. As I started to build I soon began to realise that whilst I was building it had to have my full attention. I could not be distracted because one false move and the build would not work. I found myself checking and double checking the pieces I was putting in and counting and double counting which hole on the Lego set would take every piece.
I’m by my own admission pretty good at Lego but this was the first big Lego Technics set I have done. I kept track of the hours I spent building it so I could let you all know at the end. I predicted this build would take me around 10 hours so I was interested to see how close I would be.
The first night I built this set I spent around 4 hours on it and realised my 10 hours was never going to happen. I slipped up a couple of times but the worst one was when I was tired on the first night and I turned three pages in the manual at once. It took me a while to sort out, but when I realised what I had done I managed to corrected my mistake.
After my first day on the build I got really into this and wanted to crack on with it in the morning, however I was stalled by having to go to work and it being the school holidays and the children needed my attention so it had to wait until the evening. The first part of the build was amazing, and I soon realised that this was more than just Lego set. I was actually building something spectacular and I was enjoying building the intricate parts of the engine, the wheel chassie, extendable outriggers, automated crane arm and grabber, 6-cylinder engine with moving pistons, detailed cab, independent suspension, 2 suspended front axles with twin axle steering and 2 suspended rear axles with double wheels.
The first part of this build was making all the complicated parts that runs this Mercedes Benz Lorry. Then in stage two I had to build the automated crane arm and grabber and connect up the pneumatic V2 system. As it slowly started to come together I could see how this was going to work once it was complete. Every time I completed a bit and it needed attaching to the main build I surprised myself by seeing straight away where it wanted to go. Each major bit to this construction attached in using red pins that clicked and held it in place. These are essential bits if you ever need to take it apart to tweak or try the other style of truck.
The build took me a total of 17 hours to complete and then we spent another couple of hours playing with the pneumatic V2 system and learning how to pick handfuls of Lego up and put them in the back of the truck. I was surprised that all the leavers worked and did a job, I thought it was all for show.
I put lots of hours into this build and on the final day Little Bird swooped into finish it for me. He spent the last hour of the build making the trailer and tailgate. My little man was really excited to be finishing it off and I was secretly gutted it was not me doing it as I had spent hours on it.
This set has amazing Power Functions, a large motor and an advanced pneumatic system for an array of motorized features. It includes extendable outriggers, automated crane arm and a grabber and has 2 suspended front axles with twin axle steering, 2 suspended rear axles with double wheels, independent suspension, 6-cylinder engine with moving pistons, detailed cab, opening doors and tailgate, a 3-pointed Mercedes-Benz star.
The Lego 42043 Technic Mercedes Benz Arocs 3245 is an awesome bit of kit and we would recommend it to older experienced builders. If you are looking to buy this you will be looking to pay around £165.99, prices may vary depending on where you shop.
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