The 42038 Arctic Truck is the 2nd largest of the 2015 Technic sets released so far, at 912 parts. It is a strange looking truck, not something you would typically come across in your daily travels (unless perhaps, you work at the North Pole).
The unopened box weighs 1.385kg and contains:
- 8 x unnumbered bags of parts (1 just for treads, 1 just for black pins).
- 2 x instruction booklets.
- 1 x stick sheet.
See the full inventory of 912 parts. I guess this set isn't worthy of the glued binding instructions seen in 42039 Race Car and 10246 Detective's Office. I assume LEGO are only doing that for the largest models.
The Arctic Truck is predominately Orange, so we get some new and rare parts in that color. Also, it makes use of the new 3L driving ring/clutch parts that are making their way into several 2015 sets.
- New Part - 18946 Technic Gear 16 Tooth with Clutch on Both Sides is new and the counter part to 18947.
- New Part - 18947 Technic Driving Ring 3L is new, also appearing in 42039 24 Hr Race Car.
- New Part - 18948 Technic Driving Ring Connector is new and used with 18946 and 18947.
- New Part - 18651 Technic Axle Pin 3L with 2L Axle is new in a number of 2015 sets.
- New Part - 18654 Technic Pin Connector Round 1L is new in a number of 2015 sets.
- New Color - 32524 Technic Beam 1 x 7 Thick is new in Orange.
- New Color - 15458 Technic Panel 3 X 11 x 1 is new in Orange.
- Rare Color - 41239 Technic Beam 1 x 13 Thick in Orange appears in only 2 other sets.
- Rare Color - 60483 Technic Beam 1 x 2 Thick with Pin Hole and Axle Hole in Orange appears in only 2 other sets.
- Rare Color - 64782 Technic Panel 1 x 5 x 11 in Orange appears in only 2 other sets.
- Rare Color - 64683 Technic, Panel Fairing # 3 Small Smooth Long, Side A in Orange appears in only 2 other sets.
- Rare Color - 64391 Technic, Panel Fairing # 4 Small Smooth Long, Side B in Orange appears in only 2 other sets.
The build starts with the quite compact and seemingly complex gear box that sits in the center of the truck.
The rear tipper tray is added, and uses a smaller linear actuator to move the tray on its hinge. The single gear lever switches the functions between this tipper tray and the crane arm added later. Then the remaining paneling is added as well as the front cabin. I guess this is a large ruck in real life as there is room for three seats side by side in the cabin.
I applied the stickers last to see what it looked like with and without them. They help to break up all the orange, but I'm not sure they are really needed. Incidentally, adding stickers to a completed model can be a challenge :)
The set has:
- Doors that open and close (and yet no floor in the cabin!)
- Tipper tray - controlled by turning an axle with the gear box in position 1.
- Crane up/down - controlled by the same axle with the gear box in position 2.
- Crane rotation - manually moved by hand
- Crane 2nd arm - manually controlled by the lever on the bottom arm
- Crane string - manually controlled by the bevel gear on the bottom arm. This uses a friction pin so that the string doesn't get pulled down by heavy weights.
- Steering - manually controlled by the bevel gear in the center of the truck.
My biggest gripe is that the steering is almost impossible to use. If you are not on a slippery flat surface, you simply cannot turn the tracks without lifting the truck off the ground.
The tipper tray seems too small for the rest of the model (although I presume it's based on a real truck). Plus, it's quite difficult to get the crane to actually drop anything in there or pick up from there as it's too close. So I guess it's just meant for activities outside the truck.
As with with 42039 24 Hr Race Car, there are additional instruction steps to motorise the truck. However, all this does is control the crane arm up/down and the tipper tray. I'm still waiting to see the optional motorisation steps actually do something interesting like drive/steer the model. I guess they would need to release a new Power Functions set that includes a remote control before that could happen.
I found the build to be pretty interesting (more so than the 42039 Race Car), I guess because it is a bit unusual. However I must say, it's a really ugly truck :) I couldn't find any images of the type of truck this is supposed to be a model of, but I assume they are all about function over form. Searching for images of 'arctic truck with crane' gives more LEGO results than real trucks.
The B-Model is more like a traditional truck with tracked wheels, and looks pretty good to me.
Being a tracked vehicle, it's not very usable on flat surfaces. It works fine on carpet but is still hard to turn unless its moving at the same time. As for working in snow, you'd have to ask someone else. The last time it snowed near my home town was about 20 years before I was born :)