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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).

Box Contents

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.

Parts

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.

Build

The build starts with the quite compact and seemingly complex gear box that sits in the center of the truck.

The front and back tracked wheel assemblies are connected via two large ball joints (92910/92911) and four soft shock absorbers.

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.

Completed Model

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 :)

Functions

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.

Summary

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 :)

You can now buy this set for $84.99 or £59.99 or check other store prices and sales history here.

10 COMMENTS

  • 2 years, 7 months ago jantjeuh (60247)
    Just finished building the A model, and have to agree that the tracks really let the model down. Just no way to properly use them. The build experience is good though, and some really neat building techniques are used.
  • 2 years, 7 months ago jantjeuh (60247)
    I've bought this set, cause I think it's a good parts pack :)
  • 2 years, 8 months ago dulsi (2051) MOC Designer
    I'm curious what the real vehicle looks like assuming it is based on one. Closest I could find is:
    https://antantarctic.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/dsc_0008.jpg
    Only one long tread not two. I like the look which probably means it is too weird for most people :).
    • 2 years, 7 months ago dagupa (4225) MOC Designer
      That one seems more like the 42032 B model: Snow Groomer -because of the classic winch.
  • 2 years, 8 months ago Bolbuyk (8529) MOC Designer
    Well, I'm still not sure about this set. The functionality is very limited and tracks look great but they suck when you try to move something: on a smooth surface they just don't move and on a carpet they get dirty quite easy. On the other hand there are quite some interesting parts and beside the 24h-car it has the new clutch. Probably I wait till I find it for a good price.
  • 2 years, 8 months ago Rudolpho (449)
    This looks awsome. I've put it on may LEGO to buy list.
  • 2 years, 8 months ago Immo (3499) MOC Designer
    The thing that drags me towards this model is a nice possibilities for "mecha" or "space-tank" MOCs :)
    The B-Model should quite effective with regular wheels of appropriate size (those from 42037 would be sufficient? if so, the color duo will be crazy, but nice looking :D).
  • 2 years, 8 months ago TobyMac (51718) Inventory Admin ADMIN
    Thanks for the review!
    I was tossing on buying this set. Unfortunatly I think it has to few functions, and mostly operated manually. So I'll pass.
  • 2 years, 8 months ago jantjeuh (60247)
    Ugliest LEGO set ever? :D I do like the colour scheme.
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