REVIEW - 42110 - LAND ROVER DEFENDER
It has been a while since I reviewed a set. Since there are already a lot of reviews, I will focus on providing the clear pictures you are used to. Lots of discussions have already been going on in the general topic. I won't be going into lots of the details, but I will obviously give you my opinion at the end of the review. For future reviews I will probably focus on the pictures since the write-up is always very time-consuming. I am still looking into the right balance of bringing useful information versus the time it takes to compose this information. Anyway, I'm rambling.
When you look at the model, you can't help but notice it somehow feels a bit like the 42069 - Extreme Adventure. Part of the reason is that the bodywork has similarities, but another factor is that it also has the signature of Milan all over it.
For years, AFOLs have been screaming for a new proper supercar. While this is not a supercar, it does seem to pack all the features requested by said AFOLs. So, let's see if this car can be considered the next 8880 - Super Car.
Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album.
This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG.
Title: Land Rover Defender
Part Count: 2573
Box Weight: 3544 gram
Box Dimensions: 57,5 x 47,5 x 8,5 cm
Set Price (RRP): £ 159.99 / $ 199.99 / € 179,99
Price per Part: £ 0.062 / $ 0.078 / € 0.070
Links: Brickset, Bricklink
The front of the box shows the car in its natural habitat, a rugged terrain.
The back shows all the features, including a cool view of the gearbox. A gearbox which TLG claims to be the most advanced gearbox to date.
CONTENTS OF THE BOX
The box contains:
NUMBERED BAGS IN INNER BOX
NUMBERED BAGS IN OUTER BOX
This section describes special parts, new parts and/or existing parts in new colors.
This set includes five new rims, specially designed for the Land Rover.
The new rim has pinholes placed closer to the outside of the tim, resulting in better steering geometry.
New fender parts, which we would love to see in different colors. I wouldn't mind TLG making round ones like these.
This set contains a proper collection of medium nougat parts (some of them are displayed in the picture below). For the entire list see the Part List section. It also includes one of the 20 tooth double bevel gears found in the Bugatti.
Of the new parts below, the middle one seems to be rather ordinary, right? Well, it indeed is quite ordinary, but it is actually quite rare in dark bluish grey. And you get 52 of them.
The complete part list.
The build starts with the rear suspension.
This looks like a front suspension setup, but it's not. Part of the gearbox is placed on top of the rear suspension.
The 7L lift arm has an elastic band, pulling back the "lever mechanism". This is used to sequentially switch gears.
Bottom view of the rear suspension, using two red springs.
The front suspension uses one red and one grey spring, which results in slightly softer suspension.
The fake six-cylinder engine is mounted on top of the front suspension. I have no objection to this kind of engine setup (not using the regular cylinder parts).
The part of the gearbox that is mounting between the front seats.
The gearbox has three different "operators":
A lot of discussions have been going on about different modes for the gearbox. Possibly the HI and LO modes should be switched on the sticker, as well as the + and -. If you want to know the details, I can recommend going through this discussion topic, which has a lot of interesting takes on the matter.
From a different angle.
The levers mounted on the gearbox.
The gearbox connected to the front suspension.
The front suspension connected to the rear suspension, more or less completing the chassis.
Viewed from the other side.
Bottom view of the chassis.
Another bottom view.
Side view of the chassis.
The chassis completes the technical part of the build. What remains is the interior and bodywork. The front seats are very well designed. They look like proper comfortable seats. I did mount them incorrectly the first time, which is visible in the picture below.
Here you can see my mistake. The connection with the black pin underneath the chair should be connected to the bottom hole in the bent lift arm.
The seats attached to the chassis. I also mounted the wheels, to test the gearbox.
Part of the bodywork attached to the chassis. At this point, I still hadn't noticed misplacing the seats, but you can see they are positioned way too high.
As much as I like the build, this solution bothers me. This mechanism screams for a KISS approach (keep it simple stupid). It feels way too complicated for a simple task. Additionally, the elastic band is way too loose. It can easily slip off.
The seats have been lowered (i.e. placed properly) to fit the roof.
Another minor gripe I have, are the stickers on the inside of the doors. They are hard to align and they only make the doors look weird when you look at them at an angle. I would have omitted them, or limited them to a single sticker per door, on the panel.
Slowly, the model is turning into an actual Land Rover Defender.
The front of the car can be considered a work of art :wink: The iconic front looks astonishing and it turns the model into an actual Land Rover Defender. I will now stand up and make a bow for Milan! Very well done.
To complete the build you will add a storage box and two plates to get you out of the mud.
The completed model looks great. I love the resemblance to the actual Land Rover. This new shade of green really makes the model stand out. The downside is that this shade can hardly be used for other models since there's a limited number of different parts available. On the other hand, the mudguard is the only unique green part of this set, so it's not that big of a deal.
The passenger side packs another storage box.
Both storage boxes can be opened.
The magnificent front view of the car. The car also packs a winge, which can be operated after opening the bonnet/hood.
The front is obviously more iconic than the back, but it still looks decent enough.
There are foldable stairs mounted to the driver's side, to easily access the roof.
One final image to show the beauty of this car!
Like most licensed models, this set doesn't have a B-model.
I love how the design worked out. The front of the car is absolutely amazing. Unmistakeably Land Rover. I also love the chosen color scheme. Of course, it will be hard to use these parts in MOCs, but besides the fenders/mudguards, no unique parts have been used. If TLG releases the fenders in different colors, you can easily build this model in a different color. Using this color adds to the iconic look of the car.
Not too happy with the mechanism to open the rear door with the spare wheel. I find it bulky and unnecessarily complicated. I would have loved a "less is more" approach. What I do like, are the extra details that add some playability to the model. Foldable stairs, openable storage boxes and the two plates that can save the day when you are stuck in the mud.
Steering and suspension both work properly. Unlike the Bugatti, the suspension is spot on. Not too stiff, not too loose. Steering works fine too. It might a bit hard to steer when the model isn't moving, but that's not uncommon for bigger models. The working steering wheel and detachable HoG are two plusses.
One can argue that the gearbox should not be positioned above the rear suspension, or that the Hi-Lo-switch should be reversed, but what's more important, is that the gearbox works like a charm. Besides switching the four gears, it has a mode for high and low gearing and an actual single reverse.
The downside of the intricate gearbox is, that it uses a lot of gears. This results in lots of slack in the drivetrain. Which results in not being able to see the effects the different gears have. In some gears, you need to push the car for a meter or so to be able to see the pistons of the fake engine move. I absolutely understand the reason for this slack, but it is something that kind of bothers me.
At the beginning of the review, I wondered whether this car would "tick all the supercar boxes". Proper gearbox? Check. Proper suspension? Check. Proper steering? Check. Working steering wheel? Check. Some other extra-ordinary functions (like ride height adjustment)? Not really. A winch, but that hardly counts. Does the lack of extra function prevent this car from being called a supercar? I honestly don't think so. This is a very well designed car, with very well working functionality. This model is most definitely one of the best Technic cars TLG has designed. Hats off to Milan and the design team.
How do I rate this set?
The design is spot on.
9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE
One of the most entertaining builds in a while.
Features work properly, but it misses the one extra killer function.
The added extras add playability to the model.
Cool new rims, but the most important new part has a hard to use color.
8 VALUE FOR MONEY
This set will probably satisfy everyone who builds it. The price is okay for the number of parts.
8,2 ONE OF THE BEST TECHNIC CARS EVER
As a bonus, I have included two images where I have mounted the rims to another car. I just noticed one of the headlights fell off by the way.