Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sluban M38-B0555 Tower Crane Building Set Review - Part Two

Welcome back to my  review of the Sluban M38-B0555 Tower Crane building set.  In my previous post I looked at the minifigures, the utility truck and the four storey house that come with this set. Those were the appetizers.  Now we look at the giant tower crane that is the main course.

I'll be building the tower crane as per the provided instruction manual and snapping pics about every five steps or so.  After step 5, you can see the large base of the tower has been constructed using a lot of technic style pieces.  Most of the parts are black, with a smattering of yellow and light gray.

Here's the first set of supports affixed to the base in step 10.  Note that the foundation of the base stays in this position all the time.  It would have been cool if Sluban designed the legs to fold upwards for easy transport and space considerations when not in use.  Or what if you had an uneven surface?  If each of the legs could adjust to accommodate the terrain, that would be bonus.

A lot of progress has been achieved between steps 10 and 15.  We now have three mast sections of the main tower in place.  The yellow girders are secured to a continuous central shaft via technic axles and pins.   For extra support, there are some flexible struts to keep the tower at right angles to the base.   It is a good design, because I find that the yellow framework has a tendency to lift a little, even with the center shaft and struts.  I looked at some pictures of real tower cranes and they don't have the struts on the bottom.

The main tower assembly is completed after step 20.    This thing is high!  So I had to google "parts of a tower crane" to make sure I called the next few things correctly.

The next part we are building is the operator's cabin.  It will sit atop the slewing unit or turntable. We are on step 25 now.

The operator's cabin has room for a seat and levers for the minifigure to operate the crane.  Here is the winch handle set into place.  It will be used to control the hoisting rope and hook once we get the cord attached.

This is a look at the completed cabin after step 29.

The back door of the cabin is supposed to swivel open, but I discovered you can't easily open it, the way it's designed.

I swapped out the original 1x3 yellow brick, and replaced it with a 1x2 brick, a 1x1 brick with side stud and a round button piece.  Now I have a door handle that will let me open the door to the cabin.

The next parts I'm assembling is the crane runway or jib.  On the jib, there are two arms, the working arm (that's the long one), and the machinery arm that holds up the ballast or counterweight (that's the shorter one).  The Sluban instruction guide resets the step numbers for the crane arm assembly, so this is a picture after step 5.

Here's a look at the jib that will hold our counterweights.  Step 6.

Ok, so we have added the tower head or peak to the unit.  That provides support to the front and rear jib suspension rods.  Step 9.

Time to thread the cord and connect it to the crank at one end and the hook at the other end.

Not having a good go of it here.  While trying to attach the cord to the crank, the platform to which the cabin is attached to keeps coming off


Not sure if you can see from the instruction manual, but it's the pieces in the center blue box that keep unclutching from the square plate piece.  I added my own 1x2 tile and 2x3 plate piece to secure the cabin platform to the square plate, and that seemed to fix the issue.

Here's pictures of the assembled hook block (center) and trolley (right).   So getting back to the cord, you tie one end to the rotating crank then you tie it off at the end of the jib.  You then insert the trolley on the jib arm.   At this point the cord is situated between the jib arm and the trolley.  You pull the cord out  and down from the trolley.   Carefully, take off one side of the hook block and place the cord under the two pulley wheels, now snap the side of the hook block you previously removed back into place.

Here's a minifigure view of the tower crane.

Here's a closer look at the trolley and hook block with load attached.  The crank which the cord is attached will lower and raise the hook block, but you have to manually slide the trolley along the jib yourself.

Here's the rear view of the tower crane with counterweights attached.  I made my counterweight a bit bigger than the one provided with the set.

These were all the extra parts leftover from the set.  

The Sluban tower crane can carry a whole pallet of bricks no problem!   A new structure now looms high above the skyline of Lepin modular town.   Thanks for looking.

Oh, if you missed part one of the Sluban Tower Crane review, you can find it here.

Brand: Sluban
Series: Construction
Model:  M38-B0555 Tower Crane
Number of Pieces:  1461

1 comment:

  1. Hey!
    This is a very nice review. From the pictures, the set is not bad, either.
    Would you say (the old question!) that these bricks are as good as those by LEGO? Fromm your own, personal experience. Or are they close to the LEGO bricks? Or nowhere near? Or (maybe!?) better?