A Series of Tubes and a Motor
By Dwip May 5, 2015, 9:50 pm Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

So, about 10 hours ago I decided what the hell, let’s build some Legos, because I mean why the hell not, right? I decided that the thing to build was set 8868, the Air Tech Claw Rig, which was the biggest, baddest Technic set back when I got it in 1993 or so.

This thing is a beast. It’s fully a foot and a half long, features an electric motor driving an air compressor, a complex system of pneumatic tubing that drives the claw rig, a fully functional drivetrain, and an engine with working pistons.

It’s pretty super rad.

This is all of my assembled Lego stuff. Were I to actually build all of my sets, I’m fairly certain they would conquer my living room.

Skipping the first few steps, this is most of the bottom chassis with a little bit of the drivetrain in place.

And a closeup of the rear section, showing all the complex little gears that go into the thing. It takes some deft finger work to get them in there.

A little more built up now, and you can see the beginnings of what will be the front steering, as well as most of the drivetrain in place.

That little bag in the background is all of my various little connectors and things.

And a super dramatic macro shot of what will eventually be the front steering and the shaft that will link up with the engine.

This gnarly mess is most of the pneumatics that will end up driving the claw assembly. Dealing with these tubes is going to be a major pain in the ass.

And more in place. There’s another set of tubes for the compressor, plus the switches that direct the airflow to the various components. You can also see the gearing and the shaft for the claw turret mount.

And here’s the base of the turret mounted. Again, dealing with all those tubes is a massive pain.

In the foreground is the turret assembly, or most of it. The instructions for this were wildly confusing. Early 90s Lego instructions vary between very helpful and obfuscated sometimes in the same drawing, but this set takes things to extremes. I actually had to rebuild the whole thing once.

And here it is mounted, along with the motor that drives the compressor. Those little white tanks are cosmetic, by the by.

The rear turret and the compressor are pretty much hooked up, and the claw arm is starting to take shape.

And a little bit further. That’s the assembled engine there in the foreground, along with random parts for the next step.

This is a closeup of the engine. Those little pistons are hard to work with, but they’re really cool to see work.

Several steps later, we’re nearing completion. The claw is done and hooked up, the engine is in place, and you can see the massive 8 AA battery pack on the top.

And here’s the completed item. More or less works as designed, though I think the battery’s so weak it can’t drive the compressor very well, and all of the proper belts to drive the engine are all decayed and old. That light on the top is what manages the steering.

Again, this took almost all day, primarily because all of those black pieces required me to look through an entire trash bag full of black pieces of various shapes and sizes for the like 2 instances of whatever it was I needed.

Good fun. Just like old times.


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