20 December 2018

LEGO® Creator Expert 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine

LEGO® Creator Expert 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine is the latest set to get re-issued by The LEGO Group. How does this monster measure up? We tasked brainy builder Gary Davis with finding out... and managing to fit it all into one photograph.

I liked the 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine set form the moment I first saw it for real.  The completed model has great presence.  With one of its blades pointing straight up, it's nearly a metre tall, and what's more, it moves!  Unusually for a Creator Expert set, the Vestas Wind Turbine includes Power Functions lights and a motor to get those blades whizzing round.  (The model isn't quite as environmentally friendly as the real thing.)


This is a re-issue of the almost identical set (4999) from ten years ago.  That was a Limited Edition set only available to Vestas employees, but now it's available to us all.  There are some minor changes between the two sets, for example the Vestas branding has been updated and, reportedly, the mounting of the tower is now more stable. 

The statistics

The retail price of the set is £159.99 / US $199.99/ €179.99.  With only 826 pieces, the average price per piece is high: 19.4 pence.  But that is explained by the many larger than average size elements in the set, plus the Power Functions components.



What you get

The portrait format box is appropriate for such a tall model, although there is a lot of empty space inside.   Apart from the loose 32x32 baseplate (Element ID 4219692 | Design ID 3811), the elements are contained in 12 unnumbered bags.  Now, I like because there’s no disadvantage to opening all the bags at once to create a nice big pile of brand new elements—nice! 

The manual is well protected in a sealed plastic sleeve. 

Notable elements

There are no new element designs in the set, but there is one element in a new colour, and a few other elements of note.  Firstly, the re-coloured element is the Mini Contractor's helmet (Element ID 6249854 | Design ID 3833) which is appears in Earth Blue [TLG]/Dark Blue [BL] for the first time.  This is the sixth colour to add to our helmet collections.

The four 'BURPs', or Mountain Bottom 4x10x6 (Element ID 6247195 | Design ID 6082) are in Dark Green [TLG]/Green [BL].  The only previous time they have appeared in this colour was in the previous incarnation of this set (albeit with a different Element ID: 4529246).



The next things to note are the printed elements.  Thankfully, there are no stickers in the set, and the Vestas logo is printed onto two white 1x4x3 wall panels (Element ID 6249999 | Design ID 46533), which form the sides of the van, and on two white 6x12 modified plates with 12 studs (Element ID 4527977 | Design ID 6178), which form the sides of the turbine casing atop the tower.   (The minifigure printed elements are discussed below.)

It is also worth mentioning that the 32x32 baseplate (Element ID 4219692 | Design ID 3811) supplied with this set is Dark Green [TLG]/Green [BL], unlike the now more commonly available Bright Green version.

The only other printed elements are the three minifigure heads and torsos, two of which have the Vestas 'V' on their chests (Element ID 6249535 | Design ID 4493).  The third torso is printed with a white vest showing a green plant like motif which has appeared in 4 other sets during 2017-18.  All three minifigure heads are not new and appear in several sets.

As is prominently noted on the box and in the instruction book, all the plant elements in this set are "Plants from Plants"—produced from plant-derived ethanol, rather than petro-carbon sources.  Of course, it is entirely appropriate that these new plant elements should feature in a set reflecting the LEGO Group's move towards eco-friendly policies. 

The plants are: one small spruce tree (Element ID 6268823 | Design ID 2435), two large spruce tree (Element ID 6248463 | Design ID 3471), two bamboo leaves (Element ID 6270003 | Design ID 30176) and five (+1 spare) plant stalk with shaft (Element ID 6269971 | Design ID 24855).

Building the set

After assembling the three minifigures, the next item in the instruction book is the Vestas-branded maintenance van.  A neat design with a sled of equipment which slides securely into the van via the rear doors. 



The main build is fairly straight forward apart from the need for care when routing the Power Functions cables.  They run from the battery box to the lights and motor and are neatly concealed under the kitchen cabinets, through small gaps between the BURPs, and up inside the tower.  The 4-strand ribbon cable proved a little fiddly, particularly at the battery box where two cables have to make a sharp 90° turn in order to get the cover in place.  It seems to me that the cable is under some strain at that point, but presumably it passed scrutiny from the LEGO model coaches. 


The battery box is built into the landscaping at the base of the tower, so remember to install the batteries beforehand or you'll have to dismantle and re-build!  There is a short Technic beam to operate the battery box switch, and a cleverly located element acts a backstop, making it easy to select the ‘off’ position (which is in the middle of the two ‘on’ positions). 

Next up is the small house and the landscaping.  I must say it seems odd that anyone would want to live at the base of one of these rather noisy wind turbines, or want to sit out on the patio in what is presumably a very windy location! 


The main tower is assembled from tank bottoms (Element ID 4195058 | Design ID 45410), and tank tops (Element ID 4195061 | Design ID 45411).  These are held together with Technic pins and braced with plates and tiles, making a fairly rigid structure.  The two Power Functions 50 cm extension cables (Element ID 6209890 | Design ID 21655) are joined together and run-up the centre of the tower.  The three turbine blades are then assembled. 



The tower is fixed in place using four Technic pins that emerge from a sub-assembly securely attached to the baseplate.  Additional bracing is formed by the landscaping, resulting in a very sturdy tower.

The turbine casing encloses the medium Power Functions motor and gear box and it sits on a Technic turntable to allow the casing to rotate.  Importantly, the gearbox includes a technic slip-clutch gear wheel (Element ID 6036892 | Design ID 76244) which means the whirling blades will not severely injure anyone who might come into contact with them.  It also means the gears are more likely to survive.  Each blade attaches to the central hub assembly with two technic pins, which seems secure enough. 



Conclusion

I think the Vestas Wind Turbine is a great set to display because of its size and presence—particularly when the blades are operating.  The little house is a waste of time, but that's just my humble opinion.  



Help New Elementary keep publishing articles like this. You can send an amount of your choosing via PayPal or card by click the image on the right. Think of it as the price of an app, or a book, or a yearly magazine subscription – whatever we're worth to you, we'd be honoured to receive it.



You can also help us by doing what you perhaps do already - buying from Amazon. Amazon USA: Amazon.com Canada: Amazon.ca UK: Amazon.co.uk Deutschland: Amazon.de

Products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not the LEGO Group. All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.

11 comments:

  1. Technically its the 7th color of construction helmet.
    Brickset shows 6 colors (dark blue, white, red, black, yellow, Maresk Blue) with white having a second element ID but Bricklink shows that the construction helmet also appeared in blue in set 6686 from 1984.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed https://flic.kr/p/HGYoph (and I also have a non-production Orange)

      Delete
  2. I thought the point of the house was to demonstrate visually the power of the wind ‘powering’ the light in the home. I guess it could have been an electrical sub station but that’s not as quaint 😜

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! Besides just a visual representation, it can also be a practical one, since Technic and Power Functions motors can generate and output power by rotating them. Of course, the rotors won't actually be able to generate power from wind (they're too thin, not streamlined enough, and too low to the ground), but it seems like by spinning them manually the lights in the house should turn on.

      Considering this set was originally designed as a gift for Vestas employees, including a civilian house helps the set represent not only the work they do but the positive outcomes of those services among the general population.

      Delete
  3. “The Tower is made of... tank tops...”

    That sounds weird out of context.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I THOUGHT THAT TOO. Although not sure that they call them tank tops here in the UK... ?

      Delete
    2. The only tank top I know is the sort of sleeveless vest Bruce Willis wears in Die Hard - the UK's unofficial Christmas movie :-)

      Delete
    3. Funny note about that… in British English, "tank top" generally refers to a sleeveless jumper/sweater, which in American we often call a "vest" or "sweater vest" ("vest" in America tends to be used for to sleeveless outerwear in general, such as a waistcoat, bulletproof vest, tactical vest, or high-visibility safety vest).

      In American English, though, "tank top" typically refers to a sleeveless undershirt or athletic shirt. In British English this would usually be called a "singlet", or… a "vest". That's right, "vest" and "tank top" somehow acquired OPPOSITE meanings in America and Britain. o_O

      Delete
  4. Firstly, with all these big companies discovering LEGO as a way to trade their name/brands/image to the everyman you could start asking yourself: Shouldn't they pay us, the buyers/builders, for those sets? As they probably won't in the near or far future you could at least ask for some kind of subsidy on the price in return of the awareness and NOT to make us pay that high number for a rather measly total number of parts.

    Secondly, wouldn't it have been nice if LEGO had developed a solar panel for this one to sort of reconnect to the clean energy idea?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete