25 February 2020

LEGO® Technic review: 42110 Land Rover Defender - the model

Posted by Admin
In part 1 of his review, Victor Pruvost (Flickr) examined all the exciting Olive Green pieces and new moulds found in LEGO® Technic 42110 Land Rover Defender, and he concludes today by building the model, revealing its surprising techniques and showing you the functions.

Although the LEGO® Technic 42110 Land Rover Defender contains almost 2600 parts, the bags are only numbered from 1 to 4. These four big steps are: the rear of the chassis, the front of the chassis, the rear of the bodywork and the front of the bodywork.

Building techniques in 42110 Land Rover Defender

There are some building techniques that I would never have expected in an official LEGO set.

For example, to provide the right spacing between the panels of the rear bumper, the designer Milan Reindl used neck brackets, in White (6277181 | 28974).

Another surprise is hidden behind the back door. There’s a locking mechanism that uses a Dark Stone Grey/ Dark Bluish Gray inverted 1x2 curved slope (6215212 | 24201) attached to two thin liftarms. A Technic liftarm has a width and thickness of 1 module, or 8mm, and a thin liftarm has a thickness of 4mm. A plate has a thickness of 3.2mm, and because of that, there is a small gap between the two parts.

One last technique I found interesting enough to point out is the way the steering wheel is attached. To give it a slight angle, the assembly is locked into place between a 1x1 round tile and a pin with stud.

The completed model

And now the Land Rover Defender is done. First I took a few pics without the stickers on.

The model’s appearance doesn’t really suffer from their absence. The biggest difference is on the inside, and particularly inside the doors. Four stickers are required for each door, and they’re not really easy to align properly.

The accessories on the roof, as well as the knob for the steering, can be easily removed if you want to display the car with a more basic style.

Functions of the 42110 Land Rover Defender

The set is equipped with suspensions, and I love how they behave. They’re soft and bouncy; it’s very pleasing to play with them.

There are also several simple features: the doors, hood, rear door, and boxes can be opened and closed. There’s also a ladder that can be folded and unfolded to access the box and tracking mats on the roof.

Hidden under the hood, there’s a mechanism for a winch.

The front wheels steer, and you can control the steering with a knob on the roof, or with the steering wheel.

And, of course, there’s an engine with pistons that move when the car drives. The wheels are linked to the engine through a complex gearbox: you can choose between drive and reverse gear with the DNR selector. Then, when in drive, you can choose between high and low gear. In real life it’s used when you need a lot of torque, for climbing high obstacles or when you’re on a rocky terrain, for example. Finally, there is a four-speed sequential gearbox, which is controlled like the gearbox of 42083 Bugatti Chiron. You can lift the rear seats and open the rear door to see the gears and the selector move when you rotate the barrel. So, counting the reverse gear and Hi-Lo selector, there are nine different gears in the car.

The engine isn’t made of the usual cylinders, rods and pistons, but is custom-built with a pair of “biscuits” (Liftarm 1 x 3 x 3 – 6265644 | 39793), bushes and axles. This kind of technique was first seen in 42078 Mack Anthem, which was also designed by Milan Reindl.


With its striking colour scheme, the Land Rover Defender stands out in the LEGO Technic line. This colour scheme brings a lot of new Olive Green elements, but for me, the wheels are the highlight. The new elements – including the wheels - introduced in the Porsche 911 GT3RS from 2016 led to a massive change in the way fans build their supercars, and these new, smaller rims will allow the build of more cars at a smaller scale.

The build is unusual, with some surprising techniques, and the final model looks good – actually better than the real-life Defender 2020, in my opinion. Then there’s the gearbox, the most complex ever created in a LEGO set, and… well, it’s perhaps too complex. There are many gears involved, and because of that, the model doesn’t work in low gears. You frequently hear a cracking sound when you push the car and sometimes the engine doesn’t move at all. In third, fourth and reverse gears it works fine, but you’ll avoid driving in first and second gear. In addition to that, the gears are switched! The engine rotates faster in fourth gear than in first gear, and it’s also faster in high gear than in low gear. On a real car, if the engine rotates at the same speeds, the higher the gear is, the faster the car drives. With this set, it’s the other way round. I guess (or at least I hope) this was a deliberate choice so the kids who play with it will get an intuitive visual representation of the car accelerating, but I find that quite confusing. It’s a shame, because beside that, the Land Rover Defender was definitely a highlight in 2019’s lineup.

It’s also worth pointing out that, unlike most Technic sets, this one doesn’t have a B-model. However, Milan Reindl decided to do an unofficial B-model himself, a Stadium Truck.

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  1. When I see that bouncing car, I feel the urge to play some Latino hiphop...

  2. I hear the cracking is caused by the two universal joints not being aligned correctly. Try rotating one of them 90 degrees, maybe?

    1. Yep. I was right. I found a video explaining how to fix it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p1kMtrvFvQ

    2. Oh, I'm aware of that video, but it won't be of any help for me, because I made sure the universal joints were aligned when I've built the model (I didn't know back then that a misalignment could be the cause of cracking, but I knew you get a variable output speed if you don't align them). Still, thanks for the link. (:

  3. The front wheels spin in opposite directions of each other, so it won’t roll. Any idea what I did wrong and/or how to fix it? Thank you!