Scaling up to 4×4 Part 2: 31037: Adventure Vehicles

So, last time we had a look at the sub mini figure scale 31040: Desert Racers.  Today I’d like to look at Adventure vehicles.  Another Creator 3 in 1 set, this one has instructions for an off road vehicle, a hovercraft and a helicopter.  The color schemes are predominantly green and white, with red and dark bluish grey elements completing the mix.

The Action Starts

The Action starts with the box: the 4 wheel drive is shown traversing a treacherous landscape.  The other two models  – a helicopter and hovercraft- are displayed in the call out.  All three vehicles are seen having an adventure together on the back of the box – with some suggestions on how to make riding in the four wheel drive even more adventurous: why not remove the roof and doors?

How treacherous is the landscape on the front of the box? So much so that in order to traverse, the recovery winch has been attached to the edge of the box itself…  I laughed. Perhaps I should get out mere?

adventure box

Raindrops on roses

The build was straight forward enough, and there were some pieces that I had only limited experience with previously: particularly the tyres, and a fine selection of SNOT (Studs Not On Top) pieces. The modified 2×6 plates with 4 studs on the side are a fantastic piece, that I had only only previously encountered in the Ideas ‘Birds’ set last year.  There is also a 2×2 plate as well as selection of inverted brackets. These pieces are rapidly joining raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens as a few of my favourite things.

There are a few nice examples here of how to use these pieces to redirect the building direction: using the modified plate in conjunction with a  brick with a stud on the side, and also using 2 of these plates, but with 1 brick in between.  Again, I love these interesting techniques that get thrown into the build.

Not being much of a car builder, I appreciate the use of 2 1 x 6 bricks ‘splinted together with brackets and plates to make the full length of the vehicle, as well as the use of Technic lift bars to raise the chassis above the wheelbase. The use of curved bricks to provide the wheel arches is another nice demonstration of how to achieve a brick built effect.  This cannot be readily replicated at mini figure scale, and is one of the reasons I like these creator builds.

Above: Pieces I don’t get to use enough. Now I can MOC a Batmobile. Below: Applications for the SNOT Blocks within the primary build.

The Build Itself

The Primary Build takes around 45 minutes to an hour, when distracted by Eurovision previews and other sundry late night television. I suspect a focussed individual could do it much faster.  I have commented on the building techniques used already. I do also like the recovery winch: emerging between the engine grille and the bumper bar (if you are in the US, you’d call it a fender).  It is a satisfying build, and I have had no desire to pull it apart over the last day and a half to try another of the models.

Completed .png

The Play’s the Thing

The sun was shining, so I decided to take the model outside.  It feels quite solid and rolls well, maintaining its momentum unless you have attached the wheels too firmly.

As you can see, it is significantly larger than 31040, and significantly larger than mini figure scale.

in the wild

How does it all Scale Up

This started as a discussion of how there are currently 2 off road vehicles in the collector range, neither of which are minifies scale.  So, how do they compare for detail?

I’ll let the images speak for themselves:

c and c.png

In Conclusion

I like both of these sets.  There is as much technique in getting a similar effect with few pieces, and nifty parts usage, as there is with carefully crafting a realistic curve with the parts available.  Certainly, greater levels of detail can be achieved with a larger model.

With regards to 31037, the set we embarked on a review of today, I particularly like the building techniques and the robust nature of the final build.  It certainly feels ready for an outdoor adventure.  The variety of the alternative builds – such different vehicles, yet sticking with the theme – is another highlight.  I hope to put them together sometime soon.  3 1/2 APU’s!

Play well.



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