It might be a bit early to be dropping hints to loved ones about what you want Father Christmas to bring, but if you’re like me a bit of Technic Lego is always on the list. Not that anybody listens. They all seem to think I want more socks.
Anyway, it looks like this year’s hint will be the latest addition to the range. It’s a model of one of Scandinavia’s biggest construction machines, the 540hp Volvo L350F wheel loader.
The kit itself contains a whopping 1,600 pieces and would be more than enough to keep me occupied over the Christmas week. It also comes with the largest single piece ever designed for a Lego kit, namely the L350F’s bucket. In the real world it can hold 12m3 of material weighing over 50 tonnes and in this shrunken version it can hoist an impressive 1kg thanks to the remote controlled electric motors.
There are the usuael Technic details to enjoy, such as a detailed 6-cylinder Volvo engine with moving pistons and fan, articulated steering, working lift arm and a tipping bucket. The bucket itself can be raised 38cm into the air, giving you an idea of the scale of this model.
It’s been a labour of love for the Lego team. They’ve produced a special film that gives an insight into the huge amount of work that goes into a kit like this and the passion that drove them to as close a representation of the real machine as possible. We see Lego Technic’s head of marketing, Niels Henrik Horsted, and design manager Jeppe Juul Jensen as they visit the Volvo factory and even get to play with a full-size L350F on a construction site.
“We tried to make it as realistic as possible, so it drives, steers and lifts the load just like the real thing,” says Jensen. “You can also remove the oil filters, the radiator-door swings out, pistons move and the engine is painted green, just like in the real thing.”
The Lego Volvo L350F is available now at a retail price of £169 (Amazon have already knocked a bit off*). Just in case you wanted to build it now, or even to hide it away for a couple of months to give someone as a gift. Not that I’m trying to hint at something, oh no.