LEGO® Set Review: 8480 Technic Space Shuttle
Ben Constable’s review
Technic / Tech Build
Space Shuttle (us)
LEGO TECHNIC rumfærge (da)
Space Shuttle Colorado (uk)
67 pages/41 steps + 1 correction page for the Space Shuttle, 40/37 for submarine.
Price Range: 159 $US, from Lego S@H ($0.11/pc)
Special Features / Compatibility
Fiber-optic Lighting Bricks
- 1x2 Beam with 2 cross holes, White
- Fiber Optic light unit
- Fiber Optic light pipes
- Changeover plate
- Changeover catch
I like it!
The main model is the Space Shuttle. It consists of a black frame/undercarriage and a white fuselage with a grey ‘Canadian’ arm and a yellow satellite. The alternate model is a submarine with a white exterior, black interior and a small motorized black/white exploring vehicle connected by a 9V connecting lead.
The box shows several views of the Shuttle that are pretty much the same as well as a few close-ups on the flap. The cover has a 9V logo and a new holographic logo for the Fiber Optics.
Each year the first thing I do when I get my first new Technic Set is to look in the catalog, usually in the parking lot of the store. When I saw this I thought “Wow! I am going to have to save up some money”. I like it even more now that I’ve built it.
The model looks like the Space Shuttle, in as much as a Commercial LEGO set can, is pretty well designed and rather solid. It has a few minor design problems: I don’t like the 1x3 and 1x4 plates stabilizing the flaps (the Technic Prop Plane has much better flaps) and the wings need a bevel on the leading edge. However aside from these minor problems the rest of the design is quite well done.
A yellow catch on one side of the wing controls the aerilons and a catch on the other side controls a novel mechanism for retracting the landing gear. The wheels lock in the down position by a shock absorber and pulley assembly in the nose.
The fiber optic lights, the bay doors, and the 2 axis control of the arm is all controlled by a single 9V motor. The unfolding of the satellite wings are controlled by a 9V micromotor. The motor is connected through some red O-rings (alot of red O-rings in this model) to a transmission assembly almost exactly like the one in the Super Car. It uses 2 changeover plates to act as the shift pattern and a changeover catch to act as the shifter. Overall a pretty good way to control multiple functions with a single engine.
The fiber optics are pretty well done. A light unit accecpts a crossaxle in its center and when the axle spins the LED in the box spins, lighting up 1 fiberoptic ‘pipe’ at a time.
The overall model is very good, second only to the Super Car,
(possibly the best LEGO model ever designed) and has more playability
than any other Technic set I can think of.
After I finished there were about 15-20 pieces left over, some of which
are used in the alternate model, which I will never build. One curious thing was the plastic tray had a large center section (under the display tray) that had hardly anything in it. I kept thinking that they didn’t pack a bag or two of pieces, but as always everything was there.
Model Rating:Excellent [Jim rated the Shuttle, which is the primary model, Excellent, while giving the secondary Submarine Model a Very-Good]
First there are new colors for older elements, including:
And several relatively rare elements, including:
And some new elements
- Black Technic turntable
- Black horns and crossblocks
- White crossaxles (#4 and #8) and axle extenders (the old gear set notwithstanding)
- Yellow medium pulley (just like Time Cruisers!)
- White axle sleeves
- White battery box
- Yellow catches
(See my Element Registry for pictures of these as well as most other Technic elements)
- 1x2 beam with 2 holes (not 1) in white
- Fiber optic light unit
- Fiber optic light pipes
- Changeover plate
- Changeover catch
None cover multiple bricks. There are separate decals for each model. Most indicate what function a switch controls. I don’t put decals on models. If the graphic is important it should be screened onto the piece by the manufacturer.
This review is Copyright 1996, by the author [Jim Hughes] as named above.The author grants publication rights for all uses, public and private, with the following exceptions: all information in the document must be published in full; any for-profit use requires express written permission by the author for publication in full or in part.
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