Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sluban M38-B0363 Personal Helicopter Set Review

Welcome back to! I keep a giant list of all my building sets I've bought over the last few years and upon checking it today, I bought this Sluban Personal Helicopter set M38-B0363 exactly 3 years ago.

The Set Review

This Sluban brand set has 259 pieces and consists of 3 minifigures, a small ground vehicle, a fueling station and a red and white helicopter.  This set is part of Sluban's Aviation series, of which I have some of their other airplane building sets.  The helicopter design is very similar to the blue Lego helicopter set 3222.

The multi page instruction booklet is glossy and the instructions are well documented. I had actually packed this set away, so I had to scrounge around to find the minifigures and rebuild the set as close to the original instructions as possible.  I'll point out the differences I made further in the review.

  As I mentioned earlier, you get three minifigures which are not Lego compatible.  The Sluban minifigs have completely different parts and about the only thing you could share between these and Lego minifigs are the hats and hairpieces, everything else is incompatible.  On the plus side, you can tilt the heads on Sluban minifigs.

You get the fueling station attendant, the ground vehicle driver and the helicopter pilot.  I couldn't find the orange guys hairpiece, so I gave him some Elvis hair (thank you, thank you very much).  I swapped out the pilots head to give him some sunglasses also.  

I couldn't find the original pieces of the fueling station so I moc'd something similar to the original design.

When I was rebuilding the ground vehicle, I decided to stretch it out a bit, so you can carry both people and luggage if necessary.

The above picture is from Sluban's official website and it shows you how the original fueling station and ground vehicle looked like.

Here's the set pieces with the minifigs.

The Helicopter

And here's the helicopter with one of my other Sluban minifigs.  I figured he looks like a mechanic for the helicopter, so I included him in the picture, but you don't get this guy with the building set, sorry.

 I re-built this set fairly quickly and I've separated it here into three components, the large rotor, the roof and nose cone, and the remainder of the helicopter fuselage.

I have to say the clutch power of the Sluban bricks is excellent, and the brick quality of this older 2014 set is much better than the recent Construction series bricks.  The large rotor spins freely on the helicopter motor.  There's also a smaller rotor on the tail.

Here's the fuselage and interior.  There are three sets of double wheels on the undercarriage with the front  wheels being turnable.  The rear wheels are located under the large pontoons.  There are 4 porthole windows on each side of the helicopter and also two accessible storage compartments at the rear.

 Inside there's a cockpit with controls and pilot seat and behind that are two passenger seats.

 Here's how the cockpit looks with the pilot in place.

Here's the top view of the helicopter's interior.  There's definitely a lot of space for cargo in the rear.

 Following are some more pics of the assembled helicopter.  Fit and finish is excellent, in my opinion.

The Verdict

I think this helicopter looks really nice and scales well. As mentioned earlier, it has excellent fit and finish.  Clutch is great and there's quite a bit of play value with the ground vehicle and fueling station accessories.  If you don't like the Sluban minifigures, you could easily replace them with Lego compatible ones.

I paid $10 USD for this set back in 2014 and a quick check of Aliexpress reveals that you can get this set for $12 USD, so it hasn't gone up that much.  The retail price of this set on Sluban's website is around $25 USD right now.

Thanks for looking!  If you want to see some of my other Sluban set reviews, you can find them here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hsanhe 6704 Mini Modular Building Set Review

The Hsanhe Set

I first became aware of the Hsanhe brand of building blocks when they made some mini modular buildings.

A few months ago, I saw that Hsanhe created a second series of mini modular buildings, that are bigger than the first set.  I decided to bite the bullet and order one of the buildings to check out the quality.  There are six other buildings in this Hsanhe series, but I got this set because I felt this design was the most interesting.  You can see all of the other building sets here.

Here's my set review of the Hsanhe 6704 model which has no name.  The instruction booklet does say it's a 3-in-1 model but there aren't any instructions to be build any alternate models beyond what you see here.

The Details

 While it's not a direct copy, this modular set does have some similarities to Lego's Corner Deli set 31050.  This set has 472 pieces and the Lego Corner Deli has 467 pieces.  The set comes with the instruction booklet, several grey baseplates and 5 bags of parts.

The set comes with two minifigures but they aren't unique to this set.  We've seen the guy with the green sweater before in the Hsanhe 6410-2 Convenience store set.  And the guy with the red shirt and ballcap comes from the Hsanhe 6411-2 Fast Food store set.

 This bag of parts contains the black, yellow and green parts.

 This bag has the dark blue and light gray pieces.

 Orange and red pieces are grouped together here.

 This bag has all the white and light blue pieces.

 And finally, this bag has a mish-mash of other pieces.

The First Floor

Here's the building set after completing most of the first floor.  It's got quite a few windows and doors and a colourful awning.  The patio still needs to be built.

 Inside the shop, there's a small table with some containers on it in one section and what looks to be a counter area in the other.  It's still pretty ambiguous as to what this store sells.  Definitely no sandwiches here, so it's not a deli.

 The building closes up as pictured above.

 As you can see this set has quite a few colours including the orange bricks, black windows and green doors.  Accent colours are yellow, red and dark blue.  The interior floor tile is brown and cream coloured with light blue accents.

 I don't have the Lego Corner Deli set, so I guess the interior spaces are about the same.  I guess Hsanhe could have done a better job of adding more details inside, because I find it kind of bare.

The Second Floor

 After building the second floor, I found that the dark blue bricks were really scuffed.  This is not typical of the other Hsanhe bricks which I found to be excellent quality.

On the second floor, there's a big armchair and a cabinet under the window.

Here's how the building looks closed up from above.

 I didn't get any stickers with this set but it did come with lots of spare parts and a brick separator.

This building has an outdoor antenna with a bird on it just like Lego's corner deli.  You can see that the patio is finished now.

Here's some views around the building.   Side view above.

 I guess this would be the front of the Hsanhe shop.  There's a small balcony upstairs with another door and awning.

 The opposite side of the building.  I'm not sure if I like the dark blue second floor with the first floor orange colour.

 And here's the back door and lots of windows and a fire hydrant.  I wish the window pieces weren't so cloudy.

The Verdict

Ok, so I thought the set design and build was just so-so.  Brick quality and window pieces could have been better.  I found the interior lacked any detail or indication of what the shop was supposed to be.
The minifigure quality was good but not unique to this set.  Since this set is double the size of other  Hsanhe buildings, they could have added a couple of extra minifigs.  It's also too bad that Hsanhe didn't provide any alternate build instructions despite the fact they call the set 3-in-1.

I give this set a rating of 6 out of 10 for the reasons above.  The Hsanhe 6704 Mini shop cost about $15 USD on Aliexpress.  In the future, I will probably rebuild it as a full modular or use the set for parts in another building.

So do you think you would buy this set?  Let me know if you have another other Hsanhe building sets and what you think of their quality.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sluban M38-B0519 Girl Scooter and Fountain Building Set Review

Happy September!   Are you gearing up to go back to school?  Well, hope you have time to check out this little building set from Sluban.  It's another set of of their own design and not a fake Lego set.  In this review we will look at this 79 piece set M38-B0519.  I'm not sure what the name of the set is so I will just call it the Girl on a Scooter goes around the Fountain set.

The ebay listing which i won calls the set Fountain Motorcycle Kitten Girls, lol.  Sounds like one of those 70's biker chick movies!!

 Being such a small set, it only takes this two sided piece of paper to show you the building instructions.  There are two components, the largest being the multi-level fountain and the purple scooter.  The scooter parts are still on the plastic tree so you have to be careful when extracting them.  I use a small X-acto knife to cut it away cleanly.

The set also comes with a girl mini-figure and her pet cat.  As I've described in other Sluban set reviews, the minifigures are not compatible with Lego ones.

Here's a look  at the fountain.  It has three levels and two spigots presumably where the water runs out.  It has lots of translucent blue elements to simulate water.

Here's a look at the Sluban minifigure and her cat which is perched on the rear of her scooter.

The purple scooter comes with a steerable front wheel, a kickstand and a headlight.  The only thing Sluban could have added was a rear tail light.  I also have acquired this scooter in tan and red colours.
I think there is a yellow version of it that I might get one day.

As far as play value, I suppose you could just make the girl and scooter go around and around the fountain.  I think it will be more useful as a display piece, maybe to put into a park setting for my growing Its-Not-Lego town.

 Ok, I quickly made this little parkette using a tree, a bush and a few flowers.   Here's the fountain in the park setting just to see how it looks.

Here's my entire collection of Sluban scooters!  Here's a complete list of the Sluban sets in my collection.

And here's the girl and her cat sitting on the fountain and just having a great day.  Thanks for looking!