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When I was younger my dad bought me 5218-1, a technic-based pneumatics set, which, combined with the old motor system to provide a mini compressor system created quite a bit of entertainment and it got adapted into various other builds, including a sliding pneumatic bank door. enter image description here

Now, as far as I can tell, the only kit like this nowadays is the Lego Education Pneumatics Add-On Set, 9641-1, which comes in at around £39.99, for 31 pieces. enter image description here

While I could add this to the Lego Education Simple & Powered Machines Set that's not cheap either, at around £100 for a more reasonable 390 pieces.

Ultimately, is there a list of all the technic (or lego) sets that include pneumatic kits, and, ideally, are any of them still avalible, apart from the ones I've previously listed?

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Lego Educattion/Dacta set are usually overpriced –  Ambo100 Jan 4 '12 at 16:04
    
@Ambo100, yeah (from working in education) I kinda gathered. –  tombull89 Jan 4 '12 at 16:23
    
BrickSet has a list of all Pneumatic Technic Sets as well. –  tombull89 Jan 5 '12 at 11:07
    
Ooo...cool! I didn't even know that Lego produced pneumatic sets! –  daviesgeek Jan 7 '12 at 23:49

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In the UK shop, there are currently two sets:

The Unimog U 400 [set:8110] which uses the motorised "compressor" to supply the power (as opposed to the manual sprung pump).

Detail of pneumatic elements

And the Tractor with Log Loader [set:8049] which uses the manual pump:

Log Loader detail

The other sets that look like they have piston arms (such as [set:8043]) are actually using "linear actuators", which work with an internal screw thread to lift up the piston, powered by Bevel Gears or Universal Joints:

Bevelled Gears to power actuator Universal Joint to power actuator

[part:61927c01]

These provide a much finer level of control over the Pneumatic sets, which is probably why they are being used in more and more sets.

The issue with locating the pneumatic sets is that there have been a few subtle changes to the elements over the years, as well as different lengths in various sets, so tracking them reliably isn't easy:

BrickLink search for Pneumatic Pumps

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Looking at the manual, that's quite a set. Probably better value than getting the Pnuematics set, the simple and powered machines set and another motor. –  tombull89 Jan 4 '12 at 12:30
    
(I do mean the Unimog U 400). –  tombull89 Jan 4 '12 at 13:59
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Linear actuators seem to be cropping up in recent sets as an alternative to pneumatic pumps. It may be that linear actuators have a finer degree of control as well as reliability. I don't know for sure as I don't own any. –  Ambo100 Jan 4 '12 at 15:55
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@Ambo100 From my experience that's exactly what is going on. The LAs provide such fine control that they're pretty spectacular really. Not quite as much fun as the pneumatics though. :-) –  Nathan Stohlmann Jan 4 '12 at 18:32
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my god, just looked at the build manual for 8043...that's insane and brilliant. –  tombull89 Jan 5 '12 at 15:07

The set that had the most pneumatic cylinders was the Lego Technic Backhoe, with something around 10. Unfortunately, this set is discontinued. You can, however, buy it on Bricklink.

enter image description here

It is, by far, the coolest pneumatic Lego set ever released.

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1  
That, without a doubt, is pure awesome. I'd hope to see a re-release at some point, maybe even it could be fitted with power functions and automatic compressor...granted it would be expensive but my god it would be an awesome kit. –  tombull89 Jan 8 '12 at 2:21
    
holy mamma that is one awesome set –  user2795 Jun 27 '13 at 21:57

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