Intercoastal Seaport

LEGO Classic: LEGO 6541 Intercoastal Seaport
Set information:
LEGO:
6541-1
Theme:
Subtheme:
Year:
Pieces:
545
Minifigs:
5
Weight:
N\A
Community rating:
LEGO Classic
LEGO Classic
5.0
(17 votes)
Review's author:
LEGO Classic
Place: Poland
Joined: 2015, jan 21
Seen: 12h 38m
Views:
19809
Published:
2016, may 24 20:42
Introduction

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Catalog entry
 I think that no one will argue with me when I boldly state that it was one of the most interesting and most desirable sets in the early 90s. Catalog's presentation published in 1991 speaks for itself. I can say that I wanted to build this seaport since I saw it in that presentation. Brilliant modelled land with buildings, vehicles and ships made entirely of Lego bricks. Everything looks real and great, it was just perfect. Two large container ships appeared in that year and it was in this set and 6542-1: Launch-Load-Seaport.

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Source: Brickset.com 1991eu.pdf Catalogue 1991 EU: Page 6 and 7: Town
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Catalog's presentation from 1991

However, this was not the first container ship, as the similiar floatable version has appeared already in 1987 included in LEGO-4030-1. No port existed before, where it could moor and unload the goods. In 1991 it started to get really interesting. Passenger and freight transport was possible to carry by air since 1985, but new sets were released in 1990, such as 6396-1: International-Jetport and 6375-1: Trans-Air-Carrier. In 1991 new way of transport by water and land was possible, because the container ship is not the only means of transportation in new sets of 1991, but the truck with a long trailer for two containers have been included also. It's all in Town theme, not to mention trains, which also developed rapidly and had its own transportation sets. The only thing missing was a place for the storage of containers, as you could accumulate a large amount of them when possessing several sets. I propose my own alternative design to metro park set 6394-3: Containers-storage-zone. Containers storage zone created specially for the fourth part of the Bebricton city, in which transport of goods through land, air and sea are possible.
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Bebricton - Seaport

The port and the crane

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Seaport
The base of the port consists of three foundations joined together, as shown on the instruction or packaging. In my presentation port it is a bit bigger, as it is already connected to the second part of the seaport in Bebricton city. Nevertheless, in this review I will describe elements of 6541 set only. This port is smaller than second available in 6542 set and offers other mechanisms of containers transport. It is worth noting that the port is identified by '1' number and a 6542-1: Launch-Load-Seaport set have next two '2' and '3' numbers. Those two ports have been meant to be combined together. Small pier is located in the western part of the port, where a large lantern stands, lifebuoy and two barriers. This place is liked by the local fisherman, who rides here in his red bicycle. He is trying stubbornly to catch some fish here, if ingoing container ship will not scare them away. In addition, the port typically includes ladders, mooring lines and the gate. Actually, it is not the gate, it is more like a barrier because it is not movable. It is simply a barrier that can be placed on one of the harbor's sides depending on how you will combine the foundations together. The possibilities are quite a lot when you have three sea sets of 6540-1: Pier-Police, described here and 6542-1: Launch-Load-Seaport.
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The employees
In addition to the fisherman at the pier there are four employees. Two workers are on site. The crane's operator and the truck's driver. Container ship is handled by captain and one sailor, whose task is to assist in loading of containers. Everything here has its place and purpose.
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The crane
Crane next to a container ship is the most spectacular. It is placed on four great yellow legs high enough, so fully loaded truck can drive underneath. The crane rotates 360 degrees and the arm moves forward and backward making it possible to operate at different distances. The rope is finished with solid metal hook. By contrast, the container is mounted on a lifting ring, onto which the metal hook can be easily hooked. Previous solution with the 'barrier' as a lifting base used in mobile crane from 6361-1: Mobile-Crane was more problematic. Specially made brick for hooking was the most needed and works perfectly in this set and new mobile crane from 6352-1: Cargomaster-Crane.
One thing that is bothersome is a crane's cabin. To get inside, you have to disassemble whole front. The higned  roof is built with the upper part of the crane's arm and even when it is removed the opened roof still do not gives enough room to put to the operator inside. You need to remove the front windshield. This results in dismantling the entire front of the cabin including a crane's arm. On the back of the cabin is one knob for rope winding or unwinding. In terms of handling crane it is smooth and without problems. Rotating, coiling rope or moving arm is practical, simple and gives you enough possibilities to maneuver a container hooked on the hook from the ship to the truck and vice versa.

In 1992 another great presentation of the seaport was available in catalog, this time with new sets at the front, but in the background a lot of space still occupy the harbours with container ships.
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Source: Brickset.com 1992eu4.pdf Catalogue 1992 EU IV: Page 8 and 9: Town

Container ship

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The container ship
The ship proudly holds the inscription Diana at the bow and stern. In addition, a strip along the ship from both sides is placed and the lines to measure the water level right at the stern. I think it is mainly thanks to the ship that set owes its success. The crane is impressive and has cool features, but big container ship designed to carry 8x4 containers is the main point of interest here. The best thing is that it was built with universal bricks mostly! The beak has three layers of specially designed part with a width of 10 studs and windshield of the cabin is one part with width of 8 studs. Rest of the bricks are universal, available in many other sets - this is definitely a big advantage. At the front of a container ship is a small crane with a metal hook, which can unload a container ashore. Sailor has two levers protruding from the front side of the deck to control the crane. It is a design very similar to LEGO-4030-1. The ship can accommodate three containers next to each other, but usually it carries two though.
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The captain's cabin
On the back of the ship a captain's cabin is located at the proper height. The cabin is glazed at front and both sides, so captain can see everything that happens around the ship keeping everything under control. Inside the cabin is a steering wheel, a clock and a computer. Container ship of course, is not intended to play in the real water, so it looks like it was half submerged. At the bottom rounded smooth bricks are mounted, which is actually a brilliant idea used in every major boat. Moving the boat with such bricks at the base is trouble-free even on the paper. Behind the captain's cabin a sizable black funnel is located. The whole upper part of the cabin opens up, which in this case is very practical and placing captain inside is not a problem.

In 1993, the presentations in catalogs still contains seaports in the background.
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Catalog's presentation from 1993

The truck

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The transport truck
The final element in this puzzle is a large truck that pulls a long trailer for transporting two 8x4 containers. The trailer is connected to the tractor through new way using a spline and a saddle, as in real trucks. It is quite practical, because you only need to put the trailer on the tractor for spline to be 'slammed' in the saddle, and you can go. As anyone is familiar with previous ways of linking truck with the trailers as in the shell tanker from 6685-1: Fire-Copter released back in 1984, then he knows that it was connected with trailer by rotatable 2x2 brick. It was not practical, because the trailer could fell off easily. In this truck, however, the spline is finished with round head, so that a trailer can even tilt to the side at a little angle and will not fall.
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Bike and Tractor
Two containers are available in this set. It is worth mentioning that the common transport element in each set with container included is a tractor. 6352-1: Cargomaster-Crane have a container with a tractor even. Tractors are simple in design, from universal bricks only, just as the container.
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Tractors
There is no problem to obtain additional bricks and build a larger number of containers and tractors in different color for transporation purposes. I present two additional tractors in red and white color, which I have built for the second copy of the blue container ship, that I possess.

I have prepared two additional galleries for this review.
First one presents seaport building process.
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Mounting the arm

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The crane in action
The second shows the day at work in the seaport, where you can see the crane, ship and truck in action.
Feel free to check it out here.

In summary, I do not know how other people, but I really wanted to have this set as a kid. When I observe what is happening now on the auctions, I suspect that not only I had such feelings. The set is simply brilliant and functional. Despite a few minor inconveniences, fun in the transport of containers can be great for lots of kids. It works very well as the part of city scenery also as you can see in the fourth part of the Bebricton.
Sceneries with this set included:
Written:
2016, may 16 19:10 (23 months, 19 days ago) by Rogdush
Modified:
2017, feb 14 15:17 (14 months, 15 days ago) by Rogdush
Changed:
25 times
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