Welcome to TLCB’s almost timely review of the latest in a short line of Creator Expert car models…
Looks nice, doesn’t it? Usually in these reviews I open by rambling on a bit about personal experiences with the car in question, but since I’m not a millionaire that won’t happen this time.
Y’see, I have had the pleasure of inspecting this fine beast up close and in the plastic (the panels are glassfibre!). All you have to do is visit your friendly neighbourhood Supercar dealer. These places are almost always staffed by knowledgeable enthusiasts who sell what they sell because they love it. If they have the time, they’ll happily share it with you, a fellow enthusiast. Just try not to touch the cars they’ve spent ages polishing… Generally, they’re happy to entertain respectful sightseers and you’ll encounter none of the snootiness you might get from the classic boys…
The Ferrari F40 is an amazing thing, and hardly a people’s car like the other Lego Creator sets… except it is. It’s a thing that’s a joy to see (and hear) whether you own it or not. Three cheers for those who do and share them with the world by driving them around! If you ever see one behind you, wind down the window and hope he gives it the berries when he comes fanging past!
So, if you can’t get a real one, is 10248 the next best thing?
At £70 for 1158 pieces it’s better value, certainly… better value than the Mini even, with 80 more pieces for a fiver less. Considering the likely cost of the Ferrari licence, LEGO are being pretty generous here.
The box seems smallish, same size as the Mini’s I think, but it’s simple and uncluttered design is very appealing – it’s just a shame it’s got those destroy-box-here tabs to open it up. Inside, there’s two sets of numbered bags full of mostly small pieces – there’s a lot of detail here – a small sticker sheet that if you’re lucky won’t be crumpled and the single perfect bound instruction book that’s fast becoming the norm in larger sets. And a brick separator, because you can never have too many of those…
Instructions are pretty clear, so long as you realize Lego’s inconsistent representations of dark grey and black result in what could be black parts in the early stages actually being dark grey… Another minor niggle is the usually-helpful highlighting of parts just added occasionally obscures some parts already there, which can create confusion.
No biggie. It’s a fun thing to build, with very little repetition and like the Mini and Camper before it, plenty of interesting techniques and details along the way. I especially like the way they did those NACA ducts on the bonnet and sides. Here’s a fun fact: the duct was developed in 1945 as a way of allowing cooling air in with a minimal disruption to airflow, by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in the US (NACA eventually became NASA when it’s remit expanded just a bit).
I’m a riot at parties…
As for the rest of it, it’s mostly very good, starting with the engine.
The heart of any Ferrari, of course, and this has had plenty of attention lavished on it. The 2.85L turbocharged V8 isn’t the prettiest Ferrari engine but it ain’t exactly a diesel either… LEGO have done a great job of this, right down to the pistols used as manifold outlets that you can barely even see once it’s in the car.
The interior is simpler to build, mostly because (entirely accurately) there’s very little in it. What’s there is nicely done, although it would be good if the steering wheel’s rake was fixed instead of relying on a pin’s friction to hold it at the right angle. And good luck getting the tiny Prancing Horse sticker on the 1×1 round tile in the centre of the steering wheel! They probably should have printed that…
They probably shouldn’t have printed the rear pillars. This is the only area that lets it down somewhat. Apparently the genius responsible for the camper’s front and the Mini’s A pillar is yet to retire… One issue I have with this solution is the fact that printing in red on a black part results in a darker shade of red, a point that’s not evident from the pictures on the box but does stand out on the model. Also, because the side window / pillar is one big part, the side window lifts up with the rear cover. Any MOCer worth his salt would have bricked this part properly, as LEGO themselves did with the rest of it.
While we’re having a moan, do you ever wish that LEGO would stop unnecessarily redesigning parts? I’m talking here about the 1×6 arches used over the rear wheels that have an awkward little step that isn’t there if you use a couple of older, smoothly curving ones instead. It looks a lot better if you do.
I am now done moaning. I’m not even going to complain about the stickered ducts over the rear wheels, simply because there isn’t a better way that I can see to do this with an opening engine cover in the space available.
The front end is more successful, capturing the form of the F40 in bricks accurately and well. The pop-up headlights are quite neat (you have to lever them up individually yourself using a thin gap at the front – luckily they’ve provided the brick separator you’ll need for this!). The shape of the bonnet is excellent and there’s even a bit of detail under it, including a spanner (what are they trying to tell us about Italian reliability?). While you’re in there you might notice the multicoloured structure of the bonnet’s underside – the only place where the hidden BOLOCsness of this model becomes evident.
And then there’s that windscreen… Manna from heaven for MOCers, surely! Just so long as the car you build with it is red… There’s a slightly surprising omission here, since with a 1×4 black brick right below it at the same angle, a simple substitution provides somewhere to place a wiper. After all, they’ve thought of everything else, including door mirrors that are actually attached to the doors. Hooray!
Despite a couple of visual hiccups, the model as a whole does look pretty good:
All the panels that should open, do, which we always like to see. The engine cover pivots on an axle so there’s no friction – you’ll need the handy stick provided to hold it up. I guess Ferrari must have done the same.
Aside from opening stuff and peering at detail, there’s no playability here, as with the other cars in this theme, but I’m pretty sure any attempt at stuffing mechanics in would ruin it.
Like the Camper and Mini before it, it exists for display and it looks good enough to do that; it’s one visual flaw not quite enough to detract from the whole.
If you have petrol in your veins you’ll like it. 8/10.