I remember very well when this car was released in the second half of the eighties. I was a kid back then and the F40, designed by historical firm Pininfarina, exerted and incredible charm to us boys. It was like the absolute top you could ask for a car, from the point of view of a kid: super speed, super slick lines, hidden headlamps, fiery Ferrari red, and much more. Ferrari was the synonym for "ultra fast cars", and F40 was the synonym of Ferrari (or were they metonyms? or synecdoches?).
Anyway, when i saw this model in the first pictures, i was a little perplexed: while some details were clearly masterfully captured, i couldn't help but notice how blocky it looked, expecially on the rear end, where it seems, like, chopped off. But how will the real thing feel? After all, we learned long ago not to trust the pictures.
And most importantly: what are those two green 1x4 plate for?!
The box is super stilish with this almost uniform shade of blue (Pickled Bluewood), with no background objects or clutter, simply contrasted with the saturated red of the Ferrari. It sports the famouse rampant horse of the Maranello house's logo, some insets showing features of the model and, in a corner, the new Expert logo made with Erling bricks. I think the old one (with the star outlined by brick corners) looked cooler, but this one surely has the merit of using one of the brick designs that expert builders hold most dear: the headlight brick, or Erling (from the name of its inventor) unlocker of the most advanced SNOT tecniques, so unique and yet so in-system with his half plate recess in the front, and all the more incredible considering that it was designed more than 36 years ago, while still finding its place in sets today!
But look at me, wasting lines of review to speak about a box and a logo, when i have a massive model to analyze! Let's immediately see the content of the box:
The box contains a total of 1158 pieces with a price of £69.99 / $99.99 / €89.99, which makes for a convenient ppp. The content:
- 8 polybags, numbered 1 and 2
- 1 instruction booklet
- 1 sticker sheet
There are at least two unique parts in this set, the most outstanding one clearly being the new flat, large windscreen (which we'll see later). I'm kind of displeased that they painted the borders in red, thus making it much less reusable in our mocs. Another new part is a new wheel rim with a star shape (exacly the same of the official F40!) and a stud in the middle, following the same design pinciple introduced with the Speed Champion line earlier this year.
There's no inventory online to look at the rarest pieces, but except for the ones i listed, the rest should be pretty standard stuff.
Let's start building! The instruction booklet is very clear and features the "highlighted outline" for new pieces of each step, a tecnique adopted by lego lately on some high-end sets, this time in yellow. I must say it's quite convenient, making the part list almost superfluous. Sometime they make it harder to tell if two pieces are adjacent, but overall they're pretty useful.
The build starts with a standard, very durable frame, built with technic bricks and plenty of pins. Things already get interesting with the first trick: what are those finger hinge connector for?
The answer is just a couple of step later: they're used to add the lower platform so that it's a little offseted compared to the rest of the frame. Clever!
In the next steps, the plates are filled with some detailing, a snot structure, the central support for the hand brake and the first segment of the seats. The steering wheel is also mounted, with pins that let it sit at an angle (and can be adjusted). The first sticker is applied here, and it's a tought one: round sticker over a round 1x1 tile. I've sweated profusely but managed to attach it just perfectly.
Next up we build a nice sideway brace for the front room, which looks great.
Another trick is on the way now: we build the air intake on the sides of the car, that are mounted at an angle. The air intake itself is buit with two curved pieces: a baby bow and one of the new inverted curved bricks. The attachment is clever: a round brick give just enought room to rotate the assembly on it's single stud by the right amount.
Also, if you notice, there's a clip connection on the assembly, which is fixed and cannot hinge. This is a trick in the trick: since a 1x1 brick would have been to weak (it's only connected at the bottom), the designers put a 1x1 with handle instead, and then connected with a clip to the other side, using a minimal amount of space (the wheel will sit right there) to strengthen the part.
And how do they prevent the air inlet assembly from rotating back? With a black 1x4 plate that sits just right with the black small wing! Wow, we've only just began and this build is already spitting amazing tecniques like there's no tomorrow.
Here's how it looks in the end, just great!
Next up we add a panel behind the seats, which uses some clips in vertical orientation to fix better.
The seats comes next, and boys do they look good! The designers captured the shape of the sporting seats brilliantly.
The roof is now built, which is sturdy but the mix of technic and regular bricks leaves a lot of seams to be seen:
And now we finally use the new windshield, which is attached at an angle with some clips. The black rounded bottom, which let me a little baffled in the preview pictures, will look gorgeous in the end.
The top of the windshield and the roof match perfectly! The bracket in the roof protudes just a little bit to provide a stop for the assembly. Amazing!
The doors comes next, they include an air inlet on one side, and a snotted panel on the interior. They're held by nothing less than *seven* clips. Wow!
The result is superb, it aligns perfectly with the rest of the body. Notice how the clips intertween nicely to make the hinge.
Here's how they open:
We attach the mirrors and the first part of the build is done! All bags numbered 1 are gone:
The second part of the builds treats us with the wonderful V8 engine! The micro-build is super, it uses some technic pieces to obtain angled "piston" assembly.
Comparing with a picture of the real engine, you can easily tell the designer paid some serious attention to recreate it (and doubtlessly had some serious fun!) Specific features are recognizeable, even down to the color! I'm impressed, i think at this scale it's hard to make any better than this.
Also worth noting is how the new 2x2 round tile with a stud and the old 2x2 dish match seamlessly. I'm surely using this technique in my space mocs!
And here's the engine in its place:
And just as we recover from this mind blowing experience, the build trows us.. the green pieces! Will the mistery finally be solved?
The green plate are attached to the bottom of the rear end. Did you understand the purpose? :) Yes? We'll see later, in the meanwhile, notice how the exaust tubes slip nicely inside the hole in the "bumper", and the handy rod in it's storage location, it will be useful to keep the back of the car open. It's just resting there tho, it's not attached in any way.
The rear portion is built next with a profusion of snot turns. It's interesting that the six black 1x1 round plate used here are the "hollow" variant (sometime called Apollo stud), despite being used in a regular, non-holey way. Is Lego incrementing their usage even where a regular stud would have worked just as well? I surely hope so, as the Apollo studs are ultra-useful. (insert joke about "using their hole" here).
The signature zig-zag shape of the engine cover is built next with three identical assemblies and an extra one on the top. The result is very convincing.
The submodel is then attached to the main one (note the hinge axle), and the car now starts to really take shape.
Btw, you can finally see the use of the green plates here: they're used to let the rear end touch the ground, as it is just a plate higher than the rest of the body. This is very helpful when you build the model "on the table", without holding it in hands, expecially when attaching the rear aileron. Since the model is full of moving parts, it's uncomfortable to handle and building it on the table is surely the best option.
We now attach the black wedges on the sides which completes the cabin. The wedges are printed with a red band that represents the pillar. It looks kind of good, but i can't help but think that all four pillars are rendered with prints (the front one are directly on the windscreen) instead of bricks. Uhm.
Attaching the wedges leaves an interesting problem: as you can see in the picture above, there's a pretty large gap between the side and cabin (where the clip bar is visible). How to fix it? The designers actually came up with another neat trick: they made some small triangular shaped addons, and put a clip on them. They slip perfectly in the hole and the clip secure them to the bar seen above (it's the only connection point of the thing)! That's some serious geometry, and i love this kind of fanciful solutions! You can see here one of the two addons installed, and the other one waiting.
Now it's time for the final part of the model, the front! It starts by extending the model with technic beams and building on them
The entire front portion is connected to the rest by some pins, so that it can rotate:
Also notice the amount of snot bracket used internally. They'll be used to attach plates and stuff to make the moving part more solid.
Notable here are the use of two yellow teeth (they'll be used as stops for the popup headlights) and the clipply-hinged parking lights.
The hidden headlights are finally made with the new 2x1 plate with pinhole in the bottom, a part that i personally love. The front wheel arches are then built and fixed with 2x4 slopes.
We are almost at the end, but a couple of surprises are still waiting! Including perhaps the best one of the whole build.
The hood is made with some plates and tiles, leaving two holes to mount the air intake.
As you can see the air intake will be attached to the bar below the hood. They're made with sideway mounted baby bow. Attaching things to a hidden bar is a neat tecnique that lego is using here and there, in some big builds (i remember it being used in a modular, to realize a signboard). And this is the first surprise.
But then i went to attach the hood to the car and i was a little puzzled, as i could not find how to connect it, assuming it was just studs on studs. After a couple of seconds, my mind was blown: it's not attached with studs, but instead the bars used for the air intake are used to connect it too! There are two clips inside the car and you have to slip the hood there. The fit is perfect: the hood rest still, unable to rotate, and at a pleasing angle, wonderfully capture the curves of the original car! Wow
Just look how the black plates touches but are not connected.
Well, that was intense! Here's the resulting curve (you can also appreciate the foldout headlights)
Now just the hubs, tires and rims stands before the end of the building. Also, with them, we can finally remove the green plates!
The final model
Here's the Ferrari F40 in all its glory:
Just for the fun, i dusted off (figuratively, i'm too lazy to actually do it) an old BBurago Ferrari F40 1987, which should be like the closest thing to the real car except for the real car. I made a comparison shot, here's the debated rear model. The difference on the "curves" is quite important, to be honest. On the other hand, they recreated the lights and exausts remarkably well.
Here's the car with all doors open. Sure the designer stuck to the original design! Everything is just like in the real car, down to the stick that holds the back door!
And now look at this. The proportions! They're so perfect, the models actually overlap! Look at the front, look how the air intake actually is exacly in the right position. The roof, the windscreen, the engine cover, the pillars, the aileron, everything is just in the perfect proportion. When i got the idea of this comparison, i'd never expected this level of fidelity. Impressive.
Well, what can i say about this model? First off, the building experience is awesome. There are so many cool tricks used in this build to achieve the best possible look, each step reserves a surprise.
The model itself is gorgeous, a great display model and is also instantly recognizable as the glorious F40 by anybody with even the minimal knowledge in supercars. I can confirm that the rear end is a little too squared compared to the real thing, but it's not ugly per se, the car globally has a nice line. And most important, its fidelity to the real model is absolutely astonishing.
I've come to the conclusion that part of the squaredness is due to the number of moving parts. They breaks the model into segments, each of which has to provide his own robustness and connectivity. If you take the rear end for example, it would have been easy to attach some curved slopes to create a more curvy solution, but then you notice that the whole end is indeed cut in two horizonally to realize the opening door, and that just wouldn't work.
Without moving parts the same model could have been realized with maybe a fifth of the pieces. Indeed this is a very.. how can i put it.. "high resolution", "fine grained" build, where each single stud has a clearly thoughted out reason to be where it is. Proof is this build has the astonishing amount of 72 1x1 square plates, more than the T1 or the Mini Cooper, and truckloads of other very small parts.
In the end, this is a great set, my opinion improved greatly after having built it and hold it in my hands. Lego sure honored this masterpiece of Italian design and engineering. I recomment it to all lego cars lovers. It may even be a great gift for non-lego-addicted car geeks!
Well this is all, share your toughts on the model in the comments! Thanks for reading :)