42056: Porsche 911 GT3 RS review part 1

Porsche….. Synonymous with performance and precision engineering. Whilst many a boy lusted over a Lamborghini Countach or Ferrari Testarossa in the 1980s, I was always a bit more smitten with the machines from Stuttgart – 928, 944, 968, 959 (forget the 924, that was just an Audi in disguise) – classics that really highlighted that ability of Porsche to produce some superior performance machines yet just a little more classy than the offerings from Italy. Oh, and the variety of racers from rally to endurance. Germ,an functionality over Italian flair. And none more so than the Porsche 911.

I reckon it all started from owning on of my very first diecast cars – MB3 Porsche Turbo (930) by Lesney Matchbox. It was metallic green and one of my favourites, never ever letting it out of my sight. Imagine my joy when Lesney the released K-70 Porsche Turbo in the SuperKings size (around 1/43-ish). It was a diecast car I always wanted, yet never owned – I think I just settled for k-74 Volvo Estate instead…..not quite the speed machine I hoped for.

Time passed and as I got older, I have added to my diecast collection – I now have three examples of the K-70 casting. I have also been lucky enough to have driven a 911 on a track day experience as well. I have to say that it was the sweetest drive – married to the best gearbox I have ever used, the flat 6 showed why this car has legendary status. Bucket list ticked. But what has been missing has been a LEGO entry. Last year I was given a glimpse of the good stuff with the Speed Champions 911GT set – a well created set in Minifigure scale that really did justice to the 911 silhouette.

The Technic sets showcase sets of late have been getting bigger and better as well as more complex. We have had the two Daimler AG licenses in the form of the U400 Unimog and 3245 AROCS, both massive, massive sets. They were a pleasure to build, more so for the evolution of Technic set complexity. My benchmark is 8860 Car Chassis – forward on thirty years, both the MB releases make 8860 look like a Duplo job.

Then this year, LEGO drops the F-Bomb. The interweb was awash with excitement with preview images of a 911 GT3 in Technic guise. OK the stickers and dark grey were a bit off putting as the last thing anyone wanted was a flood of decals to add to a model. But like most development vehicles this was just a camouflage. LEGO then released the bright orange production version and I was smitten in an instant – just like when I first got my Matchbox Porsche Turbo. Being a petrolhead, for me personally it does not get much better – car, LEGO, Porsche, brum, brum…..

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

And now I have the opportunity to build this masterpiece as well. So as is now tradition here for me on BF, this review will be in depth. I am not going to cut corners and make no apology in advance for the length of the review. Like a good pint of stout, it should never be rushed – and neither should this review. Call it a Top Geary Top Test – but without Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc or The Stig.

Due to the sheer size of the set, I am going to review this one over several parts: Box and Manual, followed by the box parts review and stage build. I was toying with the idea of one massive review but thought against it as a read too far. So let’s begin and I hope you enjoy the review.

Official description

Discover the iconic Porsche 911 GT3 RS!

Celebrate innovative engineering and design from one of the world’s leading car manufacturers with this stunning LEGO® Technic model. Developed in partnership with Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG, this elegantly packaged LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS with its sleek aerodynamic lines, adjustable rear spoiler and orange bodywork is packed with authentic features and functions that capture the magic of the iconic supercar, and the attention to detail is clear from the outset! Open the doors and you’ll discover an elaborate cockpit with racing seats, working gearbox, steering wheel with gearshift paddles, detailed dashboard and a glove compartment containing a unique serial number. Lift the rear lid and you’ll have access to a detailed flat 6 engine with moving pistons, while under the hood you’ll find a storage area with suitcase. Red suspension springs, detailed brake calipers and original-design rims with special low-profile road-gripping tires add the final touches to this magnificent model!

Features authentically designed aerodynamic bodywork, adjustable rear spoiler, headlights and taillights, red suspension springs, original-design rims with RS emblem, detailed brake calipers, low-profile tires, working gearbox, working steering wheel with gearshift paddles, detailed seating, glove compartment with unique model serial number, opening doors, opening hood containing a suitcase, and an opening rear lid with detailed flat 6 engine.

  • Includes a collection of authentic stickers.
  • Check out the orange colour scheme.
  • Open the doors to access the detailed cockpit.
  • Lift the rear lid to access the detailed flat 6 engine with moving pistons.
  • Open the glove compartment to reveal the unique serial number.
  • Delivered in luxurious box packaging.
  • Includes a special full-colour collector’s book including the history of LEGO® Technic and Porsche GT cars, plus comprehensive building instructions.

This LEGO® Technic model is designed to provide an immersive and rewarding building experience.

This set includes over 2,700 pieces.

This set offers an age-appropriate building experience for ages 16+.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS measures over 6” (17cm) high, 22” (57cm) long and 9” (25cm) wide.

Unboxing

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OK, I am not a huge fan of looking at the packaging for LEGO, its pretty much the same for most sets in terms of look and feel per theme. But this time I am going to make an exception. as I received the set and took it out, I could see that the bar has been raised immediately. The finish of the box is of a higher standard and quality than standard sets. A beautiful sheen glimmers and you could be mistaken for thinking that this has just come of the production line at Stuttgart. It is a beauty. It is very minimalistic and thus uber Porsche – the black and orange works and it is clean and uncluttered. Prize off the lid and it looks like you have been presented with a box of luxury chocolates – but substitute the chocolates for LEGO. The visual is stunning and you cannot help but admire the layout and effort that has gone into defining this as a premium product. The 911 logo is also embossed on the sides, giving the set again further credibility.

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And it doesn’t stop there.

With the lid lifted off, you can see inside the lid, the evolution of the 911 from 1963 in drawing form. It really does take you aback with this level of detail as you just don’t expect it. In the middle of the main box lies the manual which is Frank Lampard-esque (West Ham fans will know what I am on about…) and needs the muscles of Arnie or forklift truck to prize out – it is that heavy. I’ll come on to that in the next section of this review.

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The wheels -unique parts to this set – are all perfectly laid out within the cut out holes. We have seen the good job that LEGO did with the F40 Creator set in terms of wheel reproduction and here we have no exception. Super stuff. Immediately, you will notice that there are no clear polybags shoved together, but instead there are individual stage boxes that contain the elements  which will obviously help build the car. Honestly, I got to a stage where I just wanted to leave the boxes and positioning intact and not take anything out – perhaps frame the thing…..the bar HAS just been raised, and heading north of Mars.

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The Manual

It used to be a map for early LEGO sets as building instructions. And as the sets got more complex over the years, the gate-folds turned into booklets which have now been turned into a bound book.  42056 now just blows all that apart by including what I can only describe as the coffee table book of instructions. It weighs a ton. And like most things Porsche, it is a bit of a masterpiece. The Manual (which I will refer to it as) details the history of the Porsche 911 and the creative, design and implementation of the LEGO model itself. It tells the story from start to finish and even for those who have bought the set but with no knowledge of the car it is well worth reading. The text is in both English and German. For me, it is interesting to see both sets of text side by side as helps me improve my German vocab as well. The emphasis behind the philosophy of Porsche is excellence and perfection – to steal a phrase from those Bavarians, The Ultimate Driving Machine – and the choice of actual paper used (matt not gloss finish) and the photography (which is very deliberate as well as stunning in places), echoes the philosophy. It sets you up nicely to the build which is in four stages. The build is clearly divided into sections:

1) Chassis, engine and gearbox
2) Frame, rollcage and seats
3) Body, roof
4) Wings, dash and spoiler.

It is worth flicking through the manual first to see how the car fits together. After 856 steps (yup, you read that right) you will have completed the model. I do wonder how long it will take to complete the model in one sitting. As with every large scale set that is released, the inner bravado comes out with the standard phrase running through my mind “I can knock this out in a hour – how hard can it be??!”. Every time I am proved wrong. Every time.

So that is the first part of my review. OK some may be narked that I have not got into the build yet, but with juggling family life and numerous nappy changes and bottle feeds, you will forgive me if there is a short gap between my musings. Box One has been completed after a bit of a while, and that is the next instalment for this build is coming very shortly.

LEGO SYSTEM A/S

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