Part 2 of my 911 GT3 RS review looks at the build of Box One within the set.
As with most Technic builds, I like to read the manual first to get an idea of what lies ahead. I also like to research the actual vehicle itself, looking at the similarities from the real versus the model build. Traditionally for me, with all Technic cars/vehicles, I have built them as a Right Hand Drive (RHD) version – this started with 8860 Car Chassis back in the early 1980s – and I am English after all. (No, not going to get into a debate with regards to Brexit – but if you have a chance to vote, do so – it is important).
High end German car makers can produce models that are only Left Hand Drive (LHD) for all markets so as to reduce the engineering costs of re-jigging the steering console to the opposite site. One car that comes to mind immediately is the BMW Z8 or original E30 M3. Even the Audi Quatttro of 1981 was LHD for a period of time before Ingolstadt took pity on us here in Blighty. I actually had to check the Porsche GB website to see if this 911 GT3 RS was LHD or RHD for the UK market – annoyingly they only had stock images from Stuttgart depicting the car on their site. Fortunately EVO magazine came to the rescue with a test review via the interweb and confirmed that this one was produced in RHD for our market.
However for this build, despite looking at the manual and thinking that it was indeed a 5-min re-jig , I noted as the build progressed with the construction of the gearbox and drivetrain that it would take a lot more nuance and thought for a re-engineer. So I decided that once the model was built in full and completed in standard form, it would be a sub project for myself to take apart and get it re-engineered as a RHD model. Call it my summer project…….along with the other builds that I have not even completed yet.
Parts wise in Box One we see lots of familiar gears, axles and linkages that have filtered down from builds such as the U400 Unimog and the 3245 AROCS. The initial base of the chassis, front struts and gearbox is satisfying as it lays the foundation for the car and also – like I have mentioned above – one can get those engineering cells with the brain working so see how the car is crafted and for me with a view to modify it to UK RHD spec. I don’t own a mass of large Technic sets, so please forgive me if I discover “new” parts along my musings.
As the build progresses in Box One you really do get a sense of actually how big the model is going to be. I normally have an abundance of 1/64 and 1/43 scale models around, but 1/8 scale is rather big! But on the plus side, the size allows the acute level of detail that exacts the standards of Porsche. One of the major components of this build is the PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) gearbox (As an aside, German words may look massive but they can be several words stuck together – in this case: Doppel (Double) kupplungs (Coupling) getriebe (Gearbox) ). Now whilst I love all of this James May stuff, I know that this will bore the majority to death, so thus I will not go on about it. But it IS a little marvel.
Like a piece of origami, you are somewhat spellbound by the way it folds together (literally) to form part of the steering column as well as the PDK. It is a very clever bit of LEGO building as well as engineering. I remember for 8860 Car Chassis there was just the steering linkage to the front wheels to worry about, but this build is a new ball game. 30 years on, you now have the paddles connected to the gearbox via the steering column. A work of LEGO art – Technic style. One thing to note is that the steering wheel fits perfectly to scale. Unlike the farce with the Creator Mini Cooper, where it was totally out of proportion to the car and looked daft. Worth also noting that the build so far for these elements is made from standard shelf parts rather than any specific new element to create something magical.
With the gearing, steering and chassis in place, the creation of the glovebox – which I actually thought was a footwell for a wee while – is very special for one reason and one reason alone: the 1×4 flat white tile “with a laser-engraved serial number — digits which, says Lego, will unlock some special Web content for the car’s owner.” A nice touch, but I have not seen anything yet that tells me what to do…….
Once completed this then leads on to the creation of the rear axle which is a lovely little mini build. Again as so often is the case, I cannot remember which parts are actually a new inventory item as at the time it all looks pretty much the same! But, as I have mentioned before the use of standard stock parts ensures that this is an interesting and satisfying build so far – no gimmicky parts that could be found in such themes as Ningango or Chima.
One then concludes with the flat 6 engine assembly with its connection to gearbox. The car really starts taking shape here as you have a platform for the rolling chassis. Having only seen the 911 engine block from the confines of the actual car engine bay, I can’t tell you how accurate it actually is. But I think that they have done a good job. Richard posted some Ambassador news here on BF with regards to the gearing issue for the PDK. I won’t repeat it again, but have a read of the BF article and press release from LEGO to let you decide on how you want to address the perceived issue.
So, let’s dwell on that forever. With Box One completed, you do get a sense of achievement. For seasoned hard core Technic builders, I have to say that this will not pose too much of a challenge at all – the most overtly complex piece is the PDK. The normal builder may get stumped a few times however.
As I have alluded to before within this part of the review, those Technic builders who really do want a challenge – and as I want to as well – the fun will be to convert this car to a UK RHD Spec. I mentioned that this was a personal target of mine, but wisely did not attempt to do so via the build process as it would have added a good few days to complete Box One.
So with this main framework completed, it is time to move on to Box Two which I will muse about here on BF in due course as soon as possible. Still another 500+ steps to complete until the car is created in full.