I Bought my 2nd Porsche 911!
I went for a 964 Turbo in white this time...
Now the present Mrs. Stanley always raises an eyebrow when I advocate a car purchase. She sees cars as the devil's work or some sort of necessary evil, rather than a thing to enjoy and covet. I honestly think she'd rather fall and injure herself than go car shopping... But I digress, as you've probably guessed by the main image - this isn't a typical car purchase.
You bought a Lego set? Big deal!
You're wondering why I want to write about this? Well, the short answer is it's something I wouldn't normally do. I'm normally busy working, writing, DIY'ing, or walking nuisance (Our black Labrador). I don't get much time for fun these days. I've also had pretty rough year. My mum died around this time last year, a good few years before her time. While we were reeling from that, COVID19 struck and we found holidays cancelled and the whole country going into lockdown...
I did buy a Lego set, and I bought it for myself. It's the first time I can remember buying a Lego set for myself for over a decade. The thing is, my decision to buy myself a Lego set to sit and build led to good things.
The present Mrs. Stanley and I were out shopping at John Lewis at Cheadle Hulme with my son, current U9 Staffordshire County Chess Champion, ABRSM Grade 1 pianist and maths genius, Isaac. He likes building Lego sets, but in recent times he's become obsessed with only building huge, epic sets - like the Creator Diner and Bookshop he had for his birthday and Christmas.
The Diner Set
If you're interested in the Diner set, you can buy it here
Anyway I saw John Lewis were doing the 'Speed Champions' Porsche 911 for only £10. I thought to myself, you know what - I've not built a set in ages. I've got a Porsche 911 - that'd be something nice to sit and do over a cup of tea tonight.
So you bought it?
I did! The really cool part was, after enduring a momentary bout of eye-rolling from the present Mrs. Stanley, something magical happened. My son asked if he could have a set too! And he wasn't on one of his 'I only want it if it's a 16+ set with over 7000 pieces' moods. He likes cars and he decided he wanted to build a car too. So he looked at the models on offer and for the princely sum of £13 decided he wanted to build the Speed Champions Ferrari F8 Tributo.
Ready to build!
So after tea (I cooked my famous cottage pie again See my Foodtribe profile!) it was time to sit down with a cuppa and build our Lego sets.
I've seen DriveTribe people do a 'Lego Race' with these sort of sets, but I really don't like the idea of that. It kind of ruins the fun? Sitting and steadily, carefully putting something together is satisfying. It's cathartic. It's the sort of thing that helps you forget the stresses of the day and the long, lingering troubles of these difficult times. It's a natural human instinct to construct I think.
My back in the late noughties building our house.
I built my own house with my father-in-law Jack back in the mid-noighties. When I say built, I actually mean built too. We didn't hire people to do stuff. We literally sorted out the planning, then bought the materials and started building. I couldn't have done it on my own, but Jack had built a few houses before and really knew what he was doing. It took us two and half years to get it into a state where it was fit to move into. I don't think I'll ever feel fit enough to take something like that on again, especially whilst working full time! But I still think it's one of the most satisfying things I've down. The only downside is you end up getting so emotionally invested and attached to a house you built yourself, that you can never imagine moving and sometimes I think we could do with more space!
The contents of the set.
Building a Lego set is obviously nothing on that scale, but it's still a small sip of the satisfaction of setting yourself a task, then completing it.
The first step in any set of Lego instructions is to build your characters. In my set of course, I get a little chap with a Porsche top on and in Isaac's set, he got a fellow wearing a Ferrari T-shirt!
The first step
As you can see, as is the case with most Lego sets, it's often difficult to tell how a build is going to go together at the early steps.
Having built our characters and got our instructions out, it was time to start. One thing that WAS apparent at this stage was that we were building different grades of 'Speed Champions' sets. Most of these cars are single-seat versions of the car they're based on, but certain models are an extra two studs wide and seat two characters. These are more expensive, but I think more detailed models.
Can you tell what it is yet?
Early on, I started to get a nagging suspicion that the first few steps were the rear of the car and I quickly realised I was right.
The Ferrari was actually built on a fairly large chassis piece, whereas the Porsche chassis was built out of more standard everyday parts.
The Porsche chassis
You could also quickly tell the proportions of the wider car are more accurate and realistic than the single-seater.
The rear exhaust pipes.
The rear exhaust pipes were a giveaway as to which was the front and rear of the Ferrari.
The Porsche so far and the stickers.
Another key difference was the number of printed pieces in the Ferrari set. There were stickers, but there were also some printed pieces. Both cars actually had a similar number of stickers to apply. If you DO decide to built Lego cars with your kid, I'd offer to do the stickers for them. They are really fiddly and these cars seems particularly sensitive to good sticker placement.
The rear of the Ferrari already taking shape.
Instruction manual is much larger on the Ferrari and has more pages and more steps.
Starting to take shape!
The Ferrari also had over 100 more pieces included in the set.
Seats in place!
Once the seats were in place you could really tell the proportions are better on the Ferrari. These two seater Speed Champions models are actually the right proportions for Lego Minifigs.
The Porsche REALLY taking shape.
I was particularly impressed with how Lego designed the front of the Porsche Carrera. The way they got the shape of the bonnet and the classic 964 headlights right was really clever!
Getting close now!
Interestingly the F8 Tributo has wing mirrors... The Porsche does not....
The finished Porsche
The proportions of the finished Porsche ARE very good. Particularly the front. The shape is right at the rear, but the fact that this is a single seat model of a 4 seat car is quite glaring when you stand it alongside the Ferrari.
The Ferrari, ready to roll!
There are no opening doors on these models, the only way to get drivers and passengers in or out is to remove the roof section.
The finished F8 Tributo
Here you can see Mr. Ferrari is able to give Mr. Porsche a lift - a clear advantage. It's also worth noting you get 2 sets of wheel trims with the Ferrari allowing you to choose the style of alloy wheels you want.
The cones come with the Porsche. The spanner comes with the Ferrari. Both drivers get hair and a crash hat.
All in all, I can't recommend spending an hour or so, sitting quietly building Lego with your son, enough. If you buy them as I did with your son in tow, they'll think both sets are for your kid! But honestly, we had a great time building them together and he's got two great finished sets to play with.
Both sets were great quality, a fun build and a detailed finished model. However, I have to admit the Ferrari was a more detailed, better proportioned set. Both sets suffered if anything from fiddly to apply stickers and both were quite sensitive to good sticker placement.
If you like the idea of building a set with your kid you can buy some two-model sets like the one DriveTribe did a build race with.
The Two Porsche set featured in the old DriveTribe 'Build Race'
You can get that set here
If you like the idea of the better proportioned 2-seater sets but don't want the Ferrari - there are a few other options, namely: The Audi Quattro, the Nissan GTR Nismo, and the Jaguar I-PACE and Formula E double pack.
showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken serious
Stories and images of supercar crashes, in honour of veteran crasher Hammond