In a nutshell, great model, worth the price if you enjoy the Lego Creator series, but I do have a few notes.
I think we all know the backstory of this model, as it has been featured on Jalopnik and Toyland already, but here is a quick summary: This model was originally conceived by a guy on the Lego Ideas site, got great support there, and was reviewed and ultimately approved for production by Lego.
Now to the model. The booklet, which I sadly did not get a photo of, is much nicer than most regular Lego booklets. It is kind of along the lines of the GT3 RS booklet, with some background on the 1:1, and a little piece in the end by the guy who submitted it to Lego Ideas, Carl Greatrix, and by the Lego designer who designed the production version. The box is also mentions that it is a Lego Ideas model, which I think is really cool, as it gives a lot of credit to the roots of the model.
Lego’s version of Carl Greatrix’s model is apparently very different in building techiques than the original idea, but, as the booklet mentions, this is to make it work better with Lego’s methods of building instructions, and smoothness of building techniques. But the scale and overall look are maintained very well. There are some very clever methods used to achieve the different angles of the body, with hinged pieces in strategic places that are not very noticable on the end product.
One thing I always love about these Creator models is that they use some very fun Lego pieces in unusual ways. The Caterham has three such examples, one of which was already used on the Ferrari F40: Revolvers as exhaust headers, a whip as wiring in the engine bay, and lipstick as connector pieces in the exhaust where it connects the headers to the muffler. The lipstick was the most surprising, but I think it’s also the most inventive use of an otherwise unrelated Lego piece I have seen so far!
I love that the engine is easily removable, and it shows pretty well outside the car. I love the way the trunk comes with jack stands in it (initially I thought they were track day cones, but this being a British car, jackstands make more sense.), and I love the seats. It comes with three pedals, a nice meaty shift knob, and the wheels look great. I wish they turned, but this is a Creator model, and none of them so far have had steerable wheels, so I guess it’s okay.
Now for a less positive note. Though this model shows GREAT, the build is fairly simple and quick, and a little disappointing, aside from the clever use of unrelated pieces. So if you are looking for more of a build challenge, maybe pay the extra $20 and get the Ferrari F40. But, again, the end product is fantastic, and I’m really glad I got this model.
I’m really happy I could support the Lego Ideas model, and I definitely hope Lego uses this as a positive development that will encourage them to release more Creator models from Lego ideas (*cough* Toyota FJ40 *cough*).