This alternative model is using exclusively parts from the 10290 Pickup Truck set in the Expert line and is based on the first generation Porsche 911. From the moment I saw the set I immediately knew what I wanted to build with it, because so many pieces were just perfect for creating a classic 911: all the curved pieces, the headlights, the main colour. However, this project turned out to be much trickier and took a lot more time than I had expected. Normally a feasibility study takes just a day or two, but in this case it was only very late in the development phase that I was convinced this model could be achieved. So why was this?
The side shoulder profile was the starting point where it was about figuring out length, wheel position and body height. When the proportions seemed right I compared with the official 10295 Porsche set to make sure the model was not too far of. Building a chassis was the next part, just to get the wheels fixed and have something to build upon. Already here the first challenge presented itself with the rear axle that could not just be put in a a technic brick with a hole in between the studs if I wanted to get a tight fit with the wheel well without touching, so I left that for the time being and put my focus on other details.
The c-pillar line was the next target which has this very iconic shape with the round curve at the side window. Finding the right angle, but also making it sturdy took some tinkering. I opted for a triangle configuration with 2 technic beams connecting roof and chassis. It’s perhaps not the most beautiful solution, but sturdiness was in my perspective more important, and because the beams are black and ended up being covered by the front seats you hardly notice them. Continuing from there I worked my way forward figuring out how to do the roofline and windscreen.
So far it was all about getting the shape convincingly, but I still had to implement all the opening features and a working steering function. Starting with the doors I considered how to make them open and close, but with the limited variety of hinge parts the options were limited so I decided to keep it simple, even though the doors might be considered a little flimsy when you open them with just one hinge piece for each door. But if you do not open them more than 60 degrees it should be fine. Next on the list was the working steering. Here the challenge was that no gears are matching in a single line, but always with an offset. This meant a lot of Technic parts to guarantee that the gears connect properly and cannot slip, meanwhile making sure that the steering wheel ends up in a realistic position and of course rotates in the same direction as the wheels turn. Here another problem occurred; the wheel touched the top of the wheel well if a pin without friction was used, but adding a full plate ruined the low profile look and made the car more like an off-road vehicle. The solution in the end was using a pin with friction, so you are still able to roll the vehicle when pushed. I think it was a fair compromise because most Expert models are display pieces anyway. The model also still allows for switching pins with friction for pins without, but in my opinion is the inferior option.
At this time it also made sense to have another look at the rear axle which so far had been put on hold. Here the only way to end up with a tight wheel well was using bricks with a hole in line with the studs. The solution I ended up with not only solved the position in a horizontal plane, but also turned out identical with the vertical distance of the wheel wells at the front axle.Another bonus is that the model is slightly higher at the front than the rear, which the real car has too.
Now back to opening feature. The engine cover and bonnet still needed to be done, and as mentioned before the type of hinge pieces are limited in this set. So for the engine cover at the rear an asymmetric solution was the result. For the bonnet at the front a bar was used as hinge piece. (Also in this case I had to use a spare 3L bar as was the case with the 10252 Vintage Pickup.) But because the bonnet slopes downwards it interfered with the steering mechanism, part of which had to be moved backwards now. As a consequence the connection of the windscreen also needed to move.This part actually went easier than expected.
It was only now that I was convinced I could create this model, although not without some compromises here and there. There was however still a lot work left to do: creating a full interior, an engine and optimizing the whole design using parts more efficiently and making the model sturdier. Then later many more small revisions occurred when the model was converted to CAD and broken down in steps for building instructions where I could see and realize that better solutions were possible. Looking back I estimate that the whole process from start to finish took between 3 and 4 weeks.
This model consists of 1190 pieces (a little over 70% from the set) and features:
- Working steering connected to the steering wheel
- Opening doors, bonnet and engine cover
- Detailed engine and interior with stick and rear view mirror
- Sturdy structure
Some sample pages of the instructions which are available at www.mocsmarket.com