LEGO - McLaren F1 Race Car #42141 Review & Lighting Journal

Mortorsport fans, start your engines - LEGO has come to combine your passions for LEGO and F1 Racing with the LEGO TECHNIC McLaren Formula 1 Race Car 42141. The announcement of this incredible-looking TECHNIC set had the entire Light My Bricks design team patiently waiting online for its official release to ensure one was secured! This set is one of the most highly anticipated TECHNIC sets in recent history, and it definitely does not disappoint! The TECHNIC team has outdone themselves again with some of the most realistic and intricate mechanisms in a LEGO automobile build.

Suffice to say, if you're a fan of LEGO cars or Formula One, this set is an absolute must-have! So get ready to light the track up as well as your amazing F1 racing display model!

Knowing that this LEGO set was a close collaboration between the LEGO and McLaren Racing made enduring the wait for delivery close to impossible. However, the idea of creating a replica of one of F1's most renowned hybrid engines had our pulses racing, and to be honest, our lighting experts couldn't wait to get their hands on it!

Recommended for ages 18+, this LEGO set arrived with 1432 exhilarating pieces and also included sponsor stickers that add a nice finishing touch to the model. The set also came (as always!) with clear, step-by-step instructions, and one of the biggest sticker sheets we've ever seen also included some McLaren and FxPro stickers - just like the real cars!

LEGO wasn't kidding when they said, 'This McLaren F1 replica offers adult LEGO builders the opportunity to become immersed in their passion...' Because that's exactly what happened. With a build time of 8-10 joyful hours, we were beyond excited to see the finished car in all its glory.

The model includes a V6 cylinder engine with steering, moving pistons, suspension, and differential. Making it a realistic and inspiring build. The sponsor stickers were the perfect finishing touch to the LEGO set (obviously, apart from the lighting additions we'll get to a little later on).

The build was as challenging as we expected a TECHNIC set to be, with the engine being just as detailed and therefore as challenging as other TECHNIC autos from past builds. However, the result is so worth it, and once complete, this is one model that is sure to turn any fan of motorsport’s head!

Being a close collaboration between LEGO and McLaren Racing, the unique thing about this LEGO set is that both cars (the actual McLaren and its TECHNIC piece counterpart) were developed simultaneously. As a result, both teams of experts were able to collaborate to develop their versions of the car for the 2022 race season. Making this an extremely rare and exciting build, and the reveal was nothing short of amazing. Just WOW! The final model measured 13 cm high, 65cm long, and 27 cm wide, making it the perfect size to proudly display.

However, our work wasn't done yet of course. We still needed to add some lights to really bring this set to life. And that's where the Light My Bricks design team comes in!

First up, perhaps the most obvious starting point, was the central taillight, for which our Flashing Red Bit Light was a perfect emulator.

Another easy component to place was the cockpit’s Green and Orange Changing Bit Light, as the orange matched the car colour, and the green is reminiscent of the rev counter lights on an actual F1 steering wheel.

However, the rear lights were a little trickier to place, and the two on either side of the wing had to put a little more thought into them. Our lighting experts built a whole set of custom tail lights to house the lighting components needed! This led to many variations and discussions between our team to ensure we nailed the design. The option we went for proved to be the easiest to build, the most effective to light, and the least intrusive to the original design with. We opted for non-flashing red as we felt three flashing lights would be a distraction to the overall aesthetics of the car when displayed.

Then, we had the rest of the car to consider. The McLaren’s body did not offer a whole lot of lighting opportunities, and while we always strive for realism and accuracy in all of our kits, there had been some discussion online between die hard F1 fans regarding the creative licence LEGO took on the car’s design. Well, we also like to take creative cue’s from LEGO and in this instance, felt it appropriate to go all out.

We used an array of blue and large orange bit lights, precisely placed, to illuminate the angular body and bold colours of the F1 car. This took hours of refining as most positions didn't look right, disrupted the original design too much, or didn't light enough areas.

We settled on the design you see now by lighting up as much of the body as possible with as few lights to avoid making it so cluttered. We had to create a new sizeable Orange Bit Light that was bright enough and a matching colour just for this model.

Overall, the lighting design highlights the F1 bodywork and main features, making those race ready colours pop in a dim room. Finally, we’re most pleased with the tail light design as whenever we add to a LEGO set with additional LEGO elements, it's our goal to modify the set for the better - never an easy task!

The LEGO McLaren Formula 1 Race Car will have pulses racing with an exciting build followed by an even more thrilling light kit addition. Described as a must for any LEGO motorsport enthusiast, fans of the F1 will flock to get their hands on the LEGO McLaren F1 Race Car and Light Kit and will be left with a display piece to savour.

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