Amelia Earhart first learned to fly in 1921. An inspirational aviatrix, she was the first woman to successfully fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. Taking off from Newfoundland, hoping to land in Paris. Unfortunately, the fates combined with bad weather and she landed in Ireland. She went on to complete many other many other milestones in women’s aviation, before vanishing over the Pacific five years later.
And so 100 years later, as part of Women’s History Month, the Lego group have released a tribute to her achievements in set 40450 which will be available from the fifth of March through Lego brand retail stores as a gift with purchase.
I’d like to thank the Lego group for sending me a copy of this set for review purposes.
Let’s start by taking a look at the build. In the set, we have two bags, which I shall refer to as the red bag and the black bag. The red bag contains the elements that are necessary to build her plane. The primary model, a Lockheed Vega 5B is a version of the plane that she flew alone across the Atlantic and then flew nonstop across United States.
The Red Bag
The red bag contains a large number of red elements, particularly number of different wedge elements: two by four, two by two, three by 12, six by three. A number of other plates as well as plates with bars and brackets. There is a smattering of yellow elements. Both is a wedge plate. round plate, some SNOT bricks and regular plates. Some of these elements will plainly be hidden inside the plane.
We start off the build by infilling some plates into one of the red 4×16 wedge bricks. We add a collection of brackets, connected by one by two plates, as well as snot bricks with studs on adjacent sides. As you can see, these studs have been carefully placed to allow them to be attached easily onto a plate. We stack a number of Wedge plates: Red-yellow-red to Form a stripe, which will be extended by stickered detail later. We add some more bricks to the side. And through the use of stickers, we get a better feeling for the actual livery of the plane that Amelia Earheart flew.
We build a tail plane and wings.The wings are held in place with curved slopes and then there is a row of two by four tiles across the topstickers bearing the legend NR- 7952, the number of Amelia Earhart’s plane are placed on top of the wing.
The streamlined wheel cowlings are held in place through clever use of a number of one by two plates with bar attachments at each end. These are used to form the supports for the wheel cowlings for the plane.
Next, we turn the plane over and we add the engine and propeller. The engine cylinders are represented by a printed round two by two plate, with a technic pin at the centre. It’s almost unexpected, but the propeller is in fact a canoe paddle, with scoops at each end. It is attached to the engine by a clip, inserted into the middle of the central pin.
We then build the tail and it feels very wide, being brick built using a combination of bricks, slopes and arches. We then have to place for stickers on it, designating the maunfacturer, Lockheed, as well as the registration number of the plane.
The final plane itself feels very firm, solid and extremely swooshable!
The Black Bag
The Black Bag contains the elements required for the base which supports the plane, as well as the minifigure. Some of those elements are tan, but most are not…
We have a mixture of rectanular and rounded plates, as well as slopes and brackets, which all go towards building the display stand.
The stand goes together relatively simply, and before long, we have constructed the plith for the plane to be displayed on.
The stand which supports the front end of the plane is quite intriguing: two components surrounded by brackets, and stacvked up with tiles at the top. These stacks are attached to each other by tiles joining the outer brackets.
A hinge is placed, upside down, on top of the riser, to support the front of the plane
The Amelia Earhart figure is exquisite. She’s wearing a reddish brown aviator jacket, as well as a green scarf around her neck. She’s wearing a reddish brown aviator helmet and has medium stone gray aviators goggles.Her pants are unprinted medium nougat.She has a sassy look on her face, but there is only a print on one side.
She is holding a map which is a tan tile with a sticke. You might consider it somewhat disappointing, but it demonstrates a map ofthe Atlantic, as well as plotting Earhart’s course from Newfoundland to Ireland.
The plane is not minifigure scale and there is no chance of the figure fitting inside.
Displayed on the stand, the plane is heading up on a dynamic angle – ready to take Amelia off on another adventure.If only she weren’t standing just outside still holding the map.
The plinth is functional, but perhaps a little chunky. The plane is a satifying build, and bears as satisfactory resemblance to the original as you might expect in a set with a little over 200 elements. The unique minifigure is unmistakable in her identity
Even though the map even is stickered, it is undeniably a tribute to Amelia Earhart – showing the route of her trip across the Atlantic.
This set, 40450 has been available through LEGO certified stores in Australia over the last week, in association with a purchase of over $199. It will be released through lego.com and Lego brand retail stores from the 6th to the 14th of March 2021 – a period which includes Internatioal Woman’s Day on March the 9th. It is a gift with purchase in association with a purchase price of $USD99; €99 or £99 pound. I’m uncertain as to the price that will apply in Australia and the rest of the world at this point in time, but it is certainly on the upper side of the GWP buy in, as have many of the sets in recent time.
Overall, I’m really surprised with the robustness of the build. I really like the way that the wheel cowlings are positioned on the plane and the novel use of the canoe paddle as the propeller
It remains to be seen what the stock will be available: Certainly the last few substantial gift with purchases such as the vintage car at New Year,TheMonster Book of Monsters and the Charles Dickens tribute did not last very long.It may ultimately be easier to obtain this set on the secondary market.
Of course, other than the stickers, the set does not come with any new, or unique elements: can always opt to build your own, and customise you pilot .
What do you think of this set? Will it encourage you to lay down some money for a March purchase? Or will you hold off, and build your own? Why not comment below and until next time,