19 April 2020

LEGO® Creator Expert review: 10271 Fiat 500 – The Build

Posted by Admin
Following his examination of the new parts, Inthert returns today to report on the actual build of LEGO® Creator Expert 10271 Fiat 500. (And don't forget, you could win a copy of the set in our latest building competition!)

While the most striking thing about the LEGO® Creator Expert Fiat 500 is unquestionably its Cool Yellow/ Bright Light Yellow base colour, the set has much more to offer than just recolours! Today we’ll be delving deeper into the build process before taking a look at the completed model.

Bag 1

The first set of numbered bags predictably focuses on the construction of the chassis, but by the end we also see a good deal of the rear end completed too.

I was surprised to find four double inverted slopes, Brick 2X2X2/3, Inverted Bow in Cool Yellow (6296511 | 32803) are used to strengthen the undersides rather than being ised elsewhere on the visible body work – LEGO definitely has no qualms with putting newly recoloured elements to practical, if unceremonious, use.

A nifty little trick involving a Plate 2X3 W. Holder in Dark Stone Grey/ Dark Bluish Gray (4227517 | 30350) is used to securely attach the rear bumper to the rest of the vehicle. It’s a good example of how System bricks can be used to create very sturdy connections.

Towards the end of the first set of bags we find the most satisfying part of the entire build: the construction of the tapering sides. Well, I suppose it’s actually only one half of the most satisfying part since the front section is built up in a similar way later on. In any case the technique is worth talking about. At one end, and providing the main mounting point, is a single hinge Plate 1X2 in Cool Yellow (6296491 | 19954). This allows the wheel arch panel to taper inwards. However, it’s the fact that the panel is then studded in place at the other end that makes this interesting. A variety of elements with 1x1 rounded surfaces allow the panel to connect without its edge clashing with surrounding surfaces.

From a bird’s eye view, the result is a right-angled triangle that technically pushes the envelope on legal construction but by only a fraction of a millimetre. Similar methods of achieving angled surfaces have been used in official sets previously but it is always a welcome surprise when such techniques crop up.

Bag 2

The bulk of the next set of bags go towards building the doors and interior.

The installation of the driver and passenger seats involves a novel use of what I refer to as ice cream cone arms: Arm, No. 1 in Medium Nougat (6259768 | 28660). The resultant bar & clip connection allows both front seats to tip forwards, providing access to the rear seating.

Half-stud offsets are by no means uncommon in sets but the combination of brackets, click hinges and reverse tiles that contribute to making the offset section on each door is too wonderfully elaborate not to highlight.

Bag 3

The last set of bags finishes up the main build as well as two small accessories that we’ll take a look at later.

Putting 3.18mm bars into Technic cross-holes is a connection not seen too frequently in sets. I’ve found through MOC building that the technique can result in far more clutch power than desired so I was pleasantly surprised to find the joint on the Fiat’s sunroof works nice and smoothly.

Another example of nifty angle work can be found with the windscreen.

It’s connected top and bottom yet manages to avoid an undesirable, off-grid vertical height. I wonder if the designer did the maths or ‘simply’ stumbled upon an angle that put no visible strain on the parts?

One final thing that made me go ‘aha!’ is the hub cap connection that elegantly uses a pair of studs inserted into the wheel hub itself. I’m a little out of the loop when it comes to vehicle sets so I apologise if this is not considered a noteworthy technique.

The completed LEGO® Creator Expert Fiat 500

The completed model is frankly delightful. Near enough everything that you would expect to open, does: bonnet, doors, sunroof and boot, and all have a surprising amount of detail to see inside too.

Most impressive to me was the engine which achieves a high level of accuracy with a relatively small selection of parts.

A small detail I appreciated was the use of cheese slopes to represent pedals in the driver’s side foot well.

My only complaint about the model is more of a warning for those planning on displaying the set on a shelf: It rolls. Now for a model car, you expect wheels to turn but conversely you also want them to not turn if you place it up high. Luckily there’s a simple fix for this, attaching a stack of parts equalling two bricks high to the underside will lift tyres off the ground just barely to stop any unwanted movement.

A charming addition to the set is the brick-built suitcase and painting easel (complete with palette and brush), both of which can be stored in or on the competed model thanks to the opening sunroof and the boot-mounted luggage rack.

Here, my policy of not applying stickers is an issue, as the blank 6x6 tile should be adorned with a very nicely designed ‘painting’ of the Fiat in front of the Colosseum. Likewise, the suitcase is intended to have a selection of stamps applied - presumably indicating the many countries the artistic owner of the Fiat has travelled to. I therefore imagine my particular Fiat has yet to make any such road trips - it is factory-fresh after all!


Overall, I think there really is something for everyone with this set: MOC builders like myself will no doubt find that the vast array of Cool Yellow elements opens new doors for custom creations. Those who enjoy a therapeutic build session can expect plenty of novel techniques and satisfying subassemblies. And finally, those interested in the completed vehicle itself will find plenty of intricate details on the car - both internal and external. Truly a set that has potential to please all LEGO enthusiasts. Well, so long as they like Cool Yellow!

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  1. The tapering sides are perfectly in system. You can check it with any length, it just works out fine:

    1. Yup! I love when neat geometries like this are used in sets. This is a classic sort of example where because of the half-stud offset between the hinge point on the 1x2 hinge plate and the centered stud attachment on the other end, the angle between those points on both the hinged section and the main build "mirror" one another.

      Speaking of those hinged sections, another neat technique is how the 1x4 brick with a groove for a rail is used on the door to close neatly over the protruding nub of the hinge plate!

    2. I have an image just for that: https://www.flickr.com/gp/123870760@N07/3L0L58

    3. Come to think of it, it is actually a different aspect of the hinge geometry. Still, interesting how that geometry can be used in different ways.

    4. It's because it's very cleverly an isosceles triangle when measuring from stud centres, not right-angled.

    5. The tapering sides are not in the system. This is not a SNIR technique like we can see on 7191 or 10240 X-Wing (which are perfect match on those sets).

      As for the review, I am surprised Tim didn't wrote a single word about that terrible windscreen. Same for side windows at the rear.

  2. What is your reason for not applying the stickers?

    1. I leave it to each reviewer to decide if they want to, as we are a "parts and techniques"-focused site rather than "display piece". Builders often prefer to leave stickers off rather than "limit" the element by applying. Given there are plenty of images elsewhere of how sets look with stickers, I'm happy to take this approach.

    2. Thanks for the reply! I understand now. I always enjoy the reviews as they are focussing on the building techniques. Keep up the good work!