RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: McLaren MP4 / 4

RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: McLaren MP4 / 4
The most dominant Formula 1 car ever? The McLaren MP4 / 4 of course! We take advantage of the announcement of the new LEGO Technic licensed McLaren set to present the brick-built version of one of the most iconic and dominant Formula 1 McLarens ever: RoscoPC's 1:27 Scale McLaren MP4 / 4 Crash.


Read also: The LEGO Technic McLaren Senna GTR takes to the track

Known for the unmistakable livery completely similar to the product of its main sponsor, also and above all thanks to its two exceptional drivers: Ayrton Senna, who moved from Lotus to McLaren, bringing with him the Honda engines and Alain Prost, already twice world champion on his arrival at the stable and nicknamed “Le Professeur” for his consistent and fluid driving style. The engine and brakes? The TAG / Porsche V6 that had brought three world championships is replaced by the more performing Honda V6 biturbo (the most powerful on the starting grid) with three-shaft six-speed gearbox, developed specifically for the MP4 / 4 in collaboration with Weisman in the USA and carbon ceramic disc brakes on all four wheels. The frame? Monocoque in carbon fiber and honeycomb designed by the genius Gordon Murray, who had already tried a couple of years before to take his ideas of compactness to extremes on a Brabham that was nicknamed "sole", but without obtaining the desired results. Results that came with the interests on the McLaren MP4 / 4, thanks to the two best drivers on the starting grid, the ultra-low chassis and the more powerful engine: a combination that was soon unbeatable. The McLarens were unstoppable: Senna got 13 pole positions and 8 wins. Prost won 7 Grands Prix, but it was Senna who was crowned champion with a 3-point lead over Prost. The McLaren MP4 / 4 also won the Constructors' Championship with nearly three times the points of the runner up, Ferrari.

The remarkable MP4 / 4 had to be replaced at the end of the season because for 1989 turbo engines were banned. The results and ultra-low profile of the McLaren MP4 / 4 were never matched again. It is still the best Grand Prix car ever built by McLaren.

Welcome (and welcome back) to this new installment of RoscoPC's Gli Scassoncini series, in which we talk to you every week about one of the Formula 1 car models 1:27 scale by RoscoPC, we tell you how it is built and we give you a whole range of information on the car that inspired the model and many other things. In the following article, you will find as always:

information sheet of the real car from which the model is inspired a mini-review of the model RoscoPC's comments on which are the most difficult tips & tricks on which to use is found having to work for each model curiosity and info on the process that RoscoPC follows to design and build the models the comparison with the "big sister" in 1: 8 scale info and links to build the models (1:27 and 1: 8 ) Follow us on our journey through the history of Formula 1!

Read also: RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: Tyrrell P34

McLaren MP4 / 4, scale 1:27

The fourth model we are going to discover together is that of a 1988 car of British origin: the McLaren MP4 / 4.

Technical characteristics (real car)

Year: 1988 Info: designed by Gordon Murray and Steve Nichols Drivers: Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost Engine: Honda turbo V6, 1500 cc, 650 HP

(Credit photo: ultimatecar

McLaren MP4 / 4, scale 1:27

This fourth model we built is made up of 159 pieces and as in the previous ones, we find special construction techniques inside and using some pieces in ways that aren't what they were originally intended for. For example: the nose made with the "Plate Modified 1 x 2 with Angular Extension and Flexible" element, present in a single set, the LEGO Architecture # 21043 "San Francisco", in which it was used to reproduce the shapes of the Transamerica skyscraper Pyramid of the city of the Golden Gate.

Construction is very fluid as always and requires only a little familiarity with the bricks. It starts with the chassis, which will be the basis for the rest of the vehicle and in particular with the rear portion of the car, then moving on to the first part of the passenger compartment. We then proceed with the construction of the supporting structure of the sides and with further elements of the rear axle, including the rear wheel axle. We then move on to the two semi-axles of the front axle and the layout of the front suspension, to then build the front wing. A few more steps and even the sides (and the flat bottom) are ready.

Let's now move on to the bodywork behind the driver's helmet and the completion of the nose with the element “Plate Modified 1 x 2 with Angular Extension and Flexible ”above.

By completing the last steps to build the rear wing and adding the rear wheels (rims + tires), we are preparing to complete the model.

We will finally have to build the two front wheels, exactly as done in the first of the models built, the Toleman-Hart TG184.

Read also: RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: the bricks hit the track!

Finally, the usual and delicate last step remains: the application of the adhesives. IMPORTANT! The stickers are exclusively those of the sponsors. The bodywork is made in the colors of the team's livery and the sponsors' logos are applied to the latter. The procedure is always the same: a little patience, a good tweezer and even the stickers go into place, finalizing the model.

The numbers

Pieces: 159 Measurements: length 16.6 cm, width 7.8 cm, height 4.2 cm% LEGO Technic elements: 7%

RoscoPC's corner

CulturaPop: What were the most difficult details to reproduce on this scale? RoscoPC: as always, the overall goal is to find the right compromise between the small size and the number of details that can be adequately represented: this car had a very characteristic white-red livery, which contrasted with the carbon black of the frame. CulturaPop: what detail or detail are you most satisfied with being able to reproduce? RoscoPC: I would say the flat bottom, which borders the lower part of the sides in black and ends at the rear with the diffuser that surrounds the gearbox. CulturaPop: is there a particular construction technique that you had to invent to reproduce a particular or a detail of this model? RoscoPC: in addition to the nose, which you have already talked about, also the support of the rear wing required the creative use of a modified 1 × 1 with tooth vertical plate, which well represents the original tapered one.

Definition of the model scale

Third step - second part: define the model scale.

To define the scale of a model RoscoPC usually uses blueprints (blueprints) and projects with plan views and elevation views. Then compare the drawings with some known official data such as wheelbase, carriageways, height, width, etc. to determine the scale of the reference drawing, and then identify with some certainty the dimensions of all other "minor" details ". An additional source of drawings, in addition to dedicated websites, the assembly manuals of model sets are often very useful. The comparison between the dimensions taken from the reference drawings and those of the real machine and the model is done with an MS Excel spreadsheet

(Credit photo:

McLaren MP4-4, scale 1: 8

The big sister of this model was designed and built by RoscoPC in 2011.

It is a model made with mixed technique and elements , LEGO System for the bodywork, ailerons and other aesthetic elements and LEGO Technic for the chassis, suspension, engine and all the mechanical components (exhausts, manifolds, etc.). The characteristics:

wheels (front) steering working suspensions V6 engine rear diffuser radiators in the sides turbines and exhaust pipes 1,580 pieces year 2006 measures 55.2 cm long, 25.6 cm wide and 13.5 cm cm high

(Credit photo:

Instructions and parts lists

The instructions for building the two versions (Scassoncino 1:27 and Scassone 1: 8) can be purchased on the site and in the "product sheet" of each model you will also find links to purchase the bricks and the elements needed to build them. The instructions also include a PDF file for printing the stickers needed to complete the car livery at home. Alternatively, it is possible to request and purchase the same stickers printed and pre-cut on vinyl paper sheets by sending an email to

McLaren MP / 4, scale 1:27 McLaren MP / 4, scale 1: 8 We look forward to seeing you next week with a new episode and a new Scassoncino to be discovered!

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