RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: Lotus 43

RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: Lotus 43
What was the only Formula 1 car to win a Grand Prix "wearing" a 16-cylinder engine? The Lotus 43 with a typically British green livery, of course! Since RoscoPC has dedicated one of its most recent weekly direct to this model on the Formula_1 Facebook page, we take the opportunity to present the brick version of one of the most particular Lotus: RoscoPC's 1:27 scale Lotus 43 burglar.


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Due to extensive rule changes, the start of the 1966 season and the defense of the world title won the previous season saw Team Lotus get off on the wrong foot. During the winter preceding the start of the season, the displacement limit was doubled to three liters and the supplier of the engines of the team at the time, the Coventry Climax, did not want (or perhaps was not able) to develop a new engine adapted to the new regulations. While rivals Brabham and Cooper switched to Repco and Maserati engines respectively, Lotus' Colin Chapman felt his best option was to wait for the new 16-cylinder BRM H16 engine, which was scheduled to arrive in the second half of the season. This forced the Team to start the year with the existing Chassis 33, powered by a two-liter version of the Coventry Climax V8. Meanwhile, the new Frame 43 was being developed to accept the highly anticipated BRM P75 engine. BRM engineers had found a seemingly simple solution to create the new three-liter engine: “flatten” two existing 1.5-liter engines and “merge” them to create a 16-cylinder. In theory this would have led to a significant reduction in resources and development time, as components such as camshafts, valves and pistons could have been "transported" to the new platform. Obviously it wasn't that easy and in fact what was the second sixteen-cylinder engine developed by BRM went down in history as one of the most complex ever built.

One of the main problems of the H16 was the number of parts used to build the engine. Each of the two flat eight cylinders was a complete engine with four camshafts, sixteen valves, and a crankshaft. The two crankshafts were connected to a single output shaft via gears at the rear of the engine. One advantage of the design was its relatively short length, although it was wider than conventional V-engines. BRM estimated that the new H16 could produce around 425 hp at over 10,000 rpm.

At Lotus, the 'just hired Maurice Philippe was commissioned to design the new Frame 43. It was developed alongside the similar Chassis 42, which was intended for Indy 500 cars with a 4.2-liter version of the BRM engine, but which never raced. An added benefit of the engine's compact size was that it was strong enough to serve as a structural element of the chassis. This was more than convenient because, due to the high and low mounted exhaust manifolds and side vents, there was simply no room for a conventional subframe or monocoque extension. The aluminum monocoque made by Philippe was based on the winning Indy 500 with Frame 38 and featured three steel bulkheads for added strength. Mated to a six-speed BRM gearbox, the engine was bolted directly to the rear bulkhead. The suspension followed conventional Lotus lines with front forks and rocker arms and inverted lower forks, upper arms and double rear arms. Due to the mass of the complicated engine, the first prototype of the Lotus 43 blew the scales well beyond the minimum weight prescribed by the regulations at the time. The new Lotus was ready in time for the Belgian Grand Prix, where Peter Arundell drove it for just three practice laps. The car remained far from the necessary pace and so the team focused on Chassis 33. Still in the hands of the second Lotus driver, Chassis 43 made its debut in July in Reims. Gear selection problems led to early retirement. Jim Clark, first driver of the team and reigning world champion, got behind the wheel of the Lotus with BRM engine during the Italian Grand Prix. On this high-speed track the weight problems were offset by the formidable power produced when the H16 ran well. Clark promptly placed the car in the lead, but saw his race thwarted by a very poor start. After struggling to fifth position, the car suffered a puncture and eventually a jammed gearbox put Clark out of the race.

For the next American Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Clark was again able to secure a starting position in the front row with the Lotus H16. His race seemed to be over before he even started, as the engine failed during the final practice. It was quickly replaced by a reserve engine from the BRM Works team, which visibly leaked fluid on the starting grid. Miraculously, the engine lasted long enough for Clark to win his first Grand Prix of the year. This hard-fought victory was undoubtedly more the result of the Scotsman's skill in maintaining a clean drive and preserving mechanics, than credit for his troubled car. Clark managed to secure his third consecutive front row spot for the final Grand Prix of the year in Mexico, but another engine failure in practice and further gear selection problems proved insurmountable for Clark as well. Despite the disappointing 1966 season, Lotus built a second Chassis 43 for the following year's first Grand Prix. Clark drove the new car while new teammate Graham Hill was with the original chassis. Neither made it to the finish in South Africa for a myriad of reasons.

The 1967 South African Grand Prix turned out to be Team Lotus's last outing for Chassis 43, as it was replaced by the luckiest Chassis 49, powered by the all-new Ford Cosworth DFV V8. The complex H16 engines were removed from both Chassis 43s, which were modified to accept the Ford V8 for use in the F5000. Compared to its predecessors and successors, the Lotus Chassis 43 can safely be considered a failure. However, it certainly performed much better than BRM's H16-engined cars and Clark was able to use it to claim the sixteen-cylinder engine's only victory. The Chassis 43 was also the first Lotus model to use a fully load-bearing engine, a concept which was then used with excellent results on the subsequent Cosworth-powered Chassis 49.

Welcome (and welcome back) to this new installment of the series RoscoPC's Scassoncini, in which every week we talk to you about one of RoscoPC's 1:27 scale Formula 1 car models, 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”: Lotus 79

Lotus 43, scale 1:27

The sixth model we are going to discover together is that of a 1966 car of British origin: the Lotus 43.

Technical characteristics (real car)

Year: 1988 Info: designed by Colin Chapman Drivers: Jim Clark Engine: BRM H16, 3000 cc, 400 HP

(Credit photo:

Lotus 43, 1:27 scale

Qu This sixth model we have built is made up of 147 pieces and as always, we find special construction techniques and the use of some pieces in ways that are not those for which they were originally designed. For example: the exhaust ducts of the engine have been reproduced with the "Weapon Bladed Claw Spread" element, in practice (among others) the claws of the Wolverine Minifigure, while the "hands" of the Minifigures go to reproduce the arms of the rear suspension.

The construction is as always very comfortable, while requiring some experience with bricks. It starts from the front of the frame, continues with the nose and begins to shape the driver's cockpit. We then move on to the engine area and the rear axle.

The two parts - front and rear - of the chassis are united "in marriage", we continue with the construction of the sides around the driver's seat, rear-view mirrors and of the small roll-bar above the rider's helmet.

Completing the last steps to build the two front wheels, exactly as done in the first of the models built, the Toleman-Hart, we are preparing to complete the model.

Read also: RoscoPC's “Scassoncini”: the bricks take to 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: 147 Measurements: length 15.2 cm, 6.7 cm wide, 3.9 cm high% LEGO Technic elements: 13%

RoscoPC's corner

CulturaPop: What were the most difficult details to reproduce on this scale? RoscoPC: As always, the general objective 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 slim body and 4 very characteristic tailpipes. CulturaPop: what detail or detail are you most satisfied with being able to reproduce? RoscoPC: the nose of the car has the air intake for the front radiator, with yellow edging: I wanted to reproduce this livery using the pieces, and creating the contrast with the dominant dark green color. CulturaPop: is there a particular construction technique that you had to invent to reproduce a particular or a detail of this model? RoscoPC: the yellow 1 × 2 tile on the muzzle is attached to the rest via the rotating base of a turntable: it was the only piece so thin as not to interfere with the rest of the parts necessary to shape the sides and bottom of the muzzle.

3D CAD model design

Fourth step - first part: 3D CAD software.

RoscoPC uses Michael Lachmann's MLCad 3.40 as 3D design software, and in parallel a 3D viewer LDview 4.1 by Travis Cobbs and Peter Bartfai to systematically check the model.

MLcad is an old software, with a simple and intuitive interface, and allows the management of submodels to create complex models. It does not provide any interference checking, and since there are no limitations for the user, it is necessary to pay even more attention to avoid misalignments or errors that are otherwise detected later during the construction phase.

The first submodel it is always that of the reference axes to be designed. It is a model made up of 1 × 10 stud plates that represent the longitudinal axis of the car (in yellow) and the axles of the front (blue) and rear (green) wheels, or the wheelbase of the car.

(Credit photo:

Lotus 43, scale 1: 8

The older sister of this model was designed and built by RoscoPC in 2010.

(Credit photo:

This model, like the previous ones, is made with mixed techniques and elements, LEGO System for bodywork , cockpit and other aesthetic elements and LEGO Technic as regards the frame, suspensions, engine and all those that are mechanical components (exhausts, manifolds, etc.). Features:

wheels (front) steering Suspension working reproduction of the engine H16 rear stabilizer bar 1,558 pieces turbines and exhaust pipes 1,580 pieces year 2006 measures 52.1 cm long, 25.6 cm wide and 10 , 7 cm high

Instructions and parts lists

The instructions for building the two versions (Scassoncino 1:27 and Scassone 1: 8) can be purchased on the website and in the "product sheet" of each model you will also find links to buy 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

Lotus 43, scale 1:27 Lotus 43, scale 1: 8 We look forward to seeing you next week with a new episode and a new Burglar to be discovered!

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