The Brick Pit

Welcome to a new feature on the website featuring reviews of off the shelf LEGO sets. Our own forum guru Jim presents:

40650 Land Rover Classic Defender

Box and completed model.

I bought the new Land Rover model recently, out of interest as one of our members did an Ideas build for a Land Rover.  In the end, Lego decided not to proceed with that project and, some time later, issued a version of their own (#10317).  So I was interested to see what they had done with 40650, which is a Land Rover issued in the Creator line of sets.  You get 150 parts for £13.49, 9p per part.

The box isn’t very big – 7.5 in by 5.5 in, and under 2 in deep.  When you open it, there is no spare space.  In the box there are three bags, a 2×12 plate in Dark Stone Grey, a 56-page instruction booklet, and a single sticker for the radiator grille bearing the Land Rover logo and the word ‘Defender’.

First observation is that Lego have chosen an odd colour for this set.  My impression of Defenders I’ve seen is that they are generally Sand Green or Black, but Lego have gone for Flame Yellowish Orange.  Well, it’ll certainly stand out at meets of the Land Rover Owners Club!

The bags aren’t numbered, and to build the lady minifig driver you have to open two of them, so you may as well open all three.  First thing that caught my eye was a 2×2 jumper plate (ID 87580) in FYO that’s printed with headlight details.  Just a shame that they couldn’t stretch to a 2×3 printed tile instead of the sticker for the radiator detail.

Looks great, even without the sticker!

Construction begins conventionally enough with the 2×12 plate and you move on to adding the axles.  I’ve not seen yellow Technic pins before.  By step 13 you have the wheel arches and steering wheel in place and the next steps cover building the tailgate assembly.  Step 27 has you adding 2 lots of 2 1×1 plates each side of the cockpit, Lego not using the 1x1x2/3 brick 86996 that would have done the job in a less fiddly manner.  Just not in Flame Yellowish Orange though!

Side windows are attached with a nice SNOT technique and we move onto the front grille assembly.  The printed 2×2 jumpers are nice, and it looks Land-Rovery enough without the radiator grille sticker.

The bonnet assembly comes next and the distinctive Land Rover body is complete.  The instructions tell you to fit the wheels next, but I did that several pages ago.  Build the roof and you’re done!  A very solid model, definitely swooshable!

Overall, an enjoyable build with good use of parts in odd colours to help you decide what goes where during construction. 

What would I like to have seen different?

Well, a seat for the minifig would have been nice, and I found it a bit fiddly getting the driver into her place.  A version in Sand Green would be great, but the set is inexpensive enough to get several and I can see AFoLs recolouring it.  The brick 1x1x2/3 is available in several colours including Sand Green, Earth Green, and Black which should help.

The set launched in March 2023 and is still on the shelves.  What are you waiting for?