Welcome to my Triple 4997 review! I love this set so much I had to make all the models. Please note that I made them in reverse order to the way that they are shown so don't ask for any different photos of anything other than the Ferry. I also apologise for some of the photos; I bought a new camera recently and I have been experimenting with lighting and background. I'm happy with the Ferry photos, but not so much the airplane. Anyway, on with the show!
Model 1: Ferry
Sad to say, it really is a box on wheels. It has lots of details, but from this angle it's just slab sides. Many ferries are like this but that might turn some people off this model. Also, while I like the parts, I'm a bit confused about the life rings on the side. Port holes?
All the models in the set have a vehicle or two. This SUV and trailer, while quite simply built, are very effective. Sorry to say, they have no interiors.
I love this life-raft. Oddly I think this helped sell the set for me!
The stern doesn't really do it for me... The door/ramp doesn't do anything to keep the ship watertight!
The mechanism is rather simple as well. I was expecting a bit better actually.
The stacks work well however and look realistic.
The bow of the ferry is one of the design highlights. Aside from jamming occasionally it works well. Being brick built makes it even more stunning.
The included car and trailer go over the ramp easily...
...as do any four wide vehicles.
Six wides are another matter. This one just squeezes through with a few bumps.
Note the axel stud; this is why six wides can't go over the ramp easily. Also note the gears; they are connected to smaller ones on the sides. While you can open or close the bow with one gear, I've found using both reduces the chance of jamming... but it could just be me!
As the ramp lifts/lowers via the gears, the bow doors are moved with it. This feature was one of the main selling point of the set for me.
The bow door however wastes a lot of space. Note the capstan and "anchor". Not a favourite part of the model for me.
This is the main reason why I wanted this set/ I used to have a grand total of zero inverted windshields, now I have 7! (When I made a tug boat last year I had to build the bridge upside-down!) I haven't tried, but I doubt a minifig would work well inside. It does look good though. The navigation lights are a nice touch.
The life boat berth is a bit unrealistic; you would need a crane to get this in the water...
No need for side thrusters for this lady! It's quite fun to spin...
It's a nice model, but it seems to me that the main points were the bow doors and the vehicles, and the rest was an afterthought. I still like it though.
Model 2: Hovercraft
Ahh, the classic British transport ferry; this is quite clearly a SRN4. I wish I went on one of these fine beasties... although I doubt I would have kept my lunch down! What? I'm doing a review? Oh. Anyway, here it is!
No special opening method for this model; just clips used as hinges.
Nice clear vehicle deck!
The backs is done much the same as the front.
The one includes two cars. I like the side details of the hovercraft.
I don't like this car very much. The front is weird...
This one I didn't like at first, but it grew on me. I think it's supposed to be a hot-rod.
There isn't much detail inside... nor any room for humans. This flight better be carrying a lot of sick bags!
Aside from a few proportion issues, the resemblance is good. (The ramps are too tall and start too low, and the cab is too tall.)
The engines look good... even though they are in the wrong place.
In case it isn't clear, this model is not mini-fig scaled...
...but it's even more fun to spin!
In terms of overall looks, I prefer this to the ship. However some functionality would have been nice.
Model 3: Aircraft
An aircraft built out of a ship set?! Who'd thought it was possible? The designers at TLG have been doing a great job with the Creator sets lately. As you can see in this photo, it's decently big, but not as big as I hoped. I've got no idea what it's supposed to be though; the tail shape makes it look old, but the rear door, undercarriage and the high wings are newer features...
This model has a truck that fits in the back, and a small cargo deck in the front.
The wing is quite sturdy, and while simple, it works well considering the type of aircraft it's based on.
I like the engines.
The packages are rather lame but considering the piece and size restrictions the truck is OK. It looks like a mini version of the 4955 Big Rig...
The front is quite clever. I especially like the grill used as a door. There is no interior in the cockpit.
The undercarriage is simple but effective. More on this later.
The rear hatch is opens to reveal a cramped cargo bay...
...but it's just enough room for the truck!
The hatch closes up neatly. I don't like the restraint though.
The side hatches close up surprisingly flush. The front cargo bay is even more cramped however...
Another size comparison. I think with a bit of work you could convert this to a minifig scale aircraft.
I probably should have compared it to an 80s style plane but mines currently in pieces...
Ahhhgh! We can't take off as our undercarriage is too bulky!
It's very good work to make an aircraft out of ship parts... but the small interior makes this cargo plane odd. It doesn't look good enough for a display piece either so I can't see many people buying this set for the plane.
Parts: I buy Creator sets for the parts. They rarely contain anything hard to use. However there's nothing special here aside from four of the new aircraft nose wheels so for some it could be more of the same. 9/10
Price: The Australian list price for this is $119.99 for 1279 parts (I got it cheaper) so its very good value. I hate to say it, but I think that the Creator sets were the only good value sets this year. I suspect that TLG have ramped up the RRP so the retailers have a higher profit margin. 10/10
Looks: None of these models are stunning in the looks department. I think my favourite is the hovercraft. 8/10
Fudge: The appeal of these sets will depend on what you buy Lego for. I doubt many will buy these as display pieces, but this is a great set for parts. While I have picked on the designs a bit, it's incredible how TLG make sets like these. When you make the main model you go "why this piece", but when you make the alt models you go "ahhhh!". My biggest complaint is that the gears are only used in the main model. 9/10
Overall: Highly Recommended. 9/10
Edited by WhiteFang, 23 May 2009 - 06:39 PM.