Vespa P200 Review
Model and instructions by The Arvo Brothers
Ramon and Amador (The Arvo Brothers) are at it again and the end result is amazing!
After the releases of two instruction books, one on the supperb Kaneda's Bike (I'm still sourcing out the parts) and another on a massive Alien sculpure, they now turn to a non-sci-fi theme and reveal a new model with instructions on how to build it: Piaggio's Vespa P200.
Though not the most beautiful of Piaggio's Vespas, their ubiquity in the 80s and 90s make these bikes to be a pop-culture icon (you can read more about the P200 here) for anyone who was a child on those decades.
For those unfamiliar with the bike, this is what Ramon and Amador were aiming for:
If you have already purchased any of Arvo Brother's prior books, then you can know what to expect: a very professional and stylized edition
What differs on this Vespa (digital) book is no reference on the history behind the build, which are so engrossing on their two other publications (Alien and Kaneda's bike).
Nevertheless, we are awarded with a 152 page, image rich, pdf, covering the 158 steps to assemble the 688 pieces that make the model up.
Instructions are crystal clear as we've come to be accustumed with these Builders.
The Arvo Brothers pasted a sample on their Facebook profile, which I'll use to depict the instruction style.
The isometric perspective is quite handy in depicting the build steps and no confusion ever arises (probably aided by reduced color pallete of this build, comprise of black, white, dark and light gray pieces).
Alongside with the construction steps of the main build, Ramon and Amador also include alternative construction steps, as a way to avoid harder to get parts (namelly, a) 4866 windscreen in white; b) 32439b technic disk; and c) 18653 brick arch inverted in white).
These alternatives are nice, however the model looks better in its original form (as is to be expected).
The Vespa P200 model is one suited for color swaps, however the pieces in use do not allow for a direct translation of the model into other colors (how I want an orange one).
My only complaint relates to the parts list, as the creators stick to a generic "Light Gray" "Dark Gray" differentiation, not taking into consideration the "Light Bluish Gray"/"Light Gray" distinction (as well as the "Dark Bluish Gray"/"Dark Gray" specificities.
This is just a minor nuissance in correctly selecting the parts you "already have"/"need to order" so you can complete the build.
As mentioned above, instruction steps are clear and follow a very modular logic, almost seeming we are building a kit bike (or a real bike for that matter):
. Body frame;
. Left and right side panels;
If you are familiar with past works of the Arvo Brothers, than you know official tire availability is no hurdle to their creative skills, and it so happens in this Vespa model:
You'll be amazed to know that what you see are two 56x28 ZR Street tires bent out shape by 10 wide disks.
Although hard to pull through, this building technic provides the wheel size needed to compliment the accurateness of the whole build.
The body frame:
As expected, this part covers most of the build and is where all the other segments will be placed.
You can already see some of the iconic elements of this bike
One can already see the distinctive hallmarks of the P200 just on this segment of the build, namely the inner arches, the seat and, especially, the curved front guard.
Lovely is the inclusion of the grip detail on the floor of the bike, so accurate depicting the original model.
The side panels:
The side panels of the Vespas, along side the front guard, are the trademarks of these bikes, giving them a rounded (to the extreme in the 60's models) shape, a shape hard to translate in lego bricks.
These side panels hold, on the right, the engine bay and, on the left, the spare tire, duly encased.
The right panel (engine bay)
The left panel (tyre bay)
Both panels, from the front and from behind.
As you can see, Ramon and Amador pulled the shapes quite accurately.
Another distinctive element of the Vespa's are their large front lights and curved encasing.
Although simple in appearance, the steps into making the curves and angles of the handlebar are amazing, leading to a very accurate representation:
Fully assembled model:
As it frequently happens, the full model is much more than the mere addition of its parts:
My photo skills fail me in correctly showcasing this model's beauty, but you can refer to Arvo's own (rendered) showcase here.
The handlebar is an hassle to correctly place as it suffers from the "Wall-e" syndrome, always rotating to unwanted angles.
Nevertheless, I would still note the most amazing details on this build:
The curved inner arches (can't stop admiring them)
The curved front guard.
The right side panel (engine bay)
. clear and stylized instructions;
. less costly than the other hard covered instructions books by the Arvo Brothers;
. no impossible to obtain pieces;
. overall moc cost to range from 150 € to 200 € (maybe less if only used parts are purchased);
. beautyful model;
. would love a hard cover book (both to get further insight on the model and to place it alongside Kaneda and Alien books);
. color selection could be improved in the parts list;
. handle bar is somewhat loose (might be my construction skills);
. limited functions (if what you want is not a display piece);
. A not to be missed edition.
For further details, visit the Arvo Brothers webpage here.