My first major soldering project was a robot kit I got for Christmas this year, and I thouroughly enjoyed it, even though it only took me 2 days to complete. It was an "Escape Robot" Link
as labelled by the packaging, and involved using infrared diodes that sent out signals which then bounced back off obstacles to the IR reciever back on the robot, in which case it would turn around and start moving again. It was quite interesting, seeing something I soldered and put some hard work into work so well. Of course there was some troubleshooting involving some weak, consequently broken solder points.
'Nuff chit-chat, here it is.
Your usual soldering materials, whatever you're soldering/test pieces.
Usual soldering tools, small piece of metal or wood, about 3-4 inches wide and long.