kaelthas

Review: 21029 The Buckingham Palace

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  1. 1. On scale 1-5

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Hi everyone. Today I'm reviewing the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom as my 8th review. This is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and a major London tourist attraction. The Palace was built in 1698 when the Duke of Buckingham demolished the existing property. It was 319 years ago!
 
Lets have a look at the LEGO set. 
 

Overview
Name: 21029 Buckingham Palace
Theme: Architecture
Year: 2016
Pieces: 780
Minifigures: 0
Price: £44.99 / $49.99 / 49.99€

 
The Box
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The front of the box is the box art at a very glossy black background which looks very cool. Its not very eye catching if you haven't really visited and know the place. Then at the back of the box you can see the real picture of the Palace and the measurements of the model. The side of the box showing the actual size of a 1x3 arch brick. I liked the drafted lines and actual LEGO image mixture there, it feels like you are there when the designer drafted the blueprint of the building. 
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The box opens up like a lunch box after removing the seal. Unlike other LEGO boxes, this architecture box can be reused to repack the set, or its very useful to store your other spare bricks or better still, you can convince your spouse(who usually opposes excessive LEGO purchase) that LEGO has a lot of other functions such as a jewelry box :grin:. The inside is black too and the cardboard of the box is quite solid. I stick back both the sealing tape at the side which shows 'Enjoy your building experience.' 
 
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The content includes this hard binding instruction booklet and a survey form paper. The book is quite thick and the cover looks similar to the box cover. I like the feel of the book but after a few flip of it, the shape starts to curl a little bit. So, download the pdf online might be the solution if you want to keep the book mint. You can click this 21029 Instruction pdf to download the pdf.
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You get three 8x16 dark gray plates three small packet and two large packets of bricks. In my opinion, try don't mix them all together for you to find the bricks easier when building. But if you have a lot of time to spend, do mix them all. They are not numbered but the parts are quite well distributed. I'll show in the next pictures.
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First small packet are packed with 1x1 round plates, clips, 1x2 tiles and jumpers and the windowed tan 1x1 bricks.
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Second small packets you get two pearl gold nanofigures, lots of tiles, roof tiles and bars.
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Then you get 1x3 plates, yellow 1x1 plate with clip light, thick ring, dark tan and dark gray tiles and some trans clear 1x2 plates.
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In this large packet you get lots of plates, window pieces, fences and some 1x4 bricks. It comes with smaller packet inside which contains pieces like below.
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Olive green tiles and a window piece. Very nice colours here especially when they are 1x1 round tiles.
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Second large packet is with two smaller bags. You get large and long plates, some bricks and an orange brick separator. Look here if you need large pieces.
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Round gray 1x1 plates with open stud. some telescope, 1x2 tiles and 1x1 tan plates.
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Last small bag is my favorite. 1x1 trans clear pieces and 1x1 tan round plates and they looked like diamonds scattered in front of you! I wonder if you can propose a marriage with these attached to a ring. Haha. 
 
The Build
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Firstly you get to build a 26x24 base with black borders. 
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Then fill the gaps with black tiles. I really like the exclusively printed tiles with the name of the set which makes the set special, you can't find that tile in any other sets.
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At the upper portion, you line up the jumpers to get a slightly inward build but not standard one stud gap. Then you get to build the garden with those olive green round plates, its a cure for OCD patients like me. haha..
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A closer view to the garden. Bonsai looks like this, right? The use of this dark olive green round tiles on a black perimeter to represent gardens are very brilliant as it looks real rather than cartoon-ish if you put bright green on that part of the set. 
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Then we move on to build the building. These book rack looking walls are representing the floors inside the building but it doesn't really matters as it will be closed by outer walls. I learnt something from this black 1x2 brick. Put these behind arch doors will create a complete black background to make the interior looked wide and vast in perspective rather than leaving it empty which shows the messiness of the inside.
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I like these microbuilds. The 1x1 round plates are representing floors and 1x4 plates representing pillars and the trans clear 1x1 plates representing windows.
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These are attached at left and right side of the building. I like the fact that the back of tan 1x1 modified brick with headlight can be used as square windows in micro scale. 
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Then we go on to build the front walls. There are two wings of windows attached to a center black main pillar, then put on the front of the building.
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Tada.. The 1x1 plates looks so detailed when put together like this. Very amazing job by the designer of this model. The collective visual effect of the whole floors of this building was created using small parts is how LEGO designers roll. Different combination of pieces creates different things. The five arch doors with smaller ones at the center creates perspective in this model which makes it felt more detailed. I liked how the designers put those small thoughts in the model and makes the model looked better collectively. 
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After building the roofs, you get to build these very cute microbuilds! (Antman and micro antman are NOT included in this set, they are for comparison only.) The London Bus is only a sandwich of red and trans clear plates, so amazing what LEGO bricks can bring out! The Victoria Memorial is also very nice and accurately built here. 
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A closer look to The Victoria Memorial in front of the palace. The four white modified with tooth plate were nicely placed as the statues representing courage, constancy, victory, charity, truth and motherhood. On the north side of the monument you'll find the Angel of Justice and on the opposite side, the Angel of Truth. On the western side, looking towards Buckingham Palace, is a statue of Charity. All of that is topped off with a gilded statue of Victory, sitting atop the pinnacle with a seated figure on either side, representing Courage and Constancy. 
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The real Victoria Memorial.
*Photo taken from Google. 
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This is the final look of the finished build. It looks very majestic and nice especially if you have been there yourself! The flag always flies above the palace when the Queen is in the residence.
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Birds eye view of the model. It looks simple but packed with details. It comprises of three parts, the building, the fences and the garden.
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Front view. You feel like you are a nanofig and you are in the Palace already.
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Lets hop on the bus for some tour! The designer captured the real bus and scaled it down to 1x3 plate size with a five layered sandwich of red and trans clear plates as windows. It is quite enough this way as adding wheels for the bus will become redundant in this scale of the building.
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This is the real picture of the Buckingham Palace for comparison. As you can see, the three main compartments of the building was clearly scaled down into micro scale build with the center roof being larger than the right and left counterparts. The amazing part of this is that the designers were using only cheese slopes to perfectly portray the building structure, and the use of the bars as pillars added details into the building. By looking at this picture, I would say that the LEGO set is a quite close representation to the real building in micro scale.
*Photo taken from Google.
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The real London red double decker bus.
*Photo taken from google.
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London Black Taxi with two 1x1 tiles, one trans clear plate and one 1x2 plate. How nice!
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This is the real London black cab.
*Photo taken from google.
 
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LEGO is generous enough to give an extra pearl gold nanofig and all these extra parts. 
 
Review summary 
Playability: 5/10 - I can't think of how to play with this. Taking photos?
Design / Building Experience: 9/10 - I enjoyed the micro builds and learning on how to build small, appear big.
Minifigures: 8/10 - I simply love the two nanofigures,
Price / Value for money: 8/10 - I will score this a little higher if I've been to the actual site.
Overall: 9/10 - A very nice architecture set with many details.
 
Conclusion
This is my second architecture set and I'm simply impressed by the design after I've finished building it. I think this set is a very nice set to have as a remembrance of 'I've been there before!' set. I think the design of this set is iconic enough to be recognized by those who have been there but its an eye opener to those who haven't. For MOCers, this set packs lots of  trans clear and tan pieces but the price per piece for this set is quite expensive I would say but you would learn a few techniques of MOCing micro scale buildings. However, I'm not attracted by the box art or the building itself as I never been there before, but it is such a nice building standing and displaying in my working desk now. Thanks for reading!


 

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Nice review. Thanks for doing this review for us. I enjoyed this particular set very much as it hold close to me, when I visited UK again last year. I share your thoughts and this set is certainly for collectors who could appreciate the LEGO Architecture Theme. 

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Nice review, as someone born and raised in London, this building is very familiar to me.

My only criticism with this set is that big red London bus's are not allowed on the roads around the palace

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On 7/16/2017 at 7:09 PM, WhiteFang said:

Nice review. Thanks for doing this review for us. I enjoyed this particular set very much as it hold close to me, when I visited UK again last year. I share your thoughts and this set is certainly for collectors who could appreciate the LEGO Architecture Theme. 

Thanks @WhiteFang. I really do hope that one day I will go there and replace those with my own pictures. Its quite hard for normal folks to really appreciate this set unless they have seen the real building. 

20 hours ago, LucyCol said:

Nice review, as someone born and raised in London, this building is very familiar to me.

My only criticism with this set is that big red London bus's are not allowed on the roads around the palace

Thanks mate. But the bus is a nice decoration in the set. 

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