Games Moderator
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About Dragonator

  • Rank
    In Training, Choo Choo!
  • Birthday 07/03/92

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Lego, dragons, playing music, reading (particularly Science Fiction and Fantasy) and collecting books, dragons, general world domination.


  • Country
    New Zealand
  • Special Tags 1
  • Special Tags 2
  • Special Tags 4
  • Special Tags 5
  1. Good spot on the clocks! The middle building does seem to draw some inspiration from 10243 Parisian Restaurant, the roof has a similar style.
  2. The Build Part 6: AFOL Apartment and Outdoor Terrace Finally, we arrive at the last section of the build, the top level of the right building, which is where our female AFOL lives with her baby. Next door above the middle section is an outdoor terrace featuring a BBQ and "neglected tree". Our AFOL must have other priorities that come ahead of watering the plants. We also get a turret on the roof of this section, and the fountain in the square will also be completed. Huzzah! This section has some great parts, including the "neglected tree" (I'm quoting TLG here) and a printed 2x3 tile of the Cafe Corner box, a nice throwback to the original set that started this series. Interesting Parts The floor plan is of course the same as the lower level, but let's have a look anyway. Floor Plan This section starts with some of the detail along the front, which includes a facade on the middle section made with hammers inside headlight bricks. The base for the fold out bed/couch is also shown here. Hammer Facade After adding in the back wall, the furniture is built, which includes everything an AFOL could need; a large train layout, shelves for Lego sets, an Eiffel Tower model and a small kitchen. Apartment Furniture With it all inside the apartment, it is a bit cramped, feeling I am sure a lot of AFOLs can relate to! Apartment Interior As noted above, the couch folds our into a bed. Couch/Bed The apartment includes a bathroom hidden away behind the kitchen, featuring a toilet complete with a roll of toilet paper. Apartment Bathroom On the shelf in the living room, above the couch, we see miniatures of the first three modular building sets: 10182 Cafe Corner, 10190 Market Street and 10185 Green Grocer. The terrace outside so far has a small BBQ, a table and chairs and the neglected tree... it seems a bit out of place really, but we;ll see how it looks at the end. Apartment Interior and Terrace On the shelf close to the door here are miniature versions of 10242 Mini Cooper and 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van. Below it there is a holder for the Cafe Corner box, and the layout takes up the rest of the space. The Eiffel Tower looks good in the tower part of the room. Apartment Interior Other Angles The front wall of the apartment comes together fairly quickly, particularly as it has been a while since we built the level below, so it doesn't feel repetitive. The roof of the terrace features digger buckets to make the roof and is open at the back. Again, I think the terrace is probably the weakest part of this set, I'm not sold on it. It isn't terrible but it doesn't excite me much either, I think more could have been done with this space. Apartment and Terrace Front Apartment and Terrace Back To top off the set, we finish with the roof of this building! Once more, we have the floor plan as it is only for the right part. Roof Floor Plan The parapet uses the same scroll pieces as on the other roof section, but incorporates a turret for the tower at the front and an all important white rooster. The White Rooster Roof Front Roof Back I was REALLY excited to finally do the fountain, so let's take a look at that before we look at the rook on the apartment. Look at this fountain! With TWO street lamps. A very satisfying conclusion to the build, really, I've been looking at that fountain base the whole time wanting it to be finished. The Fountain. Finished. Finally. Now that that is out of the way, we can look at the completed section 6, with the roof on the apartment. This turret is a nice way to top off the set. The windows are of course entirely decorative, but they look good. The outdoor terrace is looking a little better to me now that the roof is on the apartment. Still not the most exciting, but not terrible either, you guys let me know what you think. Apartment Front Apartment Back There are a few more spare parts to add to your spare parts box. Spare Parts Completed Model And with that, we are finished building! Quite a journey. As you have probably gathered if you are still reading, I like to explore the set as I build it, so I hope you've enjoyed looking through the images and getting to know all the details. To finish, let's take a look at the whole set, with some birds eye views of the interiors to recap. Assembly Square Front Assembly Square Back Assembly Square Sides Bakery and Florist Coffee Shop Dental Surgery and Photography Studio Apartment and Terrace Music and Dance Studios Conclusion And here we are at the end of the line. Before moving on to a score and final thoughts, let's take another look at the set with all the minifigures outside to say hello! I totally didn't try to copy the box art. Assembly Square Design: 9/10 – The set is very well designed and has so many cool features. The interiors are well thought out and I loved making them, particularly the piano and dentist's chair, really cool. There are some minor things I think that could have been done better such as the terrace area but on the whole, this set is fantastic and was a pleasure to build, I really enjoyed it. Parts: 10/10 – So many parts, so many colours, so many options! The modular buildings always have unique and interesting parts and this is no exception. Buy this for the excitement of the cheese slopes on two adjacent sides of a brick alone, seriously. Great parts and lots of printing! Build: 9/10 – The build experience is super fun, I think I already said that. Some small repetitive sections but in a model this size, it is well handled and interspersed with interesting interiors to distract from the exterior. Price: 9/10 – The price per piece comes in at 0.07 USD which isn't terrible in my view, certainly much better than the last set I reviewed, the Winter Holiday Train. I doubt this set will be on sale much but it is well worth the price. Overall View: Honestly, this is a great set and a real tribute to the whole series. I'd rate this as a must have, it should appeal to all adult collectors. It is packed full of details, it is a delight to build and although it has a few minor things that could be improved on, that is always the case and I look forward to seeing any modifications that our members decide to make and share with us. Great parts, great design, decent price and lots to keep anyone busy for hours, plus a very impressive display piece either as a stand alone set of in a line with other modular buildings. Thanks for reading, please let me know what you think of this set in the comments below, I look forward to reading them!
  3. The Build Part 3: Coffee Shop In part 3 we build the ground floor of the left building which is occupied by a coffee shop, and also complete the top of the florist. I really like the detail in the coffee shop, the furniture and other small interior details really make this set an outstanding one and very interesting to build. First, let's look at some of the more interesting parts in this section, including a printed pie curved 1x1 tile, the black half circle window piece and the yellow and white modified plates with spade heads on the front edge. The Chihuahua is a reference to the 10218 Pet Shop set. Interesting Parts The coffee shop is built on the foundations laid out in part 1 of the build. Coffee Shop Foundations Very soon we get to the furniture for the coffee shop. There are two tables, a small chair utilising the curved 1x1 tiles, a counter and a coffee machine. There is also a sofa built into the wall, not shown below. Coffee Shop Furniture The coffee machine is a little weak in my opinion, there was room here for a slightly larger and more elaborate espresso machine. However, the furnishings fit nicely into the space, with the two wall lamps and the sofa. At the back of the coffee shop is the staircase to the next level, accessible via a separate external door, but visible from inside which I find slightly odd. This could have been covered over similar to the staircase in the Cafe Corner set, but it would have reduced the space for the coffee machine. As it is, the archway is a nice addition but doesn't make a whole lot of sense when the stairs aren't accessible from inside. Coffee Shop Interior The front part of the coffee shop is built next, including the angled doorway using a 2x2 turntable and large windows with arches over them. Arches are also placed over the doorway to the stairway, connecting the building to the florist, which I am glad about as the baseplate was becoming difficult to move around without without the weight of the buildings bending it. Coffee Shop Windows and Doorway Before adding the final details to the building, the outdoor furniture needs to be built. This consists of two tables, four chairs which again use the 1x1 quarter curved tiles, and two plants. The table legs fit into the open studs outside the cafe so that they don't move around. Outdoor Furniture To complete part 3, the coffee shop is finished off with awnings, a grating is added between the coffee shop and the florist and the florist is completed with arches and clear bricks at the back. I love the way the arch pieces fit together, I have separated them in the image below. Florist Window Arches The awnings use the same colours as the awnings in the Cafe Corner set, but use curved bricks instead to get the shape and have a nice texture along the front with the pointed spade head shapes. The coffee mug over the entrance is also reminiscent of the doorway in the Cafe Corner set. Coffee Shop Awnings and Entrance The florist is also now completed, with two roses above the doorway. These look really nice and make it very clear what the shop is without any need for other signage, however I did find that the upper flower is quite difficult to position without forcing the leaf piece above it back against the horizontal clip plate behind it. The rose stays in place but it has to be forced back to do so and would sit more comfortably angled a bit further down, which isn't as satisfying as then the roses don't line up with each other. Not a big issue though as long as it stays in place. Florist Front Florist and Coffee Shop Back The coffee shop back door has some leaves to the left, which are held in place by the trans-green pieces. The leaves don't budge because of this and consequentially the door doesn't open the entire way. Otherwise the back is pretty standard, I do like the inclusion of a lamp over the back door to the florist. Coffee Shop Back The top few rows of bricks at the back of the florist separate easily, providing better access to the inside. Florist Back with Removed Bricks That concludes part 3 of the build and completes the ground level of the set (apart from the fountain and lamps, to be added at the end). Now we get to move on to the upper levels! Completed Ground Floor The Build Part 4: Dentist and Photography Studio Part 4 of the build is the second floor of the right building, which contains a dentist above the bakery and a photography studio above the florist. The dentist is one of my favourite rooms in the set and has lots of neat features. To escape the square-box syndrome of buildings, this building has a circular tower at the front, built on top of the upside down dome over the entrance to the bakery. To start, there are lots of printed parts in this section including the printed window with the dentist's sign, a newspaper, brochure, boat painting and portrait. I accidentally left out probably the coolest part in this section, the 1x1 brick with studs on two adjacent sides, but I'll include a close up of that in the interesting parts for section 6 of the build. Interesting Parts The The obvious starting place is the floor, which defines our building space. It is quite a spacious building actually, with lots of room for both furniture and posing minifigures. Floor Plan As with the ground floor, the back walls of the dentist are built first, then the furniture. Some of the photography studio has also been built. Dentist Interior The main focus here is the dentist's chair, this is a really awesome feature piece. It includes a lamp and swinging table, and the choice of colours is perfect for a dentist, lots of clean sterile white with mint highlights. The basin behind the chair includes a transparent light blue window for the water. The reception area has a small phone and a rack with the newspaper and brochure. Slightly odd that the dental surgery is open to the reception, particularly when clients of the photography studio have to pass through the same reception space! Dentist's Chair The reception area also contains a dark blue chair and a small potted plant in the back corner, as well as a clock on the wall. Inside the dental surgery, there is the boat painting on the wall and another cabinet will be added near the end, once the front walls are in place. Dentist's Reception Area and Dental Surgery Next up we build the front walls of the dentist's surgery. This part is a little repetitive to do all of the windows and each column, but not terribly so. The printed window reads "Preventing Yellowing" Dentist. I have a few white Lego bricks that could do with a trip to this dentist that's for sure! Note also the cabinet added above the drawers. Dentist Window Next up, we turn to the photography studio. The centrepiece of this is the brick-built old-fashioned camera. A white paper roll hangs from the side wall as a backdrop for the photography (I could do with one of those..), and a small cabinet sits next to the portrait. Photography Studio Furniture Photography Studio Interior Interior Furniture Close-up The studio is then completed with windows on both sides. The lower windows are all clear panes while the upper windows are white panes. Jumper plates are used to offset the windows by half a stud to add some texture to the exterior, along with a couple of flowers on the windowsill to complete the front facade. Photography Studio and Dental Surgery The rear features the same staircase as the ground floor for access to the next level. Dental Surgery Back That concludes part 4 of the build! Photography Studio Back Completed Part 4 Build Front The spare parts include some of the dentist's equipment (which was hidden away in the drawers), an extra moustache and the usual small piece spares. Spare Parts The Build Part 5: Music and Dance Studios Next up is part 5, which completes the left building. On the first level is a music studio/store. Upstairs is a dance studio and this is topped off with a roof and parapet. There are a couple of neat instruments for those that don't have them, as well as the white spiral pieces (or what I would refer to as a Koru) and the 1x1 half circle tiles. Interesting Parts Compared to the right building, the floor plan for the left one is much smaller. Floor Plan As usual, we build the back walls and add in the furniture, including the staircase. As well as the two guitars and the saxophone, we have a brick-built drum kit and a counter with a till. Music Studio Interior The drum kit is nicely done, with a high hat cymbal, crash cymbal, bass drum and two small drums (we shall assume one is a snare and the other a tom tom). Drum Kit Close-up Next up we add the front walls and windows, including an angled window again using a turntable like the door below it. Along the top edge, we use 22 of the 1x1 half circle tiles. It makes for a neat texture but I'm not entirely convinced by it. Perhaps what is bugging me is that the dot from the sprue that injects the plastic for this piece is on the curved side, which is pointing outwards; that looks crappy to me since I like to hide those dots where I can. This is a tile that would definitely benefit from the dot being on the underside. Still, it is a nice piece and I'm not going to complain about getting a whole pile of them in this set, particularly in the useful light grey colour for all you castle builders out there. I do like the wall and window designs though, the facade of this building is nice to look at. Music Studio Front As for the back, there isn't a whole lot going on other than two windows. Music Studio Back Let's take one last look at the front windows before we move up to the dance studio, I do like these. Front Windows Now we move upstairs to a VERY similar level, the dance studio. This build will feel familiar and a bit repetitive, but it does have some differences to break things up and keep the building interesting. First of all, we get to install a mirror and I love this mirror, it is so reflective!! Very good quality. Secondly, we have an adorable brick-built piano, which is right up there with the dentist's chair in the cool furniture category. The piano comes with a small stool but otherwise the room is left empty, as a dance studio should be. Dance Studio Furniture Dance Studio Interior Ballerina Practicing in the Mirror The exterior is the same as the level below other than the angled front corner, which has a balcony instead of a window, utilising the angled door frame piece but backwards this time compared to the entrance to the bakery. One minor thing that bugs me on both levels is that there is a white 1x1 tile at the top of the two white pillars in the middle, but not at the tops of the outer two white pillars; the tiles there are grey. I can't see any reason for these being different, but personally I think it would look better being all in grey, or at least having both with the white tile. Dance Studio Front Not much different on the back side. Dance Studio Back To complete part 5 of the build, the left building is completed with the roof section, which has a couple of features worthy of mention. There is a hatch at the back providing access to the roof from the dance studio, which is a reference to the hatch on the roof of the 10197 Fire Brigade set. There is also a skylight for the dance studio below. Rooftop Hatch and Skylight The rooftop is completed with a detailed parapet that references the 10211 Grand Emporium set roof, but this time using a white spiral piece which I think looks great. An angled white shield rests sits in the middle of the concave curve to top the balcony below. Rooftop Front I think the rooftop is best viewed on top of the dance studio, so let's look at that parapet again. Rooftop on Dance Studio That completes part 5 of the build, one part left to go! Part 5 is probably the most repetitive part of the whole build as the two levels are very similar, but there is enough detail to keep it interesting and building the piano helps to break up the second level. The tan pillars with white tiles on the front are a little unstable as they are 1x1 pillars from top to bottom, which means the white tiles sometimes won't be lined up; keep an eye on this when displaying the model. Part 5 Front Part 5 Back Part 5 Front Windows Only a few spare parts in part 5. Spare Parts
  4. SET REVIEW: 10255 ASSEMBLY SQUARE Introduction To start the new year off, it is my pleasure to present to the EB community a review of the 10255 Assembly Square, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Lego modular building series. This is the 12th and largest set in the series and it is packed full of interesting details both in the structures and the decorative elements, many of which reference past modular building sets. This set to me shows just how far set design has advanced within the space of 10 years, from the original 10182 Cafe Corner which was one of the first sets targeted at adult builders and was a stunning development at the time, to the present day where we are seeing more and more of these large expert sets. I hope you enjoy this review and I look forward to reading your comments. All images link to flickr where larger resolutions can be viewed if desired. My thanks to EB LUG Ambassador CopMike and the LEGO CEE Team and Designers for the opportunity to review this set for the EB community. Set information Name: Assembly Square Number: 10255 Theme: LEGO Creator Expert / Modular Building Theme Year: 2017 Release Date: 1 January 2017 Pieces: 4,002 Price: USD $279.99, GBP £179.99, EURO €239.99, CAD $339.99, NZD $449.99 Resources: Brickset Packaging I'll begin with some images of the packaging for this set. The box is quite large (580x480x168mm) and features lots of detail shots on the back, many of which were in the press release. Unfortunately the box was a bit battered in transit but the details are all still clear. One side of the box features all of the minifigures in the set while the back also has a layer-by-layer separation of the buildings to show the floor plan. I have included a size comparison with the box for the previous set in the series, 10251 Brick Bank, to demonstrate how much bigger this one is. Box Front Box Rear Box Sides Box Contents Despite the size of the box it is packed pretty full. There is one very thick instruction manual, a white internal box which has the numbered bags for sections 1 through 3, and then the numbered bags for sections 4 through 6 are loose in the main box. The box also contains two green baseplates (32x32 and 32x16) and a single 8x16 light grey plate. There are a lot of bags in this set for each section: Section 1: 3 numbered bags, a 32x32 green baseplate and a 16x32 green baseplate Section 2: 7 numbered bags Section 3: 5 numbered bags Section 4: 4 numbered bags Section 5: 7 numbered bags Section 6: 7 numbered bags and a 16x8 light grey plate Contents Overall Internal Box and Contents Instruction Booklet The instruction booklet is a single thick volume. Unfortunately, it does not come sealed in any sort of plastic like many other expert sized sets, so when I pulled mine out it was a little bent and had a tear on the front cover, which is unfortunate. Otherwise, it is a sturdy booklet with lots of helpful features such as the breakdown of which bags build which sections of the set and an extensive parts list at the back. As well as boxes for the parts used in each step, the parts are also outlined in yellow as they are added to the build. Booklet Cover Inside Sample Pages Minifigures This set comes with a wide variety of minifigures, 8 in total plus one of the relatively new baby minifigures. There are 4 male and 4 female minifigures filling a variety of roles themed to the types of stores and rooms within the set: a baker, florist, barista, dentist, photographer, music shop manager, ballerina and AFOL with her baby. All have the classic smiley face except for the baby, who also has white dots in his or her eyes. All of the minifigure torsos are printed on both sides with interesting designs and are complimented by an assortment of hairpieces and hats, including a beret and moustache for the photographer. The barista's apron is also printed down onto her legs. Barista, Florist, Baker, Music Shop Owner and Dentist - Front Barista, Florist, Baker, Music Shop Owner and Dentist - Back Photographer, Ballerina, AFOL and Baby - Front Photographer, Ballerina, AFOL and Baby - Back The Build Part 1: Floor Plan Now it is time to get building, and we're in for quite a lengthy one with 6 bagged sections to complete. This first section is pretty much all tiles; lots and lots of tiles. These take a while to lay out (and longer if you're a bit pedantic like me and want all of the dots left behind by the sprues to be pointing the same way). Speaking of those dots, I was a bit sad to see these on the sides of many of the 1x2, 1x3, 1x4 and even 1x6 tiles now, where they used to be on the underside either in the centre of at one end. I say most; really every tile in this set has the sprue dots on an edge, except for 4 of the 1x2 dark grey tiles in this section. Mostly these can be hidden, but not always, it was definitely better when they were on the underside. The footprint for the building is 48x32, as shown below. In reality, it is really 2 separate buildings, one taking up a 32x16 space on the left and the other occupying the standard 32x32 modular building size on the right. The right building is designed to look like 2 buildings but is built as one (as we shall see later). Baseplate Footprint We begin by laying out the tiles for the footpath and the building on the right, which will be a bakery. This is followed by the fountain in the centre and the tiles for the florist shop at the back (part of the right building), and we complete part 1 with the tiles for the coffee shop in the left building. There are lots of interesting tile colours and shapes, particularly around the fountain, including cut corners and the shield pieces. Tiles As the tiles are laid down, the size of the buildings becomes clear, including spaces left in the floor for furnishing later. In comparison to the original Cafe Corner set which had no interior at all, this is quite a different start! Footpath and Bakery The fountain base is a neat build so I have included a couple of construction shots to show how it comes together. The actual fountain won't be added until the second to last step of part 6 of the build, so we have the be patient for that, but we do get the base now. Fountain construction Note the turntable in the entry to the building on the left; this will be used to create a doorway similar to the Cafe Corner entry, a nice throwback to that set. There are lots of features of this build that reference all 11 of the past sets; I won't mention all of them so see how many you can spot! Fountain Base and Left Building Entry With part 1 of the build finished, we can see how large each building is eventually going to be, although not much other than the floor tiles have been laid down. Coffee Shop Floor Florist Floor Bakery Floor Part 1 also includes the baby's pram, which improves on the pram design that featured in the 10185 Green Grocer set. The baby is in part 6 of the build along with the street lights and fountain, so we don't get to see the baby in the pram just yet! Baby's Pram There are only a few spare parts left over at the end of this section, shown below. Spare Parts The Build Part 2: Bakery and Florist In part 2 of the build, we construct the bakery and (most of) the florist that occupy the right building. The florist is in the central section behind the fountain and connects to the bakery on the right. The florist shop isn't actually finished in this part; the last couple of layers are added in part 3. Before building this section, there are some interesting parts to point out, including the blue/yellow bird (which is a new take on the old parrot mould with slight differences such as in the shape of the beak). There is a variety of printed treats on 1x1 round tiles and some other interesting parts and colours, shown below. Interesting Parts We start by building the bakery and florist interiors and back walls. Immediately I am finding all sorts of exciting furnishings to make the building a little more interesting than just building up the walls. In the bakery, we have a built-in oven in the back which includes a large black door with a cast-iron look to it and a play feature for getting the pastries out, demonstrated below. In the florists shop, we have the counter with a till, money and plant inside a jar, a stand for the parrot and a display of flowers. The flower display has a nice variety of colours for the flower pieces and includes a six-pronged flower stem, which when placed next to the brown brick makes for quite a snug fit (almost too snug, but I got it to stay there). Bakery and Florist Interiors Florist Furniture Florist Interior The bakery oven features a technic pin at the back to push the tarts out; it's quite powerful so be wary, those tarts can go flying! Bakery Oven Next we build up the front of the florist, with pillars around the door and each window decorated with a SNOT technique. The arches above the door will be added in part 3, so for now we just build the white frames. Florist Door Frame Pillars Florist Door Frames To finish part 2 of the build, we complete the bakery. First there are a few furnishings to build, which include a large display cabinet built into the wall with lots of different cakes and pastries, a smaller glass cabinet in the counter, a table with pastries and a large wedding cake. Bakery Counter Bakery Wall Cabinet The wedding cake is a neat design, with angled tiles to make the tabletop and a miniature bride and groom on top. Bakery Furniture Bakery Interior with Furniture Next comes the front of the bakery, which has two large windows made with garage door pieces. The doorway uses an angled door-frame piece. We also add the canopies above the windows on the florist at this point. Bakery Entrance Bakery Windows The windows are topped with dark blue sloping roof tiles and above the doorway is an upside down dome, which is attached with 1x1 circular tiles with pins on them, which connect to the open holes in the bricks below. A staircase is added at the back for access to the next level and a few more details such as a clock, and then the bakery is complete! Bakery Window Lintels Bakery Staircase Bakery Doorway And there are our first two rooms complete, the bakery and florist. I'll conclude with a final picture of the front and back of part 2. Part 2 Front Part 2 Back There are a few more spare parts with this section, including spares of the three 1x1 round printed tiles. Spare Parts
  5. That elevator is really cool! Much better than the one in the town hall set. And I have to compliment the brick work on the building on the left, really cool work.
  6. Really nice work, particularly all the detail at the front!
  7. A message from your friendly dragon overlord, Lord Dragonator: Greetings citizens of Heroica! As I am sure you are aware, your beloved dictator leader, Sandy, has need to depart this realm to attend to matters of far greater importance. It falls to me to now introduce you to the new oligarchy that will be keeping you out of prison trouble. It is my pleasure to introduce the Council of Heroica (or whatever other name they prefer, they can pass whatever laws they want you know). The Council has three chairs, which, subject to assassinations, are filled by Councilor Zepher, Councilor JimBee and Councilor WaterBrick Down. They are advised by the noble and definitely not evil or corrupt Grand Vizier, DarkDragon, and will of course make decisions in the best interests of your ultimate ruler, me, uh, all of the fair people of Heroica,
  8. Playing with trains in the snow is the best!
  9. No need to fear fine people of Heroica, all is in hand. We are establishing a small council to maintain the necessary threads and make decisions regarding game rules. Invitations to prospective councillors will go out shortly.
  10. These are really great wagons, I love the Hot Cocoa Tanker! I do wish the actual set had come with one more wagon.
  11. I am thinking of doing 9V myself, it would be much easier to hide! Do let us know if you come up with a passenger car design.
  12. SET REVIEW: 10254 WINTER HOLIDAY TRAIN (including Power Functions) Introduction It is my pleasure to present to the EB community a review of the 10254 Winter Holiday Train. This is the latest yearly installment in the Winter Village series of sets from The LEGO Group and promises to be an exciting addition to Winter Village collections which do not have the previous winter-themed train 10173 Holiday Train released in 2006. Since the release of that earlier set, we have seen many other trains released that fall outside the standard LEGO City theme, such as the Emerald Night and Horizon Express. I have been impressed with those models and so my hopes for this set were very high on hearing of the release. For many fans, a winter train that doesn't cost a small fortune on the secondary market is to be welcomed. I hope that this review will assist you all with considering whether to add this set to your collection. I have also included a segment on the adaptability to use with Power Functions, which I think is a really well thought out part of this set, although the set DOES NOT come with the Power Functions parts necessary to motorise it; these are sold separately. My thanks to EB LUG Ambassador CopMike and the LEGO CEE Team and Designers for the opportunity to review this set for the EB community. Set information Name: Winter Holiday Train Number: 10254 Theme: LEGO Creator / Winter Holiday Theme Year: 2016 Pieces: 734 Price: USD $99.99, GBP 69.99£, EURO 89,99€, NZD $179.99 Resources: Brickset, BrickLink Packaging I'll begin with some images of the packing for this set. The box is of moderate size (479x282x89mm) and features great detail shots on the back. One side features a layout of the included track including measurements of the size of the train and diameter of the circular track. The close-up shots on the back of the box give a good indication of the various play features this set has, which will be discussed later in this review. It also makes it clear that the set can be motorised with certain power functions sets, sold separately. Box Front Box Rear Box Close-Ups Box Contents The box contains 7 plastic bags of parts, 1 for part 1, 3 for part 2, 2 for part 3 and a separate one containing wheels and couplings. There are also 4 sets of 4 curved track pieces and two instruction manuals contained inside plastic packaging to prevent creasing. No cardboard behind the instruction manuals but they were unbent and in good shape. The set contains no sticker sheet. Contents Overall Individual Contents Instruction Booklet There are two instruction booklets with this set. The first is a small half size booklet containing instructions for the first part of the build: the station and presents. The second booklet is A4 opening along the long edge not the short edge and contains instructions for the full train. First Booklet Booklet Size Comparison Inside Sample Pages Minifigures The set comes with 5 minifigures, two children and three adults: the train conductor, engineer and a passenger. There is a nice variety of colours and unique prints here, with one face printed on both sides and four of the five torsos printed on both sides. The train conductor has some nice details such as the gold pocket watch. The choice of face for the conductor is my one criticism of this selection. While he could look old and serious, to me he looks grumpy, and this is particularly evident in some of the box art where we see him waving from the back of the train and helping load presents; he doesn't look like he wants to be there at all! It does at least add some variety to the usual cheery faces however. The female adult minifigure has the dual-sided face. The first side shows a big enthusiastic smile, perfect for posing with the playing children. The opposite side tells a different story; here we see a peaceful sleeping face, likely happy to have a moment to rest (I'm sure most parents can understand this one!). It works quite well in the box art with the woman sleeping on the train station bench while the children play around her. There is a good variety of head accessories with several different types of hair, so this set will add a bit of diversity to a Winter Village collection. Minifigures Front Minifigures Back Minifigure Alternative Face Interesting Train Parts I thought some of the train parts deserved a picture of their own before we get to building the set. There are a couple of different sizes of train wheel, with the biggest driving wheels in red and the engine leading wheels in red also with some black ones for one of the carriages. The rest of the carriage wheels are standard black train wheels that connect with a thin metal rod. The picture below shows one of each size, as well as a couple of other train parts such as the not so common pilot piece (cowcatcher) which will go on the front and the magnetic couplings, of which there are 5 in the set (1 for the back of the train and 2 for each carriage). I also included the white leaves because why not, I like them. Train Parts (and white tree piece) The Build - Part 1: Platform and Presents Now let's get on to the build. Part one contains the small station platform, two minifigures and all of the presents in the set. There are some interesting parts including a clear 2x2 domed piece, roller skates, a printed 1x1 tile with a number pad on it and a nice assortment of small coloured pieces. And of course we can't forget an orange brick separator! Parts contained in Part 1 We then move to building the station. The station is quite small but has a couple of nice details such as the snow tiles (always nice to have white 1x3 tiles) and the lamp post. As far as lamp posts go I wouldn't call this one my favourite, but it is nice enough and seems to be a compulsory requirement of most Winter Village style sets. This improves on previous single-lamp posts from Winter Village sets, trying a different piece for the glass rather than the two-part sphere pieces and uses the green life saver piece as a wreath, which is nice, with a touch of gold as well to brighten things up. The simple bench finishes the station off. Overall a simple little build, not intended to be a major part of the set but nonetheless it is a necessary one. Railway Station Next we have the present,s which are always a bit of fun. There is a nice selection of presents in the set, with three wrapped gifts, a robot, a boat, a spaceship, a fire engine and a windup toy. The robot is very cute and can hold items with its "hands". The child minifigure also comes with a radio piece suggesting the toys can be remote controlled for a bit of added play/imagination value. I like the design of these presents; they are recogniseable and also sturdy. Presents The whole first part to the build makes for a nice collection of items that will add to a Holiday-themed scene. There is a nice assortment of colours and presents in here, plenty to be delivered by train to the waiting children! Completed Part 1 Build Let's not forget the spare parts, this section comes with a few. Spare Parts for Part 1 of the Build The Build - Part 2: Locomotive Part 2 of the build is my favourite as now we get to build the locomotive! This part contains the engine and tender. The selection of parts for the locomotive presents a nice range of shapes and colours, primarily black, green and red. Some of the interesting train parts have already been noted. Parts contained in Part 2 The engine build was fun, not too complex but with some interesting parts used to create the shape of the train, such as axes and goblets. Build in Progress The driving wheels are on their own block, which includes a technic brick for the pin connection with the tender; no coupling here. Attaching the Driving Wheels The floating leading wheels have a couple of decorative features that stand out from the usual, including multiple colours (red and some small gold 1x1 round plates for a little extra bling) plus the distinctive pilot piece (cowcatcher) which makes the shape of this loco stand out. The Leading Wheels Now we just need to add the cab and finish the boiler! Completed Chassis with all Wheels The completed engine is a polished build with lots of colour and a distinctive small steam engine silhouette. The locomotive is categorised as a 4-2-0 with four leading wheels and two driving wheels. The design is based on a Jervis type engine. The scale is too small to replicate many steam engine features like the Emerald Night manages, but the shape has many distinctive features such as the cone-shaped funnel and distinctive pilot on the front. I particularly like the curve of the boiler which is a nice improvement from the 10173 set with its very angular boiler. The Finished Engine Some of the details include a smoke plume, domed safety valve, a gold bell and the cylinders for the pistons (although there are no moving pistons unfortunately). Engine Side The cab of the engine is quite cozy, with just enough space to fit a single minifigure. There are two brackets for tools and a generic printed train control panel which doesn't really fit the steam locomotive that well. An attempt at some valves and a safety glass would have been nice, although difficult in the limited space (potentially the white bar near the top could be a safety glass, use your imagination!). Engine Cab All in all I do like the profile of this engine, it has some neat colours and details for the size and the shape is easily recogniseable. One or two improvements could be made but on the whole it is an attractive build to have at the front of the train. Engine Front Profile Next in this Part is the tender for the engine. As far as tenders go, I again really like the side profile of this, it has a good shape that compliments the engine,as we will see. The Tender Looking inside, there is a little less detail. We have a single sloped plate with some black round pieces near the top to represent coal. The engine doesn't have anything resembling a firebox inside the cab anyway! The coal is only near the top edge, to be visible over the sides I imagine. Inside the Tender The back end of the tender has a few nice pieces to add some texture to what would otherwise be a black plate, so this adds some interest to the build. Her we have our first magnetic coupling piece to connect up to the wagons. Back of the Tender On the whole the tender has some nice colur and details; it serves its purpose. The inside is not as exciting as the outside, but to add any more detail to the coal piles would require a lot of smaller piece (which, with the part to cost ratio, may not have been impossible). Let's see what it looks like all connected up. Complete Engine and Tender Overall this locomotive is a great build. It looks good on display and will definitely look impressive with other Winter Village sets. It may be quite small compared to other Lego trains, but it fits well into the theme. I mostly like the colour scheme, although the white at the front stands out at me a bit much. In the design, the biggest flaw in my opinion is the coupling between the engine and the tender, which can be seen more clearly in the next picture. I really dislike that to uncouple the tender from the engine it is necessary to lift the tender off the tracks (unless you are really set on pulling that pin out of the tender piece). Two more magnetic couplings would not have gone amiss here, like on the Emerald Night between the engine and tender. Locomotive Side View Coupling aside, I do like this engine, and it is just the right size for a circular track too (often the bigger trains look very long on a simple circle). Here are a couple of pictures of it on some track before we build the carriages. Some of the genius of this design will become evident in the final segment of this review when I adapt the train to motorise it with Power Functions elements. Locomotive goes Choo Choo Choo Choo Off into the Distance And let's not forget the spare parts! Part 2 Spare Parts The Build - Part 3: Carriages The last part of the set is the build for the two carriages; a flatbed for presents (with a Christmas-train twist) and a small caboose. There is a wide assortment of pieces, shown below. Pieces in Part 3 We start building the flatbed first. I like the intricacy of this build for what is essentially a flat wagon, it packs some neat design features. Flatbed Build Progress The gold and dark blue elements on the sides (using a Studs Not On Top building technique) are nice touches, but what I really like about this carriage is that the Christmas Tree and miniature train on top rotate as the carriage moves along the tracks! This is so much fun and uses a worm gear to make sure it doesn't spin too fast. Christmas Tree Spin Mechanic The miniature train itself is very cute and curves around under the tree like so. Train on a train folks, does it get better than this? The presents from part one can be stored in the section on the right. With the tree added, it is a nice carriage, far more interesting than most rolling stock flat beds, the Christmas vibe is impossible to miss (although perhaps not the most practical carriage at other times of year!). Flat Bed Complete Next up is the small caboose, which is a nice carriage to sit at the back of the train. Inside is a small table with two chairs, a cup and what could be a lamp or a flask full of hot chocolate if you have that on your mind! Caboose Build in Progress The completed carriage is nice, small but with features including the raised roof in the middle, gold lanterns at each end and the white leaves with coloured baubles, replicated from the tender. The roof is easily removable to place minifigures inside. Completed Caboose As for swoosh-ability around the track, it gets a pass. Choo Choo Caboose! That completes part 3, so we'll end with the two carriages together. The carriages are good builds and fit the Christmas theme well; we have a tree, a place to store presents and a cozy table to sit around and drink a warm drink (ignoring that it may be a bit drafty with the gaps around the doors with the train is moving!). The single tan axle on the flatbed train really bugs me in terms of colour scheme, but other than that I don't have any complaints. Completed Part 3 Carriages Complete Set There we have it, all done! Before I move to the conclusion however, I would like to throw in the optional Power Functions elements, all sold separately. Power Functions (Sold Separately) One thing that really impressed me about the design of this set is how easy it is to motorise it. To do so, you will need the following four Power Functions pieces/sets which are ALL SOLD SEPARATELY. Alternatively, if you own a recent Lego City train set, you can raid the parts from that, like I did. For those of you looking to purchase these separately, the set numbers are 8879, 8884, 88000 and 88002. Power Functions Parts (Sets 8879, 8884, 88000 and 88002) The set includes instructions for pulling the locomotive apart to fit in the Power Functions elements. For such a small train, they manage to cram these parts in really well! Here is the disassembled engine to show what needs to be removed so that you can add the powered wheels and remote control hub. Disassembled Engine The modules come apart quickly and easily and the whole thing can be motorised within a couple of minutes. There is a hole in the floor of the cab for the cables to come up through, and then the rest of the cables just.. sort of fit in there. That's the only downside to motorising this set; some of the design features are lost and, due to the size, the grey Power Functions parts can't easily be hidden without changing the shape or using a lot more parts, so some of the aesthetic is lost. Motorised Train That said, the designers did a great job of not only incorporating the Power Functions but making it easy to do so, and easy to switch back too. As noted though, it is quite hard to hide, particularly the cables, which mostly do manage to fit inside the cab with some spillage. Cables After motorising your train, you are also left with a few parts to do with as you will, or to swap back into place for display purposes. Motorised Train with Spare Segments Overall, very impressed with the Power Functions conversion considering the size of the build. Conclusion It is necessary to come up with a score for the set, so here are my thoughts below overall. Design: 8/10 – The set is well designed and has some interesting play features. The spinning tree is notable and there are a lot of accessories to increase play value. This was a 7 as I do think improvements could be made, but I have given it an 8 as the quick adaptability to Power Functions really blew my mind a bit! Parts: 8/10 – An interesting selection of parts with some good colour options for use in future building. Build: 9/10 – The build experience is fun and engaging but not too complex. This would be a good set to build in an afternoon with the kids at Christmas. There is nothing repetitive and there are lots of fun features to discover as you build. Price: 6/10 – The price per piece is unfortunately a downside to the set, coming in at 0.136 USD per piece. That said I still value the build and design so I would not let this discourage you. It is a bit too costly I would say just to buy for parts, but certainly worth it for the build experience and display model (certainly an improvement on last year's Winter Village re-release...). Overall view: It's a great addition to the Winter Village series in my view. There are a lot of features, a lot of interesting and colourful parts, and the build is fun to do. One more carriage would have been a nice addition but other than that and the few design points noted throughout, the set is a great build and the adaptability to Power Functions is quick and easily done in a few minutes. Of course if you are more traditional and wish to push the set around yourself, it also works well for that. I would recommend displaying without any Power Functions on it if possible as they do remove some of the details and the battery box in particular is not at all concealed. As with many train sets, it does not come with much track (so as to keep the price down), but this can be expanded with additional track sold separately. Thanks for reading and do let me know your thoughts on this Winter Village installation in the comments below. Will you be buying it? Or have you already bought it? Feel free to share your views and your own pictures!
  13. This looks amazing, really detailed! It would fit in perfectly with the detailed scale model kits I remember from messing around with Marklin trains. Nice use different colours to give it the weathered and used look without overdoing it.
  14. Loving the roof on that hut! And so much to see in the foliage, great use of colour.
  15. Would love to see how the horses move, like others, even if they don't run at each other. I always love the use of trees and greenery, it adds so much. Great inspiration here.