After hours spent on deciphering the instruction video for Port Royal (given by the card of the wonderful Syrena) I actually gave this 'set' a shot. The idea of building an entirely new set out of 2 sets was tempting enough to get me started. However, I bet many of you noticed how blurry and unclear this vid is, so it wasn't that easy to build. Stopping the vid after each brick that was placed didn't really speed up the proces either. Not to mention that I didn't break down the 2 sets needed to build this set which costed me quite some time to look for certain bricks and to find them later still attached to a section of a building that was stil intact. So if you want to build this set as well, I recommend that you take the time to demolish the 2 sets (London Escape and Whitecap Bay) and possibly even sort the bricks a little.
For this review, I must admit that it is my first try on doing a (pictorial) review of a LEGO set. Some of the pictures didn't really turn out the way I wanted but I hope you can still enjoy the set as much as I do.
Now without further ado, the review.
Let's see some overview pictures of the set first.
The fort part of the set is built in 3 sections. The three sections are modular so you can rearrange them as you wish and easily attach new/own parts of the fort.
The first section you get to build contains a stable where the brown horse of the London escape set is stabled. The build is pretty much straight on without any special techniques or other things worth mentioning. Interior on the first floor is a table with a candle and a spider on the floor. Looks like it hasn't been cleaned in ages
The second part of the fort is the main section. It contains an alarm bell on top with a small balcony where an imperial soldier is on the watch to look for suspicious ships making port. I wonder what he thought when he saw Jack and his 'ship' arriving in the first scene of the first movie (more about the 'ship' later this review.) The two torches on front of the building were my own touch although they were inspired by the picture about Port Royal you get when claiming another reward. No other interior other than the alarm bell. Odd thing about this section is that the LDD vid makes you start on this section in the middle of the building and work your way up and down as it goes.
The third section is basically the mirrored version of the first section without the stable part. As interior there is some sort of shelf with a sword and a magnifying glass on either side.
When all three parts are attached together they look something like this.
Next comes the white horse. You get to build a new cart for the horse. Some SNOT work here to give the cart a good shape. The exact use of the cart is not very clear. There is room for coachman and possibly one or two other minifigs but that about it. Anyway, I assume you are able to find some use for it if you play with it or set it up as part of a scene.
After the horse cart you get to build some sort of a small rock. When finished, it looks pretty awesome IMO. Good use of the dark green parts and the black cheese slopes here. Not sure about the use of it but it might be suitable enough to crash a small ship on or whatever evil plans you might have with this rock.
The next build is Jacks 'ship'. I only noticed I was building a boat when it was almost finished Oh well, it doesn't look too bad for a ship made out of non-ship sets and the SNOTty side of the ship gives it a swell touch.
After this magnificent battle ship you get to do the two smaller rowing boats. Both get a set of oars and a stool. One of them even gets a binocular. The reason there is only one stool per boat (instead of two as it is in the Whitecap Bay set) is simply because all the left-over 1x2 plates are used in the dock.
And the dock is what you get to build right now. The build of the dock is done in two parts that are brought together in the end but I will discuss it as a whole. For me the dock is the best part of this set. It's really awesome to see how they were able to create such a living dock with only the parts from the two sets (well, "only"???... I'll get on about that later.) A great way of using the sh!t load of gray 1x1 (pillars? columns? Grr, must've been the rum that I cannot come up with the correct name for them but I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about.) We even get to use the rat that comes with the London set, even though it's hidden underneath the docks(!) Two cranes are placed to load crates on and off the ships that make port there. And yes, most pictures are from this part of the set. Fasten your seat belts!
Having fun with a few Jacks
Oh well, then to the final thoughts!
The first thing I have to mention is that I wasn't able to build this set 100% from the two sets that were supposed to be enough to do the job. Somehow I needed to use my own stash to fill in a few empty holes. The bricks that I needed were the following:
- 4x Reddish-brown 1x2 log bricks
- 1x Black 4x6 plate
- 1x Light Sword - Blade (Reddish-brown)
- 1x Dark stone gray 1x10 brick
So either I'm missing a part of one of the sets that contains these bricks or there is a mix up in the instructions...
What I like about this set is the diversity in the buildings and the features. I've seen the film where this scene is from more than once and I think they caught a lot of the essential elements of this scene. What I like as well is that anyone with some Pirates/Castle elements is able to expand the fort as they please. Due to the modular build it is remarkably easy to build additional sections to the fort without having to worry about ruining the original build or having troubles with getting the expansions fitting on a ground plate. The build itself was great fun and I really recommend this set to others with the patience to watch and build. So I'd rate the build 10/10.
The building instructions don't score that well right now. The blurry LDD vid and missing parts make it score only 4/10 .
The playability of this sets get 10/10 from me as well, mostly due to the diversity in the buildings, as all one needs to 'play' with this set is some figs, maybe a few more spare bricks and your imagination! I believe this set is great for some action scenes and would make a great addition to any fleet around (although the dock doesn't really stand out next to the QAR
I don't think I should discus the price for the set here as EUR145 to get the 2 sets and build this set is just ridiculous
I am currently working on making a clearer LDD file for all you Pirates lovers and I hope to have it done somewhere the next few days.
Please bare with me that this is my first LEGO set review (although this isn't an official set so it might not even count as one... )
Anyone else built this set yet? Please let me know what you think of it!!!
Keep the rum flowing!
P.S. Couldn't resist to take a few more pictures with minifigs!
All of this and more on Flickr
LDD file is finished! Big thanks to AndyC for helping me out with a few issues.
Download file here!
Edited by Dream Team, 11 May 2011 - 12:08 AM.