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Review: 21013 Big Ben

Review Architecture Reviewers Academy 21013 Big Ben

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Poll: Review: 21013 Big Ben (74 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. Poor (3 votes [4.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.05%

  2. Below Average (5 votes [6.76%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.76%

  3. Average (21 votes [28.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.38%

  4. Above Average (30 votes [40.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.54%

  5. Outstanding (15 votes [20.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.27%

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#26 ZetoVince

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:25 PM

Honestly i haven't been more happy from a lego set revealing ever! This inventory is crazy!!! Few lots but with large quantities! I will have couple of them at least!

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#27 just2good

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

Nice review! :thumbup:
Out of all the Architecture sets, this has to be my second favorite, behind the White House. I don't know if I'm gonna pick it up, though...

#28 mrklaw

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:56 PM

 rriggs, on 20 April 2012 - 12:12 PM, said:

Nice review - and well done for nabbing a tourist to use as a model!

It's a shame that the scale has meant the clock faces sit so proud of the tower.  For me that's enough to put me off from buying this set.  I understand why they ended up at that scale with the tower 3-wide but someone at some point during design and development should have said that the standard 2x2 clock faces don't work.  At that point they could have switched to stickers(!) or printed pieces.  Even at this scale, simply switching to 2x2 square tiles printed or stickered would have pulled the clock faces in to the tower a bit.

They could have moulded a 3x3x3 brick just for the purpose printed with intricate clock faces on four sides  :tongue:  That would have been one for the collectors to seek out in years to come!!

It's a shame.

Anyway, I'm now looking forward to whoever it is that builds the rest of the Palace of Westminster at the same scale....

Cheers

Rog

A 2x2 tan tile with printed clock face would have been great. They could have added a bit more 'big Ben' detail to the clock then, rather than being so general. And removed the second hand.. Or a 2x2 round printed tile with hollow centre

Edited by mrklaw, 20 April 2012 - 02:25 PM.


#29 SilentMode

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:05 PM

Pretty good review, as expected! I would have liked a more appropriate clock face design, but then I suppose it's one use for those very common clock tiles. I wonder if a larger version of the model will be made available at some point?
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#30 mrklaw

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:49 PM

A 4x4 plate will sit on top of a 3x3 quite happily. I just made a quick 4x4 clock face and it doesn't look too bad. Total width is less than the current model I think (10 plates vs 11.5?) and the slight extra width isn't as negatively noticeable as the bulging clock faces IMO.

Edit: please forgive the quality of photos and build, I was just playing

Posted Image

Posted Image


Perhaps better with round corners to soften it a little.

Edited by mrklaw, 20 April 2012 - 03:00 PM.


#31 Rufus

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for all the comments!  :sweet:  I'll try to answer some specific questions.

 Rick, on 20 April 2012 - 06:42 AM, said:

If you'd make the structure four studs wide, the sections of the tower need to be vertically stretched as well, which might not work out well with the dimensions of the 1 x 2 grille tiles. Overall, it seems like a really nice compromise in terms of level of detail, nice building techniques, and piece count/price.
That's a really good point Rick.  In the manual, the designer Rok Kobe says he tried several different scales, and settled on this one, so it's presumably the best compromise.

 mrklaw, on 20 April 2012 - 08:30 AM, said:

If you wanted to expand and build more of the palace, do you think it'd be cheaper to buy multiple sets, or bulk order tan bricks from bricklink?
That depends on what you already have in your collection, and the final confirmed retail price.  Unless you were planning to make the building modular, you might need larger bricks for the internal structure, as all the bricks in this set are up to 3 studs length.  Some extra sets would help though - but it's an ambitious project!

 der seb, on 20 April 2012 - 09:08 AM, said:

I tried to build it with MLCad and got over two problems I couldn't make out from your pictures:

1) Is the arrangement of the (darker) bricks in the second floor correct?
2) Is there any plate inside the eight round tan plates? (same situation below the clocks, too)
1) Not quite, but it would probably work.  There is a round brick used in there.
2) From memory, one of the levels uses 9 plates and the other 8.  But we should have made clear that there are 4 leftover pieces:

Posted Image

 mrklaw, on 20 April 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

Posted Image
That's exactly what we had in mind.  :wink:  We tried it - it works ok, but the bulge in the tower is a little too pronounced.  We'll try to get some pics later.

#32 Tanotrooper

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for the wonderful review. Looks like this'll be my first Architecture set. :thumbup:
When looking at the pictures though, I wonder why they didn't use yellow or gold pieces behind the clocks and beneath the top?
(Would've made the set more colourful.)

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#33 snail2go

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:33 PM

Another spectacular review.

I was thinking about giving this one a pass, given that the section from the Houses of Parliament are missing (the corner really doesn't do it for me, it's just so.... incomplete - guess I'll have to finish it myself :D)

But given the neat booklet that has all the information (I've been living in London and all the architecture here is pretty exciting - LEGO architecture of this sort is sooo coool :D) I may have to pick this one up!

Though recessed clock face will be an idea if I ever work on it..... In larger scale. Still, can't help but love the accuracy at that size.

#34 caperberry

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:45 PM

 Tanotrooper, on 20 April 2012 - 04:47 PM, said:


When looking at the pictures though, I wonder why they didn't use yellow or gold pieces behind the clocks and beneath the top?


I was thinking the same thing about the clocks. When you look at the original (as I'm lucky enough to do twice a day en route to work!) the gold around the clock faces is very pronounced.


mrklaw said:

A 2x2 tan tile with printed clock face would have been great.

Great solution, and surely not expensive?


And, putting the two suggestions together, how about a 2x2 pearl gold tile with printed clock face? Can they print on gold?
Posted Image

#35 LEGOfan123

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:02 PM

Wonderful review as always! :thumbup:
I really think that the clocks looks quite wierd! :sick: That''s why I only voted the set as 'Average'. Of course, the palace also has to be released for an add-on! :laugh:  But that's never going to happen!

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#36 Kai NRG

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 11:48 AM

I'd say this is a bit expensive - architecture models always are - but, other than the bulky clock faces, it's really nice.  It's robably a good thing that it comes with three faces, however if I got it (with is probably somewhat unlikely) I would just put the frount face on.  Other wise it really dosn't look too good.

And thanks for the comparasion to the real thing  :wink:

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#37 Rufus

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:37 PM

Big Ben is now on the LEGO Architecture Site:

Posted Image

architecture.lego.com/en-us/products/landmark/big-ben-21013/

Review updated with the link!

#38 CaptainBermuda

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:41 PM

They should make a Buckingham palace :laugh: that would be cool.
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#39 Lasse D

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:02 PM

I would get this set only to find out if the clock tower could be fixed.

My first attempt would be to remove the 2x2 plates behind the clock disks. The 1x1 bricks connecting to the 2x2 plates would have to be moved up in order for the clocks to remain centered.
This would reduce the protrutions by half:
Remove: Posted Image And move these up: Posted Image

Second attempt would be to use bars 4L (Lightsabres) for corners as this would allow the clock tower to appear completely plain:
Posted Image connected using plates with clips, such as: Posted Image
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#40 Holodoc

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:27 PM

Thanks for the review, Pandora and Rufus!

It's surely an overwhelming feeling to see one's own country landmark being downsized to an Architecture set (I had the same feeling about the Brandenburg Gate), but I have second thoughts on the Clock Tower's design.
May it be the printed tile of the clock, the 2x2 plate behind it, the 3x3 shape - when it comes to rate it, that would have been my numbers:

Design 6 See above. A better set for example would have been this one made by Graysmith.
Build 7 quite repetitive, nothing more to see here...:wink:
Parts 6 Okay, part 2412 in tan (1x2 with grille) IS exclusive to this set, but besides that?
Value 6 30€. Maybe a good price for Architecture sets, but for this parts? Mmmpf...:sceptic:


Overall 6/10 It's nice to see this iconic landmark on the list of the Architecture designers, but it could have been more.
Even more interested in LEGO bricks & parts? Read Tim Johnson's (aka Caperberry) blog: Posted Image

#41 mrklaw

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:03 PM

 Lasse D, on 21 April 2012 - 06:02 PM, said:

I would get this set only to find out if the clock tower could be fixed.

My first attempt would be to remove the 2x2 plates behind the clock disks. The 1x1 bricks connecting to the 2x2 plates would have to be moved up in order for the clocks to remain centered.
This would reduce the protrutions by half:
Remove: Posted Image And move these up: Posted Image

Second attempt would be to use bars 4L (Lightsabres) for corners as this would allow the clock tower to appear completely plain:
Posted Image connected using plates with clips, such as: Posted Image

The problem is, printed discs like the clock face have a solid 'cross' centre, so they cannot attach directly to a headlight or other single central stud.

#42 rriggs

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 11:06 PM

 mrklaw, on 21 April 2012 - 10:03 PM, said:

The problem is, printed discs like the clock face have a solid 'cross' centre, so they cannot attach directly to a headlight or other single central stud.
That's why he said he would try and move the bricks with the stud up so the edge of the clock can attach to the stud...

Cheers

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#43 scholalala

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:18 AM

This is by far the most realistic Architecture set!
Very tempting!!
A very cool review indeed. I like fabuland figures  :thumbup:

#44 WhiteFang

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:42 AM

Rufus and Pandora, thank you for delivering such a wonderful insightful exclusive review for us. It was an enjoyable read and I enjoyed the coverage very much especially having to hear your thoughts since you are from UK and this is one of the most iconic landmark in England. I might just want to pick this up for this sole reason.

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#45 nfl_solo

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:07 PM

Thanks for the great review Rufus and Pandora. The photos of the random American Tourist are great ;)
I really love this set and I will be picking it up for sure.

#46 The Joker1

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:14 PM

As I live in England I really wish I could love this set but I cannot bring myself to like it atall. Those clock faces stick out hugely and the scale isn't perfect. Thanks for the fantastic reveiw but I think I will pass on this one. :classic:
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#47 Kai NRG

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:51 AM

 snail2go, on 20 April 2012 - 05:33 PM, said:

Another spectacular review.

I was thinking about giving this one a pass, given that the section from the Houses of Parliament are missing (the corner really doesn't do it for me, it's just so.... incomplete - guess I'll have to finish it myself :D)

But given the neat booklet that has all the information (I've been living in London and all the architecture here is pretty exciting - LEGO architecture of this sort is sooo coool :D) I may have to pick this one up!

Though recessed clock face will be an idea if I ever work on it..... In larger scale. Still, can't help but love the accuracy at that size.

I think the scale is good, It's just the clock faces that are bad - the real probam being that you have to attach the square piece to the bottom.  :sad:

Edited by Kai NRG, 27 April 2012 - 11:52 AM.

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#48 Rufus

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:09 PM

 Rufus, on 20 April 2012 - 04:23 PM, said:

 mrklaw, on 20 April 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

Posted Image
That's exactly what we had in mind.  :wink:  We tried it - it works ok, but the bulge in the tower is a little too pronounced.  We'll try to get some pics later.
Here's mod number 1:

Posted Image

I think this makes the top of the tower too big.  :sceptic:


 Lasse D, on 21 April 2012 - 06:02 PM, said:

My first attempt would be to remove the 2x2 plates behind the clock disks. The 1x1 bricks connecting to the 2x2 plates would have to be moved up in order for the clocks to remain centered.
This would reduce the protrutions by half:
Remove: Posted Image And move these up: Posted Image
This works, but you have to rely on the 'X' at the back of the circular tiles clutching the stud sufficiently.  It's a little weak, and possibly an illegal connection, which may be why it was rejected by the designer:

Posted Image

The advantage of this mod is that it doesn't require any additional parts.  However, the white of the 1-stud SNOT bricks shows a little.  It might be an acceptable compromise for anyone who wants the set but is put off by the protruding clocks.  :wink:

#49 mrklaw

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:13 PM

 Rufus, on 27 April 2012 - 04:09 PM, said:

Here's mod number 1:

Thanks for the update. I agree the clock looks too big with mod no.1, which is a shame. Maybe making the entire tower 4 wide would be better - do you think you could leave the height and the rest of the building as-is if you did that?

Edited by Rick, 27 April 2012 - 05:20 PM.
Please reduce the size of your "quotes" and don't quote images unnecessarily


#50 Rufus

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:33 PM

 mrklaw, on 27 April 2012 - 05:13 PM, said:

Thanks for the update. I agree the clock looks too big with mod no.1, which is a shame. Maybe making the entire tower 4 wide would be better - do you think you could leave the height and the rest of the building as-is if you did that?
Sure you could, but I think then it would look a little squat.  And at some point it would cease to be a mod and become a MOC :laugh:



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