Bob De Quatre

Review REVIEW: 21030 United States Capitol

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Introduction
Hi fellow EB members! Today I'll review one of the newest LEGO Architecture set: the United States Capitol. This building feels particular to me, because even if I've never seen it in real and probably never will, I see it almost every day in movies and TV series! But I don't think I know it very well, and I hope to learn lots of facts about it while building. Let's see if the LEGO model does justice to that iconic building.

Thanks to EB LUG Ambassador CopMike and the LEGO CEE Team and Designers for giving me the opportunity to review this set!


Set information
Name: 21030 United States Capitol
Theme: LEGO Model Making / Architecture
Year: 2016
Pieces: 1032
Price: USD $99.99, GBP 79.99£, EURO 99,99€
Resources: Brickset, BrickLink


Packaging
As usual, the front of the box shows the set on a black background with a big LEGO Architecture logo. There is also a mention that the instruction booklet will include historical information and details in English, which is great for people who speak English, not much for the others.
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The rear of the box has a nice picture of both the real Capitol building and its LEGO rendition, and a comment about the building in a few language.There are also indications on the size of the final build ( 95 mm wide and 390 mm tall). You also see that you'll be able to lift the dome to see the National Statuary Hall from above.
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Content of the box
The box contains the instructions booklet, 9 unnumbered bags, 6 loose 8x16 plates in dark bluish grey, a brick separator and the usual LEGO Architecture flyer.
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Instructions booklet
The 155 pages instructions booklet is relatively big, almost an A4 size (Letter size I think). At the beginning, there are a few pages with details about the building, with nice pictures.
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The instructions are clear (there's almost only white bricks on a black background) and easy to follow. Except for a SNOTed assembly in the dome, there are no fancy or advanced techniques in this build. When needed, the designer placed the side stud of headlight bricks in the hole of a 1x1 technic brick. He also used that technique when it was unneeded, instead of using a plain 1x2 brick.
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Build
We'll start the build with stacking plates to make the base. It is rather fragile, especially if you're building on your laps like I did for this review!
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The first plates and tiles delimit the walls of the building. We can also see the flooring of the National Statuary Hall. The white jumpers will be used to offset some assemblies that we'll do later.
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At step 58, we've done some gardening and put the first layer of bricks. The front stairs are also in place.
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Here you can see the completed walls. Different windows' sizes are done with either headlight bricks or technic bricks. At this point, and after positioning 178 of them, I couldn't stand the sight of a white headlight brick.
That picture also shows the most negative point of the set: the back-side is just composed of plain white bricks.
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Colonnades are done and we're starting building the roof.
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After all that white, sand green almost feels like a bright color!
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The finished building, with the roof and dome completed.
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Some spare parts. Surprisingly we got two spare white statues!
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Interesting parts
The most evident interesting parts are the sand green ones. The 6x6 dishes in sand green are exclusive to this set, as is the dark bluish grey statue, while the white statue can be found only in the 21026 Venice set. But in this set we got 6 statues of each color! In the picture I didn't include the 6x6 round plate in white, which can only be found in the 75904 Mystery Mansion and the 71040 Disney Castle, and the #21229 Fence Spindled 4 x 4 x 2 Quarter Round with 3 Studs that is exclusive to this set.28878053823_7cb7907844_c.jpg


Conclusion
I like this set, it looks good... But it lacks some kind of wow factor. When my friends saw the model built, their first reaction was: "I thought it would be bigger". I think it is due to the height of the dome that makes the building under looks rather flat. That said, the set has the right proportions compared to the real building, except for the eastern facade, the back side of the set, which is simply cut off. That looks a bit strange when looking at the set from above, and even worse from the rear. I think since you can't display the set from two opposite angle at the same time, it is a rather good compromise since a whole facade would have needed two or three hundred parts.

Design: 7/10 - The set is well designed, and it's the first time I see a "play feature" in an Architecture set (the dome lifting up to reveal the National Statuary Hall).

Parts: 8/10 - Almost no variety in bricks' shapes and colors, but some nice parts, especially the 12 statues and the sand green parts.

Build: 7/10 - The build experience is quite boring and repetitive (some steps ask you to place 40 headlight bricks!), but it is nice to see the building rise.

Price: 6/10 - The price per piece is average for the theme (0,097). Too expensive as a parts pack at full price, if you want a good source of white headlight bricks you should wait for a discount.

Overall: 28/40 (70%) - A good representation of the original building, except for the missing facade. This set is a nice addition to a LEGO Architecture collection, next to the Lincoln Memorial fo example. My only advice would be to display it at eyes level.

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Looks pretty elegant, but outside of my budget. I might Bricklink the trophy pieces, though. Thanks for the review!

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Good review, thanks for sharing the interesting photos and thoughts. It definitely is a good start to making a nice model of the US Capital Building. I'm sure soon enough we'll see DIY builds of the complete building with a West Side from interested builders with a lot of extra brick handy.

Ironic that you show the instruction book open to a photo of the West Side of the building which is completely missing in an out-of-the-box build. I'm only guessing that the original development model for this is set in Billund is complete, and it was not the design teams first choice to merely provide 3/4 of the building.

The omission of the West Side kinda is a big deal, though. It's the pretty, photogenic side with a big lawn, and a side of the building you see a LOT in media, where all the US Presidents have been sworn in for the last 30 years.

If anyone wants a mini-model of the whole building, I made plans:

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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers by SPARKART!, on Flickr.

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1 minute ago, Mesabi said:

Review got busted by the upgrade. :sceptic:

I'm sure it'll be fixed in a couple of days along with all the other code in the posts.

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It's a great set, but it's too expensive given that I'm not a hardcore Architecture fan... Nice to see Lego take on this iconic building though!

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My set came incomplete, Lego did get the missing piece to me quickly but like most, my wish is that the back would have been complete.  I don't think it would have taken a lot more pieces and not too much of an increased price to complete it.  Just is odd...

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I visited U S Capitol Building. The set is very realistic. Thanks for your review. Lots of buildings in Washington D C have encient origine:  Penthagon - Ishtar temple in Babilon, The Lincoln Memorial - Zeus temple in Olympia, The Pencil - an obelisk from Alexandria etc. And what about The Capitol?

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41 minutes ago, Staslegomaster said:

I visited U S Capitol Building. The set is very realistic. Thanks for your review. Lots of buildings in Washington D C have encient origine:  Penthagon - Ishtar temple in Babilon, The Lincoln Memorial - Zeus temple in Olympia, The Pencil - an obelisk from Alexandria etc. And what about The Capitol?

Well, it's name is derived from one of the 7 hills Rome has been built on. The Capitol also featured Corinthian columns (wich attribute to its neo-classical style), which have been moved and replaced by simpler designs in the 60ies. Corinthian columns had been used in ancient Greek and Roman buildings. Besides that overall neo-classical look resembling old Roman and Greek architecture, there is no direct relation to any historical building. Only the rotunda beneath the Capitol dome was built to directly evoke the design of the Pantheon in Rome.

 

Great review and nice building, even if the backside seems a little incomplete. :classic:

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