Kivi

Review: 10234 Sydney Opera House

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As already mentioned in a thread covering the same topic (which unfortunately never got finished) here is a complete review:

Basic info:

Set number & name: 10234 Sydney Opera House

Year released: 2013

Age group: 16+

Number of pieces: 2988 (BrickLink)

Theme: Sculptures

Price: 279,99 EUR S@H

Specific value (ppp): 0,094 EUR/part

After three years a new building was finally released in the sculptures series (though now officially called creator expert and joining together some other exclusives as well) - the famous Sydney Opera House. An interesting fact is that the same building was already released in 2012 in miniature form in architecture series. However, it was quite an appropriate time to release it again, now in the largest official lego scale, as the opera is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Box:

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The box is huge and suggests already at first glance that it contains a lot of bricks. The length and the height are the same as with the modulars, while the thickness of 17 cms makes it the second thickest lego box, tied with 10888 Death Star and exceeded only by 10179 UCS Millenium Falcon. The new TLG approach is also evident inside the box as it is completely full.

Contents:

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16 bags, 1 blue 32x32 and 1 blue 48x48 baseplate, 4 instructions books and 1 big white box containing additional 12 bags, 1 dark tan plate 16x16 and 1 blue baseplate 16x32. A total of about 5 kilograms of contents. Unlike in Tower Bridge the bags are numbered here. As it customary with very big sets, the biggest bags also contain some smaller bags with the smallest parts.

Interesting pieces:

soh05.jpg

The predominant colour in the set is dark tan and consequently some bricks appear for the first time in this colour here. New bricks in dark tan in the year of release are plates 2x3 and 1x6, cheese slopes 1x1 and 1x2, slope 33 3x1 and new half arch 1x5x4. Plate 6x14, curved slope 1x4 and tile 1x3 are also new bricks in dark tan which are currently unique to this set. Trans black brick 1x2x5 and white slope 33 3x3 double concave are also unique to this set.

Like Tower Bridge the opera is also built on blue baseplates which are not very common in sets. Since 1997 and the demise of the first generation of pirates, the 16x32 baseplate only appears in sculptures series. The 32x32 baseplate appears here as a part in the set for the first time in nearly 10 years, while the largest 48x48 baseplate is brand new and currently unique to this set.

Instructions:

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The instructions come in 4 books.

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A random page from the instructions book.

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As the set is an officially licensed product, the first instructions book starts with a brief description of the original building.

The build:

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The bricks from bags 1 and 2 are used to build the base and the lower part of the building. The building here comprises mostly the assembly of a sturdy support.

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Here the first detail appears that gives a hint what techniques would be used in roof construction.

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One of the most interesting elements of the second part of the base is extremely sophisticated curvature on the northern part of the building. It is very precisely filled with plates and wedge plates that leave almost no gaps between them and the edge.

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The original building has quite an asymmetric design that undoubtedly presented a challenge for TLG designers to re-create all these lines as accurately as possible in this model. The sections of the building not in alignment with the base are nicely designed with the use of hinges and some of such lines can also be seen on the sides of the base.

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The lower part finished.

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The bricks from bags 3 are used to build The Concert Hall on the western side of the building. It is built in two separate parts which are then joined together in a modular way. A base with support for the roof is built first and then the roof is attached to it.

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The distinctive shell-shaped roof is constructed in halves, with all segments following the same building principle. They are attached to the support via plates with pin bottom.

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A view under the roof before the last segment is put in place. The supporting frame is relatively simple. Its most interesting feature is being mounted at such an angle that it allows a very accurate imitation of the inclined roof. The support is mounted to the base via ball joints, yet the entire structure is rigid and consequently the roof segments do not sway.

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Third part finished. The shape is already very recognizable.

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Now only the bricks from bags 4 remain which are used to build The Opera Theatre on the eastern side, the roof of the restaurant on the southern side and the lamps on the edges. The roof is built in the same way as before - base, supports, roof segments.

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The second roof finished.

Finished set:

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Of all the sets in the series this one looks the most 'compact', covering the area of 80x48 studs. The modern design of the original building dictated the use of more advanced building techniques, especially building at different angles. This is also the first set in the series that is not built symmetrically in its base.

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A view of the northern side. The glazing and other glass surfaces are nicely represented with black and trans black bricks. The difference in dimensions between both halves of the building and their positions at an angle can also be seen here.

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A detail of the roof.

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A detail of the side. The 'glazing' of black and trans black bricks is also present here.

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A view of the staircase on the southern side.

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Similar to Tower Bridge, the opera can be disassembled into two parts which are joined together with pins. The yellow technic beams represent a coupling system, acting as wedges and thereby preventing deformation at the joint when moving or lifting the entire building. The joint is further reinforced with 1x6 tile and 1x4 plate on both sides.

Conclusion:

Design: 10/10 The greatest achievement of TLG designers is a very truthfully re-created roof as the most distinguishable feature of the building, but there are many other fine details as well.

Parts: 10/10 A very good selection of parts and great source of various dark tan parts, blue baseplates.

Build: 10/10 Relatively straightforward at the begininng but sometimes quite complex hereinafter with many interesting techniques employed. The age group of 16+ is a fitting designation as building requires some skills and experience, especially when assembling the roof and its support. The bricks which are added in a particular step in the instructions have the colour border which allows for easier building, especially in assembly of the lower parts where many times bricks are added in very different positions in the same step.

Price: 9/10 Maybe the only slight drawback of this set. At first glance rather overpriced at more than 0,09 EUR/part for such a big set, it already falls in the range of city sets in terms of ppp and thus being more expensive than all modulars and most of creator sets for example. But knowing it is an officially licensed product, it makes any further debate about the price virtually irrelevant.

Overall: 9,8/10

Some more pictures of the finished set are here.

Many thanks to EB member TanTile whose review in his blog I used to identify the different sections of the building.

Edited by Kivi

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Really interesting to see the building techniques on this. Way out of my price range right now but this review makes it very tempting...

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How did you get those photos to come up? Every time I try, it says they are too big.

Strange, my browser displays them all in the text of the review just fine.

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Thank you for the review!

This is definitely on top of my list...just waiting for the next double VIP promo :blush:

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Thanks for a great review! This set has gone from a well, maybe... To a must have based on parts alone. I do plan to get it, even build it, but ultimtely it will become a parts pack because I just do not have that much permenant display space to devote to it.

Thanks again,

Andy D

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The 1 x 2 x 5 brick in trans black is not exclusive to this set

It also appeared in a train station, a train level crossing and several police stations.

Check Bricklink under "Trans-Black Brick 1 x 2 x 5 without Side Supports"

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Great review....thanks.

Completed construction yesterday. This is the best of the large piece count Lego products.

Due to the unique nature and size of many of the pieces, I think that cost per piece is largely irrelevant when evaluating this product.

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Definitely impressive and I do plan on getting it eventually, but I'm not entirely sure if I will keep it displayed. The pieces will come in handy for sure for other builds. I do like the curves they accomplished with the pieces used though. To me, I'm more akin to the Tower Bridge as a display piece for some reason. But this is impressive. Thanks for the review.

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I am also unable to view the images, trying with a variety of devices and connections. The connection to Brickshelf times out, so it's not a Eurobricks problem.

Peter

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My Internet connection downloads at upwards of 60 Mbps. Still, I've had trouble with these pictures. Sometimes I can see them, sometimes not.

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I used around 7 hours to complete this set. Honestly, I was quite disappointed. I recognize its design and building techniques are unique. However, I feel the final product is different from the photo at the front of box. At least, there are large gaps between the two sides of roofs. I understand the constrain to create such curved roofs with LEGO. But I don't think this is a fine product at all. :hmpf_bad:

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I finally got around to breaking the seals on this one over the holidays (it's been sitting in my to-do pile for a while now). From a subject matter standpoint, I could take it or leave it, but I found the construction techniques used to make the shell roofs rather interesting. The end product looks better from some viewing angles than from others (the gaps in the roof are quite noticeable). Otherwise, it's a pretty good Lego abstraction of the original.

That said, it's a lot of dark tan and does for that color what Architecture Studio does for white and Orthanc does for black - if you need wide variety of parts in mostly one color, it's an impressive parts pack for people without the patience to split a BrickLink order over two dozen vendors.

At first I was on the fence as to whether this could be a cost effective parts pack because a simple part count divided by MSRP calculation breaks the 10 cents/part "magic" boundary, but if you factor in the three late blue baseplates (the largest of which sells for 15USD all by itself) and the fact that (unlike, say, the Tower Bridge which teemed with cheese slopes) the part count isn't inflated by an over abundance of tiny "one-stud-ish" parts and you're actually getting a fair number of bricks and larger plates, I find the overall price palatable.

I enjoyed this one and may yet pick up another just for parts( it all depends on whether I can figure out what to do with all those extra white roof curves if I got the parts routeā€¦)

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I cracked this open over the Holidays too, it's an interesting build, sort of reminded me of the Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon. It's probably the most interesting build of the big buildings, I've got the Tower of London, Eifel Tower and Taj Mahal as well.

Can't wait for Lego's next big set.

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I'm in the middle of building it now, partway through book 3. It's definitely a more interesting and fun build than Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is highly repetitive by comparison. I also like the bags being keyed to the instruction booklets, which makes sorting the parts much less onerous than Tower Bridge.

Peter

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i really want this set, but i think it is too big to put in my house at the moment. I wouldn't mind building it for someone though just to see how this set goes together.

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I've run into my first problem - missing parts. Not just one, but four parts from booklet/bags #3, including one of the large white curved shell pieces. I've had the odd missing part now and then, but never four in one set. There's probably no chance they're in the as-yet-unopened #4 bags, but I'll wait till it's finished to request them.

Peter

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I've made an animated build video (computer generated) of this set (10234) which can be seen on youtube at

TCBCUK

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The Opera of Sydney is one of my favorite monument.

But found this set great for a set but not "delicate" for the roof, espacially the part near the ground.

SO I do not know if I wil buy this set...

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