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Found 318 results

  1. harton

    Architecture meme!

    Hello fellow builders, Between two projets I did some simple vignettes about some architecture meme. As a student we see them often! I didn't have time yesterday to post it so here it is. I think many of you can agree about these, event if your not working in this specialities, it is, if I can say that, the same in any work! Please enjoy! Because you have to finish this! A vision about the architect profession! 1. Your friends think you do some press presentations and projects releases 2. Your parents (hopes) your making (enought) money 3. Your society think you arrive with a new vision and / or weird artist concept! 4. Your students think your a good manual person 5. You think your doing something genius has Frank Lloyd Wright did 6. What you are really doing is try to stay awake to finish your project and after that think about eating and sleeping! The old version of our loved / hated program! When he's in you work, when he's out... well obviously you don't work harder! So what do you think about these? Comments and suggestions always welcome. --------------------------- Thanks! Harton
  2. Masked Builder

    Review Review: 21017 Imperial Hotel

    First of all, a big thank you to Bonaparte and LEGO for making this review possible. This has been really fun. I knew very little about this set when it was given to me, so I looked it up and found that it looked to be a very good set. As I'm going to study engineering, the architecture series really quite appeals to me, however, I'd never gotten one as I really like minifigures. Will this set hold up to my expectations? Read on! Set Information: Name: Imperial Hotel Set Number: 21017 Pieces: 1188 Price: US $130 Ages: 12+ Minifigures: N/A Theme: Architecture Year of Release: 2013 Brickset Flickr Set I left plenty of pictures in their large size! Box: The overall design of the box is the same as the rest of the line, black, with a shot of the model. Very professional looking. Underneath the model, there is what looks to be blueprints, which really give the set a "design" feel. Flipping the box over, we have some writing about the set as well as some construction details. A picture of Frank Lloyd Write adorns the upper right corner and his signature is in the bottom middle. The left side of the box has pictures of the left side of the built model, and an overhead view of it. On the right hand side, there's a faded out shot of the front of the model as well as the name of the designer; Rok Kobe. I find the top most interesting. Along with the 1:1 image, there's a part of the model in a brick-paper format that fades to the built model. Also on the top there's a box that says, "Frank Lloyd Wright Collection." Nothing to special about the bottom, just your usual warnings. Contents: Architecture sets have flaps and open much like other toy boxes, when I opened mine it looked like this. Quite full, and the "Enjoy your Building Experience" printed on the bottom of the box here, made me smile. Inside the box were 10 bags, the manual, and six 6x16 plates. Only a few parts stuck out to me, the 3x3 corner slope in sand green, the 2x1 brick with studs on one side in light bley, and the printed 1x8 tile. (Though in every Architecture set) I believe the 2x1 brick is new for this year. Here are our extra parts. The 1x1 tiles and plates are most useful to me, and there are quite a few of them. Manual: The manual is much more of a book than the usual LEGO set, it's bound and is made of much heavier paper than a usual one. The front of the manual has the same art as the front of the box, minus some of the facts about the set. On the first inside page, there's a picture of the hotel as it stands today. (As well as what was recreated in the set, minus the tourists) Continuing on, much more like a book, there's a contents listing on the second page. Underneath a paragraph talking about the destruction of the hotel, there's a painting of the hotel, and I must say while simple it looks like a grand building. As you continue turning the pages, you come across the two page spread. Exactly like the one on the of the box, but three or four times larger, it was also very hard to photograph. Each step in the manual was very clear, I had no problems telling what color was what. Here's a shot of just one of the many steps in building the model. The Build: Here I cover the first few steps. We establish the base for the hotel as well as the concrete around it. (Each of the build pictures link to a 1600+ pixel version) Continuing on, the first level is constructed, with plenty of half-plate offsets. Then the roofing over the entrance is added, and the bottom floor is completed. You then start on the second level and add some of the many windows. Finally, the roof is added, and the model completed. Finished Model: Wow, is a good word to describe the completed model. I could sit a look at it all day. The size, details, and colors really have a "wow" factor and make the model shine. Here you can see the many windows that you are built using snot techniques, really nicely done LEGO, and capture perfectly the real look of the building. The back of the model is flat, and has no details what-so-ever. But since you never see the back why put anything there? This set is big. At 34 by 30 studs the hotel has a large footprint, it's bigger than Bag End! The next several pictures are all of parts of the model that I thought had interesting building techniques or just looked cool. Here we have some of the windows and the roof, that I think works nicely together, The front entryway to the hotel is very ornate. A lot of half-plate offsets are used in this model, you can see a few here. The windows here on the side are attached with 1x1 bricks with a stud on one side, the snot gives the building a great look. This technique here isn't new, I just think that it looks pretty neat. Looking at the real building alongside the model, it's very close. I'm not sure about the decision to recreate it in tan, but it does work nicely with the green. The only one thing that could be added is the reflection pool, but that's not part of the building so I see why it wasn't included. Conclusion: There's no one good word to describe my feelings for this set. It's large, accurate, and I had an amazing time building it. I was mostly surprised at how complex the model really is, though I'm fairly sure this is common for Architecture sets. 1188 pieces make this the second largest set in the line, and a very good introductory set for it. Again, I'd like to thank LEGO and Bonaparte for the opportunity to review this set, I had a great time! Ratings: Playability: 9/10 This isn't a set you can play with, however, it would make a great model to put on your desk as a conversation piece. Design: 10/10 The design is top notch. It matches the real building nicely and I find no flaws. There are a variety of techniques in this set that I thought were interesting. Price: 9/10 I didn't pay for this set, but for any set with this large if a piece count anything between $100-$130 is very fair. Parts: 10/10 There was a huge selection of tan light bley, and dark bley tiles and plates. These sets are known for that but I didn't realize it until I got one. Total: 38/40 An excellent score, I would pick the gem up if you've been thinking about it, or even if you haven't! Like this review? Want to learn how to make good reviews? Then join the Reviewers Academy!
  3. I've built this little MOC last year, after my actual trip to China. Hope to order some parts via Bricklink to built more accurate one... Also, I don't like these photos... Of course, it looks much better in real life and on preview pics with low resolution.) More photos on Flickr
  4. Tazmaniac

    MOC: Micro Casino

    Wrest Point Casino After picking up a few Architecture sets at 50% off I was inspired to try one of the local iconic buildings. The scale is off and a few details have been omitted but I'm pretty happy with it for now. Wrest Point Casino by Taz-Maniac, on Flickr Wrest Point Casino by Taz-Maniac, on Flickr
  5. Masked Builder

    MOC: Mayan Temple

    Well, this was going to be my entry for my MOCoff with Flare. But he backed out two or three days before the deadline, so I won by default. I'm quite happy with how the MOC came out, and yes it is supposed to only be viewed from the one side. Flickr Set Facebook
  6. In January 2013 the House of Literature opens in Fredrikstad (Norway) and Earthtree Media (where I work) will be moving in to new offices on the first floor. Griff Architecture, that we share offices with today (before we move in to these new offices), has drawn this house that lies at the river promenade in Fredrikstad. Here are some pictures of the house taken yesterday: I thought the architecture-style on this house was very nice and wanted to make my own model of the house, and here it is!
  7. harton

    [MOC] The Lumber House

    Hello folks, Its been a while since I post something in this section, but this time is over, and I restart this in big! Just to let you know, I've been working on some house modeling since 3 months and I can finally show you the first results of that hard working session! In this period I was not able to built as I wish, I have (again today) deal with my schoolar projects, which means, I cannot run Autocad and POVray at the same times... Because my motherboard card will really not appreciate it! I'm trying many different things and I'm learning how to work with Povray, so for the moment I'll expect to show you a new creation in begining of February. I also at the end ot this post present you a personnal project, that I wish will interest some of you, city builders. So without any word on this, I will now show you my first creation in LDD, I expect finish the hand-build soon. So I present you: The Lumber House Here's the text, if your not able to see it clearly (due to size limitation): "The Lumber House is listed as a pioneer in the way of building green homes, because in addition to the concept of sustainable construction, it is equipped with the latest domotic advance. The home is warm and perfect for any meetings with relatives or simply to relax and admire the view. Being on an elevated foundation gives the house an impression of lightness. Although it is a single-storey, it has a high ceiling in the living room to enhance the supply of light. The house roof is divided in two sections, with a green roof on its upper part, reducing heat loss caused by the large windows. The use of timber fills our senses, acting more than just siding and structure. This model is mobile and thus, respectful for the environment, only one base is needed. The Lumber House can be perched on top of a hill as the same ways it would on riverside." The house has: - 1 kitchen - 1 living room (with a fire place) - 1 bedroom (option with 2) - 1 W-C - Enought storage (inside and outside (the red square)) Notice the main door is a little hidden, the front view has only one window, which gives a really good privacy look and let the other sides have all the sunlight. Notice also the "frosted" window in the second perspective view for the washroom. So I now presents you different views: Persective Front and top Lateral and perspective 2 To see the pictures / panels in a bigger scales: Comments and suggestions are always welcome! --------- Okay, I hope you have like what you just saw. Now I want to talk to you of the group I create, a groupe name: It is a simple groupe created to regroup some study and realisations about Lego architectural and design creations! If you have some techniques you can share it to us, if you have made some really cool house, institutions, shop or any other types of building, and that it is good looking or you have made a good presentation work, well add it to the group. I always said do it as a porfessionnal would do (you're the professionnial!). If you have some cool city creations, such as exterior parts, bench, park elements, etc, show us. Because we have, as citizen of every city around the globe, a quest to accomplish, which is to made our city evole and progress in the good way. This means, new involvements, new way of doing thing, which results to a new desgn a new architecture, because adding trees in our streets will not gonna save us if we don't do any other efforts. Let's talk about these new creations, let's invent them, let's build them in Lego first, let the artist in you save us. Show us what you are able to do and put it on EB to let the others know and add it to the group solution. The only requirements, are to have fun and to have a clean presentation! The future is now! Link for the Evolocity group: Thanks, Harton
  8. Hi, this is my first post at this forum, and also my first try on some more serious Lego building. I am fascinated with the LEGO Architecture-series in the amazing way the manage to capture the silhouette of a building, whit a relative “simple” Lego construction. I have now used two days trying to transform my local church into a Architecture-model. I have tried different techniques, and rebuilt it several times. What do you guys think now? Here is the first build which I was not happy with: Strandvik kyrkje.lxf
  9. This MOC is mainly based on virtual pictures because the OneWTC tower is still under construction (the top has been reached) and the 9/11 Memorial is near completion. Two virtual pictures which have inspired the MOC : The final MOC will be a mixture of both virtual images. The 9/11 Memorial does not present any major difficulty : the two fontains are made with black tiles and explain the relative thick base. The OneWTC tower is more challenging because of the straight lines running from the corners of the square base to the corners of the 45 degrees rotated square top : The construction is inspired by the one of set 21001 where similar lines are represented by small steps. Some pictures of the MOC Close view of the Memorial Any comments are welcome.
  10. The First Architecture set for 2013 will be: 21017 Imperial Hotel Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright from 1916-1922, the Imperial Hotel of Tokyo, Japan was commissioned to bridge the divide between the Western and Eastern worlds. This modern masterpiece exemplifies Frank Lloyd Wright's imagination and genius, designed in the shape of it’s own monogram logo and strong enough to withstand Japan’s frequent and devastating earthquakes. Today, the main entrance and lobby are all that remains of this icon, displayed in the Meiji Museum in Nogoya, Japan. This highly detailed LEGO® model, co-developed and designed by LEGO architects, captures all of the distinctive features that made the Imperial Hotel an architectural landmark for generations. The assembled Imperial Hotel model stands over 11" (28cm) wide on a base with printed name label. Set includes a booklet with facts about the building, its construction and its history. • Replica of real-world architectural landmark • Booklet included with details on design and history (English language only) • Explore advanced building techniques • Collect all of the LEGO® Architecture series models • Measures over 4" (10cm) tall, 11" (28cm) wide and 9" (24cm) deep Pictures link to HR images 2500+ .pxl! 1188 pcs. and range in the $90-$100 I can only think this will be Frank Lloyd Wright hotel in Tokyo which has been sadly demolished! 21015 The Leaning Tower of Pisa (From TLG official website) March 15th. 2013 The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre pendente di Pisa) took almost 200 years to complete and has stood beside the Cathedral of Pisa for over 600 years. Thanks to its famous tilt, it has become one of the world's most recognizable architectural landmarks. The story behind the bell tower spans over 800 years of European history and provides a fascinating glimpse into a miracle of medieval engineering. While the Tower of Pisa is most known for ”leaning”, it would still be a remarkable architectural structure without this famous feature. Constructed at a time when there was very little building of this kind being carried out in Europe, the intelligent use of columns and arches demonstrates an in-depth understanding of weight and load characteristics that was way ahead of its time. What the architect overlooked however, was the clay-based soil and the need for a foundation capable of supporting a bell tower that would eventually weigh 16.000 tons (14.500 metric tons). The eight-story tower was built with limestone and lime mortar, with an exterior covering of marble. Interestingly, the limestone is probably why the tower has not cracked and collapsed – the rock is flexible enough to withstand the pressures placed on it by the tilt. The bottom story of the tower is an arcade of 15 closed marble arches. Each of the following six stories contains 30 arches, while the final story, or bell-chamber, has 16 arches. Facts Location .....................................................................................................Pisa, Italy Architect .....................................................................................................Various Date ............................................................................................................Started 1173 – Completed 1399 Construction type .....................................................................................Bell Tower Architectural style .....................................................................................Romanesque Tower/Gothic Bell Chamber Materials ....................................................................................................Limestone, Lime mortar, Marble exterior Height .........................................................................................................8 stories, 185 ft. (56.4 m) Diameter of base ......................................................................................50 ft. 9.6 in. (15.484 m) Weight ........................................................................................................16,000 tons (14,500 metric tons) Angle of tilt .................................................................................................3.97 degrees 12 ft. 10 in. (3.9 m) from vertical Designing the Model As an Architectural Artist, my desire is to capture the essence of a particular architectural landmark into its pure sculptural form. I first and foremost do not view my models as literal replicas, but rather my own artistic interpretations through the use of LEGO® bricks as a medium. In an attempt to appeal to the vast admirers of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, our specific aim was to ensure that it could be both afforded and constructed by anyone looking to enjoy displaying a miniature Pisa they can call their own. To do so, I needed to adhere to a minimal element/part pallet, which would affect the model’s scale, level of detail and construction techniques while maintaining structural integrity.' Adam Reed Tucker 21018 United Nations Headquarters Not much info on this yet! but........ HR images added 21.06.2013 Enjoy! :classic:
  11. B-OV-38B Hi. I've just finished a MOC which I've been working on for a few months. It's a smaller-than-minifig scale (not sure of the right way to describe the scale, it's much larger than normal microscale stuff) model of the church in London where I had my wedding reception last year. It was built in the late 1700's and designed by Hawksmoor, a contemporary of Christopher Wren. Here's photo of the church in real life (not mine, thanks to the photographer) And here is it on Streetview: A couple more views (There are more including WIP on my Flickr pages): Comments are appreciated. I have just over a week, and then I'm going to give it to my wife (she doesn't know what I've been working on), so I'd like to make it as good as possible. I'm particularly troubled with the spire, which goes from 4x4 studs and is 14 or so studs high. Plates don't seem to be made with enough of a sharp angle, so I've gone with the current design, which does have holes from certain views. Thanks for looking. Lee
  12. legoaddict

    Ponte di Rialto

    From the album: Rialto Bridge

    Probably the most visited and most photographed bridge in Venice, (Ponte di Rialto) opened in 1591.Connecting the districts of San Polo and San Marco across the Grand Canal in the heart of the city, the Rialto Bridge has always been a busy crossing over the canal.The bridge is formed by two inclined ramps covered by a portico with shops on either side. This area has long been a market place for Venetians and Tourists.

    © Anu Pehrson

  13. legoaddict

    Rialto Bridge

    From the album: Rialto Bridge

    Buildings,shops,cafes around the bridge.

    © Anu pehrson

  14. legoaddict

    Ponte di Rialto

    From the album: Rialto Bridge

    Overhead shot with shops in between the two ramps.

    © Anu Pehrson

  15. legoaddict

    The Rialto Bridge.

    From the album: Rialto Bridge

    Probably the most visited and most photographed bridge in Venice, (Ponte di Rialto) opened in 1591.Connecting the districts of San Polo and San Marco across the Grand Canal in the heart of the city, the Rialto Bridge has always been a busy crossing over the canal.The bridge is formed by two inclined ramps covered by a portico with shops on either side. This area has long been a market place for Venetians and Tourists.

    © Anu Pehrson

  16. harton

    Projects, projects, projects!

    Hello AFOLs, Now that I have fully restart my classes, I have time to post new MOCs. So it will be a short and simple explanation. I made this little project in my "free time" about 2 months ago, during a big rush, so during the night ... instead of sleeping ... I'm sure many of you will love it and even recognize them selves, because I do not think these situations are the only for architecture and school projects! They can be easily be live at your office or in your family. So, it is simply some vignettes representing the number of projects and especially the reaction and how we deal with it! Now that the project is complete, check out the last Level 6-7-8-9 and 10!! Notice: In each vignette you will find a clue of the new one (a little concept), could you guess what is it? Projects, projects, projects, the overall picture! Usually at this point everyone is happy and work on their favorite hobby! Or as said, do nothing. Because some of you notice the flute on my previous MOC. Music is a good way to pass time. Cheer! Because you start working, you thing you will work hard for real, but it is just an illusion, it will pass... At this point, you begin to realize that you should start working because new projects keep entering and now you hunt time! When you read that line over and over... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay, I have finally finish it, so I hope you will enjoy and maybe survive till the end! So place for Level 6-7-8-9 and 10! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That's the question! Well you'll sleep sometimes, later... Next month. Only because the taste is good, note because you need one! Lonelyness you getting use to it. The ultimate effort, reach your limits. At this point... well I think you get it! The gallerie: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So, how many projects can you take? Do you recognized yourself, in these situations? Your comments and suggestions are always welcome! Thanx, Harton
  17. ADHO15

    The Jedi Temple

    Hello everyone. It seems the inspiration for my Revenge of the Sith Community Build entry came far quicker than it did for The Phantom Menace Build, and it didn't come at all for the Attack of the Clones Build (), so I set to work straight away when the idea came to me last night. Over the past week I've been rebuilding and updating my Architecture sets for the Eurobricks Official Set LXF Index, and so I suppose I was still in that frame of mind whilst deciding on what I would build for this project. I therefore decided to combine two of my favourite LEGO themes: Star Wars and Architecture, and create the Jedi Temple in the style of a LEGO Architecture set. It is, of course, much bigger and less accurate () than any previously released Architecture sets, (though I'm pleased to say that I think it may be more accurate than some past Star Wars sets ), but I still think it fits the theme well enough. Even though it's a digital model and the Laws of Physics don't have to apply, I tried to build the model in a way that made it structually sound enough to be built with real parts, although many are not available in the colours I used anyway. The building is hollow with no interior, save for a few supports. A close-up of the top and spires. A close-up of the main entrance. -------------------- Front and plan views with part outlines. I spent a couple of hours last night and a few hours today making it, so it is a quick MOC, but hopefully not rushed and sloppy. It is comprised of 2424 parts (coincidentally 24 is my favourite number! ). I'm aware that the scale is not right in certain areas: the ziggurat is probably too tall for its width, and the towers on top are probably too large, and so I may modify it a little more before the deadline, so I'll consider it a WIP for the time being. LXF File Please do not use the file or images without my permission. Thank you for looking. All comments are welcome. PS. This model is now uploaded to LEGO Cuusoo here. Your support and comments are greatly appreciated!
  18. It's wonderful to see that The LEGO Group's confidence in the Architecture Series has increased enough for worldwide landmarks to appear! In what might seem opportunistic timing, with the fast approaching 2012 Olympics being held in London, TLG has revealed that its latest Architecture set will model what is probably London's most iconic landmark: the clock tower of Big Ben. As has been pointed out innumerable times, Big Ben is actually the name of the huge bell which resides within the tower, itself forming the north-west corner of the Palace of Westminster; the tower itself is known simply as the Clock Tower. But if you say 'Big Ben', I imagine people from around the world will immediately picture this famous tower. This review is a team effort by Pandora and myself (with a little extra help from a certain someone at a crucial point ). The opinions presented here are ours; fortunately we agreed on pretty much everything so there was little need for discussion! Anyway, with further ado, Pandora and Rufus are proud to present.... Review: 21013 Big Ben Set Information Name: Big Ben Number: 21013 Theme: Architecture (Landmark Series) Release: 1 June 2012 Parts: 341 (our count) Price: US $29.99 | EUR 29.99 | CAD $39.99 Links ... Brickset ... LEGO Architecture We'll update the price information, links and the official set description as they become available. The Box The smart but rather austere box livery of the Architecture range continues with this set. I see no reason to change it! Big Ben sits atop a technical drawing which may well represent architectural plans of the Palace of Westminster, but who's checking. The eagle-eyed among you might note that this latest addition to the Architecture range is designed not by Adam Reed Tucker, but instead by Rok Zgalin Kobe, a Slovenian architect. The back of the box is more colourful, sporting a scale render of the model, with some pictures of the real building in atypical English weather: The text is a language lesson describing the enclosed booklet, which is in English, and mentions the two Architects of the tower, Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin. The narrow sides are well suited to a tall, narrow model, and allow the boxes to be stacked on shelves vertically. The left side features a beautiful low-down shot of the tower: ... while the right side, which forms the flap of the box lid, shows an interesting 'exploded' render of the model beside the 'Choking Hazard' warning in a vast array of international languages. A very small part-rendered picture graces the top of the box, and the bottom reveals that parts were sourced in DENMARK, HUNGARY, MEXICO, and the CZECH REPUBLIC. We suspect this represents different manufacturing sources for different regions. Interestingly, this set - despite being considerably larger - comes in a box no bigger than those of the smallest sets in the range. It is of identical size to 21002 Empire State Building, or 21000 Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, Chicago, pictured here: It is, as you might imagine, considerably heavier, and clearly requires two extra years of building experience to build it. Contents We love these Architecture boxes! There's a certain sense of nostalgia for the days of intricate packaging which heightened the whole LEGO experience. Admittedly these don't have the (expensive, we've no doubt) plastic inserts and lifting lids of the 80s, but it's clear that TLG have gone to some pains to make the box as collectable as the set. You can even flatpack the box for longevity without tearing or cutting! The box is almost as smart on the inside: This one is remarkably full, which helps to preserve the instruction manual. You are instructed clearly to 'Enjoy your building experience.' as you open the lid. It's a really nice touch, and emphasises the lengths TLG has gone to to maximise the ... um ... building experience. Out of the box are pulled four polybags, and two loose plates. As Siegfried/Sinner mentioned in the Sydney Opera House review, it's a shame that not all of the parts are bagged, but we can't really blame LEGO for this in this case. It's only two pieces, and would probably require much larger bags, which might in turn necessitate a larger box to allow automated packing. Looking at this picture, you immediately get a sense of the rather small parts variety - there are only 33 different pieces in the set, including different colours of the same part. Instructions Some serious thought has gone into this instruction manual. It is quite thick, and beautifully presented, being printed on high quality paper, like all the sets in the Architecture range. Aside from the difference in orientation, the cover is similar to the box front, but does reference the Architecture website. The rear cover of the manual features an alternative view of the tower from behind: but is otherwise rather plain. Most of the interest is contained inside the manual, where can be found ten pages of facts about the tower and its construction, an example of which is shown here: The text is superbly written. It is a potted history, packed with facts and interesting to read, without being a daunting mass of text. We learned quite a lot ourselves! Following the tower facts comes a double-paged biography of the architects: The pictures here are reprints of oil portraits of the long-departed designers of the tower. Again, kudos to LEGO for going the extra mile to add interest and value. The instructions themselves are clear, and nicely paced to avoid confusion without being patronising. About every eight or nine pages is a little inset depicting further little factoids about the building: It's easy to miss these, if you are concentrating on the building. We'd recommend taking your time when building, and enjoying these little tidbits of information when you encounter them! They are a really nice touch. Otherwise, there are some parts in similar colours (particularly black and dark bluish grey), which could cause confusion; however, if you follow the build order then there shouldn't be any problems. You would notice if you used a dark bluish grey 1x2 tile on the base, for instance (unless you're building in the dark ). Towards the rear of the manual is the now-standard parts inventory: Again, the small variety of parts is readily apparent, and belies the size of the set. Finally, we are treated to a discourse from the Artist himself, and an intriguing look at Architecture in the early days of LEGO (including the invention of the plate!) We're pleased to note that Rok Zgalin Kobe refers to SNOT (Studs Not On Top), implying it's the acronym used by LEGO designers themselves! We're easily pleased. The Parts But enough about paper, what about the plastic? We've arranged the parts according to the polybag they came in, which is roughly dictated by size. The largest bag contains the large tiles, including the unique printed 'Big Ben' piece, and a sea of tan. Most of these parts are commonplace; even the 2x2 clock face is often found at the Pick-a-Brick wall. Of note are the dark bluish grey 'Slope 45 1x2 Double', found in two other sets, and the 'Slope 75 2x2x2 Quadruple Convex' in DBG and the two earth green 2x3 Plates, each found only in one other set. Not rare, though useful, are the nine 1x1 bricks with four studs ('dalek pieces', as we've heard them called). Generally, part variety is small but quantity high: We're certainly not complaining about the 57 round bricks and 32 grille tiles in tan, useful for architectural MOCs. 2x1 tan plates were at the PaB wall recently, so we're not short of those... ... but jumper plates are always useful. Finally, we have the ubiquitous round 1x1 plates, and 1x1 tiles in tan are most welcome. Not a cheese wedge in sight! Overall, it's a part selection that won't get too many people excited, with only a small number of rare elements, although the quantity of some of the parts might make this useful as a parts pack. The Build Let's put these plastic blocks together! As you might expect, we start with the familiar Architecture base: Immediately, you can see by the jumper plates that the model uses a half-stud offset for the entire structure. This is presumably to centre the model, which is an odd number of studs in length. The jumpers make a surprisingly strong connection, meaning you can build the model whilst holding it, rather than on a flat surface, although it's worth noting that the two black plates at the base are only connnected via three tiles, giving them a tendency to separate slightly if you do do this. The 'trick' behind the SNOT wall detail is revealed in this shot: SNOT bricks - with 1 (white), 2 (light bluish grey) and 4 (black) studs on sides are used to attach 1x2 plate-grille tile pieces to give the sides their ridged detail. The 'gap' that remains under the grilles is filled with 1x1 tiles. This technique is a little fiddly, but surprisingly strong and effective, and is used throughout the model. For the second layer, rinse, and repeat... well, nearly. Here you can see that only black 'dalek' pieces have been used to add SNOT to the sides, rather than the two-sided stud pieces. Although this might at first glance seem odd - it prevents adding 1x1 bricks in between, which might weaken the structure - there are two reasons for this. One is that the side-facing studs are also used in some places - to hold SNOT tiling at the side, and the mysterious upward-pointing dark bluish grey tile you can see here - and the second is that the 'open stud' on the top of the dalek pieces is required to attach the roof at a half stud offset (similar to the use of technic 1x1 bricks in the White House, or Empire State Building) With the roof-pieces attached, the odd DBG tile fills a gap caused by the half-stud offset : As we add height to the tower, things get a little repetitive, with three identical layers to construct. As we approach the top of the tower, four single-stud SNOT pieces are added which will hold the clock faces: And here we can have a nice look at the rear of the building . Finally, the rather intricate roof is built: And we're done! The build takes about 30 minutes if you're rushing, or an hour if you're leisurely (and read the history while you're at it). It's a little fiddly in places (making sure the 1x1 tiles sit squarely is a pain, but this is always a problem), and gets a bit repetitive, but being a smallish model this is counteracted by the feeling of the tower taking shape. Some of the SNOT techniques, especially the roof, are a nice surprise. The Complete Set Now let's take a look at the finished article. Big Ben stands proud and erect in all his slightly phallic glory: This angle shows clearly how effective the half-stud offset is at centering the tower. We like the use of the SNOT grille-tiles for adding the ridged detail which is crucial for adding realism, and the differentiation between the various levels of the building is brought about quite neatly and simply by the use of 1x1 bricks or round bricks at various points. It's highly effective. Now, let's get this out of the way: the major flaw of this set is the clock faces, which stand proud of the tower by two plates, unlike the real clocks which are if anything slightly recessed. This is a product of the designer's decision to make the entire building three studs wide, which is necessary to make the building affordable, keep consistency with the rest of the Landmark Series, and itself makes the build more interesting in places. Moreover, the design of the 2x2 round tile on which the clock sits - with a cross in the centre of the underside, rather than an anti-stud - necessitates the use of the extra 2x2 plate, therefore exacerbating the problem. A possible solution to this would be to build the clock section of the tower in four-studs wide, at a half-stud offset. One day we'll try this. Maybe the designer did, but chose this method in the end. Now that's out of the way, let's continue enjoying the view. Here's the rear: The tower (obviously) looks the same from every angle, but here you get a view of the snippet of the rest of Palace of Westminster. It's 'cut off' from the rest of the building; the blank tiles/bricks indicate where the building would continue: here, and on the left side. Note the 1x1 round plates instead of cones at the rear: this approximates to a real feature of the building, which doesn't have spires on the inward facing parapets. Side views (left and right respectively): The left side features a little dark green, representing a small lawn area in front of the tower where politicians and press gather from time to time. Note again the cut-off where the building would continue to the river edge. The right side faces Parliament Square, where the tower sits flush with the edge of the Palace. Finally, a shot representing the most common view of the tower: Another slight niggle, and again due to the use of the three-wide scale, is that the lower part of the roof doesn't slope particularly gracefully, but the use of round studs is probably the best compromise the designer could achieve. Comparison Now lets compare the set to the real thing. Being rather camera-shy, Pandora and I grabbed an unsuspecting random American tourist to help with these shots. The model is rather small (as is the LEGO set ) making direct comparison difficult. It's approximately 1:350 scale, after all. Still, you can see that the overall impression of the model is pretty accurate, which we think is as good as could be achieved at this scale. Getting both the tower and the model in focus together was nigh-on impossible. This is about the best we could do: The blocky roof isn't so noticeable here; unfortunately, the sticky-outy clock faces are. But the time is uncannily correct. Our contract with the Random American Tourist demanded more than just one picture: He made himself useful, and got us into the London Eye for some aerial views: Well, we'd love a massive Architecture set of the entire Palace of Westminster, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon... ... so here's a shot focused on Big Ben himself, from a similar angle as the last set picture: We should mention here an interesting observation. On the way out of the London Eye is a gift shop filled with souvenirs (many relating to the forthcoming Olympics). This (and many other souvenir shops around the area) would be an ideal place to sell this set - it'll appeal to chance customers who wouldn't normally even consider buying LEGO. The set makes a great souvenir - it is instantly recognisable, despite its flaws, and this market would perhaps be rather more forgiving than the average AFOL. We hope TLG have already thought of this. Conclusion Bus and Grenadier Guard not supplied with set. We were a little disappointed when we saw the preliminary pictures, but having seen the set 'in the flesh', as it were, we think this is actually rather a nice set. Sure, the protruding clock-faces aren't ideal, but they're certainly better than stickers, and the flaw is balanced by the level of detailing which is astonishing for such a small scale. Moreover, if the preliminary prices are correct, this set represents far better value than most of the smaller Architecture sets, and perhaps hints that the line is firmly hitting the mainstream. The Big Ben set, together with its attractive packaging and informative manual, makes a wonderful collectors' item, and indeed potentially a lucrative souvenir piece (if TLG takes our advice on this ). I'm sure they've already thought of this, as the timing of its release with the 2012 Olympics hints. A larger-scale model might allow more detail, solve the clock problem, and enable perhaps a bit of gold decoration on the tower; but would restrict the target market to the die-hard LEGO fans. Perhaps TLG have deliberately decided to accept the smaller scale compromise; we think that, overall, the set is pretty good for the scale. Design 8 Were it not for the clock faces, we'd give this 10. It's remarkably detailed for the scale. Build 9 A pleasing build, sometimes a little repetitive, but with some interesting features along the way. If you follow the manual carefully, it is an enjoyable experience. Parts 7 It's not really a set for rare part hunters, but might appeal as a parts pack if you need tan grille tiles or round bricks. Value 8 We haven't seen the UK price yet, but going by the US and European pricing, this does seem to be better value than many of the smaller Architecture sets. Overall 8/10 Big Ben might not appeal to die-hard sticklers for accuracy, but it's a detailed and recognisable rendition of what is perhaps London's most iconic landmark. We were rather pleasantly surprised. Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed the review. Many thanks to CopMike for making this possible, TLG for allowing us an early look at the set, and Hinckley for being such a good model! Pandora and Rufus. More pictures on flickr.