Saturday, 27 March 2010

Imperial Flagship 10210

I spent most of yesterday building this - sat in the middle of the living room with Lego bricks scattered everywhere around me (click pictures to enlarge).

10210 Imperial Flagship
Sheer joy!

I don't usually go a bundle on boats or ships but this model caught my eye. I think it's the sheer level of detail rendered upon every facet and angle. Plus I was a bit of a Hornblower fan...

The build was pretty fiddly. Aside from the base plates that make up the hull the rest of the pieces were small. This obviously aids the level of detail that can be accomplished but makes for a lengthy build. However, as this is all part of the enjoyment who's complaining?


10210 Imperial Flagship

10210 Imperial Flagship

10210 Imperial Flagship

10210 Imperial Flagship

10210 Imperial Flagship

10210 Imperial Flagship
As you can, as always with Lego, the model contains a detailed interior. The cargo hatches on the deck open up as do all the doors, windows and gun hatches plus the deck can be completely removed to gain access to the hold. The ship features a galley kitchen and a brig with a few nefarious pirates all chained up ready for the journey back to Port Royal and a last dance courtesy of the hangman's rope. The captain's cabin features a spyglass, a map desk and - surely a nod to Pirates of the Caribbean - an organ. Davey Jones must be spitting into his clam chowder. Marvellous.

The problem now is where to put it. I may have to invest in yet another shelving unit. For the time being my Space Police models have been consigned to the floor and the Imperial Flagship has taken their place.

When I go into the office now I can almost hear the screaming gulls and smell the salty sea air.

Stand to, Mr Hornblower, French Frigate sighted from the starboard bow!


Thursday, 18 March 2010

A New Flame Has Come

My latest acquisition – and the first of the new 2010 sets – is 10211, The Grand Emporium. I built it yesterday as I had the day off work. It was a very enjoyable build, taking about 4.5 hours to complete. The most time consuming element is locating all the correct pieces and setting out the pavement design. Once that is out of the way the rest of the build goes pretty smoothly. The Grand Emporium is another example of excellent Lego design – realistic enough to appeal to architecture buffs but also inescapable Lego in its aesthetic.

One of the cuter features of this model is the backdoor where the shop assistant’s can sneak out and have a crafty fag during the shop’s quiet periods (because of course it is now illegal to smoke on business premises).

10211 Grand Emporium

The building features three furnished floors, each reached by an escalator which sadly doesn’t move (but that would have been an incredible feat of engineering if they’d managed it), a revolving door which does and a large skylight on the roof which allows you to look down upon all three floors of the model. You will see from the photos (click to enlarge) that the model also features a window cleaner on one of those electronic winch platforms. By coincidence I actually saw one of these for real in Leamington only yesterday. An act of undoubtedly benign synchronicity.

10211 Grand Emporium

10211 Grand Emporium

10211 Grand Emporium

10211 Grand Emporium

10211 Grand Emporium

10211 Grand Emporium

This last photo shows The Grand Emporium placed alongside the other Lego modular buildings that I own. It’s getting to be quite a little town. The minifigures now have somewhere to buy groceries, to dine out, to call for help should there be a fire and to buy clothes and toys. Alas what they don’t have are proper toilet facilities. I can’t see such a model being a big seller for Lego so it may have to be something that I engineer myself. In the meantime – call me sad if you must – I am getting an inordinate amount of joy from just sitting in my office and surveying my extended domain.


Monday, 8 March 2010

Ideal Homes Exhibition

Despite never being into dolls houses as a boy I did build a lot of Lego houses to give my burgeoning collection of minifigures somewhere to rest their weary plastic heads. I think I’ve mentioned before that as a child I had an endless fascination for internal and interior spaces and loved building models that featured these. I’m sure there is probably something Freudian about this fascination but I shall gloss over it here as this is neither the time nor the place...

This love of models with detailed innards has continued into adulthood and after spending weeks idly building houses for my eldest boy – which he’d duly demolish – I thought to myself: look, why not just build one for yourself out of your own Lego?

The model in the photos below is the result (click on each image to download a larger version).

My Lego House

My Lego House

My Lego House

My Lego House


Compared to the official architecturally rich models available to purchase from the Lego Company my own model is somewhat modest in comparison but does fit rather nicely with the older models sold by Lego in the seventies and eighties.

It was important to me that the inner space was easily accessible and so I hinged the back wall so that it opens outwards like a book. This gives the viewer immediate access to the interior which I ensured was as detailed as my humble collection of bricks and parts would allow. As you can see there is a dining table, a computer table and a bedroom with an en suite bathroom. Sadly no stairs exist between the floors but given the minifigure on the bed appears to be an escaped convict that is just as well. I like to think that his female bedroom companion is a therapist of some kind attempting to rehabilitate him back into Lego society... while the minifigures around the dining table downstairs are possibly planning a bank heist.

I have recently completed an inventory of my Lego collection complete with a valuation of each model. This is easy when they are store bought models. It is much more difficult to place a value on models you have built yourself. I had to order some special parts for this model and their value had to be taken into consideration too. All in all, I would place a value on this model of about £60. Sadly I do not have building instructions as I built this freehand without recourse to Lego versions of CAD. Hence it is kept well out of reach of junior demolition experts...