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Brick Breakdown: LEGO Council of Elrond

by admin on September 19, 2013

in LEGO Hobbit & LOTR

(Written by William)

In this Brick Breakdown series I review official LEGO sets, from the perspective of looking at interesting building techniques we can all learn from. Today we will be looking at the #79006 LEGO Lord of the Rings The Council of Elrond. You can check out the previously discussed LEGO building techniques found in official LEGO sets at the end of this article. 🙂

#79006 LEGO Lord of the Rings Council of Elrond Review

Probably one of the biggest draw of the LEGO Lord of the Rings Council of Elrond set is the two Elven minifigures. Elrond and Arwen are fancy beyond compare, even when matched up with other Lord of the Rings minifigures. However that is not all; the set itself has surprising depth. At first glance there does not look to be a whole lot to it – this impression most likely coming from the set’s very open design. And although The Council of Elrond may not have the same size as equivalently priced sets, many of the elements included are in rare colors or are solidly worked into the set’s design. No matter how you look at it, the value is there, but let’s look at the unique techniques used.

#79006 LEGO Lord of the Rings Council of Elrond Details

LEGO GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE

This technique was actually a surprise to me. Back when I talked about the LEGO Super Heroes Arkham Asylum Breakout set (link at the end of this post), I was expecting to really get into Gothic architecture, however I ended up with a lesson on Romanesque. Now in a much smaller set we actually get Gothic architecture. As the set is quite small it only hints at Gothic architecture, but it does so in a very strong way. We can only imagine what it would be like to build a whole city in this style!

#79006 LEGO Lord of the Rings Council of Elrond Architecture

To get into details, Gothic architecture is represented in three ways in the LEGO Council of Elrond set, all of which are standart elements that classify something as being Gothic. First, there are the pointed arches. The Council of Elrond has two in the front, and they definitely fit the bill. Second, it has a ribbed ceiling. Turn the model around and you see one massive arch that is inside the building. This clearly indicates a ribbed design which matches the style. Finally, there are the flying buttresses. A typical flying buttress is a structure that leans out from the roof. At times these structures contain statuary. This set does have a couple of statues on the roof which could loosely be interpreted as the start of small flying buttresses. The problem is that a flying buttress would more likely appear much higher up on a building and this set doesn’t go that high. However, given the appearance of the statues and how they are placed, it’s reasonable to assume larger instances could be part of an extended design.

All in all, the LEGO Council of Elrond is a nice example of the Gothic style, albeit small. The important thing is that its major characteristics are obviously present and create a distinct, yet familiar look. Plus now we have the pieces needed to experiment with this iconic style of architecture.

USING A THICK LEGO PLATFORM

Over the years LEGO has made numerous sets with platforms. These are often made to look like a dais with something important placed on it. In the LEGO Council of Elrond set this platform contains a fancy table that holds the “Ring of Power”. Many times when a LEGO platform is built, there is a standard thickness used; five plates, or two plates and one brick (same idea). The reason for this measurement is two-fold. The first has to do with having enough space for a mechanism. The second deals with being able to create interesting details.

#79006 LEGO Lord of the Rings Council of Elrond View

Let’s look at the mechanism side of things. Some of the most basic designs require roughly a brick’s worth of space. Since this allows for the stacking of three plates there is more than enough room to give a mechanism rails, stops, handles, etc. This still leaves two plates of space. One of these is typically left for room so nothing catches, and the final plate of space is used to cover up the mechanism. Take the catapult action in this set. The sliding slope with the evil eye is a brick thick and contains a handle and rails. This connects in with a hinge and slope element that is also a brick thick. On top of the hinge is the covering tile which is a plate thick and below is an empty space that is a plate thick to allow the hinge to move. Put it all together and you see how there is just enough space to make everything seamless.

The other reason for the five plate thickness is detailing. In the LEGO Council of Elrond this is demonstrated with an arch, small leaves, and most importantly steps. This particular measurement allows for some high level detail that does not look rushed or off-balancing to the rest of the model.

APPLYING WHAT YOU LEARN

Choosing and using a style of architecture can take a lot of work with LEGO. However, the reward is definitely satisfying. By using these real-life techniques, you manage to give your creation character and depth through its relationship with that architectural time period. Granted, the process can require a higher degree of work on your part, but it will be something that sets you apart as an accomplished designer.

Platforms, on the other hand, are great for not only building up your model, but allows nice opportunities for more specialized uses. It does not matter if you are after a bit more detail or you just need some room to hide a clever action element, platforms make a perfect solution for a relatively simple task.

Shop for LEGO Lord of the Rings Sets

So what do you think? How do you like the LEGO building techniques in the LEGO Lord of the Rings Council of Elrond? How do you like the new arch pieces? Have you experimented with Gothic style building using LEGO? Feel free to share your own experiences, tips or ask questions in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the other reviews in this series:

LEGO Lord of the Rings Collection

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Chi-bacca September 19, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Very nice! 😀
I’ve thought bout getting that set before-any good?

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admin September 19, 2013 at 10:46 AM

It is a gorgeous set! Buy it! 😀

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Meneldur son of Garamar September 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM

I agree. My aunt gave me money on one occasion and that is what I’m looking into purchasing. Have you bought it yet, Admin?

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admin September 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I did, but I havne’t opened it yet. I have been so busy lately, not much time for LEGO. I did build the two Minecraft sets lately, and I have been playing with the latest MBA set when I have time in the evening. Hopefully will get a break sometime soon to build the Elrond set. I love the minifigs and the architecture! 😀

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chi-bacca September 19, 2013 at 11:31 AM

yes it does look awesome 😀
but if I get that award it’ll be something bigger 😉

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ninja of stealth September 19, 2013 at 12:31 PM

it is very nice indeed! cool minifigs and weapons!

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Fingolfin September 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I have this set.. In my opinion it’s one of the best lego sets but that’s also because im a Tolkien fan, and Elrond is one of my favorite characters. So, obviously, I think its worth getting. theres one downside though, Elronds and Arwens hairpieces are rubber.

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Meneldur son of Garamar September 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Hi Fingolfin! I didn’t know that about Elrond and Arwen’s hairpieces! I have the Clone Wars TV version of Yoda. The head is rubber and continually falls off and the paint on the back of the head has scraped off. However, I’m going to get the new Yoda that comes in the 75017. I believe the head is hard plastic. BTW, way to go wounding Morgoth! He deserved it! 😉

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Fikko3107 September 20, 2013 at 4:22 AM

If you think rubbery Yoda heads falls off easily, wait till you get your hands on Exo-Force hair pieces… They were made about 7 years ago, so the rubber casting isn’t as good as it is now. With Elrond’s and Arwen’s, I’d have to guess it’s not too much worse than Tonto or Red, since their hair pieces (along with the aforementioned Elrond and Arwen.) somewhat wraps around the torso. But when it came to Exo-Force hairs…It’s a new class of slipping hairs.

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legostuff71 September 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

I have this set too. I almost thought about getting another one so I can expand it . I know I’ll have double of the mini figs but, It’s always good to have a spare.

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Chi-bacca September 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Or if you get two you can sell the figs on eBay you’ll be suprised how much a collector will pay for the minifigs without the set 😉

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Tom September 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Exactly. I don’t care for the minifigs personally but the unusual foliage pieces are perfect for what I am trying to do moc wise. I’ll likely get 3-4 in sale and sell all the minifigs on ebay for 40-60% of what I paid….

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Fikko3107 September 20, 2013 at 4:24 AM

Tom has a point. I had purchased Lex Luthor’s Power Armor at Hong Kong, without Superman or Wonder Woman, for $10! Half it’s original price! Also Extremis Sea Port battle with no minifigs for $5! A quarter of it’s price!

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Eric September 19, 2013 at 5:15 PM

I’ve been a long-time fan of the design process LEGO uses with these sets – open, airy, really they are all Elvish in nature. This set, as you describe it accomplishes exactly what it should, and I believe, it is the way JRR Tolkien would have wanted it, as well.
This one will be added to my collection, not only for the Minifigs, but everything else as well.

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Will September 19, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Personally I love the building materials and if you don’t mind selling the figs that’s a good way to stock up on some great elements.

My favorite elements are the mid sized half arches. I like the options it gives.

The only thing i find a bit odd with this set is only one fig can truly sit in the chairs. The rest are forced to stand. But all in all, LEGO has put some of their best designers on the Hobbit and LotR sets.

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Tom November 21, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Just got 6 of these on a 3 for 2 offer here in the UK. Delivery due tomorrow can’t wait. Figs will be on ebay and I’ll be building something over Christmas 🙂

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admin November 21, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Tom, let us know what you build! Those are very lovely pieces and the colors are jsut gorgeous! 🙂

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