(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 #21304 LEGO Ideas Doctor Who set. You can also check out the previously discussed LEGO techniques found in official LEGO sets at the end of this article. 🙂
Let me begin by saying I am not a fan of Doctor Who. That is not to say that I dislike the show; I have just never watched it. So it seemed rather unlikely for me to have a chance to build this LEGO Ideas set. Turns out, my in-laws are big fans and they had my wife and I not only buy the set for them, but also put it together for them. This I believe gives me a unique view of the set. I have no real vested interest in how good anything looks. I’m also not blinded by a fanatical level of expectations that may be hard to live up to in real life. Put plainly, I feel I can see the set for what it is. Consequently, I cannot talk about the details this set has that may relate to the intellectual property of Doctor Who. With that said, is this a good set? Absolutely, it is an amazing set. The sheer amount of angles that bring about a very unique look is astounding. Plus there were some interesting techniques that make all the shaping possible.
➡ ANGLING WITH LEGO
For the most part, LEGO tends to be rather square in nature. This is partly from a design system built around a lot of right angles. Therefore, it’s a hallmark of a good designer to find ways to introduce various angles in their creations. This set in particular gives us three different examples.
First are the stairs. The ladder gives an obvious tilted angle, but each step goes further and adjusts the angle to be once again flat. This type of build uses similar connection methods in a series in the same direction. The outcome is the ability to take an angle and segment it into smaller angles. This is great in reproducing a series of repetitive angles in a design.
Next we see the rounded console. This bit of magic is all done through a series of pivot connections. Essentially, you have a piece or series of pieces form a perpendicular connection that can rotate around the vertical point. Think of it as an evolution of positioning a flag on a flag pole. However, in this case the flag is replaced with something more complex. Take into consideration the interior angles if you put these structures next to one another and you can literally bend angles.
Finally we have a network of connections in the railing’s posts. In this part of the model we have a structure pre-angled that needs to fit exactly. This is best accomplished be creating a transition with two end connectors, clips in this instance, and a rotating center. The connection points you choose may even offer more flexibility. In this case the clips attaching to the base unit can move up and down allowing you to change the radius of the curved section you want to connect. In other words, if you want to make a bigger railing that is a tad further out, you can use this same set up to attach it.
➡ STACKING WITH LEGO
With all the many shapes that LEGO pieces come in, it is interesting to see what shapes they form when stacked, whether it is right-side up, inverted, bottom to bottom, or even on their side. This is all possible when you use a coring technique. Previously when I talked about coring it was to stress the structural stability that it offers. Stacking is the artistic side of coring.
As long as you have an internal rod or bar, you can play with the wide array of pieces that can utilize an axle or bar through their centers. The idea is that you are sculpting a shape rather than building one. In building you need to figure out the connections that would work best. In stacking you know that each part is skewered by the core. Examine the center column of the console in this set to get an appreciation for the possibilities that exist.
➡ APPLYING WHAT YOU LEARN
Since I am not familiar with the characters, I didn’t focus on them even though they look amazing. What captured my attention was the exquisite detail work in the set. Angling is a technique that is primarily focused on adding detail rather than structural support. Depending on the needs of your model, it is a great way to smooth edges, add texture, or create a unique mounting for your models. I recommend starting by augmenting roofs since they often require the least amount of support.
It is safe to say that stacking is another detail oriented technique. Essentially they are decorated pillars, so they tend to be functional as well as pretty. Take a moment to work in an interesting way to mount something and you can combine the two techniques found here in a very remarkable way. Just keep in mind, the limitation of stacking is that there is often very little in the way of horizontal stability. So watch out if you make your stack too tall.
So what do you think? How do you like the #21304 LEGO Doctor Who set? And what do you think of the building techniques used in the set? Did you learn something new that you can incorporate in your own creations? Feel free to share your own experiences and tips, or ask questions in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the other reviews in this series:
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Ideas Winter Toy Shop
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Super Heroes Hulk Buster Smash
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Pirates Treasure Island
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO The Hobbit The Lonely Mountain
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Super Heroes Green Lantern Set
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO UCS Tumbler
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Minecraft The Cave
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Minecraft Ender Dragon
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Santa’s Workshop
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Ideas Exo Suit
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Ideas Research Institute
- Brick Breakdown: Emmet’s Contruct-O-Mech
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Forest Animals
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO King’s Castle
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Cinderella’s Castle
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO MetalBeard’s Sea Cow
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO MetalBeard’s Duel
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Minecraft Sets
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Disney Princess Sets
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Back to the Future DeLorean
- Brick Breakdown: The LEGO Movie Ice Cream Truck
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Parisian Restaurant
- Brick Breakdown: The LEGO Movie Flying Flusher
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO The Hobbit Dol Guldur Battle
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Winter Village Cottage
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Winter Village Market
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Lord of the Rings Council of Elrond
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Castle Dragon Mountain
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Lord of the Rings Pirate Ship Ambush
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Ninjago Golden Dragon
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Superman Black Zero Escape
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Tower of Orthanc
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO City Dump Truck
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Monster Fighters Ghost Train
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Lone Ranger Silver Mine Shootout
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Lone Ranger Constitution Train Chase
- Brick Breakdown: Ninjago Temple of Light
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Lone Ranger Colby City Showdown
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Lone Ranger Comanche Camp
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Lone Ranger Stagecoach
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Star Wars AT-RT
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Arkham Asylum Part 1
- Brick Breakdown: LEGO Arkham Asylum Part 2
- Brick Breakdown: Legends of Chima Polybags