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LEGO Sanctum Sanctorum modifications

There is no doubt that the recently released #76108 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown is a fantastic set. It includes a substantial building, fun play-features, nice minifigs, and it looks great on display. We have already talked about the set overall in the 2018 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Sets Overview, however I wanted to discuss separately how the structure itself fits together with the LEGO Modular Buildings. 🙂

The main attraction of the set is a 3-level New York City building including the Sanctum Sanctorum, a pizzeria, and Peter Parker’s apartment. The building is colored a pleasing combination of tans and grays, with a black roof, window/door frames, and fire escapes. Both the color-scheme and the architectural details are quite realistic.

The facade of the building looks very similar to the #10243 LEGO Creator Parisian Restaurant; an entry door and couple of windows at the bottom, a central balcony and two tall windows on the second floor, and a high roof that slopes front to back with an attic apartment behind it. Even the roofline is similar, with two chimneys placed at the two ends, although the Sanctum Santorum is smaller overall.

However, instead of having stacked floors like the LEGO Modular Buildings, this structure opens up like a doll-house. This type of layout has a couple of big advantages. The most obvious advantage is that the building can be easily opened up to play inside. This is much easier than having to unstack the floors of the LEGO Modular Buildings. It is also easier for people with big hands to reach inside to rearrange furniture of minifigs.

Another big advantage is that the entire building can be positioned in several different ways. You can open up the building fully to create a wider street-view with basically two buildings next to each other with an open back for play. You can also completely close the building to create one compact and enclosed structure, similar what the LEGO Modular Buildings look like. In this scenario, one leaf of the building becomes the front, and the other the back. And, you can partially open the building to create a corner structure with a 90 degree angle, or even form other angles for unusual street layouts.

In some ways, I like hinged buildings better than the stacked floors of the LEGO Modular Buildings. They both have their plusses and minuses, but in general, hinged buildings offer more options for play and display. Once you build a LEGO Modular Building, it is awkward to reach the lower floors, so, sadly, they mostly remain hidden and forgotten. On the other hand, hinged buildings work better as standalone (or at least loosely connected) structures, as opening and closing them means they need varying amount of space. However, if you permanently keep them open, you can connect them, and have a very nice street layout as well as a fully open back for play.

If you want to incorporate the Sanctum Sanctorum with the LEGO Modular Buildings, you basically have three options. The simplest one is to close the building fully and transfer it to a standard LEGO 16×32 stud baseplate. You would want to remove the hinges on the side, so the sidewall can lay completely flush against the other buildings in the LEGO Modular Building series. And you would probably also want to make the floors stackable. All of this is achievable with minimal effort and extra parts, as demonstrated above by LEGO fan Mabubifarti, who put the Sanctum Santorum between the #10218 LEGO Creator Pet Shop and the #10246 LEGO Creator Detective’s Office

And, if you feel that the Sanctum Sanctorum is a little too small, you can also consider modifying it by making it taller and wider, and adding different decorations to the façade of the building, as demonstrated above by LegoStuff77. Another modification you might consider is to just raise the building a bit by adding a crawl space and some steps below the foundation, similar to the layout of the #10218 LEGO Creator Pet Shop.

The second and the third options for displaying the Sanctum Santorum building with the Modulars involve more significant investment of time and money. You could keep the building completely open, and thus creating a 32-stud long street-view (see picture above by Soundbytes87), or you could fold the building to 90 degrees, and make it a corner structure (see picture below by dpons_). In both cases you would need to build up the back with extra parts, or you could just cheat, and keep the back of the building open. People who look at it from the front would never know. 🙄

As far as the interior, the Sanctum Sanctorum features an entrance hall with an opening door, weapon rack with an axe and sword, and an armchair; library with an exploding wall function, hidden Infinity Stone element and stand, bookshelves, opening chest with 2 daggers inside and weapon rack with a staff and spear; and Doctor Strange’s top-floor office with a decorated Sanctum Sanctorum window, desk, bookshelves and buildable candlestick. Peter Parker’s apartment features an office with a desk and assorted elements including a computer, lamp and boxes, and a bedroom with a trapdoor function, exploding window function, bed and pizza element. The pizzeria features an opening door, exploding window function, pizza oven, buildable shawarma and assorted elements including a pizza, pizza peel and fire extinguisher. And the rooftop features a minifigure-launch function and water tower with winch function to send Iron Spider-Man in and out of battle on a ‘spider web string’.

How you modify the interior is totally up to you, and is not as crucial to the overall look of the building. You can keep most of the play-features, or take them off, and you can completely reorganize or replace what’s inside. But the point is that the #76108 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown is clearly a good match to the LEGO Modular Buildings, as demonstrated by those who have already done it. If you are interested in the set, and inspired by the layout options discussed here, see the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? Have you thought about adding the Sanctum Santorum to the LEGO Modular Buildings? How would you display it and/or modify it? Feel free to share your thoughts and own ideas in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Legostuff71 March 13, 2018, 12:00 PM

    Sure rub it in why don’t you. Lol! I was so close to getting it but, I was a half an hour late when the Lego store opened up. I was lucky I walked out with anything from this wave of Marvel sets. Those locus. Oops ! I mean collectors.

    • admin March 13, 2018, 1:48 PM

      Hm… the set is available online, so I figured it was also back in stock at stores. If your store is still out, you can get it online with free shipping, or have your store deliver it to you for free. 😉

  • Legostuff71 March 13, 2018, 12:58 PM

    The way this set opens up, it’s easier to move and display the mini figures. Whereas, the modular buildings sometimes have that “hard to put the mini figures in ” places ( unless, you have really small fingers to do the job) sadly no. It winds up being a battle between your fingers and the mini figure.

    • admin March 13, 2018, 1:55 PM

      Yes, the Fire Brigade and the Town Hall especially have this problem, as the first story of both buildings are so high. It is hard to reach in there to arrange minifigs without knocking things over.

      Some of the newer Modulars are better in this regard, and they do take into consideration people with bigger hands. But then this also means that some of the walls that should be there are missing. For example, the Brick Bank is missing a wall between the Bank and the Laundromat, and the Detective’s Office is missing walls in the arched walk-thru. This makes the otherwise realistic buildings less believable.

      My solution was to build breakaway walls that only connect with a couple of studs and thus easy to remove, but keep the buildings more realistic.

  • DavidH March 13, 2018, 1:30 PM

    It’s a little small, but a very good looking building. Do you have an example of someone building it up fully to be a modular in an open position?

  • brickmaster March 13, 2018, 1:44 PM

    I think the two-story one looks better next to the older, bigger modulars, but the original one is fine with the newer modulars. In either way, it’s a great set!

  • LEGOJeff March 13, 2018, 2:19 PM

    LEGO should make some smaller Modulars like these on 16 x 32 baseplates. They could be in any other theme, but in the same scale as the Modulars, with the option to add them in easily.

    • Håkan March 13, 2018, 5:41 PM

      Isn’t some of the Creator sets basically smaller modulars?

      Or would you like a size in-between?

      • admin March 14, 2018, 3:23 PM

        Hm… that line that you are thinking about was discontinued. And they were significantly smaller than the Modulars, even though the style was similar. You can to put in some serious money to make them look like actual Modular buildings.

        • Håkan March 15, 2018, 4:20 PM

          Looking up Bricklink, it seems similar houses started to appear in 2011.

          But there are a few 2018 sets listed.


          • admin March 15, 2018, 4:29 PM

            Those new houses are called modular because they are made up of small, interchangeable sections. But they have nothing in common with the Creator Expert Modular Buildings. Not even as much as the previous 3-in-1 Creator sets, that indeed looked like smaller versions of the Modulars. They are pretty interesting in their own right though. You can build some really crazy houses with those small vignettes. 😀

  • TomTom March 13, 2018, 2:23 PM

    Looks surprisingly good next to the Diner. Like David said, it seems to fit better with the newer Modular buildings.

  • Legostuff71 March 13, 2018, 3:32 PM

    Sadly my store isn’t as reliable as that. As for getting on line , that would require a credit card. I don’t own one can’t afford one.

    • admin March 13, 2018, 4:06 PM

      Hm… I see… at most LEGO stores if a set is not in, you can ask a sales associate, and they will order it for you, or put one aside for you and call you when it is in. If you are longer driving distance away, they will even have it shipped to you. It might be worth talking to your store manager to see what your options are. 🙂

  • Legostuff71 March 13, 2018, 4:42 PM

    I been down that path . It doesn’t work ( not at this store anyways).

    • admin March 13, 2018, 5:12 PM

      Hm… that’s strange, but it is true that local managers can make some of their own decisions in regards to policies. Maybe you can just go the old-fashioned way and place a mail order with sending a check? I don’t know if that still works, but LEGO’s customer service should be able to help. Another option would be to team up with someone who has a card, let them order it and send it to you, and you can just reimburse them.

    • Håkan March 13, 2018, 5:42 PM

      I have a debit card, I don’t think it costs much.

      (I recall reading something about debit cards being a worse economic deal, though…)

      • Håkan March 13, 2018, 6:45 PM

        Or, that is, it might cost much if you’d be using it for buying Lego… =P

        • admin March 14, 2018, 3:23 PM

          LOL! Yeah, LEGO is a very bad economic deal! 🙄

  • Legostuff71 March 13, 2018, 6:40 PM

    Hey, theirs always birthday and Christmas.

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