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LEGO City Arctic sets review – Part Three

by admin on November 7, 2018

in Reviews & Comparisons

(Written by Geneva – gid617)

In the last part of my review of the LEGO City Arctic sets (see LEGO City Arctic Sets Review – Part Two) I mentioned that the explorers needed somewhere where they could take a break from their exploration and get a bite to eat, a nap, maybe a game of Uno, or what have you.  Because building a 130×66 stud diorama wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to see if I could create a base camp for the Arctic team, using only pieces from the six 2018 LEGO City Arctic sets.  So, once again, welcome to the Arctic! 🙂

My alternate build features a complex with four connected buildings,a crane, a small helicopter, and a little snow mound with a polar bear!  Working with a limited number of pieces was a little complicated, especially since all of the 2018 LEGO City Arctic sets are vehicles, which are not the most suitable to transform into buildings.  Still, as you will see, there were plenty of bricks for a decent size base.

I started with wheel parts (without the tires) on the bottom. I don’t have any great experience with Arctic bases, but it seemed logical that the buildings wouldn’t sit directly on the snow. The wheels were an easy way to boost the complex, and between all the sets, there are more than enough wheels!

The #60193 LEGO City Arctic Air Transport included lots of A-shaped plates in orange.  This meant that rooms could be attached at 45-degree angles, giving some visual interest to the creation.

Around back, I left some rooms open and some not. This was mostly determined by piece constraints.  The long building has a conveyor belt inside (had to get the treads used up somehow!) with gadgets and gizmos behind for an analysis of the smaller animals discovered.  Next over, the small room has a very small bed.  The third building is for eating, while the largest has screens downstairs and a control tower area upstairs.  (Levitation is the preferred method for reaching the second floor, as it is in many LEGO buildings.)  This complex was what I spent most of my time on, trying out lots of different combinations in order to maximize the parts available.

Besides the complex of buildings, I also constructed a small helicopter, since that seemed to be the best way to use the pre-fabricated plane windshields.  One of my brothers suggested turning the longer one upside down and then connecting both.  This made for a very compact helicopter, and also some complicated upside-down work.

Given the huge crane from the largest LEGO City Arctic set, the #60195 LEGO City Arctic Mobile Exploration Base, I knew I had to build a crane of some sort for the base.  This crane is pretty simple as it just lifts up and down and then relies on the rotation of the engine on the tire for moving left or right.  However, in order to take advantage of orange tiles that would otherwise probably have been leftovers, I had recourse to sideways building for the walls.

Last but not least, the white and transparent-light-blue slopes from the snowy side builds of the original sets came in handy for creating a polar bear habitat.  Now the bear has a retreat when the Arctic team’s saws start to make too much noise!

I hope my LEGO City Arctic alternate builds give you inspiration and ideas to rebuild or expand some of the LEGO sets you own! Even if you have a larger collection, forcing yourself to stick with a smaller parts selection provides special challenges that can help you improve as a builder.  Plus, it makes you realize that it’s not about the pieces, it’s about how you look at them!  If you’d like to see more of the LEGO City Arctic sets, you can check them out at the LEGO City section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? Do you have any of the LEGO City Arctic sets? Have you tried building alternate models with them?  What was your experience? Are there any other LEGO sets or themes that you used for building your own creations? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Legostuff14 November 7, 2018 at 12:17 PM

I’ve just finished putting the arctic supply plane together . It goes great with my older arctic theme I have. I also made a landing area for my plane and my arctic helicopter. I basically used a gray base plate and put dark green light studs to make the landing spot. For the arctic mountains or caves , well it’s more of an open faced cave to make it an easy access for me to move my mini figures in place. Plus I added a Yeti from an old set that was back in the 90’s. ( I think it was from the adventure them with Johnny Thunder)?

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Oldtimer November 7, 2018 at 4:12 PM

I remember that Yeti! There were several of those creatures, including jungle idols and Yeti. They were great sets!

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gid617 November 7, 2018 at 6:56 PM

Sounds like a lot of fun, especially the Yeti! 😉

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Håkan November 7, 2018 at 2:34 PM

Seeing this base made me think of the crime thriller movie “Whiteout” from a few years back.

(It was based on a graphic novel, which I should have somewhere, but haven’t gotten around to read, yet…)

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gid617 November 7, 2018 at 7:06 PM

Hmm… not familiar with the movie or the graphic novel, but this isn’t the first time my builds have reminded others of something I’ve never heard of. 😛 It’s fun to hear about! 😀

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Håkan November 7, 2018 at 8:54 PM

The film received rather poor reviews, I read, but I still found it pretty entertaining…

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sammy November 7, 2018 at 2:56 PM

This is super cool. I love the wheels used as support for the whole structure, and that the buildings are in a semicircle. It all looks very believable as an arctic base. Good job!

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gid617 November 7, 2018 at 6:58 PM

Thanks! 🙂 Angling the buildings with respect to each other was so much fun, something I’m definitely going to have to repeat in the future!

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TomTom November 7, 2018 at 3:46 PM

This is very cool. How many pieces do you have left over?

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gid617 November 7, 2018 at 7:00 PM

Actually quite a few, maybe 500-1000, or possibly a few more. Kind of a mixed bag though – I had lots of wheels left over, quite a few technic pieces, and then some dark blue and orange odds and ends. I’m sure I could have kept on building with them, but I wanted to keep my base cohesive and set-sized.

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LEGOJeff November 7, 2018 at 3:54 PM

This is awesome, but I want you to rebuild the sets into a SPACESHIP! SPACESHIP! SPACESHIP! 😀

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kingcobra November 7, 2018 at 4:09 PM

Ha-ha! I would like to see that too! Spaceship vs. alien polar bears! 😀

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gid617 November 7, 2018 at 7:03 PM

Or vs. the mammoth and saber tooth tigers back from extinction? 😛

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gid617 November 7, 2018 at 7:01 PM

😀 It’s funny you should mention that, because orange spaceship was one of my first thoughts at seeing all the orange in this line! But I felt that a base would make more sense given the Arctic theme. 😉

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brickmaster November 7, 2018 at 5:22 PM

I like the greebling on the side of the tallest building. Well done!

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gid617 November 7, 2018 at 7:04 PM

Thanks! Truth be told, that was a result of a scarcity of orange bricks by the time I reached that point, but sometimes creative solutions end up looking better than the obvious approach that I would have taken if my bricks weren’t limited!

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Martin November 7, 2018 at 9:29 PM

This is so cool. Besides what others said, I also like that from the inside of the C shape, the buildings are accessible. That adds lots of playability. I never knew what to do with those A shaped plates because of the odd angle, but this gives me some ideas. I like how you doubled them up.

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gid617 November 9, 2018 at 9:22 AM

Thanks! It was important to me to get some playability into this creation and, of course, not building back walls saves on parts too. 😉 The A shaped plates can do some neat things, I used one as the base for a microscale mountain once too:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gid617/39606305040/in/photostream

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admin November 10, 2018 at 9:01 PM

That’s a really sweet little micro-build! 😀

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