In part one of the review, I estimated that the model would take about 6 hours to build. Having completed it now, that time wasn't too far off: 2.5 hours for the ground floor, and an hour for the first floor, and about another hour for the roof.
It was pointed out in the comments to part 1 that 'Chez Albert' means 'Albert's Place' or 'At Albert's' in English, which makes it rather strange that it's 'Chez' and not 'Albert' that's embedded in the floor of the outside seating area, doesn't it.
Also in the comments, someone asked for a scan of the parts list, which I've now added to flickr.
Right, on with the conclusion of the review...
Bags numbered 3 build the first floor which is a one-bedroom bed-sit complete with fireplace, comfy chair, coffee table, standard lamp, bed -- which is hinged and folds into the wall -- and...
.. a small kitchenette. It's a bit cramped but very cosy, and handy for the centre of Paris, no doubt :-)
The front fascia is attractive and is built using some interesting SNOT techniques.
There's no shortage of details on the back.
Bags #3 also build the terrace seating area. Note the new 2x2 domes used, right way up this time, for hanging flower baskets.
Here's the first floor attached to the ground floor:
Bags numbered 4 build the roof and attic space, which is an artist's studio. I don't think much of the artwork, though...
The detail on the front, using feathers, shells and croissants is stunning
Here it is prior to fixing the roof. Note the fireplace.
The roof is made with alternating 1x3 and 1x4 curved slopes which give it an interesting texture. (The plates on the top are not pressed down fully in this photo, I've just noticed!).
Round the back are skylights to provide the artist with good natural light. The 2x2 curved slopes, above and below them, are new. The front roof panel is fixed once it's been clicked into place, but the rear one is hinged and can be opened to reveal the attic space.
At last, after 4.5 hours of building, the model is complete!
I think I can safely say that this is quite possibly the best LEGO set ever made. Here's why:
- The overall design of the building is interesting and well thought-out. Not only the front, but the back too.
- It features an unprecedented level of detail throughout, not just on the ground floor and not just on the front.
- Unique and clever building techniques which make use of parts in new ways.
- New parts, and old parts in new colours, including 300 in olive green.
- A long build, but not repetitive and I loved every minute.
- No stickers (thanks azbadboy...)
- The finished model is a joy to behold and is practical to display. I know that's the case with all modulars but it certainly isn't for, say, the Sydney Opera House.
That's not to say there isn't room for improvement, although I can't really think of much. The rat could have been dark grey to make it stand out better, and a few of the parts should have been different colours (e.g. the 1x2 brick with 2 studs on one side which is tan in the picture above on the side wall, used to mount a picture inside, should have been olive green) but of course budget will have dictated a few small compromises like that.
I suppose the only real improvement I would have liked to have seen is for the floors of the first floor and attic room to have been tiled to represent floorboards or carpet or something. I guess, though, that that would just add to the cost without significant benefit and, after all, I can always do it myself...
So to summarise, all I need say is that it's a fantastic model! If you like modulars and have others in the series then you'll love it. If you haven't bought any yet, make this one your first.
It'll be available in eight weeks. Start saving!
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