21044 Paris is one of two Skylines that have just been released and is perhaps the least interesting of the pair given that many of the structures in it have been the subject of Architecture sets already, albeit at larger scales.
Nevertheless, it's an attractive model and worthy of a closer look.
Box and contents
Parts are packed in numbered bags which, until this year, was not the case for Architecture sets. Even for relatively small sets like this it makes building so much easier.
As usual, the manual provides information about the buildings as well as the instructions.
The 36-wide base is constructed from three layers of plates and tiles, and accounts for the lion's share of the plastic in the box.
Construction begins with the Grand Palais in the centre, then the Champs Elysees to the left, followed by the Tour Montparnasse -- once the tallest skyscraper in France -- behind.
The Louvre museum and Arc De Triomphe complete the low-level buildings. Each one is a miniature masterpiece, as you'll see in more detail below.
Last, but certainly not least, attention turns to the Eiffel Tower. Creating the distinctive steel arches at the base of the structure has always been challenging in LEGO and this version takes a very novel and new approach of utilising four printed 'speed racer' windshields.
I'm not entirely convinced with the finished look but you have to give the designers credit for thinking outside the box!
The remainder of the tower is constructed using plate hinges clad with 1x12 grille tiles. Overall is stands about 21 cm tall.
What do you think?
I don't believe it is normal for the Tricolore to be flying from the mast at the top but it looks great nevertheless,.
Here it is standing next to 2014's 21019 The Eiffel Tower, which stands about 30cm tall. Other than the arches it's pretty much just a scaled-down version.
The completed model
Once the tower has been clipped to the base the skyline is complete.
The way the Grand Palace has been constructed is particularly impressive, making good use of the new 1/4 circle tiles, telescopes for pillars, and a transparent R2-unit head for the dome.
Much of the Louvre is built on its side, with transparent plates used for the vertical windows. The Pyramid Ridged Tile 1X1X2/3 in transparent clear at the top of the pyramid is new in this set.
The buildings of the Champs Elysees have made good use of the 1x1 plate with square printed on the side, that first appeared in 70620 NINJAGO City, for the windows.
As usual, the back is not display-worthy!
It's a very competent rendition of the City of Lights, and all of the structures, with the possible exception of the skyscraper, are immediately recognisable. Parts have been used in unusual ways using sophisticated techniques to form their details at a small scale. There's a good balance of building heights and styles and the overall appearance is attractive.
Yet, I don't really find it very exciting. It's probably because three of the buildings have already been rendered in Architecture sets and it seems just like yesterday that I last built an Eiffel Tower (although it was in fact 5 years ago!)
There are many Skylines I would buy before this one (21043 San Francisco in particular) but if you love the city (and who doesn't...) or have collected them all, you'll want to add it to your collection.
Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.