Saturday, 26 October 2013

The House that Boo built...


It’s been a while since my last post.  Unfortunately life (1) has been getting in the way recently.  With evenings drawing in, any photos I take are under artificial light, which despite some fiddling with a graphic manipulation program, still come out with a rosy hue, when what you want is a nice bright white background.

So at the moment, I try and leave building for the weekend, when there’s still some daylight about.  However, after three or four weekends had gone by without the time to break open a box of bricks, I figured ‘what the hell’ and cleared the dining room table the other night.

I had a couple of Technic sets lined up (2), but at the last minute, had a change of mind.  As mentioned previously, Mrs Boo bought me the Architecture set 21005 Fallingwater as an anniversary present, and after sitting and staring at the box for over a month, I couldn’t wait any more.

Time to start house building!


Lego Architecture 21005 - Fallingwater


The whole set oozes class.  Although it’s still cardboard, there’s something about the box that seems to set it apart from most of the other Lego boxes I’ve had.  I think it helps that you can slice through a single seal and open the box properly, without ripping it to pieces which is what happens with an lot of sets. (3)

And once the box is open, what have we got?  Lots of bags, and a rather lush manual, which is ring bound and stiff backed, rather than the usual flimsy booklet.


A cut above the usual manual



Bags full of predominantly tan coloured parts


And before we move on, that book really is very nice indeed!  Several pages about the original Frank Lloyd Wright designed house in Pennsylvania and some notes from Adam Reed Tucker, the Lego designer who came up with the model.  

Along with the building instructions.
Obviously.

Talking of which, let’s get building!

I tend to separate the parts into bowls before I start, to make it a bit easier to find pieces as I go along.  So I laid out seven bowls.  The first one was filled with small tan coloured parts.
As was the second.
And the third.
And the fourth.
And the fifth.

There’s a lot of tan parts in this set!

There was also a bowl with some green, grey and black bricks, and a good handful of clear pieces.  811 in all.

We kick off with a 16 x 32 grey baseplate, and before too long we have the outline of the walls, and the beginnings of the waterfall that gives the house its name.


From small acorns...


As the walls started to build up, there was an odd set of bricks along the front edge of the house, making me wonder why I’d never noticed that Frank Lloyd Wright had designed a set of small portholes under the bridge...


Portholes?


Turning the page of the manual over, revealed that  rather than FLW having a naval fetish, it was simply the method by which the nameplate was attached.


No.  Not portholes.

Stupid?  Me? (4)

Anyway.  The other thing that was coming along was the water, which looks a bit lumpy up close, but from a distance, works beautifully. 



Water, Lego style


Each page of instructions only added about another six to eight pieces, so it wasn’t the quickest build I’d attempted.  Half an hour later and this is where I’d got to…


Starting to take shape

Another half an hour later and we’d also started a bit of gardening, as some greenery appeared.  At this point, the build was pushed to one side, and work commenced on a completely separate part.  

This.  Took.  Ages.

It was built up almost entirely from small flat plates, an there must have been twenty levels of it if there was one.  And wouldn’t you know, three quarters of the way through, it became apparent that I’d made a mistake.  Fortunately I decided to go back though the book, compare it to what I’d got, and was able to move a section into the correct place, rather than (as I’d first envisaged) have to take the whole thing to pieces and start again.
When the element was complete, I had this…


Doesn't look much like a house to me


This section then attached to the main block, held in place by a single stud!  Not for the last time on this build, I thought to myself, ‘That’s clever!’


May the cleverness of the construction overshadow the pinkness of the background


The remainder of the build consisted of making up each level of the living accomodation separately, and then stacking them together.  Unusually, they don’t clip together at all, they just sit on top of each other, with a plate, or plates on the bottom of each section mirroring the aperture of the section it sits on.

Clever, clever stuff.

The stacked sections then simply slide into a waiting aperture, and Robert is very much your Mother’s brother!


The finished model
(Image courtesy of Brickset.com)


I thoroughly enjoyed this set.  With my Technic, I tend to leave a completed set out for a couple of weeks, then dismantle it, box it up and start on the next one.  With this one, however, I think I’ll try and find a place for it to sit for a while.  It’s the sort of set that you find yourself admiring as you walk past, and finding neat little details, like the balconies, or the stones in the river.

It’s certainly made me want to visit the actual house if I ever get out to that part of the USA. (5)

It doesn’t do anything.  There are no moving parts.  There’s little or no play value.  So from that perspective, it won’t appeal to everyone.  But if you have an interest in architecture, then I’d urge you to try this set.  At approx. £75.00 it’s by no means cheap, but when I compare it to some of the other sets in the Lego Architecture range, which can give ‘an impression’ of the original building, rather than a detailed replica, I think this is well worth saving up for.

Recommended.  




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




(1) Not life at all.  Work.

(2)  42010 & 42011, the Off-Road Racer & Race Car that can be combined to make a dragster.  Watch this space for a monster, three-model review, soon!

(3) Although a bit of care and a sharp knife means you can get the boxes open without too much damage.

(4) Apparently, yes.

(5) You can find details of the house here : Fallingwater