When Tommy asked me to provide a set review, I initially met it with trepidation. Outside of the occasional Star Wars UCS or Ideas set, I don't purchase sets to build the model within. I much prefer to salvage them for the delicious parts within. However, upon completing 21027 I was quite pleased with the experience. (Side Note: Receiving a package direct from Billund was a hell of a treat.)
Opening the box reveals four bags with no numbers. Not a big deal, considering this set only contains 289 pieces. As usual the clamshell box and bound, high quality instruction manual common to the Architecture line make it feel much more special than your typical set - and certainly worth the $29.99 price tag.
There's a few uncommon parts inside the bag, and some printed wall elements unique to this set that will eventually come to represent pieces of the graffiti laden Berlin Wall that still stand today. As mainly a micro builder, there's a lot of other great small parts that I could use within this box - including small handful of sand green tiles & cheese slopes.
The build process itself isn't in any way extraordinary. This set uses fairly standard techniques so from a building perspective it isn't in any way new or challenging. A nice touch, however, is that the instruction booklet adds in some great reference pictures and information on the page where you complete each individual building in the skyline. It really adds a lot to an otherwise average experience.
One interesting technique of note, however, is the way that the Deutsche Bahn Tower is connected to the base and held at the angle required. The tower itself connects to the base using a modified 2x2 tile w/pin. The two 1x1 plates attached to the base perfectly seat the building and prevent it from turning along the pin's axis. A fantastic solution that was a wonderful discovery during the build process.
Ultimately, I was much more pleased with the final product that I expected I would be. The box art and promotional pictures don't do justice to the differences in height between all five buildings. The Berlin TV tower looms high above the rest of the skyline, and really adds to the sense of scale when you see the final model in person. Ultimately, the fact that the build itself isn't anything special knocks a couple points off its review. But the final model more than speaks for itself, and is totally worth the purchase whether you intend to display it at home, or cannibalize it for parts. I give it 4 out of 5 Nerdlys.
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