Review - LEGO Architecture United States Capitol Building

I've never been to Washington DC, but it's always been some place I'd like to see someday. Among all the structures in the heart of the US political center the Capitol Building is among the most impressive. It's gleaming white columns, overall size and magnificent dome evoke classic roman architecture, and it stands to this day as a symbol of American democracy. Now LEGO has an Architecture version of this iconic building, and it's a very impressive set. 

Like all of the Architecture series, this is a premium build experience. With a sturdy hinged box, deluxe instruction book with additional information and history of the building and a clean, grown up style. There's no numbered bags, no bright cheery colors, no play features. This is a serious model for serious builders and architecture enthusiasts.

The introduction in the instruction book has a few pages of information about the the US Capitol Building, the men who designed it, it's history and background. There's also little tidbits of information sprinkled through the entire book. The book is otherwise what you'd expect, classic LEGO instructions. They're easy to follow, especially since this a very symmetrical building.

The set is composed of nine bags, the book and six 8x16 plates. For ease of building (and anticipated moving during the process, I made use of an IKEA drawer insert and some plastic tubs to stay organized. Like all architecture sets, there's a lot of small parts in this one. So I thought I'd keep things contained. Speaking of small parts, fans of white 1x1 headlamp bricks are going to love this set, there's no less than 178 of them. Stacking them gets a little redundant while building.

The build was very straight forward, just a logical layering for the most part. There are a couple clever connections along the way. My favorite was on the dome, where a suspended 1x1 round plate and brick are inserted in the tube of the upper plate. This allowed columns to be a circle, despite having no studs on those corners on the rounded plates below.

Once completed the set is impressive. It's got just enough detail to give scale, but not so much it gets "busy". A lot of builds on this scale fail to strike that balance, usually erring on the side to too simple, but this one gets it just about right. At nearly 18" wide it looks impressive on display. A wonderful little surprise is the ability to remove the dome to reveal the statuary hall, with a collection of white and dark gray nano figs (trophy statues). I think each end of the model was a missed opportunity to have a similar removable roof section to reveal something inside. But I'm sure part count would have jumped considerably. As it is the model is completely hollow inside.

Overall I'm very happy with this set. It's a clean design, fun and educational build and looks fantastic. Perhaps one day I'll get to visit it's real-world counterpart in Washington DC, but for now I can admire this fitting tribute to it's majestic neoclassical style. I give it 5 out of 5 Nerdys


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