When construction began in Rome in 1732, Trevi fountain's architects and builders could not have remotely fathomed that nearly three hundred years later we would be celebrating it's grandeur with tiny plastic bricks. But celebrating we are, and this new LEGO Architecture set is a fitting tribute.
I had the recent pleasure of building this set during a BrickNerd Live Build, and had a genuinely good time building this in just over two hours. This is only the third Architecture set I've built, but it's my favorite of the three.
Like most of the Architecture series this set is deceptively complex, with a lot of detail packed into a very small space. While it seems simple at first glance, there's a lot going on. Take a look at the roof line, those half stud offsets are accomplished with clever use of 2x2 and 1x2 jumpers. And in the fountain itself the stone structures and water details keep in interesting from all viewing angles.
The horses are an especially iconic detail, and are cleverly (if somewhat fragilely) constructed and connected. The suggestion of baroque details on the face of the building is accomplished with clips, bars and jumpers to great effect. Some of the tricks used are so simple, yet so elegant, like using 1x6 tiles on the face to recess the windows.
If you're into trans light blue tiles is this set for you. There's a ton of them included, and you actually might be a little sick of looking at them by the time you're done building. There's a very interesting effect as you stack them in the fountain, with various shades of blue achieved. The same effect is evident in the windows, with trans blue in the back and trans clear in the front. The result is a faint blue tinge to the windows which is a very pleasing aesthetic.
From the rear you can see the implementation of the trans blue 1x1's in the windows. You can also see not much else, it's just a flat plane. There is a nice roofline on the back done with overlapping tiles. It's a simple detail, but a nice one, and one that most people will miss when viewing it.
The profile is a bit odd, as you can see it's primarily a facade. Obviously the entire structure of the Palazzo Poli couldn't be built at this scale, the set would just be too big. And really the rest of the structure is relatively mundane compared to the fountain. So this strikes a balance of featuring the fountain at a scale that offers more detail, while keeping the set a manageable size.
I really enjoyed building this set, and it's on display in my studio and will be for some time. I'll confess I'm actually not a huge LEGO Architecture fan...well, scratch that, I'm not a fan of the price points on LEGO Architecture sets. There's been several sets that have piqued my interest, but I've never been able to get past the price. I have to consider the price per part and usability of the parts included at a later date when I select my sets. And while the packaging, instructions and design are a notch above in these sets, I don't tend to keep anything but the bricks in the long run, so I have to pass on them.
Overall, I'm impressed with the set. While it may be a little on the expensive side at $50 US, that's only about .06 a part which is a pretty good average (yes, they're mostly really small parts, but it's just an average). There are some rare and exclusive parts in it including the clear 1x1 tiles, a white classic shield and the unprinted white microfigs. And the rest of the parts are a pretty good assortment.
I'll give it 4 out of 5 Nerdlys