Lego London

My Lego London collection has become quite extensive! The pieces that “belong to me” (even though most of them were group efforts when it came to assembly) are on display around our living room. It makes me happy to see so many iconic London landmarks in Lego in our home! Three of them are Lego Architecture sets: (little) Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the London skyline. We have two large-scale architecture sets, as well: (big) Big Ben and Tower Bridge, which is the first Lego set Ryan and I built for us, and not for the children. I also have London buses in two sizes…a promo set from last year, and the large-scale bus I built this summer (there are also an additional two buses that came with Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace).  For photo purposes, Turkey lent me his Mini Cooper (and the tiny promo set that matches it), and Ryan shared his TARDIS, neither of which are usually in the living room with the others:

As always, I will anxiously await any other London sets that Lego decides to make…except for the modular buildings, they’re my favorite Lego builds!

Lego London Bus

For almost a year, I have been anxiously anticipating the release of the Lego London Bus, so it’s no surprise that I was at our local Lego store when they opened Monday morning, for the early VIP sale. I couldn’t wait to get started with section one of four!

And then my building came to a screeching halt. Steps 1-12 were missing from my instruction book. It took every ounce of patience I had to wait for Lego to get back to me and eventually e-mail me a PDF of the instructions so I could get started!

They were very responsive, and today I got started. It didn’t take long to complete those first twelve steps, but I don’t think I would have been able to figure it out without the step-by-step instructions!

I love Lego instruction books. There’s always something new. I don’t think I’ve seen this tip before, but it was helpful since there were some very similar bricks in the set!

It didn’t take too long to complete the entire first section, which included the first of many stickers, and great details like the driver’s seat, a few passenger seats, and even a fire extinguisher…safety is important, even when dealing with Lego!

On to section two:

This part of the build was very interesting. All of the lower-level seats were installed, and I also added a used ticket box and umbrella holder. The bonnet even opens, and there’s a brick-built engine inside!

The set comes with two sets of vehicle registration plates, one retro and one modern. While I went with the yellow and white retro plates, here’s a look at the more modern black and white version:

The third section of the build included many of the same pieces as the second section:

And this was probably the most tedious part of the build. I had to make another set of passenger seats, for the upper deck of the bus, and it seemed like I would never be done with all of them!

But I did finish eventually, and was able to move on to the last section of the build:

The final step included the completion of the upper deck and the top of the bus, as well as some other external details. I love the banners on the sides of the bus. There are again both retro and modern options, and this time, I have one set of each on display!

The top is even removable, for those rare, sunny London days!

There are tons of tiny details inside, including both a newspaper and soda can that have been left behind, a piece of “gum” under one of the seats, and even stickers that give the appearance of the seats being slightly worn!

It’s just a beautiful set!

We have quite a few Lego London landmarks now…it’s hard to imagine what they might come up with next, but I hope they keep going with the London line!

Lego Big Ben–Night Five

Tonight we finished Lego Big Ben!

We started with section six:

Have I mentioned how much I love the instruction book? Like the Lego Architecture series,  in addition to directions for building, this book contains information about the landmark being built, and I learned a few things along the way!

We’ll just call section six “The Addition of Fancies.” I especially love the tree out front!

Looking good, and even without the clock, it’s totally recognizable!

We weren’t done, though. On to section seven!

We built the clock face:

And “Big Ben,” the largest of the five bells in the tower:

And then we put them together:

And added the top of the tower:

And Queen Elizabeth Tower, housing Big Ben, as well as part of the Palace of Westminster, was complete!

Now we have big Big Ben, and baby Big Ben…I love how the Lego Architecture set looks against the bigger landmark:

And they may not be to scale, but the double-decker bus I built last year looks great with the new set!

Next up is the upcoming larger scale London bus, which I hope to build later this month. We’ll have all the big Lego London landmarks, then…I can’t help but wonder if there’s anything left that they want to build!

Lego Big Ben–Night Four

On to section five of Lego Big Ben! The instructions for today’s portion of the build seemed really short, especially given how many pieces we had out!

We built this:

And then added side panels to make it look like this:

And then we did that whole thing again, which explains why it looked like a shorter building process than it was! We stacked both of the cubes on the existing tower, which is now getting quite tall:

Only two sections left…this build is going much faster than I expected!

Lego Big Ben–Night Three

Tonight we built the fourth section of Lego Big Ben!

This part of the build was different from sections two and three, which made it much less repetitive. I love how the bell tower is coming together, and I also love how the top of the opposite side looks!

Still three sections left to go, but it’s really taking shape!

Lego Big Ben–Night Two

Today we built two sections of Big Ben, which I thought was kind of ironic on the Fourth of July!

We started with the bags labeled “2.”

I love how microfigs are used to represent the statues on the outside of the building. It’s still weird to see sections of bricks turned at an angle, though!

Even with just the first two sections completed, the building was already starting to feel substantial:

We then moved on to section three:

Much of this part of the build was similar to section two. We have already started to work on the mechanism that will turn the clock, though!

Taller, but not looking too different!

There have been parts of the build that have been pretty repetitive, but it’s been a fun set so far…I’m looking forward to seeing what we’ll build next!

Lego Big Ben–Night One

We’ve had the Lego Creator Expert Big Ben in our possession for about a year now, but it’s a huge set, and we haven’t had time to sit down and build it yet. Until today. The bags are labeled 1-7, so we eased in with just the bags labeled “1” tonight, but I think we may double up some of them in the future.

After so many years of making sure all the Lego bricks in any given set were squared up nicely, it felt very wrong to intentionally set some in at an angle:

And then we had to put bricks on top of those that were straight!

It doesn’t look like too much yet, but there are already some nice details:

I can’t wait to see how the next section comes together!

London Skyline

I finally had some time this afternoon to build the Lego Architecture London skyline!

It was a fun little build. The landmarks included are the National Gallery, Nelson’s Column, Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower Bridge (complete with ship), and even the River Thames:

Tower Bridge was the most time-consuming part of the build, because it was the largest element, but the London Eye also took some time, mostly because it involved a rather unusual building technique.

I may not be able to look at the actual London skyline with my own eyes, but at least I can admire it in Lego form!

A Trio of Double-Decker Buses

I didn’t realize it until Ryan pointed it out to me, but I appear to be collecting Lego double-decker buses:


The first one I got came with the Tower Bridge as a kind of micro build, and I thought it was tiny…but I was still impressed by the amount of detail in it, and how immediately identifiable it was. Of course, I didn’t know tiny until I built the even smaller bus that came with Buckingham Palace! And yet, despite the fact that it uses only seven bricks, it’s still also identifiable! My largest bus came as a free-with-purchase, and while it completely dwarfs the other two, it’s still nowhere near minifig scale.

They look pretty cute together!


Now that I have these three displayed in various places around the house, I have to hope that someday, Lego will offer a dedicated double-decker bus set. Maybe minifig scale, or even bigger? But not too much bigger, because there’s no way I’d ever be able to afford a bus set built on the same scale as the Mini Cooper and the VW Beetle that Lego has offered in recent years!