Review: 21030 United States Capital Building

The United States Capital Building (21030) is one of the larger Architecture sets, so I thought I would see how it would stack up as a parts pack for a modular building.

First of all a big thank you to the AFOL Relations & Programs team (AR&P) of The LEGO Group for providing me with a copy of the set.
Opinions provided in this review solely reflect my views.  Similarly, the images presented are mine and were not directed by TLG in any fashion.

This review is done from the perspective of how far the set will take you as a parts pack for a modular building.*

But first a quick look at the box:

        

The set has just over a 1,000 pieces and the building is somewhat bigger than I had expected.  As shown on the back of the box, it is almost 45 cm long!

Opening the flip top box reveals some loose plates, a brick separator (because we all need  more of those) and nine un-numbered parts bags (or 10 bags, if you count the inner baggie hiding inside one of the bigger bags):

The first thing I noticed was the bag full of White 1×1 headlight bricks, which are great for adding detail to building facades and for building kitchen drawers. There are 178 of these headlight bricks in the set according to the parts list in the instruction booklet.

The bags are not numbered, so I spent a little bit of time sorting.  If this was a smaller set with un-numbered bags, I would just dump them all out in a big pile on the table.  For 1,000+ pieces though, a little bit of sorting time is worth it.

Let’s take a closer look, starting with White pieces:

It is probably not surprising that I got quite excited when I saw the White telescopes, which are new in this colour in 2016.  These are great for adding details on the inside (e.g. stairs, table lamp posts, table legs) and the outside (balconies) of buildings.

The other things that caught my attention where the White statuettes, which are new in this colour, but not unique to this set.  You can also find them in the Venice (21026) set.

And some more White pieces (plus one Light Bluish Grey round plate, which snuck in while I wasn’t watching):

There are quite a few White spindled fences! I was surprised to find eight of the White quarter round spindle fences, as only four are obvious from the outside of the building.  The other four are hiding inside the building.  These are the new style of round spindled fences with three studs on top (rather than two studs).

The set contains quite a few flat tiles in White, Light Bluish Grey, Dark Bluish Grey and Black.  There is actually quite a good mix of sizes, which comes in handy for finishing the tops of walls.

I had thought it a bit of shame there weren’t any 2×2 Dark Bluish Grey tiles, rather than the 2x4s, since the former are useful for pavement.  However, not all pavements need to be the standard 2×2 grid pattern, as shown by Alex54.

There is also a really good selection of plates, including six 8×16, six 6×8 and two 8×8 plates in Dark Bluish Grey.  This is more than enough to create the floors for a multi-level modular building.

    

To give you an idea of how far those plates will take you, the base of the US Capital Building is built using these plates and it is 18×56 studs.  That is big.

There are quite a few Sand Green tiles and slopes in this set, as well as two Sand Green 6×6 inverted dishes, which are unique to this set:

There is not much of the other colours, but it is worth noting the:

  • 1×3 Olive Green tiles, which weren’t that widely available before
  • Dark Bluish Grey statuettes, which are unique to this set.

Another look at what all those parts build:

And what is left over after you’ve finished building:

The wedding cake dome comes off easily to reveal the internal rotunda with statues of the former presidents:

I was going to say that it is a shame that some of the more interesting parts (spindled fences and statuettes) are hiding inside the building.  However, you could actually take those out and no-one would be any the wiser as long as you displayed it where it was only seen from the front.

One last look at the set as whole:

Overall, this set won’t give you enough parts in itself to building a modular building, especially given that it is lacking doors and windows and doesn’t have that many 1xX bricks.  However, there are a lot of useful pieces if you do feel the need to dismantled it rather than displaying it.

Head over to the Flickr album to see all the images in higher resolution, as well as those that didn’t make it into this review.

Thank you for reading my review!  C&C welcome, as always.

* If you’re looking for a step-by-step review of this set, I suggest you check out the one by Bob de Quatre on Eurobricks.

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