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ᴘʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ: #21045 Trafalgar Square

A photo of the upcoming set was released on Facebook in conjunction with a signing event on April 27.

Now that we have an official photo of the latest addition to the LEGO Architecture series, we can explore what the set has to offer. This is the first of two sets slated for a summer release. (Learn about the upcoming #21046 Empire State Building in our earlier article.)

#21045 Trafalgar Square

#21045 Trafalgar Square

Initial Impressions:

My immediate reaction was not entirely positive. I’m worried that the landscaping, fountains, and Nelsons Column distract from the front facade of the National Gallery. I also noticed strong similarities to the recently discontinued #21029 Buckingham Palace set which also places the building behind a fountain, fence and landscaping.

On closer look, there are some clever building techniques being employed which I look forward to building first hand. I have never seen the half-plate staircase technique used in an official set (it typically uses 1×2 or 1×4 panels in a SNOT configuration.) It looks like 1×2 Technic bricks are used for the front steps, allowing 3L Bar to be used for the columns.

The main building is constructed using the same SNOT techniques used for the Buckingham Palace set. I can’t quite tell what part is being used to achieve a ½ plate lip between the first and second story of the building, but look forward to finding out. I’m curious to see how they approached the sloping driveway which integrates nicely with the rest of the set.

LEGO Architecture pioneer Arthur Gugick’s legacy

Arthur Gugick was killed in a car accident on March 30. He was an early pioneer of intricate fan-made LEGO Architecture creations.

I first learned about his work when I discovered his beautiful re-creation of St Basil’s Cathedral while researching my book. He also built models of Mont-Saint-Michel, the Taj Mahal, and other landmarks.

Arthur Gugick (1960-2019), with his model of St Basil's Cathedral.

Arthur Gugick (1960-2019), with his model of St Basil’s Cathedral.

In addition to LEGO Architecture creations, Arthur made numerous LEGO mosaics, often using printed tiles instead of the more common colored plates or tiles.

The following links highlight his life and legacy:

Summer 2019 LEGO Architecture sets

The summer lineup will include two additions to LEGO Architecture Landmark series.

April 11, 2019: A photo of the upcoming #21045 Trafalgar Square set has been released. Be sure to check it out!

LEGO typically announces their Summer 2019 lineup at the Toy Fair event in Nuremberg, Germany. In last week’s event, they announced two additions to the LEGO Architecture series.

New Sets:

  • #21045 Trafalgar Square, €79.99
  • #21046 Empire State Building, €99.99
Both the 2009 and 2016 versions of the Empire State Building are around 15 cm (6") tall.

Both the 2009 and 2016 versions of the Empire State Building are around 15 cm (6″) tall.

This marks the third time that the Empire State Building will be featured in the Architecture series, having already appeared in #21002 Empire State Building, and as one of the buildings in #21028 New York City. The new version is described as between 30 and 40cm (over 1 foot) tall, which is significantly larger than either of the earlier versions.

ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ: #40341 Sea Accessories

Last year, LEGO introduced the ‘xtra’ branding for small bags of accessories to add to your LEGO creations. The latest addition to the series has a nautical theme.

The set focuses on items you would find at sea or under the sea, rather than at the beach. It’s perfect for an undersea treasure hunt adventure! The set features four animals: a parrot, a shark, a fish, and a seashell which you can put a 1×1 round plate inside. You also get some nice minifigure accessories including a surfboard, flippers, oar, and harpoon. Lastly, you get two containers: a barrel, and a chest with lid.

#40341 Xtra Sea Accessories

#40341 Xtra Sea Accessories

The set was released on January 1st. It only advertises 24 pieces, and costs $3.99 (£3.99 / 3.99 €). That would have been a price-per-part of $0.16, but the bag contained an extra 8 pieces. That’s enough to build a second harpoon, and a more reasonable $0.12 per part; not too bad for an accessory pack which includes a few rare parts which have only been available in a couple sets.

I did notice that the Parrot (Part 27062 / Element 6178520) is multi-colored, with a unique mix of blue and yellow plastic. The parrot I received had a lot of of yellow, which I didn’t find appealing, because I know that in real life that the blue and yellow macaw (on which this bird is presumably modelled) has a consistent coloring with blue wings and back. (Because the bag is clear, you might be able to look for the perfect parrot in the store before purchasing the set.)

Compared with other LEGO sets, #40341 Sea Accessories deserves a “Good” (3/5 star) rating. It might be exactly what you need for your next LEGO creation.
The LEGO Group provided this set for the purposes of this review. The opinions in this article are strictly my own—providing sets for review does not guarantee a positive review. Photos by Christine Coste. Visit the About page for more info about our journalistic standards and affiliate programs.