Sven Franic found some surprising things inside LEGO® Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle. The set has 962 pieces and is now available, for an RRP of £69.99 / US$69.99 / 69.99€.
Another weird and wonderful set has recently emerged from the LEGO® Ideas platform. A team effort from fan designer Jake Sadovich and LEGO model designer Tiago Catarino went through what seems like a tough job: adapting a glass bottle into a feasible construction for a set.
Even though the supply of available Transparent Clear elements is quite vast, they don’t always work in all applications. As soon as an element has more than one parallel plane, it reflects more light which poses a greater challenge in creating visually attractive surfaces than simply using opaque elements for the structure.
I wasn’t determined enough to count and check, but I believe it must be one of the richest sets in polycarbonate elements (transparent and translucent), both in individual quantity and surface size.
Trans-Clear elements in LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle
Panels are some of the largest single-paned elements available in Transparent Clear and their use was paramount in creating the bottle for the set. One panel in particular “Panel 6 x 6 x 9 Corner Convex with Curved Top” (Design ID 6225039|Element ID 6002) played a crucial role in shaping the shoulder of the bottle.
In the official designer video, Tiago mentions that he was able to get the piece reproduced for the set, but I suspect that the piece was planned anyway. The reason being the flat counterpart of that panel (6201906|2572) made a recent resurgence in 70620 Ninjago City and rumour has it that the Ideas theme is a bit hesitant to create new or revive retired elements.
After the set’s adaptation process, the bottle was significantly reduced in size, so the flat panel was not needed and is not included in the set, but how convenient it is to have them both back in production.
I feel the biggest shortcoming of the set is the base of the bottle. Headlight bricks in Transparent Clear are cleverly used to connect all four sides of the body, but, for some reason, two panels are used in the middle of the base which disrupt the consistency of the texture.
The little boat had to be downsized from the initial fan design, not only because the bottle is now smaller, but the boat sits on one of the straight panes of the bottle, while the concept had the boat sitting diagonally which enabled more headroom for the masts. The boat was also stripped of its shrouds, probably because attaching short pieces of string to studs is not considered a legal connection.
Other new parts in LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a BottleDespite its small size, the boat is packed with intricate detail and this is where you will find most of the cool new pieces.
One of the biggest excitements for me was the introduction of Reddish Brown 1x1 plates with a hollow stud (6215659|85861), sometimes called “Apollo studs”. An extremely useful piece, in a fan-favourite colour.
35480) in Brick Yellow[TLG] / Tan[BL] which have recently been discussed in more detail by Simon Liu here on New Elementary.
Another fantastic element recently spotted in other 2018 sets is the Plate, Modified 1 x 1 Rounded with Handle in Warm Gold[TLG] / Pearl Gold[BL] (6212377|26047) and Reddish Brown (6153863|26047).
Considering this element’s versatility, I wish it had evolved through the colour palette at a faster rate, but brown and gold are generous enough contributions for the start of the year.
Another cool new piece found on the little boat is the Wedge, Plate 2 x 2 Cut Corner (6218366|26601) in Reddish Brown. The piece only came out in 2017, and this is already its ninth colour. Unlike most wedge plates, this one is cut at a 45° angle which makes it symmetrical to both sides.
Some other elements which share this angle are the so-called “facet” bricks and tiles, as well as the 2 x 3 Tile, Pentagonal (22385). and the “Minecraft railway wedge plate” (27928).
Let’s have a look at which new elements give the bottle stand its vintage nautical feel. Apart from the obvious compass which I will talk about later, the elements that encompass the compass might be even more intriguing.
Recently here on New Elementary, Sean Mayo and Tyler Clites discussed the new Plate, Modified 4 x 4 with Curved Cutout in Black from the new Nexo Knights sets. These plates now also come in Reddish Brown (6228841|35044), a welcome addition to an expanding array of elements which fit into the 4x4 size curve, such as the relatively new 4x4 curved tile.
Four of these elements put together form a perfect circle, convenient for fitting any 6x6 round element inside or encasing turntables, wheels and other rotating structures. If for whatever reason you wanted to build SNOT arches, this is now possible. Just keep in mind that actual LEGO arches have a different radius.
The set is also one of the earliest contributors to the 2018 return of Bright Bluish Green [TLG] / Dark Turquoise [BL], commonly known as “teal.” The colour is not visible anywhere in the finished model which means the pieces were produced for other sets. I appreciate designers using attractive new colours for filler parts.
87079), six 2x2 round plates (6210400|4032), nine 1x2 plates (6213777|3023) and six 1x1 plates (6213778|3024). All but the tiles have already made an appearance in some of this year’s sets.
Decorated parts in LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a BottleIdeas sets tend to be rich in printed elements, and this is no exception. The boat Leviathan has its name plaque printed on a 2x4 tile (6228904), the 2x2 round tile representing the wax seal on the bottle shows the LEGO designer’s initials (6229021), the 2x2 flag boat sails feature a dragon crest intentionally reminiscent of an old castle theme (6231537), and finally the 6x6 Dish with a printed compass face (6229029).
Because LEGO still can’t print on concave surfaces, the compass dish uses upside-down printing on a Transparent Clear element. A clever trick which was also previously used for the clock tower in 10253 Big Ben.
ConclusionA transparent bottle is an ambitious build considering the medium of LEGO bricks has its limitations, but even with all the compromises, the finished model is an impressive show of potential. The set introduces a fair amount of new parts and colours, but none that play a crucial role in the set’s execution.
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