27 October 2020

LEGO® Architecture review & MOCs: 21054 The White House

We have not one but two authors today: Miller Keys (@miller.keys) and Kaitlyn Lee (@ktlynl_) who, you will be charmed to learn, became a couple after meeting as rival contestants on LEGO® Masters Australia. We sent them 21054 The White House for review with the additional challenge of creating alternate builds from this 1483-piece set, which retails for £89.99/ US$99.99/ 97.47€. If you're buying this set, consider using our affiliate links: USA LEGO Shop, USA Amazon, UK LEGO Shop, UK Amazon. New Elementary earn from qualifying purchases. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.

LEGO® Architecture debuted onto the LEGO scene in 2008. Since then over 50 sets have been released, with two of those being models of The White House. The first – 21006 – in 2010, and more recently 21054 in 2020 which we are exploring today.

Compared to its 2010 predecessor, 21054 White House extends the model further from just the Executive Residence or “Residence Villa” out into both the East and West Wings. Additionally, the 2020 version is a little smaller in scale, and interestingly it uses a different side of the building as the front of the model. The newer version utilizes more advanced building techniques than those in the original set, which we will look deeper into in a moment. 

Parts in 21054 White House

The White House does not come with a variety of new elements. However, it does come with a couple of recolours and surprising quantities of more common pieces. This may draw people towards the set who want large numbers of simple elements.

New colours


Plate Special 1 x 2 Rounded with 2 Open Studs in Dark Green/Green (6210271 | 35480) has since appeared in 2 more sets. This element is used to create microscale hedges alongside Tile 1 x 1 Half Circle in Green (6250600 | 35399).

Brick Special Arch 2 x 2 Corner in White (6300101 | 38585), originally released in Brick Yellow/ Tan in 71043 Hogwarts Castle. Unfortunately, the set only comes with two of this element. It is used alongside Brick Special Arch 1 x 2 Jumper in White (6278396 | 38583). It would have been great to have an additional two so that we could have at least made a square with it.


Also new for 2020 but appearing in 8 other sets is Plant, Flower 1 x 1 in Light Purple/Bright Pink (6212501 | 24866).

Printed Elements


Tile 1 x 8 with White House print in Black (6304835 | 68398). This is very similar to the Tile 1 x 8 with “The White House” print in Black (94031 | 4162) used in the original White House set; the only difference is the removal of “The” in the title. 


Tile 1 x 2 with US Flag print in White (6304837 | 68399). This is a lovely addition, especially compared to the Plate Special 1 x 1 with Clip Horizontal in White (601901 | 6019) used in the 2010 set.

A few other elements of interest, not because they are new in any sense but due to the sheer number included, are:

  • 96 x Plant, Flower 1 x 1 in Green (6135287 | 24866). 
  • 96 x Plate 1 x 1 in Transparent Brown/Trans-Black (6252039 | 28554).
  • 102 x Plate 1 x 2 in Trans-Black (6240219 | 28653). 
  • 10 x Panel 2 x 2 x 1 Corner in White (6181753 | 31959). A nice quantity of this element found in no other sets other than the exclusive 21037 LEGO House.
  • 64 x Plate Special 1 x 2 with Door Rail in White (4249563 | 32028).

Most of these large quantities of pieces are used for repetitive elements of the building such as windows and foliage.

Building the LEGO White House set

The build of this set is fairly straightforward with a few interesting techniques. It includes five bags altogether, split into three sections.

The first three bags are dedicated to the main central section of the White House – the Residence Villa. There are some interesting techniques used here, especially involving the 5:2 rule in LEGO System. All of the windows are 1 x 2 Trans-Black plates built on their side and connected via a Brick Special 1 x 1 x 1 2/3 with Studs on 1 Side in White (6218841 | 32952). This is a heavily used technique throughout the model which does end up becoming quite repetitive and time consuming. 


One technique we did enjoy was the use of upside down white 1 x 1 bricks as chimney stacks.

Bag 4 covers the East Wing of the building, though the instructions describe the West Wing. We enjoyed reading different facts about each section of the building in the instructions, even if they were in the wrong order. This error has been fixed in later production runs. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in terms of interesting techniques which weren’t already used in the first three bags.

Bag 5 covers the West Wing. There are some fun techniques in this Wing, such as the SNOT built Oval Office in the front, as well as the use of Plate Special 1 x 2 [Side Handle Closed Ends] in White (4222017 | 48336) as Roman-style columns along the corridor to the Residence Villa. 

Miller and Kaitlyn's MOCs using set 21054

Our first set of alternate builds are of modern, microscale residential buildings. For anyone planning on building a house out of LEGO or proper materials, this is a great way of translating thumbnail sketches into a 3D form to get an idea of what it could look like. 

We wanted to see how many we could make out of the set’s parts without reusing any, while making each unique. Working at such a small scale was beneficial because there is only so much detail you are able to go into. Instead, we were able to focus on designing elegant silhouettes.  






Some parts that were fun and a challenge to use in these builds were the 3 x 3 plates (due to their odd nature), and Slope 45° 1 x 1 x 2/3 Quadruple Convex in Transparent/ Trans-Clear (6252962 | 35343). 

For the second alternate build, we decided to do a pool scene as many of the elements in the set lent themselves to that quite easily.

We felt it was important to use as many of the trans-black elements as possible as they are such a prominent part of the set. On another hand, the arch pieces already look very much like diving stands so that was a no-brainer. Finally, Kaitlyn added the lane ropes using the green rounded 1 x 2 plates. As you can see for this build, we added some extra elements to bring it to life in the form of minifigures and accessories.

Conclusion


Even though The White House build was quite repetitive in many aspects, it was still enjoyable to complete thanks to the SNOT techniques laced throughout. Despite not containing many new elements, we believe this set is worthwhile for those looking for large quantities of simple white and trans-black pieces.



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3 comments:

  1. Hmm, at first I thought the flag was a 2x4 tile, and figured a 2x3 tile would have more natural proportions, but then, considering the size, I guess this was the best that could be done. Still a useful piece.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The US flag has a weird ratio of 10:19, but it’s much closer to 1:2 than 2:3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The US flag, if manufactured for or by the US government*, has a hoist:fly ratio of 10:19. If it's made by the public for the public, it's not subject to that executive order. Common ratios used for consumer flags are 2:3, 5:8, and 3:5.

      *Ironically, if you buy flags from your Representative or Senators after they've been flown from the US Capitol, they're usually sold in the common public ratios rather than "G-spec" 10:19.

      Delete

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