25 September 2023

LEGO® Icons new moulds review: 10318 Concorde

Posted by Tom Loftus

Jumping straight to the build of this sleek, meter-long aircraft was very tempting, however, LEGO® Icons 10318 Concorde comes with two exclusive new curved pieces and a brand new slope, so a closer look at these amazing elements, with some insight from the LEGO element design team, must come first!

Products in this article were gifted by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own. 
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10318 Concorde
US$199.99/ £169.99/ 199.99€/ AU$299.99
2083 parts
4 September 2023


4x4x2 Canopy - part 103918

Arriving safe and sound in its own little paper pouch, Windscreen Cylinder 4 x 4 x 2 in White with Trans-Black Windows (6440190 | 103918) is a fascinating element. It is very much appreciated whenever special elements with transparency are given extra protection in a box.

It's an element that deserves to be admired from every angle:

The windows are dual-moulded rather than printed, and while dual-moulded canopies aren't unheard of - as fans of LEGO® NINJAGO® well know - the New Elementary team and I were still pleasantly surprised to see this wasn't a simple black print on a new white element.

That approach was considered however, as LEGO Design Master Yoel Mazur explains: 

Yoel Mazur: The new cockpit was developed in close collaboration with Milan Madge [model designer] and Mike Psiaki [supporting Milan]. We went through so many shapes and sizes! Personally, I would have been OK if the element had remained as one material with a graphic print for the dark windows. After a wide exploration, we eventually decided to put in the extra effort and use dual-material [solid colour & transparent] to make the element closer to the real plane’s front.

I've borrowed a chunk from set 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery to compare another canopy approach: fully transparent element with print. With dual-moulding, there's no need for colour matching prints or irksome exposed edges. On the other hand, it does make the Concorde visor a pretty specialised element that would have been a nice shape for a plain windscreen.

As such, I doubt we'll see unique canopies like this become the norm, as most parts are designed with maximum future use in mind - plus it's presumably a costly part to produce. However, for an expensive display set, it's quite a treat to see something like this included.

Just because we might not see it in future sets, doesn't mean it can't be used in our own builds. Step 1 in that endeavour is knowing its  proportions.

Part 103918 has a 4x4 footprint, is 2 bricks tall at its highest point, and is 1 brick tall at the front end.
The New E hive mind is no stranger to hunting for matching curves on new elements, but this time Yoel graciously saved us the trouble:

Yoel: The new cockpit has a back bow that fits the existing 4 x 1 x 2/3 bow [93273 and various others in the family]. The front fits with the LEGO® Speed Champions 3 x 2 wedge bows [left 80177 & right 80178] that I designed a while ago.

Based upon Yoel's insight, I realised the front edge also matches up with Windscreen 2 x 4 Half Dome (81911, introduced last year and pictured above right in transparent). I hope this part comes in an opaque colour soon – ideally white! – as I reckon the combo would make an interesting spaceship nose cone. 

Settling for the LEGO Speed Champions slopes for now, I decided to give a cockpit tablescrap a go anyway. I'm not totally sold on the shape - the fact it gets wider at front feels a bit weird - but I quite like the effect of using the LEGO® Technic panels to cover up the side windows and change the canopy's profile.

So we now know which parts match the curves of the element; how about its angles?

Fellow contributor Thomas Jenkins realised the angle at the apex of the canopy would match a 1x2 grille slope (61409) - or 'cheese graters' as some call them, myself included. 

Finding a match for the side angle took quite some time. Eventually I found a Technic Slope Long 1 x 6 with 3 Holes (28670, pictured above right in yellow) lines up perfectly... once the half plate height difference is accounted for, as you can see from the red and blue pieces.

Expanding upon the latter discovery, here is another cockpit idea for a vehicle intending to evoke the feel of a LEGO Speed Champions set. The Technic slopes are far easier to integrate than the Technic panels, that's for sure! 

I could play around with this awesome part all day, but there is another new mould that demands our attention.

4x4x3 Cone - part 3569

The pointed nose and tail of the Concorde necessitated the new Cone 4 x 4 x 3 with Axle Hole, in White (6433654 | 3569). Two are included and are currently exclusive to the set – though I daresay we're likely to see it used elsewhere. I say that mostly because it's a "does what it says on the tin" kind of element.

Part 3569 has a 4x4 footprint and stands 3 bricks high. Its top surface is 3 modules in diameter, with the four studs aligned on-grid.

The underside is a little more surprising as it's predominantly hollow. The anti-studs are two whole bricks away from the base, which effectively makes this a 2x2x1 round brick with a skirt! There's a good reason for this though, according to Yoel.

Yoel: "The new cone is hollow inside to house some of the mechanisms/functions of the plane. I like the hollow design, as I can imagine the many building opportunities this type of geometry invites. I’d love to see what our fans are going to use these for in other builds!" 

Alongside its family members, we can see it's the largest single-piece cone element - any larger and we enter half-cone territory. There was another cone measuring 4 x 4 x 3 (272) back in the 1970s, but it tapered more steeply to a single module at the top and was only ever used in four sets.

This new cone pairs well with Cone 3 x 3 x 2 (6233, shown above 4th from the left)– a combo that's used twice over on the Concorde.

With its standard proportions, there are plenty of possible combinations with existing elements. Castle turrets or chimney stacks are an obvious way to put them to alternative use. 

The empty space underneath will be good for engine nozzles too. Or perhaps as a section of Saturn V fuselage?– the hollow space is surely big enough house a diddy lunar lander. In short, I don't think it'll be long before Yoel gets his wish!

1x6x1 Slope - part 4569

Brick Sloped 1 x 6 x 1 with 1 x 2 x 1/3 Cutout in Earth Blue/ Dark Blue (6453181 | 4569) is the final new element included in the set. It first appeared in two September LEGO® Star Wars™ sets in White (6463124) and will hopefully be available in many more colours soon.

Much like the cone, the slope fits right into a part family that's been steadily growing for decades. I included the 1x2 grill slope in this line-up as it's commonly used to achieve slight angles in MOCs – something this new part excels at by default. 

It also seems to fit in with the more eclectic slopes introduced recently. Placing it alongside the "DeLorean Wedge", Slope 45 2 x 4 x 1 1/3 Double Tapered (80545, shown above right in light gray) was particularly satisfying since the new slope bares a fairly close resemblance to one of that element's prototypes. At the time, I was bereaved to see that such a cool-looking element was passed upon in favour of the final one. Now we have both - huzzah!

To expand upon an image in Thomas Jenkins' LEGO Speed Champions 76915 Pagani Utopia review, the new slope shares the same angle as Wedge 5 x 2 Left and Right (3504 & 3505). An even closer relative is Slope 10 6 x 8 (4515): the newcomer is essentially a one module-wide version.

That is, with the exception of the underside. 4569 has a 2 module cut-out instead of 1, which is more in-keeping with the LEGO Speed Champions wedge. Note also its "nail rails", which mean it can be offset by a half module without the need of jumper plates - provided you get your studs in the right places.

As alluded to earlier, the new slope is ideal for capturing subtle elevation changes in tight spots. Previously, slight inclines like these would have been achieved through more convoluted means like the above jumble of panels, plates and tiles. 
A new part can never solve all MOCing conundrums though. 

For one thing, the angle is obviously unchangeable at a 1 module height gain after 6 modules. And for another, chaining a few of them together will still require some fancy SNOT-work to overcome the half-plate step.

Nevertheless, I remain very excited to get my hands on a few more of these. The term 'game changer' does come to mind, but I'll refrain from using that phrase with gusto until I'm sure the game has indeed changed!

Closing thoughts

It's always a good sign whenever there's this much to say about a mere three elements. So far set 10318 Concorde is definitely ticking the 'are the parts good?' box. In part 2 I'll see if the set continues to deliver as I examine the recoloured and printed elements, before moving on to the actual build in part 3.

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  1. These are such interesting parts to me. It wasn't until I saw a review of the Concorde that I realized the windscreen was dual-molded—definitely an interesting choice, though not unwelcome! The subtlety of the dual molding is also a testament to how nice the new trans black color is for tinted glass. I'll be curious if this windscreen is reused/recolored anywhere in the future, as it seems generic enough that I could see it working for a Ninjago vehicle or something similarly futuristic.

    The new cone is interesting too. The hollowed shape of it makes it more potentially useful than if it were a solid cone like older ones. The very gradual taper of it is quite distinct as well compared to older cones.

    And the new slope... what a great piece! I'm already hoping to see it in a ton of colors in various themes. Its very basic shape makes it feel like it'd be especially welcome in classic-inspired sets like last year's Galaxy Explorer, where its simple geometry would resemble classic themes but could achieve angles which would've been a challenge to take advantage of in the old days! Also, it looks like it'd pair well using SNOT techniques to match the angle of parts like 6 x 2 or 12 x 3 wedge plates.

  2. The new cone could be good as droopy sleeves or pants, allowing a hand or foot piece to poke out from the underside a bit.