Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lego Creator No. 31010 Tree House Part 5 [Final]

Simple, too simple

Going back to playing with Lego brick set after the review of High Grade 1/144 Genoace Custom. ^^

This will be the assembly of Lego Creator No. 31010 Tree House's second and last alternate model - a farmyard barn. The main model was assembled in early February, while the first alternate model, a lakeside hut was done in early April. ^^

Looking at the different models' images on the back of the box, the barn seems to have the simplest design, and smallest size among the three, so the assembly should be pretty easy. ^^ Will it be as fun as the last two models? We'll see. ^^

Back to square one with the previous model dismantled, and the parts reorganized before starting the (re)assembly. ^^

Knowing that there's no change to the minifigure, it's not taken apart.

First set of parts to build a trolley with vegetables as its content (?).

(Left) With the yellow and light gray pieces, the cart area has a smooth surface.
(Right) With the wheels attached to the bottom of the trolley.

The trolley is done, complete with some content for the cart. ^^
It's bigger than a similar component designated for the main model.

The minifigure can be posed pushing the trolley.

First set of parts to build up the base.

The brown pieces are obviously the lowest frame of the barn. The green pieces are supposed to represent bushes behind the barn I believe. ^^

Adding in parts for what I believe is the vegetable bed on the left hand side of the barn.

Adding in smaller parts to form the pavers, and flower bed on the right hand side of the barn..

The "disorganized" arrangement of the pavers is done exactly according to the manual. ^^

No idea what those railing parts beside the flower bed are for. ^^;

The temporary state of the entire model. ^^

White bricks appearing in the construction for the first time to form the barn's wall. ^^

Adding in more parts to build up the wall, and to form the windows.

Interestingly, the instruction manual depicts the window to be assembled with the clear piece facing inward - the clear part will hinge inward when opened. While that's not a problematic design per se, I prefer having the window hinging outward to make it more visible when it's opened. For that matter, the window piece is assembled the other way around on this model. ^^

The three walls on the ground floor of the barn are done. ^^

Adding in parts for the roof frame.

A small ladder and a red box decorates the first floor.

Parts that were used to form the tree branches in the last two models now form the roof frame.

Adding in an initial set of larger parts to form the barn's roof.

Adding in parts to complete the rest of the roof.

Tiny triangular brown pieces are used for the top row of the roof. Two red pieces are also used, not for any special details, but because the set has ran out of the same part in brown I suppose. XD

Completed the rooftop.

Last set of parts that form a couple of accessories for the barn.

Among the five, the hooked winch and supply bin are the only components that require a bit of assembling to realize.
All the components retain their design and function from the main model, so they are not exactly too exciting to build. ^^;

The telescope, map, and walkie talkie are designated as the red box's content; the hooked winch is fixed to the front edge of the rooftop; the supply bin is stored on the side on the barn.

All done for the farmyard barn's assembly. ^^

A significant number of leftovers from the assembly. ^^;

More images of the completed model:

Closeups on the details:

Interaction between the minifigure and the barn to create different display possibilities: ^^

Posing the minifigure using the hooked winch to retrieve something from the first floor.

There's just enough clearance on the first floor to show the minifigure inside it, but the roof frame is not tall enough to permit the figure to stand near the edge of the floor.
A safety measure for the minifigure? XD

The "don't try this when your parents are not looking" pose. XD

Harvesting some vegetables for the kitchen. ^^

Just for the fun of it, height comparison between the farmyard barn and HGUC Marasai. ^^

Simple, and quite average are my quick comments about this alternate mode. ^^ I like the arrangement of white, brown, and black parts that form the three walls. The brown pieces clearly represent the barn's wooden structure that extends to the roof, while the white parts form the bricks. The clear color distribution gives the entire wall a crisp and beautiful appearance. The placement of the two smaller side windows right between the brown pillars is also very clever in my my opinion. Using the semi arched brown parts to form not any tree limbs, but the roof frame on this model isn't too special in particular, but is still pretty fun to see. ^^

On the flip side, I would also like to append 'uninspiring' to my earlier comment about the model being simple. ^^; There's really nothing new or special about the included features, as all of them are just recycled from the Tree House. ^^; Some of the components may be a bit different in design, for example the bigger trolley, and a shortened hanging ladder, but they work in the same way as their counterparts from the Tree House anyway. Looking at their applications on this model kit alone, the rest of the notable features, including the hooked winch, the small box on the first floor, and the supply bin are all working fine, but looking at them in terms of build experience, something that I value more than the model's completion, they are not interesting at all. ^^;

The excessive number of leftovers after the entire assembly kind of indicates to me that this last alternate model of the set is included just for the sake of having a third model, because leftover parts represent wasted potential. When the number is low, you can say that the parts have been well utilized to realize the most out of them. On the other hand, when the number of leftover pieces is high, there's something not quite right with that model's design. Could it be that a better alternate model would require even more parts that just couldn't be included with the package without affecting the price? Perhaps. On the other hand, the designation that the entire set must consists of all building-type models could be another reason behind the weak design. The part list set for the Tree House is just insufficient for a third unique building. For that reason, a simpler but complete building with a somewhat different environment setting, this farmyard barn is the best offer under said restriction. ^^;

Regardless of whatever the reason may be, which I can just speculate, this third model is a bit disappointing in my opinion. ^^; That's a real shame to me, because all the previous sets from the Creator line that I assembled and reviewed have alternate models that are impressive and interesting in their own rights. Hopefully, the next Creator set for me will be more balanced in the design of all its models. ^^

All reviews on Lego Creator No. 31010 Tree House:
Part 1: The return of Lego
Part 2: Cozy-looking little hut
Part 3: Gimmicks for diorama
Part 4: Fresh pizza from the oven
Part 5 [Final]: Simple, too simple

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Lego Creator No. 31010 Tree House