Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pogo PG8006 X-Men Minifigures

Let's look at another set of mini figures today.  These ones are made by Pogo and were never made by Lego, so technically they are not fakes or knockoffs.  Set PG8006 consists of 8 mini figures.  Some are good and some not so good.   Let's review shall we?

First up:  PG022 Wolverine

I cannot stand the face this used on this Wolverine mini figure. It just looks stupid.  The eyes are too close together.   

I love Wolverine's costume though.  I might pick up a few more of PG022 just to get the outfit and toss the heads away.  I'm hoping they will do one a female version of this costume, so I could put all the X-men together with the same outfits.  It's interesting that Pogo does some back leg printing on this set.

PG023 Rogue, nice touch on the hair colouring.

Rogue also has printing on the back of her legs.

PG024 Quicksilver - this character is based on a comic book version, not the movie version.

Not crazy about Quicksilver's hairpiece.

Here's PG025 Psylocke.  I don't like her face but not sure why.

The Psylocke minifg comes with a pink sword and purple thunderbolt which I chose not to display here.

PG026 Professor Xavier.   My favourite of the bunch.

He comes with a cool wheelchair.

Professor X from behind.

Professor X's wheelchair from behind  ;P .

PG027 Iceman - The derpy eyebrows and facial expression is not working for me.

Iceman backside.

PG028 Archangel.  Love the badass face and side printing on the arms.

Sadly, the chrome wings I got were all scratched to hell.  

PG029 Mystique - The only minifig in this set with two faces.  They should not have made Mystique the lead character in the X-Men: Apocalypse move.  Jennifer Lawrence is over-rated.

Mystique with angry face.  

Mystique rear view.

Thanks for looking!

Brand:  Pogo
Set: PG8006 X-men minifigures
Number of minifgs: 8

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lepin 15003 Town Hall Modular Building Review - Part One

It's time to unpack and build the Lepin Town Hall modular set.  Lepin set 15003 is a knock-off of Lego's Town Hall 10224 set.

The Town Hall is the third modular set I've got from Lepin.  My first was the 15002 Cafe Corner and the second was the 15004 Fire Brigade.  This set is the biggest one of all the modular buildings with 2859 pieces.
The delivered box was heavy and the 52 bags of parts was overflowing from my storage bin.  

I actually count all the bags to make sure I've got a complete set. I've read on the bootleg brick forums about some Lepin sets that are missing pieces, so I'm a bit paranoid about making sure I've got all of them.  I was missing some minor pieces in the Cafe Corner, but luckily the  Fire Brigade build was completed with no problems.  It's best to not mark your Aliexpress transaction as completed until you've verified your Lepin modular set inventory.  That way, you can still raise a dispute with the seller to either get the missing parts or get some credit on your purchase price.  

As with the other Lepin modular reviews, I will follow the instruction manual and build about 10 steps per day, taking pictures of the building progress as I go.  It usually takes between a week to a week and a half for me to complete a modular building.   Here we go!

*   *   *   *   *

Day One

Before I even started to build the Town Hall, I ran into a problem with the instruction manual.  It appears to have been put together incorrectly and some of the pages were cut in half.  

I'll follow the instruction manual until I get to step 48, after which I may have to search for and download the affected steps from the Internet.  As near as I can tell, there are about 10 steps of the build that will be impacted by the incomplete pages.

I wasn't expecting any firearms with the Town Hall set, but found that I had 5 racks of guns in one of the ziplock bags.  I'm pretty sure the Lego version doesn't have them, so this is a Lepin bonus.

You get eight mini figures with the Town Hall building.  Here's all of them posing with their choice of firearms.   Lepin's mini figure hair pieces are different than the actual Lego hair.

Lepin's Town Hall baseplate is also different from Lego.  This set comes with a thicker one piece 32x32 stud base, which I like.  In the Cafe Corner and in the Fire Brigade, Lepin gave you two 16x32 pieces for the bases which made for some instability at the outset of the modular builds.

The above picture shows the progress after the first 10 steps.  The foundation is starting to take shape and the sidewalk has been laid.

I found it odd that there are two small white windows used as support pieces for the first floor.  Once the first floor goes in, you will never see them and I thought what a waste of two good windows.

From my parts bin, I replaced the windows with some black 1x2 bricks.  I also removed the flat white 1x6 and black 1x3 pieces as well, as I don't see them serving any purpose.  I subsequently also replaced the two round fluted bricks under the front steps with just some standard square bricks as I have very few of the fluted bricks.  Ten steps done and probably a hundred more to go, lol.  Day one complete.  More to come!

*   *   *   *   *

Day Two

On Day 2, with the foundation complete, the building of the first floor can continue.

First floor walls and window sills in place.

It's neat how the design includes access to the elevator shaft at the rear of the building.

Some of the office furniture is now in place.

The pedestals are now ready for front columns to be installed.

The podium and it's town hall crest in the general assembly room.

Here's a look at the base of the elevator shaft.

Steps 11 through 20 completed on day two.

*   *   *   *   *

Day Three

Here we are on day 3, and we've got the first floor interior and exterior walls and windows up.

The back door and windows are in place.  What? we already have a giant weed growing!

The administrative office is open for business even before the building is complete.

Steps 21 through 30 now completed after day three.

*   *   *   *   *

Day Four

Today, I installed the front doors, interior doors and more windows on the first floor.

The double front doors are massive.

The administrative office with door and arched windows added.

More pics of the auditorium.

Overhead shot of first floor.

Second row of windows installed at the back of the town hall.

I decided I didn't like the windows looking into the elevator shaft, so I replaced them with a shuttered window instead.

Day four finished.

*   *   *   *   *
That's it for this post.  The Lepin Town Hall build continues in part two.   Thanks for looking!

Update: Part Two of the Lepin Town Hall Building Review can be found here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lepin 15004 Fire Brigade Modular Review - Part 2

I've split the original post of the Lepin 15004 Fire Brigade into two parts as it was getting quite long.
If you've just come here and missed the first part, you can find it here.

*   *   *   *   *

Day Five.

Not much exciting happening on day five.  The roll-up door now has an apron and window above it.

Here's how the front of the building looks from inside.

Huge windows flank the rear entrance.

Second staircase has been added.

Roll-up door still works fine.

The least flattering side of the Fire Brigade fire house.

Day Five and step 50 finished.

*   *   *   *   *

Day Six.

Finally finished the first floor of the Lepin Fire Brigade today, but not without making my first minor mistake.  I inadvertently placed the barn door pegs facing inwards.  When the barn doors didn't fit inside the arched opening, I quickly turned the pegs and now the doors open and close properly.

Here's the completed front facade but without all the detailed accessories, like the helmets and axes.

Put the roof extension in.

Finished the top perimeter bricks, ready to move onto the second floor.

Lamp post and tree added.

Not the shiny gold helmets that you get with the original Lego set.

Looks like Harley Quinn is trying to run off with the flag.

Step 60 and day 6 done.  I like the design so far, and the first floor is so tall.  

*    *    *   *   *

Day Seven.

Construction on the second floor is underway.  

And look, the furniture has arrived.

Construction crew quit early today, so no more progress on the fire brigade after 70 steps and day 7.

*   *   *   *   *

Day Eight

On day eight, most of the Fire Brigade's second floor has been furnished.  Finally, got the wall unit and sofa up the several flights of stairs. Whew.

Here's a good look at the fridge and ping pong table.  I think the fridge is just a bit too large.  Look how tall it is next to the floor to ceiling windows.

Second floor staircase installed.  This will give us access to the rooftop later.

And all the second floor walls are in.   Just waiting for the roof now.   End of Day 7.

*   *   *   *   *

Day Eight.

We're into the home stretch now.  The roof construction is underway so the Lepin Fire Brigade is so close to completion.

The bell tower has a bat hidden inside way up in the rafters, so you can't really see it. Nice touch.

The instruction manual is a bit confusing regarding how to attach the bell to the bellfry.

There's supposed to be a special piece that has a stud on either end, but all I got was a string.

I later found two little pieces that look like locks. I think you're supposed to tie the string to each of those pieces and then clip them to the bell harness.  I got lazy and simply smooshed the string between a 1x1 stud.

Here's a few pics of the completed roof with water barrel attached.

This is the back side view.

Here's the side view with rooftop door access to the second floor.

The completed Lepin Fire Brigade modular!

Here's the Fire Brigade next to the Cafe Corner, both Lepin models.
End of day eight, but we're not finished yet!

*   *   *   *   *

Day Nine.

I deliberately chose to focus on the building the modular building, so I didn't assemble the mini-figures or fire truck until the end.

You get two firemen, one fire woman, a dog and a lady with satchel bag.  There's three silver helmets on the first floor which they wear when they get called out.  The white pants on the lady are really dirty, hopefully I can get the stains off.

The vintage fire truck is a nice little build and something completely different than all the other Lego and non-Lego fire trucks I've seen.  The set comes with two silver hoses but in my set I got one that was shorter than the other.  Luckily it wasn't problematic for the build.

Here's a look at the passenger side.  I wish there was room in the fire truck for the dog.

Front view.

Rear view.

*   *   *   *   *

Final Thoughts.

The Lepin Fire Brigade modular build seem to take longer than the Lepin Cafe Corner.  I wonder if it's because the Fire House is furnished whereas the Cafe Corner is not.   The Cafe Corner was a straight forward build despite the missing/wrong pieces.  While I didn't have any missing pieces on the Fire Brigade, there was that problem with the door rail track not being wide enough to accept the garage door panels.

I ran into a couple of problems during the build because the colours of some of the bricks in the manual caused me some confusion.  Some bricks are brown, some are dark red and some are red.

Here's one of the places where I messed up, it's the base of the cabinet.  I used the dark red bricks instead of brown.

In this spot I used the red bricks instead of dark red bricks.  I only discovered my mistakes when I tried to complete the fire truck and couldn't find the right pieces, but had some brown and dark red 1x2s leftover.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of building the fire house, I think the set could still be improved.  The second floor living space could have used a kitchen table and a TV.  I'm planning on moving the ping pong table up to the roof to make room for the new furniture.

I also think the fridge is way too large.  If our minifigure was six feet tall in real life, the fridge would be almost ten or eleven feet tall.  The top two pics show the fridge as built to the instructions.

I rebuilt the fridge to make it smaller and gave it a top and bottom door.  Now it's only about 8 feet tall, lol.   My 20 year old fridge has the vents on the bottom, so I did the same thing.

Top door open, bottom door closed.

And let's close the top and open the bottom.

What do you think of the new smaller fridge?

Finally, I think that the main floor of the fire house is way too high and a lot of space is wasted.  It's hard to get my hands into the first floor to move things around.  I might, if possible, try to divide the height of the first floor in half, maybe add another mid floor level.  Will have to see how ambitious I feel in future.

Oh, before I forget, here's the extra/leftover parts I got after finishing the build of the Fire Brigade.

Ok, that's my extremely verbose and pic heavy build review of the Lepin 15004 Fire Brigade Modular, which is cloned from the Lego Fire Brigade model 10197 (issued in 2009 and retired in 2013).    This set was my second Lepin modular, after the Lepin 15002 Cafe Corner set, however not the last  as I've got the Lepin 15003 Town Hall, still in the box, waiting to be built next.   Look for that build to be reviewed next!