The Set Review Library here at The Lego Car Blog is – just like your Mom – ever expanding. Today we’re joined by guest reviewer Andy Boal to add one of the most eagerly anticipated sets of 2017 to the library’s stock – the 1,686 piece Creator Expert 10258 London Bus. Is it worth £110 of your cash? Over to Andy to find out…
When I was young, I wanted LEGO’s London bus set 384. Smart, red, and it looked like a Routemaster to someone like me who had never been to London and didn’t know it was modelled on the Routemaster’s predecessor, also manufactured by AEC, the Regent III RT.
So I decided to make my own London bus, a full half-cab bus, and I made it 10 studs wide. Unfortunately I ran out of parts after the lower floor, so I didn’t bother making the stairs.
My history with Lego buses is otherwise rather chequered. 696, a white and blue bus almost entirely unlike the Ulsterbuses I would later take to school, was given to me in the 1970s, and I bought the original Knight Bus 4755 in 2004, complete with beds racing all over the floor.
I finally got my hands on 384 and, some time later another set I coveted for making models in the 6000 and 7777 Lego ideas books, 379, from eBay some years ago, and with at least one unique chassis part, 384 lives at my parents’ house.
So until this year I only had one model of a London bus. A Valentine’s trip let me pick up the four stud wide 40220 in Leicester Square, but then this week we were in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries shopping mall…
The 10258 London Bus box is the standard size for Creator Expert sets, and boasts two pictures of a real life Routemaster, as well as interior shots of the completed model.
Opening up reveals what is a relief to those of us who have had to build and later rebuild a nephew’s Death Star after parts had broken off while moving house – numbered bags. The bane of many a builder’s life, but I’m fully sold on them for making it easier to find the piece you want. Call me a wuss if you want.
The instruction book is 176 pages long – I have to say I like the single books. Looking at the sticker sheet though reminds me that the number plate is incorrect, because no UK numberplate runs to five digits. Of course, I’ve no idea whatsoever whether Morten Graff-Wang could have a personalised numberplate MGW258 or not, but GW was a South-East London registration.
Anyway, back to the set itself, and I’ve thrown the bags for parts 2, 3 and 4 back into thebox to save space and leave me with four to cope with. And breathe.
Part 1 is the chassis and the body sides up to a row below the windows, and the staircase. Turning the page reveals what many will assume is a new innovation, and that is highlighting the added pieces with a yellow outline, but those of us with longer memories will remember outlines on added pieces from the 222 Lego Ideas Book (there’s my childhood again!)
As you would expect, the chassis begins with Technic bricks and frames – all studded construction, of course, and establishing a strong foundation for the rest of the set.
After 21 main steps the floor is laid, the stands for the seats are set up, the staircase has begun, we build the engine with grey bullion forming the top of the engine block, and finally it is time to start building bodywork. 4×3 panels provide most of the flat bits, with a hint of a curved back to come.
As I build the driver’s seat I decide I’m glad I’m not driving this thing, as there is only one stud of leg room between the driver’s seat and the steering wheel and gearstick, and the seat won’t go back.
And then it’s time to build the stairs! The construction is very straightforward – the end of each step is held in place with a single stud round plate. I don’t think the five resulting steps are quite enough, but shh, it’s impressionistic.
The back of the bus includes a new 1x1x1 2/3 brick with two studs on the side, which match up if placed on top of the washing machine piece. It’s used to attach both rear light clusters – the left one directly, and the right one indirectly due to the curved corner I’m now expecting. You also get a yellow number plate option. A yellow fire extinguisher goes under the stairs (Hmm. Canary yellow is for hot oil fires. Who’s keeping a commercial deep fat fryer on a Routemaster bus?).
The side benches complete Part 1, and then we move on to Part 2 to finish the lower deck. Continue reading