75180 The Upside Down is unprecedented in design, so let’s take a look at how the Stranger Things LEGO set takes building to a new, upside down level
The LEGO Stranger Things set 75810 The Upside Down is the first of its kind for many reasons, including how it has been designed. With half the set freestanding upside down, and that upside down able to sit right way up if so desired, this is a remarkably well engineered LEGO set. Here’s how the build process goes, culminating in how half of it ends upside down.
You’re gonna need a bigger police car
The first steps to building 75810 The Upside Downn centre on recreating Hopper’s police SUV. Whilst at first glance it may look like a typical LEGO truck build, there are some unusual and rather intricate Studs Not On Top building involved. This approach helps with more accurately capturing the contouring of the vehicle. It’s a vehicle based on a vehicle based on a vehicle, as the Stranger Things version borrows heavily in design from the police trucks seen in Jaws.
Home sweet home
Once the vehicle is complete, we move on to the main structure, beginning with the Byers family home. From the offset you are constructing inside and out at the same time, starting on the right hand side of the house moving left. This is a build with subtle details that you may only come to appreciate once the whole thing is complete. Pay attention to some interesting building methods, for how the designers trick your eye so cleverly. Once finished, this is an amazingly accurate recreation of the reference material.
An exercise in colour
This is the lowest point in the build, when you are faced with effectively building the same thing you’ve just built again. However, the process is almost entirely mirrored – you are creating a mirrored version after all – and it is an excellent example of how colour can completely change the identity and feel of a LEGO build. Simply changing the palette to a mixture of greys and blues wonderfully captures the colder, more darker feel of the Upside Down, whilst additional parts such as dark brown and dark blue tree elements and black whips are skillfully utilised to represent the plant life taking hold of the man made structure.
You are left with an almost identical, mirror image build of the Byers family home, recoloured and hauntingly dark. As a first opportunity to see the two versions of the build side by side, you can fully appreciate the subtle piece changes and the different colour palette, for how they so effectively place what is a regular, real world house into the disparate, despairing reflection that is the Upside Down.
Building upside down
With the two sides to the Byers family home constructed, it’s time to connect them together. For what is an unusual and unprecedented build, how it is achieved is relatively simple, thanks to some Mixel joints dotted alongside the front, sides and back of each house’s base connected via Technic 3 ball steering joints.
Once these are in place, the instructions take you through the construction of some ornate trees that will serve as the main connecting posts to at once both hold the two houses together and act as a solid base, either way around. It’s four trees, but two builds, as one real world and one Upside Down world version of each tree stems from the centre of each column. These trees connect to the sides of the houses via some Mixel ball and socket joints. Finally, some more Technic 3 ball steering joints hold firm the backs to the houses.
For a detailed look at the complete model, read our considered set review, or check out how the minifigures compare to their Stranger Things counterparts.
The product used in this feature was provided by the LEGO Group.
Stranger Things Season 3 will arrive on Netflix on July 4, 2019.