Five ingenious LEGO building techniques in 10278 Police Station

10278 Police Station is packed with innovative and ingenious ways to use LEGO bricks. To celebrate its upcoming launch, we’ve picked out five of the set’s best building techniques.

10278 Police Station will join the Modular Buildings Collection on January 1. We’ve already gone deep on the massive model in our in-depth review, and even lined it up next to some of the LEGO Group’s other modular buildings. Now, our comprehensive coverage of the superb set continues with a deep dive into the best building techniques it has to offer.

5 – Splat bushes

These splat gear elements debuted in The LEGO Movie 2’s launch wave, and in the context of that zany movie, they totally worked. They’ve since sprung up in plenty of other sets, including LEGO Batman 76160 Mobile Bat Base, in which their cartoonish teeth definitely did not work.

Fortunately, they’ve found a great home in 10278 Police Station as the basis for a brilliant new bush. Thanks to the way their teeth are orientated against their 2×2 stud base, you can rotate every other gear in a single stack to great effect.

4 – Doughnut trays

Not every novel building technique needs to be ridiculously complicated. In fact, the best ones are often effortlessly simple. Just take these wall-mounted trays of doughnuts and pastries, which are held up using the trans-clear posing stand introduced with Collectible Minifigures 71026 DC Super Heroes.

10278 Police Station’s doughnut shop might seem like a lazy stereotype, but it’s tough to complain when it offers up tasty treats like this. We’re looking forward to seeing how these elements are repurposed in future models – hopefully in different colours.

3 – Simple stairs

Remember what we just said about the simplest builds being the best? The same is surely true of the staircase that runs up through 10278 Police Station. As we noted in our review, it’s really a wonder nobody’s tried it before. After all, the 3×3 facet bricks have been in production since the 1980s, while the 4×4 versions came along in 2013.

The triangular tiles used to line the staircase are much newer, of course, having debuted in 2018’s Speed Champions sets. But they’re not essential to this technique – in fact, we’d have liked to have seen a proper handrail. Thankfully, the underlying method works just as well either way.

2 – Sideways building

Working within the confines of an eight-wide modular building can’t be easy, but you wouldn’t know it to look at 10278 Police Station’s doughnut shop. It captures the same architectural detail as wider buildings with only limited space to do so, and that’s partly achieved with some smart sideways building.

To execute a design like this, you need to have intimate knowledge of the geometry of LEGO bricks, and the relationship between the height and width of plates and bricks. Designer Chris McVeigh shows off his mastery of LEGO maths all the way across 10278 Police Station, but it’s most immediately clear when you reach this level of the doughnut shop.

1 – Reverse jumper plates

Every modular building boasts its own unique method for sculpting exterior architecture, and 10278 Police Station is no different. What is different is this inspired technique for using the underside of jumper plates for aesthetic detail.

There’s nothing simple about this approach, with studs facing in three different directions across a single sub-assembly. But there’s definitely room for complex techniques in our LEGO lives, too, and the effect this one creates is simply stunning.

If you haven’t yet read our review of 10278 Police Station, head over there now to find out why we think it’s one of the best modular buildings to date. You’ll be able to dive in for yourself from January 1, when it goes on sale at LEGO Stores and LEGO.com.

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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