A ship as infamous, historic and well-known as the RMS Titanic needs no introduction, but here’s one anyway: it was a seemingly unsinkable ship that did in fact sink after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage. On that fateful night of April 14, 1912, it plunged into the depths of the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean and into the history books forever.
Documentaries, books and of course an Oscar-winning film have all since detailed exactly what happened during the tragedy, and now the LEGO Group has paid its own respects to the historic vessel with the release of the largest LEGO set ever produced. To clarify, 10294 Titanic is the largest LEGO model by scale at a ludicrous 135cm long, and the second-largest set by piece count (the crown still goes to 31203 World Map), coming in at a whopping 9,090 pieces.
A set of this size is a feat of extraordinary LEGO engineering and design, so to even attempt something like this in the first place should be applauded – but the fact the designers have managed to successfully execute a LEGO model that looks highly authentic and, dare we say, utterly gorgeous should be commended.
However, with one eye on that enormous scale – and with a source material whose own design is fundamentally uniform throughout – will the build experience be a monotonous exercise in patience and repetition, or have the designers managed to make the construction process as entertaining as the final model is accurate?
Join us as we climb aboard to find out…
— Set details —
Price: £554.99 / $629.99 / €629.99 Pieces: 9,090 Minifigures: 0
— Build —
This LEGO voyage sets sail from the minute you get the enormous box in your hands. It’s beautifully designed, with the ship itself gloriously presented on the front. The box art feels classy, stylish and captures the early art deco style that was popular during the early 1900s. Inside the gigantic box are three smaller boxes, although comparatively speaking, they’re still much bigger than most sets on the market. Each one is black with gold lettering and gold schematics of the LEGO ship itself.
There are three instruction manuals in total, and each has a detailed history of the Titanic as well as some interesting facts about the different areas of the ship. They’re accompanied by some beautiful archival photographs that help set the scene, showing the ship, passengers and crew as they were back in 1912.
The Titanic was an epic ship in every sense of the word: the voyage (although ultimately disastrous) was an epic undertaking, and the task at hand – constructing this highly-detailed, deeply-involved and intricate LEGO set – feels every bit as epic, if not more. Looking at all the bags that fall out of just one of the three boxes at once feels both exciting and extremely daunting.
The set is split into three large sections, which ultimately combine to form one enormous model: the bow and well deck, the middle including two of the large funnels, and finally the stern. The first section to tackle is the bow and well deck, which includes the bow, the anchors, the raised well deck, cargo cranes, cargo hatches and forward mast.
The Titanic’s bow is heavily angled towards the front, and to achieve the necessary angles a large frame is constructed by connecting a number of sizeable panel-like sub-assemblies together. Hinge plates are then used to angle them into the correct position. Attaching plates, tiles and bricks to these panels is an incredibly satisfying process, especially as there appear to be very little gaps along the sides and front. There’s also hardly any Technic building involved, and for a model this size, that’s a very impressive feat.
From the off it’s evident that this will be a set that’s packed full of interesting, unique and inventive techniques. Tiles and plates are offset on larger sub-assemblies using black neck brackets. These then slot into place to form a large portion of the upper sides of the ship. Plates are offset using jumper tiles, the bridge is a wonderful design using 1×2 trans-black plates to create windows (a technique evocative of the Architecture theme) and the way the barriers around the bridge are angled using a Technic pin that swivels into place is very smart.
It’s also a surprisingly unconventional build in places – at one point tiles are slotted into the studs of plates to create guardrails, while at another the studs on either end of black string are held in place using the rims of 1×1 round plates.
Throughout, the build is kept fresh and exciting by constantly mixing microscale building techniques (used to recreate elements such as small benches, port holes and ladders) with elements built at a much larger scale, such as the gargantuan frame. One minute you’re placing large sub-assemblies around the hull, the next you’re piecing together an intricate microscale anchor with a black sausage – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What’s quite extraordinary about a LEGO model of this size is that it’s not just the exterior parts that are included, but the interior sections too; grand staircases, boiler rooms, engine rooms, cabins and even swimming pools are all built within the massive hull of the LEGO Titanic. It’s quite an achievement when you think about it, and adds another wonderful layer to the build experience. More than that, a hidden locking mechanism within the staircase allows each hull section to be securely connected together and then pulled apart, allowing for a glimpse inside – a LEGO engineering marvel.
The slight offset building techniques that are spread throughout are a real masterclass in LEGO mathematics. At one point towards the rear of the ship, tiles are offset leaving just a fraction of space underneath. It creates a beautifully thin line of tiles that stretches all the way down the sides for a really fantastic finish. In fact, 10294 Titanic is an almost endless stream of brilliant techniques, wonderful parts usage and jaw-dropping design moments. To mention everything here would be taking away some of the joy of discovery, slightly spoiling the magic.
It’s not without its challenging sections, though. You will definitely need to keep concentration levels high at times, the stern being one example, and there are a few fiddly moments – attaching large bricks to inverted slopes that hang over the hull sections requires both a nimble finger and patience.
Amongst all the fun, there is a moment of poignancy and reflection that suddenly hits you. During the latter stages you are tasked to construct the lifeboats and it’s at this moment the tragedy of the Titanic starts to sink in. It’s a very strange feeling, and one that comes back each time you assemble one of the 20 lifeboats. A LEGO model that also makes you stop and contemplate a tragedy is rare, but in a way adds a level of humanity to the set that’s unlike any other LEGO model that has come before.
Due to the very nature of the Titanic’s design, there is a lot of repetition throughout, but it’s done in such a way that it never feels like you are just going through the same steps over and over again. For one stage you might be required to build one of the four large funnels, then concentrate on some of the finer details on the deck, then move on to the interior details, back to some of the exterior detailing and then finally back to another one of the funnels. In that time you’ve probably gone through 1,000 parts.
What’s more, having the build constructed in three sections allows you to step away for a while before coming back to tackle another section, and a set that at first seems like a formidable venture very quickly becomes a fantastically joyous experience, which carries through from the start right until the very end.
The final model is so well designed that from a distance it doesn’t really look like LEGO. The bodywork is comprised entirely of tiles, with only a handful of studs used to recreate windows. They are at such a scale that from a distance you’d be hard-pressed to know they were even LEGO. It’s more like a gigantic Airfix model, complete with all the intricate and highly-authentic details – but thankfully minus the need for any kragle or paint. The attention to detail is quite astonishing, and you could easily get lost for hours just staring at all the minute elements that are scattered across the ship. It’s a real thing of beauty, majesty and elegance.
What starts as an enormous undertaking ends ultimately with an unbelievable sense of achievement. Yes, there are sets that come close in terms of piece count, and yes, there are sets that are almost as big, but none of those have builds that are this satisfying. There’s no other way to put it: 10294 Titanic is a true titan of the LEGO portfolio.
— Characters —
The only thing that would have made this set better would be minifigure representations of Jack and Rose from James Cameron’s 1997 movie – who wouldn’t want to recreate that famous pose in brick form, right? As it is, no minifigures are included with the set, which makes perfect sense as this is not a model based on the film, but on the actual ship. Perhaps a captain minifigure or members of the crew in authentic attire would have felt appropriate, but it takes nothing away from the set as a whole not to have minifigures included.
— Price —
There is no denying that this amount of money is an awful lot to spend on anything, let alone a single LEGO set. However, it is an experience quite like no other, and something that every LEGO fan should enjoy if they have the means to do so. It’s obviously not a set that everyone will be able to afford, although the fact it sells out the minute it goes back in stock speaks volumes about its popularity and prestige.
It’s actually considerably cheaper than some 18+ sets that are currently on the market (here’s looking at you, 75313 AT-AT and 75192 Millennium Falcon), and given its status as the largest LEGO set ever produced (by scale), it’s something that would surely take pride of place in any collection – providing you have the space to display it.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
10294 Titanic is undeniably a stunning set. Everything about it feels special, from the minute you have the box in your hands to the moment you place the last brick on to the model. It’s overflowing with grown-up and intelligent design; it’s a fitting tribute to the 1,500-plus people who lost their lives on that tragic night, immortalising the ship in brick form forever; and most importantly, it’s incredibly enjoyable to put together. The final model feels as grand, elegant and majestic as the actual Titanic must have been in real life.
Of course, as one of the largest sets on the market, it’s also one of the most expensive, and that will seriously limit the number of fans who will be able to indulge in the experience, which is a true shame. Those who do push the boat out and add this to their own collection will find that building at this scale is so satisfying and awe-inspiring that you really will feel like you’re the king of the world.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
— FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO Creator Expert 10294 Titanic?
Putting a time on how long it takes to build 10294 Titanic is quite tricky. It all depends on whether you want to try to do it all in one go, or take breaks and come back to it in stages. Overall, though, expect to spend anywhere between 40 to 50 hours completing it.
How many pieces are in LEGO Creator Expert 10294 Titanic?
How big is LEGO Creator Expert 10294 Titanic?
How much does LEGO Creator Expert 10294 Titanic cost?
10294 Titanic is out now – if you can find it in stock – and costs £554.99 in the UK, $629.99 in the US and €629.99 across Europe.