OK, so look what the postman brought me :
This is the first of a number of sets that I'm expecting to arrive over the next few days. First impressions : the box isn't in bad shape, which as a collector makes me happy ! It's not perfect, but it's good enough that I won't be actively looking for a tidier set to eventually replace it with.
On lifing the front flap things still look pretty good, although the set has unfortunately been packed up in a partially constructed state. This is a shame - one of the greatest pleasures of building a LEGO set is seeing the fruits of your labours for the first time when you've finished bulding it, so seeing the set already constructed in the box robs you of some of that pleasure.
What now ? Well, another thing I can't bear is getting halfway through a build only to discover that a critical piece is missing and I can't continue building. So for this reason, and also because I collect this stuff and therefore need to make sure that the set is complete, the first job is to completely disassemble the set. Here's the set broken down into its constituent parts, broadly sorted into plates, smaller parts (generally less than 2 x 2 studs), and everything else :
And of course we mustn't forget the three minifigures which come with the set. They're shown here standing proudly on the baseplate that's also supplied with the set :
The next job is to make sure that all the pieces are present and correct. One of the things that my slightly bemused non-LEGO-loving friends ask me is how I know a set is complete without actually building it. They also ask how I track down replacement pieces when I discover that pieces are missing. The answer to both these mysteries will be revealed tomorrow !
Have a good weekend.