Set 79017, the Battle of the Five Armies, is one of the recent acquisitions I got and of course that means it couldn`t stay long in the box.
Now, just today it has been revealed the battle will last an impressive 45 minutes in the upcoming movie, and this set already has some minor spoilers, like that the battle in Dale will have a bridge on which Thorin and Azog face off and that it collapses (it`s a play feature). Though one can barely speak of spoilers in a 75 year old story of course...
The set comes indeed with a at least a member of each of the `Five Armies` that gather in the big battle, with Thorin and Dain for the Dwarfs, Legolas and Bard for the Elves and Humans respectively, and Gwaihir for the Eagles. And all those face off against Azog and his Gundabad Orcs, though I find it a bit of a missed chance that there is no Beorn in bear form in the set...
Opening the box, we get 3 polybags and Gwaihir, together with 2 instruction booklets.
In bag 1 is the absolute feel good model. This is ecactly the same bard the Bowman from the recent San Diego Comic Con, so all those scalpers that got multiple copies to make hard cash and save it up for the holidays are screwed, he now sits in a 60 USD box compared to the 200 - 300 USD prices he was listed for on eBay.
Further in this bag, we get Legolas and two Orc warriors with very, very big swords.
The first bag is all about the big double barreled Orc catapult, which we start by laying down it`s foundations.
Diagonal bars are added to be able to rest the bow itself onto the carriage.
As we start the upper structure, I came along these pieces, some others I hadn`t encountered before and didn`t have in my collection. The `A` shape especcially is a handy piece I`ll be bricklinking in the future.
As the barrel is overcapped, we also add the firing mechanism to the structure.
The front of the catapult is then put together and mounted onto the carriage.
Wheels and pushbars are then attached to the catapult, allowing the Orcs to push it towards the battle.
Put on the double big arrows and the bow `wings`, and we get one completed, big catapult (okay, technically bolt thrower...). It`s a bigger war machine to attack this ruined city then the ones they brought along to attack the impenetrable fortress of Helm`s Deep. Bad guys and resource management...
Bag 2 and 3 are then ripped open, and we get both the Dwarf minifigures and Azog. I really love the print and crown of Thorin Oakenshield, very regalous.
The set is all about a bridge and tower of the fallen city of Dale, at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. As could be seen on the box already, this comes as a half ruin in beautiful tan and dark red combination, and looks very classic in style.
The first rock parts and the sides of the bridge are as such the very first things we need to put together.
Then we start the other end of the bridge, including the winding steps that lead up to it.
I like how they did it for the wooden planks here...
The bridge is then plated up.
Next we can start the connection hinge to attach the bridge to the tower later on in a roughly 45 degree angle.
This is attached to the end of the bridge.
The foundation for the ruined tower, which also comes with a cool play feature as it`s outer wall can explode.
Slowly and steadily, this is build up and comes with nicely incorporated holes in it`s walls.
Once the second level is added, we`re going to build the window and lay on the roof. This one is tilted in a dark red, and like all over the build, you can see the small details of flames and of snow on this part as well. It`s these nice little touches that is ranking this set high in my appreciation table.
Okay, how cool are these pieces...
The tower rises ever higher and the roof is completed.
As we connect the tower to the bridge, we get a very lovely Dale side building.
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