For my birthday, my fantastic family got me this set. I’ve been absolutely dying to get my hands on it as the LEGO Ideas sets along with the modulars are fantastic fun to build. Not only that, it’s a medieval theme, which is almost guaranteed to be great.
With 2164 pieces, it is bound to be a decent build experience. The box has a fair bit of weight, and opening it up we’re presented with 14 numbered bags and a high quality build manual. Like many other Ideas sets, the first few pages talk a little about the Original Creator – Clemens Fiedler and then the two LEGO Designers – Wes Talbott and Austin William Carlson. This is followed by a short history of Blacksmith LEGO sets starting way back in 1984.
Bags 1 – 5 focus on the ground floor, bags 6-8 the second story, and 9-13 the roof and attic space. Bag 14 is a great little weapons cart with a couple of soldiers.
Bag 1 introduces Johan, our hero – the Blacksmith and his pet dog. We then get right into building the perimeter of the blacksmith hut. This set does a great job with the small ancillary pieces to make up the ground cover. In this early part of the build there’s a great use of brown 1×1 round tiles as stones on the ground as well as flowers and leaves to add texture. There’s also a 3 x 3 round tile which has been in a couple of other sets, but released in 2020, it’s the first time I’ve come across it. Once the perimeter is complete, we close the gap with a 16 x 16 plate and start to build the first layer of the buildings walls to close out bag 1.
Bag 2 starts introducing the rest of the walls but also some great little features which definitely has us calling each other to check it out. There’s a small coal supply, a grind stone and best of all – a working smelter. This introdues the light brick and covered by red translucent 1 x 2 tiles makes for a fantastic feature. We liked that a sword is provided just to have it heating up within the furnace. The really special touch was the inclusion of a small bellows to connect to the light brick activation switch. It really adds a wow moment as when you push it, it’s similar to a real bellows which increases the oxygen to the fire, and the fire gets hotter!
In this pack, we also came across an Arch 1 x 3 Inverted which is a new part for 2021 that we’d not seen before. In this set it’s used to start creating the base of the tree. Another special little component of the build is the wood stack kept underneath the stairs. It’s really enjoyable to look at and certainly represents what we’d imagine to be in place in real life.
Bag 3 moves on to the walls of the ground floor and the staircase up to level 2. It’s a fairly routine part of the build. My favourite part of this bag was the inclusion of wall mounts for the armour and shields Johan is working on. There’s also a great little veggie garden around the side of the house including the use of a plain minifig head for a baby pumpkin!
In Bag 4 we continue with the ground floor and focus on the exterior cladding as well as the overhang for the 2nd floor. We also build some more furnishings for inside the building including a little anvil with a molten hot bar of metal being prepared. These little details absolutely make it feel like Johan is hard at work crafting new weapons and armour.
Bag 5 is putting us hard to work building out a tree and introduces us to Marion the archer. Trees are always a little fiddly to build, but once complete it looks fantastic. We especially enjoyed the little frog hidden away. Beneath the tree is a small water well which is a nice touch too.
For Bag 6 we start building out the second story. There’s not too much to note in this bag, but we also added some of the furniture. Johan has his own keg in the corner of this room which is pretty cool and very much inline with what we imagine a blacksmith would have.
Bag 7 includes a lot more detail in the room including the tablewear, food and and a cooking pot. I’m not sure why, but the inclusion of a 1 x 1 round tile inside the pot makes it look like something’s on the boil and we got a kick out of that. There’s also a couple of chairs in this packet and it’s really cool the way two axes are used for the backrest struts. The build of the Level 2 fireplace is also occuring on this floor and it extends inline with the downstairs furnace. We also start to build our first part of the roof along with adding the Blacksmith sign.
Bag 8 continues the level 2 build and extends the exterior balcony. In this part we also add a door to the house which is slightly recessed and looks fantastic. It was a great decision to build the door in this fashion rather than use a moulded piece. Inside the room we add the stairs to the third level. There is also some more cosmetic cladding added to the exterior. It looks fantastic and the approach taken is really well planned.
Bag 9 commences the third floor build. Like any great LEGO set the small Wow moments keep on coming. Building the little writing corner including an old fashioned feather quill ink pen and once upon a time story is fantastic. There’s also a small oil burner candle to give the room light, but all of this is overshadowed by the awesome rug. On the floor is a full bear pelt. It’s perfect for the room and was perhaps our biggest Wow moment in the build.
Bag 10 adds some additional furnishings as well as more external wall preparation. The bed quilt is pretty cool but the bed foot and head are even better with quite intricate carvings. Obviously these are to scale, but the designers have done well to get this level of detail there to make it special. We also added the windows and roof support beams as part of this build.
Bag 11 adds additional support for the roof structure through two A frames and some lateral supports. This bag was a very quick build but neccessary for the next steps.
Bag 12 covered one side of the roof and a small attic window. Building the roof of any set it a little tedious as it’s quite repetitive, however the colour scheme really pops once you’ve got it together. The roof is broken into two main sections with ball joints used to allow it to articulate and be two seperate planes.
Bag 13 adds a cute little two pot chimney to the same section of the roof we have been working on. As per previous levels, this is in the same position as the ground and level 2 chimney’s to allow the chimney flue to continue unbroken from top to bottom. We also then build the other side of the rooftop. This side is a little more plain owing to no window or chimney. It’s a pretty similar build to the process in Bag 12. We also add the final touches to the roof top with some nice architectural garnishing.
The Weapons Cart – Charge!
Bag 14 rounds out the set and has us building Arthur and Olympia – our Black Falcon knights. It’s fantastic to see LEGO having many female characters in positions traditionally seen as male only. This bag is really fun to build as everyone loves building LEGO knights and carriages! The minifigs can be equipped with helmets for the battle ready look, or natural hair (oh how I envy them). The carriage is quite a simple but enjoyable build. There’s a bag of gold included which is a nice touch. So too is the light attached to the side of the carriage lighting the path. Naturally with motors not yet invented you also get a horse to pull the carriage.
Overall, this was one of the most fun sets we’ve built in quite a while. It looks fantastic, has tonnes of playability and had limited repetitive parts in the build. I highly recommend grabbing this set while you can. It’s an absolute ripper.
Build enjoyment: ★★★★★★★★★☆
Check this out moments: ★★★★★★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★★★★★★★
Set: Medieval Blacksmith
Set #: 21325
Number of Minifigs: 4
Number of Pieces: 2164