10197 – Fire Brigade


Today I completed Lego set 101197 which is the Fire Brigade kit of the modular building series.  This marks the second-to-last of the modulars for me, the only one I don’t have is the “Market Street” set 10190 which I didn’t buy back in 2007 because it ready left me feeling underwhelmed.  I’m not even sure I’d get it for completeness, unless it was at a reasonable price, which we know won’t happen!

Anyhow, on to #10197.  I’d been worried about picking up one before they went out of print, and I recently noticed that it’s no longer listed on the US Lego Shop online.  Despite the Australian RRP of $299.99 (which is exactly double the USD RRP of $149.99), I managed to pick up a set locally for less than the RRP, and without shipping costs.  I really hope that Lego Group stop overcharging Australians, as the price difference of this kit aptly demonstrates!

It’s actually a really great set, although I’d hardly needed much convincing.  Although Lego’s repetitive use of Police, Hospital and Fire has been going on for a long time, this set is actually very rustic.  The fire house is modelled after a 1930s two storey building complete with antique fire engine.  There’s aren’t too many two storey kits (this and Palace Cinema), they have managed to do a lot with those two floors.

The ground floor features a lot of detail, particularly with the accessories (hats, fire extinguishers and tools) and the detail of the front of the building is quite intricate.  The second floor has even more internal detail, featuring as complete a kitchen as I’ve seen, plus a great Lego couch and ping pong table.  The stairs to the roof open through a horizontally mounted door and hold a bell tower, complete with an upside down bat!

About the Build

The box is of the normal dimensions, and contained the instruction manuals (2) cardboard backed.  The Lego baggies came in two flavours, numbered 1 or 2.  Bags marked 1 contain parts for the ground floor, fire engine and minifigs.  Bags 2 contain parts for the second floor and roof.

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Part 1

The first instruction booklet establishes the fire engine and ground floor.  The build is fairly easy going, the toughest part is sorting and finding the small parts.  One annoying part of this kit is the mix of dark tan and dark red colours which are incredibly similar.  You have to be extremely vigilant in double checking the colours both in the instruction booklet and as you select parts to make sure you don’t use the wrong colour.

It’s fun to build roller doors, and this kit has a great set of them, and a neat way of hiding the upper edge.  At the rear of the kit is a brilliant set of double doors too, so great options either way you look at it.  The ground floor is really tall, probably as tall as the ground floor of the Town Hall set.  This makes it a little tricky if you want to access things inside the building.

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Part 2

The second floor is another steady build.  At times there are the odd parts which can be built in parallel (e.g. the windows), but for the most part you are just building up!  The trickiest part was the kitchen fridge, which is a little finicky and care must be taken when connecting it to the floor once complete.  The couch was my favourite addition, it really looks slick.  The final flight of stairs leads to the roof which contains a bell tower – with a great golden bell – and a water tank.  The numbers were a bit more tricky than with the Town Hall, but with care and a straight edge to set them to, they click in nicely.

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The Final Build

Once complete you have a nice fire brigade house to add to your modular collection. 

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