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#2395 SET REVIEW: 10333 Barad-Dûr Part 2

Alt text / image descriptions are available for the images in this post.

It is ominous. It is foreboding. It is: Barad-dûr! We are continuing our in depth review of this new LEGO Icons set 10333: Barad-dûr. It is the latest entry in the LEGO Lord of the Rings theme and it is as impressive as it is menacing. Today’s installment will examine the building techniques LEGO designers used to bring us this great set. And the last slide will reveal some spoilers and Easter Eggs, so venture forth at your own peril!

#2395 SET REVIEW: Barad-dûr  Today we present the second of our two part series! Let us know if you agree with our score!  £399.99/ $459.99 /€459.99 for 5,471 pieces.  Our overall score: 21 out of 25.

Barad-dûr is £399.99/ $459.99 /€459.99 and will be available on for Insiders on June 1st with a GWP - the Fell Beast!

[Review products provided by the LEGO group, but all opinions are our own and honest - we don’t have to praise sets to keep receiving them.]

Techniques:  SNOT: Barad-dûr possesses many exterior buttresses and spires. There is extensive use of 1 x 4 SNOT bricks - among others - throughout all levels to connect the bricks and plates.  Center bottom image of the middle section of the tower is shown without its adornments. Parts 3386 in black, 30414 in light bluish gray, and 32952 in dark bluish gray are all highlighted.  Top right image of a buttress showing its SNOT bricks. Parts 3299 in black and 67329 in dark bluish gray are highlighted to show how the adornments attach.

Techniques:  NPU: Barad-dûr makes great use of unexpected elements for decorative elements: propeller blades, rudders, spears, and even claws!  Left image is the interior of the upper tower with the Mouth of Sauron holding Mithril chainmail. To his right the large rudder part 23930 in black is highlighted.  Right image is the exterior of the upper tower and its adornments. In particular, claw parts 11089 in black, spear element 93789 in black, and blade element 98137 in black are highlighted.

Top right image: The Eye of Sauron partially assembled with elements scattered around it.  Techniques: The all-seeing Eye of Sauron is a masterclass in stud reversal! The pupil of Sauron’s eye consists of two mudguards sandwiched between four 1 x 2 rounded plates held together with two 2L bars.  The Eye can be flipped to look either forward or rearward!  Left Image: The backside of the eye showing how it is mounted in place using part 37762, the candle element, in black.  Schematic showing how the Eye of Sauron pupil is assembled. Part 35480 sandwiches two copies of part 62361 that are set back to back. Part 78258 in white holds them together.  Experienced AFOLs will see familiar techniques – SNOT, stud reversal, and NPU – but the sheer engineering needed to build this massive structure, with its moving features and odd angles, combined with the attention paid to its coloring, earns high praise from us.   Our techniques score: 4 out of 5.

Building Experience:  This small vignette is the first built section. Depicting the moment the One Ring is cast into Mount Doom, it serves as a fantastic introduction to the larger build. Top left Image: Frodo and Gollum on a brick-built rock outcropping as the ring is destroyed.  Designers enhance the build experience by breaking complicated modules into manageable sections. Center right image: dungeon section mid-build. The center most section with gears is about to be slid into place.  Barad-dûr is one of the largest sets yet to feature the new paper parts bags first seen in 2023. We appreciate The LEGO Group’s commitment to sustainability as the 40 would-be single-use plastic bags have been replaced with recyclable paper bags made from FSC certified sources. Bottom left image: all forty paper parts bags stacked together.

Accuracy: Compared to the Weta Workshop collectible model, it’s clear designer Antica nailed key components: the Eye, buttresses, spires, lava, and bisecting rock formation. LOTR fans will be very pleased with the attention paid to the source material! Image: the LEGO Barad-dur placed next to the Weta Workshop collectible version. The Eye and bisecting rock formation are highlighted.

Color Theory:  The mid-section of Barad-dûr is diagonally crossed by gray, and tan rock formations. This helps to break up an otherwise dark and monochrome structure. The following wedge pieces are highlighted: 13548 in tan and dark bluish gray, and 43710 in light bluish gray.  Left image: The LEGO Barad-dur model is prominently displayed with parts pointed out.  Designer Antica recreates lava light on the black fortress through a smart gradient of reddish brown, dark brown, to black. The following parts are highlighted: 80545 in black, 85984 in dark brown, and 3049c in reddish brown.  The following four parts are utilized to achieve a glowing lava effect: 13548 in medium nougat; 3069 in trans-red; 26601 in burnt orange; and 11477 in trans yellow.

The Two Towers*: According to the LOTR Film Trilogy Image: 2024’s LEGO Barad-dur set next to 2013’s LEGO Orthanc set.   Compared to 2013’s Orthanc,  Barad-dûr is bigger in every way: size, piece count, and price. But as seen here, pairing Barad-dûr and Orthanc is a must-do for any lucky owners of both sets!  Orthanc’s influence is clear: a model with a fully detailed front and an open-back interior complete with key story elements.  Center Image: A still of Treebeard from The Two Towers movie compared to the LEGO brick-built version.  Right image: a still of Orthanc from the Two Towers compared to the LEGO brick built version.

Value for Money:  With an $0.08// price-per-piece, Barad-dûr represents a decent value for LEGO fans. While we appreciate LEGO’s efforts to bring back the Lord of the Rings theme, aside from Brickheadz, this set – at $459.99 – is the CHEAPER of the two current LOTR sets on shelves. We hope more accessible LOTR minifigure sets with lower price points are on the horizon!  Let us know in the comments below if you agree with our score! Main image: The large and imposing Sauron LEGO minifigure wielding his mace, standing in front of his Palantir.   “You cannot hide…I see you…” - Sauron

Easter Eggs and Spoilers:  This scroll refers to all the Rings of Power, including the One Ring! Top left Image: the Upper Tower library with center scroll.  What’s that on the menu? Meat! Top center image: Menu from the dining hall.  The Scouring of the Shire on the reverse side of the Palantír! Top right image: The backside of Sauron’s Palantir with the Shire on fire.  Frodo’s Mithril chainmail! Brandished by the Mouth of Sauron! Center left image: The Mouth of Sauron in the library holding the mithril chainmail.  Samwise wields Sting and the Phial of Galadriel! Lower right image: Samwise minifigure holding sword and upside diamond accessory. He is wearing his tunic and suspenders.  Surprises inside secret chambers!  Two lowest images: a spider and secret message from inside hidden chambers.


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