About Chris McVeigh

Modulars have generally had a pretty classic style, until now!

Chris McVeigh started off as an AFOL, and quickly rose to fame with his attention to detail and highly skilled building techniques that set him apart from the rest; Going online as “@Powerpig“, anyone who has been following LEGO‘s social media accounts would find it prolifically littered with his work almost all times of the year. He would make computers, TVs, phones and pretty much any form of office setup. Before his time being hired by LEGO, would also create custom printed computers and such as commission work and most importantly, BrickSketches. Chris McVeigh was still making hundreds of his own custom BrickSketch designs before LEGO picked him up, and turned his creative vision into a product for the brand – a goal of any AFOL.

So when Chris McVeigh was introduced as one of the leading designers on the latest Modular, the 10278 Police Station, we knew we had to take a closer look, because you can tell it’s a McVeigh.

LEGO 10278 – Police Station

LEGO 10278 – Police Station

LEGO Police Station – 10278

Background On The Build

The Police Modular is the latest released modular in the long-standing line of Adult-Focused collectability. Married with a distinctive look and feel which is unparalleled by any other theme.

Like all modulars, these builds pride themselves on a clear-cut aethetic, minimizing the exposed studs like traditional LEGO City sets. They are more focused on grabbing pre-existing parts and changing their colours around to use them in new and interesting ways, which we are gladly going to point out.

Now, we understand that Chris McVeigh isn’t the only leading creator on this set, but you can definitely see that his influence carries over. We have a long-standing AFOL on the creative team. Most designers can easily be described as being AFOLs, don’t get us wrong, but designers can end up with creatively tunnel-vision and lose an outside perspective sometimes. The choice to add Chris McVeigh to the roster has definitely paid off.

Each Modular often tries to follow its own creative narrative where possible. The Brick Bank had a laundromat alongside the bank. It had a small story where thieves could break into the bank and funnel it out of the laundry machines. Money Laundering, whereas the Parisian restaurant had a fancy gourmet kitchen for the perfect proposal for some of the figures.

So what does the Police Station have? Donut thieves! Hilarious. The Police station, Donut shop and newspaper stand are perfectly laid out for a whole lot of narrative play. But let’s be honest, who plays with these things?

The Details You Might Have Missed

The Exterior

The Police Station is the same height and dimensions as many of the other modulars before it. But rather than give us two buildings side-by-side, they give us, technically, three. The Donut Shop, the Police Station, and a newsstand.

Some would debate the newsstand doesn’t count, but it’s a physical building, not a fold-out desk, it’s a building and it counts. Fight me.

The entryway up to the Police Station entrance is up to three rows of stairs, giving a rather grandiose effect. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen steps up to a modular entryway, it’s also been done in the Modular Bookshops. They’re nice enough this time around to give us studs to stand the figures upon.

The Decorative Window

Our main Police entryway is also given these subtle glass windows on either side, just to give that little extra bit of detail.

We also have to talk about the small bushes as well, creatively made up from the newer gear pieces in the standard green. It almost harkens back to the old pre-moulded LEGO tress that would have been released back in the period of where this modular is set.

The Facade

Our Donut Shop follows the trend of the Bookshop Modular’s apartment building. Bright white with feature colour, in this case, violet. It looks great for a Donut Shop, but unless you have the Bookshop Modular, it’s going to stand out quite vibrantly in the Modular City line-up.

There are a few special intricate details in this that don’t get enough love. The brickwork on the Police Station, the ingot bricks on the newspaper stands.

The brickwork on the side of the Police Modular is a combination of SNOT bricks and bracket pieces to give a slightly offset look. It is an incredibly subtle detail, but probably one of the best in this model.

The model also uses the 1×2 jumper tiles, but focuses on using the details of the underside facing outwards. This is a detail I’ve not seen used before, and it’s another big tick.

The use of the Mysterio helmets as the lights on the front are quite a nice addition too and we have to talk about the use of the Minecraft Wolf heads in solid grey for the bordering of the rooftop. Amazing!

The Outdoor Advert

The outside of the building has many little details to show, like the poster referencing the Laundromat from the Brick Bank. As well as the vines and flower details injecting life into the model. One last little titbit that I enjoy is the use of the ingot pieces on the newsstand to represent folded up newspapers. It’s not immediately obvious, but I like the use of the parts for this effect.

LEGO 10278 – Police Station

The Interior

The LockUp

The whole purpose for the Police Station being raised off the ground is for this one single play feature. Our Donut Thief that has been caught is trying to tunnel his way out of the prison and out to freedom!

The bed within his cell lifts up and pulling up the floor reveals some nice rockwork curvature. A spoon, and a pathway that leads down to a crack in the wall outside. We don’t know how long this guy has been in this small cell, but dang has he gotten to work! For someone to have dug this much out of the floor means they really have been here for a while, and being a Donut thief looks to be a very serious crime. Alternatively, he might just really ride that sugar rush!

Above The Donut Shop

Here’s the one little spot that leaves us a bit confused about the set. The apartment above the Donut shop.

We can totally understand that someone who runs a business would live above their own store. But to let someone else live there and not know that they installed a giant opening with direct access to your store is another thing.

The bed lifting up is a funny little feature and gag in combination with the donut on a chain, but logically is a bit odd indeed.

Space Saver Kitchen

Our thief’s kitchen is as small as a 2×7 size kitchen, but it does the job well. It includes a stovetop, oven/grill, sink and a view! This gives the inner micro detailer in me a great amount of joy. They also manage to squeeze a rug and even a CD player in this small apartment space.

We thought the Parisian Restaurant did well on compacting down living space, but we’re mistaken.

Internal Steps

The internal staircase on face value just looks like tiled plates, but you’d be dead wrong. The stairs are actually made up of the diagonal bricks commonly used in LEGO castles, and the studs on top allow the use of the 2×2 triangle tiles to be used as the banister.

The inside of the modular has many little details to love as well, like the pin-up board with the police using a rubber band to connect the dots with their ongoing investigation. The typewriter build has a nice little print on it to boot.

Our Donut Thief has been caught, and it’s time to get that mugshot! This area takes advantage of a really small space and turns it into the refined subject matter. Where people can enact and imagine each stage of the justice system at work. Crime, Detective Work, Capture, Processing, Imprisonment, Escape.

The Minifigures

Our Figure line-up gives us three police officers and two civilians. The newspaper stand owner (Chris McVeigh) and a Donut Shop worker.

Why do I say the thief is Chris McVeigh? I would implore you to watch the designer video for this modular.

It’s worth noting that the police officers break the stereotypical period trope of moustached chief in charge. Instead having the female police officer adorned in a number of badges and such. The other officers definitely give off vibes of a young rookie cop alongside a veteran.

Our Donut Shop owner uses some rarer but non-exclusive parts, but comes with a happy and extremely happy expression. This sounds weird to say, but I think it might be my favourite female Minifigure expression of all.

The Verdict

Overall, the Police Modular is a fantastic modular. BUT, we know that a lot of fans who heard of it’s announcement asked “Where’s the Police Car?”. We would say that we’re inclined to ask the same question.

The Modular Fire station did include a fire engine, but it also had somewhere to park it, same with the repair garage. So there’s a point in favour of the ‘No-Car’ situation, but the Modular Diner included a pink Cadillac as well, with nowhere to park.

We really think that adding the Police Car would have really helped flesh out a bunch of Modular cities, but even without the car, this set is quite amazing.

LEGO 10278 – Police Station - Chris McVeigh