LEGO Ninjago City Gardens is full of stunning details created by nice part usage. Here is a crash course in the details you might have missed.
LEGO 71741 – Ninjago City Gardens
An Abundance Of NPU
Everyone knows that you cannot truly appreciate a LEGO set without buying it and building it. Yes, I’m calling you out people who sit them away in their box in a cupboard for years and years for “future investment”.
But Ninjago City Gardens isn’t just a simple purchase, and not everyone can afford to experience the stunning details this set has to offer. That’s what this article is for. Here’s a crash course in the stunning little details that you’d miss if you didn’t take a second look!
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Right off the bat, our ground level has these small street lights. Utilising the party hat mould on the end to give it a little more flair. Bonus points for also using the Ninjago Dragon Hilt as decorations (which isn’t new to Ninjago sets but new to non-Ninjago builders).
Our little shop opening on this floor as well gives a creative use for one half of the newer book moulds. Using clips and studs with vertical bar attachments to flip the studs upside down for the opening.
In our garden area, we find a creative use of a beanie for a rock.
Our waterways find a smart way of using a “Power-Blast” piece for a flow of water out of the pipe.
The centre of the garden has a shrine to Zane. One of the Ninjas who sacrificed themselves at a climactic point in the story at the end of Ninjago’s original run, who was later revived in the “Rebooted series” alongside the franchise.
This little air conditioning unit uses a mix of paint roller moulds and a grey syringe for the pipeworks.
The top of Zane’s shrine uses the old “Star Wars Blaster Pieces”/Megaphones in red for the detailing. Or for those of you old enough to remember the policeman’s megaphone.
The walls in this particular area use gear 1×4 bricks in black on their sides, creating some really nice wall textures.
This particular spot has a map wall, showcasing locations within Ninjago and parts of their journey. The matching art style of the maps make it quite pleasant to look at.
There’s a small birds nest using the toilet seat/lifesaver in brown atop the lime-green plantlife.
This roofing is made out of inverted 1×3 jumper plates. Once again, creating some nice texture from a part you wouldn’t usually use in this way.
Lastly, this particular pillar uses a gear chain in grey to finish off the detail aesthetic.
Level 1 of Ninjago City Gardens sets up some sneaky details that are probably the most impressive in the set. First up, this golden shape is made by using the conical hat on a snowflake piece, then attaching three gold broken egg moulds to the ends of it.
In a likewise fashion, this next detail uses the conical hat and then x2 shoulder armours from Season 12: Prime Empire.
This guard railing showcases a stickered detail with game buttons, then accessorised with black non-printed controller moulds.
Traditionally used for trailers and trucks, this dark grey panel is used for a window covering.
Chen’s Noodle House’s mascot may be very happy here with his two bowls of noodles, but it’s the black sausage pieces used for the curved roof that have caught my attention here.
Likewise, this next roof has black cleavers upon black cleavers for their roof.
This rooftop uses the black controllers once again.
To top off level 1, the front of this shop uses a love heart and stud with vertical bar to really sell the splat of ice cream on the ground. Bloody brilliant!
Level 2 brings in more detail and doesn’t let up on the NPU! LEGO use a roller coaster track for the archway near these windows, which isn’t new, but there has to be a special mention for going a bit extra with the azure windows.
The rail guard on this level also features black handcuffs, which continue to tie in with the aesthetic of this world.
Unikitty’s tail once again sneaks its way in to sets we don’t expect it in, this time in dark-yellow.
Our Koi Fish needs more credit. It uses feathers as its whiskers, orange leaves as its main fins, a droid body toward the read, and its body is made up of LEGO SUPER MARIO LEGS. This is NPU overload!
The telescope near the arcade machines makes creative use of the tap piece.
Another guard rail, but this time using the square Brickheadz glasses!
Our movie poster once again takes great use for the paint roller moulds as spotlights!
Our cherry blossom tree uses black handlebars as it’s core structure to get some more organic angles.
And finally for Level 2, one of the rooftops use treasure chest lids in black!
Tower & Vehicles
Although small, our vehicle of the set also uses a neat trick of building underneath the scooter piece, and furthermore uses the newer DC parts with crystals for the thrusters.
Finally, the tower uses azure Nexo-Knight triangle slopes to create the funky-ness of Ninjago city, but then combos it with the trans purple/pink wing flaps to instil a futuristic vibe.
Ninjago City Gardens is a wonderous set, much like its predecessors, and I hope that you can appreciate these small details as much as we did. There are so many more that we didn’t point out. So it might be worth treating yourself to this set and see them for yourself! There’s plenty of these small little tricks that are easy to implement in your own MOCs at home, and I would implore you to do it as much as you can. Even if it is just a simple beanie as a rock.
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