Ho Ho Ho - time for some festive LEGO fun!
It's the gorgeous new LEGO set 40499 - Santa's Sleigh. We've loved seeing so many people buying two of these to make a full train of 8 reindeer, but for ours we kept it simple with just a single set.
Christmas sets always look good with lights, so we've been having fun playing around with lights for our Christmas display!
Here's what we did...
We went all out on this one!
First we took a Multi Colour Changing Light String. They're commonly seen in the Light My Bricks Christmas range, and they cycle through various fabulous animated colour patterns randomly.
Wrapping the light string around the reindeer's harness from the sleigh to the front and back again was a perfect fit.
We then fitted two Large Warm White bit lights under the world map in front of Santa. We did this by replacing the brown 2x1 brick with a transparent one, and inserting the Bit Lights.
Next we added another Multi Colour Changing Light string under the toys! We wrapped it up into a neat coil that sat at the bottom.
Finally we added two Blue Strip Lights underneath the sleigh. Maybe the magic which makes his sleigh fly has a blue glow? Who knows.
Here's how it looked:
And then here's how it looked raised up on trans-clear bricks as if it were coming in to land!
We left this a few days and then came back for a second try!
Here's what we thought about the first attempt.
- It's pretty awesome!
- Not sure about the blue underneath
- The lights under Santa's Map don't really illuminate Santa - just the footwell
- The disco lights in the rear toy compartment bleed through the side wall which doesn't look great
So we took it all apart and tried again.
- This time we swapped the Blue lights under the sleigh for Cool White.
- We moved the lights in front of Santa up a bit, and attached them either side of the map using sticky pads.
- We fitted cardboard into the red panel on the side of the sleigh, to block the light from leaking through
- We swapped the multi colour string light for two Cool White strip lights instead.
And here's the end result!
How we did it
This is a pretty small model so perfectly hiding the cables was never going to work - instead we're assuming it will be on display and running cables out the back will work.
First we dismantled most of the side walls on the toy compartment.
Then the reindeer (complete with the whole harness) came off
Next the front console - it just pops off intact quite easily.
Santa's seat (three 1x6 pieces) can be lifted out easily.
Finally the back of Santa's seat - previously held in place by the side walls - can be removed, and you can pop out this stud to make room for wiring.
First the reindeer...
We started wrapping the Multi Colour Changing String Light to the harness by Santa's right hand side, with the black end of the light string left loose so it can later be tucked under the console as shown here.
Then it's just a matter of carefully looping the wire around the frame all the way to the front, across the other side, and back again. It might take a few tries but we got lucky and it was a perfect fit.
3) The Dashboard Lights
Two Large Warm White (15cm) Bit Lights were simply stuck either side of the world map using sticky pads. The wires don't have to be perfect - they run to the floor and to the side to meet the reindeer harness wire.
From here they can be run under Santa's seat and through to the rear compartment. Once in place, rebuild Santa's seat and the seat back too.
4) Under the sleigh
This part is pretty easy - we just used two Cool White strip lights, a 5cm cable to join them together, and a 15cm cable to reach up to the toy compartment.
We added two 4x1 plates (white in this case - they're not visible so it doesn't matter) to provide a flat surface to stick the Strip Lights to.
The 15cm cable reaches up to the side of the sleigh and into the toy compartment.
Here's how that looks at the end - you can see the wire from underneath, and the power cable which connects to the battery or USB supply later.
5) The Toy Compartment
First off we need to block the light which bleeds through those thin side panels. We cut a strip of black card from one of our business cards and wedged that into the panel, with a little bit stuck out which will touch the back of Santa's seat. This prevents the light going past the edges.
At this point we rebuilt that side wall with the panel back in place.
Finally, we can join it all together.
We added two Cool White Strip Lights to the toy compartment, one at the back on the floor, and one directly behind Santa's seat at the top, facing the toys.
These were joined with a 5cm connecting cable, and another 5cm connecting cable was connected to a 6 port expansion board.
The 6 port expansion board was hooked up as follows before being tucked out of the way when we rebuild the side wall again.
1 - 30cm Connecting Cable (out of the sleigh, to the power)
2 - Multi Colour Changing String Light
3 - Large Warm White 15cm Bit Light (Dashboard)
4 - Large Warm White 15cm Bit Light (Dashboard)
5 - 15cm Connecting Cable (under the sleigh, to the strip lights)
6 - 5cm Connecting Cable (to the strip lights in the toy compartment)
You can see how they all fit quite neatly, leaving plenty of room for the toys!
And that's it!
The 30cm cable running out of the side wall can connect to a battery pack or a USB cable of course.
For this project we used the following pieces.
- 1 x Multi Colour Changing String Light
- 2 x 15cm Large Bit Lights in Warm White
- 4 x Cool White Strip Lights
- 3 x 5cm Connecting Cables
- 1 x 15cm Connecting Cable
- 1 x 30cm Connecting Cable
- 1 x 6 port Expansion Board
- 2 x sticky pads
- And a power supply
The retail price for all these components (assuming an AA battery pack is used) is £43.81.
We're delighted with how this project turned out. It's a lot of lights and therefore a high cost for a small set, but it's a lovely effect in the end.
If you'd like to buy the parts needed to build this yourself check out our DIY section, or drop us a line for a custom order with just the right components!