OK, I finally finished the Carousel last night. It only took me about a week to build, spending an hour or two here and there on it. This was probably one of the more impressive builds I have done so far, and I enjoyed it throughly.
The build was made a bit harder because all of the parts were not very well ordered in the box. Basically there were a bunch of bags filled with the individual bits, and in order to do some of the steps, most of the bags had to be opened within the first hour of build time.
This creates a large pile of parts that you have to sift through in order to find the next part that you need to install, which increases the time it takes to build while you are hunting and pecking for the different bits.
One disappointment I had with this set was the stickers. I have started to loath stickers in these sets… not because they go on the pieces, because for the most part LEGO has been very good about keeping the stickers relegated to only one piece to stick on, and for the most part those pieces are items that are generally replaceable by generic pieces, thus not covering up a specialty piece.
No, what I hate is that in these large sets, invariably the sticker sheet gets crumpled up in the loading and shipping stages of the box, which means that very often the stickers are bent up and in some cases (like this one) actually no longer attached to the sticker sheet, but instead to either the bags or the box itself instead. I was able to salvage the stickers in this case, but I have had problems in the past where the stickers were so bent up that they no longer wanted to stick to the LEGO pieces any longer. Very disappointing.
The construction of the carousel is pretty solid, though the two non-horse elements of the ride do not hold on very well to the pole they are attached to. The horses are dead solid on their individual poles, and aren’t going to be falling off, but the sleigh and gondola are attached only via an antenna and 1×1 cylinder, which does not create a very strong attachment. I would have preferred something a bit more solid.
The little music box that a part of this set is a bit tinny, but in the context of it being a carousel it works pretty well. The motor that turns the carousel, on the other hand, is just too noisy, and something should have been done in the original design to cover up the motor more so that it would not be as loud as it is.
Despite these shortcomings, the set is really quite beautiful. I will get some pictures of it up sometime, if I I remember to do so.