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I have just acquired 9474 Battle of Helm's deep and have some others where the box is open and I don't know if all the bags are in there. For example this set it looks like bag one has been opened, and I have three bags each of 2 and 3.

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  • I have reworded your question title slightly so that hopefully other people with a similar problem can find a solution. (We also have had similar questions before but they tend to have the same answer)
    – Ambo100
    May 3 at 17:18
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Instructions

If you cannot find a review, most sets detail which bags you will be using for each stage within the included instructions. LEGO provide a easy lookup for most instructions included in sets if you do not have a physical copy.

Online reviews

An easy way to find out these sort of things is to find a review online, for sets of this size there are often quite lengthy details.

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A total of 9 bags, each with 1 or 2 smaller bags inside.

Weight

To be sure you could also weigh all the bags, add them up and deduct it from the known weight (subtracting the box and instruction weight). Physical information of sets including dimensions and weights can be found on LEGO set databases like Brickset.com

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  • thanks for the link, not a site I have found before.
    – toysnstuff
    May 2 at 15:17
  • 2
    The instructions in two recent large sets I had easy access to check (Colosseum, and Lamborghini Sian) only indicate which numbered stage you're on, they don't indicate how many numbered bags the stage consists of. For the Sian each stage is in its own sub-box so that shouldn't be a major headache when I start building it. For the Colosseum though, with 40 stages and 2-5 (typically 3) numbered bags per stage I had to pre-sort everything to be able to build with any confidence. In neither case would the manual be of help to the OP. May 3 at 15:15
  • @DanIsFiddlingByFirelight You are absolutely right. Building instructions don't say how many bags of a given number are needed. And some of the larger sets don't have any bag information at all in the instructions (e.g the 2012 Sopwith Camel plane I just build a few weeks ago). You can also have some unnumbered bags (PF motors and/or large/oddly shaped/transparant pieces). A review or "unboxing" video on YouTube is the only way to be sure, if it shows enough detail.
    – Tonny
    May 3 at 21:48
  • @Tonny For small sets it is rare and I suppose you can also try following along with the instructions whilst visually inspecting the bags.
    – Ambo100
    May 3 at 22:01
  • @Ambo100 At 1368 pieces I wouldn't call Battle of Helms Deep a small set. I would call it medium. (Opinions will differ on what is "small", but I think of small as build-time less than about 2 hours. With my usual build-speed that amounts to 500-800 pieces depending on complexity of the build.) Visually inspecting closed bags is not easy. It is doable I suppose to determine if you have all bags, if you can match the larger bricks and specialty pieces in each stage with the bags.
    – Tonny
    May 3 at 22:25

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