I thought I would start a new section of the blog detailing one of the other areas of my life that is excellent: Lego Star Wars.
I have been lucky enough to get some awesome Lego Star Wars sets for Xmas and Birthday presents over the years from my awesome family and gf ^^.
Recently Lego Star Wars sets have been getting better and better with tons more detail, accuracy and the trademark Lego tongue-in-cheek humour. What I really like is the way Lego distil the identity of the Star Wars vehicles into playful features – Darth’s meditation chamber in the Star Destroyer for example. (If you are interested in Lego Star Wars at all you have to check out the DK Official Visual Dictionary – it really shows the improvements Lego have made over the years and the great variety of sets in superb detail).
Anyway, this year I got what I have to say is one of the classiest sets I have ever seen: the Lambda-Class Imperial Shuttle .
Star Wars fans will know that this is one of most elegant and cool ships in the original trilogy – carrying the Rebel assault-team down to the Endor moon and ferrying Darth, Luke and Palpatine about.
My completed Lambda-Class Shuttle ^^ Very beautiful!
As an Ultimate Collector Series product the Lamda-Class Shuttle is designed more for authentic looks and perfect scale to Lego mini-figures than for being something to play around with. What this means is that once built the Shuttle looks fantastic but is extremely heavy and fragile.
When you finally have it built and set-up on it’s stand (or it’s landing gear) you’re best advised to leave the ‘Lambda’ be and admire it from a afar.
The wings can be positioned either down for flying or up for landing ^^
Although the set does not contain as many pieces as the Death Star (3.8k vs 2.5k) from my experience it’s far more time-consuming and demanding to build.
It took my girlfriend and I about 1.5days one-and-off to build the Death Star but the Lambda-Class was definitely well over 2days.
Also – the Lambda-Shuttle requires a lot of detailed Lego-Technic work on the gearing system which raises and lowers its wings. I managed to build half of the gears backwards and only noticed when the central structure was almost complete. This caused a time-consuming and frustrating taking-apart-then-rebuilding process which took around 2 hours. (I had been drinking but not that much….it might be good if the user manual asked you to test out the gearing before you go ahead and build up the structure around it).
Winding the little handles raises and lowers the wings. Be carefully when you build up the gearing system!
Once the set is constructed though it looks excellent. The white-colouring which seems a bit odd at first works much better when the Shuttle is fully built and is pretty close to what you see in the movies – certainly it’s a lot more striking than if Lego had made it in grey bricks.
Lego definitely made a good decision going for the white bricks ^^
What I really like about the Lambda-Class shuttle set it is that it is almost perfectly to scale with the mini-figures. While sets like the Death Star make up for the lack of scale accuracy with loads of playful features and move-scene recreations there is something just so ‘right’ about the Shuttle – I am sure it will be a hit with fans.
You can see the scaling of the Shuttle is much more accurate than the Star Destroyer or Death Star
My only real gripe with the actual looks/features of the Shuttle is that the canopy pivots upwards for access rather than having lowering ramp as we see in Return of the Jedi. I know that it would have been hard to include a functional ramp but you would think that Lego could have included something – even if only for show.
Unfortunately your Emperor Palpatine will not be descending the Shuttle's ramp ala ROTJ :(
The ramp issue is a small one really though – mostly you will have the Shuttle displayed on the stand with the cockpit closed anyway.
Obi-Wan and C3PO off an another day trip to Endor ^^
Mini-figures wise you get Darth, Luke, Imperial Officer, Imperial Pilot and a Stormtrooper. Clearly you are supposed to be re-creating the scene on the forest moon where Luke turns himself over to the Imperials and Vader.
I have to say I would have preferred to have Palpatine along with an adviser, a stormtrooper and 2 Imperial Guards. This is because most Lego collectors will have a lot of Luke and Darth mini-figs already and I would say that Palpatine’s ‘inspection’ of the Death Star II is the more iconic scene featuring the Lambda-Class Shuttle.
Palpatine checks in on Darth and Tarkin's progress on the Death Star ^^
If you want to see some more in-depth content on the Lambda-Class Shuttle set check out this video of the designer (omg – how cool are the people that work for Lego!):
Also an in-depth video review here:
Just enough time left to say thanks to my sister for taking the ace shots of my Shuttle and my girlfriend for helping me build it.
Back to work tomorrow -_-