This is a quick build. The anchor is the new type introduced last year in the PotC sets, but this is its first apperance in blue.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are new. Obi-Wan has a new torso and head. Qui-Gon looks the same as the one in 7961 Sith Infiltrator...
The bag also contains Amidala and this is how she's packed. The polybag packaging suggests that the components are made in China. However, that is not a problem because they are excellent miniature works of art as you will see...
Here she is, then, in all her glory:
Her hair and headpiece is truly magnificent: the moulding and printing is flawless. The alignment of the printing on the torso and dress is pretty much spot-on. The base of the dress is circular and the same size as a 4x4 round plate.
She's a beauty for sure, and well worth the 13 year wait we've had for her. The manufacturing capabilities of LEGO have improved tremendously in that time and it's doubtful whether something this good could have been made back then. You just have to compare the old and new Gungan heads, for example, to see how things have improved.
LEGO has certainly played it cleverly putting such a desirable figure in this expensive set where, it could be argued, she doesn't really belong. Even if you don't like the sub. you'll need to buy the set for her alone. The aftermarket price is bound to be high: in fact someone has one listed for £30 on eBay.co.uk at the moment. I don't suppose that'll drop much in time given the likely demand for her.
Bag 4 is the same build, mirrored, for the right hand side. There are a lot of slopes, inverted slopes (underneath, which can't be seen in the pictures) and the new curved 2x4 slopes used in the construction.
The rear propulsion unit plugs into the back and the finished model looks like this:
The three minifigs all fit quite comfortably into the cockpit, although I did have take the Jedis' capes off to get them in.
Overall I think this is an excellent set. It's an interesting build, full of useful pieces, and the end product looks great and exactly as it should do. The arguably superfluous minifig Queen Amidala is the icing on the cake and makes this the 'must have' Star Wars set of this summer. It is undoubtably expensive (£55 in the UK, probably $60 in the US) but on this occasion, I think it's worth it: a great model and even greater minifigs!
Coming up next: I'll do the series 2 Planet sets over the next few days, then next week CapnRex101 and I will collaborate on Jabba's Palace...