In part 1 we covered the box contents and the minifigs. Today CapnRex101 and I complete our review with a look at the build and the completed model.
(Words by CapnRex101, pictures by Huw)
The build phase is quite enjoyable and features a few interesting building techniques, including one or two which I have not previously encountered.
You start by constructing the compact Jedi Airspeeder which uses some SNOT to achieve the streamlined appearance of the tail fin, this seems a little unnecessary to me, but it is always nice to see the designers using more varied techniques.
Next you move on to the landing pad and sliding doors. These sliding doors will not be new to most Star Wars fans who have made Star Wars related MOCs, but I believe such a door has never before been seen in Lego so for less experienced builders, this may be a new technique for creating doors of this kind.
The dark red floor area is constructed at different angles which is very nice and has been formed using hinge bricks and wedge plates which create a flush and smooth surface. Last of all is the actual office area which contains a great deal of Technic parts to allow the functions to work and some more SNOT to make the brilliant desk. This mixture of System and Technic construction really adds to the building experience in my opinion resulting in a most entertaining two and a half hours or so.
The Completed Model:
The actual model is certainly more about play features and functions than accuracy, as there are numerous differences between the scene in the film and this set. However, the features are excellent, making this set a huge amount of fun if you are intending to play with it rather than simply display it. I will begin with the Jedi Airspeeder (a DC0052 Airspeeder to be precise) which is a nice sturdy design, and a fairly accurate representation of the actual vehicle in the film. It features an opening cockpit and two flick fire missiles which are decent features, unfortunately however the cockpit contains no controls of any sort which would have been welcome and the pilot must almost lie down flat to fit in the cockpit. Three stickers are used to add the open circle symbols on the front of the ship and the detailing on the top of the cockpit. The two engines are found on the back of the vehicle and underneath is a protruding cylinder which allows the Airspeeder to dock on the landing platform included, but this does not look too out of place when you are simply flying it around.
The landing platform section is very basic indeed but is nevertheless suitable for the task. It is octagonal in shape and has four translucent blue tiles on it which act as landing lights. There is also a hole for the Airspeeder to slot on to. Leading from here to the office itself are a set of dark and light grey steps up to the sliding doors which look fantastic. The landing platform can be separated from the doors and is attached using two Technic pins which allow one to rearrange the set as you wish. A dark red carpet runs down the centre of these doors which adds to the regal and luxurious feel of Palpatine’s Office and on either side of the doors are two black lamps. The doors slide open very smoothly and one figure can fit through with ease. This section connects to the main office area using Technic pins as well.
The largest section of the model is the actual office as one would expect and it looks superb. The carpet of the lower area of the office is dark red and has two golden statues on grey plinths sitting on it, other than that it is empty which allows easy access to play with the Minifigures here. The doors and landing platform can be fitted at any of the three angles making up this floor area but I prefer to keep it central for accuracy’s sake.
Steps lead to the upper area of the room where you find three holoprojectors, two lovely swivelling chairs which are frequently sat in by members of the Jedi Council such as Yoda or Mace Windu in the films and the Clone Wars television programme, and Palpatine’s desk as well as his elaborate chair. The vast panoramic window which is present in the film is also here on the model and looks outstanding in my opinion. Most of the wonderful features are found up here, including the two catapult like sections of the floor which allow you to recreate Palpatine’s huge leap to attack the Jedi. One must really line up Palpatine perfectly to fling him in the right direction towards the Jedi and this can take some time so the feature does not work perfectly at all. There is a catapult on either side of the desk and just behind that, closer to the window, are two opening sections of floor in which Darth Sidious’ Sith Lightning and Lightsaber can be stored for him to reveal when the Jedi arrive to arrest him.
My favourite feature however is the opening window which can recreate the moment when Mace Windu is flung out of the office to fall to his death. A pin which supports the window panel can be removed from the side of the model releasing the window so it collapses along with a portion of the floor where master Windu can stand to be thrown outside. It would have been easier, and perhaps more effective, to just have a small lever which opens the window but this works well nevertheless. Strangely, according to the instructions, Palpatine’s chair should be placed quite a long way from his desk closer to the window, and sadly it does not swivel but this can easily be fixed by adding a turntable piece which are very common.
I would recommend this set, however there are certain aspects which I find a little disappointing, for instance the lack of accuracy at the expense of play features. This is a superb set for playability, with a very swooshable little Airspeeder, lots of moving parts, and all you need to recreate the famous scene from the movie, however for display, it is really a little underwhelming as some areas seem a little simple and unfinished such as the patchwork like floor of the upper office area or cockpit of the Jedi Airspeeder which is left with no controls. However, with a few extra parts added, this model can be greatly improved for display potential.
The figures though, are a real triumph. We get absolutely everybody we need for the scene and all six Minifigures are nice, especially Palpatine, Saesee Tiin and the brand new Agen Kolar in my opinion. I think the price too is very reasonable (for the UK at least) and you get plenty of marvellous pieces which make this a good parts pack. For those of you who play with your Lego sets it hardly gets any better than this model and I highly suggest you purchase it at the first opportunity, but for display alone this is not the best, and it may be worth spending your money elsewhere on this fantastic selection of Summer Lego Star Wars sets rather than going for this one.