It's been a few weeks since I reviewed the minifigs in this set, so this concluding look at the X-Wing itself is a bit overdue.
I wasn't able to photograph it satisfactorarily in my 50cm light tent so I ordered up an 80cm one from eBay (for about £15/$20). It's certainly big enough now but it's huge and a bit unwieldy to use in my LEGO room. The photos here and on flickr are the first I've taken in it and, while they are not bad, I'm sure they'll get better as I refine the lighting setup.
Anyway, on to the model itself. This is the fourth minifig scale X-Wing to be made (7140, 1999; 4502, 2004; 6212, 2006) so if you have any of the others you'll want to know whether this set is any better and whether to buy it. The simple answer is yes, this is the best X-Wing yet. However I think there's room for improvement...
The first thing you notice when comparing this to previous versions is that the wings on the other three were all 'studs-up' whereas on this one, the lower wings are 'studs-down'. It seems such an obvious way to build it to ensure symmetry that you have to wonder why LEGO hasn't made them like this in the past. It makes such a huge difference to the final appearance that if this was the only change made it would be worth 'upgrading' to this model for this reason alone.
The use of SNOT doesn't end there though. Clever use of upside-down sections round the wings has further ensured the symmetry between top and bottom: the 65 degree 2x2x2 slopes at the bottom of the back are, of course, upside down because LEGO doesn't make an inverted slope at that angle.
Other differences between this and the last X-Wing were neatly summarised by Kulturkampf in a comment to the last news article, so I will copy those here:
- The laser cannons are at a more correct length.
- The engines are now placed correctly off center.
- The nose is now 3 studs wide instead of 2 before it hits the 6x4 slope, giving a much better ease into the nose.
- The pieces on the side of the cockpit are the new, longer slopes, making it sleeker.
- The fuselage is now correctly hexagonal.
- There are now slopes at the side of the engines down to the wings, like there's supposed to be.
- There are now markings inside the engines (even though they are stickers.... :/)
- This one has proton torpedos.
- The best one - on the old X-Wing, it took ages to open the wings. On this one, they snap open with only half a turn.
So, what can be improved? Well I'm not totally sold on the colour scheme. Apart from the first 1999 version of the craft, all others, at all scales, have been predominantly white with splashes of red and grey. Correct me if I'm wrong but don't the pictures at Wookiepeida show that they should be red and grey without any white at all? Why then do LEGO insist on making them white? It would be a useful and interesting exercise to convert this one to grey to see the result.
An excellent rendition of the most iconic Star Wars vehicle and some superb minifigs to boot: the set deserves a place in everyone's collection!
More pictures on flickr. Which do you prefer -- a black or white background?