Review: 7191 UCS X-Wing
I'm only 13 years late posting a review of 7191 UCS X-Wing, originally released in 2000, but I thought it might be worth taking a look at it ahead of the release of the new version (10240) next month for comparison purposes.
2000 was the second year of the Star Wars license, of course, and this set, together with 7181 TIE Intercepter, were the first Star Wars UCS models to be made.
The first thing you will have noticed, if you have the model yourself, is that I have removed all the white and tan elements from it.
As you can see below, the original colour scheme looks more like Joseph's Technicolour Dreamcoat and I felt it was a total mess, so a short while after building it, I swapped out the white and tan for light grey, and personally I think it's a vast improvement.
Here it is from a similar angle. I think there are some minor differences on the wings where parts were not available in light grey at the time.
When the new version was announced, I voiced my concerns that it too was going to be white and not grey again; however I don't think it's quite such a patchwork of colours as the old one, so hopefully it will be acceptable. We will see...
There's no doubt that 7191 is a fantastically detailed display piece, particularly so compared to other sets of the time.
However, it's not without its faults. The R2 unit sits too high, the rear part of the engines are very susceptible to falling off in the slightest breeze and, worst of all, although the wings hold firm when they are open, when closed, they droop somewhat. The way the wings are held on is actually surprisingly flimsy, by means of just two Techinc axles per wing. The set has been in storage, assembled, for 12 years or so, but the wings haven't been attached, so I don't think the parts have been stressed. However...
...while moving the model about for photography, I noticed there was something rattling inside. Luckily it was fairly easy to get to the wing opening mechanism to see what was causing it. It turned out one of the 12-tooth bevel gears that you can see at the bottom of the picture below had broken. The entire weight of the wings goes through these gears so it's perhaps not surprising that it had failed, and that the wings do droop. Replacing it didn't solve the droop entirely though, unfortunately.
You can also see below how the wings attach to the body: just with those tiny Technic connectors on the side!
So, to conclude, this was a groundbreaking model at the time, and is still highly sought after by collectors. Bad decisions were made on the original colour scheme, and the wing opening mechanism is very flimsy, but I guess at the time there may not have been the parts available to do it any other way.
I'm looking forward to building the new version when it's available next month and seeing how it compares. We'll bring you a review as soon as we can!