I was very glad when I saw that all three of this fourth wave of planets sets were going to based on old trilogy vehicles and that the figures looked so good, but my enthusiasm has been dented by the final products. Alderaan is great, but Hoth is poor, and so is this set.
The figure is, as so often recently, the highlight, or more accurately the only bright spot! The printing on the torso and legs is just superb and is making me want to update all my old minifigs. His helmet is I think a good choice and altogether he is superb. He looks great alongside the 2013 A-Wing and Snowspeeder pilots and I've got them all together looking at the death star hologram in the Home One set - they look great!
The planet is a let down, not as much as Hoth as it has far more detailing and is at quite vibrantly coloured, but it is still quite bland overall. The better detailing is just repeated in rings around the planet, and as far as I can recall the actual planet Endor was never seen in the films so who knows if it's accurate or not! (Therein lies the limitation of this series, too few planets to work with, and planets like Dagobah that would only go with one vehicle that TLG decided to pair with Yavin IV - doh!)
The real let-down is with the vehicle, though I'm reticent to be too critical as I can't quite see how to do it better.
The overall feel of the vehicle is odd as it doesn't quite line up down its vertical centre, but then with the Lego brick's proportions I'm not sure making it symmetrical would be possible.
The way the engine section is made is actually quite nice, and the new 2x2 smooth-bottomed piece that I've only seen elsewhere on the bottom of the 2013 Snowspeeder is used nicely to make it as symmetrical as possible. I'm a little disappointed that none of the new studs-on-side pieces have been used, but the old 1x2-with-4-studs-on-side pieces that are used (think car radiator grilles and headlights) are used well.
The cockpit is quite nicely made (maybe the best B-Wing cockpit yet? Though of course if a large scale version were made like this we'd all be up in arms!) and the printed piece is great.
The niggles are well described in Huw's review and the other review below, the clips allow any old angle, one wing won't fold out fully, and the whole ship is far too prone to tipping with how it's been mounted. I can't see how ratcheted clips could have been used though, as the full 90 degree angles aren't possible better to get as close as possible. The wing problem can be solved by building the offending wing upside-down, but you would need the opposite wing piece to make it work. I find it hard to be too disappointed as I can't see how it could have been done better and the way the parts are integrated into the whole is actually quite nice.
So it turns out I don't think it's half as bad as it seems, but that still doesn't save it, overall it's pretty mediocre.
- Brilliant B-Wing Pilot figure, well printed, top notch!
- Nice micro-building integration of parts in the essentially thin model
- Quite a nice selection of pieces all things considered
- Rubbish fixing to the stand
- Lots of niggly dissatisfaction about the angles and symmetry in the B-Wing
- Pretty poor planet
As with the Hoth Snowspeeder I'd say this is for collectors of the theme/OT stuff only and isn't likely to win any new fans. I still don't think it's as dreadful as it seems (sorry Huw! I can't condemn it!), most of the faults are part and parcel of the scale, but the niggles do add up to make a very disappointing model. A firm 5 out of 10 on all fronts!
And a final note on value - set price across the theme limits this, but with most of the old waves on sale everywhere I can't work out why they've gone up £2, and the value on this set is poor, £9.99 would have been bearable, £11.99 is a wrench.
So in conclusion, don't avoid it if you have the need to collect, it's not all the awful, but if you don't have that fixation then it's a fine one to miss!
4 out of 4 people thought this review was helpful.
This is my favorite Star Wars ship, so of course I had to have it. Having read the only previous review on this set, I went in with low expectations, which was a good idea...
Ultimately this model is flawed in several ways.
First, the wings are on somewhat loose hinges/connectors, and not the ratcheted/notched kind. This allows for some flimsiness both in setting the wings or in moving them. This same method is used to connect the B-wing to the base, making it quite flimsy and easy to flip over.
Second, some coloring elements (mainly the orange markings) do not blend in seamlessly with the wing of the ship. I recognize this would be hard to do seamlessly, so the whole structure should be re-thought. Having orange 1x1 rounds stick out of the wings is a poor solution.
Third, the dimensions are a bit off. It seems like the B-wing is generally faced with this problem in most builds. Here it is worse due to the limitations of the various wing parts available. I can't help but think some other options might work, and still keep this on the mini-midi scale.
Fourth, the wings don't line up. They are barely able to stay perpendicular when the S-foils are extended. When closed, as noted in the earlier review, they stick out and do not lay flush. And there is no real easy fix. This is a pretty big disappointment.
And finally, there are some elements of the engine and main body that do not match what I would expect out of a B-wing. Flat plates lay across what is generally a raised engine, which doesn't really show (the front intake is just wedges). In addition there are two guns along the body that don't make sense and don't add anything to the ship.
The minifig is a great addition to the collection. And another saving grace is that the printed cone for the cockpit can be rotated for different configurations.
I think there is a good model in here somewhere... It seems like with some effort this could be retooled into a great little ship. The printed cone could serve as the starting point. But regardless, this is a ship that needs some work. Compared to other Planet series, it fails to compete. I'm only giving it the rating I did because I love the B-wing so much. And if you have read this far, you probably will to, but with appropriately set expectations!
6 out of 6 people thought this review was helpful.
In most markets, Series 4 of the Star Wars Planet sets are not due in the shops for some months, but for some strange reason, as we reported last week, this one is available in TRU in Spain already.
Avid Brickset reader Ahrien picked one up for me in Barcelona and I received it today. So, I'm pleased to be able to being you this exclusive review way ahead of official release. (Many thanks Ahrien!)
The B-Wing is an interesting craft and one which LEGO has made several times in the past, including most recently at UCS scale. This however, is the first micro-scale version and one I was particularly looking forward to because I made my own version back in 2009, so I wanted to see how well it compared.
Box and contents
Like all Planet sets, it comes in a cardboard box with a cutout for the planet to protrude front and back. The parts are inside the planet, which splits in two. The only other thing in the box is the instructions.
There are no new pieces other than the printed 2 x 2 x 2 cone that's used for the cockpit and of course the printed 4 x 4 plate/tile that's used on the base. There are a couple of rare-ish pieces in it though, including a 3l black bar and a 2 x 2 inverted tile.
The B-Wing pilot minifig is unique to this set I believe (it hasn't been inventoried at BrickLink yet), and has a fantastically detailed print on its torso and legs.
The completed model
As with all other Planet sets, it consists of a planet 'bauble', a minifig, the space craft and a stand to mount the latter two on. This one clips onto the stand by way of the 3l black bar.
I have to say, I do not like the B Wing at all. It suffers from the same problem that all other LEGO B-Wings do (with the possible exception of the UCS one, which I don't have) in that it is not symmetrical about the vertical axis and thus looks totally wrong. Here are some more photos from all angles. You will note in the front and back ones, that one of the wings (on the non-stud side) does not open fully to 90 degrees.
Worse still, the wings don't lay flat:
Now, while my version is pretty crude by today's MOC standards, it is at least symmetrical and the wings close fully.
I know it's hard to get things looking good at micro-scale with only a handful of pieces, but I feel LEGO could have done much better than this. There are so many design flaws it really is disappointing.
Having said that, the Star Wars completest will need to buy it for the excellent unique minifig.
One good thing that's going to come out of it being so bad, is that it's encouraged me to revisit my model and see if it can be improved using today's parts palette, which will be the first time I've done any MOC-ing for some time :-)
Despite its flaws, I'd very much like to thank Ahrien for taking the time to procure and send it to me!
11 out of 13 people thought this review was helpful.