Star Wars features numerous excellent vehicles and the menacing Imperial-class Star Destroyer enjoys tremendous renown. Multiple renditions of this fantastic vessel have been produced and 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer looks impressive when compared with the movie, based upon its appearance in official images.
Furthermore, the model certainly captures the overwhelming scale of its spectacular source material, including 4784 elements and measuring 110cm in length! However, the associated price of £649.99 or $699.99 seems rather expensive, particularly when compared with 75192 Millennium Falcon. Nevertheless, I am approaching this review with high expectations.
Box and Contents
75252 Imperial Star Destroyer is packaged in an enormous box, corresponding with 75192 Millennium Falcon. The vessel appears suitably imposing here, ensnaring the miniature Tantive IV above Tatooine and featuring interesting shadows which convey its scale. The black border looks marvellous and each side of the box displays the model from different angles.
Four white boxes are found inside, containing 52 bags that are numbered between one and nineteen. Several bags including larger components are also provided and the boxes create an impressive Star Destroyer design when stacked together, as demonstrated here. The packaging undoubtedly appears suitably sophisticated, befitting this premium set.
Another box accommodates the spiral bound instruction manual, comprising 444 pages. The manual for 75192 Millennium Falcon remains more substantial than this example, although not to the extent I envisaged since this model incorporates sections which must be assembled twice and includes fewer pieces than the YT-1300 freighter.
The manual includes extensive information about the Star Destroyer alongside interviews with Jens Kronvold Frederiksen and Henrik Andersen. Jens focuses upon earlier LEGO Star Destroyers while Henrik discusses the design process behind this model and its relationship with 10030 Imperial Star Destroyer from 2002. I appreciate these features and the accompanying images are superb.
Two minifigures are included which is slightly disappointing, particularly given the association between Darth Vader and the Devastator. However, this Imperial Officer is unique, wearing an attractive plaque that denotes the rank of lieutenant and featuring dual-moulded legs. The head has appeared previously but suits the officer perfectly and his dark bluish grey kepi looks wonderful.
An excellent Imperial Crew Member accompanies the officer. Despite depicting a generic character, this minifigure includes remarkable detail so improves upon previous designs quite considerably. The torso and legs are both decorated with lovely creasing and the headset compares favourably with the source material too, returning from past figures.
Of course, the most notable difference between this minifigure and its predecessors are the intricately printed arms. Each shoulder features Imperial symbols and three code cylinders are stored on the left arm, despite appearing on the right during the movies. Even so, the arms are highly detailed and both minifigures wield blaster pistols.
Ultimate Collector Series models commonly include display stands, although their assembly is usually delayed towards the end of the building process. However, construction commences with the stand on this occasion, potentially indicating that it might form an integral part of the structure. Four black lattice elements are fixed to the base using 1x2 plates with vertical shafts, creating a secure connection.
The entire vehicle is constructed around a robust Technic core, consisting primarily of Technic panels. Several beams project from this structure but their respective purposes only become apparent during the latter stages of assembly. The bright colours are also notable, although these components will be concealed when the model is completed.
An impressive frame is mounted around the core, consisting almost entirely of Technic beams. Their angles begin to reveal the shape of an Imperial Star Destroyer at this stage which is nice, particularly since vessels within the Star Wars universe would probably be constructed around a similar structure! This frame gives an impression of its size too, measuring 95cm in length without any panels.
Having prepared the Technic frame, attention next shifts to the detailed flanks of this model. These elongated sections are identical so their construction is quite repetitive, although the intricate use of light bluish grey ingots, binoculars and hinges is brilliant. I appreciate how the panels are connected too, employing three pins that feel incredibly secure.
Enormous light bluish grey panels dominate this model and their constituent plates should be pressed down carefully to avoid bowing. Two such components are mounted beneath the frame and these are remarkably heavy, demonstrating the fantastic strength of the Technic core. Small ball joints are used along the edges while exposed axles support the meeting point between these panels.
The hangar bays and main reactor are similarly mounted upside down, further exploiting the central structure that provides attachment points on almost every surface. I am particularly pleased with the main reactor dome. Clips are concealed within, hence two rounded panels are angled to correspond with the surrounding armour.
System and Technic pieces are combined again towards the stern, securing three substantial panels around the engines. These wedge plates line up neatly with the ventral panels and numerous smaller components are distributed here to represent mechanical detail. The light bluish grey 1x1 half cylinder elements, for example, seem appealing as they have only appeared in two previous sets.
Furthermore, the structure behind the engines is connected to the aforementioned Technic core using beams with ball cups. The resultant assembly feels extraordinarily sturdy, providing ample support for the substantial engine nacelles. Building these engines is slightly repetitive, although this is inevitable given their duplicated design and this phase of the construction process is relatively brief.
Attention next returns to the armoured panels, four of which are positioned around the bow. Despite their outwardly similar appearance, constructing the panels is rather enjoyable as the smaller details vary considerably. Once again, ball joints and Technic axles are required to attach the ventral panels while those on top only employ ball joints and rest upon the spine that runs for almost the entire length of the Star Destroyer.
Completing the angular armour is remarkably satisfying. 10030 Imperial Star Destroyer includes four panels which are constructed sequentially but similar segments are assembled in eight sections here. This provides much greater enjoyment in my opinion, especially since their construction is punctuated by building the engine nacelles. In addition, dividing each panel might mitigate against them bowing in the future.
The bridge superstructure is assembled separately and feels somewhat familiar, employing building techniques which have appeared on almost every substantial rendition of an Imperial Star Destroyer. External plates are connected to clips inside the command tower, accurately recreating its distinctive tapering shape from the movies.
Five axles join the command tower to the Technic core, demonstrating wonderful continuity between early and late stages of construction. The crew decks are then positioned around this focal structure, using aerials that fit through yellow 2x2 coupling plates and rest above the surrounding armour. This technique is simple but seems quite effective as the resulting design looks magnificent.
Despite both sets consisting primarily of segmented panels, 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer and 75192 Millennium Falcon offer divergent building experiences. The earlier model features numerous separate sections which seem relatively disparate. Construction of this vessel, by comparison, remains cohesive throughout the entire process, due primarily to the consistent significance of the Technic frame.
The Completed Model
Seventeen years have passed since 10030 Imperial Star Destroyer was released and 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer represents an impressive improvement, especially given the high standard established by its predecessor. The proportions have been refined and this vessel includes superb detail, although the dominant light bluish grey colour scheme reduces the impact of these lovely aesthetic features.
Nevertheless, such uniform design compares favourably with the source material and this menacing creation remains exceptionally attractive, due primarily to its prodigious scale! The vehicle measures 110cm in length, exceeding even 75192 Millennium Falcon by considerable distance and dominating 75055 Imperial Star Destroyer which appears for comparison below. In fact, this model overwhelmed my standard photographic space.
The black display stand provides adequate support though, connecting underneath the main reactor and ensuring perfect balance. Its design appears fairly consistent with past Ultimate Collector Series models but this stand is unusually difficult to remove as sections of the Star Destroyer must be partly disassembled before the connecting pins may be detached from inside the model.
Unfortunately, an enormous sticker forms the information plaque and the primary engines have been erroneously omitted from the technical specifications which is rather disappointing. However, the blue Star Destroyer design looks marvellous and there is plentiful space for minifigures to stand beside the plaque, as demonstrated here.
LEGO discovered an effective method for designing Star Destroyers during 2002 and the latest model appears reasonably familiar in certain regards. For instance, the pointed prow consists almost entirely of wedge plates and resembles previous models, although this example includes great textured detail across the top and I think the tapered armour along each flank looks splendid.
The memorable opening scene of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope shows Darth Vader's imposing vessel pursuing the Tantive IV and a diminutive rendition of the Corellian Corvette is provided here. A trans-clear beam links this model to the Star Destroyer and it includes brilliant detail, combining white and dark red elements to outstanding effect. In fact, only the cockpit section includes an incongruous black component.
Furthermore, I believe the engine structure appears disproportionately large here, although it may be difficult to avoid that without designing a longer rendition of the Tantive IV. However, this model is the perfect length in relation to the Imperial Star Destroyer and comfortably fits inside the ventral hangar bay, corresponding precisely with the film.
Removing the elegant Tantive IV reveals four curving rails and numerous 1x2 grille tiles, both of which look excellent when compared with the film. A miniature TIE Fighter is suspended from its deployment rack and the designer has included the secondary hangar bay, replicating its unusual onscreen shape. The central gap seems awkward but I like the pearl silver tractor beam projectors and 1x1 round tiles that represent ventral laser cannons.
In fact, the entire structure exhibits extraordinary attention to detail. Certain sections of armour plating are accurately raised and these panels are not wholly symmetrical so look authentic. The combination of studded and smooth surfaces is effective in my opinion, creating lovely textured detail and resultant shadows which are helpful in breaking up the monochromatic silhouette.
Similarly intricate decoration appears along either flank. Once again, these designs appear perfectly accurate, including substantial conduits that occupy the same position during the movie. Comparing this creation to the original studio model reveals countless accurate details, representing a fantastic improvement over previous LEGO Star Destroyers.
Quad laser batteries are situated towards the stern, including four tiny barrels. They seem rather large when compared with the movies but increasing the size of these weapons has enabled the designer to include superior detail. Moreover, the turrets are mounted on ball joints which provide extensive motion and you can move the cannons individually, although that was not necessarily intentional.
Further armament protects the dorsal surface, including three axial defence turrets which appear most prominently during Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Each weapon is mounted on the structure beneath using one stud, hence they feel rather fragile. However, you can rotate the turrets for dynamic display and their shape matches the source material.
The layered crew decks appear reasonably similar to the larger panels, featuring studded and smooth surfaces alongside myriad subtle details. The pronounced cone at the centre is particularly impressive as this feature is scarcely visible during the films and the cone is positioned vertically so contrasts with the surrounding angled sections.
Sections of the crew decks can be removed with ease, revealing the Technic frame underneath. This provides a robust handle which is helpful because the model feels extremely heavy, almost matching 75192 Millennium Falcon! Unfortunately, the centre of gravity is situated behind this handle, although the instruction manual also suggests lifting the Star Destroyer from beneath as an alternative.
Numerous smaller pieces are distributed along the edges of the crew decks, forming the distinctively textured surfaces which are evident onscreen. The hinge bases seem particularly attractive, creating shadows that provide the illusion of depth. Some dark bluish grey pieces could have been positioned among these light bluish grey elements, although I think it looks wonderful without them.
Three heavy turbolaser turrets are mounted beside an ion cannon turret on each side of the command structure. These can rotate and the barrels are individually articulated. I like the 2x2 pentagonal plates situated towards the back of each turbolaser and the contrasting ion cannon looks good too, featuring light bluish levers which have not been available since 20010 Republic Gunship was produced during 2009.
Returning to the underside, an enormous dome protects the main reactor and this seems reasonably faithful to the movie. Henrik Andersen reveals that this structure dictated the scale of the entire model during the designer video. The display stand connects through two large holes underneath the vehicle. They appear awkward but are unavoidable and this area of the model typically remains hidden.
Power from the main reactor is transferred to three immense engines. These are constructed using 5x10x6 cones which are beautifully scaled, although the engines should include curved shapes and that has not been captured here. The surrounding armour, on the other hand, looks magnificent and adjoins the dorsal and ventral panels perfectly.
Moreover, the mechanical detail is appropriate and I like the 1x2 tiles which are situated around each engine, forming thrust fins. The auxiliary thrust nozzles appear equally authentic, featuring light bluish grey barrels inside matching 4x4 tubs. The same building technique appeared on 10030 Imperial Star Destroyer which demonstrates enjoyable continuity and I think it remains effective here!
Dark bluish grey elements are positioned along the rear section, contrasting with the remainder of the vessel. These create additional depth behind the grille tiles and the steep angle is accurate in relation to the Imperial I-class Star Destroyers from Star Wars Episode IV and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Additionally, I like how skids are attached towards the top and the light bluish grey conduits are nicely integrated as well.
The command tower appears slightly simpler than other areas of the Star Destroyer, featuring several tiles and light bluish grey ingots while also leaving many studs exposed. The bridge was almost totally invisible during the original Star Wars movie but has subsequently become more prominent and could have been represented by a 2x2 coupling plate here. However, I think the classic aesthetic feels quite suitable on this occasion.
Sensor equipment dominates the command tower, most notably featuring the prominent tractor beam targeting array. Its shape corresponds exactly with the source material and you can lower the array to resemble an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer, recreating their changing appearance within the Original Trilogy. Other alterations were also made to the studio model and you could make similar adjustments here, if you wish.
Rounded deflector shield generators flank the targeting antenna. They are not entirely round and lack texture which is disappointing, although I think the surrounding antenna are wonderful and any further improvements to their shape would necessitate new pieces. Another authentic detail is located behind the command bridge where two light bluish grey BB-8 head components are found.
Ultimate Collector Series models are created to impress and 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer certainly satisfies that requirement. This vessel looks absolutely spectacular on display and includes excellent detail, corresponding exactly with the movies. The extraordinary scale is also impressive, surpassing the majestic 75192 Millennium Falcon and 10030 Imperial Star Destroyer in every dimension!
However, displaying such an enormous model may prove challenging. Moreover, the price of £649.99 or $699.99 seems expensive, albeit not necessarily to the extent that I anticipated because the Imperial Star Destroyer is considerably larger than I had envisaged. The number of pieces is potentially misleading here as many larger elements are required and they have presumably increased the cost.
On that basis, I would recommend viewing the model in person if possible. 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer has exceeded my expectations and I think other LEGO Star Wars fans may share this opinion after experiencing its sheer scale. This is undoubtedly the definitive rendition of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer.
I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your opinion of the set in the comments.
This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.