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!