The Reviewed UCS Snowspeeder Reviewed

Review 75144 - UCS Snowspeeder, by Jim, on Eurobricks

 

I only buy one Lego set a year most of the time, so it are the ones I really, really like. It’s been a while since such a set came out for me, but now it’s time to start planning my next purchase because I really, really like the new 75144 UCS Snowspeeder that will be available on May the Fourth. The press release already got me excited, and now Jim’s review here on Eurobricks completely sold me – or rather, sold the set to me. He gives us an in-depth look into everything we couldn’t see in the press release: what the internals look like, how the cockpit interior shapes up, what the boring and fun parts of the building process are, how much fun playing with the functions is… He also presents some pros and cons if you’re still undecided. But how can you be undecided when looking at Jim’s gorgeous shots of every angle you can conceive, showing how great this model looks? Don’t take my word for it though, and have a look and a read in Jim’s insightful review right here!

One Man’s Junk…

Jedi Search - 4/5 : The Trader, by Inthert, on Flickr

 

Isn’t it ironic? I mean, there’s no easier thing than making a mess of your building corner, but when it comes to actually building a pile of junk, it all of a sudden becomes really hard to do it right. Often, things don’t look messy enough or give the impression of being a bunch of random bricks thrown together instead of a collection of used objects that all tell a story. Sadly, that’s true for many creations, but not for Inthert‘s 16×16 marvel here.

There’s a nice mix of lovely intricate larger assemblies for visual interest and lots of tiny parts giving a nicely filled and junk-y look to it all, which is necessary for any good junkyard build but isn’t what makes this creation so unique. The genius is in the relation between the parts and the story they tell together. There’s the story of the previous life of the parts: white engines with a stripe of what was once red paint (that cape is truly the most inspired part of this build!), the remains of an astromech, a clone trooper helmet and the lightsaber tell you all you need to know about what these pieces once were. And then there’s the story of what happened once those parts became a permanent addition to the vast junkyards of some godforsaken planet. There are small nuts, bolts, washers, pegs… strewn all around, discarded during disassembly by some scavenger to get to the good parts. When disassembly wasn’t possible, brute force was used if we can believe the jagged edges here and there and the worn out tools like the drill and the piece of welding equipment that were left behind. The valuable parts were salvaged: nice sturdy panels to build a nice shack. Other parts stay behind, disconnected, because they were merely in the way or not deemed valuable enough after all. That white hub, the grey rims and the head or leg of that astromech must have been more firmly attached in the past… It’s not a glamorous or epic story, but it’s a real one giving this creation a sense of authenticity, of displaying real junk. Just look at some pictures of junkyards here on Earth and you’ll see the same state of things coming back. Inthert shows that it isn’t easy to build junk, but that it is possible by including parts, big and small, that are part of stories, big and small. That’s why these parts might be junk to our scavenger, but a treasure to us.

An Imperial Shuttle Fit for Royalty

Shuttle Tyderium, by marshal banana, on Flickr

 

We’ve all had our darker age. For some it’s going years without sparing bricks a thought, for others it’s kind of forgetting about building or blogging for a month due to work… It’s a shame we have these periods, but there’s something good about them as well. Because in the end, there’s something that pulls you out of the darkness, and that something you will never forget. In my case, the darkest part in my story with bricks was ended by the brightest ship in the Star Wars universe. The UCS Imperial Shuttle made me aware of what was possible with bricks, and it still does every time I enter my room. It made me delve into the AFOL community as well, and when you delve into the world of UCS MOCs, you’ll find it hard to miss Marshal Banana’s work. He inspired me to take MOCcing seriously. And now Marshal Banana has built an UCS Imperial Shuttle. You try to imagine the rush of feelings in me. It’s like coming out of a dark age twice at the same instant.

That’s because after watching this creation, you’ll never look at Lego models the same way again. Who’d have thought that it would be possible to build a model of such a size without making a single compromise? Form didn’t stand in the way of function in this creation, detail didn’t stand in the way of shape, refinement didn’t stand in the way of playability. Let me give an example. You’d expect that building a model of this size inevitably would lead to large areas that stay blank and boring when compared to the rest of the ship if you want to keep the spirit of it, right? I know I did, especially after building those huge and majestic, but rather boring wings on my UCS set. But Marshal Banana succeeded in capturing the detail most of us wouldn’t consider feasible: all of the panels in the wings. He kept their presence subtle but big enough to make a huge impact by working with fine negative space in between bricks, tiny protrusions and even insets, and a clever accentuating of some edges by wear that has never looked more natural. He went to great lengths to make it look just right, going for complicated setups just to give a tiny bit of wear the right shape. It makes what is normally the most boring part of the ship the most interesting. That’s pushing the envelope, innovating, showing just what’s possible with bricks where others would only see the necessity for a compromise. You could admire this creation for its size, details or presentation. But you’ve seen that already. So how about you admire it for its reaching further than what’s obvious. It might just start you on a brighter age…

Shuttle Tyderium, by marshal banana, on Flickr

UCS Snowspeeder Revealed

75144_snowspeeder_1.jpg

The Lego Group has officially released details about the highly anticipated UCS set 75144 Snowspeeder that will be released for May the 4th. The set contains 1,703 pieces and will retail at $199.99. It is a complete redesign from the first UCS version of this iconic vehicle, 10129 Rebel Snowspeeder, and costs about $70 more at only 246 more parts. The new version includes 2 minifigures: a Rebel Snowspeeder Pilot and a Rebel Snowspeeder Gunner, and it has some new features such as air brakes that can be opened by turning the back of the turbolasers. It also features a lot more details than the original, but most of them are achieved with the use of an enormous sticker sheet which might be off-putting to some builders. Do you think it’s on improvement or a step back? Check out the Designer video below, then head over to the discussion thread to see the press release and let us know your thoughts!