Lego 8039 Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser
Review by Pellaeon
Theme: Star Wars
Released: mid 2009
Welcome to my first-ever review! Today I'll be talking about 8039, a play-set take on the Venator-class Star Destroyer. I plan on disassembling this set later this weekend, so I figured a nice review would give me something to remember it by.
To start, the traditional pictures of the box. There are in fact six sides to this box, but I'll just be focusing on the front and back.
The back calls out most of the play features, though interestingly, not all of them -- the escape pod goes completely unmentioned.
Inside, the box is mostly full. Not too bad.
15 bags total, with several of them being matched duplicates -- it is a big, symmetrical ship we're building, after all.
The dreaded sticker sheet. Nothing too offensive here, and the one in the lower-right is a rather nice status/control panel with a diagram of the ship on it.
Since I plan scrap the ship for parts, I've not applied any of the stickers.
Ah, instructions. Two books, standard fare.
Among the pieces, these are probably the most interesting... 6x6 tiles, originally from Scala says Bricklink, but now available in light bley.
There are a handful of other pieces/colors that are somewhat uncommon, or at are new to me.
If you bought the AT-OT, you have 16 of those dark green chairs... I have one.
Oh, and a couple printed pieces! Grate!
Palpatineā€™s new minifig gets a few unique pieces: a Death Star hologram (printed trans-red minifig head) and a two-piece cape thingy.
Speaking of the minifigs... tada! Left to right: Clone Pilot, Clone Gunner, Senate Commando x2, and Chancellor Palpatine.
The blue Senate Commandos are pretty excellent, and Palpatine is satisfyingly creepy.
No back printing for Palpy, but his hologram is double-sided...! If you can't make it out, it's a picture of the back of the Death Star.
I admit I was somewhat disappointed with Palpy, until I built his desk. His desk is fantastic, and he looks perfect sitting behind it. Just look at him!
If that's not a spot-on Palpatine, I dunno what is. Kudos, TLC.
(But you know, I think it says something about the prequels that I can only picture the main villain sitting behind a desk!)
A couple random build shots...
There seems to be a bit of a printing problem with a few pages of my instructions... dunno if you can make it out, but the red fades to orange and the dark red fades to brown. Blue would sometimes show up as purple.
Here's the Clone Gunner and his gun turret. It rotates, and can slide between either side of the ship on a little track. It can't elevate.
"You call that a turbolaser battery? No friend, this is a turbolaser battery!" (cannon from 10188)
The container for the "bombing" feature. It is placed in the middle of the ship (you'll see it in the finished set).
You can see the little yellow technic knob-wheels, which you can turn to drop the bombs one at a time. Works pretty well.
In the front of the ship is Palpatine's office, with that lovely desk from earlier. The office is a little cramped, and doesn't look air-tight to me... hmm.
Still, I love the desk. Really I do. There's even a sticker I can put on it (and probably will).
In the space at the very bow of the ship is one more "play feature": this small box! You can take it out, and put it back again!
I took an action shot, but maybe I need a YouTube video to do it justice...?
Now what's this awful thing? The Clone Pilot has no idea.
It's what passes for a bridge/cockpit in this ship... the pilot is not amused.
"Chancellor Palpatine, sir, let me show you the escape pod. It's stowed 'round back..."
"... and comes with the latest safety and recovery features."
"You'll be nice and snug inside" -- "If you think that *I* am getting in *there*, commander, then you've got another thing coming."
Obligatory shot of leftover pieces...
Okay, time for some glamour shots of the finished model!!
The set looks pretty good from some angles, particularly from the front...
Less flattering shots...
In those last couple, you can see the set's most glaring weakness: it's much too tall. Sides are too steep, the gaps along the center are terrible, and the "lid" on the bow sits much too high.
This photo shows where the parts of the bow are joined... I think you could mod them to sit lower, and the ship would look much better.
Here is the MUCH needed carrying-handle in action. I have trouble sliding or rotating the model without parts coming off, so thankfully the handle works quite well.
I like the bridges.
And here's the bottom. I don't think it's meant to be for show.
The back hull folds open to reveal the gunner. He can slide out either side.
Ah, and there's that escape pod again.
So how does it measure up? Here's a little comparison shot with Revenge of the Sith:
Eh, it's passable. The whole ship should be longer, narrower, and not nearly as tall. "Dumpy" is the word I'd use, if dumpy can be applied to a spaceship.
Well, I don't want to be too negative in this, my very first review, but this is a very mediocre set. It's not a very good likeness of the Venator, nor is it a good play-set. Playability is limited to a cramped office, a box, a few bombs, a little slide out turret, a spot to shove some poor Clone Pilot, and an escape pod. You can swoosh the ship around a little bit using the handle, but it's a rather fragile set. Why'd I get it? For the pieces... if I sell off a couple of the minifigs, the pieces will be worth the price.
(1. Poor, 2. Below Average, 3. Average, 4. Above Average and 5. Outstanding)
Design: 2/5 -- As noted previously, it's not a great likeness. It's recognizable, and it's probably close enough for some people, I'm sure... but I'm such a fan of the Venator's design that this just doesn't cut it.
Build: 4/5 -- I had no problems with the build, and there were several interesting techniques. Other than the gun turrets, there was never more than two of anything, so it wasn't repetitive. I'd say it was an enjoyable build.
Playability: 1/5 -- It's semi-swooshable, and you can recreate exciting scenes like when Palpatine was in his office, and maybe Anakin came by for a chat... er, something like that.
Minifigs: 3/5 -- The figures are all quite nice; I'm sure everybody has plenty of Clone Gunners thanks to the battle packs, but the pilot is uncommon and the others are unique. 5 minifigs is a little few for a set this size.
Parts: 3/5 -- The 6x6 tiles are neat, and if you want a lot of bley wings and dark red tiles, it's got you covered.
Price: 4/5 -- 1163 pieces for $119 is pretty good for a Star Wars set, especially for the summer 2009 wave. It comes closest to that magic 10-cents-a-brick number. It really should have more figures for the money though.
Overall: 2/5 -- Overall... it's just a below average set. It looks great from a few angles, and I like Palpy's desk, but the set just has too many shortcomings. It isn't one of the better sets out there, and I wouldn't have gotten it if I didn't want the parts.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my review. I enjoyed building the set and taking the pictures, and I'm sure I'll enjoy taking it apart. Sorry my first review is a bit of a downer, and no offense if this is your favorite set ever!
Edited by Pellaeon, 21 August 2009 - 09:09 AM.
indexed and poll added