What's this? Latest BASIC set? No it's:
Set: 10019 Ultimate Collector Series Rebel Blockade Runner
Price: I bought it for £135 in 2002
With the eagerly awaited Tantive IV just around the corner, I thought it was high time her UCS elder sister got a bit of limelight, and thus filling a hole in KimT's excellent Review Index.
The Box Black and white, typical of early UCS sets. Mine has withstood the test of time reasonably well, considering it has moved home 5 times. No relief printing on the front, unlike the X Wing and Tie Interceptor.
Just imagine there's something interesting on the back:
Inside the box
The box opens with a lifty lid, no tear tabs at the side. Inside are two smaller white boxes. The box is pretty full, but bear in mind the smaller white box is full only of the 31 (empty) original polybags which I've kept for some reason.
All the pieces in their new homes (supermarket freezer bags). 1748 pieces doesn't sound much by today's standard, but these are mostly large pieces. The centre bag is entirely full of 52 4x4x6 quarter circle wall pieces. There are too many to sort prior to building, unless you have a very large table.
The busy Decal Sticker Sheet:
Unfortunately I didn't think to do a size comparison. It's slightly smaller than the instruction manual. The worst news for sticker haters is shown in this page of the instruction book: look at the pieces on the back of the model here...
... Aaargh! STAMPs! No wonder I didn't apply them. To be honest, I don't think the model needs them.
The instructions are generally clear, with no colour issues. There's no piece inventory either.
The ship consists of three sections, held together strongly by technic pins. The front section is built first. The build is very traditional, with some interesting SNOT techniques and not very many out-of-place colours.
The bridge sides are constructed thusly:
There are meant to be elastic bands holding the wing-pieces together, but mine have long perished and it seems to manage without them.
The mid-section takes shape. There is room for a small interior here, for the diehard modders out there, but getting into it would be such a hassle I never bothered.
The side greebles get added. It seems no starship is complete without telephones, binoculars, radiator grilles and classic space droid ears.
The rear section consists of engine mount, side 'wings' attached with some SNOT, and eleven identical engines.
Here I'm afraid the build gets rather repetitive. The engines consist of a reinforced tube of white, a classic space radar dish, a large cartwheel I've not seen before in Republic Red, a Clone Turbo Tank wheel, smaller Castle cartwheel and trans-orange dish. A lot of unseen pieces help to reinforce the centre (unlike the engines in 7665 Republic Cruiser):
All the sections ready to couple together. It takes a bit of effort to get the mid-section onto the engine mount, but the rest come together nicely. You can see the diminutive UCS description stand, sans sticker, in the middle.
And the finished product, with Lando for comparison (he was the only figure to hand):
Design: Perfect I should say: faithful to the real thing, and extremely well put together. Very sturdy too!
Build: A traditional brick-built model, with Technic used only when necessary and for strength. The rear gets a bit repetitive, but by this point the end is very much in sight.
Pieces: Mostly standard stuff, unless you need an odd number of oversized wheels or are building a very tall wind turbine.
Swooshability: Believe it or not you can swoosh this thing: it balances nicely around the radar dish at the back of the mid-section. Weighs in at over 3 kg though, so some upper body strength necessary!
Playability: You can swizzle the radar and the guns, but that's about it. No minifigs, this is very much a true UCS.
Price: �135 seems such a bargain now, but at the time it was a fortune, and by far the most expensive Lego model I'd ever bought.
This is a display model, through and through, but looks great on the shelf. It remains one of my favorites, and I usually have it on display. It's fun to build, imposing, and incredibly sturdy - you can stand it on the floor on its engines if you're short of shelf space (or on the kitchen scales, which is how I know how much it weighs!) You can even use the back of the box as a 'space' photo backdrop - see my Lambda Shuttle for an example.
Thanks for viewing, and hope you enjoyed the tour. Feedback on the review most welcome!
Edited by BoneyT, 06 September 2009 - 10:38 AM.