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Review: 4193 London Escape


33 replies to this topic  – Started by JimBee , Apr 23 2011 08:30 PM

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  1. Poor (1 votes [1.49%])

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  2. Below Average (1 votes [1.49%])

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  3. Average (17 votes [25.37%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.37%

  4. Above Average (27 votes [40.30%])

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  5. Outstanding (21 votes [31.34%])

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#1 JimBee

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 08:30 PM

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I've always been a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. They're filled with adventure, mystery, swashbuckling and otherwise pirate-y content. I've also been a big fan of the world's favorite building toy: Lego. With the new film, On Stranger Tides set to release in a few weeks, the Lego fan community has been graced with amazing Pirates of the Caribbean sets, something they've been begging for for years. Now we've finally got it, and I'm excited to both see the movie and build these new sets. But how do the sets stand up to expectations? This review will comprehensively take you through one of the larger sets of this theme: 4193 London Escape!

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Set Name: 4193 London Escape
Number of Pieces: 463
Number of Minifigures: 5
Price: 50 USD
Theme: Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides
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Box and Content:

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Let's start with what you see on the store shelf. The front of the box shows a dark cobblestone London street serving as the background for this set. I like how the action and minifigs are organized, and the special effects are nice. The color scheme is sharp, and the dark blue ocean pattern with Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow all complement the theme well. There’s a small advertisement for a poster included in the set in the bottom right corner.

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The back of the box is much less hectic than the front, which shows the set in more detail as well as several of the play features. The background is also less complicated—a faded parchment-colored image of a map further adds to the theme of the adventurous pirates theme.

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As was said earlier, there is a poster included with the set. Here is an image of it folded up (and a little crumpled from being in the box, naturally). What could it be? A secret chart to lost wonders of the world or a map to valuable hidden treasure? You’ll have to find out for yourself!

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The set also came with an interesting trading card. One side shows a character in Lego form, and the other has a code for the Lego PotC site. I got Gibbs, anyone want to trade?  :grin:

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The instructions are divided up into two separate booklets. Unfortunately, one of mine was severely crumpled and folded, as shown. I’ll let that sit underneath the rest of today’s Lego haul to straighten out while I build the first part of the set.

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The build is divided into four numbered bags, to be opened one at a time. Each have several smaller bags enclosed. There is also a fifth polybag in the middle of the above picture, which includes “gold” bars and coins. I’ll get to those in a bit.

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I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of interesting or otherwise useful pieces in the first bag alone. Here we see a dark green 1x1 brick with clip on side (the first bag also includes a multitude of other basic dark green bricks, which I can never seem to get enough of), a 1x4 light bley plate with some sort of ball socket, the PoP arch in black, and a brand new 1x2 dark brown tile. :wub: There’s also a light bley Z-shaped carriage brick that is an older mold, a dark blue 1x1 tile printed with a compass pattern (the set comes with two), and Jack Sparrow’s hat/hair mold that comes separately in its own little polybag.

Minifigures:

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I know that Lego piece quality is always increasing, but wow, I was simply amazed by the sheer amount of detail in these figs. The torso and face printing is just spectacular, and the new accessories are pieces that Lego fans could’ve only dreamed of a few years ago. There’s no doubt that the minifigures are the centerpiece of this theme, which is why I’ll spend quite a bit of time talking about them in this review.

Anyway, from left to right, we have an Imperial Officer, who is fully decorated with a new torso print, a printed tri-corn hat, gold epaulettes, and a new scabbard piece (white). The scabbard is not only something Lego fans have been wanting for a while now, but what makes it especially cool is the fact that it’s wider than just the basic cutlass piece, which means it can hold just about any Lego sword! The officer’s face print is that of Indiana Jones—does this mean there are more IJ sets to come? Probably not, but one can dream, right?

Next is an Imperial Soldier (The box calls it “King George’s Soldiers”), which has a torso print identical (or nearly so) to the 2009 Pirates theme soldiers, as well as a printed tri-corn. In the middle is the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, with ultra-detailed leg and torso prints. :wub: This iteration of the Sparrow face doesn’t really scream Johnny Depp to me. In my opinion it’s too devious-looking, and not comical enough.

The final two figs are Joshamee Gibbs and the horse coach driver. I like the Gibbs minifigure a lot—its face print is accurate, and the torso is very neat. I’m pretty sure the hairpiece is identical to Will Turner’s, and I may be wrong on this, but I’m convinced that this is the first dark grey/bley hairpiece ever.

Thanks to Privateer, this is actually the first dark grey hairpiece, and Gibbs' would be the second.

The coach driver also has a nice torso print. The face print is a copy of a Prince of Persia head, but I don’t really mind.

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There are also some nice prints on the back of the torsos, as well as double-sided heads.

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Here's a close-up of those coins and the gold bullion bar. I was quite disappointed with the lack of chrome after reading other PotC set review, but I have to say, they look even worse in person. "Pearl" gold as it's called (I think it's closer to a dull gold), is just the worst choice in this instance. Why couldn't they at least be metallic gold?  :thumbdown:

Carriage:

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Here's the first bag, the carriage, completed. It has a simple design, but it works. I love the dark green and black color scheme, and the overall shape is very reminiscent of the time period (I'm guessing late 1600s, early 1700s).

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The doors open on a loose-hinge system, and you can see the interior here. Simple, yet effective.

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The main play feature of the carriage would probably be the roof. I'm guessing there's a scene in On Stranger Tides when Jack Sparrow jumps on the roof of the carriage, and is launched off somehow. The two boards on the roof are lifted by a lever system using Technic pinholes and an axle. It works pretty well, and a Lego minifigure can be launched about 3 centimeters in the air, and maybe 8 centimeters backwards.

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Finally, a ball-and-joint system can turn the front wheels.

Bag 2 (Cart):

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Moving on, Bag 2 only contains one interesting piece that hasn't been mentioned before. Shown above, there's one of those "wall" pieces as I like to call them, except this is what I think is a new mold. The new version of this piece has ridges on the inside, for whatever reason.

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Here's Bag 2 completed, the cart. It might have been a carriage like the one above, but it has since been burned to a crisp. This build was a little awkward because of the "damage", but we'll see how it turns out.

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It looks like the second carriage has been reduced to mere ashes. The cart has but one play feature, besides the ball-and-joint turning system, as demonstrated with the first carriage. For some reason, the pile of ashes sit on a pair of pins, and turns 90 degrees to show some flames, like so:

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I'm not really sure what the purpose of this is, because you can already see the flames when the "ashes" are in their normal position. You can actually turn the middle section 360 degrees, which is kind of cool. Unfortunately, there's not much else to see on the cart.

Bag 3 (Building Foundation):

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Next up is the third bag. There are a few interesting pieces in this bag, including a new wooden door, a new wooden shutter, and a printed flag piece. The printed flag piece is especially nice, because there are metallic gold accents, and tiny golden font says "Captain's Daughter". I'm guessing that's the name of the building in this set, which must be a restaurant or pub.

I'll hold off on the build of bag three for now, as it merely builds the foundation for the fourth and final build.

Bag 4 (Completed Building):

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The interesting pieces in the fourth bag are probably the best of the bunch. There's double-cheese in black, a new bottle/candle piece in trans-black (guess that color isn't getting cancelled after all), the cute new small bucket with dark tan handle, and a really neat 2x2 dark tan tile with a sailboat print. Best printed piece ever? I think so!

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Finally, here is the building (I assume it's a pub) completed. It took both Bags 3 and 4 to build it, and I have to say that for how few pieces it is made out of, the facade is very well-built. The round 1x1 bricks break up the flat sides nicely, and it would look nice next to the Medieval Market Village set.

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Here's the pub from another angle. Part of the front wall is attached by hinge bricks, so you can adjust the wall to many different angles.

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And here we will take a look at the interior. Like I said earlier, the pub is more of a facade than a building, but the inside does have a few nice detail. From this angle, you can see a keg of ale in its stand, as well as a table with some bottles/candles and a cup near the window.

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One the side, there is a ramp holding two barrels of ale. This is actually a play feature, as you will see in a second.

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As you can see, the little torch piece can be removed to let the barrels roll out. The side door can also lift for the workers to move the barrels in or out. This play feature doesn't work very well, however, because the 1x2 plater with peg often ends up sticking to the base instead of being removed with the torch.

Completed Set:

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Finally, the entire set is complete! It looks good, and there's a lot to do as far as play features go. You can have Sparrow and Gibbs fight the officer, or create a nice pub scene (or hectic pub scene if you've ever seen the Pirates of the Caribbean movies).

Extra Pieces:

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What's nice about separated builds is that each bag has to have its own set of extra pieces, so you get a whole bunch of extras by the time you're done with all of the bags.

Final Ratings:

As we come to the end of this review, I would like to provide my final ratings of this set. Personally, I think that this is one of the stronger sets of the theme so far, and has a lot to offer as far as pieces and minifigs go. One of the only downsides is the price tag, not particularly on this set, but as a theme as a whole.

Build/Design: 8/10. The build was generally fun, and the design is strong. I took just one point off because of the weird cart, which was tedious to build and not very interesting overall.

Playability: 10/10. Full points in this category. There are endless possibilities for adventure in this set, with many play features and ways to imagine.

Minifigures: 10/10. You couldn't ask for better minifigures in a set. These are honestly the best Lego minifigs I've seen yet, with great detail, and new molds and prints.

Parts:4/5. This set is a pretty nice parts pack, with plenty of interesting and new pieces. There's a good amount of basic dark green bricks and light bley 1x1 round bricks.

Price:4/5. Actually pretty decent considering the new molds and prints. If you take those into account, the price-per-parts ratio is about ten cents per part, which isn't bad at all. It's the other PotC sets that will suck your wallet dry.

FINAL SCORE: 36/40. An excellent rating, this set is not one to pass up. If nothing else, the minifigs are totally worth it, but there's also a great deal of useful parts. Plus, the set's play/display value is great. Highly recommended for pirate fans or otherwise.

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#2 aquafreak125

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 08:44 PM

Great review JimButcher! I'm definately going to get this set on my birthday (the minifigs and parts are just :pir-oh3:  ), POTC is shaping up to be an awesome theme!

#3 KristofBD

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:14 PM

Great review!  As I said before, this set is the one that I like the most from the PoTC sets.  It is quite expensive, but it is definitely worth it!
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#4 Brig. Brick

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:56 PM

great review!

I think that it is the best POTC set of all, and I was waiting for the review, just to convince me even more :pir_laugh2:
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#5 Blackknight112

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 10:26 PM

Great review, I agree this is one of the better sets of the line.
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#6 Piranha

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:55 PM

Thanks for a great review! You pointed things out I didn't notice the first time. I voted outstanding but now I think it should be above average. This is still my favorite set of the lineup for these reasons:
+ 2 horses
+ Dark Green Decent/nice carriage
+ Great Figs, the officer, coach driver etc
+ includes a good deal of the new parts
+ printed parts
+ it is civilian!

However there are some things that need improvement

- The smaller coal cart is somewhat useless, I would have liked to seen the extra parts + higher part rating applied to the Pub/Tavern
- the facade looks quite good but the inside is poor, the second level is sad, they should have made it like a complete structure like in MMV, open close, but some modding can do it
- Pearl Gold instead of Chrome or even metallic gold, its hideous :thumbdown:
- Price, could have been 500+ parts and thrown in another solider or civilian for the $50 price tag

Overall still a very good set and easily modded to look great with MMV.

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#7 Erdbeereis

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:55 PM

Wow, thanks for the great review JimB! :pir-classic:
Normally I wouldn't frontpage a set review that already has one done, but this one is too good to pass up.

I quite like this set. Those new bottles are lovely. :pir-wub:

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#8 lightningtiger

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 12:18 AM

Thank 'jimbutcher' for this...another review of a cool set from POTC.
Does not everyone think that shortly we'll start seeing highwayman MOC's.....stand and deliver ! :pir-devil:
Again what's not to love about this set, carriage, wagon and a pub....not to forget the minifigs....ay, now where's me rum ! :pir_laugh2:
Keep on drinking and singing it's a pirate's life for me ! :pir-grin:

#9 -R8-

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 12:19 AM

Wonderful review, Jim. Admittedly (and embarrassingly enough) I've never seen any of the Pirates movies so I can't comment on any of the sets' movie accuracy, but in terms of aesthetic appeal this set I think is among my favorites in the line. I particularly love the beer bottles.  :pir-grin:  All of the promotion that TLG is doing for the theme, with the poster and the trading cards, is pretty neat too.

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#10 Privateer

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 12:43 AM

Quote

...I may be wrong on this, but I’m convinced that this is the first dark grey/bley hairpiece ever.
Actually, this guy came with a dark grey hairpiece in one of the Spider-Man sets.

This set does look very cool with the various new elements, and the minifigs are outstanding. Also, the pub facade and the coach are neat builds. I probably won't get this due to price, but I'll certainly Bricklink many of the elements.
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#11 JimBee

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 01:06 AM

View PostErdbeereis, on 23 April 2011 - 11:55 PM, said:

Wow, thanks for the great review JimB! :pir-classic:
Normally I wouldn't frontpage a set review that already has one done, but this one is too good to pass up.
Hey, thanks Erdy!  :pir-sweet:

View Post-R8-, on 24 April 2011 - 12:19 AM, said:

Admittedly (and embarrassingly enough) I've never seen any of the Pirates movies so I can't comment on any of the sets' movie accuracy

First of all, stop what you're doing and go watch them right now.  :pir-tongue:

Second, its okay since I haven't seen the fourth film either (it isn't out yet), and that's where this set is from.


View PostPrivateer, on 24 April 2011 - 12:43 AM, said:

Actually, this guy came with a dark grey hairpiece in one of the Spider-Man sets.
Ah, thanks Priavateer. Your help will be added to the review shortly. I just can't believe that this is only the second dark grey hairpiece ever.

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#12 mobricki

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 01:18 AM

I love this set! This is one of the 2 sets that are on my shopping list.  I can't wait to get this set!! :jollyroger:

#13 Masked Builder

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 01:38 AM

Nice work here JB!  Nothing I have to get but another great addition to the PoTC line! :thumbup:
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#14 Hartfan

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 04:33 AM

Great review. Great set. Worth to have it.
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#15 Big Cam

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 04:59 AM

Fantastic review, the RA always produces the best work.

As always all of these sets are on my list and I'll have them all eventually.  I like the fig's in this set, although a bit pricey, I think it's a good value.

#16 ZO6

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 05:36 PM

Great review, JimB!

I've been sitting on the fence as to whether I want to invest in the PotC line, but these reviews make them look so darn appealing!  I'm generally not a person who gets sold on a set due to the minifigures, but I'm loving the ones from this set and line.  The accessories and new parts are wonderful  :pir-wub:

The roof of the green and black carriage is mighty ugly in my opinion, but since I'm a sucker for playability I'm willing to make the sacrifice.  The pub seems like a shrunken version of something from the Diagon Alley set, but it is lovely never-the-less and as mentioned before would integrate with the Medieval Market Village.  Overall this is a really great set.

#17 Dane

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 06:34 PM

Thanks for a great review!

#18 autobrick

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 02:50 AM

Out of the whole Pirates of the Caribbean line, this set is the one I anticipate the most. Great minifigs, great pieces, great tavern and the carriages are not bad. The greatest flaws in my opinion are (1) the high price (unavoidable) and (2) the ugly pearl gold coins/bars; why aren't they chrome as depicted on the box?:pir_bawling:
Thanks for the review, JimButcher!

#19 prateek

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:17 AM

Great review! The only downfalls to this set are IMO, the crappy gold pieces, and the Canadian price.

#20 Zeya

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 09:47 PM

View PostJimButcher, on 23 April 2011 - 08:30 PM, said:

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Moving on, Bag 2 only contains one interesting piece that hasn't been mentioned before. Shown above, there's one of those "wall" pieces as I like to call them, except this is what I think is a new mold. The new version of this piece has ridges on the inside, for whatever reason.

Well, the old (current?) wall pieces don't have support on the sides. I notice when I stack several of those pieces (I do that for storage), that they tend to bend backwards in a curve, if you know what I mean. I think kids probably have a tendency to break the old ones since there's so little support. So I guess Lego is perhaps re-doing those molds to make them stronger.

#21 thestrongest

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 03:02 AM

Honestly, this set is just too pricey in Canada. I mean, CDS 65!!?? That is way too much!!! Should I buy this, or get something else? Do most people enjoy this set, cause I think that this set is quite good, but far too expensive.

#22 narbilu

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 07:15 AM

Yesterday I got the opportunity to build the London Escape and I was pleasantly surprised. The two carts are very cool, the action on the coal card makes it really playable.

The building is ideal for MOCers, makes it fantastic for "pirate"city docks together with Whitecap Bay.

Compliments on the Royal Guards and other figs. Cool bricks and I am glad the flag and painting are printed.
Overall a very good set.

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#23 KristofBD

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:22 PM

I just got this set, and I must say I am quite pleased with it.  Though the Inn is rather sketchy, it is nevertheless a nice building.  

I do have one problem though: bot royal guards actually have the pink printing problem: the white print is too thin as a result of which it turns out quite pink.  I was wondering whether other people have encountered this problem as well... or am I the only one having it?
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#24 Zeya

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:42 PM

View PostKristofBD, on 12 May 2011 - 10:22 PM, said:

I do have one problem though: bot royal guards actually have the pink printing problem: the white print is too thin as a result of which it turns out quite pink.  I was wondering whether other people have encountered this problem as well... or am I the only one having it?

I don't have that problem. But my guys have a bit of a minor defect on their hats. The painted white brim is coming down on one side of the hat, and this is with both hat pieces. I have a photo somewhere... Here it is:
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#25 JimBee

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:45 PM

Which printing? As you can see in my pictures, the soldier torsos luckily are not pinked, though what you're experiencing is not unheard of. This was actually pretty common with some Star Wars clone troopers, and it does suck that this happens.  :thumbdown:

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