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[Review] 8039 Venator Attack Cruiser


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  1. Poor (2 votes [5.56%])

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  2. Below Average (6 votes [16.67%])

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  3. Average (10 votes [27.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.78%

  4. Above Average (11 votes [30.56%])

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  5. Outstanding (7 votes [19.44%])

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#1 Pellaeon

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 08:01 AM

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Lego 8039 Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser

Review by Pellaeon

Theme: Star Wars
Released: mid 2009
Pieces: 1163
Price: US$119
Minifigs: 5

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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. :wink:

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.
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The back calls out most of the play features, though interestingly, not all of them -- the escape pod goes completely unmentioned.
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Inside, the box is mostly full. Not too bad.
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15 bags total, with several of them being matched duplicates -- it is a big, symmetrical ship we're building, after all.
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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.
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Ah, instructions. Two books, standard fare.
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Among the pieces, these are probably the most interesting... 6x6 tiles, originally from Scala says Bricklink, but now available in light bley.
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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.
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Oh, and a couple printed pieces! Grate!
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Palpatineā€™s new minifig gets a few unique pieces: a Death Star hologram (printed trans-red minifig head) and a two-piece cape thingy.
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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.
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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. :grin:
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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!  :wub:
If that's not a spot-on Palpatine, I dunno what is. Kudos, TLC.
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(But you know, I think it says something about the prequels that I can only picture the main villain sitting behind a desk!) :tongue:

A couple random build shots...
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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. :hmpf_bad:
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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.
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"You call that a turbolaser battery? No friend, this is a turbolaser battery!" :tongue: (cannon from 10188)
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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.
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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).
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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...? :tongue:
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Now what's this awful thing? The Clone Pilot has no idea.
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It's what passes for a bridge/cockpit in this ship... the pilot is not amused.
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"Chancellor Palpatine, sir, let me show you the escape pod. It's stowed 'round back..."
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"... and comes with the latest safety and recovery features."
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"You'll be nice and snug inside" -- "If you think that *I* am getting in *there*, commander, then you've got another thing coming."
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Obligatory shot of leftover pieces...
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Okay, time for some glamour shots of the finished model!!
The set looks pretty good from some angles, particularly from the front...
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Less flattering shots...
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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.
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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.
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I like the bridges.
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And here's the bottom. I don't think it's meant to be for show. :tongue:
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The back hull folds open to reveal the gunner. He can slide out either side.
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Ah, and there's that escape pod again.
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So how does it measure up? Here's a little comparison shot with Revenge of the Sith:
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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.

Final marks:
(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.  :sceptic:

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. :thumbup:

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! :tongue:

Edited by Pellaeon, 21 August 2009 - 09:09 AM.
indexed and poll added

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#2 KimT

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 08:07 AM

Thanks for reviewing this set for us :thumbup:
I'll have it indexed in no time.
Can't wait to built it myself.
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#3 Fumoffu

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:00 AM

Nice review.  I find this to be a nice set with an good build.  Just a bit pricey.  The nose section is probably also a bit short compared to the real thing but those photos you took front on looks great because it made the nose looks longer than it really is.

#4 pedro

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:36 PM

Nice review Pellaeon. I like that you've taken a few shots of details I haven't otherwise seen; such as focusing right in on Palpatine's desk and the RoTS comparison. Thanks for the effort!

I do rather like this set, just wish it could have been more dedicated towards battle with an interior hangar rather than office, more clones (pilots!), etc. with Palpatine saved for another Clone Wars set (get the MOD-stick out!). Unfortunately with so many awesome sets and the RBR on the horizon it's unlikely I'll buy this.

#5 RocketClone

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 12:29 AM

The only thing im not liking here is the creepy palp face :hmpf_bad: .
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#6 legolandia

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 12:54 AM

 RocketClone, on Aug 22 2009, 01:29 AM, said:

The only thing im not liking here is the creepy palp face :hmpf_bad: .

Well that at least has remained faithful to the film. :classic: It would be rather bizarre to see pa`lp with a cute face on
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#7 UsernameMDM

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 01:54 AM

That thing is massive and pretty sweet.  Nice review.  The details in it are really cool, especially the emperor's desk.  Wish it had a few more minifigs though.  Wonder if those Senate Guards will be in any other sets.

#8 Destroydacre

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 04:08 AM

Thanks for the very nice review. It's good to see a lot of the details in this set. I do agree that it looks very cramped. I forget which thread it was in, but someone put up a comparison picture between the Venator and the ISD, and the Venator was a good 3 inches shorter. Couple that with the $20 higher price tag and 200 fewer pieces and I just can't bring myself to buy this set. I think it would look pretty decent on a shelf though.

#9 RocketClone

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 06:04 PM

Whenever i see the front glamour shot i see it as a long ship,but when i see the overhead i see a "dumpy" sized ship  :laugh:.
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#10 Torax

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:32 PM

Nice review! I really want this set...

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#11 Commander_Rob

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 01:03 PM

Nice review, and I must agree with you on the set, it really isnĀ“t that great. Actually it`s not great at all. From the first pictures I saw of it I was excited but the more I saw, the less I liked it. And by now I will rather get the Tantive IV. When that finally is released.

Edited by Commander_Rob, 23 August 2009 - 01:04 PM.

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#12 RileyC

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 01:06 AM

Id like to get this set but for me its either this or the tantive IV. Minifig for this set is good but not the best. The palpatine minifig is cool and the creepy clone wars face works for him. The senate commandos are awesome and are a definite pro for this set. The desk is a nice addition but lego couldve done more interiorly in my opinion. Im not going to buy this because the tantive IV is an iconic set and has more pros than the venator

Good review also

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#13 slimninj4

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 02:14 PM

I would prefer a UCS Venator than this.  This set is just lacking  Maybe if Target or Walmart has it on sale on black friday 50% off I will pick one up.

#14 bamaker

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 05:27 PM

Nice review; very thorough with tons of information on this set.  

I'd like to purchase the Venator, but there are so many things wrong with it:  too small, too expensive, too chunky, too few mini-figures.  I'm going to wait for a really good deal before pulling the trigger on this set.

#15 LegoPigeon

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:07 PM

Nice job:) How long did it take to build?
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#16 Pellaeon

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:32 PM

 LegoPigeon, on Aug 25 2009, 02:07 PM, said:

Nice job:) How long did it take to build?
I didn't really keep track, but it was maybe 3 hours with a bit of a break in the middle...?

To the various folks who are leaning toward the Tantive IV instead of this: I heartily agree with you. Though the playability of the Tantive IV is sort of comical (Sit in a empty bridge! Or sit in an empty escape pod! Here's Leia's office, you might remember it from... er. Anyway, it has all the excitement of an office! Also, it comes with some sort of luggage cart!  :tongue: ) it looks to be hands-down the best non-UCS version of a capital ship they've done. It's pretty spot-on as a replica, so if you're looking for a display piece, Tantive IV looks like the way to go.

Thanks for the complements, folks.  :classic:
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#17 Big Cam

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:56 PM

Lots of pics for us, I like, good review.

#18 382nd Legionnaire

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 11:17 PM

nice review, although i dislike how it's not really to scale, oh well it would be pretty big otherwise.

#19 LegoPigeon

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 11:27 PM

 Pellaeon, on Aug 25 2009, 10:32 PM, said:

I didn't really keep track, but it was maybe 3 hours with a bit of a break in the middle...?

To the various folks who are leaning toward the Tantive IV instead of this: I heartily agree with you. Though the playability of the Tantive IV is sort of comical (Sit in a empty bridge! Or sit in an empty escape pod! Here's Leia's office, you might remember it from... er. Anyway, it has all the excitement of an office! Also, it comes with some sort of luggage cart!  :tongue: ) it looks to be hands-down the best non-UCS version of a capital ship they've done. It's pretty spot-on as a replica, so if you're looking for a display piece, Tantive IV looks like the way to go.

Thanks for the complements, folks.  :classic:


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#20 Uncle

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 04:26 PM

Good review because you rated it very accurately. Usually people say "It was a decent set, so, 7/10," when in fact it deserved a 4/10. So your 2/5 rating was spot on, and I will trust your future reviews from here on. And by the way I may have only a few posts, but I've been reading forums here for years.

#21 Anio

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 05:51 PM

Very good review Pellaeon !  :thumbup:
And I totally agree with your comments. ;)



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