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[Review] 7191 UCS X-Wing Fighter


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#1 Rufus

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:23 PM

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A long time ago* in a galaxy** far, far away...

* 10 years
** err... ok, Ipswich

It was a dark time for Rufus' Lego collection.  All the Technic and train sets had been sold to the evil CAR BOOT TRADER, and the classic space base was boxed away, never to grace the galaxy again.  Even the beautiful 7130 SNOWSPEEDER had not quite enticed Rufus back to the Lego fold.  

But there, on a small advertising leaflet, deep in the bottom of the 8448 Supercar box, Rufus found a little picture that would irrevocably change his destiny ...

Name:      Ultimate Collector Series X-Wing Fighter
Number:   7191
Parts:       1298
Minifigs:    1  (More on that story later)
Scale:       1:28
Year:        2000
Price:       I paid £109, IIRC, from TRU in Ipswich in 2000

This is it:  the set that put an end to my dark age for good.  I had never seen any Lego thing like this:  so beautiful; so accurate; so big.  Lego has gone from strength to strength since the release of this masterpiece, but 7191 for me is still up there with the best.  Am I right?  Read on, and see if you agree…

The box: Front

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Black and white, like most early UCS sets, in relief and with some nice detail:

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Mine’s a little battered around the edges, but it is 10 years old!

Back

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A nice colour pic, with some stats around the side.  No piece count though.

The box opens with a lifty lid, no tear tabs, and as you can see it’s reinforced around the edges.  About two thirds of the space is used:

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Instructions:

Wedge is here to help demonstrate.  The instruction book sports the same picture as the box front:

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Instructions are for the most part clear, with piece callouts and extra detail for the tricky technic bits:

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Colour issues hamper the ‘structions from time to time, mainly with differentiating between black and dark grey.  I remember the first time I built this having to dismantle the whole model for a dark grey 2x4 plate I’d used instead of black early on.

A blast from the past!

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Two sticker sheets, I’m afraid, and STAMPs are rife in this set:
(STickers Across Multiple Pieces)

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Until I can find a way of replicating these, and applying them so they can be removed without leaving gum residue, they’ll stay on the sheets.  It’s a shame as these, in particular the canopy decal, would really add to the realism of the model.

Parts

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Some interesting pieces; the canopy I believe is unique, and the round dark grey piece makes me think of a plant pot.  The grey and tan round things look like tank ‘wheels’, and the 90 degree bracket takes me right back to Classic Space…

Some pieces haven’t withstood the ravages of time so well:

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You can just about see it’s cracked at both sides.

The build:  Part One – The nose

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Construction is similar to the newer System-scaled X-Wings, with hinges used to taper the nose.  Angle brackets and tiles add definition, but unlike the early 1999 x-wing they haven’t captured the hexagonal cross-section of the nose.  The black cones at the bottom represent the torpedo launchers.

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The rather phallic nose cone is a little blocky.  This was before the advent of curve slopes.

The finished front section, with Wedge for comparison:

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Part Two – The body

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The entire opening mechanism resides in this rear part.  Like 4502 and 6212, a screw-cog gearing system is used, but as you can see the method of attaching the wings is very different.  The blue Technic elements are the sole anchor for the wings using two cross axles per wing, an arrangement which is not ideal for strength.  In addition, the weight of the wings dictates that the blue elements need to be angled upwards slightly, and I have worried about  the strain this will cause ever since I first built it.  They seem to be okay, though!

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The completed rear section, with some lovely greebling on top.

Part Three – The base

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This is meant to be the cargo bay, but you can’t fit much in there.  Like the top of the body section, the slopes are a nice detail.  The black hoses at the rear are under considerable strain; mine are now permanently bent to about 90 degrees.  The hole in the underside is for the stand.

Part Four – The wings

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Sorry, Wedge, this is Luke’s Red Five.  These wing sections are identical, top and bottom, so best ignore the instructions and build in batches.  I like the fence-pieces used as venting on the underside.

The engines

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The round piece at the front I haven’t seen elsewhere, but is presumably the forerunner of this:

http://www.bricklink...ist.asp?q=41531

The two dark grey cross axles will marry with the blue elements on the body to attach the wings.

The weapons

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As Wedge will testify, these things are huge!  Each laser is unique, defined by the colour of the tread-hub piece and the smooth or rough hosing.

A few more bits

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And the wing is complete:

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Part Five – The stand

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This is similar to the other UCS stands, and identical to the one in the 7181 Tie Interceptor.  I lets you pose the model flying level or climbing slightly.

The complete model

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Looks pretty good!  I think, for such an early set, Lego got this spot on. There are only a few flaws, which I’ll deal with now.

The minifig R2 is way too small – he looks a bit silly.  They’d have been better off using a 4-wide dome (as found in engines of the Y-wing sets) integrated into the model.  As it is, R2 stands too high and prevents the cockpit opening fully.

I’ve already mentioned the weak wing attachment.  If you accidentally knock the model, there’s a good chance a wing will fall off.  The model will then overbalance, and you’ll spend weeks collecting pieces from corners of the room (or worse still, the Hoover).  The other problem is gravity, or lack of it:  if you place the model on its engines, the wings do not sit level:

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Kinda reminds me of a Klingon Bird of Prey.  Don’t even think about turning it upside down!

A few more shots:

Wings open
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Rear view – the flag pieces help to keep the wings apart, and I think was a quick fix.
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Here it is compared to the original model (apologies to the owner of this photo)
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You can see in this comparison the attention to detail that the designers have put into this model:  the greebling on the back looks perfect; even the differing designs of the laser guns is captured.  The scale is nearly perfect (except for poor R2!) and the use of white vs grey is as good as can be with Lego.

Overall

Design  Accuracy, in terms of scaling and use of colours, is near-perfect.  The nose looks blocky now, but is probably as good as could be done in 2000.  It loses out only in the weak wing attachment and silly R2-D2 scale.
Build Entertaining, and varied; even the wing builds don’t seem to repetitive.  And, unlike some of the larger UCS sets, you have always got the end in sight.
Playability You can swoosh this; it’s not too heavy for adult arms at least.  I confess I have enacted space battles with this and the UCS Interceptor; just don’t turn it upside down with the wings flat, or they’ll flap around.  Otherwise, it sits very happily on the shelf!
Parts Nothing too exciting, unless you need lots of white plates, but you could make flower bowls out of the engine exhausts, if you felt that way.
Price £109 seemed a little frivolous back then; nowadays I wouldn’t think twice about spending double that!  You get a lot of Lego for your money, and then there’s the resale value – this thing sells second hand on Amazon for over £500.

I’ve not scored these; it’s far too subjective.  For me this remains one of the best sets Lego has ever produced, faults notwithstanding; it was the original UCS set, and if it weren’t for 7191 I probably wouldn’t be collecting Lego today.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the review.  I’ll leave you with a view of 7191 keeping the RBR company on the shelf.

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#2 ILikePi

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:45 PM

Thanks for this highly detailed review, Rufus!

I never even knew that this set was so amazing before today. :oh3:

The greebling is perfect, and the stripes are extremely accurate to that die cast model.

If TLG would do another UCS X-wing, I'm sure that many AFOLs will be very satisfied!

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#3 prateek

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:58 PM

Awesome review! I haven't seen much of this set, but now, I see how awesome it is! :thumbup:

#4 Darth Legolas

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 06:19 PM

The single Star Wars set that I've never actually seen out of the box, until now! Thanks for the review! I've never understood Lego's decision making when putting tiny astro droids in giant UCS sets. The set looks very nice, but I don't collect UCS, but that's the only thing stopping me from delving into Bricklink and buying one. The front is a bit blocky, but the level of detail on this set is astounding!

I'd love to have a new-hinge version of the storage compartment piece.

Thanks for the review!
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#5 drdavewatford

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 07:49 PM

Thanks - great review !

I bought one of these 10 years ago and still haven't built it...... One day I will, however.

Cheers,

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#6 KimT

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 07:55 PM

 drdavewatford, on Jan 10 2010, 08:49 PM, said:

Thanks - great review !

I bought one of these 10 years ago and still haven't built it...... One day I will, however.

Cheers,

Dr. D.
*huh*
Are you nuts? :laugh:
I've built mine and now I'd die to get my hands on new stickersheets.


If you (or any other member) get around to do scans 1:1 of the stickersheets, then post them here and I'll make a gallery dedicated to such.

Thanks for the review.
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#7 Rufus

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:47 PM

Quote

I bought one of these 10 years ago and still haven't built it...... One day I will, however.

 KimT, on Jan 10 2010, 07:55 PM, said:

*huh*
Are you nuts? :laugh:
I've built mine and now I'd die to get my hands on new stickersheets.
Seconded, Dr D! :laugh:  I was like a kid, couldn't wait to build it.  Started opening the box in the car, but then remembered I was driving.

 KimT, on Jan 10 2010, 07:55 PM, said:

If you (or any other member) get around to do scans 1:1 of the stickersheets, then post them here and I'll make a gallery dedicated to such.
I've had a number of requests for scans of the sticker sheet for the RBR, so when I get a mo I'll post both.

Rufus

#8 Anio

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:30 PM

I have this set too.
And I agree : it is one of the best Star Wars set ever. :o

Thanks for the review. :)

#9 RileyC

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:23 AM

This USC looks very detailed and looks like the real thing. I like the colourful insides of it. I miss that in the new sets.
Great review! very detailed! :thumbup:

 drdavewatford, on Jan 11 2010, 07:49 AM, said:

Thanks - great review !

I bought one of these 10 years ago and still haven't built it...... One day I will, however.

Cheers,

Dr. D.
:oh3:

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#10 Big Cam

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 03:39 PM

Beautiful, I've also never seen this out of the box, it's amazing.

I really appreciate the minifig in so many shots, it really helps realize the size.

:yoda:  approves.

#11 DutchRebel

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:27 PM

Cool review, loved reading it, thanx!

Time for Lego to release an UCS minifigscale edition IMO. I guess they wait with it to the very end...

DR

#12 JayDuck

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 06:22 AM

 Rufus, on Jan 10 2010, 05:47 PM, said:

I was like a kid, couldn't wait to build it.  Started opening the box in the car, but then remembered I was driving.

:laugh:

Great review of a great set.   :thumbup:  I picked up a copy of this set when it was on clearance ( :oh3: ) at my local KayBee Toys (RIP) way back when.  Nowadays it seems so strange that a set like this would languish on the shelves, but when it was introduced, it was the largest Lego set ever (IIRC), and $150 seemed like an awful lot of money to spend on Lego.  When they were marked down to $125, I took the plunge and bought one. That X-Wing and some rented movies helped get me through a few days of being home from work after a back injury in early December of '01.

I didn't apply the stickers either, except for the one on the stand, because I didn't like the STAMPS, and I think it looks pretty darn good without them anyway.  Unfortunately, I had mine displayed on a shelf above my desk, but one sad day gravity decided it didn't need to be up there any more (that is to say, I bumped into the shelves), and, predictably, it crashed and fell to pieces.  :cry_sad:  I decided not to put it back together until I could give it a safer home, so for the last few years, my X-Wing has been parts in a box, patiently awaiting reassembly.  :blush:

I agree that the minifig R2 was oddly out of scale, but I figured it was probably included to help offset the cost of creating the new astromech parts.

(If I could send a message back in time, I'd tell myself to nab as many discounted 7181s and 7191s as I could, for future, um, ...appreciation.   :devil: :wink: )
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#13 Palms

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for a great review :classic: This was the first LEGO star wars set I had ever seen and I passed an opportunity to get it :cry_sad: . I especially love it because it uses very little special pieces.
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#14 RXBandit

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:56 PM

fantastic review.

i wish i could justify the prices BrickLink wants for a new version of this. maybe my girlfriend will justify it for me for my birthday (or my next 5 birthdays haha).

could you post a huge version of this pic for me, if you get a chance? it'd be much appreciated:

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thanks again for the great look at this set.  :thumbup:
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#15 Rufus

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 09:55 PM

 RXBandit, on Feb 17 2010, 01:56 PM, said:

fantastic review.
i wish i could justify the prices BrickLink wants for a new version of this. maybe my girlfriend will justify it for me for my birthday (or my next 5 birthdays haha).
Good luck with that! :laugh:

Quote

could you post a huge version of this pic for me, if you get a chance? it'd be much appreciated:
>snip<
thanks again for the great look at this set.  :thumbup:
I've PM'd you; if anyone else wants a big copy of this pic, it's here when moderated.  If anyone wants big copies of any of my pics, PM me!

I note some funny characters in the review since the server move; I'll fix them when I get the chance.

#16 jmadd58

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 11:14 AM

A fantastic review of a brilliant set Rufus! You really are a great reviewer.

If your camera allows, would it be possible if you could make a video of the S-Foils opening mechanism? Would be muchly appreciated :classic: .

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#17 Aeroeza

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:13 PM

Can it possibly get better than this classic build? You've done it justice with your review, yet again....  :thumbup:

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#18 Rufus

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:31 AM

 jmadd58, on Apr 3 2010, 12:14 PM, said:

If your camera allows, would it be possible if you could make a video of the S-Foils opening mechanism? Would be muchly appreciated :classic: .
Thanks - it's on the to-do list.  It's a long list.  I'll update some of the pictures in this review also, when I get the chance. :classic:

#19 snefroe

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:26 PM

well i guess this model shows how far Lego's come in ten year's time. i'd think they would do a better job than this model in 2010, but no doubt, in relation to the parts, available in 2000 and what was possible back then, this is a true classic.
My main concern, though, is the canopy. i just don't like it... i think the colors are a bit off as well, but those parts can easily be replaced...

#20 craym0nk

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 05:03 PM

Nice review. This set was also my first step out of the Lego dark ages, although it took quite a few more years to make my second step. I managed to get this at K-Mart in Aus on closeout for AUD$99, I'm sure it was at least AUD$199 RRP. Of course the stickers went straight on and the ones on the canopy are starting to peel a little bit, I didn't know any better at the time.

The set still sits proudly atop my DVD shelf collecting dust. It's taken a few tumbles throughout the years, but always manages to get a few ooooohs and aaahhhs from friends and family when they visit. Thanks for this blast from the past.

#21 Fallenangel

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:03 AM

Did anyone else notice that R2 is between the engines when he should be just in front of them? (In other words, LEGO appears to have made the rear section a bit too short.) Also the engines look a bit too small...

Nevertheless, the amount of detail LEGO put into this set is amazing - this is easily one of their best sets EVER. An updated version using a few slopes and more angled plates (not to mention a simpler wing-opening mechanism around a central pivot) would be even better...

I second the request for a video of the S-foils!

RXBandit if you want that page the instructions for this beast are still on the LEGO website.

#22 Mofo Jones

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:37 PM

I never got this set, thinking that $100 (on clearance from KB Toys) was way too much to spend on LEGO.  A quick glance at my collection now shows that is no longer the case.  As big as this set is, I probably wouldn't have had a real good place to display it.  Still, now I wish I'd taken the plunge on this set back then.
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#23 cavegod

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:47 PM

i was wondering as to change the old grey parts for new grey bring it to the 21st century...

#24 Taggsy

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 09:59 AM

Yeah one of the best looking sets. I recently acquired one very cheaply and it now takes pride of place. Only problem is they had lost the stickers :cry_sad:  (they never applied them), so I too would very much love to get a 1:1 scan of the sticker sheets so I can print them. Great review  :thumbup:

#25 Locutis

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 03:31 AM

 fallenangel327, on 10 April 2010 - 03:03 AM, said:

Did anyone else notice that R2 is between the engines when he should be just in front of them? (In other words, LEGO appears to have made the rear section a bit too short.) Also the engines look a bit too small...

Nevertheless, the amount of detail LEGO put into this set is amazing - this is easily one of their best sets EVER. An updated version using a few slopes and more angled plates (not to mention a simpler wing-opening mechanism around a central pivot) would be even better...

I second the request for a video of the S-foils!

RXBandit if you want that page the instructions for this beast are still on the LEGO website.

I know this is an old thread, but I was searching the forums to see if a review of this set had been done, and found it.  I just built this set today, and my 7 year old reviewed it on Youtube for me.  Here's his review, including a video of the S-foils:



Please excuse his lack of enthusiasm.  He initially said he wanted to do it, and then after doing it he said he actually hadn't wanted to.

I apologize for hijacking the thread with my youtube video, but I thought some of you might be interested in the S-foil wings in use.
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