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Review: 10030 UCS Imperial Star Destroyer


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#1 ZO6

ZO6

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 08:55 PM

((INDEXED))
The world had only just gotten a taste of what the Star Wars ultimate collectors series had to offer.  Then in 2002, the Lego company released the largest and most expensive set ever at the time.  With over 3000 pieces, the Imperial Star Destroyer not only helped pioneer the greebling technique, but it also redefined what was possible as a consumer product.  The Star Destroyer is one of the most iconic ships in the Star Wars universe, and this UCS set is certainly one of the most impressive Lego sets ever too.

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Info

Set# - 10030
Name - Imperial Star Destroyer
Theme/Subtheme - Star Wars/Ultimate Collectors Series
Year - 2002
Piece Count - 3104
Minifigures - 0
Price - MSRP $300 US

Links

Brickset, Peeron, Bricklink, Brickshelf


Instructions

When you're building a monster of a set, you're going to need a gigantic instruction manual as well.  Here we can see the front of this beast - it features the same picture as on the front of the box.  The manual measures an incredible 17 inches long and contains 225 pages!
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The back of the manual features close ups of a handful of notable details including the deflector shield domes, turbo laser turrets, the engines (both main and emergency), sensor arrays, and ion cannons:
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Here is a random page from within the manual.  Thanks to the Lego instruction gods, there are piece call-outs for every step.  There can be anywhere from 4 to 50+ pieces used in each step, so there is always plenty to do and progressing through the manual is very slow.  Colour differentiation, as to be expected from most manuals from the past decade, is poor.  It can be a pain to distinguish between black and dark gray, and many of the same pieces come in multiple colours.  Unfortunately, there are also a good half dozen or so mistakes to be found in the instructions.  These mistakes can range from the wrong quantity of parts in the piece call-outs, to parts not being placed in the proper spot and there being inconsistencies between steps:
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Pieces

The Star Destroyer is physically a very large ship, so to be expected, many of the parts are also massive.  Unsurprisingly, there are also large quantities of these massive parts.  For example, at the top left of the picture, there are two piles of 6x16 plates that are stacked fifteen high (for a total of 30!)  There is a whole range of different sized large plates in this set, and you get a whopping amount of all of them:
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Here we have many more large parts, as well as some medium sized ones too.  At the top left is the makings for the engines of the ship, the wheels are of the giant variety - the largest of that style offered by TLC.  There are plenty of technic beams used in this set, as they are needed to make solid framework.  At the top right, I have stacked the gray 1x16 long technic beams five high, and there are thirteen piles of them (note: one stack is six high. There are a total of 66 of these beams!)  Many smaller beams, plates, and wings are also present:
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Here we have another display of varied pieces.  There are many small plates and tiles, axles and pins, bricks and hinged bricks, bricks with pins, slopped bricks, panels, and even 28 magnets.  There are many colourful pieces here, but they will be used inside the ship were they won't be seen when it's done.  These coloured parts make construction flow better as they are easy to find and place:
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Greebles!  To quote The Lego Book - "This model pioneered the use of tiny LEGO elements known as "greebles" to create intricate detail".  Sure greebling had been used prior to the ISD, but TLC really went to town using the technique on this set.  The greebling technique has since been used on just about every other UCS set, and has even found its way into many system scale sets.  However, I don't think any other Lego set (not even the UCS Falcon) can match the sheer amount of greebles that are present on the Star Destroyer:
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Oddly enough, though all the rest of the grays found in the set are of the old variety, two of the four brackets in my kit were the new dark bley.  I can only assume this is because I purchased my copy of the Star Destroyer from S@H after the shift to the new grays in production and so a pair of pieces in this new colour snuck into my set.  Old dark gray on the left, new dark bley on the right:  
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The Build

Now the real fun can begin - construction of the massive ship.  As the ship is going to be ridiculously big, you're of course going to want a good solid frame for starters.  You begin by building a T shape which will be at the rear of the ship, this is made up of long technic beams that are sandwiched between plates, and then there are pins here and there which will be used for various purposes later on:
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Work on the frame continues much in the same way.  You continue to add technic beams, plates, and pins.  It does not take long to realize that you're going to need a very large work area, as the ship is going to be huge:
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This is how a completed frame looks.  Note the many blue half technic pins around the edge of the frame - greeble covered plates will soon be attached to these pins.  A number of magnets are added along the center of the frame, these will later be used to hold massive panels in place:
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Unfortunately, once you have completed the frame, you will encounter a 2x - meaning it's time to build a second frame.  However, at this time you are also asked to assemble 16 greeble covered plates.  Each of these plates is 10 studs long, and will be covered with 9 pieces.  Even more unfortunate is that the 2x mentioned earlier also applies to the greeble covered plates, meaning you'll have to make a total of 32 of these!  Instead of doing the greebles in two separate batches as per following the instructions, I tackled the greeble madness all at once.  To make this process easier, I lines up the 1x10 plates on a handful of 2x16 plates and then proceeded to add the greebling.  Using this method made keeping track of the proper amount of parts much easier.  Note the missing goblet towards the right on the picture, this piece was found and added much later:
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Once you're done with the greeble madness, they can be attached to the frame.  Before you know it, you'll have two identical frames like the one here:
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At this point we can make the feet which act as the stand for the model.  Here is a walk-through of how a foot is made.  Four of these feet must be made:
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One frame is inverted, while the other remains right-side up and then these are placed directly over one another.  With the two frames on top of each other, they are secured together using 10 small block submodels, and the feet can be attached to a pair of short stands:
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Here we have a front view of how the models looks thus far.  With two frames attached together into one, we now have a very solid inner structure for the ship:
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Here is an overhead view to give you a better sense of where the feet are placed, as well as the location of the 10 small blocks that are used to secure the two frames together.  At this point the whole structure is very nose heavy, but if you're quite lucky it will stand up straight and not fall forward:
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Support is added for the super structure which will be added much later.  Also note that additional magnets have been added to the bottom frame:
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It's time to work on the rear of the ship, and to add engines.  First, 4 of these wedge shaped submodels must be built:
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Next, 4 panels with emergency engines are built:
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These 8 panels are attached to the rear of the ship as seen here:
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Here is a walk-through for the construction of one of the main engines.  3 of these engines must be built:
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The engines can be attached to the jumper plates, and the 2x3 plates at the rear of the ship.  The extra weight from these engines helps to keep the whole models much more balanced on its feet at this point:
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Now it's time to clear an even larger workspace, and to make sure that your thumbs are ready to press lots and lots of plates together.  We can now build one of the large panels which will be attached to the bottom of the ship.  During this process, you butt-up large plates next to one another, and then use smaller plates to secure everything together.  The length of the panel grows quite quickly, and it is satisfying to see such large results:
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At this point we flip the panel over to add pins on which a rear wing will later be attached, and we also add re-enforcements in the form of more plates:
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Reinforcements are added along the length of the bottom of the panel, as are magnets too:
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Here is the rear wing which I spoke of above.  This is attached to the panel:
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Flipping everything over, we can see how this bottom panel looks now that it is complete:
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Carefully line up the magnets at the bottom/rear of the ship:
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Line up the magnets at the midsection and front of the ship as well:
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Plates with holes are used to secure the panel to the edges of the frame:
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It can be a pain to attach the panel to the frame, but once you do, this is how things look:
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A different view of the panel attached:
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You now must assemble a second panel which will be attached to the bottom of the ship.  This second panel is identical to the first, save that it is mirrored.  Once it it complete, the panel is attached to the frame the same way as the first:
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Again, an alternate view of the panels attached.  Note the hole around 2/3rds up the ship - the mini Tantive IV which will be built at the end can fit in the makeshift hanger bay:
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Now we build one of the top panels for the ship.  This is done in basically the same way as the bottom panels, but the shape is slightly different, and some of the parts used are different too (such as the large plates with the smooth sections at their center).  We can also see the 4 turntables where the heavy turbo lasers will soon be attached.
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As before, the whole panels is flipped over to add reinforcements and pins for the rear wing section to be added.  We also build the tip of the panel, and attach it as shown:
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Here is the construction of a heavy turbolaser.  You have to make 4 of these:
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The heavy turbolasers are attached to the turntables.  Though simple, these lasers look pretty good on the ship.  In the Star Wars universe, one of these lasers measures 50 meters in diameter!
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Around half-way along the panel, a few other details are added as well, such as a defense turret:
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The first top panel is now finished:
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These panels are really long!  Each one measures in at a length of 37 inches:
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The panel is attached to the ship in the same way that the bottom ones were.  This is a tricky process, but you are greatly rewarded when you see the shape of the ship really coming along:
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Opposite angle:  
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Here is a closer view of the interior of the ship at this point.  People often ask if there is any sort of exciting interior to the ship - that's it, lots of frame work and magnets:
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You then build a second panel and attach it to the top of the ship.  Looking straight on, the ship has a rather small profile, giving a false impression as to the overall size of the Star Destroyer:
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At a just slightly higher angle, you start to realize that the ship might actually be huge...
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Yep, the ship is big alright.  This overhead shot almost does its size justice:  
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Straight on rear reveals a nice view of the powerful engines:
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A slightly higher angle:
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And now just about an overhead shot, but this time from the rear:
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The side shot gives you a good idea of the shape of the ship, and it's length.  Remember, this ship is more than 3 feet long!
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This hole will soon be covered over with the super structure.  Should you ever want to move the Star Destroyer around, you can grab hold of the group of beams running along the center of the ship and lift it from there.  Of course the ship is fairly awkward to move around because of its size, but at least it will hold together fine while carrying it from this point:
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#2 BrickClick

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 08:58 PM

Wow great review of a great set that I unfortunatly missed out on  :sceptic:
But the pictures for part 2 arn't showing up.
Thanks to Jebediahs for the great avatar!

#3 ZO6

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 09:06 PM

Part 2

Now for the construction of the super structure.  We start off by making a base primarily out of technic parts:
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The base is added to and increases in size:
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Two front extensions are built and decorated with a variety of greebles:
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The two extensions are added to the frame.  This base is built up some more, and blue technic half pins are added so that more greebles may be attached shortly:
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Here we have a selection of the various plates that are covered in greebles.  You have to build 2 of each of these so that you have one set for each side of the super structure:
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The greebles are added.  The structure is built up some more, with prep being done for additional greebles later on.  The command bridge will later sit on top of the blue block that can be seen here:  
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Next up, extensions must be built to add to either side of the super structure.  Here is the extension for the right side in progress:
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The right extension is now complete:
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To attach the extension, the super structure must first be flipped upside down.  The extension can be seen in place near the top of the image.  The green circles indicate where the left extension will soon be attached:  
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Here we have an angled view with everything right side up again:
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The second extension is built the same as the first, though it is mirrored.  Here is how the super structure looks with both side extensions added:
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Unsurprisingly, it's time to make up some more greeble covered plates.  This is the selection for this batch:
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Here we have a lovely close up with all the greebles attached.  The other side of the ship looks the same:
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It's time to build yet another section which will be attached to the super structure.  Here is the inner frame:
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This is topped off with a number of plates, and greebles are added along the sides:
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Here is the latest section in place at the top/front:
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The super structure is now complete:
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Here is somewhat of a rear view of the super structure:
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And finally placed in the appropriate spot on the Star Destroyer.  The super structure can easily be lifted off the rest of the ship for easier transportation:
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Here we have the construction of the tower on which the command bridge attaches as seen in four steps.  Construction is a lot faster and quite fun at this point:
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A section which will cover the spine of the tower is covered in greebles:
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The tower is now complete:
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Here is the inner structure for the command bridge:
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Bottoms panels slide into place:
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Both top panels are added as well:
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The rest of the bridge is built and of course covered in greebles:
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Here is the complete bridge as seen from the front and back:
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The tractor beam targeting array/communications tower is built:
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This is attached to the top of the bridge.  The bridge is then attached to the tower.  Here are front and back views of the current structure:
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A base must now be built for command bridge.  Here is the inner frame with greebles added:
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Panels are added and the base is complete:
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The base is added to the command bridge, and the whole structure is ready to be added to the rest of the ship.  Front and back views:
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The command bridge drops into place on top of the super structure.  Here we can see a lovely side shot of the completed Star Destroyer:
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As mentioned before, the ship measures approximately 37 inches long.  It's really hard to appreciate the size of this beast without seeing it in person.  However, for fun, I shall provide a variety of views of the ship in hopes of somewhat conveying its hugeness.  Here are two shots of the ship as seen straight on.  In the picture on the left, the command bridge is in focus.  On the right, the front of the ship is in focus.  Note the massive amount of greebles that run along the entire length of the ship in between the top and bottom panels:
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Here is an overhead view of finished ship in all of its wonderful wedge shaped glory:
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When you have the super structure separate from the rest of the ship, it seems quite huge.  However, when you place the super structure and command bridge in their proper spots, they are seemingly dwarfed in comparison rest of the Star Destroyer.  This effect is especially apparent when seen from this angle:  
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The rear on the ship seen straight on:
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The rear rear looking down at angle:
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Close up of the super structure, command bridge, and heavy turbo lasers all nicely lined up.  Note the two round deflector shield generators on the top of the command bridge.  I suppose if one really wanted, they could have fun re-enacting the scene from episode 6 during the battle of Endor when those generators are destroyed and then the A-wing crashes into the command bridge (Yes, I realize all of this happens to the Super Star Destroyer, but I doubt we'll ever see one of those in Lego bricks so you might as well get your reenactments done with this ship):
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Here is a different view looking down on the command bridge:
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Another look at the back of the command bridge.  Wherever you look, there are plenty of details and greebles to be seen:
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Also included in the set is a mini Tantive IV.  This is built to scale to go alongside the Star Destroyer.  The Tantive IV is fairly simple but easily recognizable.  It includes a little stand to rest on:
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Here are some alternate views of the little ship.  The model is sufficiently detailed for its size and even includes all 11 engines:
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Though there are some details missing from the bottom of the ship, at least there is somewhat of a main hanger that the mini Tantive IV can fit into.  I would recommend against swooshing the Star Destroyer around in order to re-create the opening scenes from A New Hope:
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To complete the UCS experience, this set comes with a display card/stand.  The info sticker has long since been attached, but this close up should allow you to see what is written on it:
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This is how the stand looks when it is complete:
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Complete Set

The moment everyone has been waiting for - the complete set.  Here we can see the Star Destroyer, mini Tantive IV, and display card all together.  Unfortunately, pictures really do not do this justice.  It really is an amazing sight to behold:
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Final Thoughts

Pricing and Value:  Star Wars sets are known to be very expensive, and UCS sets are no exceptions.  For those living in the US, the price of $300 for 3000+ parts may have seemed like reasonable value.  For those living outside of the US (like me), the price of this set might not have seemed so hot.  I knew what I was getting into when I picked up this set, but was willing to bite the bullet in terms of cost simply because of how much I wanted to own this fantastic model.  Around the time that I got this set, I remember looking through some sort of catalog and seeing Star Wars replica models for sale.  Though quite detailed, these models were both smaller and less impressive looking than the Lego ISD, and significantly more expensive.  I have absolutely no regrets with having bought the Star Destroyer.  The build experience, though repetitive at times, was unforgettable, and the completed set is mind blowingly awesome looking.  

Design/Build:  For those that complain and claim that they are going to "freak out" or "die" due to the repetition in relatively small sets like say the Tie Defender, then under no circumstanced must you ever attempt to build this set.  In fact, your brain has probably already exploded just looking at the build pictures for this set.  This set is up there with the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, and Grand Carousel, as being one of the most painfully repetitive Lego sets ever produced.  I repeat, high tolerance for repetition is a must with this set - sometimes you must build 32 copies of something consisting of 9 pieces, other times you must build multiple copies of something consisting of hundreds of pieces.

One must pay close attention to the instructions while building this set.  Though there are piece call-outs for every step, the amount of parts can often be overwhelming if you are not dedicated to the build.  Poor colour differentiation and mistakes in the instructions can also cause problems if you are not careful.  There are also a handful of tricky moments during construction, such as when attaching the massive panels to the frame.  Having said that, building this set is an amazing experience.  It is extremely rewarding to see the ship built up over the course of many hours.  Expect to spend 10+ hours putting the Star Destroyer together.  

There are countless interesting techniques used during construction - such as the dual inner frames, loads of SNOT, and parts being held together in other unique ways.  Every couple of years the magnets holding one of the bottom panels in place might fail, but this can simply be fixed by pushing the panel back up so that the magnets make contact again.

This Lego model looks extremely close to what is seen in the movies.  Most of the proportions are quite accurate, and there is an insane amount of detailing and greebles.  There are a couple of spots that could benefit from the parts selection that is available today, but otherwise the model is truly stunning.

Pieces:  When you've got 3000+ pieces at your disposal, it can be pretty hard to complain about the selection.  There are an enormous amount of giant plates, and loads of of plates of every other size.  Same deal with beams - a goldmine of various sizes.  There are not really any unique pieces here, but just the sheer number of pieces makes for an amazing parts pack.  The colours are mainly gray and black, but there are a number of red, blue, and white parts too.  If you're in the market for gray pieces, you've come to the right place.  One could build dozens upon dozens of smaller ships or other things using what is provided in the set.  There are a lot of technic pieces, and small greebles.  There is one sticker which is used on the display stand.

Playability:  Being an ultimate collectors series set, this beast is intended to be a display piece.  Though the ship can come apart in sections for easier transportation, I would advise against swooshing anything around as you may damage the ship or accidentally brutally impale someone.  The inclusion of the mini Tantive IV does make it incredibly tempting to re-create the opening scene from A New Hope, but as I said - extreme caution required! If you have a Millennium Falcon bag charm or build yourself a mini A-Wing for example, you could attempt to recreate other scenes from the films as well.

Verdict:  The release of the UCS Imperial Star Destroyer confirmed that TLC was serious about providing very large, very detailed, and very expensive sets that AFOLs would crave.  Overnight the greeble technique would also become standard practice on sets.  Construction of the set may be a love or hate experience, but there is no denying that the end result is out of this world!


As always, comments and questions are more than welcome.  Cheers!

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#4 Jammiedodger

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 09:28 PM

Why did I think this set was terrible? :wacko:
Great review ZO6! Very detailed analysis and images, so thanks!

Depending on how much this costs, I may save up for it. The techniques and detail involved are truly inspiring! :sweet: I never knew it used magnets!


Thanks again.

#5 KimT

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 09:48 PM

Wow - this truly is a very elaborate review with soo much detail and thoughts.
Very well done. :thumbup:

I personally bought this a few years back when it was on sale and so far I haven't gotten around to building it.
But that can also be said for the new Death Star and the UCS Millenium Falcon.
All 3 are stashed away in my attic :blush:

I think this is a great set and interpretation on how an ISD can be done with LEGO.
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#6 prateek

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:04 PM

Wow. I would not survive this build. If I do get into UCS, I'll try a smaller one, this one is too repetitive. As for the review, this is a masterpiece. The pictures and text are perfect :thumbup:

#7 DutchRebel

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:18 PM

Whooooww, thanx ZO6 for putting so much effort in this review. I had a great time reading it! Terrific set and really setting the standard for AFOL UCS sets. I don't own it, but that saves some space for my UCS Falcon and now Lego releases the Imperial Shuttle, a set I will definately buy! You too?

Thanx again

DR

#8 Walter Kovacs

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:23 PM

Fantastic review, ZO6.

For some reason I ranked the UCS Death Star II over this set while both were available on S@H.  I received the DS II as a gift, but I am still missing an ISD in my collection.  Now I wonder what the hell I was thinking.  (Not that I don't love my DS II; I do, but DAMN!)  

The ISD is just absolutely gorgeous.  And if you ever need to learn how to greeble, just flip through the instructions on the set.  You'll get plenty of pointers.  I know I've drawn plenty of inspiration, even if I don't own the set.
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#9 dr_spock

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:34 PM

Thank you for the excellent review.  I wanted to get this set years ago but too pricey on my lowly salary.

#10 Brickus

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 11:40 PM

Excellent review of an amazing set, thanks for taking the time to do this review.

#11 lightningtiger

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 11:52 PM

Thanks 'ZO6' for this review, man what a review, what a set ! :grin:
Sadly for this SW fan this came out when I was still in my dark times, so I missed out on it ! :sad:
Anyway luck you to have one and keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#12 ZO6

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 01:53 AM

Thanks for the comments/feedback everyone!   :sweet:   I've always been somewhat surprised to see that there was no review for this amazing set here on EB.  I've been wanting to review this set for a lot of years, but until recently I did not feel like disassembling it in order to do a thorough review.

View PostJammiedodger714, on 18 June 2010 - 09:28 PM, said:

Depending on how much this costs, I may save up for it. The techniques and detail involved are truly inspiring! :sweet: I never knew it used magnets!

When this set first came out, I looked at the price tag and thought "I really don't care what I'm paying, I've got to get this set because I know I'll regret it forever if I don't".  The Star Destroyer is current available on Bricklink anywhere from expensive, to extremely expensive.  I wish you the best of luck in acquiring the set.   :thumbup:


View PostDutchRebel, on 18 June 2010 - 10:18 PM, said:

Whooooww, thanx ZO6 for putting so much effort in this review. I had a great time reading it! Terrific set and really setting the standard for AFOL UCS sets. I don't own it, but that saves some space for my UCS Falcon and now Lego releases the Imperial Shuttle, a set I will definately buy! You too?

Thanx again

DR

The Imperial Shuttle looks like it will be a fantastic set.  It is easily one of my most anticipated sets of the year.  I will waste no time in picking it up when it is released.

#13 OneSnowTrooper

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:09 AM

Very nice review, top!

Never bought this one, somehow it doesn't attrack me (same goes for the DS II). Although now that I have seen this review...maybe
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#14 BrickClick

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:13 AM

May I just ask one question?
On the front of the box/instructions is the picture of the ISD shrunk down because it looks quite short on the box/instructions but very long from the pictures of the finished product I don't own this set so can someone please answer?
Thanks!
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#15 fenris

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 11:45 AM

thanks so much for this excellent review. it's like a near-built experience  :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

#16 Big Cam

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 01:09 PM

I must agree with some of the previous comments.  I originally thought I'd never want this set, or what a waste.  But damn!!  It's massive and awesome.  Going through the build process for something can really change your mind about it.  I had no idea parts were held up by magnets, also I never quite grasped the actual size of this beast.  The details you don't see in regular pictures really make this review worth while.  It's like said previously, it's like a near built experience.

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#17 Rufus

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 01:39 PM

Superb review, Z06! Wonderfully detailed and you've captured every feature beautifully.  :thumbup:

This is indeed an amazing set.  It has problems - I for one found the magnet attachments too weak, particularly on the bottom, and I understand the nose has a tendency to sag - but what an incredible rendition it is.   Very brave for Lego, back in 2002.

#18 gratefulnat

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 12:11 PM

Superb review of a fantastic set. Thanks.  :thumbup:

View PostRufus, on 19 June 2010 - 01:39 PM, said:

It has problems - I for one found the magnet attachments too weak, particularly on the bottom, and I understand the nose has a tendency to sag - but what an incredible rendition it is.   Very brave for Lego, back in 2002.

I've had this monster displayed for about six years now, and have not run into any problems with the strength of the magnets. If the lower wings get bumped towards the back end, then yes, they do tend to unattach at the rear (heavy) end, but that doesn't really bother me as all you do is push them back up to connect.

Much more predominant in terms of a construction flaw is the sagging of the nose. I dismantled the set after about 1 1/2 years (before building it again - although I left the 32+ greebled plates built, wasn't going to do that twice *huh* ) to check out the structure, and was very alarmed at the dramatic 'bending' of four 16 stud technic beams (those that ZO6 highlighted in his review as the place to pick up the structure). Putting the beams on a flat surface, I measured 2.5-3mm of air between the middle of the beams and the surface. The weight of this beast exerts enourmous pressure, and due to the fact that the two support-feet are relatively far back, causes those beams to bend. So the sagging of the nose actually takes place between the two support-feet.

I added a third small support-foot (only had to shift a few plates 2 studs out on the lower wings to make space for the attachment to the internal skeleton), and four years later the structure is still straight as an arrow. By placing the mini Tantive on this extra support, it really isn't all that visible.

Otherwise excellently constructed and stable, just don't try and swoosh it  :tongue: .

For those of you still thinking of getting it, well...if you have the cash, I cannot imagine you'd be disappointed. It really is awesome, after six years I still enjoy admiring it :wub:
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#19 yellost

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 02:09 PM

Very Awesome in depth review, ZO6.

This by far my very most favouritest LEGO set ever. I think it's the one that really got me fully back into LEGO. I loved it the first time I laid my eyes on a picture of it in a Star Wars magazine and when I learnt what the price was, I just saved for four years just to be able to afford it. And man, what a treat. The model still looks fantastic.
My only minor complaint I have for it, as you mentionned in your review, is the bad surprise in the instructions when you have painstakingly finished one frame to discover that you have to do it aaaaall over again a second time...

But then, I have noticed that TLC learns a lot from its past mistakes, as instructions in later sets now have the X2 note at the beginning of said duplicate part of the build.
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#20 Artifex

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 11:55 PM

I can't really express how positively overwhelmed I am, sorry.

So I'll just say WOW!!!

And thank you for the awesome review. Thanks!

:classic:
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#21 Forresto

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:41 AM

WOW! That is the one word I can clearly describe the greatness of this review!

As awesome as this set looks finished, it must truly be builder's hell to finish.


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#22 AndyC

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 01:13 PM

This was the set that eventually drew me out of my dark ages, albeit not till after it had been discontinued, though I managed to get it MISB. I still love it to this day despite the minor issues. I actually had to rebuild it in-place to fit it onto the old hi-fi stand I now use to display it, but I reckon it's worth it!
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#23 ILikePi

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 05:42 PM

Like many others, I was really surprised at this set! Previously, I only thought of it as a great big mountain of old light and dark grey, but now I see that it's much more than that. It is truly a sight to behold. :oh:

I don't think that I'll ever purchase this set, though; my brain definitely exploded - multiple times - during your extremely detailed build process!  I counted about 70 sections of greebles total - that must be at least 1000 pieces worth of greebles!  *oh2*  If I ever decide to get a UCS set, I'll have to settle for something less challenging.

I'd like to know your plans on this set: are you going to find an alcove to display this beast or are you going to disassemble it and store it away?

P.S. The last picture is hilarious :laugh:

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#24 ZO6

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 03:41 AM

View Postgratefulnat, on 20 June 2010 - 12:11 PM, said:

I've had this monster displayed for about six years now, and have not run into any problems with the strength of the magnets. If the lower wings get bumped towards the back end, then yes, they do tend to unattach at the rear (heavy) end, but that doesn't really bother me as all you do is push them back up to connect.

Much more predominant in terms of a construction flaw is the sagging of the nose. I dismantled the set after about 1 1/2 years (before building it again - although I left the 32+ greebled plates built, wasn't going to do that twice *huh* ) to check out the structure, and was very alarmed at the dramatic 'bending' of four 16 stud technic beams (those that ZO6 highlighted in his review as the place to pick up the structure). Putting the beams on a flat surface, I measured 2.5-3mm of air between the middle of the beams and the surface. The weight of this beast exerts enourmous pressure, and due to the fact that the two support-feet are relatively far back, causes those beams to bend. So the sagging of the nose actually takes place between the two support-feet.

I've had my Star Destroyer built and on display for around 6 years as well.  Its moved from one location in my house to another on multiple occasions, and even took a car ride to the local library to be put on display.  In all those years, I've only had one of the bottom panels become unattached twice.  I've heard a lot of complaints about the nose of the ship sagging, but I guess I've been a bit fortunate and this really hasn't been very much of a problem for me.


View PostILikePi, on 22 June 2010 - 05:42 PM, said:

I don't think that I'll ever purchase this set, though; my brain definitely exploded - multiple times - during your extremely detailed build process!  I counted about 70 sections of greebles total - that must be at least 1000 pieces worth of greebles!  *oh2*  If I ever decide to get a UCS set, I'll have to settle for something less challenging.

I'd like to know your plans on this set: are you going to find an alcove to display this beast or are you going to disassemble it and store it away?

P.S. The last picture is hilarious :laugh:

It was the thought of having to re-do all of the greebles that prevented me from doing a review for this set for such a long time (and figuring out how I was going to photograph everything).  The 32x of the greebles early on is pretty testing of ones patience, but the stuff on the super structure is significantly more fun as there is more variety in it.

For the first couple of years after getting this set, I had it on display beside the main television in the house.  Since then, its been sitting on my desk right beside the very computer that I'm typing on right now.  I'm not one to disassemble and store away my Lego sets.  Every set that I own is current assembled.  I've got every wall in my room covered with shelves or display cases with my Lego out to be seen.  The sets that I don't have room to display are all in cupboards and drawers in other places around the house, but every single one of them is still built.  Everything takes up a ridiculous amount of room, but I really can't help it - I simply love to look at and play around with my Lego.  :grin:

Regarding the final picture - I've always thought it would be far too easy to significantly injure others by mishandling the Star Destroyer.  The ship weighs in at around 10-15 pounds and is of course very large.  This thing could easily destroy small children or animals if it was dropped on them.  If flick missiles, those rubber technic launchers, and plastic bags can all have safety warnings on them, why shouldn't the Star Destroyer?  It's big and pointy - the ultimate in weapons technology!   :devil:

#25 brickfoot

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 02:30 PM

That is an amazing review. I don't think I have seen a review this awesome.
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