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Review: 7067 Jet-Copter Encounter


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#1 ZO6

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 10:58 PM

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What happens when you take classic space and combine it with the UFO theme?  Alien Conquest! The Jet-Copter Encounter set caught my eye when I first saw it.  I'd been craving some Space sets for a while, and the Space Police 3 theme left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth (mostly due to the Technic panels everywhere).  The Alien Conquest theme looked like it would provide more of a classic build, so I decided to jump on board to see what they were like.

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Info

Set# - 7067
Name - Jet-Copter Encounter
Theme/Subtheme - Space/Alien Conquest
Year - 2011
Piece Count - 375
Minifigures - 3 (1x ADU, 2x aliens)
Price - MSRP $40US, $50CAD

Links

Brickset, Bricklink, Peeron, Brickshelf


Box

The front of these Alien Quest sets are all so eye catching!  I particularly like the colours and the images of invading aliens.  The action scene involving the Jet-Copter fending off the alien ships looks great, though as per usual the flick-fire missiles aren't doing anything useful (I don't blame the pilot, those things never fire in the direction or the distance that you want them to).
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At the back of the box we have some nice alternate angles of the various ships contained in the set.  There are also a number of smaller pictures which show off some of the play features.
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The top of the box gives you a nice shot of the included minifigures.  These little guys don't get to be shown to scale anymore, instead a flick-fire missile is presented at 'actual size'.  I don't think showing accessories at full size is as useful as doing so with minifigs, but with the way box sizes are finally decreasing, it's harder to squeeze in the figures.
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Instructions

The picture on the front of the manual is the same as on the box, I've therefore not taken a picture.  However, near the end of the manual is a nice shot of all the sets from the theme together:
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Here's a random page from about halfway through the instructions.  Piece call-outs are ever present and colour differentiation is good.
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Here are some links to high resolution scans of the parts index in manual:  Page 1  Page 2


Parts

There were four bags of parts in the box which are used to build the set.  The following pictures represent the contents of each bag, minus the minifigures.

The first bag contains the parts for the two little alien ships.  Notable parts include the arches, the 16 purple round 1x1s (1 extra not shown), and two of the new windscreens.
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The second bag contains the bulk of the parts required to build the Jet-Copter.  There is a huge range of parts - most of them are basic studded piece, but those are my personal favorite!
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The third bag of parts is used to build the remainder of the Jet-Copter (engines/landing gear, prop, tail), as well as the pod for the alien to be stowed away in.
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A fourth, non-numbered bag contains the largest pieces.
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Here are my picks for pieces of interest.  The blue engine is a new mold which I'll show in greater detail in a second.  The 6x6 canopy is the same as the one from General Grievous' Starfighter, though this one does not have the print on it.  The 6x4 bubble canopy is still relatively new, and it only appears in a few sets in this light-trans blue.  The 6x2 windscreen is a new piece and can currently only be found in this set, I'll talk about it more later.  The big blue tail is taken from modern Lego airplanes.  I'm not a really huge fan of the piece, I much prefer these (I know they're smaller), but I still like that the large tail has been used over say these Technic panels.  Moving on, we get a pair of the ray guns that first appeared with the collectible minifigures, and a pair of the new guns made for this theme.  To finish off the selection of parts, we get some of the grill column parts famous for their Atlantis debut, some of those new 1x2 plates with a clip on top, lots of round purple 1x1s, and a single printed tile.
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Here's a comparison between the old engines and the new mold.  From left to right: the studs on the top are now filled in, there are less contact points on the bottom, the front/inside has received additional support + the ability to clutch a Technic beam.
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The new windscreen isn't a replacement for the one on the left or anything, and it does have some differences.  Overall it is both one stud longer and taller, much of this is due to the bar at the back which allows it to be clipped into place.  It's nice to get a small curved windscreen, and the ability to clip it into place will promote the presence of cockpits that can easily be accessed.  
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Minifigures

The alien heads come sealed in two separate little bags.  The heads are the usual nice hard plastic and are of excellent quality.
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The set contains three minifigures: two of the alien pilots, and one ADU (Alien Defense Unit) pilot.  The aliens have detailed prints on the front of their torsos and legs, but nothing on the back.  The ADU guy has prints on his front and back.  The level of detail on these prints is incredible, and the metallic bits are especially nice.
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Here's a look at the ADU pilot with his helmet off.  I can just imagine that the expression on the front would be when he is blasting aliens out of the sky, while the one at the back is reserved for picking up women at the bar.
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Here's a closer look at one of the alien pilots.  The head has a wonderful 3-D look to it, and it has lots of different embossed sections such as the brain like bit on the top.  The paint job on the head is nearly flawless, and overall the head looks fabulous.
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The Build

Alien ships

To get things started, you start by putting together the two alien ships.  The instructions have you build one ship, then there is a x2 at the end indicating that you have to go back to the start and build a second one.  In these cases, I always build the multiples of whatever at the same time, as I find it's easiest and somehow seems less repetitive (not that building two little ships is particularly annoying  :wink: ).  Anyways, after far too many steps, you have a small base for the ship.
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Many steps later you have the engines attached, as well as the laser and some other odds and ends.
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It's not long before you get to build a pair of "wings", which will clip into place.
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Here's the completed ships, minus the stickers.  I was somewhat surprised how many of the set's 375 pieces go into making these little ships.  I think with both of them built, you're already down 100 pieces or so.  While I'm glad they are more substantial than I initially thought, I'm a bit disappointed the Jet-Copter isn't made up of more parts.  In any case, these little ships are leaps and bounds above many of the throwaway support vehicles included in the recent Space Police 3 theme.
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As if swooshing around these little ships were not enough, you can fold up the wings and combine the ships together.  The blue pin is used mostly for support while the black one keeps things together.  The two ships click together easily, stay attached well, and separate again without much fuss!  Well done!
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This is how the ship looks when combined.  If you had more of these ships, you could continue to attach them together to make something as wide as you wanted.  3 or even 4 ships all combined might not look too bad, but more than that would be a bit silly.
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After great debate, I finally decided to apply the stickers.  The ships looked pretty dull in my opinion and needed some sprucing up.  Having seen pictures of the ships with the stickers on, I didn't think that they looked very much more exciting.  This is simply a case of the stickers being pretty dull.  However, the ships needed all the help they could get in terms of flair, so I gave in and applied the stickers anyways.
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With the alien minifigues in place, the ships look a bit more interesting.  While I really like the designs of all the alien craft in this theme, the colour scheme to me is a bit boring.  If the light bley was replaced with chrome, that'd be pretty wicked, but it would of course raise the prices a load.
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The alien fits quite snugly into the ship.  The windscreen curves up nicely over the alien's head.  Somewhat annoyingly, the only way for alien to hold his gun is with it sticking out the side of ship.  A little place to clip it for storage would have been nice.  I hope the alien can fly fine using only one hand... :oh:
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Jet-Copter

Now for the moment we've all been waiting for (well, all you parts and minifig lovers probably have already seen what you were looking for  :laugh:), onto the big guy.  Building the base of the Jet-Copter includes taking care of much of the cockpit.  Already we have a control panel, and next to it a spot where a control stick will soon be added.
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A few steps later, the ship is built up a bit more, and lasers/guns have been added to either side of the cockpit.
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Around at the back, the red piece is where the pod for the alien will eventually clip into place.
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Next up we build a pair of flick-fire missile rocket pods.  Having not tested them yet at this point, I still had high hopes that they might not fail miserably.  I would be proven wrong...
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The rocket pods are attached to the ship. The SNOT parts on the sides of the rockets are where the wings will later be attached.
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The ship is built up some more, and the two rocket pods are covered up.  I must say that I was really enjoying the build at this point.  I almost felt like I was building a long lost ship from the Ice Planet 2002 theme, minus any white pieces.
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Next on the agenda is the construction of the tail.  It's nice and strong, and once attached provides a perfect handle in which to hold/swoosh the ship.
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The tail is put in place.  The ship is significantly longer now and looking great.
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At the front of the ship, some guns are clipped into place.  Though there are still more to be added, I was already surprised at the amount of firepower that this thing had.
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The cockpit canopy and lower tail fins are attached.  The Jet-Copter is starting to look pretty sleek now.
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On the left is how the bottom of the ship looks at this point.  The next step (as see on the right) is to add clips on which the engines/landing gear will be able to attach.
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A pair of engines/landing gear is built.  These are quite long and remind me of something out of an Exo-Force set (this one perhaps?).
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The engines get attached.  Since everyone loves pictures, here are a whole bunch!
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Now it's time to build the pod that the alien can get put into.  The pod is fairly compact, but it's roomy enough inside that the alien can fit no problem.  
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The pod can easily be attached to the back/bottom of the ship.  Though it's on a hinge, the pod can only be attached directly and not at an angle.  Also, the pod cannot be attached upside down as it won't fit.  
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Next up are the wings, and more guns!  :devil:
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The wings are securely attached to the sides of the ship.  The point at which the propeller will be attached is also added to the top of the ship.
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The propeller and upper tail fins are added.  The Jet-Copter is now complete, though minus the stickers.  The swooshing can now begin!
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From the side, we can see that the ship has a pretty low profile.  Unfortunately from here you can see the ugly pod sticking out the back.  The inclusion of the pod seems like a bit of an afterthought and rather clumsily tacked on.  The pod cuts into the amount of room that you have to hold the tail, but luckily it can quickly be pulled off if you want to do some serious swooshing, clutter free.
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A nice clean rear, complete with red and green tail lights.
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Here's some additional shots for those picture lovers.  The Jet-Copter is a great looking ship.
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I love this top view.  The forward swept wings give the ship a very aggressive stance.
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The pilot can fit pretty comfortably in the cockpit.  The designers at TLC were kind enough to provide him with not only a control panel, but even a joystick too!  I was a bit disappointed that the canopy was not hinged or that it didn't have some clever mechanism to slide open.  The one yellow stud at the back right keeps the canopy from falling off during swooshing maneuvers, and it works fine.  To get the canopy off though, you have to grab it from the edge diagonally across from the stud and lift upwards.  From that point the canopy comes off pretty easily, but if you try to lift it from anywhere close to the stud it'll be a pain.  
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The stickers get applied, and the Jet-Copter can really be considered finished now.  The ship looks fantastic.
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I really the the designs and patterns on these stickers.  It's a shame none of these were printed parts otherwise they would have jumped to a whole new level of desirability.  Lovely printed parts can be a selling point for me, but unfortunately stickers are not.  In any case, these stickers look quite nice.  The ship looks good with or without the stickers, but obviously I've chosen to apply them (I apply the stickers in almost every set).
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Look at all those weapons!  In this shot I've also folded up the engines to show how they look at their highest point.
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Play function

I've already covered the other features and play functions in this review, so I thought I'd take a closer look at the flick-fire rocket pods.  Press the black ball joint and out fires the missiles!  Errr...well...they fire just in front of the ship most of the time.  If you're really really really lucky, you might get them to fire about 6 inches.  While they may not be very functional, but they look pretty good at least.  :grin:
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Complete set

Here's the complete set, with sticker applied.  The alien ships are an appropriate size in comparison to the Jet-Copter.
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All the contents of the set, and no stickers this time.  Everything still looks good.
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Final Thoughts

Design/Build:  The small alien ships are surprisingly detailed (to the point that I was worried about how many pieces they were hogging), and while the Jet-Copter brings retro vibes, it is quite modern and high tech.  Yes you have to build two of the alien ships, but I don't think that bit of repetition will bother anyone.  The build of the Jet-Copter is a lot of fun and will no doubt feel nostalgic at times.  Everything in this set looks incredible, and save for the attachment of the pod, everything is very well designed.  I love the colour scheme of the Jet-Copter, but the alien ships are a bit bland.

Pieces:   This set contains a huge assortment of pieces in a range of colours.  There are a number of rare parts, and even some pieces making their debut.  The minifigures are phenomenal and the prints are beautiful.  The ADU pilot is current exclusive to this set, and the aliens are still a novelty.  

Playability:   Swooshability is a huge factor here, and the sturdy construction of the ships allows one to swoosh worry free.  The alien ships can be played with separately, or combined into a larger form.  The Jet-Copter has a removable pod for storing aliens, a rotating propeller, adjustable landing gear, and flick-fire missile pods (albeit weak).  Overall though, this is a fantastic set for playing with.  

Verdict:   TLC has done a commendable job with the Alien Quest theme.  This Jet-Copter Encounter set is a very reasonable price, offers lots of play value, and looks great on display.

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

#2 prateek

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 11:22 PM

Great review. I like this set, but I think they could've added more pieces to the Copter just for the heck of it.

#3 Algernon

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 12:00 AM

This and the Earth Defense HQ are my two favorite sets from this theme. I just love the sleek, clean design to the vehicles. This set is definitely on my list.  :thumbup: Thanks for the review!  :grin:

#4 -R8-

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 12:18 AM

Awesome review ZO6. The set's price tag at USD 39.99 isn't that bad, actually.

The modularity of the alien ships are quite ingenious, and I concur that they beat the bricks out of most supplementary vehicles that LEGO has included in their recent sets. The helicopter is really cool too. I don't like flick-fire missiles, but I need to commend the designers for integrating them seamlessly into the helicopter, as opposed to just slapping it on top of something. The tail pieces are also cleverly used as wings and look fantastic on the completed model.

An attractive set overall, thanks for sharing with us!

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#5 Hoboman

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 12:23 AM

Great Review. I was unsure of this one, but seeing it so well photographed has pushed me over into the buy it column. Well Done.  :classic:

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#6 ZO6

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:58 PM

Thanks for the feedback so far everyone!

View Postprateek, on 03 July 2011 - 11:22 PM, said:

Great review. I like this set, but I think they could've added more pieces to the Copter just for the heck of it.
I'm content with the set as it is.  It's one of the best values around, so while more pieces could likely enhance it more, I'd hate for the price to go up.


View PostAlgernon, on 04 July 2011 - 12:00 AM, said:

This and the Earth Defense HQ are my two favorite sets from this theme. I just love the sleek, clean design to the vehicles. This set is definitely on my list.  :thumbup: Thanks for the review!  :grin:
I'm in the same boat - this and the HQ are easily my two favorite sets from the line.  I love the theme as a whole, but these two seem to have the best designs.  Off topic, I couldn't help but notice you changed your avatar to a pic from Calvin and Hobbes.  I pulled out my collection of C&H a couple days and started re-reading them.  When I was younger I probably didn't get half the humor, so they're funnier and more relavant than ever.


View Post-R8-, on 04 July 2011 - 12:18 AM, said:

Awesome review ZO6. The set's price tag at USD 39.99 isn't that bad, actually.

The modularity of the alien ships are quite ingenious, and I concur that they beat the bricks out of most supplementary vehicles that LEGO has included in their recent sets. The helicopter is really cool too. I don't like flick-fire missiles, but I need to commend the designers for integrating them seamlessly into the helicopter, as opposed to just slapping it on top of something. The tail pieces are also cleverly used as wings and look fantastic on the completed model.

An attractive set overall, thanks for sharing with us!
Thanks R8.  Agreed about the flick-fire missiles - this is one of those rare cases where they actually enhance the look of the model and don't get in the way.  


View PostDaniel, on 04 July 2011 - 12:23 AM, said:

Great Review. I was unsure of this one, but seeing it so well photographed has pushed me over into the buy it column. Well Done.  :classic:
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#7 Rufus

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 10:33 PM

Superbly detailed and professionally presented review Z!  I love it!  :wub:

I've got a few of these Alien Conquest sets - they have an appealing parts selection, cool aliens, and a lovely tongue-in-cheek humour throughout.  I've overlooked this one, partly because I've been concentrating on the alien vehicles, and partly because helicopters never appeal to me.  Still, seeing the set in such detail has made me think twice, and I might make a splurge on this :grin:

What I like about the ADU stuff is the colour scheme is vaguely reminiscent of blue Classic Space.  The ship in the HQ set in particular reminds me of one of my favourite childhood sets:

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Lose the rotors, a bit of mod work, and this heli might achieve the same.

#8 Algernon

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:57 PM

View PostZO6, on 04 July 2011 - 09:58 PM, said:

I'm in the same boat - this and the HQ are easily my two favorite sets from the line.  I love the theme as a whole, but these two seem to have the best designs.  Off topic, I couldn't help but notice you changed your avatar to a pic from Calvin and Hobbes.  I pulled out my collection of C&H a couple days and started re-reading them.  When I was younger I probably didn't get half the humor, so they're funnier and more relavant than ever.
They're both reasonably priced, too; it's so nice to see LEGO Space living up to our high standards again!

I absolutely adore Calvin and Hobbes, so I completely agree with you. :grin: I even have the $100 complete collection sitting by my desk. In my opinion, Bill Watterson is right up there with Charles Schulz!

#9 Aanchir

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 02:43 PM

I think this set is great, even though I'm not as hyped about collecting Alien Conquest sets as my twin brother is. Did you catch the designer reference on the sticker sheet? :wink:

I have one big question no other reviewer has really been able to answer for me. Does the curve of the new alien windscreens match any other parts? Until I own it myself (or better yet, it gets added to LDD) I can't find out for myself.

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#10 Mr. Elijah Timms

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 03:52 PM

So weird-- I am totally NOT a Space guy... the last non-SW space set I probably built out of a box included a classic red space minifig.

And yet, I am totally enthused by this new line-- the more and more I look at the pics the more I want to dive into it!!  This set is possibly my least favorite of all of them, but I will say it also features a stunning design-- I'm not a big fan of the wings, though.  In this review I thought it looked better before the inverted wings were attached.

Great review, and thanks!

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#11 ZO6

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 04:58 PM

View PostAanchir, on 05 July 2011 - 02:43 PM, said:

I have one big question no other reviewer has really been able to answer for me. Does the curve of the new alien windscreens match any other parts? Until I own it myself (or better yet, it gets added to LDD) I can't find out for myself.

Good question.  TLC has been doing a great job of providing lots of compatibility between different parts, and I was expecting to find a match for the new widescreen.  I ran a check using a wide variety of slopes, but none of them matched the new piece.  Some of the parts that I tested included: curved 4x1 - no studs, curved 3x1 - no studs, curved 6x1, curved 8x2x2, and 1x3x2 with curved top.  I stopped at that point as it was seeming doubtful I'd find any matches.  I'll check a couple more parts later, and perhaps take some pictures to show how the various slopes fit in comparison.

#12 WhiteFang

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 05:11 PM

Thank you Z06 for doing this awesome review. By far, this is one of my favourite helicopter design and it is really cool to feature it in an aerial combat against those aliens spacecraft. I really like this very much and I hope to pick this up soon.

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