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[Review] 10198 Tantive IV

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#1 Brickdoctor


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:54 PM

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Click here for a text-less version of the main pic.
I'd been debating about this set for a while, and the recent May 4th sale finally convinced me to buy it. The main thing I wanted to know about this set was if it lived up to the '10th Anniversary' title. After the first grey-trimmed TIE, the first chrome minifig purchasable from TLG, the first Tauntaun, the best all-around playset of a few years, and the first Mon Calamari minifig, how does this set compare?

Set Name: Tantive IV
Set Number: 10198
Ages: 14+
Number of PIeces: 1,408
Minifigures: 5
MSRP: $149.99 USD, £122.99 GBP
Theme: Star Wars
Year of Release: 2009

Official Shop@Home Data:
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Shop@Home Description said:

The Star Wars™ saga begins!
Blasting through space with Darth Vader's™ Star Destroyer in pursuit, the Tantive IV™ blockade runner carries Princess Leia™, C-3PO™ and R2-D2™ on a vital mission for the Rebel Alliance. Celebrate the entire Star Wars™ saga with this all-new version of the very first starship seen in the films! The Tantive IV features an opening cockpit, rotating and elevating turbo laser cannons, rotating radar dish, removable roof section and interior command center. It also includes an opening compartment with removable cargo transport vehicle and 2 detachable escape pods for the droids to make their getaway with the Death Star plans! Includes Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Captain Antilles and Rebel Trooper minifigures.
  • Includes 5 minifigures: Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Captain Antilles and a Rebel Trooper!
  • Open the cockpit and place 2 minifigures inside!
  • Turbo laser cannons on top and bottom can rotate and elevate!
  • Features a removable roof!
  • Lots of interior details including Leia’s desk and command center with seats for 2 minifigures!
  • Open the storage compartment to reveal the cargo transport vehicle!
  • Features rotating radar disc and 2 detachable escape pods!
  • Measures 20.5" (52cm) long, 7.5" (19cm) wide and 5.5" (14cm) tall
The one thing I notice from this is that in the S@H picture, the Rebel Trooper is wearing medium blue pants, but the minifig in the set has light bley pants.

Other Resources:
Brickshelf Gallery
LDD Model

The Box:
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There's no better place to start than the front of the box, so here we have it. My box got little beat up during shipping, but it's nothing catastrophic. It's got a really nice color scheme, black with red and white trim, and the 10th Anniversary banner across the top. This is probably my favorite box art since 2002-2003's blue eclipse design. You've also got the 10th Anniversary logo at the bottom-left; silver with a picture of Darth Vader's minifig and the years LEGO Star Wars had been around at the time of the anniversary. For the main image, you've got the Tantive IV speeding past Tatooine, firing its dorsal turret, (albeit not at its pursuer) while a pair of green bolts from the pursuing Star Destroyer Devastator fly by underneath the craft. I do like that TLG has opted for a fairly accurate rendition of the opening scene of A New Hope, rather than the sort of insensible art you see on a lot of other sets.

Overall, I think this is a very nice box front, a pleasure to look at. But what about the back?

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The back of the box shoes some of the play features of this set. In the top row, from left to right, the first picture is a rear view, then you have a picture of the removable cargo speeder and one of the detachable escape pod. In the bottom row, from left to right, the first picture shows the opening cockpit, the second the rotating turrets, the third Leia's office, and the fourth the opening of the escape pod. We'll get to those in-depth later. The red background does work well for those images, and provides a nice amount of contrast.

And finally, the side image:
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As is the norm for System sets, there's a shot of the minifig lineup on the side of the box. The minifigs don't appear to be in any particular order. Once again, the background here is a pleasing red.

The Contents:
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Here you have all the bags of the set laid out. There are two each of the bag in the top-rightmost corner, the large bag directly to the left of that, and the two medium bags at the top lying on top of the larger bags. It's a nice selection on first glance; the majority of the bags appear nice and full, and the box itself is about 60-70% full. (when all the bags are inside it) None of the bags are numbered, but with only one model coming out of this set and this age group, it really isn't necessary.

The Instructions:
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The set makes use of two booklets, but they're of the thicker variety; perfect-bound (glued together instead of stapled), and eighty pages to a booklet. Even though this set contains well over one thousand pieces, the instructions are not enclosed in plastic with a piece of cardboard. I assume this is because the set contains no stickers. Nevertheless, the booklets were in near-perfect condition out of my box. Same artwork as the box, minus the extra info.

Here we can see the back of the first booklet:
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The first booklet contains no other non-instruction pages. The back page shows advertisements for six other 2009 sets. Personally, I think they should've advertised only 10th Anniversary sets.

The second booklet does contain some spreads without instructions. The first...
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...shows the parts inventory and the Customer Service advertisement.

And the second and last non-instruction spread...
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...shows the play features of the set and minifig lineup. We'll get back to both of those soon.

Finally, the back of the second booklet is the ever-present WIN! advertisement, and it's combined with an ad for the LEGO Club.

And here's a sample page:
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You get your standard coloring for Star Wars sets: part call-outs in pale blue, sub-steps in pale yellow, and a light grey background criss-crossed in lighter grey and white lines. Color definition is excellent compared to most of today's sets, with all colors easy to identify.

The Pieces:
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Here are the pieces of the largest bag(s). Again, there are two of this bag. Of note are the 8-wide printed half-cones for the cockpit area. The other bricks aren't so special.

Moving on to the next bags:
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Bag Three is on the left. Note all the wheel hubs that will be used for the engines, the white fins, and the smaller bag included inside this bag. The smaller bag contains black levers with light bley bases, light bley 1 x 2 tiles, and light bley 1 x 2 tiles with grilles. There's also the dark bley 2 x 2 container and R2's torso piece. Next we've got the largest of the medium-sized bags, Bag Four, on the right. More minifig parts are appearing, along with control consoles and some light bley tri-horn loudspeakers.

Here're the next bags:
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Bag Five, on the left, has more minifig parts, as well as more control consoles; some tan Technic 1 x 4 bricks, plenty of white slopes, some white mudguards, and some white 4 x 4 round plates round out the notable parts selection of this bag. There are two of the bag on the right. Nothing really stands out here, though the white 2 x 4 double-wedge plates, white macaroni bricks, and black 1 x 2 bricks with the horizontal female clicky-hinges are always nice to have.

With the next bags we start to see more of the smaller pieces:
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In Bag Eight, on the left, we've got a pair of Rebel Trooper helmets, Leia's hairpiece, and R2's legs for the minifig parts. Trans-clear 1 x 2 bricks and tan brackets are also some nice pieces out of this bag. There are two of the bag on the right in this set. As the pieces continue to decrease in size, we're starting to see more color variation. There's a lot of various types of hinges in this bag, and the Technic pins are starting to appear.

And the next bags:
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All four minifig heads appear in Bag Eleven, on the left, along with a large amount of 1 x 4 Tiles and Plates in white. Things get more interesting in Bag Twelve, on the right. We've got some turntables with red bases, wheel hubs, some cheese slopes, and a smattering of Technic. Also note the three black visors. Observant readers will realize that two of them are for the Rebel Trooper helmets, and the third one is one of those pieces that is immediately recognized as an extra piece, something that's not so common in a large set like this.

And the final bags:
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The bag on the left moves into extra-small-piece territory: Almost all the pieces are only one stud by one stud. Among other things, there're some tan 1 x 1 Plates and four printed control panel tiles. You get two of these bags in the set. In Bag Fourteen, on the right, as is common for large sets, this the smallest bag contains studs and Technic pins, with the majority of the latter in black. Nothing spectacular, but at the same time nothing bad. All highly useful pieces that are essential to many MOCs and sets alike.

With that done, it's time to introduce the notable pieces!
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Firstly, the printed 8-wide cones that are exclusive to this set. (though they're pretty specialized, so you really wouldn't expect them in any other set, unless TLG remakes this set) You get two of each. In the top-right corner we have fins and mudguards in white, of which you get four of the former and six of the latter. They're pretty common for City sets, but not so much for Star Wars. On that note, there're also four of the wheel hubs in light bley, which are also primarily City pieces but are becoming more common in Star Wars sets. In the second row, from left to right, we have four 1 x 2 horizontal female clicky hinge bricks, fairly uncommon; fourteen boat studs, which are pretty common, but in trans-yellow, which isn't so common; four dark green cheese slopes, often seen in Kingdoms sets but not in Star Wars sets; eleven light bley cheese slopes, always useful; eight medium blue 2 x 2 tiles, their color earns them a spot here; fourteen tan 1 x 1 plates, also always useful; eight of the printed control panel tiles, notable for their quantity in this set; and two of the tri-horn loudspeakers, which aren't as common nowadays.

For more info, the Bricklink entries:
Cone Half 8 x 4 x 6 with Dark Red Stripe Tantive Bridge Bottom Pattern
Cone Half 8 x 4 x 6 with Dark Red Stripe Tantive Bridge Top Pattern
Tail Shuttle
Vehicle, Mudguard 4 x 2 1/2 x 2 with Arch Round
Wheel 11 x 8 mm with Center Groove
Hinge Brick 1 x 2 Locking with 2 Fingers Horizontal End
Plate, Round 2 x 2 with Rounded Bottom (Boat Stud)
Slope 30 1 x 1 x 2/3 (in both dark green and light bley in the above picture)
Tile 2 x 2 with Groove
Plate 1 x 1
Tile 1 x 2 with Avionics SW Copper, Red & Silver Pattern
Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with 3 Loudspeakers / Space Positioning Rockets

The Minifigures:
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The minifigs of this set are, from left to right, Captain Antilles, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, and a Rebel Trooper. It's a pretty good cast, though five minifigs for a set of this price is on the low side, and I would've liked to see at least two of the Rebel Troopers. For myself personally, I'm not an army builder, have the Rebel Trooper BP, and am okay with the decision to include only one, but I do like to have at least two of all my non-named soldiers, and I think it would have been nice for other buyers who don't have the BP to get an extra Rebel Trooper. There were quite a few onboard the Tantive IV.

Time for close-ups. First up, Captain Antilles:
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This is the only exclusive minifig to this set. He's got the tan uniform with back printing as well as the double-sided face. The front of his face has a confidently smiling version of the Rebel Trooper's face (more of :smug: and less of :angry: ); the back has a scared face for when he gets choked by Vader. Personally I think that secondary face looks more like he's about to cry ( :cry_sad: ) than being Force Choked (after all, you don't gasp for air with your mouth closed), but I'd guess TLG was going for a more child-friendly look there. To me it works well enough.

Next in our minifig lineup, Princess Leia:
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This is the standard fleshie version of the old Leia minifig. At the time of this writing, the newer design is available only in set 7965 Millennium Falcon, which I do not own, but you can see comparison pictures in the review by Future74. I think this older one worked perfectly fine, and I like this face better than the new one.

Moving on to Threepio:
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Also the standard mold and print that's been around since LEGO Star Wars' infancy, though it's now molded in Pearl Gold rather than the original Light Pearl Gold. He's becoming increasingly common nowadays, but personally I've always loved this minifig and you can't have the Tantive IV without him, so no complaints there.

We next have Threepio's counterpart, Artoo:
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Artoo basically falls into the same role as Threepio in this set. Common, recolored from an older version, but you can't have this set be complete without him. Unlike Threepio, however, he does have the head print that's sort of new. (since '09) It's now printed on the back and the features on the head have been enlarged to be proportionate to the body. A good update in my opinion.

And the final minifig, the Rebel Trooper:
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He's sort of rare nowadays. Previously, he was only in one other set, but that was a Battle Pack (7668) that included four of the minifig for $10. Basically that means you probably have either a good amount of them or none at all. I do think this minifig should appear more often, but changes in clothing for different planets in Empire and Jedi and only two big scenes in A New Hope (one of which is on this ship) make it hard to include him in more sets. (the other scene is at the Yavin IV Base, which is itself a highly-requested set, but that's a discussion for another topic)

So overall, I think it's a good selection of minifigs. I'm happy that they didn't include the antagonists, since there's no room for the corridor firefight in this set anyways. That brings us to...

The Build:
The Spine:
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Not surprisingly, the build begins with a nice strong Technic spine to build around. The 50-stud-long structure gives a good idea of the size of the set.

Next we plate over the spine:
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You can see the midsection beginning to take shape.

We then flip the whole thing over...
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...and plate over the bottom as well. A 2x10 plate is added to the front, and the distinctive shape of the cockpit also begins to appear.

After that we bulk out the bottom:
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We now have a hefty base to build off, a necessary thing for any large ship such as this.

With that base ready to go, we flip the model over...
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...and begin work on the body of the craft. The first thing to go on is the bottom half of the corridor connecting the office to the escape pods.

Speaking of the office, that's next:
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The floor tiles and a container have been added in the above pic.

With the floor in place, the furniture can be added:
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That's primarily the desk, but we also add computer consoles in the office, and controls and seats in the cockpit. We've also fleshed out the area between the cockpit and the office. This portion of the model is set aside for now, and we begin work on...

The Engine Block's Core:
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Note that this sub-model has a separate set of steps, hence the 'Step 6' status of the model in the above pic. Like the main body of the ship before it, the core of the engine block, which will eventually hold three engines and connection points for eight others, has humble beginnings in the form of a Technic frame.

We quickly add plates and bricks to that frame:
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At this point the sub-model is still fairly weak, and has to be handled carefully lest the two halves of the Technic frame, held together by a 2x4 brick and one Technic pin w. friction, spin away from each other.

That, however is quickly remedied with the addition of a second layer:
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A good number of basic bricks reinforce the sub-model. Some greebling is also added.

Next, a third layer of bricks is added:
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Nothing much to say here, other than that it's a lot of basic bricks that serve to keep this sub-model solid.

That's plated and tiled over:
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And we also add connection points for the top-most row of engines.

And lastly for this sub-model...
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We predictably add the connection points for the bottom-most row of engines.

That finishes up the core of the engine block, so we add that on to the rest of the model:
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Pushing in the two red Technic pins as indicated by the two red arrows locks the sub-model in quite securely.

The Body:
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As we restart work on the main portion of the model, the first thing we do is to further reinforce the connection between the main model and the freshly added sub-model. This is accomplished with a few basic bricks and plates, as well as one Technic brick that will eventually lock in the escape pods.

With that area made good and strong, we can now flesh it out:
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Some fins go on, and this rear area is built up. We also add some black greebles to the engine block.

Speaking of greebles,
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The next step is to add greebled plates to the hull around the office. TLG did appear to get a little lazy here, with only three simple designs for these plates and 'x2's for all of them, but it's not like we didn't know of or expect that prior to purchasing the set. I do wish there were some telephones thrown in for the greebles, though, because apart from looking good in that role, they're always nice to have more of.

Having fleshed out the rear and middle portions of the body of the set, it's only logical that we next do the same for the front:
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The most notable addition is obviously the lower half of the distinctive hammerhead cockpit. This brings us to the end of Book 1.

The Engines:
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Book 2 starts us off with the four sloped portions of the engine block leading to the four bottom row engines. The first two we build (on the left) are identical, and have been reduced greatly in size so they don't collide with the Technic structure connecting the engine block to the main body of the ship. The other two (on the right) are full-size, mirror builds of each other. Note the lack of greebling for the engines that are on the bottom. I don't really like that, but they don't come close to looking as bad as the half-size ones when you look at the bottom of the ship.

Next we build the sloped portions of the top row of engines:
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These are all full size and greebled, but with minor differences. The first one built (far left) has side greebles on the side that will face outwards. The second (left center) has no side greebling and has a gap to accommodate the greebles that were placed on the engine block itself (shown four pictures up). The third (right center) just has no side greebling. The fourth (far right) has side greebling on the side that will face outward; a mirror build of the first (far left).

After all the engine slopes are attached to the ship we have this:
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The wheel arches used on the engines are a nice touch of good parts usage. The set is now easily recognizable and you can take it out for a nice swooshing run if you're getting bored at this point, but we're not done yet.

From this point on, everything is just little sub-models that take a minute or two each to build and are attached to the main model. First thing we need to do is finish the engines:
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To do that, we first build two of these engines. They occupy the top-left and bottom-right spaces. (from a rear view perspective)

Then we've got these:
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They're the engines for the middle row, and are slightly modified to attach via bars that'll slide into half pins in the engine block. They're kind of strange, because TLG decided to have them connect to the 1x2 brick with pin hole that's on the rest of the engine block with some bars and pins; when, in fact, Technic axles and 1x2 bricks with axle holes probably would've worked just as well. (and been more stable)

Finally, these:
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They're the same as the first set of engines, only without any dark red. They occupy all the remaining spaces.

Attach all the engines and you have:
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The rear end's complete, and we can start working our way forwards.

Next we build the escape pods:
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These are pretty simple builds. You build two of them. They're identical, save for the fact that the second has one of the 1x4 tiles on the top in dark bley instead of white.

Once that's done, the pods are attached to the model:
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All the major shapes of the craft are now in place, and everything else is just adding small details or covering up the interior.

The first small detail is this stand:
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Honestly, I have no idea what the purpose of the wheels are. They don't touch the ground, so they don't allow the model to roll or rotate, and they don't exist on the studio model. (it's worth noting that this is also the spot where the studio model's stand attaches)

Then we've got the hull plating for the bottom of the midsection:
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Quick and simple. Nothing fancy, once again, for the details on the bottom of the ship.

When those are attached to the main model we get:
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Coming along nicely. There's only one gaps left to fill on the bottom, though unfortunately that ugly gap in the middle of the engine block is already finalized.

That final addition to the bottom is a turret:
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The turret also descends from the model to the same plane as the stand, so the set can now sit on it's own without tipping. (though it is prone to wobbling side to side or falling over in that direction.

With the bottom finished, we can move on to the top:
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First we've got this nice little cargo speeder, which, though simple, is in my opinion a good add-on that looks like it could belong on the Tantive IV. The speeder fits snugly into a compartment in the corridor leading to the escape pods.

The compartment is then covered up:
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Note the area behind that corridor that still isn't finished yet. We'll get to that.

But first, we jump all the way forward and finish up the cockpit:
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I have no idea why the build has us jump around like this. In any case, the cockpit is actually a pretty interesting sub-model. Those Technic pieces go around and wrap around the lip of the bottom of the half-cone piece, reinforcing the sub-model so it can open without falling apart.

We attach that:
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The front looks pretty good now. I don't like that 2x2 hole behind the cockpit, but unfortunately that's final. It's there to allow the cockpit to fold back, but it could have been reduced to a 1x2 gap without any negative effects. My guess is that TLG didn't want to do so because it would require adding another element to this set. (a 1x1 tile in white - as it is, they just increase the amount of 1x4 and 1x2 tiles, which are already used elsewhere)

Now we get back to the back end:
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And we attach the craft's sensor array, its infamous Achilles heel. Only one sub-model left...

That would be the top of the hull:
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And if you thought the order this set is built in is confusing, now that we're on the last portion, I can, in retrospect, say that the step numbering was even more confusing.

That attaches to the main model:
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And we're done! :sweet: Note that this portion doesn't attach with any studs; it just rests on top of tiles. That's nice for playing with the inside, but it means that it falls off when the set is turned upside down. Not that you'd be swooshing a set this big upside down, but still.

Finally, your extras:
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A rather large and diverse selection. Best pieces here for me are the cheese, though it's also nice to get frictionless Technic pins as extras rather than the more common black ones with friction.

The Complete Model:
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After all that, the model pictured above is our result. Compare to this reference picture of the studio model:
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To me the most obvious error here is the section between the cockpit and the rest of the body. Whereas the studio model has curves, cones, cylinders, and small, sleek panels, the LEGO set has a chunky block of slopes and basic bricks. Granted, curves aren't always the easiest to build with LEGO, but it just looks wrong here. This same issue is also present in the section connecting the body to the engine block. The 'real' Blockade Runner melds lots of curves into the angular look of Original Trilogy space craft and conveys a sense of speed and style in addition to the signature used-universe Star Wars look. The LEGO model just seems to interrupt all that. Those airplane tail fins especially, while a good idea, don't come close to matching the look of the studio model.

Here's a rear view:
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Compare to this reference photo:
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The engine block is pretty well done, but it's pretty obvious that the engines aren't long enough. That's made even worse by TLG's decision to build a good amount of the cylindrical portion of each engine with basic bricks that have no curve to them at all. I know cylinders are hard to construct sideways while living up to TLG's standards of strength, but they come up so often in sets represented by slopes or rectangular bricks that really don't look good at all that I think TLG either needs to mold new elements akin to these at larger sizes or start incorporating much more Technic in their creations. It also disappoints me that these cylinders are so short, when TLG has done longer ones in Star Wars sets before. That said, most of the larger details are passable for a System set, and I definitely think the set looks better from this view than from the front.

And some other views, first the head-on:
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It's not exactly a flattering view, and seems disproportionate, but that's mostly due to the perspective of the single camera lens. The model looks slightly better in person from this view.

Here's a shot of the back end:
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Looks better from this angle, I think, mainly because it makes the engine block look bigger, as it should. I think orange engine glow would've been better, but this works fine.

Top View:
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The model is shaped pretty nicely, and this is definitely one of the better views. The gaps between the midsection, pods, and engines are evident, though.

Bottom View:
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Ugly! :sick: Well, it is a System set, after all. I really would've liked to see more effort put into covering up the Technic of the engines, though.

Lastly, a Side View:
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It doesn't look bad, but it doesn't look that great, either. The exposed Technic spine sticks out like a sore thumb.

Overall, the model looks pretty good for a System set. It's not a UCS, and it's not as if we don't expect official sets to make the sort of compromises that this one does. Now that we've seen what the set looks like, what does it do?

Play Features:
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The first play feature, moving from front to back, is the opening cockpit. It comfortably sits two. The canopy slides open smoothly, with just the right amount of friction. Most pleasing. :classic:

Next we've got all the rotating pieces:
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All six turrets plus the sensor rotate, and the sensor can move up and down. The barrels of the two main turrets can move up and down independently, but they look funny unless they're at the same angle.

The biggest play feature is the office:
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It's got plenty of room in it for the three minifigs who are seated, and more could be added on the floor. There's also a dk. bley crate between the two consoles.

Here's an overhead view of the office area, with the crate and minifigs removed:
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There is some gappiness in the floor, which is a little annoying, but it's not really noticeable; certainly not from the outside. The fact that only the floor under the desk is tiled over (and in a color that stands out), though, sticks out too much for my tastes.

And a close-up of one of the consoles:
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They don't look that bad. The two printed slopes combine nicely. It definitely would've been a huge improvement if there were chairs to sit in, though, instead of the tiles with bars to to lean against and the floor to sit on. A small gap can be seen in the plating here as well, but when viewed from the outside, it's not evident.

Before we move on, here's a close-up of the desk:
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The desk is a nice piece of SNOT furniture, smooth and curved. The tan grille would've been better as a white tile, and the chair reminds me of the Emperor's throne, but overall, it's well-done, especially compared to the interior of some other ship sets.

The crate in the office can be transported by the dk. green and yellow speeder that nestles inside the compartment behind the office:
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The speeder seems very Rebel-ish. I like it. It makes a great smaller vehicle to complement the Tantive IV, and works well in many scenes that can be played out with the larger craft delivering cargo.

The final feature, but arguably the most important, is the escape pods:
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That is, of course, not where the 'real' escape pods are located (they're those lumps on the bottom of the midsection), but really, who's going to complain? It's really the only place where minifig-scale escape pods can be fit into the design. The pods are rather simple, and their white and dk. red color scheme is a far cry from the 'real' pods, but that serves to make it blend in better with the rest of the model. R2 and 3PO can sit fairly comfortably inside, and the pod also includes a simple control panel.

That's about it for the model, we've seen what it's made of, what it looks like, what goes in it, and what it does, so all that's left are...

The Ratings:
Price/Piece Count: 15/20 At MSRP, this is a pretty good piece count, and on sale it gets better; however, white is a cheaper color to produce, and with only five minifigs, I think the price could've been a little lower.
Bricks: 16/20 White really isn't the most interesting color, and the exclusive pieces don't have many other uses. For the most part, though, the bricks are pretty useful, and there are some colors that are rarer for Star Wars fans.
Build: 17/20 This was a really enjoyable build. There were very few 'xn's, and those weren't large sections. Some of the techniques were well-employed, and as a whole the build was not at all monotonous. The accuracy of the model isn't great, but it's better than a lot of other System sets. Definitely acceptable, and the compromises in shaping were understandable.
Minifigs: 11/20 Five minifigs for this price isn't really the greatest amount. At the very least, I would've liked to see one more Rebel Trooper. I don't think it would've been a bad idea to include Vader and at least two Stormies, either, if the office was replaced by a corridor.
Playability/Features: 14/20 Overall, it does what you'd expect, though with this craft that's really just the rotating things and the escape pods. As I said above, I really think it would've worked better had TLG replaced the office with a corridor, because then they could include some antagonists and we could play out more of the scenes from the movie. Swooshing is pretty good, though this is not a model you'd want to swoosh without using two hands, and you can't really grip it any way other than with your hands on the bottom supporting it.

Grand Total: 73/100, or 73%. I'm not really surprised with that score. This set comes out of my ratings as a slightly higher-end System set. Compared to other sets I've reviewed, it ranks a little below the popular 6212 X-wing Fighter, which is a respectable rating.

I asked the question at the beginning of the review, how would this compare to the other 10th Anniversary sets? To be realistic, I really didn't expect it to be as great as 8038, it wasn't, and I don't think anyone else expected that. 8038 was one of those extraordinary sets that don't come very often, but we have to remember, the 10th Anniversary line was just some System sets with some special additions. And I think this set can fit that description as well, even if it was lacking in the minifig category.

Buy it? That depends on whether you're a minifig collector or a brick collector. The former group will probably be better off Bricklinking Captain Antilles, the only exclusive 'fig. The latter should probably wait for a sale. It's not really a set I'd recommend you buy at MSRP, unless you really love the parts selection. If you're just looking for a model that's fun to play with, large, and has no baddies in it, though, you'll probably get your money's worth

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#2 StoutFiles


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:15 PM

Excellent review.  While a bit overpriced, I think that for a System set TLG did a great job.  In many respects its better than the older UCS version.  This is an iconic ship they may never make again; pick it up while you can.

#3 Churchill


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:25 PM

Thanks for this review.  I agree with your comments about the inaccuracies in the hull, but overall, considered as a system set, this works for me.  I really like the overall look... until I see the guys with the 200 foot heads staring out the cockpit windows at me! :sarcasm: (note:  sarcastic comment not necessarily to scale).  I'm not a fan of the play features in a big ship concept, but since we're stuck with them, I think they work here ok.  Though, the office could have been replaced with a hallway, or the intersection where Vader interrogates Captain Antilles.  
I think the "iconic" nature of this ship is what made it a 10th anniversary set, and it's size and "bulk" are impressive but once you get past those factors, I'm not sure it's that great.
Great review, Brickdoctor, for an "above average" set.

#4 AmiPolizeiFunk


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:43 PM

Stellar review. I feel like I just bought it, put it together, and played with it! Thanks for that. :)

#5 The_Chosen_1


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:17 PM

One of the best reviews I've ever seen, well done BrickDoctor. :classic:

This is a great set, and I was lucky enough to use Ebay Rewards to pick it up at a bargain price ($55 shipped).  At first I didn't think the office was the best feature to have in the main body of the ship. But now I honestly think it's better than a simple hallway, which would have seemed too cramped in a ship this size.  All in all a very good representation of the Tantive IV, perhaps the only System version we'll get (and I'm perfectly fine with that!).
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#6 Hollander


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:52 PM

Excellent review indeed Brickdoctor. A lot of pictures and useful information.  :thumbup:

I think the set itself is awesome and it is my personal favorite SW set, but that's mostly because it is very accurate in my opinion. Especially the huge engine block is neat, it weights probably more than the whole Endor bunker itself.

Edited by Hollander, 16 August 2011 - 07:53 PM.

#7 daytimeninja


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:24 PM

I really like this set.  Think it's a great deal.

#8 Masked Builder

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 09:50 PM

Amazing work Doc!  This is my favorite review from you so far. :thumbup: I had meant to grade this but I got side tracked. :hmpf_bad:   It's good to see that you're so close to Teacherdom!

#9 mutley777


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:43 PM

A stunning review of of a great set! :cry_happy:

This is a great set and was one of the very good 10th Aniversary sets. A very good balance of play features and detail make this a winner for me.

A worthy note might be that this was priced at a very reasonable £99.99 (what I paid) for the first year of release before TLC ramped up the price by £23! :angry:

Thank you again for such a wonderful review Brickdoctor. :classic:

#10 Ki-Adi-Mundi


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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:59 PM

Wow, what an outstanding review!  :thumbup:
Congratulations - you are setting the standard even higher. I especially like the lighting, choice of angles and the crystal clear quality of the pics.

Regarding the set itself - i had already had a word on the older review here. Back then my enthusiasm was a little limited. But when the 4th was with me - i couldn't resist. I have never regretted that step.  :classic:

The ship is kind of iconic and beautifully designed. It could only have been better if there was some more interior. If not perfect, the set is still very good and very well deserves the title of being an anniversary set.
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New (system) sets i desire the most: Cloud City, Lambda Class Shuttle with Emperor, Nebulon B Frigate, TIE Interceptor, Rebel Trooper (Alderaan uniform) BP, Stormtrooper BP

#11 Fallenangel


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 12:46 AM

All in all, a wonderful review of a great set! This is certainly one that The LEGO Group put commendable effort into, and you have done a thorough job of highlighting its various pros and cons. I have a feeling you will make a great Reviewers' Academy teacher and set the bar even higher for future reviews. :thumbup:

The set looks quite nice with its wonderful greebling and dark red trim. I think that the office, while not exactly good-looking, is fairly well done with its healthy supply of printed parts (always useful when building pretty much anything space-themed).

You don't even notice how off the whole thing is until you compare it to the original source material! Which reminds me - the small stand with the wheels you mentioned is an accurate representation of what is there - it serves as a cap for the hole while the model is held up via the docking pods. :classic: I'm glad they didn't opt for the 'Essential Guide' version and stick another sensor array there! :sweet:

That terrible gap on the bottom is atrocious, though - definitely one of the first places to mod if I ever decide to get this.

Edited by fallenangel309, 17 August 2011 - 09:04 AM.

#12 Brickdoctor


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 01:38 AM

Thanks, all!

View PostMasked Builder, on 16 August 2011 - 09:50 PM, said:

It's good to see that you're so close to Teacherdom!
Indeed it is. Only got about twenty more pics to take... :excited:

View Postmutley777, on 16 August 2011 - 10:43 PM, said:

A worthy note might be that this was priced at a very reasonable £99.99 (what I paid) for the first year of release before TLC ramped up the price by £23! :angry:
Really? That's a bummer.  :hmpf_bad:

View Postfallenangel309, on 17 August 2011 - 12:46 AM, said:

Which reminds me - the small stand with the wheels you mentioned are an accurate representation of what is there - it serves as a cap for the hole while the model is held up via the docking pods. :classic: I'm glad they didn't opt for the 'Essential Guide' version and stick another sensor array there! :sweet:
Ah! I didn't know that. As always, I've learned something new about the studio model from you. :classic:

#13 ISDAvenger


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 01:49 AM

Outstanding review man. Personally I love this set, hence why I have two of them. It is worth the price, very well built.

#14 Ceroknight


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 02:51 AM

Great review! :sweet:
I was hesitant in buying this set and now I am even more after I read your review...
Still..I am one of those people you mentioned who missed the rebel trooper battlepack..
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#15 Vindicare


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:59 AM

Thanks for the in depth review. I've been pondering getting this to add to my fleet. Then, to the Venator.
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#16 Hartfan


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:05 AM

Whata amazing review. Best I ever seen. Great job Brickdoctor !
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#17 Algernon


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:29 AM

I've always been drawn to large capital ships, so this set appeals to me. Still, the typical outrageous price point of licensed sets (especially SW) will probably keep me from ever picking it up. Your review, though, is excellent! One of the best I've ever seen. I'd love to see you review some more.  :thumbup:

#18 Fallenangel


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:06 AM

View PostBrickdoctor, on 17 August 2011 - 01:38 AM, said:

Ah! I didn't know that. As always, I've learned something new about the studio model from you. :classic:


Speaking of stands, how do you plan to display this set? It would be interesting to see it in a forced-perspective shot with 8099 (in accordance with the film, the Tantive IV model would be massive in comparison to the Devastator :tongue:).

#19 Ackbar


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:07 PM

An amazing review!!! Fantastic photos and great coverage, step by step covering just about everything including a comparison to the studio model. Great job  :thumbup:

The model itself is well worth buying, I think TLG did a good job. Many great details, and it's a powerful model. The only issue I have with this set is the cockpit. The scale and shape is a bit odd and the upper part with its grey-bley-white-ish colour isn't the best. If the upper part was clear white as the rest, it would instantly look a lot better. Still, it's a must have for a OT collector as me.

#20 K-Nut


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:16 PM

Stunning Review Doc! I love that last shot.  :laugh:  My one problem with this set is the swooshability. It's hard to swoosh becuase of the humongous rear end. I love the detail they squeezed into this. Did your Leia fig have the weird, flat hair mold? I can't tell by the pics.
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#21 Brickdoctor


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:00 PM

View Postfallenangel309, on 17 August 2011 - 09:06 AM, said:

Speaking of stands, how do you plan to display this set? It would be interesting to see it in a forced-perspective shot with 8099 (in accordance with the film, the Tantive IV model would be massive in comparison to the Devastator :tongue:).
Well, since 8099 is 'displayed' inside by parts bins, I don't see any reason why 10198 can't join it there. :grin:

View PostK-nut, on 17 August 2011 - 03:16 PM, said:

Did your Leia fig have the weird, flat hair mold? I can't tell by the pics.
No, it didn't. Only the earliest 10198 sets had that.

#22 StoutFiles


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:07 PM

View PostBrickdoctor, on 17 August 2011 - 05:00 PM, said:

Well, since 8099 is 'displayed' inside by parts bins, I don't see any reason why 10198 can't join it there. :grin:

You're dismantling it?  But it's such a wonderful display ship!

#23 Brickdoctor


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:10 PM

View PostStoutFiles, on 17 August 2011 - 05:07 PM, said:

You're dismantling it?  But it's such a wonderful display ship!
I'm not going to dismantle it right away. I'll put it in a shallow cardboard box that I call 'The Graveyard' and it'll sit there until one day I'm MOCing, and I look at it, and I see a piece that I need, so I get the piece out of the set, which will then sit there until...

Besides, when all's said and done, a good portion of it will probably end up on display anyways - as part of an MOC that'll probably look a lot better than any set.

#24 Lobot


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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:28 PM

Excellent review Brickdoctor, this must have taken you hours to create!  :thumbup: This is a really nice set, and pretty good value (although it was even better before Lego hiked the price!).

#25 gratefulnat


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Posted 20 August 2011 - 10:00 AM

What an outstanding review you have presented Brickdoctor :thumbup:

Thanks for the read and wonderful pictures, makes me want to get the set out again and build it. Certainly worthy of it's '10th anniversary' title in my books!
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