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About Rufus

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  1. Thanks Merlict. I sort of agree about the windscreen, but I worry that if every car got a bespoke windscreen the parts would be useless for anything else and it would detract from the effort required to recreate real objects with generic bricks. And where do you stop? I don't want LEGO sets to turn into easy-build Airfix models. Hey Fangy! Glad you enjoyed the read. The three cars do make a great set. Thanks f2k. Fair enough - I had the reaction to the Beetle that you had to the Fiat!
  2. LEGO's latest addition to the CREATOR Expert Classic Car range gets the EB Review treatment: Check out my 10271 Fiat 500 Review in the Special Themes Forum!
  3. It's been four years since the last classic European car graced the CREATOR range, and I said then I'd be delighted to see more of them. Since then we've seen the handsome Mustang and the sleek Aston Martin DB5 - technically a European classic car but I haven't counted that one! The range's latest offering, the Fiat Nuova 500 ('Cinquecento'), fits neatly into the category of small cute classics previously epitomised by 2014's 10242 Mini Cooper and 2016's 10252 VW Beetle. I was delighted to see the widespread use of a rarer colour (dark azure) in the Beetle; now Bright Light Yellow takes centre stage for the Italian classic. The Fiat 'Nuova' 500 was launched in 1957 as a successor to the 500 Topolino and was designed as an inexpensive, practical city car with a rear-mounted engine following the style of the successful Beetle. Its 479 cc engine boasted a stunning 13 horsepower (my lawnmower is 430 cc). Just short of 4 million were produced until the model was succeeded by the Fiat 126 in 1975. Earlier models featured rear-hinged 'suicide' doors; these were replaced with conventional front-hinged doors with the release of the 500F in 1965. Review: 10271 CREATOR Fiat Nuova 500 Parts: 960 Price: £74.99 | $89.99 | €79,99 | AU$139.99 Like the Beetle and Mini, the LEGO Fiat no steering, but aims at a realistic body for display with authentic features. Coming in at the same price as the VW Beetle (in the UK; the latter is pricier in most regions), the Fiat consists of over 200 fewer parts. Let's see if that price hike is worth it. Box I confess that at first glance at the box i thought this set was ordinary LEGO yellow, and it was only in looking at the little painting on the box that I noticed the paler tones of Bright Light Yellow - it's particularly noticeable when you compare to the yellow round tile on the artist's palette. The box art mimics approximately the scene of the painting, with the car posed attractively in front of Rome's iconic Flavian Amphitheatre, or Colosseum. I was disappointed not to see a tiny easel in the painting. Some lens flare adds sparkle. Cobbled streets abound. The box rear shows off the car's attractive rump, along with the set's other features which exceed the bounds of their respective insets. The car stands out beautifully in the otherwise nondescript and unidentified back street; a pronounced sepia filter provides a warm which contrasts but complements the dark blue of the CREATOR Expert range box trim. Sadly, thumb tabs are the designated means of opening - disappointing for an adult-oriented set such as this. I am pleased to see some schematics along with real set reference images on the box top: This saves me the job of sourcing my own reference images! They've even produced a LEGO schematic. The box contains some nine polybags - three modules with three bags each, the instructions, and a separately-packaged fabric part, which you can see here. Instructions The manual comes in a separate polybag which also contains the sticker sheet. There's no cardboard backing but the wrapping has in my case done a good job of preserving the booklet. I love this! The square manual evokes an old Polaroid photograph, and if that weren't obvious enough there's a rotated panel within the picture like a photo within a photo. The faded colours and dress provide the perfect 60s vibe and (even though I'm not that old) have me pining for family holidays long-since passed. Interestingly the car featured in the picture is an older model with rear-hinged doors. I think this is the first time I've encountered a LEGO instruction manual that doesn't feature the set on the cover. A downside to the cute square booklet is that it doesn't stay open, and I wasn't about to go breaking the perfect-bound spine just for the sake of some photos. The instructions are clear against a duck-egg blue background, with suitable callouts, and extra guidance for the few tricky bits. Some four double-pages at the front provide some interesting history into the car and the FIAT company. I'm a big fan of these educational instructions - what a fabulous way to preserve our cultural heritage. Also in the instruction pack is one of the prettiest sticker sheets I've ever encountered. The decals for the car are reasonably easy to apply, though the smaller square ones all go onto curved parts. They are well colour-matched. The 5x5 square painting is gorgeous. As is customary, a variety of nationalities are featured in the car registrations. The Danish (DK) and German (PN) plates both feature the set number formatted to a realistic registration number (although in Denmark, numbers were for motorcycles I believe). PN is not an obscure region of Germany but instead refers to the set designer Pierre Normandin. The Italian plate is worthy of note. 'TO' is the area code for Turin (Torino; the 'T' in FIAT and the firm's city of origin); 'F01965' can only refer to the 500F model which was released in 1965 and was the first to feature front-hinged doors, as does the LEGO version. Parts The three modules' parts are shown in the thumbnails below: click the pictures to see larger versions. I didn't identify any new moulds in this collection, but the headline is the shear number of parts appearing for the first time in bright light yellow. This colour has been in the ascendency for a few years, featuring for example as panels and bricks in Friends sets, or as the secondary colour of the new livery of the CITY fire sets, but I have not previously encountered such a fine spread. This extends too to the SNOT parts; there are SNOT brackets and bricks of various conformations all in BLY - contrast the Beetle whose extensive SNOT pieces were for most part grey. Otherwise, the 10x4x1 windscreen and the 4x2 2/3x1 trans-clear curved bricks are found only in the Old Trafford set, and there are three (one spare) 1x1 round tiles with a lovely FIAT logo - see later. The four medium dark flesh arms-with-pins in the centre photo took me a while to identify; they are originally Nexo Knight parts found more recently as ice cream cone limbs. Build I won't go through this exhaustively; instead I'll just try to give you a feel for the build and highlight some interesting bits. We join here fairly early in module 1. Of some interest is the construction of the chassis: In the centre are dark grey 2x4 plates with pins on each side, usually used as wheel axles, here connecting to the technic beams on either side. The centre beams are connected to the outer beams and the black 2x2 plates with technic hole via 3L pins. The result is a strong floorpan only a brick high. The underside is reinforced; see here. The rear bumper and lights is attached via SNOT plates, and also unusually with the 2x3 clippy-tile. I remain uncertain of the purpose of the two blue stud-pins on either side of each end of the chassis; they serve no apparent purpose except possibly to help put the axles into the right holes. If that's the case, I can't help but feel a little patronised. Next we build up the rear, at the start of Module 2. You get to see how the wings are attached at a slant using hinge-plates in a technique that will be familiar to anyone who has ever built an X-wing. See here for a part-assembled view. Above these slanted sections, SNOT-attached curved plates help define the car's double-curvature. Note the small 2x2 with corner cutaway, which attaches solely to the single stud of the grey headlight brick you can see mounted on its side - it's next to the turquoise brick if not immediately obvious. I always like headlight bricks used this way. You can also see the gearstick and handbrake, along with the bars to which the chairs will be attached. Up till now the build has been enjoyable, without being especially challenging. It starts to go up a gear at this point. r The dashboard section is a SNOTty conundrum that requires a bit of mental gymnastics to keep oriented correctly. This is made harder by the fact that a sticker needs to applied to one of the inverted 2x2 curved plates, seen here at the base of the dashboard but will face to the rear of the car when mounted - and it will be all too easy to set it upside down. The black block seen here is the fuel tank, which will attach to the visible forward-facing yellow studs of the dashboard section therefore reverting to studs-up. Towards the front are two black 2L pin joiners, the purpose of which is a little mystifying at this point. I (wrongly, as it transpired) assumed they were to attach the headlights. Next come the doors. I've part-deconstructed one here to show how it's made. 1x2 SNOT brackets - regular and inverted - hold some 1x2 clicky-hinges; these attach to 2x1 clicky hinges to produce a half-stud offset to which the contoured door upper is attached, delightfully smooth with curved plates on inverted tiles. Note the 1x1 corner panel brick just in front of the door hinges, and the 1x4 brick-with-slot at the base of the door - these are significant as will be explained later. On the right is the rear window made out of a door panel. The result is slightly asymmetrical, but it's barely noticeable. Moving into Module 3, the front panel is attached to the the inner studs of the 1x2 SNOT bricks, and the two 1x1 grey inverted brackets. You might think this would be a little weak, but the headlights help to keep it attached. Here you can also see that the black pin-joiners have nothing to do with the headlights, which instead will attach to the forward-pointing bars of the black 1x1 round-plates-with-bars (these things) sandwiched between 1x2 round-end plates. Why the round-end plates? And, for that matter, the heel-print tiles? Answer: they allow the wings to attach at a slant. Regular plates or bricks would interfere with the square front ends of the wings. Here, also, the purpose of the black pin-joiner part is made clear: the wings are seven studs long, and the 1x2 curved-top bricks require a 1x2x(4/3) curved brick to fill the gap. This has a protruding plate, and the black cylinders accommodate and also support this. Note the as-yet-unattached wing at the bottom of the picture. The free end of the hinge will be mounted on the black and yellow studs just in from the door hinge, and this reveals the reason for the 1x1 corner panel: it accommodates the rounded pivot of the hinge plate. Kudos to the designer for the problem-solving skills on display here . Finally, the secret of the folding roof is revealed to be more of those mini-frying pan pieces, this time in BLY. They leave a small visible irregularity in the roof edge, but I'm glad they are at least colour-matched. It is then a little tricky to attach the windscreen and the luggage-compartment cover without breaking it, but when it's done, plus wheels and the set's extra bits, we have a finished car. Overall, the build is deceptive. Apart from a few tricky bits, it is smooth and easy to follow, but enjoyable; it is all too easy to miss some wonderful design touches that help recreate the car's curvy outline. I'd rate the difficulty as 'Expert' (harder than Average but not Master or Legendary ) The Complete Set First impression: yup, it's definitely a Fiat 500. I think the LEGO version has the iconic double-curved bodywork down pretty well. I was pleasantly surprised by the slanted front and rear wings, which help to recreate the ovoid shape of the Fiat, and weren't immediately apparent from the box art or my brief look at the promotional pictures before receiving the set. It looks great in Bright Light Yellow which I think was the perfect choice: whilst the car would look stunning in a bright mid-blue tone, or dark blue or green, these have been used recently for CREATOR cars; possibly the only other colour I could see making such an impact here is the very rare Medium Green. The head-on view isn't the car's most interesting angle. The windscreen is perhaps rather obviously too rectangular, a flaw of the medium of course. There should be a curve to the top edge, and the screen of course should bow slightly. The front is nicely contoured, and I like the use of the unicorn horns to mimic the flashing here. I'm not quite so keen on the headlights, which I think might have been better made with inverted domes. You can see I've put on the Italian plated for the Italian car. A three-stud-long tile is used (3x2 at the back) which works well. The curvy rear has I think turned out nicely, helped by the stickers which are a reasonable representation of the vents for the rear engine. I'm not so keen on the flare of the wheel arches form these angles, but they are less obvious from any other viewpoint. Ideally, the lip of the wheel arches should extend all the way round, but no such part exists. You might also notice that the construction differs front to rear: Inverted slopes are used at the rear, but I think the SNOT-mounted cheese wedges at the front give a smoother more circular outline. The contour of the roof toward the rear is a little fussy from the side, with an obvious step between the roof and rear window. I do like the double-curve of the sides, but this comes with slight problems: notice the half-stud gap behind the door handle, caused by the upper bulge being offset, but this improves the front edge of the door, where the cut corner almost perfectly matches the rake of the windscreen. Ideally the top line of the upper curve would be continuous with the curve of the front luggage compartment; it's close, but not quite matched, and interrupted by the windscreen. The tricky curves of the rear have provided a significant challenge, which the designer has worked hard to overcome. The result is mostly successful: The convex engine compartment cover works superbly, and the light clusters look great and are instantly recognisable. The transition from the rear curve to the side is a little awkward: above the light clusters, there are two 45-degree slopes topped by a 33 degree cheese wedge, then moving to the almost-vertical bottom end of the yellow curved brick: the 33 degree cheese looks a little incongruous and I wonder whether another 45 slope would work better. I like the way the 45 slope echoes that of the cut-corner curved slope on the side, but below this the curved end of the rear wing ends a little messily. I can't suggest how to improve this though, and I am being super-picky here: the overall result is lovely. The birds-eye view really emphasises the car's ovoid outline. From here almost everything is smooth, and I hope you agree that the slanted wings are a triumph. I also like the minifigure skates as door handles. Here's a real one, in a similar colour, for comparison: The LEGO version has managed to reproduce the double-curved body sides pretty well, with only the step at the sides of the windscreen interrupting the curves. Missing are the tiny wing indicator lights, which i believe were standard on the 500F (correct me if I'm wrong), and the door mirror, which does not appear to have been mandatory and may even be a later addition. The lack of door mirrors does make the LEGO car look a little odd, conditioned as I am to seeing them on all cars these days. Features The luggage compartment cover lifts to a maximum of about 45 degrees to reveal a poky space taken up almost entirely by the fuel tank and spare wheel. No room for picnic baskets in this car. On the plus side, the spare wheel is the same size as the other wheels, unlike the Beetle's. I've switched to the German plates for this section. The inset shows a close-up of the 1x1 round FIAT tile, which is pretty and much nicer than the VW equivalent. You might notice here a slight quirk of the construction: the front panel sits half a plate height proud of the main body; the 1x8 tile on the top therefore half a plate behind. The latter lines up perfectly with the compartment cover when closed. It's barely noticeable, and if anything helps to smooth the contours. I'm not so keen on the black bars to which the headlights are attached, and wish they'd used light bluish grey. The doors open wide - really wide. On the inner aspect of the door is some dark red to match the seats, a telephone handset for the inner door handle, and an antenna to mimic the window handle (not a winder: it rotates the quarterlight window). Recall that I mentioned the 1x4 brick with groove at the bottom of the door: here you can see the reason for its use: it allows the door to close around the protruding pivot of 2x2-2x2 hinge plate at the rear (second panel). Again, an ingenious solution. The front seats flip forward, as you can see, using the ice cream cone arm pieces. True to life, the dashboard is rather Spartan body-coloured painted metal, and the steering column features an indicator lever and a single speedometer. You may just be able to make out some cheese wedges under the steering column to represent pedals. Compared to the real thing, the LEGO version is reasonably accurate. There's even a white round-end plate behind the speedometer, which would a more impressive nod to accuracy were the steering wheel also white. The wheel should probably be larger, but having seen the problem of the oversized steering wheel in the Mini, I think too small is better than too big. I've taken the roof off to give a better view of the interior. The decal does a good job of imitating the real dashboard switches, though there should be one more and some indicator lights. Here too you can admire the handbrake and gearstick, the latter crudely but effectively realised from a flick-fire pin in a ball joint. There's a surprising amount of space for such a dinky car; you could even sit two adults in the back, provided they have short legs and don't mind getting intimate. I'm not sure how authentic the white tops of the seats are; I can't find a reference image to a car which has them, except for this model. The rear engine is also given a bit of detail. True to life the cover opens downwards; the cover is perhaps a little thicker than necessary, but the effect when closed is pleasing. Here the engine looks like a rather randomly thrown-together collection of parts, but when compared to the reference image below, you can see that the designer has gone to some effort to make it accurate: Bonus points for the gold flower piece to match the oil filler cap! Finally we should look at the accessories. There's a sturdy travel case, emblazoned with national stickers of Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Poland, France, Germany, and Somewhere; there's a tall easel on which can be mounted the really quite beautiful artwork on a 5x5 grey tile. The accompanying artist's palette sports four paint colours only one of which (red) features in the painting: the yellow is regular yellow. Only the palette and brush fit in the trunk, requiring the easel to be stowed in the passenger footwell and poking out of the roof. The automotive masterpiece, meanwhile, must be thrown unceremoniously onto the back seat like grocery shopping or children. The trunk mounts easily onto the rear luggage rack, where the combination of reddish brown and MDF colours complement nicely the light yellow of the car. Comparison So how do the European small cars compare? Bear in mind that while the Beetle and Fiat and built at approximately the same scale (the VW Beetle is a metre longer than the 500), the Mini should be the same size as the Fiat. I now notice that somebody, probably a small child, has tipped both the Fiat's seats forward. I'm really quite positive about the Fiat, but I can't help feeling that it looks a little bland compared to its older siblings. Perhaps it is because the front is relatively featureless. The (intentional and authentic) lack of door mirrors is particularly noticeable here. All three look amazing from the rear. The Mini again has an unfair size advantage, and I am perhaps not doing the Fiat justice by showing it straight on where its narrow profile makes it seem that much smaller. However you feel, I think you will agree that the three make a great collection. Conclusion I really like this car. The slanted wings and double-curved bodywork help to capture the essence of this automotive classic, working well despite the constraints of medium of LEGO. The bright light yellow livery helps emphasise the car's playful nature, whilst bringing yet another peripheral colour to the LEGO mainstream. Realistic features abound and add to the display potential, and it will sit happily on the shelf by itself or in the illustrious company of any of the CREATOR Expert cars, including the Mustang and Aston Martin. The selection of BLY pieces will delight any parts-collector or MOCer, especially given the array of SNOT pieces. The build process is satisfying, and in the latter stages both entertaining and somewhat challenging, with interesting techniques from which I've certainly learned a thing or two. And now I find I have a conundrum. I reviewed the Beetle in 2016 and was quite critical; it is for the most part a great set, and an interesting build. It is currently still available, and in the UK is the same price as the Fiat, despite some 200 more parts; it is perhaps more interesting to look at, and not just because it is physically larger. On paper, the Beetle is the better set of the two. However, there is something about it which didn't sit right with me, and still doesn't: mostly it is the steep rake of the windscreen which resembled more a 2CV than a Beetle, but also the chunkiness of the wheels and wheel arches always felt a bit off to me The Fiat doesn't really suffer any of these issues. Aside from a few minor cosmetic substitutions, I don't think I would change anything about the set as it is, with the currently available parts, and I don't have any major criticisms of this set. And yet, if you asked me which of the two you should spend your hard-earned £75 on, I would have to say ... the Beetle. If you can afford it, get both. The Fiat is a better rendition of the original car, and has a wonderful informative instruction manual usually the preserve of Ideas or Architecture sets. Design 9 There's very little I would have done differently. Build 8 A little mundane at the start, but gets interesting from Module 2 onwards, with some mind-screwing SNOT work and some fascinating solutions to tricky problems. Parts 8 Lots of useful SNOT parts, and a ton of parts that are new to Bright Light Yellow. If you need BLY, get this! Play/Display 8 The car's small size and narrow profile might make it look less imposing compared to the Mini and Beetle, but its colour and curviness do make it stand out. Value 7 Parts per pound, it is still great value, although perhaps not compared to the Beetle. Whether this difference is due to licensing (TLG has a long history of licensed VW products) or the extended manual, I don't know. If the latter, I will just quote myself: Overall 80% My score 9/10 I love this set. Fiat or Beetle? Follow your heart. Oh, and TLG? More classic cars please! Rufus's 10252 Beetle Review Fiat 500 on Wikipedia
  4. Rufus

    Pirates Mafia II

    Hi all. I thoroughly enjoyed spectating the last game and I will drag myself out of mafia retirement for this.
  5. Thank you everyone for taking the trouble to reply - it is greatly appreciated. Thank you! Interesting point about the ship being a two-seater; I hadn't thought of that. It's quite a roomy cockpit so should be moddable - but the rear-end of the big cockpit piece would get in the way and that part would need to be switched. Shouldn't be too difficult. Thank you! Thanks! Greg Grunberg who plays Snap is listed on IMDB, so we can only assume he gets a reasonably prominent role. Interestingly, Billie Lourd (Konnix) gets top billing on that list. Thank you! The stickers aren't so bad, though the ones on the cockpit are a bit of a pain. I've really mellowed on stickers in my old age. Thanks for the feedback! It was an excuse to get five sets out of storage . Get this one! It is such good value for a SW set. Thank you. To be fair, the differences between the RZ-1 and RZ-2 are subltle - or at least I thought so. It wasn't until digging around for comparison pictures that I realised there was a difference . I'd like to see a blue one too. Sorry, forgot about the broken poll. Hey Fangy! Get this one! You must. And get the Y-wing too! Thank you! It is nice of you to say that. It is feedback like yours that makes it worth still doing these reviews. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed them.
  6. Check out my Review of the new Star Wars Episode IX set: 75248 Resistance A-Wing Starfighter: Click the picture to have a good look at this new set in the Star Wars Forum!
  7. In a decade of reviewing Star Wars sets this is first time I've reviewed one before the film was released. Still, it's a familiar ship! It remains to be seen whether the A-wing will play an important role in Episode IX: one assumes it will, for it to have been made into a set, but if the V-Wing is anything to go by, a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo is equally possible. The named pilot is a good sign. Note that this Sequel Trilogy A-Wing is a slightly different variety to the Original Trilogy version; we saw it briefly in action alongside the bombers in the opening battle of The Last Jedi. Set Information Set Number: 75248 Name: Resistance A-Wing Starfighter Parts: 269 Figures: 2 Release: 2019 Price: GB £24.99 | EUR 29.99 | US $29.99 | DKK 250 | AU $44.99 The Box I love the box artwork in this wave. Behind everything is a pattern of greebling in black, all made apparently from LEGO parts. It's really smart, and combines nicely with the yellow lines and minimalist STAR WARS logo. By the looks of the top-right overlooking figure, Kylo Ren gets his helmet back on for this film. The set fils the space nicely; in the background is a planet ... ... SPOILER ALERT! It's a foresty planet, if the box back is anything to go by. If you're a Star Wars fan reading this, it's likely you'll already have heard enough about the coming film to have learned - or to be able guess - the name of the planet, but I'll try not to spoil it for those who haven't. I look forward to finding out if the A-Wing actually goes there, and with both of these characters. In a one-person ship. Like its recent predecessors, this incarnation of the A-wing comes with spring-shooters, as the inset shows. It's a thumb-tab box, I'm afraid to say. Instructions The single booklet is clear and nicely-paced, with call-outs and sub-builds picked out against a plain light grey background. I didn't encounter any colour issues; I made a mistake at one point but that was likely due to not paying enough attention. The usual set inventory is to be found at the rear, as are advertisements for the other sets of the range and a plug for the Tt games Skywalker Saga game due to be released next year, which I'm looking forward to (and not just because it'll keep the kids occupied ). Sticker Sheet There are several decals, as expected, though I think fewer than on the last 'red' A-Wing, which as I recall had stickers on all the fins. Curiously, the stickers are applied asymmetrically, with two fewer decals on the port side of the ship. As is usual for A-Wings, you are required to mount two stickers over the curved surface of the cockpit canopy, which can be a pain to get straight. It is interesting that the Republic's Open Circle logo appears here. Parts The three modules contain a fairly typical array of parts: The only unique part I have found is the 4x4 tile with 4 studs appearing for the first time in Dark Green. I always seem to be short of white 2x4 wedge plates (particularly right-handed ones, for some reason) and 2x3 white tiles, but I can't see myself parting this set out anytime soon. Figures I think this is the first A-Wing to feature a named pilot. This fella has the delightfully American name Snap WexleyTM (I'm sure there'll be a Chip Jetson along sooner or later). You may or may not know the name, but it's likely you'll remember him from The Force Awakens - most likely in the context of 'Hey, it's that guy!' (that guy being Matt Parkman from Heroes). I'm delighted to see Lt. Connix appearing as a figure - appearing as she did prominently in The Last Jedi as the bridge officer who aided Poe Dameron's misguided mutiny - and being played of course by Carrie Fisher's daughter. Snap is identical to his earlier incarnation in the 75125 X-Wing Microfighter except for a different head which now has lines under the eyes. His jumpsuit was also sported by Poe Dameron in the 2015 orange and black 75102 X-Wing set. Lt. Connix's torso is unique. Her hair is - fittingly - Leia's, from 2009's superb 8038 Battle of Endor, but appearing for the first time in medium dark flesh; it has a hole for attaching a headpiece: Her head featured previously in Harry Potter and - I was surprised to find - in Sally Ride in the Women of NASA set. It is double-sided, shown here with the highly underrated Resistance Bomber set's crew. Build I have chosen not to document the entire build process, though you can some in-build pictures on my flickr album if it takes your fancy. Instead I've shown the part-disassembled set alongside its immediate predecessor, 75175, showing that the underlying construction is very similar. Essentially the ship is built around this cockpit piece with the wings attached to the sides, a blocked pinned onto the rear, and the engines stuck at and able to the block - though the attachment is a pin in the new set compared to clips in the earlier red version. As you can see, the spring-shooter mechanism is identical. Looking at the inverted slopes behind the shooter mechanisms you should also be able to see that the ship is a stud longer than its ancestor. Overall, the build is fun without being challenging. There's a little unavoidable repetition in the wings and engines, but each section is short enough for this not to be too tedious. The Complete Set Owners of earlier A-Wings will likely notice that this latest iteration has a sleeker outline than many of her ancestors, reflecting the change in design of the Sequel Trilogy A-Wings. In part this is achieved by the colour scheme and decals: the coloured section is six studs wide where it has previously always been four; also, I've already mentioned that the ship is a stud longer than the earlier version whilst being the same width. The wing shape is also a factor: the use of 2x4 wedges instead of 3x6 marks a sharper outline. I love the dark green. It is not new to the A-Wing fleet, having appeared in LEGO back in 2009's 7754 Home One, and I believe the original A-Wing concept art featured green ships which were changed to red due the problems with greenscreen filming techniques. It looks great here, especially with the smart black detailing. The black looks great on the wedge pulleys of the engines too. I've never been mad-keen on the 2x2 trans-yellow round bricks here, but at least there is internal consistency. I would be tempted to swap out the grey 9L axles for 8L black ones. Excepting 7754's green A-Wing with its marvellous removable engine, and the first-generation blocky one which I never owned, I think this is the first version not to use a triple-curved slope behind the cockpit. Instead there's a short device of curves and a slope. I don't know why this was chosen, but it does make the canopy slightly easier to open as you can get a fingernail under the rim: Notice how the decals on the green 1x4 tiles beside the cockpit perfectly continue the line of the 2x4 wedges in front . At the rear, the usual double-curved arrangement persists, though in this case centred with a round tile with one stud rather than the usual four round tiles . In this case, it is mounted via a 2x2 plate onto opposing 1x2-2x2 SNOT brackets, in what I think is a needlessly overcomplicated technique. There is room in the bricks underneath this to place a SNOT bracket lower down, and therefore mount the rear contraption flush to the body rather than proud as it does here. The 75175 version demonstrates this perfectly. You can also see here how the engines are mounted via Technic pins rather than the clips on 75175. This version is sturdier if a little fiddly to put together. The underside is quite smart. The landing gear folds away nicely. You can see again the rear curved thing and its slightly awkward attachment, a side effect of which is the inverted SNOT bracket sitting proud. The instructions indicate mounting the little crank pins onto the landing gear with the 'toes' facing towards the centre of the ship, somewhat counter-intuitively. The nose gear is also mounted higher, giving the ship a nose-down attitude when landed, at least with the gear fully extended, as instructed. I prefer to extend the legs to a slant, as in the lower picture, which goes to alleviate the nose-down slant a little: Note also the absence of stickers on the port side, except on the tails. Maybe the designer only had access to one view of the ship and didn't want to get it wrong? You can see the effect the lander position has on the sitting position in this comparison: One thing I'm not so sure about is the effect of the two 1x2 dark green curve slopes in front of the cockpit; they stick up a little too far, which is very apparent in this view. In case you were wondering, the black 2x4 wedge plates on the sides are intended to represent openings, I think for proton torpedoes or suchlike. The gold bullion apparently stashed behind the protruding green curved slopes is part of the design, as we shall see shortly. As we look inside the cockpit, admire again the continuation of the line of the 2x4 wedges onto the decal behind. In the inset you can see how it doesn't quite match up to the canopy, which has a 1 in 3 slope rather than 1 in 4, but it leaves only a tiny gap. Meanwhile, of course, poor old Snap has to pilot his ship with ... NOTHING! Not even a lever?? Look carefully behind the cockpit at the green and white rear panel: you can see how it sits on two white 2x2 cutaway corner plates, which marry up with the same parts on the body behind. It looks like this should be removable for a play feature, or storage, but alone of all the A-wings this set does NOT have a feature behind the cockpit. There is plenty of room however to store the blasters in the cockpit itself, safe in the knowledge that they can rattle around without interfering with the flight controls. Below is the only reference image I could find (a metal model from here): Assuming this representation is movie-accurate, I think the LEGO version has done a pretty good job. The set has captured the narrower outline of the sequel-trilogy RZ-2 variant, and the outward flare of the wings from the sleeker nose to the outboard weapons. Speaking of these, having seen this I do wonder whether the 2016 Rebels version's chunkier blasters are a better match than the slender offerings in the new set. No official LEGO A-Wing has attempted to make the nose a flat slope, rather than curved; simplicity of build quite reasonably wins over accuracy here. It is interesting that in this model the engine fins slant outwards rather than inwards at the top. The blue RZ-2 A-wing from TLJ had fins slanting inwards. They are supposed to be adjustable, I guess. The shape of the LEGO fins is not correct, being double-stepped as they are. This part has been in seven sets, four of which are A-wings, and it is likely the part was designed for the A-wing: strange therefore that the shape is awry. Comparison Here is the new set compared without stickers to 2017's OT version, 75175: The new set's narrower nose is obvious, and works better as the gradient of the double-curved wedge slopes matches the wedge plates underneath. I've already pointed out that 75248 is a stud longer than her elder sister; note also here that the cockpit canopy is also mounted a stud further to the rear. I think I prefer the trans-clear canopy, too. See here for a side-on comparison, or here from the rear. Here's all the greenies together: 2016's 75150, 75248, and 2009's 7754. It may look otherwise from the picture, but bar the outboard weapons all three of these sets are the same width: 14 studs across the beam. And finally, here's all my A-wings together. Of all of them, 2013's 75003 (top right) is the only one to attempt the notch at the front of the ship in bricks (it's too wide); and it's the only one to get the shape of the fins right. The stickers help, but even so I think the new set looks great and fares well to the comparison. Conclusion I'd delighted with this latest A-Wing. It's a lovely-looking ship, and the first brick representation of the newer RZ-2 variant from the Sequel movies. It feels like part of the family alongside the two most recent 'slanty fin' sets, and I think the three together would make a nice shelf display (If I can find the stickers sheets for the other two). Appearance 9 Sleek and attractive, and a good likeness of the model (as far as we know!). Like all LEGO A-Wings, it suffers for the curved nose; the wing shape isn't quite right, thought perhaps better than most of the earlier sets. Playability 7 Swooshable, and with retractable landing gear and an opening cockpit (and obligatory spring shooters), but there aren't the ancillary vehicles which come with some other A-Wings, and no behind-cockpit storage here. Figures 9 The inclusion of two named characters for a low-priced set is welcome; though they may not be front-line characters, this will most likely make them rarer and all the more cherished. I'm delighted that Lt. Connix has a minifigure at last. Parts 7 Not a particularly remarkable collection of parts, though dark green is always welcome. Build 7 Very much average difficulty, and without any particularly new or interesting techniques, but the process is enjoyable. It's a very similar build to 75175. Value 10 At £25 it seems very good value for money (I got on sale for £20). For a little over half the RRP of 75175, you get a similar-sized ship, losing out only on a service vehicle and a generic figure. My verdict 9/10 Excellent value and a good looking set: a must-buy. Let's hope the ship features prominently in the film! Hope you enjoyed the review. Rufus
  8. Rufus

    MOC: T4a Lambda-Class Imperial Shuttle

    You're welcome Thank you K_W! Thanks vador22! Thank you Kristof. You have to do it by hand; there's a little push to overcome the springs to release the feet from the body, then it's simply a matter of swivelling the 3L technic beam outwards. It's quite a satisfying action. A side effect of using the springs is it helps to maintain the balance (quite what led the Empire to design a ship to land on two points is anyone's guess! ).
  9. Rufus

    MOC: T4a Lambda-Class Imperial Shuttle

    Thank you, t-brick. If and when one becomes available I'll be waiting! (And then waiting again for it to come out in white ) Thank you! I've spent years moaning about the lack of decent landing gear in official LEGO sets so am trying to do something about it. Thanks, BrickSixty. This your first post? I'm flattered! I will probably work on some instructions (much for own reference as for sharing) but it involves learning a whole new skill set so might take some time. I've done LDD instructions before but they are a bit sucky, so will try to learn L-Pub which involves tackling something like Bricksmith first... Umm... thanks Kristof? Thanks, jimmynick, glad you like the studs Glad you appreciated the joke! Here's the basic structure of the landing gear, deployed on the left and folded on the right. When folded the 'feet' sit inside the 2x4x5 half cylinders.
  10. Rufus

    Rufus's Personal Album

  11. Nuts to the Falcon. The beautiful and graceful Lambda Shuttle has always been my favourite of all the Star Wars ships, and I'm delighted to present my LEGO minifigure-scaled version of this wonder. Didn't you already make one of these, Ru? Yes I did, and well-remembered! It was ten years ago, and a large part of the reason I joined EB in the first place. You can see it here. I revised it a coupe of years later but never publicised the update; you can see it here here (link to flickr folder). I had always intended to go back and tweak the original; however this is a totally new MOC. I started working on it back in 2016, but then we moved house and the LEGO went into storage for a couple of years. front The overall scale of this version is similar to my earlier version, and like the former is based around using the 6x3 vertical windscreen also found in 2015's System-scaled Shuttle Tydirium. The other major factor is the height of the rounded sides of the body: I've used the 4-wide cylinders to give what I think is the best approximation to the real thing. These are attached via a fairly complicated variety of SNOT techniques to a ten plate-high body. Not all the parts are (yet) available in white (the macaroni tiles now are, but not the 4x4 round plates with 2x2 hole), hence the splashes of grey at the sides (or trans-clear in one spot). Starboard The wings are a composite of Technic liftarms and plates. I chose this to keep the weight of the wings down; even built like this I had to work quite hard to prevent the wings flopping down too easily. Some more views: Rear High I've tried quite hard to make this accurate to the movies. There are actually two distinct versions in the movie canon - the sleek ILM model used in the space scenes, and the shorter droopier-nosed version which featured in the Home One hangar scene. The cause of this discrepancy is apparently due to the set designers at Elstree studios in the UK having access only to a few photos of the lambda, but not the ILM model itself thousands of miles away in California. If you are interested, and for a nostalgic reminder of what the Internet looked like in the early naughties, check out Lambda-class Shuttles: the Dimorphism Blooper. I've modelled this one on the ILM studio model. Mostly, I think it is accurate, but I have had to make a few compromises. The cockpit taper - which is only about a stud-width at this scale - is impossible to render without resorting to a solid-black windscreen, and instead is implied by the exaggerated taper of the cockpit sides. The cockpit is a little deeper than the original - required to allow minifigure seating at this scale; the original Kenner toys model did something similar. High close/detail I've take a bit of a guess at the sloping vent-thing under the vertical fin; it is difficult to tell from reference pictures what this is supposed to be. Pressing the silver grille-tile just in front of this operates a latch to allow the body to open. In some places aesthetics wins over accuracy. The bulges on the side of the fuselage should rise to about half-way up the fuselage sides, and should extend back about half-way along the body, but I was so happy with the effect of the mudguard pieces here that I've left them as they are. Detail Front The seven-wide cockpit does not allow a complete set of grille tiles at the front. I may have to resort to a decal on the central tile. The technic skis at the sides would perhaps work better with the pointy-ends at the front but there was no way to attach them that way round (and they could do with being two studs shorter!). There are few canon reference images of the rear. Rather than the usual blanket trans-blue tiles, I have instead tried to show what the engines might look like under the exhaust glow - inspired by this superb render by Thad Clevenger. The vents end up looking a little square; it might be possible to improve this with decals. Rear detail The extremes of the rounded rear end look a bit square, but this is the best solution at this scale, at least until LEGO produces this piece in 2x2. Here's a view from beneath. You can see the taper of cockpit sides, and how the technic skis are a little easy to knock out of position . underside One of the major challenges I faced was attaching the rounded sides of the body SNOT to the studs-up frame. Mostly this is achieved with SNOT brackets, but there was no room for this on the forward sections, which are actually attached via an internal clip. Inside here are two very hard shock absorbers which are intended to encourage the wings to sit in either 'up' or 'down' positions; see here. The smooth sections in the middle are the landing gear doors. An essential feature of any Lambda is that it must be able to fold its wings in order to land. With this, the wing-mounted guns need to fold outwards. I've also included a chin-ramp, though it is hinged a little further back into the body of the ship than on the real thing. Landed front low As you can hopefully see, there is also landing gear, with folding flaps to cover the recesses. It is retractable, as shown below: Landing gear detail The shock-absorber parts act as a kind of suspension when the ship is landed, and provide a spring action when folding to keep the retracted gear in place. It works surprisingly well. Towards the front of the above picture, you can see the cockpit floor is mounted at a half-stud offset, which allows two figures to be seated side-by-side. Having experimented with several ways to allow the cockpit to open, I found that having the nose section slide off provided the best compromise between accessibility and strength. Cockpit interior detail As you can see, the white 4L bars that frame the windscreen are held on by droid arms, and the sloping cockpit sides held in place at the front by 1L bars with claws. It's a bit fiddly to put together. The 1x4 trans tile at the rear unfortunately exposes the asymmetry inherent in any odd stud-width construction; if it were available in trans-black the stud might be better hidden! Access to the inside is easy: the whole top slides off. The red Technic liftarm at the front is a latch to keep the roof in place; it is released by pressing down the metallic silver grille tile. I've also removed a side wall for the photo. Interior I had in mind that this is the shuttle Darth Vader uses to transport Luke from Endor to the Death Star II. It is kitted out for high-ranking officers, with an Imperial Coffee Machine and an Imperial Waffle maker. For a size comparison, here's my Lambda next to the latest official playset version. Comparison to system set I really liked that set, despite is obvious compromises of proportion (and I infinitely prefer it to the hideous UCS set). I like to think that mine is on the same approximate scale to this but more proportionally accurate. The Lambda is the end result of a long process of trial and error, and I'm pleased with the result. I hope you like it too! For more pictures see my Flickr album. C&C welcome! Rufus
  12. This is a beautiful MOC and something I haven't seen before in LEGO (though I'm sure it's been done!). I would love to see it in real bricks - though I notice there are a lot of parts in there in non-production colours. Have you thought how you might get around that? I wish you all the best with the Ideas project. This MOC would fit quite comfortably in Town, Special Themes, History or even Trains. Moved to Special per OP's request.
  13. Rufus

    REVIEW: 75214 Anakin's Jedi Starfighter

    Thanks for the awesome review Fangy! I love seeing the set alongside the other recent prequel/CW sets and the figures. It's great to see a Clone Wars Anakin without the ugly eyes of the earlier version of this ship. The ship itself I'm not so keen on: it looks a bit lumpy to my eyes, and like every other LEGO Delta starfighter it's too big. These Deltas are tiny things. I don't know how the price in Singapore compares to the other SW sets; this doesn't look too overpriced in GBP to me (being the same price as the Han Solo speeder) and not a rip-off like some of the other sets from this wave (I'm looking at you, X-Wing!) Keep up the good work Fangy!
  14. Rufus

    [MOC] The Last Place on Earth

    Saw this on Flickr and came here to congratulate you on a fantastic MOC - so imaginative On balance, more Sci-Fi than Fabuland but it's great to see Fabu-figures (or their heads at least ) in a different environment! How did you get the heads onto regular minifig bodies?