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  1. This grain elevator model was made by my dad in 1999 / 2000. Like most of his MOCs from that time (the single-stall version of his train shed, Bridge on the River Baseplate, the factory in sand red), he built it before he had a BrickLink account. With this one he never finished it 100%, probably due to having kids (including me) tearing it down and scattering parts every other weekend while he fixed it during the week. Eventually, he put them up out of reach except for special occasions such as the two weeks bracketing Christmas. This vintage model has been used by our family for layouts at his house at Christmas and other times for a long while, throughout most of my childhood up to 2015 or so when we stopped doing a tree + floor layout. He eventually gifted it to me about a month ago because he built the Brick Train Depot version and it is better / bigger by like double in size. (I've been asking for it in one way or another since early 2020 when he built the BTD model.... took me almost a year and a half, but I got it at last!) But before we get to the revamped version, here is the photo of it in it's pre-restoration state. This was from the day I got it, September 12th 2021. It was actually dirty in places, missing several parts, slightly yellowing, and very dusty. ...and here it is now! It's still got some yellowing, and slightly dirty despite my best attempts to clean it. (I don't have any cans of air at my place, so it might be a while until that's done!) The model has finally been completed after ~22 years, with the conveyor belt added and missing old gray parts added in. I added tan baseplates for the bottom, as it fits with the rest of my buildings better. My dad always wanted a conveyor put in to his elevator haul grain to the dump-chute to load his six blue 4536-style hopper cars. Well, it's no longer his grain elevator, but it's finally got a conveyor! The white handle, which can be turned to make the belt move. This view looks down the chute into the area where the grain is stored before being dumped into the hopper cars I haven't made yet. Looks like someone forgot to close one of the two hatches all the way! These two finger-hinged doors hold the grain back until it is needed to be loaded. But what's a elevator without something for it to load? These five single-bay grain hopper cars plus the matching caboose are (eventually) going to be built for the vintage grain elevator MOC my dad gifted me recently. The engines that are going to pull them will most likely be the two Santa Fe bluebonnet F7 units I have lying around. Also, the bay on each car can still empty out as designed in the 1991 set (4536 Blue Hopper car) this model was taken from. Here is the Bluebonnet units I have already constructed. That's all I got about these MOCs, any thoughts? Comments questions, suggestions, and complaints welcome!
  2. Ronan

    SW Lego Question

    Hi, My favourite lego star wars sets are the ones made between 1999 and 2003, and I'd like to know a thing about them: who designed them?
  3. montgocloud

    REVIEW: 7141 Naboo Starfighter

    In honor of the impending marketing bonanza that The Force Awakens will inevitably inflict upon the world, I'd like to take a trip back in time. Just imagine... it's 1999: the release date of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is dawning. A new Star Wars movie? Can you believe it?! The trailer had everything you could ever dream of: heated space battles, a demon with a double-bladed lightsaber, a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, a little kid, a cartoon rabbit... oh, wait. So on May 3, 1999, the entire population of the Earth was subjected to a marketing campaign unlike anything ever seen before (or since). Star Wars was everywhere! Everywhere. And in the immortal words of little Ani, "it [was] working!" I apologize, that reference was a bit of a stretch. So anyways, put yourself back into the shoes of your younger naiveself, before May 19, 1999 - before the deepest core of your being was challenged by The Phantom Menace. The Naboo Starfighter was the first in the new line of LEGO sets based on the film to be revealed, teased in a little catalog included with the early 1999 releases. As the catalog suggests, it was "so wizard, Ani." * (*Is the slogan "It's so wizard" an early reference to Episode I? Or was that just a random coincidence?) This tease blew me away as a kid. But did the model follow through? Was it wizard? Or did it suffer the same fate as the film it was based off of? Without further ado... Name: 7141 Naboo Starfighter Year: 1999 Pieces: 179 Minifigures: 4 RRP: USD $19.99 Links: Brickset, Bricklink 7141: Instructions Scan by, on Flickr PACKAGING I don't have any of the packaging for this set anymore, but I can extrapolate from other sets in the line that the box was rectangular and included a slide-out cardboard tray. Boxes in this era were a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the cardboard trays were a wonderful way to store parts and had a classy(ish) feel. On the other hand, the actual boxes were extremely flimsy and cheap in comparison. They were paper thin and ugly shelf wear was almost guaranteed (even with the utmost care). The actual graphic on the box/instructions portrays the scene where Anakin finds himself trapped inside the hanger of the Trade Federation doughnut. Subsequent versions would stray from this and instead focus around the blaster fight in Theed Hanger. The classic LEGO Star Wars logo is beautifully nostalgic - it's a shame that this type of logo was abandoned for the post-2001 releases. (Courtesy of The back of the box is typical for the classic line. On the left the figures are building the model. How nice of the Battle Droids to help little Ani and R2 out. Or they could be disassembling it. Whatever. The right showcases two alternate models: a racecar and a mech. Unlike the larger sets in the classic line, a comic highlighting various other alternate models is not included at the end of the instruction booklet. 7141: Instructions by, on Flickr The 1999 Episode I wave is curious in that it does not show screencaps from the film in the instruction manual like the first OT wave did. This is most likely because Lucasfilm wanted to keep Episode I a mystery... even though they released a novelization for the film on the same day as the rest of the merchandise. Later, the 2000-2001 sets would add in the screencaps. Something else of note: the little graphic behind the step numbers changes based on what you're building. Nifty! MINIFIGURES The set includes four minifigures: Anakin, R2, and two Battle Droids. Below I'll highlight some fairly wizard details about each. 7141: Anakin Skywalker by, on Flickr 7141: R2-D2 by, on Flickr 7141: Battle Droid by, on Flickr THE CART 7141: Cart Build by, on Flickr The build begins with this little tan cart for the Battle Droids. It's quick, only 10 steps, and it isn't too complicated either (unless you consider a two-piece hinge mechanism complicated). But there's a nice selection of parts here, including a tan 4x4 wedge (which is exclusive to this set!). 7141: Cart by, on Flickr The final product is... interesting. I don't really understand it and I don't remember it from the film, that's for sure. In a previous review by Mischa07, a user posted that it could be seen in the background somewhere. I can't confirm nor deny this claim as I haven't gone frame-by-frame through The Phantom Menace (because I value my sanity). If someone could provide a screencap to solve this sixteen year-old mystery, it would be most appreciated. Taking the cart by itself, I suppose it's a decent enough model. The top hinges up to reveal two printed 1x4 tiles which represent the engines. There's an awkward bare black bracket on the back (I'm proud of that sentence). I thought maybe it could serve as a gun rack by putting the handle into one of the hollow studs, but alas, it doesn't fit. So it's useless. Without any context to what this cart is or what it's supposed to do, this is the best I could come up with: 7141: Cart (2) by, on Flickr People probably didn't buy this set for the cart, though; they bought it for the real meat: THE NABOO STARFIGHTER 7141: Starfighter Build by, on Flickr The build is just as memorable as the cart's which is to say it isn't. It's a lot of stacking plates and slopes. There is one clever building mechanic used, however, which will be covered later on. Now some may label me something along the lines of a "hatorz" for my opinions on the prequels, but I'd like to think they're fair and balanced. Not everything The Phantom Menace did was terrible; in fact, one thing it excelled at was ship design. Doug Chiang deviated from the utilitarian and practical design of the Original Trilogy and instead (at the behest of ol' George) opted for a beautiful hand-sculpted look. The Naboo Starfighter is a great example of this: the craft is truly majestic in its simplistic, natural elegancy... 7141: Front by, on Flickr ...and the LEGO version is not. The shape of the Naboo Starfighter is very dificult to capture in this medium, and in 1999, LEGO's parts catalog and engineering was nowhere near sophisticated enough to pull it off. Most of the early Episode I sets suffered from the same problem:while the OT's angular vehicles were perfect for the simple and blocky design philosophy of the era, vehicles from The Phantom Menace were too complexly rounded. Now, keeping all that in mind, let's delve into what works and what doesn't: 7141: Dynamic Front by, on Flickr The model is accurate enough to be recognizable, but it has some flaws. Namely, it’s far too stubby; the back of the nose should really be extended by a few studs so the cockpit and the rest of the ship is shifted further back. It just doesn’t manage to capture the sweeping, smooth hood of its source material, no doubt due (in part) to the twin trans-green cones meant to represent the laser cannons. They look out of place and break up the flow. I see what the designer was going for, but I would’ve preferred additional slopes with a print of the barrel. I recognize that a fourth exclusive print is a lot to ask for in a $20 set though. 7141: Side by, on Flickr Moving farther back, we arrive at the cockpit. The printed parts provide some much needed detail and bring a modicum level of believability. I hate the use of 4x3 yellow slopes. A nice part to have, sure, but they bring an unnecessary width to the midsection. 7141: R2 Slot by, on Flickr Behind the cockpit is a slot for Ani’s Astromech aid. Unfortunately, while the “real” ship covers the droid up to the dome, the model leaves R2 almost entirely exposed. It’s extremely awkward. But, to be fair, although later versions have come close to achieving this effect, none have been completely successful. 7141: Cockpit by, on Flickr Inside the cockpit, things start to look up again. I love everything about the interior. It might be simple, but something about it feels real to me - I think it’s the consistency of the color scheme. Having recently bought its 2015 successor, I can say for certainty that the 1999 version’s cockpit is superior in almost every way. 7141: Dynamic Back by, on Flickr This is by far my favorite angle. It (mostly) hides the lack of length and the jagged slopes, and emphasizes its relatively smooth tapering on the engines and main section. For 1999, it’s rather impressive. 7141: Engine by, on Flickr The engine tails were accomplished using a simple but effective technique: a black technic bar is inserted into the end of the engine and allows for the 2x2 cylinder to be placed in the opposite direction. 7141: Bottom by, on Flickr Finally, we go below the ship, revealing another misstep - a confusing misstep as it sort of adds to the model in a way. This odd missile construction looks like garbage when the fighter is in the air (where it’ll be most of the time during play), but when it’s on the ground, it produces a nice levitating effect. It’s extremely flimsy as well; I imagine it would be a nuisance to kids who want to play with this thing. FINAL THOUGHTS 7141: Complete Set by, on Flickr All in all, this is a decent set… by 1999 standards. The Naboo Starfighter has already been remade three times... so which version should you buy? Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for. Are you a classic LEGO Star Wars fan? Do you have an odd fixation of the hype leading up to The Phantom Menace like me? Then you most likely have this set. Do you want an accurate representation of the ship? Are you interested in dozens of pointless side builds? Then there’s an excellent version in stores now that I wholeheartedly recommend buying. The point I’m trying to get at here is that you probably own this set if you have any interest in it. But, if you’re a relatively new collector with an open mind (and an open wallet), there’s a lot to like here. It’s one of the cheapest ways to get Anakin, there’s some Battle Droids to add to your collection, and most importantly, the Naboo Starfighter is arguably the most iconic vehicle from Episode I. If you’re looking for a set to represent the first wave of Episode I products, then look no farther: this is the set to get. It isn’t accurate, even considering the time period, but it’s charming. FINAL SCORES Playability – 8/10: This thing has everything you would want in a play set. I suppose instead of a useless cart LEGO could’ve given the droids some sort of attack vehicle. Minifigures – 10/10: Everyone integral to the scene is represented here. The battle droids are wonderful (and the set includes two!). Design – 7/10: Apart from the flimsy missile, the model is very sturdy. My issues mainly lie in the aesthetics of the Starfighter, which are just “okay” even by 1999 standards. Price --- 10/10: $19.99 for a ship… a cup… a ship… a speeder… what a bargain! Overall --- 8/10 And with that, this review has been concluded. If you’re nostalgic for the good ol’ days of hilarious Episode I speculation or just extremely curious like me, then check out the links below. I hope you enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed writing it (which I did not). Be sure to tell me what you think of the set and my review of it. I'm a big boy, I can take the criticism. Probably. Prequel Rumors Dark Ocean Spider Butt The Silencer
  4. I recently decided to build a supercar of some sort, and after some input from Blakbird I decided to buy the famous 8448. This was my first “old” Technic set and while deciding to buy it, I found a surprising lack of reviews for it. The only comprehensive review I found was here on Eurobricks(which is here and is quite good) so I decided to do another review for it as this set definitely deserves more. In this review I’ll be reviewing the gull wing model.(I apologize for pic quality if I ever do another review they'll be much better I promise) Here’s the pile of parts at first glance. It’s pretty big coming in at about 1400 pieces, and was the biggest Technic set at that time (correct me if I’m wrong). It has a large number of 1x16 technic bricks and 7x3 liftarms. The set had a couple unique pieces being the wheels and the steering hubs. Here are the wheels compared to the common supercar tires made by Lego.They're quite large and IMO they seem to be the most realistic tires as they are thin and are able to make the most realistic steering designs (see here).They're shiny, but don't look that great in terms of design, so they aren't used much. The steering hubs are also quite interesting although they are not widely used except in Jorgeopesi’s Ferrari F40. Any way let’s go build this thing. The books are absolutley awesome and are divided between chassis and body(ies). They are both thick heavy books and the quality is great even 16 years later. The build is divided between the chassis and the body. The entire build maintains modularity which is interesting and adds a nice customization aspect. The chassis is divided into numerous modules and starts off with a frame. The frame is quite sturdy and has the beginnings of the drivetrain in it. Next up we have the suspension modules. The rear suspension is too stiff and the front suspension is too soft. I feel like this set could have really used the yellow hard springs as these are only the medium stiffness. After the suspension we have the gearbox. The 8448 probably has the best gearbox produced in a Lego Technic set. It has a total of 5 speeds and one reverse gear. It was reproduced in the 8466 Off Roader. The gearbox and engine are added, and at this point the car is fully functional. All of the gears can be selected and the engine moves nicely. I also like the effort put into the engine details, its not something you see in modern sets. The interesting thing about this car is that the engine can easily be placed in the back even when the model is fully built, but it makes the front look very sparse. Once the chassis is built you can continue onto the bodywork, but if you aren't a fan of the original design, you can always build one of the other 4 designs(hot rod, racecar, concept car, and buggy) The instructions used to be hard to find, but now they should be here. After this point the build loses a technical aspect and focuses more on aesthetics. The dashboard is added and the bodywork starts to take shape Eventually you reach this point where you make a choice whether to build the convertible version of the car or the gull wing version. I chose to build the latter. Some nice seats are added and the bodywork is finished up Anddd we're done. I gotta say even though this model is 16 years old, it still looks really good. The minimalist design with flex axles and panels with large holes leaves a bit to the imagination, but makes an awesome shape. There are a couple clever techniques to get these shapes. The functions all work well and the gullwing doors have an extremely smooth operation. One thing I don't like about this model is that it lacks Hand of God steering which makes it a bit more difficult to play with. I would go far enough to say that this car was the original "supercar". Although there were others before it, I feel like this is the first one in which looks seemed to be a priority. It also had realistic functions unlike the 8880(which is still an awesome car with its complexity) which had 4 wheel steering which isn't really seen on most cars. So how does this car compare to our modern supercars? I owned the 8070 for a while, but then parted it out to build the Vampire GT. Both the 8070 and 8448 have their strengths. The 8070 obviously has a more modern look due to the newer parts and it is much more filled it. It also has the function gear box which opens everything nicely; however, for me, the 8448's realistic gearbox is far more interesting. Something about the different speeds of the engine just interests me a lot. Also the 8448 has the modularity concept which makes everything much more interesting. Here's a final pic with Crowkillers's Vampire GT. The 2 cars almost look like father and son with their gullwing doors. Overall I got to say this is one of the best sets I've built. It has great looks combined with excellent functions such as the gearbox, modules, and gullwing doors. It only has a few flaws that detract from the main model, but they are barely noticeable.If you guys are still with me after this long review I'll give a rating now Building Experience-10/10 Building this model never gets boring. The modularity is nice and its always fun to see all the modules come together Design-9/10 The 8448 was a massive step forward in design compared to the blocky supercars of the past. It looks good, but has a bit too many holes in some places and the wheels don't look too good. Functionality-8/10 The gear box in this model is amazing and has to be Lego's best. Its gullwing doors open very smoothly. I can't attest to the other models, but I'm guessing their functionality is just as smooth. The only flaws I see here is the lack of HOG and the problems with the suspension. Value-10/10 In the States you can get this model for little over a 100 on Ebay while in Europe its probably a little cheaper. I payed a little more for my copy, but I don't regret it. The model is one of the best Technic models I've seen. Parts-10/10 This model is full of excellent parts. There are many normal Technic parts which are always good to have, and an abundance of bricks and studded parts which are good for Model Team/studded Technic. The set also has 10(!) of those rare #3 red connectors which sell for ridiculous prices on Bricklink. It also has many rare red soft axles and some interesting parts such as 12L axles in red. It also has the rare metallic wheels, dampers, and steering pieces. Overall-47/50 Highly Recommended. Go buy this model and you definitely won't regret it, and in the rare event that you don't like it feel free to send it to me Thanks for reading and feedback on the review is welcome
  5. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    REVIEW: 7150 TIE Fighter and Y-Wing

    Having received this set at long last this Christmas, I decided to do a review and give my perspective. When LEGO Star Wars sets first came out back in 1999, the sets advertised most prominently were those depicting the ships that flew in the legendary Battle of Yavin: 7140 X-Wing, and 7150 TIE Fighter & Y-Wing. Both sets were instantly on my wishlist, and I am very glad to have been able to check this set off at long last. Where I Bought: Recieved as a Christmas present; my mother purchased it off of eBay. What I paid: Well, what she paid, which was $30 plus almost $19 in shipping (It was used-but-complete). Funnily enough, this lines up with the original manufacturer-suggested retail price of $49.99. Now on to the real bread and butter of the review: Here's the box, still in great condition despite its age. It's from before the SYSTEM logo was retired, and unlike far too many more recent sets there are those wonderful pictures of the alternate models as well as of the set mid-build on the back. The front presents the two ships in the set well, showing them racing down the Death Star's equatorial trench, laser blasts flashing all around. Now, inside the box are not only the pieces of the set, but also the various "feelies" (pamphlets and such). We have: A LEGO Direct catalog, which advertised sets that could be ordered from that service, some of which could not at the time be found in bricks-and-mortar stores. A more general mini-catalog showing highlight and pocket sets from the year's themes, and featuring the TIE Advanced from this set chasing Luke's X-Wing from set 7140. And an offer for a free 2-Year membership in the LEGO Club, including a subscription to LEGO's now-defunct magazine. Such a membership was very enjoyable, the last time I was in. If the club is still around, I have noticed that there is no expiration date whatsoever printed on this offer card... And with those taken care of.... Here we go. The original polybags are of course long gone, but the seller very thoughtfully sealed the pieces of the two ships into two separate sandwich bags. Every last piece is accounted for, save any extras that may have come with the set. The three mini-figures who come with the set. From (your) left to (your) right: Darth Vader, in his original LEGO form. The helmet and head are not, as one might expect given the design of figures like Chewbacca, all one piece that mounts on the neck. The helmet and mask are a separate piece that fits over the actual head. The head is cast in old grey, and printed on it is the ashen, pale, light-deprived face of the man who was once Anakin Skywalker. Since this was made before anyone knew such details as his hair getting singed off and the edits made to be in continuity with that, the face shows eyebrows as did old versions of Return of the Jedi. He is armed with a red-bladed, chrome-hilted (they were never otherwise in this era) lightsaber. Jon "Hutch" Vander, better known simply as Gold Leader. His face is a stock one with a com microphone and untidy red bangs, but it does the job alright. He is identifiable as Gold Leader by the unique print on his helmet. And finally, an astromech droid with a white body and red access panels, who is apparently named R4-D5. This would likely make him an R4 unit whose original purchaser shelled out the extra credits for an R2-series head (which has better astrogation equipment). A good assortment, and certainly enough to accurately man the ships included. Of course, to build those ships, we'll need a manual. Luckily enough, a very nice one is included. On the cover is a shrunken and cropped version of the box-front photo, fairly standard but once again made cool by the contents. The first inside page, which immediately demonstrates what I mean about it being a nice manual. The coloring is exactly right; there's no confusion between black and dark grey to be found here! The only fault is that Vader's face is shown as being yellow; it's actually grey. After the directions, the manual contains (As many manuals for sets, especially larger sets, once did) a rather hilarious comic showing off the alternate models seen on the back of the box. And it's time to get building. We'll start with the TIE Fighter included, which is Darth Vader's TIE x1 Advanced. Darth Vader inspects the construction of his personal fighter. The people assigned to the task appear to have ditched it or gone off on an extra-long break. This probably won't end well for them. Still no sign of the slackers who were supposed to be doing the build, yet now the cockpit's complete. What's going on? Ah, it looks like Lord Vader may find it in himself to forgive them, for their absence has allowed him to indulge a hobby that carried over from his former self. With his expert hands at work, the fighter is soon finished. This is a very lovely model; the fuselage is a tad on the short side but it does match up correctly with the length of the wings. It and the frames of the wings are here depicted with both grey (light and dark) parts and blue parts. The blue has caused many snit-fits, but I don't mind it. The fact of the matter is that TIE fighters were originally supposed to have blue frames and fuselages. That is how they were colored in the drawings by Ralph McQuarrie. They wound up as grey instead due to the blue Chroma Key screens used for filming. However, Empire Strikes Back and to a greater extent Return of the Jedi (TIE frames and bodies are blue, TIE Interceptor frames and bodies are dark blue) used post-shoot tinting to correct this, so it's surprising to have NOT seen the TIEs in A New Hope changed to match. The cockpit viewport piece is new, created for the LEGO Star Wars line specifically as a piece for showing TIE cockpits, and it is printed accordingly. Transparent red 1x1 round plates, AKA studs, are attached to the appropriate spots to create the lasing emitters of the ship's guns. Like in the movies, these are red despite firing green shots. The ship is built in sections connected by bricks with Technic pins, but the connections are all horizontal so they hold fairly well. The wings' angular shape is achieved via ratchet hinge bricks.The biggest flaw is the absence of a secret compartment on this ship, which means Vader's lightsaber must be stored in the Y-Wing's secret compartment instead! Regardless, Vader now has his fighter built and ready to intercept bold Rebel fighters whom the turbolasers track too slowly to target (they are, after all, designed to shoot at larger ships, hence their firepower). Make sure you take off his cape and put it in separately, though, it can get warped otherwise. Meanwhile, Gold Leader rebuilds his Y-Wing from scratch after it was dismantled for a total overhaul. Starting to get the cockpit and basic spaceframe back together... The main body of the ship now complete, R4-D5 runs a systems check. Everything checks out, so he and Gold Leader can now reconnect the engine nacelles. And with that, the Y-Wing is completed and ready to take to the skies for battle! The nose is painted white with a splash of yellow - it and the round caps of the engines are holdovers from the original BTL-B Y-Wings from the Clone Wars. LEGO's piece selection here is a fairly good angularized representation of the smooth nose from the movies. I don't mind angularizing like this in LEGO, and the rounded pieces didn't exist at the time. The ion cannon looks a bit big, yet at the same time just the right length. It's okay, and definitely functional. You'll have to grip it when swooshing the ship around if you don't want it spinning around loose, though; It's on a 2x2 turntable so it can turn, and the only ways to make that happen otherwise would have been a regular 2x2 plate atop a 1x1 round plate mounted between studs or use of 1x2 plates with central stud, which wouldn't have been as sturdy. The cockpit canopy is another made-for-LEGO Star Wars piece, created for 7140 X-Wing. It's not so accutate here, but it does the job alright, but there ought to be a side-opening Y-wing cockpit piece made one of these days. The cockpit looks okay, but it's a bit cramped; a 4x4 hollow inverted slope piece underside to deepen the seat would have come in handy. Maybe with two there could even have been space made for a gunner, but the absence of such room is less annoying than the crampedness for the pilot. On the plus side, it's an overall great-looking ship. There's some built greebling, as well as printed greebling on a pair of 2x2 tiles and on the mailbox in the "neck" of the fighter. Underside is plain, but that's reasonably accurate. The fuselage has a secret compartment on the end for storing weapons, like Vader's lightsaber (I would have used a 1x2 plate-with-fence piece rather than a grille brick at the end oposite the hinge, make more room, but oh well). About the biggest visual flaw is that the bars on the nacelles are mounted at the wrong points, but fixing that with the parts around at the time would have made the overall construction much more fragile. The landing gear must be detached for flight, but at this scale there's just no way to really do vertically-retracting landing legs. Interestingly, the ship is designed such that it can sit flat without the landing legs. So here is the set, in its full and complete glory. 14 years later, and it's still a great set. IN CONCLUSION: This is a very well-designed set, and a good-sized one. In a single package, you get not only the dreaded Darth Vader and his personal TIE fighter, but a very nice and solid Y-Wing fighter (complete with astromech droid) piloted by Gold Leader as well. Darth Vader and astromech droids may have become more commonplace over the years, but they weren't back at the start (Vader was in fact exclusive to this set) and if you don't already have Darth Vader this set is a great way to get him. And the ships are good additions to your Alliance and Imperial fleets, still standing up even today. This set was $49.99 at retail, and considering the size and contents, quite good value for your money. If you can find it complete for close to (or even less than) that much, I would recommend buying it. It's just a pity it didn't come with a standard TIE pilot and a smiley-face head wearing a stock Rebel Pilot helmet to make it better for army-building (Vader's was not the only TIE Advanced, you know).