Sunday, June 21st, 2020 at 8:46pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we've got a new set review for you all! BZPower staff member Ta-metru_defender has shared his thoughts on the 75275 A-wing Starfighter from the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series theme of sets. We built this live a few weeks ago, but now we're diving deep and getting a second opinion on this large, detailed spaceship from a galaxy far, far away. I encourage you to read on to see his thoughts and watch his video review, which is much more entertaining than my live builds I'm sure. He also puts it through the playability tests in a way I had never thought of before but now am sorely tempted to.
Hi. I'm TMD and I'm a big fan of A-wings. In all honesty, I'm a fan of the whole alphabet of Rebel ships, be the B-, U-, X-, or Y-. But the A-wing, the zippy little hotrod of the fleet holds a special place in my heart.
So of course when the option to review the UCS A-wing popped up I volunteered. It arrived, and I got to it.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The A-wing's box is very different from prior UCS sets and whichever redesign you're thinking of. It seems like LEGO is pivoting its AFOL-targeted sets to be very much AFOL-targeted and the box looks more like something Side Show Collectibles or a high-end electronics brand would put out.
Which is pretty cool.
The set's name is done in elegant typography that stands out in its simpleness. A small band on the bottom has the set information, including the new age rating of 18+. Step aside kids, these sets are meant for grown ups.
The back of the box continues the same aesthetic, with the same sleek simplicity applied to the feature callouts. This is also where we see the stand and minifig. I gotta say, as much as I liked the cloudy Corellia background on the UCS Star Destroyer, the minimality of the A-wing box is very appealing.
The box is eye-catching. Cool. Let's get into it.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The A-wing, like many large sets, has a technic core that's then built upon and cladded. There's a lot of SNOT and other fun techniques to get all its angles done right. Make no mistake, this A-wing doesn't settle for 'good enough' when it comes to its shaping, nah, it goes all in.
There's a particularly clever job done with the tapering towards the fore. That particular angle is achieved by connecting the component with a small ball joint, then locking it in place with a lightsaber blade. It's then covered up with more plates and done. It's an elegant solution that keeps it all looking super sleek - and surprisingly sturdy.
Also of note is that the white sides are built using a lot of bricks with studs on both sides, so that curved bricks can be placed on both sides. Again, particular attention to getting this curvy ship done just right.
Another super neat design detail is the slit in the ship's nose. All of the LEGO versions prior have omitted it, since it is pretty hard to do it at minifig scale. The UCS iteration, however, has no such qualms. Particularly brilliant is that it's not two-studs wide (which would be too wide) or one-stud (which would mean having to make it odd-numbered), but instead a few wedge plates are attached via brackets to get it to the right size.
The pilot's seat is pretty nifty too; the set's scale allows for additional detailing (that chair-back honestly looks quite comfy) and built in footwells. It's a small thing, but the sort of thing that makes me happy.
The cockpit canopy uses a new piece designed especially for this set. Stickers are attached to give it the look of bracing and let me tell you, they are a pain to get just right. It took a few tries, but I managed to get them mostly aligned. The final product looks really good, and it is worth the hassle; I guess this is something I wish was printed.
The other big sticker goes on the rear nacelles. They're a little easier to apply, though it's still tricky to get them on straight. The nacelles, though, have my main complaint about the set: they're dang fragile.
Much of the ship is connected by technic axles, allowing for parts to be built at different angles and stuff. Cool. But it means that the large half-cylinder is only attached by the top and it popped off a few times while I was building it. I like things solid (all the better to swoosh them with) so it's a small bummer that this of all things is as fragile as it is.
Another nitpick is the rear fins. They're attached on hinges so they can be angled (excellent!) but there aren't any stoppers to get the angles to be exact. Which, darn. I don't quite have the eye to get them perfectly equal (or if I think they are, they won't be and vice versa). It's a really small nit to pick, but in a set that's so well done, I've gotta be a stickler for what could've been an easy fix.
The stand does what a stand should do and stands it up. The plaque's sticker is another nightmare to apply (pro tip: get yourself a significant other who's really good at putting on stickers. Then be sad when she's quarantined with her parents and you stayed in the city so she can't help you with stickers. No this isn't super specific, why do you ask?). There's also a spot for the minifig. Like other recent UCS sets' minifigs, he's not really special, and lacks the spiffy arm printing that other sets have gotten, which is too bad. It is only the second time LEGO's done the A-wing pilot in dark green (rather than green-green) with the last time being in 2013, so that's pretty special I guess. Either way, the mining in this set is ancillary at best.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
The UCS A-wing is nothing short of a gorgeous ship. Even the choices of which surfaces to be tiled and which to be studded seem intentional in a way that reminds the viewer that this is a LEGO model without detracting from the streamlined look of it all. All in all, the set does an excellent job of capturing its sleek shaping, resulting in another model that's being displayed in the living room (whether my roommates like it or not [they do]).
Many thanks to Josh for putting this review together and thanks to LEGO for sending it to us! I know that I enjoyed reading and watching his take on the model, and hopefully you did too. We're working on getting some more sets to do reviews of, so stay tuned to BZPower to check them out!
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