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Blocks Magazine


Posted April 11, 2015   |   821 views   |   Hobbies & Crafts   |   Comments (1) Owned by the galaxy’s most feared, yet best-loved, bounty hunter, the iconic Slave 1 finally receives the LEGO upgrade we have all been waiting for

There are few villains in the universe that command such wide appeal and popularity as Boba Fett. A ruthless bounty hunter equipped with a one-of-a-kind highly-modified spacecraft that became an instant icon the second it hit our screens back in 1980. Slave 1 is probably best known as the ship that delivered a carbonite-frozen Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt, but it’s is so much more than that.

Originally Slave I was a prototype police vehicle from the asteroid prison Oovo IV. It was one of only six in the entire galaxy and was stolen by Jango Fett during a prison riot after his own craft had been destroyed. Not wanting to be followed, Jango unloaded two missiles into the hanger containing the remaining five craft, leaving his vessel unique. Jango upgraded this prototype craft and dedicated two thirds of the cavernous prisoner-carrying interior to house Kuat drive engines and power generators, giving Slave I the sub-lightspeed of an Alliance BTL Y-wing starfighter – a remarkable feat for a ship of Slave I’s size.

Upon his untimely demise on Geonosis, his son Boba inherited the craft, which, after several changes of hands, was ultimately to become synonymous with the adult Boba who went on to adapt the ship’s cloaking and weapon systems to better suit his bounty hunting needs.

All that history aside, it was always going to require something special from the LEGO Group to truly do the ship justice. This Ultimate Collectors Series release is the seventh Slave 1, but the first on this scale. Can it live up to the hype and demands of us unrelenting fans?

The Build
Moving on to the main event: the supersized Slave 1. With the pieces distributed across 13 cellophane bags I knew I was in for a packed night of building fun, each bag bursting with the trademark greens and dark reds we have come to associate with Slave 1.

The first bag contains the Bespin Guard figure and pieces to start making the floor plates of the rear structure, which is constructed from 2x8 Technic frames endlessly bolted together with black pins along their holed edges. As the first three strap together, smaller 4x6 frames are attached. These are all held in place with overlapping plates top and bottom. Plates in tan, dark red, grey and black make it feel more than just a support structure. Underneath, studs and brackets are used to begin the underside’s detailing, while two sloped curves attach either side using a combination of SNOT bricks.

'Slave 1 is probably best known as the ship that delivered a carbonite-frozen Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt, but it’s so much more than that'

These two pieces (dotted with dark red) create the beginnings of the iconic curves and I can honestly say I rarely get this excited early on in a build as I have here.

The build from bag two is a little more structural, as the base is further strengthened and layered to allow for the large number of slopes that are provided in bag three. Here we get to place the swooping red curves across the base which are then layered upwards to generate the rear slope to the cargo section.

The huge variation in parts creates a slope that closely approximates the movie version of the craft. The slope looks smooth but the lines are interrupted to create a more rugged curve: this isn’t meant to be an unused shiny ship, after all.

Bag four moves you onto the base section of the nose piece and replicates the complexity of the rear, using a technic sub frame primarily stacked with inverted slopes attached via SNOT methods to create a variation in angles. With two great dark red clad slabs in hand the next three bags involve joining the two structures together using a Technic framework. The frame extends upwards and also provides the moving mechanism for the rear opening hatch into which you can clip the carbonite ‘Solo’ block.

Trans blue dishes and stud details are added to the underside at this point as well: good use of hinges and rods creates an elaborate underside that is truly fit for display. It is next that the craft’s two wings are added and it has to be said these became another highlight for me during the build. The only downside being the three vent stickers that attach to the three slopes across the front of each fin. Due to them needing to create continuous lines across the fin, getting them lined up across the three pieces is tricky, and although I don’t mind the odd sticker (the nose ones are fine) and appreciate the cost factor, this is one area that should have been addressed differently. However, that said, the wings themselves are excellent, utilising slopes and angled plates well, with detailing added by two grey telescope handles and a tan cog on the ends. The blend of angles and Technic really makes these feel mechanical and very functional.

With the framework in place bags eight and nine take you through the cockpit and body build. 1x4 long SNOT bricks are stacked either side ready for attaching the giant green curve pieces that arch across the wing housing. However, at this point it is worth mentioning the cockpit detail. The seat rotates 90 degrees to accommodate the ship’s vertical flying position which you could argue is a given, but it’s the thought that has gone into the design of this part that impressed me the most. In front of the seat there is a printed control panel and on either side there are has two stickered slopes with yet more controls and detail on.

The rear of the chair is constru
Boba Fett
This is a whole new version and is unique to this set. The printing and detail is excellent from head to toe. The helmet carries battle worn scars, with glimpses of metallic silver shining through where the paint has been chipped off. The fabric tan cloak is also new. Shaped with worn-looking edges and printed with Fett insignia, it’s my favourite addition to the figure. I can honestly say this figure is a great improvement on an already nice minifigure.

I can honestly say I started this build with a smile and finished with a massive grin. I enjoyed the process and the final product so much it actually left me feeling worried that 2015 had peaked too early. I thoroughly enjoyed building the UCS Sandcrawler last year, but this, for me, seemed a superior model and a far more satisfying build.

The overall size is very impressive and worthy of the ship’s status. Often with such size comes a level of fragility, but this is not the case: the structure is incredibly solid for its size and although the model is geared towards a display audience it still carries a strong ‘swooshable’ factor which should please the play and display markets. Right from the start of the build it is clear that it’s been designed to stay in one piece, and the true test to this was when transporting the model to the photographic studio. Despite 40 minutes of bumpy back roads the ship remained intact with not a single element or panel coming apart.

The more I study the model, the more I discover: the shape is incredibly accurate in my opinion, the detail and colourings are spot on and the use of interesting techniques throughout the build to achieve all of this is the work of an expert. However with such a price tag I do feel there a few areas that left me a little frustrated, but only a few. The primary moan has to be some of the stickers. I am not overly adverse to stickers, in fact at times they can give you flexibility, but I think they need to be selected wisely.

The culprit for this was the vent stickers on the wings that went across three bricks. Lining three sets of lines across three adjacent slopes was nigh on impossible: surely they could either have printed them or used textured bricks to create the lines? All the other stickers were fine and acceptable, even the giant tech plate sticker.

The only other area of contention for me was the way the clear cockpit canopy, which was a specially made piece for this set, was fitted. I understand this is a display model, and probably there was a desire not to have an exposed hinge, but this method does mean the front edge doesn’t always sit perfectly flush with the nose. This is only a minor gripe though and not one that distracts from the overall splendour of a great set.

All that said, I still stand by my original thoughts, that this is possibly one of my all-time best Star Wars builds. The details are great, the design is well thought out and areas such as the cockpit and side panelling that could have had corners cut, haven’t had. I know some will argue that four minfigures seems a little light, but the quality of them is high and ultimately this set isn’t really about the figures even though it contains the best Boba Fett yet.

For more great articles like this get the Feb-15 issue of Blocks Magazine below or subscribe and save.

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About Blocks Magazine

Blocks magazine is a celebration of everything LEGO. Aimed at enthusiasts of all ages it is the perfect way to immerse in the world of plastic bricks. Each month it’s full of reviews, hints, how-to features, from LEGO experts.

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