This Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) Snowspeeder #75144 was a very fun build and the model looks great! I am impressed with the weight and design. As with any ship which has near identical wings I was pleased with how much fun both wings were to build. They did not feel redundant like tie fighter wings are.
The cockpit has a newly designed windshield just for this set. It blends nicely with the side windows. When you swivel the rear gun it moves the gunner's handles. There is a retractable landing gear, although the model is a bit front heavy so the landing gear is more for looks than functional in my opinion. The canopy opens giving clear view of the cockpit which has a lot of detail. The air brakes (top and bottom) are both movable. The top are opened by turning the engines. The bottom air brakes can be positioned manually. However, they both look just like the movie.
The underside wings have intake fins. It's a nice detail if looking underneath and marks to LEGO for thinking of the whole model and not just the top.
The guns are the proper length and maintain their angle through the pylon in the middle of the wing. The nose and wings are not blocky but use plates all around. The rear cooling fins are one of my favorite parts of this model; they genuinely look like cooling fins.
Inside the cockpit there are a number of stickers on the front, both sides, and in the back which adds a level of detail not achieved by typical printed pieces.
The two minifigures are basically identical except the pilot helmet vs the gunner helmet. The pilot helmet is blackish and thus far consensus says it belongs to Zev Senesca (Rogue Two in Empire Strikes Back). Sadly, he was killed during the Battle on Hoth. However, there is debate whether his helmet in the movie is a very dirty white or actually grey. The symbols around the ears is what identifies it as belonging to Zev.
What makes the minifigures unique to this set only is the printing on both arms.
Before I get to pros and cons I want to talk about stickers. There are a lot of them… 31 to be exact. I know a lot of people complain about a high number of stickers, but stickers do add a level of detail not otherwise attainable. Otherwise, LEGO is printing a lot of unique bricks for this one set thus increasing the set's cost. However, application of the stickers adds a level of complexity to the set so it's not just the build but how well you apply the stickers to complete the build.
However, I have a request for LEGO:
If you're going to produce stickers with writing, I
suggest doing what model makers do – the stickers
with writing should have a clear background. This
way the sticker does not modify the look of the
piece it is covering. By coloring the background of
the sticker, the sticker becomes more obvious,
especially when the white of the sticker is a bright
white but the white LEGO piece is not and will
eventually fade at a different rate than the sticker.
Just a thought.
Excellent rendition of Rogue Two's T-47 Snowspeeder from The Empire Strikes Back. The stickers add a level of detail not otherwise achieved inside and out.
The harpoon gun looks great. The movement of the gun also moves the gunner's handles inside the cockpit - very cool. I do wish there was a “harpoon” of some kind loaded into the end of the gun.
The mounting and angle of the main guns is great and looks very authentic to the movie. The mounting is very stable.
Movable air brakes on the top and bottom are very nice for display purposes. To open the top, turn the engines – very cool.
The addition of a landing gear adds to the authenticity, even if it is not as usable as I would have liked.
Two minifigures with unique printing on their arms. The new helmet for Zev is very nice. Although it is debatable if it is actually blackish or just a very dirty white, it's a nice shout out with a unique helmet.
I found the chairs a little on the flimsy side when I was installing them. It's too bad there isn't more room to reinforce their backing. Installation took a couple of tries to get it right without them coming apart. Although, this might have been just me forcing them in place. They do have a tight fit, which is nice.
I'm not sure if the landing gear is really a con or not. It's not as usable as I hoped, but it looks very realistic.
If you've been debating about investing or holding onto 10129 UCS Rebel Snowspeeder or buying this new one, 75144 UCS Snowspeeder, here are a couple of thoughts about this new UCS Snowspeeder #75144:
- Movable (position-able) air brakes – top and
bottom (not found on 10129).
- New unique windshield with a smooth transition
to the side windows making for a great looking
cockpit (not found on 10129).
- Plate nose, wings, and sides providing a much less
blocky look than 10129.
- Intake fins “inside” the wings (definitely not found
- The rear cooling fins are more accurate to the
movie using plate build vs the blocky build of
- Two unique minifigures with printing on their arms
and a new unique helmet for the pilot, Zev
Senesca. (10129 does not have minifigures).
- Yes, people might complain about the 30+
stickers, but the stickers add a level of detail not
otherwise attainable or seen on 10129. AND
placement of the stickers adds a level of difficulty
to this set.
Overall I am very pleased with this set and the build. Now if I can just keep my son from playing with it.
Nice job LEGO, definitely worthy of the UCS badge!