Star Wars: Red Five X-wing Starfighter
Mini Figures: 1
11 bags of Lego bricks in 10 numbered sections
3 Instruction booklets
3 sets of stickers
The Star Wars X-wing ship has been released by Lego in twelve different sets since 1999 when the first Star Wars sets were released. However, in 2000 Lego released for the first time a new sub series known as UCS, or Ultimate Collector’s Series X-Wing which for the first time was a set directly aimed at adults and more experienced builders. The 7191 UCS X-Wing Fighter was the set that made it ok for adults to openly like Lego again. Lego also indicated that the collectors’ series models would not be rereleased giving these sets a lot of collectability and value in aftermarket sales. Lego itself dropped the UCS categorisation around 2008, but the fans still tend to categorise any licensed sets with a serial number starting with a 10 as UCS. Almost all of these sets are Star Wars related, but the 2006 released Batmobile and this year’s Tower of Orthanc can also be counted to be in the same category.
This year, with much controversy among the adult fan base, Lego released a new ‘exclusive’ version, the Red Five X-wing Starfighter. The model is inevitably not quite the same as the 2000 set as many building techniques have evolved and new more suitable pieces have been created to make this new ultimate X-wing.
The building of the X-wing is done in 10 parts firstly constructing the body out of modular sections. By cutting the body into sections, Lego has done a great job making the build more casual friendly, in that you can build one section a night without having to have all 1500+ pieces spread out on the coffee table. Each section is self contained, but also immediately attaches to the previously completed part so that you can see the final model growing section by section. The sections themselves are simple to build but use all the modern building techniques to make the build fun and to make the model look excellent. If further challenge is required, there is nothing stopping the builder opening all of the bags at once to still give that 3D puzzle appeal as well.
The wing opening and closing mechanism is very well designed with springs giving a sturdy and precise feeling to the operation. Wings themselves have large sticker sections to be attached to them, which make them look a little out of place but luckily these things are optional and more purist Lego fans might want to leave them off the model.
The cockpit section is excellently designed. The details include metallic colour rudder pedals (although the X-wing doesn’t actually have a rudder..), a control stick, a nicely designed body hugging seat and the computer targeting system for bombing runs. It also reveals why there is only one minifigure included: The ship is built to a scale larger than minifigure scale and therefore the cockpit would be huge for the standard Lego pilot. The R2-D2 minifigure has always been large in scale compared to the other minifigures and therefore fits perfectly into this set.
The one disappointing part of the whole set is the cockpit window. Instead of a printed window like in the original UCS set or even the currently available cheap version X-wing (9493), we have sticker sheets provided. Worst of all, it seems even Lego admits that the stickers are very difficult to place and therefore includes two sets of the window stickers in each set and devotes a whole page to their placement in the instructions. Nevertheless, getting these to the perfect position is very difficult and at best leaves a blurry film on the window parts which seems impossible to remove. The stickers themselves do add to the look and have nice printing on them, but if stickers had to be used, then waterslide decals would have been a much better option as they are easier to place and end up looking more professional.
A further problem in the review copy was that the cockpit window does not stay properly closed even though the hinges work in stages and there is a tile placed in front which should help it stay closed. Having said that, I have not heard of anyone else having this problem with their sets, so it could just be a freak moulding problem in one of the pieces.
The finishing parts are again excellent design. The engines look great and the blasters on the wings have been redesigned to look more elegant than in the original version. No landing gear is provided in the model but instead there is a black stand with the usual UCS style information sticker.
If anyone is still wondering about the price difference of just under £120 between this model and the other currently available X-wing Starfighter 9493, then the differences are obvious. The one thousand extra pieces going into this set make the set near enough double the size at just under 21 inches in length and give a lot of nice detailing around the ship. The slanting stand makes the set very nice to display while not being as large as the UCS Super Star Destroyer 10221 or the UCS Imperial Shuttle 10212. Of course, this is all at the cost of any kind of playability again which is further proof that these sets are solely aimed at adult fans of Lego and/or Star Wars.
It would have been nice for Lego to include a printed cockpit window in a set of this price, but despite that issue, the Red Five X-wing Starfighter is one of the best looking Lego sets available today. So while the collectors might be unhappy at this rehash, the rest of us should just enjoy the fact that the Lego company still caters for us adult fans.