As the new Ultimate Collector Series set, 75367 Venator-class Republic Attack Cruiser, wows LEGO Star Wars fans with its intricate build, Blocks looks back at how these mighty starships have delivered engines that match the source material in some very creative ways.
You’ve just made the perilous journey home from the LEGO store with a boxed Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) set in tow. Maybe it was perilous because you had to take the train, subway or bus because your car was in the shop. Perhaps the seatbelt that was supposed to secure your set in place wouldn’t fit around its width, and the big box crashed on your doorstep. No matter, you’re overjoyed – it’s sitting in front of you now, and you’ve got a few spare hours to get started.
What makes you ‘go’ when you have a box with thousands of pieces and a massive time commitment inside sitting in front of you? LEGO sets are the fuel of fun, and that fuel gets your engines started. On the topic of engines – LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series sets have some of the finest exhausts, intakes, and engines around, letting the fictional non-LEGO counterparts of these ships soar across the galaxy.
That’s right – the coolest Star Wars ships would be paperweights without powerful thrust and explosive launches. The LEGO Group’s ultimate Star Wars models may work best as display pieces, but those glowing engines are often what brings your new ship to life. Here’s a look at some of the spectacular building techniques used to construct LEGO Ultimate Collector Series model’s engines.
Don’t Text Your X-Wing
The X-Wing Starfighter is perhaps best known for its opening S-foils, its elongated cockpit and cannons and its sleek fuselage. Of course, we can’t forget its four massive circular engines atop each wing. 10240 Red Five’s X-wing Starfighter uses transparent pink classic flower pieces and a transparent pink dish to recreate the blasting engine flames. Its predecessor, 7191 X-wing Fighter, used a flowerpot from LEGO Scala and LEGO Belville to create the engine tips. Go figure.
The newest X-wing in the Ultimate Collector Series, 75355 X-wing Starfighter, bucks the flower idea and simply uses a white plate piece with a transparent pink dish on top. At least it kept the awesome shaping from 10240, created using 1×2 plates with clips positioned in to create the vase-like shape of the engine exhaust.
Something Borrowed, Something New
With a massive hulk of a ship like 75331 The Razor Crest, big engines are a must – especially when you set the model at minifigure scale. The LEGO Group was faced with the issue of not having the right pre-fabricated pieces to create an accurately-shaped and detailed engine. What were some of the world’s best designers to do?
Instead of designing several new parts, a technique that almost led the company to bankruptcy in the 2000’s, The Razor Crest borrows and adapts a technique seen in the 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V for the construction of its engines. It uses ample Studs Not On Top (SNOT) construction and single stud connections for a surprisingly sturdy set of engines. That’s a lot of small pieces, but in a set with a galaxy-sized parts budget, this is the way.
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Every Falcon Has Its Day
The Millennium Falcon’s first flight in 1977 wowed and excited audiences everywhere. When the massive, UFO-like craft blasted from the Mos Eisley spaceport, it was clear this film would change the way we saw movies. The last thing you’ll see as it takes off (and the last thing pirates and Imperials see, too) is its gigantic belt of engines – all glowing a bright blue and prepared to haul freight at a moment’s notice.
How could something be captured in its enormity using LEGO bricks? 75192 Millennium Falcon and its predecessor, 10179 Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon, use pirate ship roping or rigging to create the curved grate covering their massive transparent light blue engines. The pieces are malleable enough to bend without damage yet strong enough to hold their shape.
While the engines in LEGO Star Wars battleships and destroyer models may pale in comparison to the LEGO Millennium Falcon duo and the Ultimate Collectors Series Razor Crest, that solely comes down to scale. Obviously, capital ships in Star Wars have much larger engines than fighters or personal transports. Imagine a LEGO minifigure-scale Imperial Star Destroyer’s engines – the entire assembly would crumble under its own weight and be too large to display.
The LEGO Group may have made their capital ships at a different scale than their other adult models, but that doesn’t mean these ships avoid ample detail. While 75367 Venator-class Republic Attack Cruiser uses Power Miners giant drill elements to add size and intricate molded detailing to its main engines, 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer uses the same cockpit windscreen pieces as seen in 75192 Millennium Falcon to create its enormous battleship engines. Wizard!