I finished the Death Star yesterday evening! Total time to build: Um, I kind of forgot to time it. Sorry. I’ll take it apart today and build it again. I worked at it pretty steadily for three days, I know.
Here’s the completed model. It’s pretty huge, but very solidly built. It is chock-full of action features! The turbolasers move in unison and can be raised and lowered, the main laser dish can be turned as well as raised and lowered, the trash compactor walls close in, there are two elevators that move, doors and hatches that open, a tractor beam thinger that turns off, a gun that fires…they really went all-out on this one. (Though I agree with Dave Thiel in that the central elevator seems to be less clever and cool looking than the rest.) There’s even a small opening where you can drop a brick into it and the whole thing will come completely apart immediately!*
I started with 3800 pieces and when I was done, these were all that were left:
Everything was there except I think I got shorted one black cloak, which is no big deal. I just turned up the heat in the Emperor’s Chamber so he won’t get cold.
It also came with a ton of minifigs, including a much nicer R2-D2 head. There are versions of Luke and Han in Stormtrooper disguise and in their usual clothes, a black protocol droid and a black astromech, a mouse robot and an interrogation droid (I’m sure those two now have full names and histories and were built by some minor character in Episode 2), the Emperor with lightning bolts and two Royal Guards (this Death Star serves double-duty), Grand Moff Tarkin, a couple of Imperial officers and, for some reason, IG-88 (again, I’m sure there’s some story somewhere of him hanging out on the Death Star). Oh, and of course Leia, Chewie, Ben, etc. You also make the scanning crew’s scanner and the trash compactor critter!
Now that I’m doing more of my own building I can really appreciate some of the insanely genius design that went into this. There were plenty of moments where I was amazed as something finally locked into place and revealed a stunningly clever bit. I’ve also learned a lot more about integrating Technic bits into models with this and the Sandcrawler.
Here are some action shots:
This really is the sort of ultimate Lego set, and I thank Becky again for getting it for me. Although I plan to keep it together, I can definitely see myself taking it apart periodically just for the sheer fun of putting it back together.
* — There isn’t.