75095 – UCS TIE Fighter
Well, after a long wait in trying to acquire one, here we have the 2015 Star Wars UCS set, the Empire’s mainstay starship, the TIE FIghter. These ships are usually deployed in groups of three, and do not have a hyperdrive or shields. The Empire’s strategy is to bombard enemy combatants with gross numbers – Star Destroyers deploy hundreds of TIE Fighters when engaging the enemy.
Anyhow, with that being said, Lego have finally given us the impressive TIE FIghter in the now famous Ultimate Collector’s Edition treatment. I have to say up front, the job the Lego Company has done with TIE Fighters in the Lego System variety over the recent years has been very impressive, and I had expected that a UCS version would be exceptional. I was not wrong! Let’s look.
The box is reasonably big, but mid-size for a UCS. Unboxing reveals many plastic baggies, an instruction book and sticker sheet.
Diving straight in, we concentrate on the cockpit and central part of the fighter first. The first few bags focus on the structure of the cockpit. The pilot’s controls and seat are roughly equivalent to the TIE Interceptor (from memory). It is a fast build, the design is fairly straightforward and solid. the layers which sit across the face of the cockpit are well thought out, and the result is sealed with an impressive array of printed disc parts.
Once the central part of the fighter is complete, we enter a part of the construction which I’ll refer to as “dual build” – you build everything twice (for each wing of the fighter). This gets a bit confusing at times, and I found at times that I ended up not building enough. The blades of the wings involve A LOT of plates. I mean A LOT! If you wanted to pick up a large set of black plates, this would be the premiere set to do so. The wings are structurally very strong.
Provided you pay attention to the parallel build, you should make good time building these wings. Be aware though that they require a lot of space – especially when building two at a time, so make sure you have a lot of flat, stable surface area so you can ensure that the parts are being well secured together. They actually become very unwieldy once you add the top and bottom plates together.
Once the face plates are on, the cross joins are ingeniously connected to the internal blades by means of several “gripper” parts which join both sides together around the edge of the wing. It’s incredibly well thought out. The final part of the build is to join the wings to the central cockpit – this is done securely by clipping two “arms” onto the centre part and then plugging the gaps with an additional two parts which “lodge” the wings into a tight position.
Well, we’ve made it. it took me just under four hours to complete the entire set (one session, 90 minutes to build the cockpit and a second session, exactly 135 minutes). That’s pretty brisk trade for a UCS kit, but you save a lot of time by building the wings in parallel.
The stand is perfect, and allows you to rotate the TIE 360 degrees without any effort. The standard plaque sits at the base with a minifigure scale TIE Pilot, which is becoming a more common addition to larger sets (e.g. Tumbler, R2D2 etc.).
This is a very worthy addition to your collection, or possibly one to hold on to for future profit!