Reviewed by Alain King (SAFOLs Member, CapeLUG Member)
This set went on sale in October 2019 and added to the Ultimate Collector Series of Star Wars models that have been released since 2000. This is the second time that a Star Destroyer is created in this series with the previous one coming out in 2002. As a massive Star Wars fan, I was glad to be able to add this one to my collection as the older one is very difficult to obtain (and we are not going to talk about the cost).
The box that the set comes in is huge and even has markings on the outside to ensure that you get the correct experience when opening it. The first box that comes out of the box is a long thin one which contains the instruction manual (the ring binding is a nice touch for a manual of this size) as well as the sticker sheet. The sticker sheet contains a single sticker for the plaque that goes on the stand giving you information about the ship. A nice touch but I do wish these were printed as they are very difficult to get on properly. There are an additional 4 boxes which contain all the parts for the set. There are 19 stages of the build with multiple bags per stage as well as some of the larger parts in unnumbered bags. A tip for anyone building this, take the larger parts out and keep them to one side as they keep popping up at various stages of the build (one is needed right on the first step) otherwise I found that all the bags for each step were grouped nicely in each box.
The first section of the instruction manual includes some details about the ship and interviews with the designers. A great read with some really interesting information, if you don’t have the set and want to read it, download the massive manual from the LEGO® website. The last page of this section includes directions on how to move the model around which gives an indication of how big it will be (There are dimensions on the outside of the box but the picture with a human arm in makes the scale easier to visualise).
The build starts with the stand and from there quickly progresses to complete the framework (made of technic elements) which gives you an idea of the size of the set. It is huge. You also build the 2 minifigures which come with the set which have some nice details but are not famous characters. They are very detailed and do include arm printing so a nice addition to the collection.
The next stage that you construct is the panelling – these are huge pieces made from connecting plates together. There is some evidence of the curvature that this can produce on the really long pieces. They snap onto the bottom of the ship using clips but there are only a few on each side and some of the support is an axle in a hole. This does cover well and there are minimal gaps as a result, but you need to be aware that this is a display model, it is not something you will be swooshing around and playing with. This lower section also includes the bay where the ships land and here we actually build a micro Tie Fighter. This Tie Fighter model does look a little odd, but I don’t think I could do any better myself.
After finishing the bottom covering, we move onto the top which is some very large parts that get assembled. The highlight for me was assembling the gun turrets of which there are four on each side, three of these are identical but the fourth is different. There are some clever parts used to create these. After putting the skin on the top of the ship, you start building the bridge section. This results in a great looking structure with interesting building techniques to get the shape they are going for. I did enjoy the nod to the construction sequence shown in Solo: A Star Wars Story which was included in the way we went about building the bridge. The final build in this set is a Tantive IV which shows how massive the Star Destroyer is compared to the rebel ship.
When this model is complete, the volume of space it takes makes it feel impressive and reminds me of the first time we saw this ship in the opening sequence of Star Wars IV: A New Hope especially as I have it high up on a shelf. As a fan of Star Wars and LEGO® Ultimate Collector Series models, I did feel that this was a necessary addition to my collection. There is no way to write a review of this set and not discuss the cost. It is an expensive set, but after building it the size of the finished model makes it feel worthwhile. If you can get this set for anything below full retail price and you like the big Star Wars models, then go for it, you will not be disappointed.
I am now left with hope that the LEGO® group will re-release the Super Star Destroyer and Death Star so I can complete the series of ships which indicate the scale.