Friday, 13 January 2017

Lego Star Wars Set 75152: Imperial Assault Hovertank Review

The Lego Star Wars set 75152: Imperial Assault Hovertank is one of the 11 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sets released in early 2017 (December 2016 in Europe/ January 2017 in the US-of-A). It contains 385 parts, 3 minifigures and is priced at about 30$/ 30GBP/ 40EUR, bringing the cents-per-piece ratio to about 7.8c/ 7.8p/ 10.4c. While I was not excited about this set before I got it, I really like the way it looks on my shelf.

Disclaimer note: I have bought this set with my own money from the local store, paying full price. The Lego Group had no entanglements with the way I aquiered this set and is probably unaware of my existence anyhow. The opinions here are therefore my own; they are not reviewed before being posted here by anyone else but myself.


Box, Instructions, Out-of-the-box and building experience

The box art shows the built set and some details (including set number, title, the number of parts, age rating) on the front side and some play features on the back side. It is basically just a standard Lego box, nothing special about it.
Front side of the box

Back of the box
After opening the box and spilling its contents on the floor or on a table and punching the box out of the way, you are left with 4 numbered bags and a rather thick instruction booklet, that does not contain any mistakes or inaccuracies and that has some sort of catalog with all minifigures included in the early 2017 wave of Star Wars sets. Seeing that one of those numbered bags had a different print than the others kind of triggered my OCD, but once I got past that I started building the actual set.
Why does bag no. 4 have to look different than the others?!
The building process is pretty straight forward, although the 2nd and the 3rd bags have you build the same thing, so it does get boring for a while. It took me about 45 minutes to build this set. After you are done, you are left with a bunch of spare parts, as usual.
20 of them, to be precise.


Minifigures and accessories

With this set you get 3 minifigures. One of them is Chirrut Îmwe, the other 2 are Imperial Hovertank Pilots. All minifigures are exclusive to this set, although Lego used the same helmet molds and similar prints to those of the tank pilots to create the Scarif Shore Troopers from set 75171: Battle on Scarif.

Chirrut is a welcome inclusion in one of the cheaper Rogue One sets. The details of this minifigure are stunning. He wears this unusual fabric element around his waist (which is a pain to mount, by the way), which is printed with a crimson and black pattern. His eyes are white to depict his blindness. He does have a double-sided face: On the one side he has this daring smile and on the other he looks rather serious (like when he is repeating the line "I am one with the Force, the Force is with me").
His torso is printed with a simple tunic and some white straps on the front and back, all of which is accurate to the film. He even has a white glove on his left hand which represents the armour worn in the movie.

The new helmets of the Imperial Hovertank Pilots look amazing with the narrow visor and the silver air filters. Underneath those helmets are the standard Clone Trooper heads, which is a bit disappointing, even if most people will leave those helmets on at all times.
The torsos have ton of detail on both sides. I love the small patches of sand on the armour and the print continues onto his hips and legs which is brilliant to see.

You do get quite a few accessories with this set. Chirrut is armed with a long staff and a very nice-looking bowcaster (built around one of the longer Star Wars rifles). Any of those weapons can be clipped to his back, but they are a bit too bulky for that, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I appreciate the effort of the designer to remain accurate to the film. The imperials get all 3 types of blaster rifles: the heavy blaster-pistol, a standard-issue stormtrooper gun and a long barreled rifle, which is supposed to remain attached to the tank and act as a light anti-air or anti-infantry defence. A pair of macrobinoculars is also included.

The completed model

The Imperial Assault Hovertank feels quite substantial, measuring just over 20cm in length and being pretty heavy when lifting it. Most of the parts used to build this tank are either light or dark bluish grey, giving it the very generic and streamlined look of any imperial vehicle, making a bulk purchase of hovertanks for a diorama a good idea. The use of many 1x2 bricks with groove and other textured elements gives the impression of mechanical details and avoids the need for stickers altogether.

The low-profile of this tank and the simulated 2x2 round hatches in the front and at the top remind me of certain real life tanks (namely the Russian-made WW2 SU-85, SU-100 and (I/)SU-152). I think it is very easy to mod this vehicle to look like any of those, in fact, since the sides or the tank are only held in place by a pair of black pins, making the entire "cockpit" area rather modular.

Twin guns are packed underneath the driving compartment. That's where you will find 2 spring-loaded launchers as well (you get 3 missiles for those).
They are triggered by twisting the dark bluish grey gears on either side of the vehicle, right next to the main guns. The blasters situated in front, atop of those turret-things can also be manually rotated. Layers of plates are used to recreate the ridged shape of the hull at the front of the tank.

The driving compartment has room for two minifigures, one acting as the driver and the other as gunner/ commander. This is accurate to the film and I appreciate it. I like the opening panels which allow easy access to the inside. There is also room on the sides of the tank that can hold any spare weapons and accessories.
The rear section of the tank is a cargo bed with room for two of those orange cargo crates, although only one of them is included in this set (another one is included in 75171: Battle on Scarif). You therefore have an area to stand some extra troops if you wish. The cargo bed is not lacking in detail as some 1x2 grilles and jumper plates are used to create some texture.
I love the splash of bright colour which this container introduces. It contrasts brilliantly with the dull colours of the tank and I think it would look even better when fully loaded with a second crate, although the presence of only one does not bother me as the set offers excellent value for money in its current state.

Speaking of cargo crates, this one only contains the pistol and the macrobinoculars, which is unexpected give its size. However, the accurate shape and detailed exterior more than makes up for the lack of actual storage space, in my opinion.

Four trans-clear wheels are hidden underneath and these allow the tank to roll around as though it was floating. They can hardly be seen so do not impact upon the appearance of the model.

Overall

I am very satisfied with this set. All three minifigures are marvellous and the Imperial Assault Hovertank is also very impressive, with some lovely details and lots of play features packed into a relatively small model. Moreover, the price seems very reasonable, particularly since the prices for the new Star Wars sets have gone up in the last couple of years.
My only minor suggestion relates to the minifigure selection. I think this set is ideal for multiple purchases and it may therefore have been nice to see a generic Stormtrooper or a Rebel Alliance trooper included in place of Chirrut Îmwe. Perhaps he could instead have appeared in 75154 TIE Striker which lacks any of the major characters even if the main characters met Chirrut and witnessed his impressive fighting skills on Jedha, where we see this tank for the first (and final) time. Nevertheless, this is a truly fantastic set and I highly recommend it.

Interested in buying this set? Check it out at the link below:
http://amzn.to/2k9FT1i