When we heard the latest instalment of LEGO’s UCS series was going to be the A-wing Starfighter (75275), we couldn’t wait to pick up the new UCS set. Of course once Light My Bricks fans heard the news as well, they couldn’t wait to get their hands on a corresponding light kit also!
The requests streamed in and our Customer Service team was inundated with the same question posed in several different ways - “are you guys going to design a light kit for the A-wing?!”
Copy, Gold Leader!
We were fortunate enough to get an early release of the build and the first thing we noticed was the extremely slick box packaging. It really emphasises the ultimate collector series feeling, even more so than other UCS kits like the very popular UCS Millennium Falcon. The shifts are subtle, but this points to LEGO really listening to their fan base and producing more builds that are appealing to adults. Not just kids stuff these days! Also interesting to note, that this is the first UCS kit to warrant an 18+ difficulty rating.
While we’re not sure the build itself isn’t appropriate for a particularly clever kid, it goes to show once again LEGO has the adult consumer in mind. Hopefully, this means we get more UCS sets, released more frequently in the future!
We had a blast building this kit (no pun intended). The stickers for the canopy were a little tricky, but we got there! (hey, our thing is wires, not stickers, give us a break!).
Overall the build looks and feels awesome, especially on that sturdy display stand. More on that later.
As far as the UCS series goes, the A-wing is comparable to the UCS Y-wing (75181) in terms of LEGO pieces involved (1673 and 1967 respectively) and construction time (roughly 5 hours each, all up).
What we find interesting speaks more to the design of the original starfighters themselves, with the Y-wing featuring more exposed pipes, wires and hardware toward the rear engines, this gave LEGO the opportunity to emphasise detailing.
Whereas the A-wing features a more enclosed, aerodynamic design (it is the fastest starfighter in the fleet after all!) LEGO’s final build definitely has a more ‘polished’ feel, with fewer studs exposed and more smooth, flat surfaces with unique LEGO pieces included in the set.
One approach certainly isn’t superior to the other but may influence a particular LEGO collector, depending on individual taste. On to the lighting process!
Now while the A-wing is the fastest starfighter in the galaxy, this certainly wasn’t the fastest kit to design!
We really took our time with this one, adding lights and then subtracting after deciding on a more subtle kit overall. Sometimes it’s tempting to add a light to every possible position available but to reflect the design of the ship itself we elected to tone this one down.
Obviously the lighting heroes of this kit are those two enormous back jets. It might surprise many LMB fans out there to know that lighting the jets posed a bit of a challenge to the design team.
“Whaddaya mean? they’re jets! whack a bit light in them and you’re good to go!” I know right? Except due to the twin-barrel design of the jets, our standard bit lights just weren’t quite strong enough to shine through both cylinders properly.
The problem was solved by our team using Large Bit Lights instead and placing 4 of them inside the centre axle.
Side note, the only other UCS light kit to feature Large Bit Lights is the UCS Imperial Star Destroyer kit, so you know the A-wing jets mean serious business!
Next order of business had to be those mean-looking laser cannons and concussion missile launchers! We felt our traditional Gun Effects Board was the right component to provide a realistic firing effect. Our standard red bit lights shine nicely through those dark red 1 x 1 round brick barrels.
Taking a page out of LEGO’s playbook, this time around we listened to our fans who we now know, would be displaying this piece rather than playing with it. We wanted to appropriately light the UCS LEGO display signage. After trialling a few different approaches we all agreed that the classic Strip Light was the way to go.
Like I mentioned earlier, compared to some of our other Star Wars kits, this one is a little more low key which we think fans will appreciate. Check our demonstration video below and while you’re at it, head on over and leave a comment letting us know what you think! Catch you next time.