Block MOC Review – 1989 Batmobile

Block MOC Review – 1989 Batmobile

I was never much of a comic book fan as a kid, short of GI Joe and Transformers, I never got into the whole craze.

Growing up I was a huge movie fan though, and when the comic book movies started to hit in the late 80’s, I was the perfect age to get sucked into their wake.

When Batman dropped in 1989 it took the world by storm, and sadly though, the toy market at the time was non-existent when it came to building blocks.

Lego had no official license with anyone, they were still making 100% unique to them sets.

Flash forward into the 2000’s and they finally had some licenses to their name, and we started to see Star Wars enter the market, but there was still a huge hole for the comic fans.

That is until the last few years.

With the popularity of the Marvel movies, Lego jumped right in and got a peice of that lucrative pie.

It also though opened a door for the MOC community to start making more intricate sets around favorite franchises.

Thus enters the 1989 UCS Batmobile.

Coming in at 1740 pieces it is a decent sized set.

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A real plus is the numbered bag, it makes a build SOOOO much faster.

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The details in this set are pretty great, with the small printed parts as a real bonus.

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The set comes together in 3 parts, left wing, right wing and the center bat-pod.

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On one had this is kind of a neat idea, as it adds a little more movie flare to the set, but in reality, it just weakens the design a bit in my eyes.

You can feel when assembled it is not 100% structurally sound, as the side are just clipped in with 2 prongs to hold them.

One of my biggest complaints about the set though is the stickers.

In all my years building MOCs, I have never had a crappy set of decals.

I only ended up applying the small Bat logos, and even though look pretty cheap.

I had to cut them out myself as they were only large unpunched sheet.

All in all it is a nice showpiece set if you are into comic memorabilia.

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If you are Batman fan, you are not likely to find a better recreation of the 1989 Batmoblie, but just know going in there are a couple shortcomings.

A decent 7 / 10, had there been better structural design and stickers, this set could have been 10.

PC Game Review – The Pedestrian

PC Game Review – The Pedestrian

When The Pedestrian debuted with a trailer at E3 2018 I was instantly sold.

The style in this game was unlike anything we have seen before.

I knew immediately that this was a day one buy for me.

Then like most things, I completely forgot about it.

It wasn’t until it came out on Jan 28th, that a game site I go to mentioned its release.

I was shocked, how could this game have flown under the radar for more than 2 years now and suddenly appear out of thin air.

Don’t get me wrong, I love when things like that happen. There is not time to get over hyped, it just comes out and hopefully it is good.

And in this case, it is VERY good.

Now as most of you know I am a puzzle fiend.

I love physical puzzles and puzzle games.

The harder the better as I have a very keen intellect for solving them.

So for a game to stump me is rare, and to be fair, I try to review puzzle games with the reading in mind, because quite frankly, none really challenge me much.

Sadly, Pedestrian is no different.

While it was extremely enjoyable, it was also only a mere 3 hours long, because 98% of the puzzles I just breezed through.

I can easily see though how folks would get stumped.

A lot of the game is designed around thinking 5 steps ahead.

Looking at a whole puzzle, and planning things out from beginning to end in one shot.

This can be a little much for some people.

I have exceptional spacial skills for puzzles like this, so it is no surprise that the were on the easy side.

But do not let that dissuade you from playing The Pedestrian, The Pedestrian is a very clever game set in a style we have not seen before in any game.

You play through the world by traversing from sign to sign, all with the bustling world in the background as a blurred set piece. For it is really not the focus of the game, but it does breath life into the world you are in on a meta scale.

The game primarily consists of fetch puzzles that have you retrieving an item, be it a spool of wire, a key, battery, etc.

You will need to navigate through increasingly complex puzzles until you reach the games amazing climax level.

The majority of the puzzles consist of figuring out how to navigate from sign to sign in a single flowing direction, you like signs together boy allowing you to pass from 1 door to another. The key is however you cannot change the path from door to door once you have walked through it, or else you reset the level and have to start over.

That is until later level, whereby you can “lock” a sign you are in, and make changes.

It is hard to put into words how it works, but it all feels very organic.

The game, while never telling you everything, unfolds in a very logical manner. With each successive add on to how puzzles are solved seeming natural in terms of progression.

However, this is not one of those puzzle games that makes a simple mind feel like a genius, you really do need to think logically and plan ahead to succeed. There is no hand holding, no brute forcing levels, you need to stop, look and put a plan into action.

It is a breath of fresh air in this sea of games that oft tend to be too easy, and really do not let you fail.

That said, you can never really “fail” in The Pedestrian, death has no penalty, and you can reset a level 1000x and there is no punishment for it. Just the satisfaction you will gain by continuing the journey.

While the graphics are nothing next gen, it is still a very beautiful world that they have designed here.

The game always feels fresh in where it takes you, right up to the final puzzle, each area unique, but at the same time familiar.

If you are looking for a fun new platform puzzler, look no further than The Pedestrian, you will be sure to enjoy it.

A fantastic 9/10, near perfect.

Block-off Review – Hogwarts Castle

Block-off Review – Hogwarts Castle

I have been a long time Harry Potter fan, yet one that is blasphemous.

I admit, I have never read the books.

I have always been more of a movie guy myself, so things like Harry Potter had a much broader appeal for me in film.

I feel in love with the story, the sets and costumes.

But most of all, I marveled at the Hogwarts school.

There was just so many cool things in the place and they captured that magic on screen perfectly.

So when Lego announced they were making a micro-figure scale school I was sold instantly.

What I was not sold on however was the price.

What sort of dark magic is this, Lego trying to shill its loyal followers for $500cdn for this set.

Sure I love Harry Potter, but seriously, that is more than half of a mortgage payment.

So in walked Lepin, with they block-off version, faithfully recreating the set, and in turn saving me tons of cash.

The set from Lepin ran me about $200 after conversion.

And it was money well spent.

The set is massive, coming in at over 6700 pieces

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Thankfully Lepin had the good sense to keep a numbered bag system.

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How I sort large sets like this is in spare grocery bags.

I will take usually 3 – 4 numbers and group them into one bag.

The castle had a total of 39 numbered section, so I split that out into 13 bags.

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Now before we get started here, I have to warn you, this set is HUGE, so big I currently do not have a place for it.

I vastly underestimated it, so if you are lacking shelf or flat surface space, you may want to consider skipping this one.

The set starts off humbly, with the dock

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But quickly gains ground (no pun intended)

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The build is divided into 2 parts, the main hall, and the secondary living quarters.

The details in this set are exquisite.

From the amazing stained glass

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To the small cathedral windows.

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From the classrooms

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To the chess sets and magical keyed door

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There is a TON of stickers in this set too, everything from fake windows to the flags of each of the houses

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Lego really paid attention to detail on this one, and Lepin did a masterful job copying it.

The set did however require a fair bit of kragle to make things work.

Primarily on the stained glass, the design is smart, but sadly there is so little to work with and click, that the pieces oft just fell out, so just a small dot of glue really helped.

Another complaint I read online, but didn’t encounter myself was that the main tower can be a real pain to get assembled.

I admit you have to use care in putting the top on, but all in all I didn’t find any struggle here.

On the interior the magical staircase is a nice touch.

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The build took a lot shorter than I would have expected for a 6000+ piece set, but a lot of it was in no small part to the numbered bags.

I clocked in maybe 12 hours max to put it all together, maybe even less. It all went up in a weekend.

The finished product though is a sight to behold.

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Something else to consider with this set as well, if you have the space, there is an amazing full addition coming in the next month or so, adding in another 19000!!!! bricks to it, to form the entire school.

https://lepinworld.com/shop/lepin-movie/moc-30884-hogwart-castle-epic-extension/#main

Though the price is extreme, you are getting close to 20k more bricks, and that is not including the original castle.

Not sure if I can justify the extension as I already don’t have room for the castle itself, but who knows.

All in all this was a fantastic build, one of the best I have ever done, and one of the best block-off sets on the market in my opinion.

A must have for Potter fans (if you have the room, as the set comes in at over 22” high, 27” wide and 16” deep.)

An easy 10/10 absolute perfection.

 

Mega Bloks Review – U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701

Mega Bloks Review – U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701

I am one of those weird anomalies in sci-fi.

I am both an avid Star Wars fan, as well as a Trekkie.

I grew up watching Star Trek TOS with my mom every Sunday morning, as she sipped her morning coffee from bed, I would come crawl in and watch the adventures of James T. Kirk and his cohorts.

Making their way through the galaxy to planets unknown, kicking alien ass, and wooing all the humanoid women he could.

When I was a teen, I feel in love with Star Trek all over again with The Next Generation. Following the exploits of Captain Picard and the gang, racing home from school to watch the reruns of my favorite episodes on Fox.

So it is of great surprise that I have dozens of Star Wars sets, but nothing til now of Star Trek.

Truth be told, it is a franchise that has seen a lot of toys and action figures, but up until a year ago had not had a single building toy.

Maybe because it has always come second to Star Wars, due to marketing, or fan base, who knows, it just has never been milked dry as Bantha like Star Wars has.

So it is not small surprise I had to run out and grab the Enterprise as soon as I saw it.

Now the odd thing is, it has been sitting here for almost 2 years now, waiting to be assembled finally.

I never had much room for it, as it is a huge ship, but to show my Star Trek pride, decided it should reside in my office downtown.

Now I have been out of the legitimate set racket for so long, I forgot what it is like to buy a retail version of something.

All my Chinese block-offs come in a super tightly packed box, taped up so tight you almost need a saw to get into them.

So when I opened up the Enterprise it was a real treat.

Full box art:

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And a fancy place for the manual even

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What it did lack however was a numbering system

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As this set clocked in over 3000 pieces, I had not choice but to do a rudimentary sorting job.

Once that was out of the way, I got onto the build which was surprisingly good for Mega Bloks.

My experience in the past has been mixed.

While the finished products tend to look nice, their clutch and build usually sucks.

That is NOT the case here.

The clutch on Mega now is almost too good.

My hands were red and raw by the time I finished.

The core of the ship is very solid, but it has to be, there is a lot of weight it needs to bear.

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The center is all one solid piece, and thankfully it is, as the set is a whopping 16lbs, most of which is contained in the saucer and engines.

The main body design did something I have never seen before, they used a pile of bricks to make a temporary stand for the ship while being assembled, so it would not keep tipping over.

So it is build in very tight and no glue was needed to make things hold.

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The engines sit on top of the solid posts, and are held in by gravity alone. They have slots in them that are well reinforced and show little worry of breaking

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The neck of the ship is designed to slot into the saucer once complete.

This is a clever design and works well to balance the weight of the saucer and keep it all solid. There is very little bend or movement in the ship when assembled.

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There are however a few snags in the design.

Sliding the neck of the saucer through the main base of the ship was horrible.

There is zero room for variance here, so if the bricks are even 1/100 of a mm too out of alignment, it will not slide though. I almost had to put it in a vice to compact it to slide it though

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Once it is in there though, there is zero chance it will be coming out unless completely disassembled.

The second challenge was the saucer.

The vast majority was straight forward, until you reach the command deck.

It is assembled separately, then put on in one chuck at the end.

But again, the uber clutch comes back to bite you in the ass.

You almost need a rubber mallet to hammer it on. By hands were in so much pain by the end of the build from pressing this together.

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And lastly, again we have a slotting issue.

The saucer fits nice and snug on the long neck, which again, offers zero room of error. it slid in about 75% of the way with ease, then once it was getting towards the end, bound down on bricks that were slightly out of alignment.

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This took a good 15 mins of playing with it to make it fit.

BUT Once together, she is a beautiful ship.

Unlike most Lego designs, it looks like a model.

Very little scream it is a building block, with lots of smooth surfaces and fancy finishes.

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The engines even light up when pressed

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If you are a trekkie like I am, you owe it to yourself to check this set out.

The can still be had for about $100 (they were 299 new when they came out), so snap it up before it is gone, because much like Lego, once they are retired the price goes through the roof.

A 10.10 for finished product, and a 7.5 for the actual frustration of the build.

Block-Off Review – Jurassic Park

Block-Off Review – Jurassic Park

As a teen I somehow missed the Jurassic Park boat.

No clue how it happened, just time and circumstances really, never saw it in the theater (and I was an avid movie buff) and only managed to watch it the day before Jurassic Park 2 hit theaters years later.

But from the moment I saw it, I was in love.

I, like most kids I imagine, was a huge fan of dinosaurs as a kid. I loved Land Before Time and just about any other dino-age movies there were.

But sadly over the years, the Jurassic franchise has been hit and miss, with the 2nd movie being a dismal outing compared to the first.

But with the recent resurgence of the franchise with Jurassic World, it is no small surprise Lego took the opportunity to strike and put out a behemoth of a set, capturing the iconic gates and the biggest bad ass dino to every walk the earth, the T-rex.

Unfortunately, even though I love Jurassic Park, I could not justify the $300 before tax price tag here in Canada.

And with the crash and burn of Lepin last year, it seem highly unlikely this set would be cloned.

Then out of the blue, close to Christmas time, the set showed up on all the reputable sites, for just around $100usd.

This made it an instant buy for me.

Coming in at over 3300 pieces, this is one of the larger non-UCS sets our there.

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Thankfully it is numbered.

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Now before we get into this, I wanted to mention that unlike any other set I have seen from Lepin / or their new company King / Queen / Jack, this set has 2 ways to assemble it.

The stock photos show a really crappy looking clone. Notice too how they cleverly disguise the full tail from view, so you cannot see it is missing parts. Cheeky!

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But they also include all the parts to make the set just like Lego, in a seperate step at the end.

It addresses the 2 main flaws, the look of the upper part of the door, and the missing 3 links from the T-Rex tail.

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HOWEVER

You will need to use the actual Lego instruction from their site, they can be found here for the T-Rex

Lego Official T-Rex Instructions

And here for the Gate

Lego Official Gate Instructions
I highly recommend these instructions as they are superior to the one provided by Jack.

The set starts with the T-Rex build, which is surprisingly good.

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I was a little skeptical of how this would stand on its own, and for the most part it does, you just have to be very careful when moving the legs as the Jack version doe not have a great clutch on the weird leg mechanism.

Can’t speak on if it is better or worse than the Lego variety, but it is not stellar.

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I did not know ahead of time that the tail was different, so when I hit this step I was pissed

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But after a little google-fu I came to find that the parts are actually here and that you can make the missing area with the above mentioned instructions.

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With the dino complete, it was time to move onto the gate.

Now that I knew I need the Lego instruction, I followed theirs exclusively going forward.

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This did however lead to a bit of confusion.

The bag numbers correspond to the Jack version only.

So there are back from the following section that may be needed in the previous section of the Lego guide.

It was not a show stopper, but worth noting, if you are missing some parts, open up the next section, they are likely there.

One wish I have is that Lego would have just committed to making this standard gates.

I get they wanted to make this more of a play-set, and to include some of the memorable parts of the movie in the set, but they are so small it is barely worth putting in, in my opinion

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The majority of us AFOL (adult fans of Lego) are not in this for the play value, and who buys a $300 set for their kids to play with?

So it is one of those odd design decisions we see from Lego time to time, like they will not just commit to making adult Lego, yet they try to make stuff with appeal to those of use with disposable income.

The set is a new 100% clone of the Lego variety with 2 small exceptions.

There is no mini raptor figure, and no broken eggs.

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A little disappointing as both were unique to the set, but this is often the case with the first run, i would not be shocked if in subsequent releases we see Jack include them.

With all that said, it is still an amazing set. The gate is slim enough to fit on a standard shelf too which I really appreciate as well.

It is hard to find beautiful sets that have a 10″ footprint.

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Mini figures on the other hand are hit and miss. Most of the mare good, but Malcolm is a little off, his head color is not matching his body, and his face seems a little zombie like compared to the Lego Variety.

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A solid 9.5/10, only missing a perfect due to Malcolm and the 2 missing parts, but still a must buy for Jurassic Park fans.

Block-Off Review – Classic Mustang

Block-Off Review – Classic Mustang

So when I was purchasing my batch of Lepin Star Wars replacement sets during the collapse of Lepin, I also opted to pick up a Tie Advanced from the same seller.

It was one of the few Lego sets I never owned, and though now may be the time with Lepin going under, I may never have a chance again.

Sadly the AliExpress seller had lied about their inventory.

They claimed everything on the site still listed was in stock and ready for immediate Well after 3 weeks and the set not shipping, and my constant chasing of them, they told me they cannot ship it as their batch was “damaged”.

I call BS here, they likely never had it and were trying to make a quick buck on panic buys.

So when I finally cornered them for a refund, they offered me any other set on the site instead, even if it cost more.

I had my eye on the Mustang for a while, but I have never collected Lego cars before, and while I am a fan of old 70’s muscle cars, I never really thought to get one in a building block variety.

But I am very glad I did.

The set is incredibly well designed and a very great recreation of a iconic piece of Detroit metal.

The set was very easy to assemble as it was properly numbered.

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Build time was only a couple hours max.

The attention to detail is amazing in this set, from the leather bucket seats

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To the unique Mustang tail lights

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From the classic Mustang grill

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To the elegant console

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One of my favorite aspects of this set though is it comes with a full conversion kit to make it either the classic car

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Or the tricked out powerhouse muscle car.

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Complete with jacked up rear suspension.

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Lego truly set the bar for car enthusiast sets with this model.

My hope is maybe we see them make a set annually like this, would love a 1969 Cuda, or a GTO Judge, maybe the classic Dukes of Hazard car. The possibilities are endless.

As for a Lepin set, this was very well made, clutch was perfect, stickers were good, and for the most part color matching was good, only 1 issue was present with the flat roof tiles that are printed.

Not a huge deal breaker, but up close it is noticeable.

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That was the only flaw I could fins in the set.

If you like Detroit metal as much as I do, do yourself a favor and pick this up, you will not be disappointed.

A near perfect 9 / 10

Block-Off Review – UCS B-Wing

Block-Off Review – UCS B-Wing

The last of my replacement sets is the UCS B-Wing.

The original Lego set I have cost me a mint about 3 years ago.

The B-Wing is my 2nd favorite ship in the Star Wars universe, and somehow when it came out in a UCS variety, I missed it completely.

So once it was retired, this $199 set rocketed up to $400 in just over a year out of production.

I sadly had not heard of Lepin at the time, and purchased one from Bricklink I believe, or maybe from Ebay.

The Lego build was great, but in keeping with the theme of removing my Lego ships and swapping them with Block-off, the time was ripe to jump on this.

Sadly due to a camera issue, I lost the first few pics from this review.

The set itself differs from Lego in that the bags are not numbered here. This one is not too surprising as the number system was just being introduce around this time period for Lego, and obviously Lepin was not copying them one to one at this time.

The build is a rather fun set to put together, as it is a very unorthodox ship to start with.

Fun side note, there is a Star Wars Rebels cartoon episode that showcases how the B-Wing came to be built in the first place, look it up if you are interested.

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The set comes together in a pile of different sections. The main center wing, the engine, left and right “stabilizer” wings and the cockpit.

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The original Lego version suffered a bit of a design flaw in the end of the main wing, the massive gun placement was very weakly attached to the set, oddly in the Lepin variety, that is not the case, it is still built the same, but for some reason the clutch is actually better than Lego here and it does not fall off or need kragle to hold it in place.

The cockpit has some cool elements as well, it is meant to spin 360 as the ship would rotate around it. The accomplish this by a cool 2 part design coupled together with tank tracks.

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The ship itself is rather large due to the majority being the massive wing that dominates the build, sitting about 18 inches tall on an angle, it is one of the larger ships available in the UCS fleet.

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All in a ll a fantastic set, fun to build, no missing parts and a beautiful showpiece, what more could you want?

A perfect 10/10 and a 100% clone of the Lego set.

Block-Off Review – UCS Tie Fighter

Block-Off Review – UCS Tie Fighter

So continuing with my collection replacement, I also grabbed a UCS Tie Fighter, and had much more success this time.

The Tie was near identical to the Lego variety, with one exception, there were not numbered bags.

Not a deal breaker as this is not a huge set, but it does add some time to the build for part finding.

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The build takes place in 3 parts, cockpit, left wing, right wing.

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The overall design is excellent, and like the Lego version, is very well assembled.

Clutch is great on this brand, so there was nothing loose throughout.

There was one issue however that is ever present with Lepin and other block-off.

Warping.

On longer part like those used in the wings, they have a slight bow to them.

Now as a single part, this is not a set killer.

But put them all together end to and, and the wings are noticeably bowed.

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Now on my shelf it is near imperceptible, but during the build it sticks out like a sore thumb.

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There was also a weird part alignment I have never experienced before.

The end cap in the stand, the part that slots into the base of the Tie, was molded incorrectly.

The little + in the middle was 45 degrees wrong.

So when slotted into the corresponding technic peg, it would not allow it to line up with the base brick.

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A real strange manufacturing error, and the first I have ever seen.

This was a decent build, rather simplistic in design, but never got boring.

Wing issues aside this is a nice display set.

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A decent 7 / 10 and only so low due to the brick warp issues.

Block-Off Review – UCS Slave 1

Block-Off Review – UCS Slave 1

So I have been slowly replacing my actual Lego collection with Lepin or other block-off brands now for 2 years.

As Lego holds it value, I have been putting them aside to sell another day.

So when Lepin fell last year I jumped on a few remaining sets before they were gone, because we had no idea if or when Lepin would come back ot the surface.

This was both a great idea, and a bad idea.

Had I actually taken the time to assemble them when I picked them up last spring, I could have rectified a huge issue I had with the Slave 1.

Color matching.

What I presume happened here, and mind you, this is just conjecture, is that when Lepin went under, some places threw together some sets to get them out the door, not caring if things were right, or if some stuff was missing.

Enter, the Slave 1.

The whole set uses dark red bricks, but for some reason, 3 major brick parts were given out in bright red, by contrast, this looks like total crap.

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So sadly I had to order these parts, and they ended up costing me about $20 all told as I had to use 3 separate sellers and pay shipping three times.

But I digress.

On to the review!

So unlike the Lego variety of this set, there bags are not numbered.

This too was unusual.

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Typically if Lego has something numbered, so does Lepin, thus furthering my beleif this set may have been cobbled together by the seller.

As the set was not huge, it was not a major setback, but anytime a set is not numbered, it will increase your build time by a couple hours while you search for parts.

Other than those 2 issues, the set itself was identical to the Lego Slave 1.

It is a well thought out build, and very solid

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Halfway through though, I ran into yet another issue, a few missing bricks.

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Not show stoppers, the 2 angled pieces are inside and cannot be seen, so there is no worry skipping them.

The little ones on the other hand are directly needed to attach other parts to.

Luckily I had a couple from other builds spare.

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The set does include stickers, and they are well made, on par with Lego here.

This is a fun build to do all in all. Lots of cool design elements.

Had there not been so many issues this would have been a fantastic set.

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I cannot fault Lepin here, so it wont affect the final score, but be sure to buy from a reputable dealer and not some fly by night company on AliExpress like I used.

As I rule I only ever use my 2 main dealers, but due to stock shortage I had no other choice in the matter.

End of the day, this is a great set for UCS collectors who want to save a pile of cash.

A Solid 9/10 and a great display piece.

Block MOC Review – The Monarch

Block MOC Review – The Monarch

So it is no small surprise to me 3 regular readers, that I am a bit of a Star Wars fanatic.

So it should come as no shock at all, that when one of the largest brick sets ever made by the Chinese block-off community dropped I would be on it like white on rice. HA!

I had been eagerly awaiting The Monarch since about Sept 2019. The big (only by piece count) brother to this ship came out in the fall, and though similar to the Monarch, it has a full interior.

Since I only intended for this to go up on a shelf for all of eternity, it made little sense to waste an additional few hundred bucks on a ship that had an interior, especially when in my opinion, the Monarch looks better overall.

So I snapped it up the first chance I had in mid-January, right before the Chinese New Year shutdown occurred.

When the set arrived I was a little worried, for the first time since I have been ordering from China, the box cam badly damaged.

I had actually been re-taped by DHL as it had split one side completely in two.

My biggest worry here was could there be some missing parts? Unlike Lego sets, all these sets come jammed into a box as tight as possible, so if they pop open, they could go everywhere.

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I spoke to the seller and he assured me if anything was missing they would make it right, but on a set that is nearly 12000 pieces, it could be a week before I would notice anything missing, and even so, when looking through 12000 bricks to find a single piece you may need, it can take a while, and who knows if it is even here.

Luckily he had a suggestion, the box weighed 13.95kg. He suggested I weigh the set and see if it is the same, if it is, then nothing should be missing.

Thankfully he was correct, and it indeed did come complete.

So first off, this box is HUGE, I propped up a brick puller for scale, but this by far the largest set I have ever seen packaged.

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So after cracking the package open, in true “Lepin” style, the pile was infinitely bigger out of the box, than in the box, taking up over half the kitchen table (that is over 10 ft long)

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Even the manuals are massive, if I had to guess, combined they are about 5 lbs.

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Since this is a MOC, there was sadly no numbered bags to speak of. They are technically numbered, but those numbers mean nothing, I think it is simply a way the factory sorts them.

So unfortunately this meant having to resort to the old “tupperware” method.

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When doing MOCs I try and keep things how they were packaged, this has always made the most sense, as bricks tend to be packaged in a logical grouping. So while bricks may not be in the same step in the same cup, they do tend to group with each other on some level.

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Another method I have seen used but I do not employ is the true sorted method, whereby you would put each group of like pieces together, a full 100% sort.

This in my opinion is a colossal waste of time, you would likely be looking at half a day just getting things sorted into their own groups. Time I would rather spend building personally.

So with everything sorted it was on to the frame.

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The base is incredibly well made, solid and even uses a lot of tricks I see in the engineering world

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If I was a betting man I would say the creator (OneCase) has some sort of structural engineering background.

The base frame is a little deceptive in its size, as once it is complete, it is not the overall length of the set.

For that dimension you need to finish the skirting on the left and right sides.

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Another nice touch is the docking bay below the ship, it is build right into the base to add to the stability of it.

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Now there is a true sense of scale here, and a realization I may have a set bigger then I can accommodate in my display room.

Next up was the massive bottom panels

They too are very well designed. The use of the flat bricks a really give the ship that model like quality.

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They are almost too big for the build space

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I wish I had taken a pic of the connection method, because it was perfect, the panels use 5 techic rods to attach to the frame on the outside, and another 2 on the under belly, plus and additional 4 connection points along the bottom.

This made things rock solid and line up with ease, though it did take the help of my wife to hold the panel while I inserted the rods.

When complete the bottom looks almost seamless

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The docking bay is showcased nicely and would look great lit up.

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Once the base is done the back of the ship gets finished.

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I screwed up here in my build and it cost me a fair amount of time and frustration.

The upper and lower back panels are suppose to be assembled in pairs.

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I did not see this, I only made one of each, left and right, and presumed that the upper 2 would come into place once the top two panels were ready, this however was not the case.

They all should have gone in together at the end of book one.

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With the back out of the way, it is on to the 2 massive top panels.

There went together in a similar manner to the bottom, very flat and smooth.

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The side cannons were a real unique design that I am not too sure if I like.

When fully assembled they look decent, but they just seem a little flimsy compared to the rest of the build.

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The finished top is very well detailed.

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From here on out it is just layers on a cake.

Each was pretty straightforward though a little tedious and time consuming.

The steps in the remaining sections were a little grindy by the end, so many just require one of two small parts.

This took forever to search for, as there were space over 20 different containers typically.

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To finish out the build was the 3 mini ships.

This is the only part of the build that was a little weak.

The ships being so small are often held together with just a single little element.

Especially the blockade runner, which had a great look to it, but it is extremely fragile.

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That was it for the build, total time taking about 35 hours I guesstimate, I did not time it, but it seems about right, took me just over a week, building every eve and through 1 weekend.

But the finished product is a sight to behold.

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No major hiccups or errors, only a couple steps that specified one length of brick but required another. Careful reading with make these evident.

Only a couple pain points for that required kragle as well.

The dome under the ship would not stay on, it is well designed, but the gravity of the panels apply a bit too much pressure to the dome and it kept popping off, so a small dot of glue here fixed the issue.

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The only other spot of contention was the nose of the ship. I like my points to line up, and originally they did not, they left panel was a bit warped it seemed, so to rectify this I took some grey sewing thread and made a loop around the front.

Unless you are less than 1ft away you cannot tell at all

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Lastly, there was a TON of spare parts on this one. They give you close to 100 tool sheets, with 9 parts each, the entire build only require 1 part from each sheet, and a couple spare wrenches. So the other 900 odd pieces are spare.

Not sure if they count the sheet or each piece for the total part count in the set.

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All in all not a set for the faint of heart (and those lacking in space) as it is a very time consuming and at times tedious build.

But if you are looking for the best ISD on the market today, the Monarch is it, and at less than 50% of what Lego is charging for their far inferior model.

A solid 10/10, no questions asked.