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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Space : Star Wars : Original Trilogy : B-Wing at Rebel Control Center

[Purchase Online at Amazon.com] 7180 - B-Wing at Rebel Control Center

Rating: 2 Stars
Pros: B-Wings are cool; the pilot is nice and unique
Cons: Too small; unnecessary accessories; horrid colors
Contents: 338 pieces including 2 mini-figs and a droid
Price: $29.99
Reviewed: 30-Jul-2000
Reviewed by: Gareth Bowler

7180 The Rebels where actually doing quite well when it happened. The nimble A-Wings and versatile X-Wings were decimating the TIE Fighter squadron, when suddenly the Imperial Corvette appeared out of Hyperspace with flash. Turbo-lasers blazed! There went Red Four! There went Gold One! There went Rogue Seven! The surviving Rebels fled like frightened rabbits! All except Tag Durlap, who opened his B-Wing's S-foils and rotated the cockpit into attack position, prepping a pair of proton torpedoes for launch...

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I think Star Wars Lego is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Many of these sets are more fun than their larger, plastic counterparts, which you can neither customize nor destroy in battle. These sets tend to build very differently from normal Lego sets, in that they contain fewer large, specialized or pre-printed parts, and are generally free from common space Lego design flaws, (like open cockpits and useless, dinky secondary vehicles) and usually have a very good piece-to-price ratio. Having established that I find these sets to be cooler than both normal Star Wars toys and normal Lego, let's move on.

The B-Wing is a little disappointing, but I'll discuss its good points first. This is an accurate Lego replica of one of the oddest starship designs ever. As long you don't compare it to the other sets in this theme, it's really a pretty good ship. The wings hinge on the same clicking hinges that adorn the X-Wing and TIE Fighter and the cockpit rotates around, always staying rightside up like on the Hasbro toy. The back of the main pod hinges open to reveal a small cargo area. This would be much cooler if the hinged part wasn't the back where the rockets are mounted. Opening it this way just makes it look like somebody stole the engine.

There aren't any unique or noteworthy parts here that aren't in the other sets, although this is the only one to come with black cannons and a shaded canopy. It comes with an odd number of large wing pieces, which really aggravates me since its quite difficult to incorporate all three into rebuilds. Rebuild potential is fairly low for the piece total, since the B-wing parts and the accessory parts don't integrate well.
The set also comes with a small, folding rebel command post and a maintenance vehicle of some kind. The only highlight here is the large computer display piece showing the Death Star moving around Yavin. Not that the Rebellion had B-Wings during that battle or anything...

The command post is really pretty lame. If you're going to build a command post, make it a separate set and flesh it out. Give it some walls and ceilings instead of just having it be the Rebel command gazebo. The large sliding doors are quite nice, but somewhat meaningless in the absence of walls. Lego really should've saved this idea for another set. The maintenance vehicle is nothing to write home about either. Itís like the one that comes with the X-Wing, but shorter and with an articulated arm that serves no real purpose except to make the whole thing tilt forward.

What's really grating about these two additions is that Lego could easily have left them out and instead beefed up the B-wing. It is WAY too small. The B-wing is supposed to be the Alliance's heavy bomber and their biggest fighter, but this model is very small and light and flimsy looking. The main wing is actually pretty flimsy...so much so that it droops if you leave the B-Wing parked on its side too long.
The other big downside is the color scheme. From far away it looks fine, but inspection reveals visible blue, red, tan, orange, brown, green, translucent orange and TRANSLUSCENT LIGHT BARF GREEN pieces on the B-wing. Who designed this? Colorblind monkeys? Many other sets have this problem (The A-Wing contains white, yellow, blue and black pieces) but luckily they remain hidden. Here they are out in the open and quite an eyesore.

Anyway, to wrap up, the B-wing itself is fairly cool, but it's not worth the thirty bucks you have to pay because of the added components. It's a fun and unique set, but compared to the rest of the ship sets in this theme it just doesn't cut the mustard. If you're a big Star Wars fan, pick it up by all means. However, if its a decision between this and the X-Wing, buy the X-Wing.

70 readers have rated this set as 3.71 out of 5 stars.
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