LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector’s Series Snowspeeder 75144 [Review]

The T-47 airspeeder, adapted for cold weather use on Hoth, is the most memorable Rebel vehicle introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, and has been a staple of the LEGO Star Wars theme. Commonly called the Snowspeeder, this hardy little two-man craft first appeared in LEGO form in 1999, with more than a dozen variations since across a variety of scales. The latest iteration is also the largest, and the Ultimate Collector’s Series 75144 Snowspeeder packs a massive 1,703 pieces. As we announced last month, it costs $199.99 USD and is set to premiere on May the 4th (aka Star Wars Day).

75144 Snowspeeder

Like other recent UCS sets, the Snowspeeder includes a stand, information placard, and two minifigure pilots. The displayed ship comes in at 16 inches long, 12″ wide, and 9″ tall (41 x 30 x 23 cm).

75144 Snowspeeder

Let’s see how the Snowspeeder stacks up.

The box

The box is appropriately large for a $200 set, and includes lots of callout images on the back showing various features.

75144 Snowspeeder

The box has little wasted space inside, stuffed full with 13 numbered bags, a loose oversized plate and tile, and a sealed bag holding the hefty instruction book and stickers.

75144 Snowspeeder

The instruction book is softbound, but the wide pages allow it to lay open easily.

75144 Snowspeeder

At 299 pages long, there’s more than enough room for some extensive background info, as is traditional with UCS sets. In addition to the basic facts about the source material and model, there are interviews with the model designer, graphic designer, and art director.

75144 Snowspeeder

The sizable sticker sheet covered in the model’s 31 stickers.

75144 Snowspeeder


The build

Diving into the 462-step build, we start with a sturdy Technic frame surrounding the 2×2 hole that serves as the mounting point for the stand. This is rock solid, created with a Plate, Modified 4 x 4 with 2 x 2 Cutout (element 64799) stacked with box-shaped Technic beams. The hole is just aft of the rear gunner, giving the mounted model a great aggressive positioning. This portion also includes the first of many fins, cleverly created with minifigure hose nozzles with triangular flags attached. These fins surround the lower landing gear on the snowspeeder’s bottom.

75144 Snowspeeder

There are a few steps where I spotted two elements being used instead of a single larger one; in one instance, I noted two 1×3 plates laid end to end, even though a 1×6 plate in the same color had been used a few steps before. While it’s theoretically possible there could be exigent circumstances for this, a cynic might observe that tweaking just a few parts to push the model over that 1,700-piece total could have favorable marketing implications.

By the end of the second bag, the cockpit is beginning to take shape, incorporating Mixel ball joints along the edges to hold the lower halves of the wings.

75144 Snowspeeder

In bag 3 are found some of the only printed elements in the set: three 2×2 slopes printed with a new generic control panel. One is placed in the pilot’s console, while the gunner receives the other two. The only other printed elements in the set are the minifigures and the classic light grey 1×2 tiles with a Star Wars computer pattern, introduced way back in the original X-Wing set in 1999.

75144 Snowspeeder

Additionally, the pilot receives a pair of 1×2 slopes stickered with unique computer screens. Handles on either side of the seat are created with submachine gun elements pointed barrel down, while a pair of binoculars makes other details.

75144 Snowspeeder

The mechanism for the moving harpoon gun is integrated early in the build. It’s a simple design, consisting of a solid axle with gears for a 90° turn to the harpoon mount. The second grey 8-tooth gear that’s sandwiched between the yellow and dark tan plates simply adds friction to the system.

75144 Snowspeeder

To mesh the angled windows and roof, the upper housing for the canopy incorporates some nifty techniques which are a bit unorthodox to see in an official model. There’s no wiggle room in the design, and everything slots together with a satisfying certainty once aligned properly, becoming firmly locked into place.

75144 Snowspeeder

Moving forward, we build the complex angles on the nose. The simple solution to constructing panels with compound angles? Use Mixel ball joints. When initially attached, the panels wobble freely, but once the wings are attached they become solidly stationary. Here we also see a few of the many minifigure ice skate elements, which are used extensively on the underside for great little radiator details. All told, the snowspeeder uses 20 of the ice skates.

75144 Snowspeeder

Here’s that fin technique from bag 1 again, adding detail deep within the wings. While not strictly necessary, it’s details like this that help set a UCS model apart as a higher quality build. The finished detail is barely visible if you look in just the right spot between the upper and lower wing halves, but you’d likely never notice if it weren’t there.

75144 Snowspeeder

By the end of bag 6, the T-47 is really taking shape, and the minifigures, placard, and stand are in place. The massive informational sticker is applied across a single 8×16 tile. I first had the nerve-wracking experience of applying an enormous info-plaque sticker back in 2000 when I purchased the UCS TIE Interceptor (7181). In that set, the sticker was applied across a series of 1×8 tiles. I’m disappointed, however, to note that although the intervening 17 years have brought improvements to nearly ever other facet of UCS builds, we’re still relegated to carefully applying a postcard-sized sticker with a do-or-fail single attempt requiring rock-steady hands.

The lower wing halves connect to the body with the Mixel ball joints we saw earlier and are held in place with a single rubber band on each side.

75144 Snowspeeder

Each wing is, naturally, a huge swatch of stacked plates. Each of the two wings are identically mirrored (save for a single element added to the right wing), but the build doesn’t feel overly repetitive.

75144 Snowspeeder

As we move on to the engines, I came across an annoying error. The intake vent stickers which decorate the wing elements on the engine fronts are the wrong size for the piece. The angles don’t match the part, so either you can tilt the sticker to get it all on the piece, or you can align it properly and have it overhang slightly. Interestingly, the instruction manual seems to show this disparity, as the sticker depicted in the manual doesn’t match the element angles either.

75144 Snowspeeder

The iconic rear cooling fins are made with stacked 4×4 tiles, and have various details nestled among them, including a number of vehicle bumper elements. Here you can also see one of the flat silver 1×2 rails (element 32028). They’ve previously appeared in 3 other sets in 2016, but you’ll get 18 here.

75144 Snowspeeder

And of course, there’s the new windscreen. 6×8 studs at the bottom, it slopes to 6 studs at the top, matching the classic 1x2x3 slopes. It’s almost a shame to apply the requisite 5 stickers to it.

The 2x10x3 side windows (element 24607) will also be new to many builders. They’re a redesign of the old 3x10x3 windscreen (element 2694), making them a stud shallower. The updated element first began appearing last year in the 10242 Mini Cooper (although that set has been available for years, the set number for the updated version remains the same). It’s also appeared in the 10252 Volkswagen Beetle.

75144 Snowspeeder


The model

At last, the finished model. The ship looks the part well. There’s no denying that this is a spitting image of the Incom T-47 Snowspeeder. Although it’s subtle, the laser barrels gently angle in, moving just a few studs over the length of the barrel. It’s not immediately obvious, but it’s a fantastic detail.

75144 Snowspeeder

75144 Snowspeeder

The front targeting sensors are made with a series of grille tiles, while the homing sensors are stickers.

75144 Snowspeeder

The cooling fins look terrific. They’re constructed as two sub-assemblies, with each attaching via a pair of Technic pins. Here you can also see the lower air brakes on either side of the cooling fins.

75144 Snowspeeder

While the underside is naturally less detailed, there’s still plenty of little details.

75144 Snowspeeder

The front landing gear is a tiny retractable skid, attached with a click hinge. The rear gear is a pair of double-inverted grey slopes, visible at the bottom the image. With the front gear extended, the snowspeeder can sit neatly on a flat surface, with full clearance all the way around.

75144 Snowspeeder

The airbrake flaps can be lowered manually, and the piston elements extend and retract along with them.

75144 Snowspeeder

The underside of the front gives another view of the Mixel ball joints being used for the complex angling.

75144 Snowspeeder

There’s a bit of greebling around the forward laser activator mounts and beneath the upper airbrake flaps.

75144 Snowspeeder

The upper airbrake flaps are raised and lowered manually by turning the engine nacelles.

Oddly, I kept expecting a cheese slope to be placed on the engine housing to finish the slopes. It’s missing on both the inner and outer sides of the housing, and seems a glaring oversight. The outer one is missing intentionally, because it would interfere with the flap opening mechanism, but there’s no similar issues the inner one. Fortunately, this is easily fixable. I suggest fishing out a pair of white cheese slopes and correcting this, as I did in the image below.

75144 Snowspeeder

The new, wide canopy provides plenty of visibility for targeting Imperial walkers. Now if only we had a UCS AT-AT set….

75144 Snowspeeder

The canopy swings up, giving access to both seats. The strong click hinge holds the canopy’s weight well, allowing it to stay open at any of the three intermediate steps between closed and fully vertical.

75144 Snowspeeder

75144 Snowspeeder

The sole non-mirrored element on the wings, seen with an orange sticker here, is also surprisingly inaccurate. That slope is a small vent, but the model lacks a sticker on the vertical front of that slope showing the intake vent. I could think of several brick-built solutions that would work here as well.

75144 Snowspeeder

Moving the joystick on the harpoon targeting computer moves the harpoon gun back and forth. The targeting computer is an inverted 2×2 tile with a sticker.

75144 Snowspeeder

The harpoon gun uses a series of Technic pins and other small bits, including two minifigure roller skates.

75144 Snowspeeder

The stand is simple and very sturdy, made of Technic beams. The vertical portion can adjust to two positions, one with the model perfectly level, and the other with it canted toward the stand’s front. The snowspeeder can balance on the stand facing any of the cardinal directions. If you prefer to display your snowspeeder with the stand reversed (say, to point the ship out and up), you can do that too, by turning the display stand around and attaching the placard to the other side, where attachment points are provided. The plates holding the minifigures would have to be adjusted as well, but that should be a trivial alteration.

75144 Snowspeeder


The minifigures

As LEGO has done since the 2011 Super Star Destroyer (10221), minifigures are included even though the model is a different scale. Two Rebel figures in orange flightsuits are the offer here, and are simply named Rebel Snowspeeder Pilot and Gunner on the box. I can identify Zev Senesca in the pearl dark grey helmet, but I’m unsure which character the gunner represents. Perhaps a more knowledgeable reader can name him in the comments. Regardless, there’s very little new here. The figures are identical except for the helmets, and the torso, legs, and double-sided head have all appeared in other sets. The arms gain a new print to help make these characters unique, and while it’s cool, I can’t help but feel that LEGO cheaped out. That a $200 Ultimate Collector’s Series set doesn’t even have unique — let alone new — heads for the pilots is more than a bit disappointing.

75144 Snowspeeder

Zev’s pearl dark grey helmet looks great, though. The arm printing is nice, but why these exclusive minifigures are forced to share a head is a mystery.

75144 Snowspeeder


Conclusion & recommendation

Comparisons to 2003’s 10129 Rebel Snowspeeder are inevitable. While the old model was remarkably accurate, especially compared to other Star Wars models of the time, the new Snowspeeder is undeniably even more accurate. The canopy is perhaps the biggest change; with the addition of the new canopy element, the shaping is spot on. While the nose on the old craft was made of stacked slopes, the finished effect worked well. It’s hard to say the new nose design isn’t better, but by how much is matter up for argument. If you already own the 2003 version, this new design isn’t likely to tempt you as much.

10129 Rebel Snowspeeder from 2003

But before you get out your pitchforks to storm Billund for rehashing old material, remember that it’s been 14 years since that first UCS snowspeeder. Just because you were collecting LEGO back in 2003 doesn’t mean everyone was, and there’s an entire generation of LEGO fans who’ve never had a chance to purchase a UCS snowspeeder for a reasonable price. As we noted in our announcement, just a few months ago the 2003 version was selling for around $900 used, or nearly two grand for a sealed copy. At a mere 10% of that price, many fans are happy to finally have a chance to acquire this iconic vehicle. The release of the new snowspeeder is naturally dropping the bottom out of the original version’s market rapidly, which is bad news for resellers, but great news for fans who just want cool LEGO models of their favorite Star Wars ships.

And make no mistake: this is a very cool model. Like many of the best Star Wars vehicles, the snowspeeder is entrenched in an industrial aesthetic. But what it lacks in smooth curves and flowing lines it makes up for in rugged utility and aggressive demeanor. The price may cause some to hesitate, and it’s a fair criticism to note that the price is higher than average, ringing in at $0.117 per piece, approximately 17% more expensive than the “average” price-per-piece for LEGO sets. However, as any grade-school mathematician can tell you, having an average usually implies some things are below average and some are above. There have always been sets that exceed the 10-cents-per-piece expectation, and as long as they’re solid sets, we tend to forgive them. At $199 for a 1,703-piece set that builds a killer model, this one definitely counts as a solid set.

Plus, it’s the best Rebel vehicle from The Empire Strikes Back, which is the best Star Wars movie.  And who doesn’t want that?

75144 Snowspeeder

The LEGO Star Wars 75144 UCS Snowspeeder will be available May 4 for $199.99 USD.


The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

12 comments on “LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector’s Series Snowspeeder 75144 [Review]

  1. Brad

    Good eye on Zev Senesca! The yellow chevrons on the helmet match the character’s helmet, too. There is a mention on Wookieepedia that a Kit Valent was Zev’s gunner for the Battle of Hoth, so maybe the gunner is Kit.

    That said, based on the card image for the Decipher Star Wars CCG, Rogue 2 had some visible mechanical details on its starboard side, like panels had been removed, so this model probably doesn’t represent Rogue 2 specifically. That says to me that the gunner could be a different character, too.

    And, before anyone asks, I did fall in a small rabbit hole here. :)

  2. The Anonymous Hutt

    Great review! I appreciate it more than some of your other reviews because I actually collect Star Wars Lego! However, there is one part of your article I don’t understand:

    “The sole non-mirrored element on the wings, seen with an orange sticker here, is also surprisingly inaccurate. That slope is a small vent, but the model lacks a sticker on the front showing any intake vent. I could think of several brick-built solutions that would work here as well.”

    I assume that you are referring to the orange sticker on the slope piece? I believe that this sticker represents not a vent, but a snowspeeder unit identifier, just like on the X-Wings. Red One, Red Two, Red Five, etc. They each have a certain number of stripes. Based off of the quoted portion of the review, I can only assume that you believe this sticker was a vent. Is this true? If I am missing something something entirely, be sure to let me know as I have made these kinds of mistakes before. :P

  3. Chris Post author

    The Anonymous Hutt: Glad you enjoyed the review!

    To answer your question: I should have made it more clear that I was referring to the front, vertical end of the slope, not the sloped back with the orange sticker. According to my reference material, the front of that little protrusion is some sort of intake vent. I feel a sticker, or perhaps even better, a bracket with a grille tile, would have looked better there than the solid white face. It’s visible on any reference images showing the right side of the snowspeeder, but particularly obvious here:

    http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/0/0d/Snowspeeder.png/revision/latest?cb=20161110010008

  4. Gedeon Maheux

    Looks great but in my opinion LEGO shouldn’t re-release existing models until all the major vehicles have been touched. It’s been over a decade and I’m STILL waiting for the A-Wing to be released. Give me that then you can refine, refine, refine. This just makes me grumpy.

  5. Smullie_1138

    Great review, very tempted to purchase it on release!

    About the stickers, I wonder if it would make a big difference without applying them. Although sometimes they are a necessary evil, I tend to not apply them on my sets. Especially on sloped pieces they appear not to hold their own after some time (10188 detention block, I’m looking at you).

    How did it fair with the sloped pieces in this set. Would you recommend applying all of the stickers?

  6. Ryan

    Great review. I’m so happy about this set being re-released. As you state in your review, there are lots of SW Lego fans that started collecting after this set was first released. I started my collection in 2008 and this set has been a hole in my collection. I’ve come close a couple of times to spending several hundreds to buy on eBay but have not pulled the trigger. Glad I waited! May the 4th be with you!

  7. brickplate

    Gedeon: there have been at least four versions of the A-Wing already released. Unless you mean a UCS version? In which case, I concur. The B-Wing UCS set was actually one of their
    best UCS models, IMHO.

  8. Chris Post author

    Smullie_1138: Great question. I’m not a fan of stickers at all, but I apply them because it’s unfair to review a set without actually building it the way it is on the box.

    I think the model would suffer a bit without at least some of the stickers. The really important ones are the white stripes on the side windows, the engine intake vents, and the homing sensor sticker on the lower nose. And, of course, the UCS info placard. The rest probably won’t significantly alter the look of the model.

    That being said, if you intend to get this as a display model, I’d recommend applying all the stickers. As a display model just sitting there, you may as well apply the stickers, and if some end up peeling, you can take them off. But there’s no point in leaving them on the sticker sheet just because you’re worried they may end up peeling eventually.

  9. mortesv

    Great review!

    In the beginning your mention this set to be the largest iteration of the snowspeeder. That is not 100% correct – the 10129 was larger in terms of dimensions :)

  10. Rob

    I don’t mind that this has been re-released per se, what bothers me is that this craft only has appeared in a single film, and it hasn’t even been a recent one.

    There are SO many worthy options available which actually appear in recent films – not limited to the awesome AT-AT (Rogue One). This is yet another example of Lego re-releasing previously released sets (Death Star, Sandcrawler, X-wing) with few NEW UCS sets in recent times. When’s the Tantive IV re-release, incidentally? That’s even older than the Snowspeeder…and was also in Rogue One.

  11. Smullie_1138

    @Chris, thanks for replying. I’m really excited for this set and I think you’re right about the application of the stickers. As a display piece, they would certainly improve the model on it’s whole. Scared already about applying that huge display sticker haha.

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