LEGO released its first wave of LEGO Star Wars Rogue One sets in October, but we’ve decided to wait until both our readers and we ourselves have had a chance to see the movie, released in most countries on December 16. We’ll be reviewing all of the current Rogue One sets, starting today with 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank, which includes 3 minifigs with 385 pieces and retails for $30.
Now that the movie is out, we’ll be talking about the movie’s characters and plot in our Rogue One LEGO set reviews, so come back and read our review later if you want to remain spoiler-free. But if you’re just interested in our recommendation now before you see the movie, this is a great value and I recommend the set heartily to any Star Wars fan.
The set comes in four numbered bags, with an 80-page instruction booklet spanning 133 steps.
Unlike many recent sets, the first bag includes the set’s hero minifig, the blind warrior-monk Chirrut Îmwe. Like most small to mid-sized LEGO sets geared toward the core 7-12 age range, the build is modular, with sections that correspond to the bags.
The first bag includes the parts for the tank’s main body, without the side sections or rear cargo deck. The flick-fire missile shooters are so well-integrated into the build that they’re one of the first bricks you place on the first plates.
It’s a mostly studs-up build, with Technic pin holes to attach future sections from subsequent bags.
The second bag includes the left-hand propulsion section, with its tensor field radiator channels attached as a sub-assembly. Like several of the Force Awakens LEGO sets, the hovertank includes clear Technic flywheels so that the vehicle can appear to levitate (but more on this point later).
The third bag — you guessed it — adds the mirror-image right section, and the tank begins to come together. Bag 3 also includes both of the Imperial tanker minifigs. Both side sections have plenty of detail, including the sponson-mounted laser cannons, and they’re small enough that the pair don’t feel particularly repetitive to build.
The fourth and final bag includes the rear cargo deck and orange kyber crystal transport crate, along with the rear radiator vanes.
The most interesting part of the build, from a technique standpoint at least, is the kyber crystal crate.
The crate is built studs-out, with a removable lid for storage. Obviously to prevent spoilers about the nature of the cargo (kyber crystals to power the Death Star’s primary weapon), the LEGO set designers didn’t include any LEGO crystals in the set. Instead, the lid opens and there’s room to store a blaster and a pair of macrobinoculars.
The finished model
First and perhaps most importantly, the vehicle in the movie is not a hovertank. According to DK’s Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, the TX-225 “Occupier” combat assault tank comes in two variants — a repulserlift version and one on conventional tracks. The Occupiers in service on Jedha were all GAVAw variants with tracks. (The nod to the GAVr repulserlift variant almost seems like an attempt by the author — head of story development at Lucasfilm — to retcon hovertank toys like this one back into the Star Wars universe.)
Of course, attempting to fit working continuous track into a set that’s pretty close to the right scale would have been essentially impossible for the LEGO designers, so it’s hard to fault the inaccuracy.
The tank has numerous play features, including the sponson-mounted laser cannons, which are integrated nicely into the propulsion sections with arches, and move up and down so Imperials can take out Rebels on terraces above street level.
The interior has space for both of the minifigs, seated behind each other. The forward angled plating doesn’t open on the movie vehicle, but opens so you can place the minifigs.
One major design failure is the roof hatch, which uses a standard 6×8 trapdoor mechanism. While it’s useful for placing the rear minifig, a significant plot point in the movie occurs when the tank commander in his cupola gets shot (preventing him from continuing to fire his antipersonnel blaster), but the old-style trapdoor precludes proper placement of the minifig. If the designers could do it for the Rogue One LEGO AT-ST (75153), I’m confident they could have found a solution here.
Commander cupola conundrums and GAVw/GAVr variant nerdery aside, the finished model looks pretty great, rolls nicely, has well-integrated missile shooters, and includes enough play features to keep the average 11-year-old kid (or 42-year-old Star Wars geek) amused for at least a few minutes.
The set includes three minifigs — Chirrut Îmwe and two identical tank crew Stormtroopers (presumably a driver or gunner and the commander). Chirrut Îmwe carries his lightbow, powerful enough to take down a TIE fighter, as well as his walking stick.
Chirrut’s robes are made from standard LEGO cloth, and wrap around his waist. His back is also fully printed, and he has a dual-sided head with alternate expressions.
The tank crew minifigs also have front and back printing, with a new helmet mold (as well as new designs for their torsos and legs). The head underneath the helmet is the current standard Stormtrooper head.
New Stormtrooper variants are always interesting, if you’re into that sort of thing, but the hero here is obviously Chirrut Îmwe, currently unique to this LEGO set.
Conclusions & recommendation
Like the AT-ST, this set is heavily underpriced for a Star Wars set, at only $30 for 385 pieces and three figs. It’s not a particularly challenging build, and there are certainly flaws in its design from an accuracy standpoint (like the missing tracks and commander’s hatch).
But overall this is actually quite a fun little set, with one of my new favorite Star Wars characters and a final model that’s fun to roll around. Plus, there’s good value for the money, particularly when the set is on sale for even less than $30.
This might not be your cup of tea (or bricks) if you’re not a Star Wars fan, given that there aren’t really any new or especially interesting parts in the set, but if you’ve come to accept your inner Star Wars geek as I have, I can heartily recommend 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank.