Star Wars is notorious for its level of detail and worldbuilding that we barely notice at times. Things like a background character or a vehicle that appears for a split second have extensive Wookieepedia articles. Many of these elements receive backstories from writers of the extended universe. And many of them return to the forefront of newer Star Wars media due to popular demand. For example, the Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighter – as built by Pande (Malen Garek) appears at the end of Revenge of the Sith for a few seconds. Yet, its striking unique silhouette piqued the interest of many vehicle-oriented fans. Many LEGO builders built their own version of this starfighter despite not being very well known.
You could say that the V-wing is essentially an evolutionary step between the Delta-7 Jedi Starfighter and the TIE Fighter. Its sleek arrowhead shape and bladelike wings are tough to get right considering looks and structure. You either make it too skinny and it falls apart, or you make it too thick. Pande found the balance between the two in a beautiful clean finish and sharp angles. I particularly like the usage of tall slopes to make the front wedges and throwing in a little dark grey for greyscale colour variation.
Say what you will about the Star Wars prequels, Naboo is a planet that everyone agrees is beautiful. Inspired by its appearance in 2017’s Battlefront II videogame, Belgian LEGO Star Wars YouTuber Axidroid spent eight months building a Clone Wars battle scene in the streets of Theed. With 121 minifigures, with most of them being from the popular 501st Battlepack, there are also custom vehicles such as the Gunships, AAT tank, and AT-RT walker. While large Star Wars dioramas are not uncommon, the 140cm by 77cm size dwarfs the largest LEGO Star Wars set, the UCS Imperial Star Destroyer, which is 110cm by 66cm.
While the size of this build is impressive, the real kicker is at nighttime. Using Christmas LED lights inside the buildings and street lamps, Axidroid lights up the Theed plaza into a lovely atmospheric scene. The battle droids and clone troopers now look like they’re lined up for an evening festival, and bring the Mediterranean setting of Naboo even closer to home.
Axidroid even documented his 8-month long build process in a YouTube video series. In the finale below he shows off all the details in the expansive build.
One of the coolest new vehicles introduced by the Star Wars prequel trilogy in my opinion is the 6-legged walker known as the All-Terrain Tactical Enforcer or AT-TE. Not only is it too low to the ground to trip up with tow cables, but it’s packed with guns, including a massive top-mounted heavy cannon. Jason Allemann has built a remarkably detailed model that not only looks great, but it can also walk on its own.
But the fun doesn’t stop here. You can build one of your own with these instructions provided by Jason, and if you are really ambitious, you might even put yours on a vertical cliff face to re-enact the scene from the Clone Wars animated movie.
And if you want your own Ahsoka Tano, this year’s 75283 Armored Assault Tank includes a gorgeous Ahsoka minifig along with an awesome “Ahsoka Trooper”.
The recent release of the 501st battlepack has taken LEGO Star Wars fans by storm. Many bought multiple sets containing the fan-favourite clone troopers for collecting, army building, and for use in their builds. While many built scenes starring the 501st troopers, landscape artist First Order Lego already completed their most iconic and memorable battle. The Battle of Umbara is regarded as the best four-episode story arc of The Clone Wars and is enough to elevate the whole series to Star Wars fans’ favour. In these episodes, the 501st struggle against the natives, the landscape, and even their own in a brutal war story. They showcase that the Republic are not the good guys, the soldiers are disposable, and that the war is pointless and harmful. Thus, people frequently compare them to the real-world inspiration: the United States invasion of Vietnam.
The 501st, led by Anakin Skywalker, advance through trenches and carnivorous plants on this elaborate against the Umbaran natives. The dark terrain and the eerie flora is visually striking, providing good contrast against the white armour of the clone troopers. First Order Lego uses many rubber tires to give a smooth and rounded look to the large spiky plants. Many bladed elements make up smaller plants, and even a few construction parts provide roughness to the landscape. In addition, various transparent parts dot the terrain, providing light and giving Umbara its signature “evil” look. While on the far side, the neon-lit road is a welcome change from the rough black wilderness.
First Order Lego also provides a time-lapse video of this battle scene coming together:
In the most chaotic battles of the Clone Wars, soldiers for the Republic knew victory was imminent when they could hear the overhead rumbling of gunships flying through the sky. Just looking at this fantastic LEGO model built by Spencer Hubert makes me, too, cheer for the Republic.
First seen in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, this gunship was a staple of the Grand Army of the Republic. Hubert’s model here continues the traditional red and white paint scheme of most of the gunships seen in that movie, as well as the wing-mounted bubble turrets and front ball turrets.
What’s new about this version are the fully closing doors instead of a side turret. These doors allowed pilots to fly their gunships through the void of space so carrier ships wouldn’t have to get too close to the battlefield.
I always find it useful to reuse printed bricks from sets that I don’t have built anymore. Hubert has done that by utilizing the large printed sloped bricks from the original Obi-wan Kenobi Jedi Starfighter set as detail on the back of the gunship wings. Very clever!
The summer 2020 lineup of LEGO Star Wars sets has added a number of sets inspired by Star Wars: The Clone Wars, including 75283 Armored Assault Tank with Ahsoka Tano and one of her unique Clone Troopers. 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers adds the elite infantry that Anakin Skywalker leads into battle as part of the Grand Army of the Republic. The set includes 285 pieces with the four Clone Trooper minifigs and two battle droids, and is scheduled to be available in the US starting September 1st from LEGO (US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99), though actual availability may vary significantly due to COVID-19.
Before we dig into the details of the set, it’s important to briefly correct some earlier reporting, which indicated that this is part of the minifigure-centric Battle Packs line of sets within LEGO Star Wars. Although the set does include four “army builder” Clone Troopers and a pair of battle droids, the inclusion of two substantial vehicles places this within the realm of standard LEGO Star Wars sets, not Battle Packs.
(And yes, I inverted the torsos on a couple of the nearly identical Clone Troopers as you can see in some of the overall photos, but thankfully we caught it during photography and the detailed minifig photos are correct.)
Season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars concluded on Disney+ recently, converging the storyline from the long-running animated TV series with the events portrayed in Revenge of the Sith. The season also wraps up a key storyline about Ahsoka Tano, connecting to her appearance as “Fulcrum” in Rebels. Because of this, LEGO fans have been excited about the inclusion of a new Ahsoka minifigure alongside a special “Ahsoka Trooper” in 75283 Armored Assault Tank, announced as part of the summer 2020 wave of LEGO Star Wars sets. The set includes 286 pieces with two minifigs (plus two battle droids), and will become available in the US on Sept. 1st, but may be available already in other regions (US $39.99 | CAN $49.99 | UK £34.99) due to logistics and supply chain challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
LEGO has revealed seven new Star Wars sets based on everything across the galaxy including the films, television shows, a visual dictionary, and even Disney’s theme park land, Galaxy’s Edge. The sets include two brand new ships, multiple desirable minifigures, a few refreshed models, and the 2020 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar. (Spoiler alert: we’ve included photos of the Advent behind the jump at the far end of this article.)
I love the LAAT gunship from Star Wars, so when I saw it was a candidate for an upcoming UCS set I was thrilled. Better known as the Republic Gunship, it is probably my favorite Clone Wars ship. It has great blasters, a refreshingly not-grey color scheme, an interesting shape, cool doors on the sides; it’s essentially a cross between a UH-1 Huey, an A-10 Warthog, and a spaceship. And I love it. This rendition by Thomas Jenkins is awesome, with elegant curves and smoothly-transitioned angles. Because that’s the trick with the LAAT; there are so many different curves and angles that fitting them all in while maintaining a solid model is exceedingly difficult. But this one succeeds, and even appears to include Jedi Bob.
Modified bricks with curved tops make for some smooth curves, improving the square edges of all the official LEGO renditions. Also a major improvement is how Thomas made the wings and doors of bricks rather than plates; this allows them to be smooth and solid without needing a ton of tiles, which always looks a bit off due to the slightly rounded edges of tiles. The interior looks smooth, too, and big enough for minifigs without being excessively large. If LEGO does release a UCS version of this ship, I hope the designers borrow some design elements from models like this one. I would buy one in a heartbeat. Did I mention I love it?
With the recent launch of Disney+, there’s been a lot of buzz about The Mandalorian, the latest Star Wars series to hit the TV screen. Builder Jaap Bijl reaches back into Star Wars’ televised past with a Star Wars: The Clone Wars duel between Obi Wan and the bounty hunter Cad Bane. The purple planet of Teth is well-represented here, with nicely sculpted rockwork and enough tonal variety to keep things interesting.
Both characters are locked in a fierce battle, complete with sabers waving and guns-a-blazing. While they may be the stars of the show, my favorite element in this scene is the black and gray tree. The leaves are cleverly sculpted from curved slopes, along with a few ball and socket joint connections.
This epic creation by Ben Cossy takes me to a galaxy far, far away. The use of white and dark gray bricks to create the landscape is incredible. I’m also impressed with the way the Republic base was incorporated into the snowy cliffside, and notice the Death Star parts used as the fuel storage tanks.