LEGO has unveiled three new buildable Star Wars helmets inspired by “epic villains” from a galaxy not too far away. Two of the helmets featuring a Stormtrooper and Boba Fett were made public last week, and today LEGO is revealing a third in the set featuring a sleek black TIE Fighter Pilot’s helmet.
The sets are intended for adult collectors with a recommended age of 18+ with dark, upscale box art reminiscent of LEGO’s Ultimate Collector’s Series (UCS) line Star Wars products. The sets contain anywhere from 625 to 724 pieces, though each is priced the same at US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £54.99. The collectible helmets are available for preorders online in the US today (tomorrow for everywhere else), with delivery and general availability beginning April 19 ahead of the “May the Fourth” holiday.
Take a look at close-up photos of the new LEGO Star Wars buildable helmets
Despite its relatively simple design, it’s amazing how many different approaches there have been to building LEGO TIE Fighters, in both official sets and fan creations. The latest design to catch our eye, is Fuku Saku’s rendition.
It’s interesting to see what features tend to be common among the various versions, such as the seemingly natural use of round corner dome top bricks to shape the cockpit. More interesting though, is what’s unique. While wings in LEGO TIE Fighters have often been made of brick, plate, or tile, this model takes them a step further and uses grille tiles to give the wings a more accurate solar panel texture. Another feature that’s often different, and is again here, is the design of the forward facing lasers. They’ve been represented by so many different parts in the past, and here they’re masterfully recreated using one of my favourite subtle decortative elements, the Technic 3/4 pin.
Dear Honorable Darth Vader and the Management Team of the Galactic Empire,
You have an almost infinite budget at your disposal to spend on wages and upskilling of personnel and technological innovation. I’m sure you’ve attended the Business Strategies 101 course at our SPOT (Security, Peace, Order, Terror) University and learned that having quality over quantity is paramount towards a calculated win in all battles. The root cause of all losses has been apparent, and we can narrow it down to one thing: bad aiming (be it Stormtroopers, or TIE pilots). At one time, our Stormtroopers had a reputation for being precise enough to pinpoint a Jawa from two sand dunes away. Until we return to this, you will continue to see mockery in all forms like this one built and sculpted in LEGO form by Pasq67 – Tie Fighters tailing Rebel scum piloting X-Wings Starfighters, which are low-tech vehicles that have little automation and only manual firing systems. However, they are always evading, destroying, and killing so many of our innocent troops and soldiers.
The solution? Invest in better targeting systems, and train the troopers to shoot well and not let them graduate unless they have a decent passing rate for marksmanship. My analysis shows that it’s a simple strategy that will save us from countless numbers of sequels, prequels, animated series, and god knows how many more spinoffs down the road. Until then, toy companies like LEGO will continue to build multi-million dollar businesses from allowing people to recreate scenes and games retelling history on our continuous defeats. It’s embarrassing. Do something.
Nyeeeeyaw! C’mon, you know what I mean. Any Star Wars fan will have to admit to swooshing their TIE Fighter toy through the living room making that signature screaming sound of the Empire’s mass-produced cheap and disposable one-man flying coffin. This midi-scale replica by Pascal Hetzel has a ton of great parts usage packed into a compact design.
Pascal uses some of the newer curved wedges to sculpt the cockpit, and the two solar panels manage to capture the look of its on-screen inspiration without being too bulky for its scale. I have to admit that I would love to see the entire line-up of TIE Fighters in this same scale…
The Rebellion will be crushed under skies filled with the Droid TIE Fighter! Builder Maelven is the Imperial engineer behind this automated starfighter. The most stand-out detail is the red cockpit window, but the smoothness of the wings is equally impressive. The fact that they’re angled is also a great move on Maelven’s part. I’m also impressed with the simplicity in color. Gray and black are the hallmark of the Empire, and it shows on the Droid TIE.
The TIE/D fighter was a notable part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. This LEGO build could be the return of one of the most fearsome war machines to rule the skies of the Empire.
The Imperial TIE Bomber doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time in the Star Wars films, but its unique twin-fuselage design has made it a fan favorite over the years. Polish builder barneius uses the new TIE fighter canopy, placing his model in the same scale as official LEGO sets like 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter.
The ordnance pod with its forward missile port is wonderfully detailed, as seen in the photo above. This next rear view showcases the excellent shaping of the fuselages, along with the bomb chute that extends down from the ordnance pod.
Like us, Koen Zwanenburg was amazed by the LEGO TIE Fighter models created by fellow builder Jarek, but rather than just marveling, he thought he’d have a shot at building a world-class TIE Fighter himself. Judging by the results, it’s quite a success. While at first glance the build may seem to take a similar approach as Jarek’s, Koen has actually redone the model from the ground up. Naturally, the convergent evolution of the building process means that there are some similarities (and the fact that they’re both based on the same Star Wars ship), but it’s truly remarkable how different this model is while being just as accurate.
The ability to achieve clean lines with minimal studs visible on a ship this lean is an accomplishment not be underestimated. I can almost hear the TIE’s distinctive engine roar now…
Despite its simplicity, for many years the famous TIE-fighter remains one of the most popular subjects for building experiments among LEGO fans. Inthert‘s restless imagination creates some of the most usual versions of the most iconic star-fighters. Now, the latest TIE-Proteus is a particularly cute subject, definitely devised in an attempt to solve traffic problems around the largest of the First Order’s bases.
Jokes aside, this very smart design features a whole bunch of brilliant solutions, among which I particularly love simple, yet amazingly elegant landing gear.
LEGO builder Jarek is pretty much the undisputed king of Star Wars ships, routinely making the most accurate and gorgeously intricate vehicles from a galaxy far, far away ever to be built of bricks. He’s been on a roll lately with the Imperial Navy, starting with a TIE Fighter and TIE Interceptor, then upgrading to the heavy TIE Bomber. But now Jarek’s moved up the chain even further, to Darth Vader’s personal spacecraft, the prototype TIE Advanced.
Click to see more of this incredible TIE Advanced
From 7146 TIE Fighter back in 2001 through 75101 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter in 2015, the iconic Imperial starfighter has evolved significantly. The latest incarnation in nearly two decades is 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter released to support the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story in May. This latest TIE Fighter set includes 519 pieces and 4 minifigs, and retails for $69.99.
Let’s dig in to find out how this latest TIE stacks up against its predecessors — the 2015 LEGO TIE Fighter from The Force Awakens in particular. Minifigures may reveal SPOILERS ahead of the movie’s release, so you’ve been warned!
Read our complete review of 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter
Jerac follows up his amazing LEGO TIE Fighter and Interceptor with my favorite Imperial fighter, the TIE Bomber (despite its limited screen time in The Empire Strikes Back). The main technique of note is the tapering of the cockpit cylinder into the canopy; that transition is smoothly done. Overall, his TIE Bomber is a master class in attention to detail.
The TIE Bomber looks even better going, but perhaps that’s because being alive to see this view is rare indeed.
The iconic Star Wars TIE Fighter is a frequent subject for LEGO creations — both in official sets and fan-built models. Each iteration and interpretation is unique, but this TIE by Jerac may be one of the most detailed renditions I’ve seen. Familiar with the craft from countless hours of enjoying Star Wars films and games, it appears to me that no detail on Jerac’s model is out of place. Even little touches weren’t overlooked, such as the red dots and hexagonal hole in the rear of the cockpit.
Jerac also presents an equally stunning, screen-accurate model of the TIE Interceptor…