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18 June 2020

LEGO® Star Wars review & original builds: 75272 Sith Tie Fighter

Inthert (on Instagram & Flickr) returns today not only to review LEGO® Star Wars 75272 Sith Tie Fighter but to also use its parts, along with his own collection, to create his own fantastic original Star Wars models! The set has 470 elements, three minifigures and is available now priced at £64.99 / US$79.99 / 69.99€.

The Parts

Upon its release at the start of 2020, the Sith Tie Fighter was one of two sets to feature some new wedge plates (alongside Speed Champions 76898 Formula E Panasonic Jaguar Racing GEN2 Car & Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, which Duncan Lindbo previously reviewed).



Despite being spotted in promotional images for future sets, the Sith Tie Fighter seems to be the reigning champion in terms of quantity for these new parts as the set boasts an impressive:

  • x6 Right Plate 2X4, Deg. 27 in Black (6295293 | 65426)
  • x6 Left Plate 2X4, Deg. 27 in Black (6295295 | 65429)
  • x4 Right Plate 2X4, Deg. 27 in Bright Red/ Red (6286513 | 65426)
  • x4 Left Plate 2X4, Deg. 27 in Bright Red (6286516 | 65429)

Besides the wedges, the only other unique recolour is Mini Hat, No. 26 in Black (6292186 | 27321). Uniquely printed minifig parts are typically a given so instead let’s look at some interesting System parts included.

After a seven-year hiatus and now sporting a new ID number, Flat Tile 1X4 in Transparent/ trans-Clear (6289455 | 35371) makes its first appearance since 2013, where it could be found in the Lone Ranger set 79110 Silver Mine Shootout.

Another scarcely available element, Wedge 4 x 4 x 2/3 Triple Curved, Plate 4X4X2/3 In in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6264023 | 45677) has only appeared in one other set so far: 10269 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy from 2019 which Ben Davies reviewed for us.

Unusually for a Star Wars set, the Sith Tie Fighter has no stickers. It does however, feature two large printed elements one of which is unique to the set:

  • 6x6 Dish with bar, Cockpit DiA.47,79, W/ Shaft DiA.3,2 No.1in Transparent Red/ Trans-Red (6292224 | 66907).
  • 4x4 Dish, Round Plate, Dia. 32X6.4, No. 38 in Medium Stone Grey (6224386 | 38373) which was previously available in 75211 Imperial Tie fighter from 2018.

While I would no longer consider them new elements, Right Plate 4X6, Deg. 27 (48205) and Left Plate 4X6, Deg. 27 48208 are so numerous in the set I felt they warrant a mention:

  • x16 Right Plate 4X6, Deg. 27 in Black (6258209 | 48205)
  • x16 Left Plate 4X6, Deg. 27 in Black (6258214 | 48208)
  • x10 Right Plate 4X6, Deg. 27 in Bright Red/ Red (6258208 | 48205)
  • x10 Left Plate 4X6, Deg. 27 in Bright Red/ Red (6258212 | 48208)

But the wedge plate fest doesn’t stop there! For a set of its size, there is an unusually high quantity across a broad range of different part IDs included.


Building 75272 Sith Tie Fighter

With three sets of numbered bags and three distinct components to the ship, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how the build might be distributed between them! The first bag includes all three minifigures, the basic – but functional – support stand and first section of the ship itself: the cockpit.

Its assembly mostly exhibits the usual combination of SNOT bricks and brackets that we have come to expect in TIE fighter builds. Something that did catch my eye though, was the satisfying placement of the Technic/hinged elements towards the rear - both sit quite comfortably next to each other, a pairing I doubt was intended when the parts were originally designed.

The remaining two sets of bags build a wing each and are close to being a mirror image of each other - aside from the positioning of the spring-loaded shooters that is.

Construction-wise, the wings were almost abnormally straightforward, at one stage even using a series of two-wide bricks that felt comparable to the build style of an early 2000s Star Wars set. It’s an unusual case where the technique used is so unnoteworthy it becomes in itself noteworthy!

Something a little less conventional was the placement of the transparent 1x4 tiles mentioned earlier, they are used to secure the two spindly fins at the rear of each wing. No doubt safeguarding against these fragile sections catching on carpeted surfaces during ‘crash landings’.

One final point regarding the build is the sturdy connection method used to affix the wings to the cockpit. We’ve seen such techniques used before but it still amazes me just how strong click hinges can be when arranged this way.

The Completed LEGO Sith TIE Fighter

Looking at the finished model, I feel this is an unfortunate situation where the design of the ‘real’ ship just doesn’t gel with the build standards possible in LEGO sets.

As I understand it, the whole intent behind the TIE dagger was to reverse the trend of TIE variants becoming increasingly visually complex and instead simplify things down to a deadly point - Literally it seems, given the triangles! Conversely, LEGO sets of this size invariably have to make certain compromises necessary to satisfy a number of design factors: part count, playability and ease of building to name but a few. Ultimately this means we have an intentionally simplified ship design built in a medium where further approximation of shaping/detail is unavoidable.

For instance, while by no means unusual for LEGO TIE fighters, certain things like the number of exposed studs and the less-than-spherical cockpit are harder to look past when the rest of the vehicle offers little of interest. Builds based on other ships have the benefit of things like bent wings, transformative features or significant interior space to offset the ‘legoification’ of a design.
That’s not to say the effort put into the LEGO interpretation is completely lacklustre though – far from it! The use of new and offset wedge plates to create the sharp wingtips and red trim is a shining example of efficient parts use. Similarly, the inclusion of a stand was a good move as the model really doesn’t display all that well on its own. The smooth opening and closing of the cockpit is satisfying too. It’s just ill-fated that the subject matter doesn’t have much that translates well in LEGO other than red lined triangles.


Subject matter notwithstanding though, the set still has a decent selection of minifigures, new wedges in large quantities and a fair few rarely seen elements to its merit. The price too seems fairly consistent with previous vehicles of this size. However, I just can’t truthfully say these redeeming qualities make the entire set worth it for me – it's just one of those Star Wars ship designs that doesn’t quite hit the mark in playset form.

Inventory-Inspired Builds

Of the 470 elements included in the Sith TIE Fighter, among the most noteworthy has to be those new wedge plates. Aside from the 'sandwich' tile, Tile 2X2, W/ Deg. 45 Cut (35787) these new elements are unique within the current wedge plate family as they form a near-perfect triangle – safely rounded-off corners notwithstanding. Now I’ll take you though a handful of builds I made using these fantastic new elements.

Initially I had intended to only use elements found in the Sith TIE Fighter inventory but that rule quickly went out the window as I began to mess around with the new wedges. It will also become apparent I didn’t do a whole of thinking outside of the box in regards to the theme of each build. In fact, the first thing I made was... a smaller TIE fighter!

Inthert's LEGO TIE fighter fleet



The sharpened points of the new wedges just lend themselves for use in Interceptor-style TIE variants. A fact obviously known by LEGO designers too, since they were used for that very purpose in the recent May The Fourth gift with purchase: Death Star II Battle 40407.

As is the case with many MOC builders, I rarely ever call a build ‘finished’ – after snapping a quick a photo of the above interceptor I immediately began tweaking it further.
 

The design deviated from a standard Imperial interceptor and I ended up with something closer to a First Order TIE Whisper. Paring the aforementioned sandwich tiles (35787) with the new wedge plates made for some appropriately aggressive looking wing geometry.

And because unusual TIE variants are almost too fun to build, I also made yet another, this time using the red wedges. Open to suggestions on a suitably evil-sounding name!

I feel there is an unspoken limit to the number of micro-scale TIEs a guy can get away with including in a New E article though. So, lets move on to something a little more substantial.

Inthert's LEGO Mandalorian bust


Perhaps it was because a certain TV show was finally made available here in the UK but I felt the new elements would be great for capturing the angular colouration seen on Mandalorian helmets. I imagine this to be some kind of scuba variant hence the built-in breathing apparatus.


Arranging a pair of new wedges to create the iconic ‘T’ visor shape proved to be the easy part. Harder to fix were the resultant gaps on either side; no combination of slopes seemed to help smooth things out. Once again sandwich tiles (35787) came to the rescue - simultaneously filling those nasty gaps and forming the angular lower edge of the faceplate. Although connecting them proved to be a challenge in itself as this semi-exploded view shows.


This point is slightly tangential as it doesn’t pertain to any new elements but this is my article... so deal with it, I guess! ;P Moving down from the helmet, I was quite proud with the inclusion of the sternocleidomastoid neck muscles (totally didn’t need to look that up) represented by double cheese slopes mounted at opposing angles.


As for the rest of the bust, the new wedge plates may have been the impetus for the build but a number of other parts included in the Sith TIE Fighter found their way into the model too. A couple of 4x4 car hoods, wedges 4 x 4 x 2/3 Triple Curved, Plate 4X4X2/3 In in Medium Stone Grey (6264023 | 45677) make up the split chest plate while a total of eight 3x3 quarter domes, Arch Brick 3X3X2 In in Medium Stone Grey (6211392 | 88293 ) are used for the rounded helmet top and shoulder pauldrons.


Conclusion

Having only been recently introduced, these new wedges are highly desirable due to their newness and scarcity but are in essence fairly generic elements – suitable for use on a vast array of different builds. It therefore seems highly likely we’ll be seeing them pop up in other sets and themes more and more frequently as time goes on. And a good thing too because they really are a great addition to the wedge plate family!



LEGO® Star Wars 75272 Sith Tie Fighter has 470 elements, three minifigures and is priced at £64.99 / $79.99 / 69.99€.

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5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Sternocleidomastoid, a word that really should see more frequent usage...

      Delete
  2. Mmm, "sandwich tiles." Thanks for helping me grow my LEGO vocabulary. And I enjoyed the read!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think the more menacing TIE fighter needs to be simply called a Sith DIE fighter.

    ReplyDelete