01 October 2022

LEGO® Star Wars™ set review: 75331 The Razor Crest

Posted by Thomas Jenkins

In part 1 of our review, we took a look at the parts contained in LEGOⓇ Star Wars 75331 The Razor Crest and at 6187 pieces, there was a lot to unpack. Today our attention turns to the build of this Ultimate Collector Series model, and we even have some insight from the designers for you.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® Star Wars 75331 The Razor Crest
US$599.99/ £519.99/ 599.99€/ AU$759.99
6187 parts
3 October 2022 for VIP members, 7 October general sale
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(Spoiler alert - skip this paragraph if you have not watched Season 1 of The Mandalorian!) This is the first UCS model based upon a TV series, and is a surprising choice given that the Razor Crest blows up. That was a slight surprise to the designers too, as César Soares and Jens Kronvold Frederiksen explained to us at Fan Media Days in Billund earlier this week. They were already in development of this model when that episode went to air, but had initially been vaguely warned by Disney that something could happen to the ship! Regardless, Disney assured them the Razor Crest is "the icon of the series no matter what”, and that they should go ahead and do the model.

Packaging

Razor Crest set designers César Soares and Jens Kronvold Frederiksen
The massive box contains two interior boxes, which are beautifully printed with scenes from the series. The instructions are divided into four booklets. The first two contain the steps for the main frame of the ship and the second two are for the sub-assemblies of the removable top panels. As such, the building can be enjoyed by two builders simultaneously as the various sub-models are connected late in the build process; a great idea for a set as large as this. 


I'm not entirely a fan of the yellow covers of the booklets; I prefer the 'premium' black designs that have been included in past sets. 

Building 75331 The Razor Crest


6187 elements add up to a considerable weight, so the build begins by constructing a suitably sturdy base. A core of LEGO® Technic elements is sandwiched between plates and tiles to create a rock solid structure. A pair of perfect triangles taper the hull, the first of many that create the myriad angles found around the ship. 


This power unit could be a cousin of the beloved GONK droid, or a pet at the very least! 


As the build progresses upwards, we start to get an idea of how big this thing will end up being. I’m already beginning to worry whether it will fit in my lightbox. We also start to see plenty of SNOT elements and clips that provide interesting connection points for the ship’s angles and paneling. 
 

The Razor Crest starts to emerge as the face of the ship is built. There’s some good use of SNOT in this area. I particularly like the new 3 x 3 curved corner slopes attached to the underside to round out the ‘chin’. If it wasn’t apparent within the smooth deck built in the first couple of bags, the designers have gone to great lengths to minimize the number of studs on the model. Note how the 1x2 panels are used to hide the studs of the transparent 2 x 2 slope windows towards the top of the sub-assembly. 
 

We turn to the back of the ship next, to construct a functioning boarding ramp. The area above it features some clever techniques to recreate the angles there. It’s really satisfying to see those sloped elements fitting together flush. 


The sides of the fuselage/ hull are built in sections. The largest panels that make up the cargo hold are the first to be constructed. Clips at the top of the frame are the only attachment point and allow the sloping sides to be faithfully recreated. Rubber Technic elements are cleverly used to overcome the just out-of-System gap and attach the panels securely at the back of the ship. 
 

The Razor Crest’s bold yellow stripes are faithfully recreated by both bricks and stickers. There’s more usage of triangles, to get the stripes on each side of the hull lying on a diagonal. It's a clever technique but it is a shame that the fancy brickwork doesn't extend to create the rest of the flaking paintwork which is depicted with stickers, which I chose not to apply. I’m sure just a handful of extra yellow and grey tiles could have been used to create the pattern on the opposite side of the door, but perhaps the gaps between the tiles and studded wedge plate made that section look too busy? 


These stripy panels are cleverly secured by locking the Dark Bluish Grey 'S'-shaped bracket with a 1x2 panel.
 

The housing for the landing gear features plenty of interesting angles. Those 2 x 3 rectangular minifigure shields, still a favourite building piece among LEGO designers, is the real MVP here, appearing in multiple stages of the build to attach the numerous sub-assemblies at various angles. In the picture above you can see one just below the teal plate.


The ship’s landing gear is fixed into place. I wish it were retractable, but at around 9kg, the finished model isn’t exactly swooshable anyway and the designers confirmed that this stable framework of LEGO Technic elements is necessary to hold the whole thing up, especially those engines. The simple construction of the feet is dressed up with various greebles to produce something that looks functional. I was certainly fooled when I saw the box art for the first time.
 
“I can bring you in warm or I can bring you in cold.”
The interior is furnished with a few mini builds before we start to close off the cargo bay including the frozen bounties and carbon freeze machine. 
 
"I’m a Mandalorian, weapons are part of my religion."
The weapons cache is built using a clever technique involving panel elements and packed with various armaments. The black tile sitting atop the locker is reserved for a 'baby on board' sticker. 


Grogu finally receives a brick-built crib. It has been a subject of many fan creations but I’m always interested to see the ‘official’ LEGO take on things. 
 

More triangles on the panels that cover the top of the ship. Using a turntable coupled with a Mixel joint is a clever solution to create an angle that’s off the usual grid of studs. 


The panels that cover the top of the ship come in a variety of shapes with lots of clever use of hinges and Mixel joints to match the angles of the wedge plate elements.


A spine of SNOT bricks runs down the centre of the cockpit module to keep things smooth. The windscreen is created with two Panel 3 x 3 x 6 Corner Convex with Curved Top (6059), an element introduced by LEGO Paradisa that has only appeared in 9 sets in its first 30 years of existence and this is the first reoccurrence of transparent ones since 1992. They come newly printed here, with asymmetrical windscreen frames (6405123 and 6405124) while the 2-module wide curved panel in between them is stickered (I chose not to add it) as the machinery to print this element was too costly to manufacture, according to the set designers. 


As César Soares explained at Fan Media Days this week, the entire scale of the model was based upon Panel 3 x 3 x 6 Corner Convex with Curved Top, because it is a perfect match for the dimensions in these blueprints, provided to the set designers by Lucasfilm. 


The flight deck is the next area to be assembled. It features an opening door, the pattern on which is extremely close to the source material.   


A good portion of the bricks in the box are used to create the ship’s engines. Various SNOT bricks are set around an 8 x 8 round plate to create an octagon which forms the core for the cylindrical engines. A smooth cylinder emerges as subunits of curved slopes are added. The diameter of the engines vary across their length, to add some visual interest. The LEGO Technic links wrap around the engine at the front and back to provide some faithfully recreated details, as well as visually reinforcing the circular shape of the engine.


You’ll notice that all surfaces are tiled smooth, even the underside. The designers even remembered to include landing lights! And despite this astonishing level of detail, set designers César Soares and Jens Kronvold Frederiksen say that they wanted to add break flaps (seen in action in Chapter 5: The Gunslinger) but it proved too complicated to include. César is especially pleased with the engines given their weight, and I agree it is a very commendable effort to realise this ship in LEGO bricks!
 

The nozzles of each engine come together nicely using the 7-module diameter rings to clip on small sub-assemblies to make a cone. 
  

A detail never seen on screen but present on Industrial Light & Magic’s digital model for the show is an escape pod hidden between the engines of the Razor Crest. A clever technique is used to maximize the visibility from the porthole window with the transparent tiles floating between a plate with rail below and a curved tile above. 


With all the sub-assemblies of the ship complete, the ship can be fully assembled. It's impressive how perfectly everything fits together. And greebles galore! What could have potentially been a boring flat surface is littered with plenty of little brick-built details.
 

Along with the obligatory UCS plaque, the final bag in the box contains a brick built blurrg (you may have been wondering what those printed eyes would be used for). It’s a brilliant little build: the creature design translates really well into bricks and looks right at home amongst the other chibified brick-built creatures of the Microfighter series of sets and the minifigures included in the Razor Crest. It’s the cherry on top for this magnificent set. 

Finished Model 


The finished model is very impressive, both in terms of detail and size. Builders hoping to display this set better make some room as it stands 72cm long, 50 cm wide, and 24 cm tall. 
 

One thing that stands out about this model is its aversion to studs. Apart from the underside of the fuselage, every surface is tiled to some degree (those that aren’t are built with SNOT) meaning it’s aesthetically pleasing from every angle. One of the criticisms with past UCS sets were the abundant bare studs and it seems like the designers have addressed it here. I think the set finds a good balance between studded and studless surfaces to produce something that is still recognizably a LEGO model. 
 

The model is maybe just a little bigger than ‘minifigure scale’ but give the minifigure's odd proportions, that term affords a lot of wiggle room. 
 

And speaking of wiggle room, the ship has ample room to seat all the figures and accessories, and more importantly to admire all the brick-built details found within. The craft straddles the line between UCS (the highly detailed large sale replicas) and Master Builder series (larger sets that focus on play features) in its accuracy and ability to be partially dismantled to allow access to the interior.

Unlike set 75328 The Mandalorian Helmet, there are no chromed elements in the Razor Crest. The designers considered this early on, but quickly discarded the idea as the model is so large. Chromed elements are complex to make and would use up their available new element quota for this set, and the finished effect might not have looked good in any event. 

References to The Mandalorian TV Series 

A real love letter to The Mandalorian TV show, the designer César Soares has packed a ton of references into the model. It’s a joy for any fan of the show to recreate them over the course of the build. 

 
• Exposed wiring (Chapter 12 ‘The Siege’)
 
“No, no, the red one. Show me the red wire.” One of César's favorite Baby Yoda moments was watching as the little green fellow tries his very hardest to help the Mandalorian fix the ship. As such, this little easter egg won out over the inclusion of a 'back tube' ('toilet' in Star Wars parlance) which is found adjacent to the sleeping quarters on the on screen version. Unfortunately there was only room for one on the LEGO version.


 • Boba Fett's armour (Chapter 9 ‘The Marshal’)
 
"I don’t want your armour, I want my armour." After being collected from Cobb Vanth, Boba's helmet and jetpack are proudly displayed next to Mando’s armoury. 

 
 • Blue macaron (Chapter 12 ‘The Siege’)
 
It looks like Grogu got some of these treats, which exists as an officially licensed Star Wars product called Navarro Nummies, to go. 

 
 • Bounties (Chapter 1 ‘The Mandalorian’)
 
The graphic designers have excellently captured the bounties of a human and a rodian that appear in the pilot episode of the show in minifigure form. 


 • Egg canister (Chapter 10 ‘The Passenger’)
 
Grogu has been shown to have an insatiable appetite that's often cute, though other times it's slightly …disturbing. Especially when he can’t help himself but go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths of the Frog Lady’s precious eggs depicted here next to his crib. 


 • Control stick (Chapter 4 ‘Sanctuary’)
 
"Stop touching things!" The cockpit is bedecked in various control panels but Grogu’s coveted silver orb sits prominently atop a joy stick to the left of Mando’s chair. Just imagine if this was moulded in metallic silver or drum lacquered! 

Closing Thoughts

LEGO sets are getting more expensive and 600USD is an extravagant amount of money to spend on such a thing. Comparing this set to other recent UCS sets, 75309 Republic Gunship or 75313 AT-AT, the Razor Crest presents relatively good deal when comparing price per piece. The size and weight of the finished model as well as the time taken to construct it (I almost finished two seasons of The Mandalorian while building) may go some way to assuage any buyer’s remorse. 

There was a clear choice to add a play set element to the model, so I don't think it's unjustified to have hoped for a couple of extra minifigures to sweeten the deal. Frog Lady or Mayfield's crew would have been excellent candidates. However, the LEGO Star Wars team do not receive additional quota of new elements just because they are LEGO Star Wars, nor because this is a UCS set, and given this model relates to Season 1 they certainly chose the right 2 characters. It is also exciting to see the return of exclusive minifigures to UCS sets.

75331 The Razor Crest is a a stunning and highly detailed and accurate brick built replica of a fan favourite ship. I keep coming back to marvel over all the complex angles and to disassemble and reassemble the top panels to peek at all the details inside. All with a stupid grin on my face. 

This is the way to make a Star Wars UCS set! 

Editor: Chris Baginski and Tim Johnson

READ MORE: LEGO® Winter Village review: 10308 Holiday Main Street

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4 comments:

  1. 500 quid!!! Hard pass, no matter how clever it looks

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  2. An absolutely stunning model that raises the bar again for UCS. Many of these techniques wouldn't have been possible or legal just a few years ago. I know people complain about the price, but any set this large is an extravagance as well as an amazingly unique building experience. I think they really nailed it with this one!

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  3. This is one of my favorite sets! It's nice to see some interior shot of the build. Thaks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I actually wish there were more exposed studs on the sides b because it would help blend the yellow tile "paint" assembly with the rest of the side.

    ReplyDelete