Construction set provided by LEGO/Flashpoint PR, Price: $29.99, Originally Released: 2014, Available at: LEGO
The Battle of Hoth, to this day, remains one of the most exciting and well done action sequences in film. It showed audiences just how unstoppable the Empire could be and how truly desperate the struggle of the Rebels was. It also spawned probably one of the most of the iconic images in Star Wars: the tiny Rebel Snowspeeders tripping up enormous AT-ATs with tow cables that we’re going to assume were not even remotely intended for that sort of job. In the greater context of the movie it wasn’t really that huge of a scene. Even so, the Snowspeeder became and remained a favorite among Star Wars fans for years to come.
It should serve as no surprise then, that the LEGO Company’s ever-expanding Star Wars line would include a set based on the famous vehicle. I recently got my grubby hands on one of them and documented the building process as I experienced it for your pleasure.
The Snowspeeder set starts things off small with the construction of a gun emplacement for the included Snowtrooper mini-figure . This is the shortest bit of building you’ll do in the set, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise given its size.
Also included in the first bag is the set’s first mini-figure: Luke in his flight suit from The Empire Strikes Back. As you may recall, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Luke in the Mos Eisley construction set. The version included in the Snowspeeder set, in turn, is a vast improvement. His orange outfit is a lot niftier than his farmboy clothes from A New Hope and his pilot’s helmet is so just so much cooler than the plastic mop hair he was decked out with in that set.
The remainder of the first bag is used to build the central core of the Snowspeeder. If you the follow the instructions this portion of the fighter is fairly straightforward to build and shouldn’t give you too much trouble. I’d particularly recommend paying close attention to the directions when you get to the portion having to do with the tow cable. When I made it to that I spot I inexplicably decided to get all confident and say “I’ve got this.” Fifteen minutes, some avoidable knots and a pair of scissors later my tow cable was an inch shorter and I was back to following the instructions like holy writ.
And just in case you were wondering, yes I still hate the frakking stickers.
Bag number two contained the pieces for the left wing of the Snowspeeder. The only difficulty I had with this section came at step 18 in the instruction booklet. One of the most frequent mistakes I make when building these is that I’ll often miscount the little circles on the larger LEGO pieces, something that can result in my placing a smaller part in a position that’s just slightly wrong. I’ll then continue on my merry way until finally I reach a step where something doesn’t fit the way it should because I messed four steps earlier. Step 18 was one those and I wound up wasting a good ten minutes backtracking to fix it. That might not sound like much, but it is when it’s already 10:45 at night and you still have an entire section to go.
I don’t like the Snowtrooper quite as I did the Sandtrooper from the Mos Eisley playset. Granted, some of that boils down to accessories. The Sandtrooper came with a god-danged Dewback. No matter how you swing it, that’s a hard act to follow. Overall though, my biggest complaint is just that the Snowtrooper’s mask isn’t nearly cool as the Sandtrooper’s. It’s not bad or anything, but at the end of the day there’s just no beating that iconic Stormtrooper look.
Bag three contains the pieces needed for the right wing which, for all intents and purposes, is the same thing as the left wing only reversed. This repetition was actually quite helpful as I was able to speed through this portion’s construction with little fuss or muss.
Poor Dak. Look how enthusiastic he is here, like he could take on the Empire all by himself. Have to wonder if he might have taken his life in a different direction if he’d known how the Battle of Hoth would turn out for him.
Behold the completed Snowspeeder in all its glory!
All in all, this is a fun and breezy construction that an experienced LEGO builder could probably polish off in a little more than an hour. I will say that there are some things I don’t like about the finished product. While I think it’s nifty how the wing portions of the ship can actually move around a bit, I don’t like the visible gap between them and the core section of the fighter when it’s at rest. Beyond that though, if you’re looking for a still substantial set that won’t break the bank, this is one definitely done the trick.