An AFOL. I love talking about, creating and playing with LEGO bricks.
Today we will be taking a closer look at the U-Wing Fighter Polybag set number 30496. This set came out in 2017, has 55 pieces, and was designed for people 6 to 12.
The U-Wing Fighter was used in the early days of the rebellion against the Empire after a shipment from the Incom Corporation was “lost” when it was nationalized by the Galactic Empire. That small batch of ships proved invaluable to the Rebellion. They could quickly drop troops into battle and then provide cover fire. The U-wings were instrumental in making the battle of Scarif a success. These ships first appeared in the 2016 movie Rogue One and soon worked their way into other Star Wars story-lines. As of the writing of this review, this is 1 of 4 U-Wing fighters to be released by LEGO.
Like many of the Star Wars vehicles, the U-Wing had movable wings. They could be positioned in the more recognizable forward position, which gives this fighter its name or folded backwards. While the backwards position offered larger shield protection and helped cool engines during strenuous combat maneuvering, it was more of a liability in harsh atmospheres. While in a planet's atmosphere, the wings were usually kept forward. Since this model’s wings do not move and are only in the forward position, we will assume we will be creating scenes inside a planet's atmosphere.
LEGO did a great job designing this model to look like the ships in the film. I’m sure creating the large wing movement in micro scale would have been extremely difficult and probably would have required sacrificing the physical appearance. The blue and yellow coloring clearly make this fighter part of Base One’s Blue Squadron.
The pieces used to create the U-Wing’s unique shape were great. The 1X2 plates with a pin hole on the bottom were a creative way to make those 4 large engines on the back. The long thin wings sticking forward and the wider engines in back can make having this ship being proportional with typical lego stud spacing difficult. To solve this problem, the front section of the ship and engines are connected with finger locking hinge plates.
To represent the troop compartment for soldiers to pile into, a 1X3 plate on the bottom has slope pieces placed on both ends with a space in the middle. This is my least favorite part of the design. The troop transport section should be completely enclosed with a boarding ramp to protect the soldiers inside from enemy fire. This is not a Clone Wars Republic attack gunship.
If you wanted to get super picky, the glass canopy on top extends too far back. This is easily fixed by replacing the 1X2 translucent clear plate with a 1X1 translucent plate and a 1X1 white plate. However, this small flaw in the detail does not detract from the models overall appearance.
With only 4 different U-Wing fighter sets produced by LEGO so far, this is a great polybag to own. I’m a big fan of these more obscure vehicles than the over produced ones from the original trilogy and Clone Wars. While there are no rare pieces used in it’s construction, there are so many different pieces used that it can be a great way to expand the selection of your LEGO piece inventory.