Do you hear that rumble? Is it the sound of a far off battle between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems? No, it’s just the Light My Bricks office cheering wildly at the announcement of a new LEGO Star Wars UCS set!
That’s right, an official Ultimate Collector Series set is finally here and we are all beyond excited to see the LEGO Star Wars UCS Republic Gunship 75309 lit up and on display, among the other hall-of-famer UCS light kits!
While we absolutely loved the R2D2 upgrade we got for May 4th this year, technically that wasn’t a UCS set (even though it was chock full of UCS level detail and came with the display panel to boot). Long time LMB fans will know what the UCS series means to us in terms of opportunities to take the lighting hobby to the next stratosphere - and the Republic Gunship is a chance to do just that!
Landing somewhere in the middle in terms of UCS build size, the Republic Gunship is a respectable 3292 pieces and once built, sits at 68cm long, 74cm wide (wingspan baby!) and 33cm tall and comes with a strong and sturdy display stand - a very welcome and much needed addition to this heavy duty display piece!
Once the Gunship or Low Altitude Assault Transport (LAAT for short) had been built, we had to take a step back and admire the huge, hulking LEGO ship. One of our designers noted that it’s a fairly unique build in terms of it’s bulk and profile. The Razor Crest coming to mind as another space craft from the Star Wars galaxy that shared a similar stocky shape, as opposed to flatter, more streamlined ships. It had to be noted also that this is in part due to the open and functional cargo/carrier area accessible to builders.
Where to start with lighting the Geonosis battling beast? What became apparent to our designers almost immediately, is that due to not only the gunships size but more importantly the distribution of it’s weight, extra special care was going to have to go into the creation of the step by step instructional guide for this light kit! As the experienced LMB fan will know, our light kits are designed to to be assembled after the set is built. With some minor deconstruction, the lighting process is much, much easier than building and lighting in tandem.
Of course this was not your standard LEGO build by any means! Deconstructing the Republic Gunship once it had been built was going to be a little precarious due to the aforementioned size and overall positioning of weight. The most important part of the Light My Bricks experience… is the experience! Our designers took extra care to clearly explain how to safely handle and remove certain parts of the build in order to light it, without risking it toppling over. They even found a new use for our slick new kit boxes!
Some insight into the lighting specifics - those twin cannons upfront were an easy solve with our standard Green Bit Lights combined of course with an awesome Gun Effects Board. Ditto for the spherical gun turrets (such a cool feature!)
We had a little bit of cinematic wiggle room when it came to lighting the interior of the craft. While the inside of the Gunship isn't lit during scenes of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the wildly popular Clone Wars animated series showed the LAAT during the Battle of Umbara, with an awesome deep red glow. These scenes and the Clone Wars series in general are certifiably awesome in LMB opinion! so it was a no-brainer to head in the latter direction and adhere a few of our Red Strip Lights internally. This dials the drama and tension of the display right up. You can feel the intensity of those moments before troops are deployed before battle!
The final piece to this kit was of course making sure Mace Windu’s lightsaber was lit and ready for battle!
There you have it, another Star Wars UCS kit ready to display! Where do you think the Republic Gunship ranks among the existing UCS sets so far? Let us know in the comments below and if you plan on lighting up your Gunship, be sure to tag us in your social media posts! Until next time - may the force be with you... watch out for that Count Dooku!