The local hobby store had a sale last weekend and I couldn’t resist this:img_1891

(Yes, that piece toward the back wasn’t seated properly, and I didn’t notice until I saw this picture.)

I kind of like this set, but on the other hand, I kind of want to redo it a little more faithfully to the movie. For one thing Rey’s speeder doesn’t have tools clipped to the side, it has salvaged junk hanging in a net:[<oz>PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE STAND SUPPORTING THE SPEEDER</oz>]

The model’s sides open up to reveal storage space:2016-11-20-11-01-48But canonically… that’s not storage space.And somehow the “directional steering exhaust nozzles” have turned into stud shooters.

Okay, I get it — first of all, the LEGO model probably was based on very limited pre-release movie information, and second of all, it was designed and marketed as a play toy. Not saying they made bad design choices. Just that different choices would be nice.

Some other builders have complained the model is too large compared to the minifig Rey. Of course this gets into the whole question of what minifig scale really is… given the wide/squat proportions of a minifig, Tom Alphin comes up with either 1/25 or 1/42. Rey’s speeder is said to be 3.73 meters long so minifig scale probably should be between 9 and 15 cm. It’s actually about 14 cm, so somewhat defensible. But the 1/25 scale is based on minifig width, not length, and in this context length is arguably more important.

On the other hand, there’s no way a minifig looks like a scale-accurate Rey, so trying to have it reach the pedals is perhaps a misguided effort.

Other people have had similar thoughts. Here’s Andrew Becraft of the Brothers Brick with his take:

Which is not bad. Not a really big departure from the original design; it addresses most of the problems noted above. He’s also particularly pleased with the black oval rim around the grill, seen in the moviebut not present in the LEGO kit. I’m less easily pleased. I find it too prominent and distracting. Actually part of the problem is the light grey, instead of black, grill. Maybe the rim would look better if the grill were black. Maybe not.

Here’s one by Stuart Lucas:

This actually was built before the movie was released, based on the trailer. Looks to me about the same length as the LEGO set, but narrower side to side.

Obi-Jon built this one before the movie release, too, though it looks like he got the Rey minifig from the LEGO set. Definitely shorter and much narrower. Much too narrow, in fact.

Along similar lines, post-movie release, is one by Hannah Chen of KJ Lego Microbuilds:

It looks like DarthTwoShedsJackson built his from parts out of the LEGO kit, or at least using some of the same parts the LEGO kit did (and the minifig):

I get where these smaller scale speeders are coming from. In particular DTSJ’s, at least from that angle, makes it look like Rey is actually riding the thing rather than just sitting on top of it. (Though in a direct side view it appears the top engine is going right through Rey’s body — minifig legs are not made for straddling.) Still, I’m not sold. Reduced to such a small size the whole thing starts to turn into a featureless, squared-off oblong block; at the point when the speeder becomes less visually interesting than the minifig, I think you’ve lost too much.

Nick Chen’s version definitely takes the “small is beautiful” idea too far:(Seriously, though, that seems to be one of a large set of LEGO Star Wars figures wearing their ships as costumes, and you should click through and enjoy all of them.)

In the other direction, at least two larger scale models have been submitted to Lego Ideas. This one is by JiHyun Jyoo:It didn’t get a lot of support and frankly I can see why. Too bristly, lots of edges where the original had smooth surfaces. No net, instead tools clipped to the side. And why the generic minifigs for a non minifig scale object? Misguided. Aside from that, it’s a beautiful piece of work on its own, but it just doesn’t represent the original very well.

I like Robert Lundmark’s better.That one pretty much nails what a larger scale speeder ought to be, I think. No minifig of course. A minifig on this would look like a Jawa on a Wookiee ship.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been looking at, while I’m sort of kind of thinking of a version along similar lines to Becraft’s. But with a black grill, probably no oval rim but maybe; consider his post-build idea to “brick-build the orange striping in dark orange instead of bright orange”; some possible mods to the cockpit and engines. Probably a support system similar to Lundmark’s. And if (IF!!) the right side, or perhaps the top, could be detachable (rather than hinged) to reveal an interior suggesting the above cutaway diagram that’d be gravy.

 

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