Images of build here:http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=365286
When this set first appeared on the radar, it made many people drool. To have an actual Death Star with scenes from the various movies in one set. And it didn't disappoint.
I also have the 10143 - Death Star II set. While cool for being the ROTJ unfinished Death Star, this set is as almost complete opposite as you could get.
The 10143 set was half hollow inside. They tried their best to make the framing sturdy enough to hold all the weight, but it was still flimsy and when touched, the whole set would move. It did have 3417 pieces, but it was mainly for the "in construction" portions of the set.
The 10188 set is as sturdy as it can get. You build up the frame level by level. Overall it is much heavier. There's a lot more pieces than I expected (3803). And I needed a lot of ziploc trays to sort them all out. Lots more small pieces as there's lots of detail.
Here's a side by side comparison picture of both Death Stars.
The set description on Lego.com (http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.as ... =416&d=322
) says there are 24 minifigs. They include the mouse & interrogation droid in that count though. You also get the trash compacter monster, which is kinda large for the scene. You do get the stormtrooper versions of Han and Luke, with separate stormtrooper helmets. You do get the regular Han & Luke as well. And a ROTJ Luke too.
The instructions are as big as for the UCS MF. Just about 300 pages. Again because you have to build the DS from the bottom up, layer by layer.
The scenes are:
- Trash compactor pit (with working collapsing walls)
- Luke & Leia swinging over the chasm
- Obi-wan's tractor beam deactivation (moving tractor beam unit)
- Large cannon that rotates
- Repair room
- Hanger bay with a tie advanced (elevator between repair room and this)
- Droid maintenance room/stormtrooper break room
- Detention cell block with cell and also escape route that falls into trash pit
- Empire meeting room
- "Control room" for laser (rotate, raise/lower dish)
- 2 gun turrets that rotate
- Working elevator in the center of the DS itself
- and best of all, the Emperor throne room scene with Emperor chair and staircase.
All of the moving parts were ingenious. I didn't understand the purpose of the elevator in the center, as its not very practical to get minifigs in and out of. I guess they figured to make use of the space.
Overall, it took me longer than I thought to build. It took about 20 hours to build over a few days.
Transporting it is easier than the 10143, as this set is one big heavy block compared to flimsiness of the previous DS.
Congrats to the lego engineers that designed this set. Love it in every way. Took a lot to design each of the scenes and make them work together.
Especially the detention block hallway with the prison cell to hold Princess Leia as well as the escape route that falls into the trash pit. The collapsing walls are cool as well as the misc pieces they throw in there to pretend you are Chewie trying to keep it open.
Its a little expensive, but there's tons of pieces. I also bought a lazy susan to make it easier to rotate the set. The bottom is flat but they have a few of the rounded/spherical 2x2 plates to make it spin better.
Value: 9/10 (just a little expensive at $400)
Build Quality: 10/10 (seeing each scene slowly build is cool)
Accuracy: 10/10 (scale isn't there, but who cares.)
Play Features: 10/10 (except for the middle elevator, you can re-enact alot of stuff)
Minifigs: 10/10 (TONS. i had to borrow a few more stormtroopers to use in more than one scene, but you get soooo many other minifigs i didn't mind)