Delta-7 starfighter? That was my reaction when I first heard of this set - after all, it is (or was, depending on wether you live in a country where Mace Windu's starfighter is available or not
) the fourth of its kind after Anakin's, Ahsoka's and Obi-Wan's. So why would anybody want to have yet another one? To get the minifigs, of course, but let's see if Plo's starfighter is as boring as one might think or if it is an accurate model of a ship that tragically found its end at the end of Episode III...
First of all, the minifigs. Plo Koon was only available in the 7676 Republic Gunship set so far, and his astromech R7-D4 is exclusive to this set altogether. Let's have a closer look at them:
Isn't R7 lovely? The printing is very intricate und the colors are perfect. There is nothing I could complain about, TLG did a great job on this one!
Nothing new about Plo Koon, the torso print is nice but not stunningly detailed; there is no back printing on him, compared to the torsos all the jedi from the 2011 summer set have this is a little bit disappointing. His head mold is very good, I especially like the fact that he looks like both the Plo Kloon from the (real) movies and the Plo Koon from The Clone Wars; after 'figs like Anakin this is quite a relief
The hole in his head looks a bit awkward, though, I guess it's not possible to make such accurate molds without some sort of drawback
On to the starfighter, then; before you go any further, take a look at this reference picture
; this way you will probably understand my verdict later
Notice the stickers - there are 4 of them on the big blue slopes alone. The two on the sides are rather hard to apply; I managed fine, but I think you all know what can happen if your fingers slip in the wrong moment.
More stickers! Those are easier to attach and they give a good feeling that this is really the interior of a starfighter cockpit. In case you're wondering what the bar under the seat is for:
Press this button on the lower side of the fighter...
...and the pilot is pushed out of his seat. This actually works quite well, with Plo being shot out to a sufficient heigth.
A clip used to store the lightsaber during flight. Not very unobtrusive, but better than nothing, I guess. If you can't stand it at all, it is really easy to remove the clip.
The fighter's second (and last) real feature: a working landing gear.
This is what the fighter looks like with the crew on board, all ready to blast some separatists
Compared to the sleek, elegant fighter in the reference picture this fighter is quite disappointing. The nose is much too blunt - usage of the SNOT technique that is applied to excellent results in the UCS Jedi Starfighter would have been the only solution. I guess it would be too fragile this way - but this stump, flat nose really is a letdown.
Another flaw that could have been removed so easily is the part used for the cockpit - why not take the one featured, for example, in the newest A-Wing and B-Wing? It would really help this fighter look better. Again, take a look at the reference picture if you're not sure.
One could also argue that the color of the fighter is inappropriate. As seen above, it should be a darker blue.
The biggest and most obvious reason why this figther looks so little like the original is the position of the wings. They're just way too steep, making the model look too high and quite clunky. Even the 2002 Obi-Wan's Jedi Starfighter was better in that detail (and most others as well).
Time for the final verdict on the set:Design 3/10
: The fighter is a letdown in almost every way - just too many mistakes done in the design. Surely you can do better, TLG!Figures 10/10
: Both figs are exclusive by now, since the Republic Gunship is out of production. Plo Koon is probably the best TCW Jedi of them all - he looks like a regular figure and one with great detail too. The astromech is highly detailed and sports an intriguing, beatiful color. Considering this is a cheap set, full points here.Playability 8/10
: You can use the ejection seat and the landing gear while playing with the fighter. He's solid too, so swooshing it is no problem. You can't expect more from a 20-dollar-set, can you?Parts 5/10
: Besides some nice slopes and plates nothing of interest, really. Price 6/10
: Nowadays you don't get any non-battlepack sets cheaper than this. Still, it's a tad expensive for a fighter that small.Final score: 6/10
The figures are worth buying the set. Still, the fighter could and should have been realized better than this. It's just not up to today's standards as it is, making the set altogether mediocre.
(submission for the "Fetts For February" contest)