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Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

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Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Staff » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:29 pm

Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter


Ah, the V-wing. Two seconds of screen time is more than enough to warrant a set, and then apparently a redesign with a different color scheme a few years later...

That's right. Back in 2006 when Revenge of the Sith was fresh in everyone's mind, the Republic V-wing made it's debut. I don't have one on hand to compare head to head, but I remember it being pretty disappointing to me in every aspect but price. Thankfully I don't have to rely on my memory because Ace's review of that set is right over here. The short version: it got a bit better, but the upgrades came at a steep price.

Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter


Value: Retail on this is $19.99. Even with various improvements and the pair of fantastic minifigures, that's twice the price as the first version and in all honesty I just don't feel like it's twice the ship. It's only around 20 more parts than before and it isn't substantially larger. Despite being the cheapest non-battle pack set in the current lineup, $20 just feels like a lot to ask. $15 feels like a more appropriate price point for this little ship. $10 would be ideal considering the precedent, but that's unrealistic considering the recent prices.

Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter


Build Quality & Play Features: I think he best way to go into this is to break it into three parts...
The good: The body isn't a flat stack of plates like the old model. The new canopy makes it sleek looking and it actually opens like it should. I did not anticipate the Technic gears to rotate the wings from landing to flight positions, that was a nice surprise.

Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter
The bad: Unfortunately, the rotation is real loose, and without click hinges on the wings it's maddening to keep the angles balanced. Also, I thought the astromech had a socket to fit into behind the cockpit. Discovering that the way they accomplished this was just sticking the dome on the back was disappointing to say the least. I've never liked that lazy solution on starfighters, but at least it looks OK and you got the full droid in this set.


Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter
The stupid: I can't decide if the "landing gear" on this is better or worse than the previous version. Instead of random inverted slopes on the underside, you get a clear 2x2 round brick. It just feels lazy and cheap.


Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter


Swoosh Factor: There isn't any secure place to hold onto, and if you try to use the Technic gear on the back to spin the wings you are probably going to drop it. Expect to lose a wing or three when you do.
Accuracy: It's hard to say thanks to the obscure nature of the ship. It's not like the X-wing or TIE Fighter where everyone knows what it should look like and if this detail or that is off. Given the limited reference material and other toys available it looks a little bit elongated and thin in the nose, but the overall the shape is OK. The wings should be wider and offset more than they are too, but the rotating mechanism for landing is true to the description where the previous model had them fold down instead. I like that you can see the strong influence from the Sith Infiltrator - and other unlikely ships if you get creative...

Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter


But I don't think they had this in mind when designing it.

Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter


Minifigs: Without a doubt, the minifigs are the main draw to this set for me. R2-Q2 is molded in pearlescent/metalic silver with black and white themed classic style astromech printing. The striped bands on the dome are perfect. That is one slick looking droid. The Imperial Pilot is nothing to scoff at either. Hidden under the open faced helmet is among the coolest looking heads to come out of Star Wars. The torso is similar to the previous V-wing's pilot, with a little extra detail and done in black of course.

Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter


Summary: I really wanted to rate this higher, but given the cost I just can't do it. It's not a bad ship by any means, it's just overpriced. Including those two figures in it almost makes it worse. If it weren't for them I could dismiss the set with ease. But since it's probably your only chance to get them I'd say it's not worth passing up. Just wait for a sale or try coning someone into buying it for you.


Value: 4/10
Build Quality: 6/10
Accuracy: 6/10
Swoosh Factor: 6/10
Play Features: 7/10
Minifigs: 9/10
Reviewer’s Tilt: 6/10
Final Score (Average): 6.3


Images used in this review:





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Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing StarfighterReview: 7915 Imperial V-wing StarfighterReview: 7915 Imperial V-wing StarfighterReview: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter



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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby LL918 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:50 am

Well considering the current debate in the Star War forum on redesigns / rehashes, the fact that this has taken five years for a redesign isn’t so bad.

And as for the original, I think it is vastly under-rated. OK it is not as sleek as the new one but it was a great small set. As you quite rightly say in your review there is a gap in the Star Wars line for smaller sets at the next price level above battle packs. The original was at that level and although the plate construction wasn’t as smooth as the new one, there were enough pieces to MOC two matching little ships (although like classic space they didn’t have cock-pits!) Not only does the price seem to be a bit inflated, but the box seems to have doubled in size.

The droid is clearly a selling point. And in the original one of my few complaints was the fact that we only got the droid head and not the body. But further investigation suggests that the droid for these ships was not an R2 but a smaller spherical Q7 unit. So getting a droid body in this set is a bonus, even if there is not a full droid slot to put it in.

As for the wing movement – I don’t think you are meant to use the cog to move them – that is only there to engage the friction pin so that they don’t spin around on their own. I think you are meant to move the wings themselves. This was the main complaint with the earlier version, so I guess we should be happy that it has been rectified. And concerning the wings and not being able to balance them – I don’t see the problem. Especially when compared to older sets with floppy wings like 6891.

My only criticisms for the new V-Wing are the asymmetry of the rotation mechanism – I would have preferred this to be concealed, and the increased price. And the stickers. And the fact that I preferred the old colour scheme. But I’ll still probably get a second, as I did with the first version.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Legomancer » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:33 am

LL918 wrote:The droid is clearly a selling point. And in the original one of my few complaints was the fact that we only got the droid head and not the body. But further investigation suggests that the droid for these ships was not an R2 but a smaller spherical Q7 unit. So getting a droid body in this set is a bonus, even if there is not a full droid slot to put it in.

Yeah, I remember reading about its special, spherical shape too. The only problem with this is that the R2 domes are not a perfect hemisphere, so it is hard to translate the Q7 into minifig-scale.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby drdavewatford » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:39 am

Nice, thoughtful review - thanks. Some good pictures too.

I agree with the earlier comment - given how some ships have been done to death in mini, midi, system and UCS scale, at least this almost feels like a new ship...! For me the only real downside is the price, although I saved a few pounds by buying at Amazon. The minifigs are great and I think the ship looks pretty good.

Overall, it's perhaps my favourite ship from the 2011 Star Wars sets so far, although that's as much to do with my lack of enthusiasm for the Star Wars offerings to date this year as it is to do with my enthusiasm for this V-Wing..... The Summer 2011 sets look significantly better to me. Maybe it's just because I'm a traditionalist and don't recognise half the early 2011 line up.....
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Robzula » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:28 pm

Honestly, when I go to the store and see this for $20 then see the Tridroid Fighter, Freeco Speeder, and Battle Droid Carrier for $25 sitting next to it, the price is actually pretty decent (the battle droid carrier is actually still a really good deal considering it has the two new gungans to match the V-wing's 2 new figs, plus it has 10 battles droids, two of them with new torso printing).
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Gryphonification » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:05 pm

Legomancer wrote:Yeah, I remember reading about its special, spherical shape too. The only problem with this is that the R2 domes are not a perfect hemisphere, so it is hard to translate the Q7 into minifig-scale.


What I did when I modded my original V-Wing was, I took two half-spheres and stuck them together with a 2-stud Technic axle. A bit too large for scale, but it worked just fine, and the stud gaps looked like the compartments R2 is always using for his control arms and fire extinguishers and napalm dispensers and such.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Solo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:34 pm

I still maintain that the Q7 design was a lame copout the cross sections guys thought up to avoid explaining how a real astromech fits in there and everyone else just ran with it, but it's not like two astromech domes stuck to each other is all that new of an idea in Star Wars.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby LL918 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:36 am

I've recently finished watching the documentaries that Draykov highlighted in the SW forum.

Watching the one for the original Star Wars (ANH) I noticed the interrogation droid and thought "that is bigger than I remembered it - it looks like one of those spherical droids that are meant to go in a V-Wing…” First I went to get the interrogation droid from my Death Star set… and was disappointed… Then I come back to this thread and find that Don has already made a point about spherical droids.

But we all know that Don only likes R2 units. But I wouldn’t mind a spherical droid. Perhaps LEGO need to create a 2x2 inverted dome brick?
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Solo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:58 am

Considering the printed globe in the new PotC set, they could just as easily made an accurate Q7 if they wanted. How to click it into this ship would be another issue though. But a 2x2 inverted dome would end up with an odd pill shaped droid, not a real sphere sadly.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby LL918 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:11 am

Of course you are right Don.

I did think of that POTC globe before I posted but in my mind it was a printed version of the crystal ball (Bricklink part 301016) so it would have a base. Looking again now, yes it could be the ideal Q7 / IT-O.

As for making a Q7 with an inverted dome - maybe if the inverted dome was only two plates high instead of a full brick it would be close enough for us to be happy with. If we can accept R2 being taller than C-3PO’s shoulders and twice his width, then perhaps we could accept a slightly distorted sphere for the Q7 / IT-O.

Instead, it will be interesting to see what they do with that new globe piece.

But we are drifting off topic. Nice review.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby mr_joshua » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:03 pm

We finally picked up the set (on sale for 15) and at that price it seems to be a nice value. The stickers on my set were already peeling/curling up on the sheet, so I have no faith that they will remain stuck. Already ordered replacement from Lego for those.

On to my question for others...

I had always remembered the wings BOTH folding forward for landing, right? I know in Battlefront 2 they operate that way. I will of course re-watch EPIII again to try and tell (with no luck probably), but was really curious on someone else's take on this.

The only place I wanted to disagree with was the swooshability of the set. Both my kids (6 and 11) and I had no problem quickly finding a good hold on the set and were able to swoosh it around really well. imo...

A nicely done review Don. Thanks
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Solo » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:34 pm

I think I have a habit of holding ships by the back (don't want to obstruct the pilot's view right?) and just couldn't get a comfortable grasp on this one with my ham fists. Thanks for the perspective and glad your kids like it.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Blackicep8ntball » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:26 am

Well done review, Don. It was almost like you spoke my mind in writing this review. Only thing I would add is the stickers - I slowed down my complaints with the stickers for a little while, but the round of stickers for the most recent Star Wars releases has me infuriated with TLG again. I already complained about the oversized stickers on the Bounty Hunter ship here, but now the stickers on my V-Wing (particularly the large nose sticker) are peeling off - and the set's literally just been sitting on a shelf since I built it. So, Mr. Joshua, I predict you are right. Suppose I'll be ordering replacements from TLG as well.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Morgan19 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:37 am

This set turned out to be, surprisingly, one of my favorite releases of the wave despite me never being a particular fan of the V-Wing as a ship. I've been fairly vocal with my displeasure of SW sets' rising prices, but for whatever reason the V-Wing just hit the spot for me– I didn't mind the price and, for once, had no buyer's remorse afterwards. I guess my tolerance of LEGO's recent pricing is easier to swallow with the smaller ships like this.

Initially the one gripe I had with the set was the loose nature of the wings: not the rotation, but the actual wings and how they clip on. My biggest issue with some LEGO sets is when there are pieces that are supposed to be attached at a certain angle but don't "lock" into place, and can instead flop around at weird angles– the photo of the wings in "X-WIng" mode above is what I mean. Luckily the issue was remedied with a black Technic pin stuck in the two holes by the wings of each round black piece; pushing the wings inward against the pins keeps them at the angle they should be. They can still flop outwards, but at least have guide posts now.

The other issues I've seen brought up don't really bother me (as I'm also sure my gripe with the wings is a non-issue for others). I actually prefer this color scheme over the original dark red, couldn't care less about having to detach the droid head, nor that it should be a sphere, don't mind the exposed gears, love swooshing the ship around, and felt the price was just fine. Go figure. ;)

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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Mofo Jones » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:37 am

I was lukewarm on this set (no pun intended) and now I've decided that I will get it. However, I'll wait for a sale.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Solo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:46 am

That's a nice simple fix for the wing angle issue Jamie.
Blackicep8ntball & mr_joshua: the long sticker on mine has already curled up at the edges too, and I was made sure to clean that brick to help it stick better. Guess that was a waste of time.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby banthafodder » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:36 pm

The sticker issue seems to be a common problem with this set. I had the same problem with the edges curling even after cleaning the nose piece. I had TLG send out a new set and these too, have a problem with the edges curling. :S
RANT alert: I did post this somewhere else as well but I feel that the sticker quality of late has been extremely poor. I have sets from multiple lines where the stickers have been peeling. This has only been a problem since November for me. I'm not sure if they have gone to a new adhesive or what but I have very upset with the sticker quality.
Sorry to derail for a moment, but as far as the set in general, I have really enjoyed it. I love the overall look to it as well as the minifigs. As far as swoosh factor, I have no problem with holding it from the back and swooshing it around but, then again, I don't have small girly hands ;)
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby majortom » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:48 am

In the past, I've contacted Lego customer services requesting replacement sticker sheets, I received an email back saying that they could not send replacement sticker sheets for licensed sets as it was a compromise on the licensing agreement (or something to that extent). I seldom use stickers, but in the majority of cases i tend not to have problems, I only applied the empire logo stickers to the roud 2x2 plates on the sides of the wings on my set.

Reguarding the v-wing itself: I was pleasantly surprised by this set, I manage to pick up a box at a slightly discounted price; I probably wouldn't have considered it otherwise. It's most definately an improvement on the previous iteration, but I must admit, I do prefer thr old dark red/bley colourscheme. The pics of the minifigure don,t do it justice; the new helmet mould integrates very nicely with the printed head, contrary to the images I had seen around its release. The new(?) cockpit piece is useful too. At some point I'll try my hand at a SNOT version of this ship. To sum up: cool, compact ship with unique minifigures and a fun and at times clever build.
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby Cradok » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:50 am

Reading all the issues with peeling stickers, I was thinking "what are you all doing to your stickers, mine are fine." Then I went and checked mine. Oops. Still, if they don't settle down, applying constant pressure to them for a few days usually sorts it all out.

I do love the fact that we got a full Astromech when only the dome fits on the ship. Those little orphaned domes always make me sad. And you can attach the body underneath the nose as 'landing gear' so you don't end up with a poor orphaned body!
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Re: Review: 7915 Imperial V-wing Starfighter

Postby filospinato » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:17 pm

I just picked up this set, it was on sale. Have to say, it was a fun build for my 8 yr old son and I. Love the minifigs. Couldn't stand the looseness of the wing rotation. I realized that the advantage on the gear placement was biased toward easy rotation. I flipped the gears and voilà, rotation isn't quite as easy. Anyways, my 2 cents.
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