14 November 2010

Lego 10026 - Ultimate Collector Series Naboo N-1 Starfighter

Recreate the Galactic Empire with the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series (UCS). Featuring exclusive and hard-to-find Star Wars collectibles, this unique selection allows one to build some of the film’s most iconic structures in true mini-figure scale. Every piece in this amazing Star Wars collector series is designed with an eye toward quality and authenticity. I'm such a huge fan of this Lego line that I named this blog domain after it.

Released in 2002, this is to date the smallest of the Lego UCS line, coming up to 187 pieces. I purchased this from eBay as a loose complete set with a final price of US$30 which was below its original price of US$40. I was furious when the seller charged me the same amount for shipping it to Singapore. While that would have been a fair price if it was MISB, it was daylight robbery for a loose set as the postage indicated. My polite requests for a partial refund of the difference was rudely declined by the seller and I had no choice but to leave a neutral rating for him.

Once I had this set in my hands, I set about building it. The final product eased my displeasure with the seller in a quick instant. The Naboo N-1 Starfighter is sleek and shiny with lots of chrome bricks which are rare. It also came with a hinged display stand that allows one to modify the display angle. A technical specifications information plate (typical of UCS sets) completes the display stand. However, this set is not without its faults - there are stickers, instead of printed bricks which are starting to peel off. I had to protect the information plate but it would be a challenge to do the same for the other stickers on the starfighter. It only comes packaged with 1/3 of a mini-figure as the astromech droid is just a head brick.

I reproduce the characteristics of this beautiful starfighter taken off the Star Wars Wiki page:

"The Royal N-1 starfighter featured the best elements of Naboo design, being aesthetically sound and adhering to the Naboo's love for curves and aerodynamic shapes.

A chromium finish on the front of the vehicle would gleam in the sunlight during parades and celebratory fly-bys. This chromium was purely decorative and reserved for starships serving the Naboo Royal House. Once, the chromium was used to deflect rays from Naboo's sun, and all starships were fitted with it. The finish contrasted sharply with rest of the N-1, which was yellow in color.

The citizens of Naboo were dedicated to the defense of their ecologically sensitive world, and the N-1 was an example of this commitment. Its specialized engine system ensured that fuel would burn hotter in order to reduce harmful emissions.

The N-1's roles included reconnaissance/patrol missions, escort duty, system defense, and ceremonial functions. While its light, fast, and agile characteristics made it an ideal dogfighter, it was a poor ground-attack craft and it suffered in tight spaces, as these situations robbed it of all its advantages. However, it could still perform the tank-buster job in pinch, as Rhys Dallows found when he had to defend a Resistance base hidden in his old training canyon.

In order to accompany the Queen's starship to Coruscant or other distant planets, each N-1 was fitted with a Nubian Monarch C-4 hyperdrive with a range of 1,000 light years. When this was insufficient, the escort fighters could refuel in transit via the J-Type diplomatic barge's under-wing docking sockets.

The pilot was protected by advanced life-support systems and deflector shields, aided by an astromech droid that would help the pilot with repairs and adjustments.

The N-1 starfighter was also equipped with an advanced autopilot that could receive navigational information from hangar outlets or from Naboo flight control. In a crisis, the autopilot could bring the craft to the site of an emergency or pilot the ship home safely.

The N-1's weapons were twin laser cannons and a full complement of 10 proton torpedoes. These were powerful enough to allow the N-1 to engage even the superior numbers of Vulture droids of the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship as was required during the Battle of Naboo.

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