Tuesday 29 March 2011


I love the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) sets, but there just aren't enough of them for my liking. LEGO have been pumping them out at a rate of just 1-2 per year since they secured the Star Wars licence in 1999. Arguments rage among LEGO Star Wars collectors about the exact definition of a UCS set, but according to Brickset there have been a total of 17 of them to date. They are the daddy of LEGO Star Wars as far as I'm concerned, and every new UCS set is a cause for minor celebration. Well, for me at least.

Problem is, what's the LEGO Star Wars enthusiast to do to get his UCS fix when he's already got all the UCS sets ? Well, some talented builders indulge in a spot of D.I.Y., designing and building their own UCS models. There are some absolutely stunning efforts out there from the likes of Cavegod, Anio and others (click pics below to enlarge).

Cavegod's stunning UCS AT-AT
I stumbled across some of Anio's creations while browsing Eurobricks a while back. What was especially cool was that he had not only designed some excellent models but he also collaborated with fellow enthusiast Oxycrest who produced a set of building instructions, an inventory of parts, and even a UCS sticker design, for some of the models.

As someone who was crying out for more UCS models to build, this seemed like an interesting challenge. I therefore downloaded the building instructions and part inventories for a couple of models and eventually managed to source all the parts I needed to build two of Anio's superb unofficial UCS models - Anakin's Podracer and the TIE Fighter.

First Anakin's Podracer. This MOC consists of 532 parts, some of which it must be said were a total pain to source and cost a fortune (actually mostly fairly common parts but in unusual colours, and hence the cost).

Anio's UCS Podracer
Podracer Engine
Anakin at the Controls

UCS-inspired 'sticker' designed by Oxycrest

I have to say I love this model - horribly fragile, but beautiful. It's about a million times better than 'official' Set 7131 Anakin's Podracer released in 1999, and I suspect that the new 'official' Podracer set due this Summer will also struggle to get close.

And so to the TIE Fighter. This model consists of more than 600 parts, which were generally cheaper to source compared with the Podracer, with only the cockpit window making a significant dent in my bank account.

Anio's UCS TIE Fighter
The cockpit window hinges forward to reveal a detailed cockpit including a flight yoke, seat and instrument panels. The hatch on top of the craft also opens.

The model is nicely finished off by another of Oxycrest's UCS-inspired 'stickers' which attaches to some 1x8 black tiles and sits neatly on the display stand.

I wrote an article on Eurobricks describing the process of sourcing the parts for the TIE Fighter and building it, so if you want to read more then click here.

So there you have it - if you're too lazy, time-challenged or just lacking in skill to design your own UCS Star Wars models, there is still a way to expand your collection.... Of course, sourcing the parts is itself a pretty time-consuming business requiring more than a modicum of organisation and planning to carry it off. What then, if you're even too lazy or just plain hopeless to manage that ? Well, there is another solution....

Parts for the Mystery MOC......
Above is a large box of pieces that I recent bought from eBay. But these are not just any pieces - there are more than 2,500 of them, and when you put them together as directed by the building instructions (also supplied) you end up with a spectacular unofficial Star Wars UCS model. The seller basically did all the hard work for me - he sourced all the necessary parts from Bricklink, burned the building instructions onto a memory stick, supplied a sticker for the obligatory UCS plaque, and packaged the whole lot up into a large box with a picture of the finished model stuck on the front. All I had to do was cough up the cash and wait for the postman. Really the height of laziness, I guess, but your scorn may turn into grudging admiration when you actually see the finished model.... Not sure when I'll have a chance to build it, however, but when it's done I'll post pics on here and everything will be revealed. Until then you'll just have to wait....!

Would anyone care to hazard a guess at what the finished model will be ?

                                                                                    And the Mystery MOC is..... -->


  1. So have you built both of these DrD?

  2. @atkinsar, if you're asking about the Podracer and TIE then yes - I sourced the parts a while back, built both models and took the photographs above a few days ago. I haven't built the mystery MOC yet however. And I would LOVE to build the AT-AT if Cavegod would produce a parts listing and a set of building instructions....I've asked him about this, but no luck yet !

  3. Anonymous1/4/11

    Hmm.... Either a mileniem falcon or slave 1. Or give us a hint.

  4. The mystery MOC is not a Millenium Falcon and not a Slave 1. You may be able to guess just by looking closely at the parts in the box, but that's the only hint you're getting for now !

  5. Looks like a Y-Wing to me! Do I win anything if I'm right? :)
    Very cool sets - thanks so much for sharing these!

  6. @BrickUpdate - you only win my unending admiration ! Or at least, you would win my unending admiration if you were correct. But you're not - it isn't a Y-Wing ! There's already an excellent official UCS Y-Wing in the back catalogue. There's no official UCS version of my mystery MOC.....

  7. Bah! Can you give us a hint? Perhaps a specific movie or scene. Or if it is a rebel/imperial ship? Wait - is it bigger than a breadbox?

  8. Anonymous3/4/11

    Are any builders other than Anio / Oxycrest providing UCS-quality instructions? I'm not having any luck in my search for more.

    And how did you find that kit on ebay? I'm trying keywords like 'custom' or 'unofficial' in a search for Lego but not seeing anything like what you show in either US or UK. Was it unique?

  9. Yep - other builders do provide instructions, although they're often not in such a user-friendly 'official' LEGO format, e.g. CAD files in various formats. I don't know of any central repository for such instructions, although Eurobricks is a good place to hang out to find out about cool MOCs and ask about availability of instructions.

    Regarding finding the mystery MOC on eBay, it was purely serendipitous - I sometimes do an eBay search for LEGO, filter by "construction toys and kits" and then browse the results looking for interesting items. I stumbled upon my mystery UCS one day while doing that. So really not rocket science, just lucky....

  10. I read this blog since it started!3/4/11

    Let me guess...... is it from episode 3 or 5? Im not so sure but I'm waiting for the finished model!

  11. OK, guys - here's a clue for you, since you've asked so nicely : the mystery MOC never appeared in the original Star Wars trilogy....

    I'm just unboxing it now, in fact..... The seller did a great job packaging the 2500+ parts up into hundreds of plastic bags sorted by the part, and here I am emptying them all out into 3 crates and mixing them up together. He would probably have a fit if he could see me now, but the build would just be too easy otherwise !

  12. Is it a gunship? Similar to set 7676?

  13. Nope - not a gunship, @BrickUpdate, although it's a good suggestion and something which I think would certainly also benefit from the UCS treatment. Keep trying !

    All the pieces of the mystery MOC are now sorted into 3 crates (plates, small pieces 2x2 or less, and everything else), and I've started on the build itself. All I have to show for this so far are two black stands upon which the model will sit when completed. I hope to make some further progress tonight, however.

  14. I give up. I've stared at these parts too long!

  15. Anonymous30/12/11

    is it a republic star destroyer? (those huge ships you see at the start of episode III with the red sripe on the front)

  16. ^ All has been revealed !