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LEGO SetMod/Custom Hybrid UCS Snowspeeder
The official UCS Snowspeeder had it's strong and weak points...I tried to fix the weak ones, adding more proper detail and accurate proportions, plus a few bonus extras.
About this creation
It took me longer than I planned, but I finally finished my heavily altered version of the UCS Snowspeeder. I changed the obvious part, fixing the horribly oversized nose section, as soon as I bought the set. I knew when I first saw pics - before even getting the set - that the stock nose would have to go. I then tweaked the cockpit a bit and started to reduce and reshape the overly bulky underside (more on that below), but then it got sidetracked, partly because I'm lame :P and mostly because I had to pack, move, and unpack.

Well, I quit procrastinating and the results are presented here. It's been a fun but maddening week, as I kept reworking sections (the cockpit - viewable soon in a different page - got ripped apart about 5 times) or finishing one area only to decide later to go even deeper, resulting in previous work being disassembled. Also, for whatever reason, I'm a slow builder and I tend to only get into the flow of building when I can do it for a continuous chunk of time, so it ended up being a late-night project. In any event, there are a ton of differences from the stock set, so look closely!


Here's a decent 3/4 view. The front is problematic to render in LEGO at any scale, but I think it came out relatively accurate...actually anything would have been better than what the set came with.


A lower angle. Placing the large grey "vent" (or whatever it is) sticker on a white slope piece (instead of the dark grey one that came with the set) furtheraids in the effect of reducing the previously oversized nose area.


Think I'm being too hard on the original set with my criticism of the nose area? Well, here it is in all it's oversized glory.


Another even more pronounced example of the original distended nose section. You might also notice from these pics that I changed quite a bit else on the set...despite a certain reviewer's delusional opinion that my version is no different than the stock set (and veiled accusation that I'm trying to claim an unaltered official set as my own custom)!?!


Anyway, back to mine, with more of a side view showing the area of the wing with access panels missing.This was inspired by one of the larger scale ILM models which had this unique feature. It also featured a smaller area up near the side intake vent with a similar look, but I decided against ripping apart the wing any more than I had to.


Side view.


A higher angle giving a good overview of the wedge shape. The angles of the front section should angle in a bit more, but again, LEGO only comes in certain angles and I thought it worked out well enough.


Upper and lower air brake flaps deployed. Both were changed from the stock set, the upper ones reduced in size and more properly shaped, the lower ones moved back in towards the body of the ship.


The other side of the ship, with no missing panels. I got rid of all the Annoying and distracting random grey of the official set, both in the wings and on the laser cannon assembly. The real speeder models showed no such variation, and I think this just looks much better.


Upper flaps deployed.


A nice side view. The cockpit windows went through several changes, with no really good way to render the small middle window, so I ended up with the stickered pieces from the RGS as seen here (I had a few extras thrown in free in a B-link order, so what the heck). They at least suggest something there besides plain white.



Rear 3/4 high angle.


A lower angle showing rear engine assembly. I lowered the height of the housings to a more accurate level and as mentioned above, reduced the size of the opening flaps, as well as making use of the new 1x1 slope pieces to make the little holes on the side look better - anyone know if they make 'em in orange yet? ;)


More rear angle, showing the lower flaps pulled in to a more proper orientation, as well as my take on the harpoon gun and a little surprise nestled in the engine radiator assembly (more on that in the cockpit etc. page coming soon).


Straight rear shot. The wings should technically be angled slightly further down to bring the inner sections of the engine housings more parallel with each other, but I don't know if there's any more room underneath the wings to allow this. Maybe...


Another rear view showing the tow cable attached to the harpoon gun. More on why this is done this way in the soon-to-come cockpit etc. page (hint: it has to do with the only reference source that really matters: the film).


A rear angle I particularly like. One thing I strive for is to make customs and setmods that look as good as possible from every angle. There are always shots that look a bit off due to the limits of the brick, but I'm pretty happy with this project from most views.


Another rear shot, this one with all flaps deployed. Those who own the original UCS set may notice that my engine radiator assembly looks shorter than in the stock set. It sure is, and I tried shave it even further, as well as the underside area ahead of it...


...visible here. One of the main problems with this set (and not really LEGO's fault) is that there is, as often happens, a discrepancy between what is seen in ILM models and what can be done in a full-scale setpiece (think Naboo Starfighter and Ep. III Jedi Starfighter with their impossible astromech orientations).


The ILM Snowspeeder was built almost impossibly sleek, with a super thin top-to-bottom profile. This is why the AMC/ERTL version (a relatively accurate rendition) has such a shallow cockpit and those brutal, stunted and contorted pilot figures! The full-scale set pieces in the Hoth hangar, on the other hand, had to comfortably fit two actors, so they were built with an
enlarged underside (with a much steeper front angle) which is visible in the shot where one of the speeders lifts (the "lift" coming from a handy forklift) off. THIS is the version LEGO based their UCS set on...it's even got the weird round bits (2x2 round tiles on the set) as seen under the full-scale version, but nowhere to be seen (and with nowhere for them to go) on the sleek ILM models!


Here is graphic example, as we again revisit the original stock LEGO set. It's well designed and rendered, looks very cool, but...it's nothing like the speeders we see soaring across the Hoth snow plains in the film, because it's instead based on the full-scale set pieces.


Back to mine, a full underside view. Continuing the rambling comments from above, in the end it is impossible to get a perfect speeder rendition with a full-depth cockpit as well as the same slender profile as the ILM models. So, I tried to get as close to both as I could. I really wanted to keep the chairs (a highlight of the set IMO), so I went as far as I could to allow the smoother angle (or as smooth as a stepped plate effect can give - I might try on large plate on angled hinges) as well as the air intake section. As for the grey, I kept it as the original set had it, mostly because I don't have enough white, especially those 2x3 inverted slopes, and I wanted to keep the look they give when angled to provide a smoother looking level surface. Also seen are my take on the landing gear and one patch of brown I couldn't avoid (in order to keep the exposed upper section of the wing properly embedded below the white surface).



A fun pic for scale, with some of my Epic Force (remember that failed Hasbro experiment?) figures. The UCS Snowspeeder is almost exactly 3 studs per foot, making these figs right about scale. Of course, Luke and Leia are annoyingly stuck to their permanent bases, so they're a bit too tall, but the Stormtrooper (who was carefully cut off since I found a second one on clearance) is just right. I just wish they had made a Luke Pilot figure before the line was cut short...


A higher angle with figs and open cockpit. It just now strikes me that I nevertook any other full ship shots with the canopy up, a cool look just as in the Echo base scenes. Oops...oh well, there will be plenty of closeup shots of the interior coming soon in a separate page.


Big brother and little brother (UCS setmod and my custom "SE" version, almost exactly 1/2 size).


Other side of the family portrait. I think they look pretty good together!


Finally added the only good pic I have of the ILM snowspeeder I loosely based this on. You can see that I didn't match the large exposed wing area exactly, just the main concept of it, and didn't even try the similar, smaller forward area. I might still try that at some point. Reto (Warhawk from FBTB)pointed out that he hadn't noticed one in the film with these missing panels, so I do realize this might have simply been a pyrotechnics-ready model meant to have that area covered again, only to be exposed during an explosion (though if it was, it fooled Hasbro as well, since their Power of The Force reissue of the original Kenner Snowspeeder mould featured added detailing (including both exposed areas) based directly on this model)!





Comments

 I like it 
  April 15, 2011
You did a great job reworking this set. I have this one, also, and plan to do some similar changes. Hope it comes out even half as good as yours!
 I made it 
  April 15, 2011
Quoting f-22 raptor very nice. those cheese slopes are now in orange, btw.
Thanks for the tip! I haven't done anything with my LEGO in quite a while (years, actually), but I think I'll give bricklink a visit and pick up some in orange...might give me an excuse to get back into it a little bit!
 I like it 
  December 28, 2010
very nice. those cheese slopes are now in orange, btw.
  May 13, 2009
Fact is that I was younger as i modified my slave1 and probably its Ok but I dont like it for some time now. I will upload some zombie apoc stuff in some weeks or so... so will see what it brings and how people like it. :P
Brian Tobin
 I like it 
Michael Sloper
  May 12, 2009
Congrats on MOTD! I really like the colors and detail it has! The overall shape isn't bad either. Oh, and can you check out my venator?
 I made it 
  May 12, 2009
Quoting Aron M. I was on rage Iam sorry for this shizz and accept my fault you can delete all comments and thank you for the comments on my page I REALLY appreciate it. thanks P.S. I will delete my slave 1 because its really bad.
Hey Aron, thanks for that. I feel bad that you deleted your Slave 1...even small mods are worthy of sharing, but if you're not satisfied with it, I recommend giving it another go and put it back up for everyone to appreciate.
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
I would say you put your heart into this
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
You did your homework on this MOD!
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
Very nice MOD. With your knowledge of the design I think you could attempt a SNOT version. It might be tricky, but it would look incredible when finished.
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
Great work making a good set even better!
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
I was on rage Iam sorry for this shizz and accept my fault you can delete all comments and thank you for the comments on my page I REALLY appreciate it. thanks P.S. I will delete my slave 1 because its really bad.
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
I wanted to get that model so bad but i have the lego people sized 1
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
Amazing! One of the most accuratly designed moc I've seen so far.
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
nice! i lvoe it! ppl still dont get that mod stands for modification, wich means changing stuff on something, like a lego set -.-
  May 12, 2009
sweet
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
Whoa. That thing is big. Love it.
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
Wow, that looks pretty well done. And I should know, because I've built an UCS snow speeder years ago, way before TLC issued an official set. It's pretty much the same scale, but I didn't have much choice in part use back then, so it's nowhere near as good as yours. Also, mine was light bley with orange. I think white works much better.
 I like it 
  May 12, 2009
very good. oh and to ryan, seriously, he didnt really copy the LEGO design. he customized it to his preferences, which i think are better looking. yes, he based it off of LEGO's design, but he BASED off of LEGO's design, and it even says in the ABOUT THIS CREATION area. anyway, good snowspeeder. congrats on MOTD.
 I like it 
  January 19, 2009
OH! MY! LORD VADER! THAT IS PROBABLY THE BEST SNOWSPEEDER I'VE EVER SEEN!!!! Oops! I Accidentaly hit the caps lock key!
  March 12, 2008
this isnt ur creation i can tell by the stand LEGO made it
 I like it 
  March 12, 2008
A splendid rendition of the original set. It does look a lot more accurate.
 I like it 
  March 12, 2008
Very good, Brian. If Edwin thinks this is someone elses, he should give a link to show us where it is. MOC of the day, and deservedly so.
  November 17, 2007
you didnt create this LEGO did
 I like it 
  February 18, 2006
You'd make a great plastic surgeon with your superp nose jobs. This change couldn't have been more skillfully crafted. However, the giant brown patches on the wings are perplexing, why? Edited: you do have white plates...
 I like it 
  February 18, 2006
that is the biggest one of those i ever saw!
 
By Brian Tobin
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