Spending 350€ for a LEGO model seems pretty much money, and I had a hard time convincing my self to actually buy the LEGO SHIELD Helicarrier 76042. I have been reading the build series on BrickFanatics and also watched this review video by the Brick Show.
In the end it turns out that I’m busy during the weeks (Icinga 2 Trainer, Icinga 2 2.3 release, CeBit, etc), and it’s a nice present building LEGO on the weekend. Further this had been an exclusive pre-order for LEGO VIPs, and I already know that such UCS models are sold out at last (remember the Star Wars Slave I model). So, Bernd also invested into important things in 2015, and got his one even sooner. Though, mine also arrived on 2nd of March, then Icinga 2 training and finally on Sunday I got my hands dirty on this one.
The 76042 model consists of 2996 pieces and 12 build sections with one to four bags to sort and build. Those build sections take less than an hour each, and can be easily sorted on a small table (not the couch version). The instructions book is huge – 151 build steps and 448 pages. Without the power addon stuff of course. You might actually use power functions to make the rotors move, and also add some led light in front. Looking at the reviews, I didn’t like it much as the cables destroy the inner good looking, the bridge and computers.
The scale is not for mini-figures, although there’s a stand adding 5 of them: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye und Maria Hill. In order to make this model more playable and lively they have added micro-figures: Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man and 8 SHIELD agents. They fit on a single nob, and you’ll certainly recognize Iron Man by its transparent hover 😉
Additionally there’s lots of lovely details with 3 quin jets, 3 fighter jets, lift trucks, tank wagon, etc – the helicarrier looks like there’s a lot of stuff going on currently. From the inside, there’s lots of Technic bricks and building involved – also space for the power functions. The front features the command bridge where the scene play with Nick Fury and lots of transparent computers could be seen.
In terms of building sections you’ll start with the eagle stand for the minifigures – though, you’ll get them later on during the build. After that, the black UCS stand including the sticker (god, I hate stickers) is built. It’s pretty robust and it has to be since this model is very heavy.
Starting with the base you’ll be reminded of the pirates ship’s body, but in a long scale. Plenty of LEGO Technic items are used to make this model robust at last. Furthermore you are building the command bridge directly inside. On top, the mechanism for moving the rotors is already integrated. That one is a bit tricky to adjust the gears so they fit, but there are instructions for that as well. On the side, you’ll hide many of the ugly technic bricks with on top base plates and the famous 64 logo (again stickers).
The repetitive and boring part are the four wings with the rotors – they are not the same, but quite similar being built. It’s not as much pain as with the Star Wars XWing but still not that much fun to build. In the end, the water-transparent bricks used for the rotor are the most enjoyable since they are unique to this model. Afterall there are some building techniques used again which are not the standard way.
Once the wings are done, you’ll add the propulsion in the back including some nice building techniques as well. Putting the runway in place unveils the first new thing – the long black plates are printed, no need for any stickers. The ceiling of the command bridge can be removed which adds some playable ground for later.
The front needs to be added – but that design decision to use a mix of printed plates and stickers which don’t really fit together on the runway – dear LEGO Designers, WHY BUT WHY? The stickers are way too small and make the runway look ugly, if you’re close to the model.
In the end, build section 11 introduces the skew runway which can be removed later on as well. There’s a nifty build technique used here, and it’s fun to add all the details to it. Section 12 finishes the modul with adding a small command bridge with transparent glass on top of it – that one must be removed to remove the skew runway later (although there’s no real reason to do so, because the floor below is boring, just black plates).
One of the quin jets can be put into the air with a transparent holder, while the others stay in starting position. Two of the SHIELD soldiers are hidden in the mini command bridge, Nick Fury and Hawk Eye are put inside the huge command bridge. The other SHIELD soldiers as well as Iron Man and Captain America are placed somewhere on the runway. Additional packages and petrol tanks complete the scene.
Putting the model on the UCS stand is a bit tricky – it is really heavy and the stand does not fit. I made it work, but I think it could be done better by fitting smaller parts, not the entire lane (which is hard to find with that huge model to hold). You cannot turn the model to the bottom and make it fit, unless you have three arms – holding the model in the middle with just one hand will make the skew runway go away, and so on.
Conclusion: Apart from various repeating build steps, stickers and the not so good designed stand I really like this model. I won’t add the power functions, there’s no real benefit with this model and I don’t want to see cables anywhere in the scenes. What I really like about this model – I generally like carriers and their level of detail (remember the Revell models, Bismarck and so on). In combination with the cool Avengers story, as well as having played the video game “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes” where you’ll run and fly on the helicarrier as basis – just awesome & pure imagination joy.
I’ve been watching the Lord of the Rings Special Extended Edition blurays (which is ~11h) while building this model. In the end, it took me ~9 hours to build which is not that bad for nearly 3000 pieces. On the other hand – imagine how many pieces and time this would take if it would be in mini-figures scale? 🙂