If there’s one thing the Empire enjoys more than galaxy-wide domination, it’s a good old helmet. The pinnacle of Imperial face coverings has to be that of the high ground hating Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Following on from the introduction of the LEGO® Star Wars Helmet Collection last year, two new additions are being added to the line next month. One of which is Darth Vader’s iconic helmet. Since the first moment Vader marched through the corridors of Tantive IV in A New Hope, fans have been captivated by the faceless villain. The original concept for Vader was a Japanese Samurai warrior, which is evident in Vader’s helmet. But does Lord Vader’s helmet make a worthy addition to the Helmet Collection? Here’s my early review of set 75304: Darth Vader’s Helmet.
Pay homage to the Dark Lord of the Sith with this collectible LEGO® Star Wars™ Darth Vader Helmet (75304). Immerse yourself in the complex building process and relive classic Star Wars saga scenes as you recreate the iconic shape and sinister details of the helmet in LEGO style. The Darth Vader Helmet is a compact size and has a display stand with a nameplate to complete a striking centrepiece that will enhance the decor of your home or workplace. And check out the other new-for-May-2021 LEGO Star Wars build-to-display helmet: Scout Trooper Helmet (75305).
- Set Name: Darth Vader Helmet
- Set Number: 75304
- Pieces: 834
- RRP: £59.99/$69.99/69.99€/$89.99 AUD/$99.99 CAD
- Measurements: Measures over 8 in. (20 cm) high, 5.5 in. (15 cm) wide and 5.5 in. (14cm) deep
- Availability: LEGO.com, LEGO Stores and LEGO retailers from April 26th
The build begins in a similar fashion to the other LEGO helmets with the display plinth stand. I like that the design of this uniform across the helmet sets and not just the Star Wars ones. The footprint of the stand is 10×10 studs, meaning it doesn’t take up much space, of course, this expands a little once the actual helmet is built upon it. Although it doesn’t get added until the very end of the build, the stand also features a unique printed 4×6 plate, which features the LEGO Star Wars logo and the name of the set.
The build of the actual helmet is certainly more complex compared to the other helmets. Vader’s helmet is an iconic piece of movie memorabilia, this is solely due to the unique nature of its design. If you’re reading this, then I’d assume you are a fan of Star Wars and will have seen many of the films. So you’ll be aware of how Vader’s helmet is crafted from two sections. The sharp angular section around the jawline and the faceplate and sloping helmet. The build follows a similar set-up, with the base of the helmet and the lid of the neck built onto the display stand.
The rest of the helmet is built separately before being added to the display stand. The inner core of the build surprisingly colourful for the Dark Lord of the Sith. It features a mixture of elements with studs on the side, including those commonly found in the BrickHeadz sets. This allows the set to be almost clad with the detailed sections. But before the outer sections of the helmet are added, the most important aspect of the entire set the face section.
Now crafting the face of the Dark Lord of the Sith’s menacing grimace with LEGO elements isn’t easy, the real helmet has some crazy angles, slopes and curves to give Vader his menacing appearance. Thankfully it’s been achieved extremely well and uses some interesting elements to do it. Wheel arches make perfect frames for Vader’s soleless eyes and a DOTS tile, with a sticker, is a perfect ‘nose’. The only part of the face I feel could be improved is the grill, which fronts the breather section. Two triangular tiles along with a 1×4 tile, make up this prominent part of the helmet. There are two stickers applied to the triangle plates but the 1×4 tile is left black, if you look at the actual helmet, the grill lines extend across the entire triangular section.
Once the face section is complete, the inner core extends surprisingly high. This is to give you enough surface to add the dome of the helmet. Getting LEGO elements to create a curved shape is quite tricky, especially within such a small surface area, there are a lot of layers to the section of the build. This does a decent job of recreating the unique flow of Vader’s helmet, although it’s ever so slightly too chunky. But consider this is built from LEGO bricks, a perfectly rounded slope would be near on impossible, without affecting the rest of the build. The fin-like rim of Vader’s helmet is achieved with three different sections, which all clip to the core of the build, this allows them to be sloped to give the build the unique samurai helmet-like appearance.
One thing I will say is that largely black LEGO builds aren’t the best thing to photograph and as such their appearance isn’t best captured here. The final build looks great and just as you’d expect Vader’s helmet to look. I love that the LEGO Group has chosen to create a line of sets purely focused on adult builders. As an AFOL myself, almost all the sets I build are used for display and having sets designed for that purpose is very welcomed. When you think of Star Wars helmets, then Vader’s is right up there with the OG Stormtroopers. The build of Vader’s helmet is rather fun, the unique shape and features of it aren’t easy to achieve with LEGO elements, but the Design Team has pulled it off impressively well. The top slope of the back of the helmet may not decline in the same manner as the actual helmet and the breather grill stickers needed to continue under the two included, but the rest design is spot on. I particularly like the use of joust weapons to recreate the angular edges along the mouth section of the helmet and the flow of the fins around the base of the helmet. I’m fortunate to have all the Star Wars helmets and they look amazingly cool when displayed all together. You can pre-order Vader’s Helmet now (not currently available in the APAC region) ahead of their release on April 26th.
This set was provided by the LEGO Group for purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are that of BricksFanz and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group or Disney. Providing the set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.