Review: StarBricks MOC SB00401 - K-Project
One of my favorite things about building custom MOCs is the ability to create something that otherwise would never be released as an official product. And while typically MOCs are great display pieces with high amounts of detail, they tend to feel like a MOC, and not like an official set. The MOCs that blur the line between official and fan-made creations in my mind are the highest achievers. And every so often there’s a MOC of this caliber. This time around, it’s StarBricks’s K-Project.
Released in October of 2020, this is Mirko Soppelsa’s (aka StarBricks), fourth MOC release since kicking things off with his famous U-Wing, otherwise known as the U-Project. This is actually the first of Mirko’s MOCs that I am building, but based on the reputation of his previous MOCs, my expectations were quite high.
The K-Project is a model of the droid K-2SO from Rogue One: A Star Wars™ Story. It contains 3,400 parts, and the finished model measures 30 inches tall, 10 inches wide, and 8 inches long.
After using the StarBricks website to connect with Mirko, I was sent an invoice that included shipping for all of the physical components sold by Mirko for his MOC. Just a few days later, I received a package that included a printed instruction manual, a custom printed tile, and a sticker sheet.
Immediately I was impressed with the quality of all of the physical components. The instruction quality is equal to if not better than an official set’s manual. The image and print quality is excellent, page design is superb, and the book construction is incredible. I have never purchased a printed manual for a MOC before, and never thought of taking the dive for our own MOCs, but after seeing this in person, you can bet that we’ll be working hard to deliver printed instruction manuals of this quality. This was the first point at which I got the sensation that I got something above and beyond a MOC, and honestly, probably above and beyond an official set too.
What is not included are any of the bricks needed to build the MOC. Instead, after purchasing the MOC instructions, I was sent a BrickLink wanted list, which could then be used to purchase all of the bricks with just a few clicks. Right away I noticed that the price of all of the parts was about $0.10 per piece, which is better than most, if not all, of the current official sets licensed under the Star Wars™ Theme.
After sorting all 3,400 pieces I jumped straight into the build. The process involves building the lower half of the droid and the base, then the upper torso, arms, and head. Throughout the entire build, everything was quite sturdy, and I had no problems with unfinished areas falling apart. For the most part the instructions were very easy to follow. There were a few steps that took a few looks; however, this didn’t overshadow the brilliance of sections such as the inner mechanism which locks the arms in place and allows them to be rotated. Some of the internal sections are incredibly complex, and the process of building them are perfectly done for a smooth building experience.
In total the build took 10 hours, which was a bit longer than the Mos Eisley Cantina™ (A set of similar piece count). This can be attributed to the sorting that is required when building MOCs. Official sets obviously contain parts in numbered bags, which eliminates the hassle of sifting through a pile of parts. Finding small parts that are not in large quantity can be extremely time-consuming task. The more sorting that you do before building a MOC, the less time you’ll spend searching for bricks instead of snapping them together.
There are a ton of features included in the K-Project, it is not simply a standing figure. Most notably are the posable arms, which can be rotated at the shoulder and elbow joints. The shoulder functionality is great, but due to the weight of the forearms the arms are stuck hanging down. Any attempt to bend the elbows results in the forearm falling down under the weight of the hand and forearm. The other three key features that stood out to me are the posable head, the rotating torso, and the opening panels on the back of the model. One panel is located on the back of K-2SO’s head, and the other flips out from the top of the back, both revealing internal wiring and circuitry accurate to the film and character. This to me stands out as one of my favorite details because it really makes the MOC feel like there is a full “interior” to the droid rather than a skeleton with panels. For models of characters such as this one, I think it’s important to sell the idea that it really works as a droid, whereas for large vehicles and ships the interior details often don’t bring as much life in my opinion.
I would be remised not to mention the benefit of the custom-printed stickers for the K-Project. The quality is excellent, and they add so much life to the shoulders, wrists, and ankles that otherwise may have looked plain without them. These were all very easy to place thanks to their numbered labels in the instructions and on the sticker sheet.
Moving the model turned out to be a very simple process. Around the hips/waist area, the model connects an “upper” section to a “lower” section via four technic pins. At this location, you can easily break the model into the two halves and transport it without the fear of it toppling over due to the torque caused by all of the weight up top.
I went in with high expectations, and I was still blown away after completing this MOC. Built at the same scale as the UCS models of R2-D2 and BB-8, the K-Project expands this line of droids, and is by far the best model of the group. The curves are elegant, the details are rich, and the entire model flows from top to bottom effortlessly.
One of my concerns prior to building was the stability of the model. This model, much like our Walker from Walker Assault, faces the problem of skinny legs with a heavy body (couldn’t the Imperial engineers think of anything else?). After finishing the build, I can gladly say that this thing is rock-solid. The feet are attached to the base in a very rigid fashion, and while the upper portion of the model tends to wobble, the feet don’t budge at all, which means the model stays upright.
Overall, if you’re a Star Wars™ fan, or a LEGO® fan, do yourself a favor and buy this MOC before the printed instructions sell out. It stomps on any of the similarly priced official sets at this time, and I promise that you will be as thrilled as I am when you finish it up. I genuinely feel as if this is the best possible version of this droid in brick-form. I’m not even sure I could see The LEGO® Group putting out a model of K-2SO quite as good as this. I think it’s safe to say that this model is going to be on my main display desk for a long, long time.
Mirko hosts his MOCs on his own site, which can be accessed here.