Being a huge fan of the AquaZone series it was an inevitable thing that I would invest in the Sting Ray Stormer. Why? Maybe it was the dark and creepy look of the stenciled pieces on the front of it, maybe it was the eerie green almost-neon pieces or possibly the figures. Honestly, it was a little bit of everything. When you are a Lego fanatic you’ll buy pretty much anything with Lego logo on it, no matter the price or number of times it’s been reheated and served up time and time again. The design of the Sting Ray Stormer isn’t anything that I would call ‘new’ but it is a nice improvement on some of the older ships that it was based on. The ship is a little on the fragile side so kids will have to be careful with it but you can fix some of the biggest problems by adding some pieces under the main sections.
AquaZone Sting Ray Stormer 6198
So what’s the deal with the Sting Ray Stormer? It’s an attack vessel that has some incredible accents and unique build designs. Some of the strongest points of the ship from a visual side are the four Sting Ray logos; these are placed two on the front and two on the side but if you are into doing modifications you can move them to other parts of the ship. They don’t add any support to the design of the ship so if you do decide to move them you won’t have to replace them with other pieces. The same thing goes for the two hoses that run from the side to the middle of the ship; because they are a lighter gray color they look good no matter where you use them so once you get through the initial build you can move them to wherever you want. You do want to try and keep them out in the open so you can show off the design of them as they are one of the visual strong points of the set.
If this were just a ship then that would be cool but there’s more to it than that. The back end of it has two add on sections that can act as a tail or that can be removed and used as independent mini ships or people movers. There are no canopies on these so they aren’t designed to be something that the figures are put into but with a few extra pieces added on to them, they can easily be converted to other types of ships. The tail action is possible due to Technic pieces that allow side to side movement; this same build is also featured on the top of the ship so you can adjust the smaller propellers. If you have extra Technic pieces you can add them to the four stenciled Sting Ray pieces so they have movement. You don’t want to go crazy with mods like that because it makes the ship more fragile than it already is but if you are building it just to display it and not play with it then no harm, no foul.
Even though there are some cons to the set because of the fragile design there are so many perks to it. Not only do you get a shark but you also get a black stingray and octopus. Add to the some very strange looking plants and all of the cool accessories that the figures can make use of. While the ship is the main focus of the set the designers didn’t forget that collectors and fanatics would never forgive them if they didn’t toss in a few cool pieces to church things up a little. The figures are nicely detailed and have some cool accessories like a metallic shark gun / spear, flip front box, crystal formations and a set of walkie talkies. Some people trashed the look of the figures saying that the coloring choices made them look tacky but they are a hell of a lot nicer than the ones that you get in any of the sets today. You get a total of four of them and each have unique facial expressions but only one of them has a unique stenciled pattern on the uniform. They all come with unique scuba helmets and tanks so there’s another perk that will help soften the blow of the price you’ll have to pay to get this.
So you like this ship and want to get the whole mini series. Well, good luck with that. Lego stopped making the series around 2001 but there are still sites that sell the set; you will end up paying more than the original sixty dollars that it was selling for but if you are into the theme or want something to supplement your Alpha Team adventures then it will be money well spent.
The four sets in this mini series include: 6107 Recon Ray, 6109 Sea Creeper, 6160 Sea Scorpion and 6198 Sting Ray Stormer.
The instructions that come with it do a relatively good job of giving you a step by step walk through on how to build the ship. You will need to open a couple of bags and separate pieces before you start and if you are new to Lego sets take some time to get familiar with how the instructions are laid out. Its always better to take some extra time going over complicated sections than to have to rip pieces apart and do a rebuild. If you have the room try putting the pieces in groups by color so you can find them easier when you are building it and remember that the colors of the pieces are darkened in the illustrations once they are no longer considered active in that section of the drawing. You will have to do some flipping of the ship when you are building it so if you come to a few sections that don’t look right or have sections that you don’t recognize, try turning it over and looking at it from that view point. They really do need to tell you when you should turn it over but I think they are assuming that everyone knows that and sadly, that’s just not the case.
Even though the ship can lose some pieces when you are playing with it, it still had a sleek look to it. The two front cabin pieces join together perfectly so you don’t see the seam; that is what covers the cockpit that can hold two figures, one on each side of the break. If you are a fan of any of the underwater themes or cheered for Ogel in the comics that were released with some of the Alpha Team sets then you will love the overall look and appeal of this ship. The span of almost fourteen inches across and in length makes it a huge thing to try and display but it is something that any Lego lover or fanatic would love to have in their collection. I’ve had more than a few people offer to buy it but there’s no way I’d ever sell it. We had way too much fun building it and if they boys saw that it was gone, I’d have hell to pay.
Name: Sting Ray Stormer
Set Theme: AquaZone / Stingrays
Set Number: 6198
Piece Count: 398
Age Recommendation: 6 and older
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Build Time: 30 – 40 minutes