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2012's off to a pretty good start
This is one of the first sets I've picked up in the new year, the start of what's shaping up to be a very expensive year for me for LEGO.
Honestly, the set itself is relatively underwhelming. There is only a single model in the set (I usually prefer two things to give it that extra playability), and it isn't extremely interesting. Some people think it's a scaled-down AV-7 cannon, which isn't exactly one of the most intriguing Republic vehicles I've ever seen, and I guess there isn't really anything more suitable to go with the minifigures. For the number of pieces that battle packs usually have, the cannon is well-constructed, with the ability for the horizontal and vertical movement of the legs, and being able to move the cannon up and down. Flick-fire missiles not requiring actual flicking with fingers is always a plus for me, with the missile placed below the main cannon being able to be launched by pushing in a TECHNIC piece. All in all, a nice design of a fairly boring vehicle.
The main thing about the Commando Droids is the new headpiece, when I first heard that they were going to be included in a set, I was expecting them to just be a re-printed Battle Droid head (which I didn't like the idea of), so I was happy to see these newly moulded heads. The printing and the moulding of the head is quite well done- they really do look very accurate to the Commando Droids in the TV series. Nice to see some printing on the torso piece, I know it's only a red dot, but it's nice to have that detail. I would have preferred a the black variant of Commando Droids to the dark brown, but I guess it doesn't really matter in the end. Only thing I really have against them is that they're droids- no I don't have anything against non-living minifigures, and this obviously isn't specific to the set, but I've had several bad experiences with Battle Droids, Super Battle Droids and the original General Grievous, where arm and leg joints will break- I'm just dreading the day when these dark brown arms (which are as far as I know exclusive to this set) start breaking- there is one spare of each arm included though.
The ARF Trooper is great- the torso printing is just of a normal Clone Trooper as it should be, but the helmet has a lot of detail on it, there's a lot of detail on the sides, and the dark red printing designs on the top look really nice. It's also good to get another form of ARF trooper to compliment the original one from Lightning Squadron and the Shadow ARF Trooper.
However, for me the main focus of the set has always been on the ARC Trooper. The minifigure has really well detailed dark red legs, a nice white and grey armour pattern, and the helmet's even got the grey printing on the front for the face area, along with more dark red markings. The helmet shape itself is unique to the set- it has a hybrid Phase I/Phase II design seen on some ARC troopers before the transition of the different types of clone trooper armour. The bottom section of the helmet is the Phase II part, and doesn't go down below the head as far as the original Phase II helmets in the Episode III line, which means it's able to sit on the heads of minifigures comfortably if they're wearing plastic pauldrons or other such things. The two holes in the Phase I The Clone Wars helmets are also on this helmet piece, meaning you can attach the usual rangefinders/visors/floodlights. This minifigure features a dark red rangefinder, which is a really nice change to the normal black and grey that most trooper have. The set actually includes four rangefinders and four dark red visors as well which I found to be pretty generous, giving you the ability to personalise your other troopers even further than before (for example, having the ARC Trooper leading a squad of seven other standard troopers with red attachments could look quite nice). The kama and pauldron are cloth, which I don't really understand since we've already got a perfectly good plastic black kama piece, and cloth can sometimes end up fraying, but they still look nice and fit really well- I was expecting the pauldron to be in a similar design to Chancellor Palpatine's pauldrons, but it's actually only one piece, and it doesn't go down the arms as far, meaning you've got a bit of extra movement with them for using the blasters.
- The minfigures- all four a well-designed
- Flick fire missile mechanism
- Several ways to move cannon
- Only one model in the set
4 / 5
3 / 5
|Level of Difficulty:||
1 / 5
|Value for Money:||
4 / 5
In the end, I wasn't completely sure about the transition from having one faction in the set to having two opposing forces, but all things considered I think this is a good idea and does allow for that extra playability. However, I would really only recommend this set if you're after the figures (isn't that what Battle Packs are really about anyway?): compared to the somewhat average-looking cannon, they do look very appealing and would be a great addition to your Republic and Separatist armies.