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Part II in Post 18 below.

Spinoff Photo Story HERE.

It has occurred to me that we should be wishing each other stress-free Christmases rather than just Merry Christmases (or Happy ones, if you speak the more proper royal form of English). Given how long a certain key ingredient took to get here, it was a miracle I got it done before Christmas. And although it is not particularly holiday-oriented, I figured I'd post it up as a way of relaxing in the calm between two Christmas storms (figuratively, not literally).

While you are waiting for the photos to load, you might want to take a look at what turned out to be a whole research essay -- this time I had taken plenty of notes, as this one took a lot of effort to figure out with plausible accuracy. Was it worth it? To me, yes. So here it goes...

Call it a Christmas miracle. I thought I will never have one. No company had produced one in any scale, nor had it acknowledged its existence. But after never really looking into it, I ended up kitbashing and customizing a sixth-scale recreation of what may be one of cinema history’s ultimate amissible background characters (even if there was a whole formation of them lined up behind the two dark lords of the original Star Wars universe). I am referring to what has been called an Imperial ground crewman or Imperial mechanical crewman. No, I do not mean the newly invented closed-helmeted ground crew that provided an Imperial uniform disguise for Jyn Erso in Rogue One; and I do not mean the so-called “scanning crew technicians” (who wear black caps and grey jumpsuits, but surely do other things than simply operate scanners) or the various naval communications crewmen aboard Star Destroyers in The Empire Strikes Back (who wear standard caps and jumpsuits in either olive and grey or black and black). Blink twice and you will miss them. The guys I am talking about are both the creation and the victim of Lucas’ vision for the emperor’s arrival scene in The Return of the Jedi.

The Evidence
It is no secret that Lucas needed as many Imperial characters as he could to fill out the (artificially) vast hangar that served for the emperor’s arrival aboard the second Death Star. Stormtroopers, scout troopers, the newly-designed regular army troopers (“AT-ST drivers”), TIE-Fighter pilots, gunners, naval guards (“Death Star/Squad troopers”), “scanning crew technicians,” various officers, and a smattering of droids were called up in formation to greet the diminutive wizard-like emperor. The whole thing was supposed to evoke the military parades of totalitarian regimes, and the number of characters and vastness of space required for that led to the infamous decision to combine actual film with a matte painting, mixing real and painted characters for our viewing pleasure. The wide shot of this scene (photo A), the one combined with the matte painting, does not even feature the background characters that are the subject of this kitbash/custom: they must have been late for the set or, more likely, overlooked as unnecessary from that perspective; there is no one beyond or behind the formation of four rows of “scanning crew technicians” to the left (camera right) of the landed shuttle. But then the angle of view changes (photo B), and one can discover our new characters in formation (at least four rows deep) just to the left of the emperor’s shuttle, standing behind the aforementioned four rows of “scanning crew technicians.” Then the angle of the camera changes again (photos C and D), as we see the emperor and Vader begin their conversation and walk on: the “scanning crew technicians” have disappeared (they were apparently redeployed to swell numbers farther down the line), and our guys have advanced to the very front. This is confirmed by a set photo (photo E) of unused footage (which would have been nice to see in the film), where we see them lined up at the front, with only the red-robed Imperial royal guards between them and their ultimate boss. And, apart from a rare photo of one of their helmets (photo F), that is all the “primary” evidence on these guys I have been able to dig up.

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Following the standard established or accepted by the 501st Legion, let us call them Imperial mechanical crew. The out-of-focus and limited footage led to a fairly late recognition of the characters as belonging to a new type of unit, as well as all sorts of misconceptions about both their purpose and their actual appearance. Actually, their true purpose is clear: they were there to take up space, swell up the ranks of the Imperials lined up to greet the emperor, and provide just a bit of additional variety for the assembled Imperial forces; possibly for the emperor and his officials, certainly for Lucas’ camera lens. Strangely so, since some previously attested uniforms are not seen here, like the cream-colored tunics of the security bureau from A New Hope or the olive and grey get up of the Star Destroyer crewmen from The Empire Strikes Back (who are also conspicuously absent from the deck of the Executor in The Return of the Jedi!), among others. These choices confirm the apparent and misleading preoccupation with overall optics in the staging of the scene. Closer inspection reveals plenty of missing elements, apparently deemed too minor to be noticed even when contradicting established uniform appearances: some “AT-ST drivers” helmets without chin-straps, some jumpsuits without Imperial cog emblems on their upper arms at the shoulder, some belts without utility boxes (they were there in A New Hope), all gunners without their ribbed tops and leather chest protectors (ditto), one of them infamously with his “bib” out over the collar of his jumpsuit -- surely a wardrobe oversight, not an intended uniform look or fashion statement; but Kenner stuck a photo of that one on the action figure card back (HERE), and it has caused a minor controversy). And I have already noted the inconsistencies and redeployment in the formation of attendees between different shots in the same scene. Our mechanical crewmen were put together to contribute to this slightly slapshot environment, and their fairly basic outfit is quite consistent with such basic needs.

Interpretation or Misinterpretation
Let us take a look at the costume and dispel some misconceptions. As mentioned above, the footage is limited and out-of-focus. So it is not altogether surprising that misconceptions should arise. One fairly detailed source, Curtis Saxton (HERE), who may have been the first to make me realize these characters existed, describes their appearance as follows, sometime before 2006:

"Enlisted (unclassified)
• Blue-black overalls, single-breasted top.
• Black open helmet, cockroach brim absent or not clearly visible.
• Black belt with silver buckle and holster, no utility boxes.
• Long-sleeved black gloves.
• No rank badge or code cylinders.
Images: Standing at attention, left of Lord Vader.
These men probably aren't regular naval sailors, guards or technicians, because those uniforms are already identified. They must specialists of some kind, or have mildly dangerous working conditions, otherwise they wouldn't have helmets. They don't work in vacuum, otherwise the helmet would be sealed. Since the next two types of servicemen on this side of the bay are naval (black-capped technicians, then gunners) I tentatively guess that the mysterious men are also in the Navy.
Jason Mitchell notes that the holster implies combat/security, and the lack of belt boxes common to specialists, crew and technicians. For these reasons, he suggests that these personnel could belong to Military Police unit or a Shore Patrol unit."

Much of this is correct, but there are also a lot of errors, some of them unexpected, given the image he supplied: the overalls/jumpsuit IS navy blue (which can appear almost black on film), there are NO silver belt buckles and apparently NO belts or holsters, and there are NO long-sleeved (or otherwise) black gloves. Even without these mistakes, some of the otherwise interesting implications drawn by Saxton and Mitchell do not necessarily follow (presence of helmets and absence of utility boxes do not keep these characters from being ground/mechanical crew any more than their very similarly equipped Rebel counterparts -- see below).

Seemingly unaware of Saxton’s notes, Cal Pierce and associates drew attention to this character type in 2011, submitting the costume specifications to the 501st Legion, and posting their recreation of the costume on the Rebelscum forum (HERE). They correctly concluded the characters were thrown in “to fill in space,” that the jumpsuits were navy blue, and they created the “mechanical crew” designation. They also noted that “the costume is really plain Jane in the movie” and admitted adding (or being tempted to add) embellishments extrapolated from other Imperial uniforms, “such as gloves, belt, comm pad, code cylinders, cogs on shoulder,” in other words correctly realizing none of these were present in the actual film costumes; the featured photos of the recreated costume and the specifications adopted by the 501st Legion (HERE) ignored any such embellishments.

While Pierce et al. in effect corrected most of the earlier misconceptions (about the presence of belts, holsters, gloves), they introduced what appears to be a glaring, if somewhat easy to make, error, which has been overlooked and allowed into the 501st Legion guidelines. This is the Imperial cog emblem on the front (“forehead”) of the helmet. The glossy black helmets reflected the overhead lighting of the set like those of the gunners and “Death Star troopers” and TIE-Fighter pilots. The gunners and pilots do have cog emblems on their helmets, and the decoration on the gunner helmet (which in fact incorporates into a more complex design the same basic “talker” helmet as that of the mechanical crewmen) is in fact a single large cog emblem on the front (“forehead”). However, for all the reflection, distance, and out-of-focus imagery, it does NOT appear that the mechanical crewmen had a cog-emblem on their helmets; the evidence is as follows:

Exhibit A: in a movie still (photo B), the mechanical crewmen are seen standing alongside “Death Star troopers” and gunners; the reflection effect is identical for the mechanical crewmen and the “Death Star troopers,” while in the case of the gunners the cog emblem can be seen as a white circle with a darker center separate from and additional to the reflection of the lights.

Exhibit B: at least one photograph (photo F) of a mechanical crewman helmet exists, showing no trace of an Imperial cog emblem on it, despite some scuffing.

Between these two pieces of evidence, we can be certain that a reconstruction of the mechanical crew costume with an emblem on the helmet is incorrect. Like the “Death Star troopers,” the mechanical crewmen had NO emblem on their helmet. One imagines this should be good news to anyone trying to recreate this costume in either 1:1 or smaller scale – unless they have already gone though the trouble of applying an emblem where there should not be any.

Comparative Evidence and Reinterpretation
The costume of the Imperial mechanical crew is a fairly minor variation of the costume of the Rebel ground crew on Yavin IV in A New Hope. I use the term “ground crew” generally, following Brandon Alinger (Star Wars Costumes, San Francisco 2014: 22-23), whose close collaboration with Lucasfilm makes him an authority in my book; the Rebel Legion costume guidelines distinguish between two variations, which they label Rebel ground crew (HERE) and Yavin hangar technicians (HERE). Generally speaking, these wear grey jumpsuits that are identical to the Imperial ones except in having rectangular rather than chevron pocket flaps, and having four leg pockets instead of only two. The more specific “ground crew” variation appear to forego a helmet and a belt, but tuck in their pant legs into their black boots (photo I); the more specific “hangar technicians” variation wear light grey “talker” (US naval gunner Mk II, HERE) helmets with an added communication unit and antenna (usually in the same color), a modern-looking khaki or olive belt with mini-flare loops, and do not tuck their pant legs into their black boots (photos G and H).

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This provides clues for interpreting what we see of the corresponding Imperial mechanical crew costume. The helmet is the same, in fact the exact same, simply repainted glossy black (Alinger p. 23). The helmet’s chin strap is all black (like those of the “Death Star troopers” and “AT-ST drivers”), as opposed to the black strap with a white chin guard used by the Rebels. The jumpsuit is the Imperial variant of the same garment worn by the Rebel ground crew (the differences being chevron pocket flaps and only two leg pockets), but dyed navy blue. Since it is worn without a belt (certainly no belt buckle of any kind is visible), it can be assumed that the jumpsuit is tucked into the boots. These are difficult to make out in the out-of-focus images but would be consistent with the overall draping of the garment and with the rules for the Rebel ground crew costumes in the films (no belt = pant legs tucked into boots). Given this parallelism to the Rebel crewmen, you can see why I would have preferred to label the characters in question “Imperial ground crew,” although I suppose “Imperial mechanical crew” remains a viable choice.

To sum up, the Imperial mechanical crew wears a glossy black “talker” helmet with a com box and antenna and black chin strap, a navy-blue jumpsuit, and black jackboots (probably the shorter jackboots seen with jumpsuits in Star Wars). This is a simple and not particularly striking outfit, although that is perhaps understandable for the type of character, especially in a film universe whose creator, George Lucas, said “I don’t want anyone to notice the costumes” (Alinger, p. 6, quoting John Mollo). There is certainly consistency in the parallelism with the corresponding Rebel type(s). Such continuity, even among secondary elements, is something that helps the film universe feel real. In fact, the continuity carries over, more subtly, to other trooper types, as the same “talker” helmet forms part of the more complex designs of the Rebel fleet trooper helmets, the “Death Star trooper” helmets, and the Imperial gunner helmets.

Recreation in Sixth-Scale
Such a simply-attired character ought to be easy to kitbash, right? Well, to a point. The boots were a relatively easy choice, between (among others) Sideshow molded Star Wars or DID leather German jackboots; both come in either shorter or taller varieties, but the shorter kind is more appropriate for Star Wars characters wearing jumpsuits. So I chose DID’s shorter leather jackboots, which are hard to find and (being fairly old) tend to be damaged or to be on the verge of falling apart. I might revisit this choice later. The jumpsuit is from a Sideshow AT-AT driver set (these garments are both rare and expensive these days, but for once I had exercised forethought, since they are useful for several different Imperial costumes); I re-painted it navy blue with a … Sharpie! (And left it to dry for days on end.)

The helmet was surprisingly difficult to find; US World War II gunners with clean no-frills Mk II “talker” helmets must either not have been recreated in high-end sixth-scale, or else be exceedingly rare (I know little about modern military figures and may well have missed something obvious). In the end, I found a sixth-scale version of the helmet on Shapeways for a reasonable price and purchased a couple, selecting the smoother surface option. When they arrived, they were still striated enough to betray a rough surface and it was apparent that they would require not only painting, but also smoothing to achieve the desired glossy effect. Since I am pretty bad at sanding (patience not being one of my many virtues), that seemed like a daunting task. Until I discovered a way around it in XTC-3D, a mix and brush-on coating that fills in striations. Perhaps I have not tried enough products, but I was surprised at how well it worked, even with a single coat (to correct some minor oversights, I applied a second). The hardest part was waiting for it to arrive: I could swear they used a snail-drawn open sleigh and the snails kept freezing to the ground. The chin strap is borrowed and slightly repurposed (rearranged, really) from a Hot Toys Solo Mudtrooper, while I made a mold of the communication box on a Sideshow Rebel fleet trooper to recreate that part from Kneadatite (here is where I thank Ovy for encouraging me in that direction a long time ago); the antenna is, predictably enough, a length of wire.
I also painted a second helmet (and provided it with a second communication box) in light grey to put together an approximation of a Rebel ground crewman (or “hangar technician”). I say an approximation, because in this instance I could not bring myself to alter the precious Sideshow AT-AT driver jumpsuit; besides, while making the pocket flaps rectangular might have been easy enough, how would I make two more leg pockets? I suppose knowing one’s limitations is philosophical. But I think it conveys enough of the right effect, especially for an approximation.
It seems to me that the all-important helmets are just a little bit on the small side, but part of that may be up to the head sculpt. The helmets do look better with smaller head sculpts, but unfortunately those usually do not work well with the DAM bodies I used. I selected medium- or medium-small-sized bald or very short-haired head sculpts as a compromise. All in all, I think this recreation of an admittedly bland and archetypically background character turned out pretty well.

More than enough text, on to the photos of the figure (and friends)...

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and the approximation of the Rebel ground crew/hangar technician:

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As always, what do you think?

Part II in Post 18 below.

Spinoff Photo Story HERE.

#starwars #fiction #scifi #male #military #imperial #mechanical #crew #ground #kitbash #custom
Topics tagged under imperial on OneSixthFigures Swhat010

Rogue One stands out from the other new Star Wars movies in providing a new look at the original, unsullied Star Wars universe that we first encountered and enjoyed all those decades ago. In that, it is arguably the best Star Wars film since The Return of the Jedi, if not since The Empire Strikes Back. And I know I'm not alone in that opinion. However, we should not overstate how good it was. It suffers from the facility and simplicity of the Star Wars universe, and further reflection has reminded me how many plot holes and inconsistencies occur in it (which is not to say that the Original Trilogy was entirely devoid of those). Nor am I necessarily in love with the new trooper types (even the Shore Troopers and Death Troopers) and ships to which we were treated, but it would not be a Star Wars movie without such expansion. Whatever the merits of Rogue One, this installment in the franchise has contributed to the appearance of plenty of Star Wars collectibles in various scales by various companies. The "classic" scale (1:18) put out by Hasbro has featured various characters from the movie, both before and after the return to "super" articulation for the action figures (mostly in the Vintage Collection, restarted in 2018). Hasbro has now released the Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Rogue One, which can supplement (or be supplemented by) their Assault Tank commander and driver figures, as well as the stormtroopers based on the film.

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The Combat Assault Tank comes in a basic cardboard box, amply illustrated with colorful images of the product showing off some of the features and how it "goes" with action figures in this scale. There is some assembly required (but not very much) and everything is neatly stored in the box (you do need to cut a few plastic restraints). One of the odd things about the box is that the illustrations feature older stormtrooper figures by Hasbro, which are visually different and inferior to the ones just released and are not in fact based on Rogue One; even if the new "super" articulated stormtroopers were not available for the photos, they could have used the excellently-sculpted underarticulated ones they already had instead. But anyway...

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The tank is gorgeously sculpted in minute detail that is quite impressive for this scale. I have not had the chance to research this in any great detail, but everything seems done very accurately. The parts of the interior that are visible are given a possibly imaginary treatment, which greatly enhances the level of detail and the sense of realism.

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For a mass-produced toy, the Assault Tank is very well painted and weathered, looking like a fairly realistic piece of hard-wearing military equipment. There are various applications of color to suggest dirt, grime, and wear. Even the normally hidden elements are treated to some paint to suggest metallic machinery and grit. This detailing is extended to the three large containers accommodated on the back of the tank. A close look would reveal some imperfection or repetition, but on the whole the paint application is very good.

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The Assault Tank features several points of articulation and/or openable or removable sections. In terms of real articulation, the side guns can rotate around their axis, while the front gun can be aimed sideways (left to right); the hatch covers over the left-seated driver and the commander can be opened or closed; the continuous tracks can rotate around the wheels (although the wheels themselves do not appear to rotate); the left-seated driver's steering "wheel" can be moved a little, but it does not control or trigger any other function. Removable sections include that over the two drivers, and a portion of the tank's roof just to the right of the commander's perch. The three large containers stored in the back are removable, opening space for loading troops or other items, which can also be closed (forming a flat bed) with two doors that are otherwise stored on the inside sides of the cargo area.

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I suppose the three large orange containers that come with the tank and fit into the grooves of the cargo area on its back can be considered accessories. They are painted in an orange color and given some detailing and weathering. All three have removable sides. One of the three also can be opened up along its top half, exposing a three sections of the interior, each containing three round holes into which are fitted cylindrical canisters. The canisters in the top section can be removed, and in fact can be opened up to expose the crystal bits contained within. This is pretty elaborate detail for a toy in this scale.

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Fun Factor
The Assault Tank is a fairly sturdy, yet elaborately detailed collectible with plenty of articulated or removable pieces and a lot of interactive potential -- from placing in the drivers and commander to transporting or escorting stormtroopers and loading or unloading containers or what not. It works well as both a toy and a collectible. It appears to be at once decently scaled and conveniently compact.

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Overall and Value
Hasbro seems to be on a roll with their new vehicles. There are plenty I would not touch, either because I cannot justify getting a new version or because they are derived from franchise installments that I consider uncanonical (or outright anathema). But if we can judge by Jabba's Sail Barge (which I don't own), the Jabba palace playset (with parts of the Han in Carbonite chamber), and the Skiff, Hasbro's new (or reissued) vehicles are characterized by improved design, increased realism, and intricate detail (whether replicating the real thing or supplying imaginary details in areas that were never shown on film). The Assault Tank clearly belongs in this category with its detailed sculpt and paint work, and its plethora of interactive features and aspects. The price varies widely depending on venues and sales, ranging from about $24 to $80. The answer to "is it worth it" is bound to depend on the individual and on the price. If you want one of these in this scale, however, chances are that you will not be disappointed with this one.

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Where to Buy?
Look around in all the usual places (eBay, etc), or the following (for example) :

Amazon $24.40

Action Figure $70

Big Bad Toy Store $35 (pre-order)

Hope you found this useful. What do you think?

Some related threads:

#starwars #rogueone #assault #tank #galacticempire #imperial #hasbro #vehicle
With the recent release of the Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) stormtroopers by Hot Toys (HT), it became apparent that the new product required additional sculpting and molding, partly intended to reflect the subtle changes in appearance between films and partly to improve any imperfections with earlier (especially A New Hope (ANH) ) versions of their stormtrooper. All this lends itself to comparison and, having promised that in my review of the HT ROTJ Stormtrooper, here it is.

At this point, HT has released three different versions of the basic imperial stormtroopers, not counting the slightly different Spacetrooper, Sandtrooper, etc. The three versions, in order of production, are those from ANH, Rogue One (RO), and ROTJ. Why a character type from the same franchise featured in films set in the same fictional era should exist in so many versions should be a mystery, but it is not: the appearance of the basic stormtroopers was altered between films. Some of this had to do with improving the actors' experience and was not intended to alter the overall look, some of it was intended to cause minor "improvements" to the appearance. A dubious rationale from the point of view of continuity, for sure, but it was done, and it gave HT the opportunity (or excuse) to produce several versions.

In the comparison photos below, the stormtroopers are arranged according to the chronology of the Star Wars fictional universe: RO - ANH - ROTJ. I realize that RO is not technically part of the Original Trilogy, but since it is set mere days (or minutes?) before ANH, and since it is intended to portray the same character type from the same era, I am including it here.

First, a side-by-side comparison of the all-important stormtrooper helmets made for each film:

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Then, a side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; front view:

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HT's first basic stormtrooper depicted the character type's appearance from ANH. It was a sharply executed, beautifully sculpted and painted figure, and an improvement on any that existed among higher-end sixth-scale models. The one serious departure from a correct reproduction of the appearance of the stormtrooper was HT perpetuating a mistake already present in the earlier Marmit and Sideshow versions. This was making the space along the nasal ridge larger between the toothed "frown" and the "mouth" than between the "mouth" and the lower edge of the integral "goggles." It should have been the reverse. Perhaps in part due to this error, the helmet also became too "snouty," extending too far down and forward. The result was a striking and attractive sculpt, but ultimately an inaccurate one. I should point out that the stormtrooper helmet is nearly impossible to get right due to its complexity, its variety (there were two slightly different types, "hero" and "stunt," from the start), and due to the fact that the original molds were based on a hand-sculpted and unintentionally asymmetrical sculpt. That smaller-scale toys and collectibles should "correct" this to a streamlined, symmetrical version (which might even be logically better grounded) is probably unavoidable. Even so, the basic error in proportions should have been spotted and avoided.

Side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; side view:

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For Empire Strikes Back (ESB) and ROTJ, the stormtrooper helmets, though still based on molds from the original film, were altered by Lucasfilm (Mk II). The most obvious difference was the repainting of the "frown" from gray to black, and a less extensive black paint application on the sculpted "mouth" area. Because of the way the molds were produced, the helmets also assumed a slightly thinner, taller, aspect. Note that although the Mk 2 helmets were produced for ESB, they were barely used in it (most scenes were already shot, using slightly altered ANH helmets), and were mostly used in ROTJ. HT's recently produced ROTJ Stormtrooper feature a new helmet sculpt that reflected the changes in appearance fairly well, and undid the earlier mistake in the ratio above and below the "frown" along the nasal ridge -- now the length above is longer than the length below. In fact, they seem to have over-corrected, making the difference a little too large, and still ending up with a slightly too "snouty," if generally more accurate, helmet.

Decades after the Original Trilogy had been filmed and released, the stormtrooper helmet was altered once again for RO. In this instance, it was streamlined by computer design, although some of the original asymmetry was allegedly preserved. The RO helmets naturally attempted to recreate something closer to the ANH look (e.g., the gray toothed "frown"), but the slightly larger and uniformly bubble lenses did alter the appearance a little bit. HT's RO figure appears to have captured the on-screen appearance perfectly in the helmet, with a correct ratio along the nasal ridge above and below the "frown."

Side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; rear view:

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In terms of the rest of the stormtrooper armor, changes undertaken during the filming of the Original Trilogy were largely minute and mostly undetectable, being mostly related to the way the armor was designed to fit onto the underlying body suit. The most visible external changes included adding a narrow trim along the edges of the torso armor elements -- chest and upper-back plates, abdomen and lowe-back plates, cod and butt plates -- and also inverting the small rectangular button plate in the middle of the abdomen. Both of these changes are featured correctly in the HT ROTJ Stormtrooper figures.

The RO armor design made larger departures. Generally speaking, the edges of the armor pieces receded to allow for better articulation, and also the lengths of the body armor pieces changed, presumably for the same reasons. The chest and upper-back plates became narrower but longer. All this is most easily spotted when looking at the troopers from behind. In the same area, the upper-back plate now features a long groove running along the upper edge of the integral "backpack" area, and a little circular hole just above it on the right. The cod piece, belt, and thermal detonator all received minor redesign. The small rectangular button plate in the middle of the abdomen returned to its ANH look, except that the one "stray" button was now made rectangular; also, all the buttons became recessed. All this is correctly reproduced in the HT RO Stormtrooper figure.

Finally, there is the question of holsters. In ANH Stormtroopers were usually portrayed with them (on their left hip), in ESB with them (on their right hip) and ROTJ sometimes with (on their right hip, Death Star scenes) and sometimes without (Endor scenes). Except for that last variation, HT's ANH and ROTJ Stormtroopers are correctly equipped, with the holsters on the correct sides, respectively. HT's RO Stormtrooper comes without a holster, which is also correct. Although this is not illustrated here, HT's ANH Stormtroopers came with two weapons each (or three, if you got the two-pack), but the ROTJ and RO Stormtroopers came with only one, the E-11 standard blaster rifle.

Overall, I would say HT was most successful in recreating the RO stormtrooper appearance; if you get that belt unstuck from the abdomen plate, it would also be the best-articulated of the three stormtrooper figures. The ANH and ROTJ figures are also very well designed and executed, but somewhat undermined by the errors in helmet design (especially ANH, less so ROTJ).

You can find detailed reviews on the HT stormtroopers below:
ANH Stormtrooper (HERE, by Michael Crawford)
RO Stormtrooper (HERE)
ROTJ Stormtrooper (HERE)

I hope this has been useful. What do you think?

#starwars #hottoys #imperial #stormtrooper #galactic #empire #review #comparison #fiction #scifi
Search in: General Talk  Topic: STAR WARS Original Trilogy Stormtroopers Comparison  Replies: 15  Views: 1694
Topics tagged under imperial on OneSixthFigures Htswpt10


There was precious little I liked about the Star Wars stand-alone film Solo, but despite the inherent silliness and redundancy, there was just something that made me love the look of the new Patrol Trooper (I cannot say the same about the Biker-Scouts-on-steroids or the "Mimban Stormtroopers," both of which I found completely redundant, although the so-called "Mud Troopers" appear to be a good enough try at generic imperial infantry -- think "AT-ST drivers" -- in combat gear). The Patrol Trooper's design is at once new and familiar; in fact it is as if a stormtrooper, scout trooper, and shore trooper came together in some unholy and magical union and produced the patrol trooper. Although I had some concerns about the size of the helmet in the promotional images, I eventually bit the bullet and preordered it. It is not a decision I regret.

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Packaging: 4/4 stars

There is nothing really new or exciting about Hot Toys' traditional Star War packaging, apart from the colorful cigar box band attached to the bottom of the container, which showcases the product and its name in the same way we have seen with figures from Rogue One. When you open the lid, you find the now traditional card bearing a nice image of the action figure in action -- a nice but completely unnecessary luxury that is probably somehow intended to help justify the price. The box mercifully contains only a single plastic trey (with its cover) -- something that I have to point out as a blessing, having recently re-boxed my Hot Toys classic Superman (that thing had a positively heinous number of often unnecessary treys and covers). Of course that also means that the number of items and accessories is fairly limited. Everything is safe and collector-friendly.

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Sculpting: 4/4 stars

I suppose not having a human likeness to get right helps, but the excellence of the sculpt seems impeccable. The detail is sharp and precise, both on larger and simpler surfaces, and in places that are densely crammed with it (like the recessed panel on the back of the armor). The same carries over to the weapons and hands. I no longer think the helmet is too oversized, although it does have the tendency to appear so in photographs (it looks fine in hand). The Patrol Trooper stands about 30 cm (12 inches) tall.

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Paint: 4/4 stars

The basic paint job is simply black and white, with very little exception or nuance (like the green button on the chest armor and a few grey areas on the helmet and thermal detonator). However, Hot Toys gave the figure ample weathering (although this does not extend to the weapons). This is very well done (although I admit I prefer my troopers clean), pretty well balanced in terms of both intensity and distribution all over the figure's white armored elements. It is most pronounced on the boots, the helmet, and the inside parts of the gloved hands. The helmet's lenses are translucent green, even more noticeably so than usually. The white armor elements and the lens on the pistol are appropriately glossier than the rest of the surfaces.

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Articulation: 3/4 stars

The underlying Hot Toys action figure body presumably has all the articulation you could possibly desire, and it appears that at least some of the joints are now lightly ratcheted (the elbows), presumably so as to hold poses better. The armor and outfit partly restrict this articulation, and some of this might have been possible to address. For example, if Hot Toys had not put the same movement-inhibiting heavy padded garment under the visible layers as it usually does these days, it might have given the hips much better and almost unrestricted articulation. As it is, sliding the utility belt upwards does help, but only to a point. There is a partial problem with the wrists -- here the rubbery armored sleeves press down gently on the hands and make them pop off a little too easily. The worst impact is on the waist, where there is virtually no possibility for lateral or crunch movement. Other than that, the figure's articulation is surprisingly good and it can stand well on its own thanks to the two-part design of the boots and the resulting good ankle articulation.

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(Want to know the story behind this photo? Check out the photo story HERE.)

Accessories: 3/4 stars

The accessories that come with the Patrol Trooper are very limited, although admittedly not unreasonably so. We get an action figure stand and some spare parts, as well as an instruction leaflet, which is not likely to tell you anything you could not figure out on your own. The figure comes wearing relaxed hands, which can be exchanged with the included pair of fist hands, pair of grip hands, and single left hand with outstretched "halt!" fingers (I wonder why we couldn't we get its right counterpart); this makes a total of seven hands. Then there are the two real accessories: the pistol and baton ("nightstick"). Neither of them features any articulation, but they are well sculpted and painted (in the gun's case, the lens is glossy; the baton has several silverish metallic elements); but there isn't much in the way of weathering on either weapon. The pistol looks like a slightly revised version of the Scout Trooper pistol from The Return of the Jedi. Now while this limited selection is appropriate for what we see on the screen, it is just not something to be really excited about. Perhaps a standard imperial blaster rifle would have been a nice thing to include; I am not naive enough to argue that they should have added his ride, which would probably have doubled or tripled the price. So I am possibly a little hard on this category, which might deserve another half star.

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Light Feature: n/a

While there is no light feature included, light helps accentuate the green-tinted lenses of the Patrol Trooper's helmet. In some light you can actually tell they are green rather than black, and since there is no actual face under the helmet, in some poses the light would shine through, revealing both the color and transparency of the lenses. While this is not realistic in itself, it is very cool. Here is an exaggerated demonstration of this color and transparency.

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Outfit: 3/4 stars

The sculpted armor has been commented upon in the sculpting and paint categories above. The rest of the outfit is made of soft(er) goods. This is slightly more complex than usual with such figures and consists of the following: real fabric straps seemingly holding together parts of the chest plate; black trousers with a white stripe on the outer side; armored sleeves (i.e., sleeves with attached armor plates); and leather-like top; all of this is worn atop an underlying padded suit. This last part was Hot Toy's effort to make sure the outer, visible clothing fills out, but as usual causes annoying partial restrictions in the articulation. The leather-like top looks great with its realistic, pitted texture. The armored sleeves are made of a ribbed rubbery material that in principle looks great, but folds in somewhat unsightly ways when you bend the arms at the elbows; more importantly, some have expressed concern that this part of the outfit would develop cracks after repeated bending and drying out. I am not too concerned, but it is possible, and I would have preferred the use of some ribbed fabric anyway.

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Fun Factor: 4/4 stars

Despite his very limited screen time, the Patrol Trooper is a cool-looking character that lends himself to inclusion into a variety of custom Star Wars scenes and situations. With his good articulation, he should be a fun addition to any scene or collection. And I write this without any intention of combining him with any other Solo characters (even if I intend to pick up a "Mud Trooper").

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Value: 3/4 stars

I am divided on this category. I pre-ordered this product for $210 (USD), but the common retail price now seems to be $220, and that does not include shipping. I thought the lower pre-order price comparatively decent, in line with other army-builder non-protagonists already produced by Hot Toys in the Star Wars franchise -- where $205-210 seems to be Hot Toy's rather twisted idea of a bargain. Seeing the new retail price makes me think twice about that conclusion (which was only relative anyway) and perhaps this category ought to lose another half star. But the figure itself is a great, if limited product, and the price is far lower than some of the egregious prices Hot Toys is asking for other, especially protagonist figures.

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Things to watch out for

Not much. As mentioned, the hands tend to pop off a little too easily, so you might want to keep an eye on them in case something disappears. The baton slides into its holder with some difficulty, and I recommend trying to slide it in from the underside (contrary to instructions). The holder itself can come off the belt, but you can easily re-attach it.

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Overall: 3.5/4 stars

I didn't know quite what to expect of this figure and wasn't sure how much I would like it, given how little I liked the film it was in and how much I resent the constant infusion of newer and ever sillier trooper types (at the expense of the established ones we know and love) even in what is supposed to be basically contemporary to the Original Trilogy. But I do like it: both as a design and as an action figure, with which I have very few gripes. The one real disappointment is the price, but that has to be what one expects of this company and license these days. Everything else about this product is passable at worst and great at best. Since these are troopers and they should come in plural (or at least dual) numbers, I was tempted to get one more, but given the (new and higher) price and the fact that we only see one on screen, I have for once managed to restrain myself.

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Where to Buy

Apart from eBay, I can suggest these:

Big Bad Toy Store for $220
Cotswold Collectibles for $220
Timewalker Toys for $220

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Shooting the photos for this review resulted in an impromptu photo story (the third this week!), which you can check out HERE.

Hope this was useful. What do you think?

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