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It has been about two years now, but since this is a relatively obscure product that proved useful in a recent kitbash, I decided to give it its long overdue review. I reviewed the original Sideshow TIE Fighter Pilot HERE, and much of what follows is going to make reference to that figure; in the photos where they appear side by side, the new pilot is the one with the shinier jumpsuit, darker and glossier gloves and boots, and graphite/grey-painted details on the helmet (I will point out all the differences below). While there is nothing on the box to suggest it, this is really the original trilogy TIE Fighter Pilot as spruced up for Rogue One. The "tiger stripes" and other graphite/grey-painted details do hearken back to the Original Trilogy, but the Rogue One design introduced some innovations in other areas. While easy to spot, they are minor enough to preserve the general iconic look of the original TIE Fighter Pilot. Sideshow appears to have succeeded in adapting its original model accordingly. Check out the YouTube video linked at the end for additional inspiration. Smile

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Packaging: 3/4 stars

The TIE Fighter Pilot comes in the long familiar two-shades-of-black box with a wrap around cover secured with magnets; open it and you can peak at the set within without unboxing it. To get the set out, open either the top or bottom of the box. The set is housed inside two transparent plastic treys, each with its own transparent plastic cover. The top trey contains the kitted-out figure and the hexagonal base, while the bottom trey contains the gun, stand, and extra gloved hand sculpts. The design works reasonably well, even if it is not very exciting (it is consistent with past practice), and everything is safe and collector-friendly. As noted above, there is no indication that this figure is based on the type's appearance in Rogue One. The title is the same: Star Wars Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot, although the photo of the figure is updated to depict the new product in a different pose.

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Sculpting: 4/4 stars

The sculpted detail is excellent overall, and generally identical to the first version produced by Sideshow a couple of years earlier. The most significant departures from the original design are: two additional and identical small black greeblies placed symmetrically at the temples of the helmet; slightly different ear cap greeblies; the use of a Rogue One stormtrooper backplate (with the characteristic indentation running atop the "backpack" section and hole off to the upper right); the use of an imperial belt with (rather than without) utility boxes on both sides of the buckle. Apart from what is noted above, the sculpted detail is exactly the same as in the original set; the gloved hands and boots come from the same molds as before; the same is true for the comm pad showing through the opening on the left sleeve. The E-11 laser blaster rifle is also identical to those Sideshow provided to the previous release of this figure and other imperials. I will discuss the code cylinders under Accessories below. The second Sideshow TIE Fighter pilot appears to be very slightly shorter than the earlier version, but stands about 12 inches tall.

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Paint: 3.5/4 stars

While there isn't a whole lot of complexity to paint scheme, the paint is applied cleanly and accurately. The silverish areas appear more realistically metallic than they did in the earlier release. The molded gloved hands and boots are given a darker coloring than before, making them closer in color to the jumpsuit (for which see under Outfit below); correspondingly, the ribbed hoses are now glossier and darker in color than before. Apart from a slight innovation to the button color scheme on the front panel, the most significant change in the paint scheme is the application of graphite grey "tiger stripes" and other details to the helmet. Much of this was already the case in the Original Trilogy, though not applied to Sideshow's earlier release. The imperial "cog" emblems on the helmet are correctly a little smaller than they were in the Original Trilogy and, accordingly, on Sideshow's earlier version of the type. What is inaccurate to both the Original Trilogy and Rogue One here, is the little black rectangle on the "mow hawk" -- this should feature tiny "Aurebesh" symbols providing the pilot's ID number, but here are left plain black. While this is a minor detail, it does make a significant difference in the appearance. (Medicom got this right on their TIE Fighter pilot.)

While it is difficult to see even if you popped off the helmeted head and shined a light into it, the lenses are, as in the earlier version, translucent grey (see my first review linked above for a depiction). This is something we have rarely gotten from Sideshow (more often, but not always, from Hot Toys), and therefore much appreciated.

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Articulation: 3/4 stars

Theoretically, the articulation should be as good as that of Sideshow's first release of this type. The armor is relatively limited, and the fabric jumpsuit should not get much in the way. I don't know if this is an issue limited to my figure or present throughout the whole line, but some of the joints (most notably the knees and hips) appear to be quite loose. This is an annoyance when trying to pose or balance the figure. The molded gloved hand sculpts limit wrist articulation, while the molded boots eliminate pretty much all potential ankle articulation. The hoses (breathing tubes) connecting the helmet to the front panel are flexible enough to allow articulation, but in practice they can keep the helmeted head from maintaining a specific desired pose.

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Accessories: 4/4 stars

Short of supplying us with some or all of a TIE Fighter cockpit, I think there is very little more that could have been reasonably expected with this set. We get the hexagonal base, stand, additional two pairs of hands (making a total of three pairs: fitsts, grip, and relaxed hands), E-11 blaster rifle, and two code cylinders that go into the pen sleeves that are part of the pocket over the left biceps. The blaster rifle is identical to that supplied with the earlier version of the type and with other imperials by Sideshow, although it is significantly less weathered. The result is perhaps more realistic but certainly less interesting. Technically speaking, I don't believe we have ever seen these pilots sporting guns (or holsters, as in the original release) onscreen, so this accessory is already a bonus. The code cylinders are found with X-Wing pilots and imperial technicians in the Original Trilogy, but appear to have been introduced to TIE Fighter pilots only in Rogue One. These small accessories are well crafted and appear to be screen accurate; they fit snugly into the pen sleeves. While a very minor detail, they are also handy for kitbashing imperial technicians (like the scanning crew found on the first Death Star or the grey- and black-jumpsuit-wearing crew on the Star Destroyers in The Empire Strikes Back).

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Outfit: 4/4 stars

Not counting the molded plastic pieces (like the helmet, chest and back armor, gloved hands and boots), the outfit consists simply of the black jumpsuit and belt (with molded buckle and utility boxes). Both feature innovations: the utility boxes, while found with other imperials in the Original Trilogy, were applied to TIE Fighter pilots in Rogue One. Another difference related to the belt is the absence of a holster for the gun with this version of the pilot; however, as noted above, I don't believe these pilots were ever seen onscreen with either guns or holsters. This would make the new version more screen-accurate. Apart from the pen sleeves for the code cylinders, the jumpsuit is structurally identical to that provided for the original version, except that it is made of a shinier nylon-like material. This, too, is an innovation of Rogue One and screen-accurate, even if its unnecessarily changed appearance keeps it from working for standard Original Trilogy imperials.

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Fun Factor: 4/4 stars

Despite the film-specific differences, overall the appearance of Sideshow's second TIE Fighter pilot is sufficiently close to the original to allow it to mix with the other Star Wars figures from the Sideshow and Hot Toys lines, whether produced for the Original Trilogy movies or for Rogue One.

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Value: 2/4 stars

Retailing officially for $210 USD, not including shipping, this was not a low-priced collectible at the end of 2017. It was a full $30 pricier than the earlier version from just two years before. On the other hand, it is quite good (apart from those loose joints) and (not that I care for such things) a limited edition of 2000 figures; Sideshow allowed only one per customer. Since then, it has sold out, although you might get lucky -- though your wallet would probably suffer. While there have been plenty of minor changes to the set, there is also a whole lot of re-use of molds and patterns, which ought to have kept the price from escalating quite this much.

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Things to watch out for

Hardly anything. Due to those looser joints, make sure you balance the figure well before leaving it standing on its own. The code cylinders are pretty tiny, but they do fit pretty securely in their pen sleeves.

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Overall: 3.5 stars

Like the earlier Sideshow version, this is a very fine representation of a TIE Fighter pilot. To have been perfect, one might have hoped for improved functionality (fewer restrictions on the articulation and a fewer loose joints). And while the set might resonate less with exclusive Original Trilogy fans, the appearance is so close that it would probably integrate seamlessly even among such discerning collectors. I'm glad I picked it up, even if I would have hoped for a better price and a less limited run (such things not being conducive to army-building).

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Where to Buy?

At this late stage, it is basically sold out, although you can probably get lucky at some point somewhere, e.g., on eBay.

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For additional inspiration, check out this fan film on YouTube -- although it has some issues, it is very much what should have happened as the Rebel fleet was massing near Sullust, well before it attacked the second Death Star. Smile

As always, what do you think?

#starwars #rogueone #tiefighterpilot #empire #scifi #fiction #sideshow
For additional images, see Post 9 below.

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After a long wait, Hot Toys has released its sixth-scale rendition of Director Orson Krennic from Rogue One. I still have a soft spot for this film, which felt more like Star Wars than any other since Return of the Jedi, although I have gradually come to realize how many plot holes, inconsistencies, and improbabilities it contains. Krennic, played by Ben Mendelsohn, served as a relatively interesting and relatively well-developed disposable antagonist, and I'm happy to see that he has made it among that select list of characters from the film that has received the Hot Toys treatment (apart from Chirrut Imwe and the three versions of Jyn Erso, he is the only one with an actual face, all the others being masked and a robot). As far as I know, this is the first higher-end sixth-scale rendition of Krennic, the closest thing to it being the Disney version which I reviewed HERE. Although it would be an unfair comparison, in every respect except price, unsurprisingly the Hot Toys product is superior.

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Packaging - 3 / 4 stars

All Star Wars sixth-scale collectibles from Hot Toys come in identical packaging, which has its advantages, but also means that there is even less cause for excitement than usual. Perhaps it is unfair to expect more, and I personally don't put a lot of store on this. The packaging is perfectly collector-friendly and safe, and accomplishes its purpose beautifully. Krennic comes in a standard shoe-box type container with a removable lid, a printed color "title card," and a transparent plastic trey with its plastic lid holding the figure and its accessories; a small transparent plastic trey and lid combo holds the rain poncho, and is taped on the underside of the main trey. Like other Rogue One sets by Hot Toys, the box lid features a "cigar band" affixed near its bottom, with the character's name and stylized depictions.

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Sculpting - 4 / 4 stars

I don't know whether they quite nailed Ben Mendelsohn's features perfectly -- from certain angles the likeness is striking, from others less so. However, they did achieve a lifelike and realistic portrait, complete with countless wrinkles and hair strands. And that is just the head. The sculpting on the other molded pieces (rank badge, code cylinders, belt buckle, gun, ammo clips) seems to be flawless and sharp. The cap is molded plastic in fine and fitting detail, giving it the appearance of real cloth. Hot Toys resolved the usual dilemma of making such removable headgear look realistic and properly sized by giving Krennic a magnetic removable hairpiece that could be swapped with the magnetic removable cap. The cap looks flawless when in place, and the hairpiece is quite undetectable. The stature of the body, 11.75 in (about 30 cm) is approximately correct to Ben Mendelsohn's height of 5'11". This is worth noting, because in the film Krennic appeared shorter than Tarkin, but the action figures are about the same height. We should not forget that Peter Cushing's Tarkin was digitally recreated for Rogue One, and Hot Toys' Tarkin is actually scaled correctly to Cushing's height of 6'.

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Paint - 3.5 / 4 stars

Hot Toys is known for both the excellence of its sculpting and the almost equal excellence of its paint application. It is done extremely well, with various dull and glossy surfaces as appropriate. However, it is not quite perfect. I noticed a little bit of inaccuracy here and there on the blaster pistol, and the overall treatment of the face is perhaps a little less nuanced than what we saw in the promotional materials (which is not necessarily surprising). When dealing with light-colored hair, Hot Toys has a tendency to use a metallic paint or finish, and this is what it did here. It looks good and allows us to appreciate the incredible detail of the finely molded strands, but it does not necessarily convey the salt-and-pepper hair of Ben Mendelsohn in the film with complete realism. That said, I'm not sure anyone could have done a better job of it with molded, painted hair. The entire color palette appears to be slightly warmer than what we see on screen.

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Articulation - 3 / 4 stars

I am tired of writing that the Hot Toys body has the usual excellent articulation, but the clothing gets in the way. Unfortunately, this is true here, as so many other times in the past (Bespin Leia was mercifully spared this issue, but that seems to be an exception these days). The problem appears to be Hot Toys' insistence on using padded undergarments; these are intended to fill out the clothes better than the plastic body itself, but the difference in appearance is minuscule, while the degree to which articulation is made more difficult or outright restricted is consistently annoying. In the case of the Krennic figure, this is especially true for the shoulders and to a degree for the hips and abs -- although with some effort you can make Krennic sit down passably. The wrists work well, the knees and ankles very well, and the tall boots do not impede the ankle articulation. This helps the figure balance well in various poses, and you can even achieve some mid-stride poses at times. I understand why they went with a head sculpted with an integral molded neck (with all sorts of creases on it), but the resulting head articulation is very limited in terms of tilting.

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Accessories - 3 / 4 stars

Krennic comes with a blaster pistol that fits on the holster suspended from the belt, three ammo clips that fit into special openings on the belt, two code cylinders to fit in the slots on both sides of the chest on the tunic (or together in the one slot on the right side of the poncho), a molded plastic hat that can be swapped for the hairpiece making up the top part of the hair, and several interchangeable hand sculpts, including a right fist, a left pistol grip hand (which works ok, but not great), and five more hands that are difficult to describe, but I try anyway: a right closed hand, a right almost closed grasping hand, a left open grasping hand, a left more closed thumbs up hand, and a left more open thumbs up hand. Each of these was presumably useful for some scene, but as I was looking at Krennic's scenes I found that many of the hands that would be necessary to replicate them were not provided with this set. Add to the partial repetitiveness and idiosyncrasy of the hand sculpts the absence of any real pairs (i.e., there's only one fist, there's only one gun grip, there are no relaxed hands, etc), and this makes for an odd and limiting choice of hand sculpts. In terms of spare parts, there are two extra wrist pegs and an extra belt button. There is a now fairly standard stand with a neat extra piece to fit under and around the detachable name plate that makes it look like the end piece of futuristic ramp. However, the top of the base, instead of the usual Death Star floor texture (or the like), has a printed image of Krennic's head (alongside a Death Trooper's) glued on. The image is slick enough and colorful enough, and there is a faint textured inscription of the character's name ("Orson Krennic") in the fictional Star Wars alphabet on top of it (it is not apparent in my photo). But unlike so many previous stands, you are not given the option of using a standard floor-textured surface instead. And that is disappointing. The limitations of the base and of the hand sculpts and the fact that virtually every "accessory" is actually part of the character's outfit detract from this category, especially at this price point.

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Outfit - 3.5 / 4 stars

Krennic's outfit ought to be considered one of the best things in this set, yet here too there are some flaws. The basic outfit is the cream (not white) officer's tunic paired with black pants and black leather-like jackboots, as well as a black leather-like belt with a silver buckle and button. Over this, Krennic wears his cape in a matching color, held fast with magnets at the shoulders. Everything is beautifully tailored and looks and works great; the cape has some wires along the bottom edge that allow for some posing, if not much. But if you look closely, you would see that the cape's collar rides too high -- perhaps it is too wide, or perhaps the cape's magnets do not hold it far enough down -- in stills from the film the cape's collar does not reach as high as the tunic's collar, leaving its top edge exposed; with the figure it is the opposite. Moreover, when Krennic bends his arms at the elbows, the sleeves ride short at the cuff. Neither of these flaws is particularly horrid, but they are notable. Then there is (almost) a whole alternative outfit, and this is what gives this category a higher score. You can remove the cape (and the rank badge which plugs into the tunic) and swap them for the rain poncho, once again in matching colors, and pair that with the molded plastic officer's cap (replacing the hairpiece). The light material used for the rain poncho seems like a good idea, except that it really does not drape well enough, and there are no weights or wires to help it. Moreover, unlike the rank badge on the tunic, the rank badge on the rain poncho is not designed to be removed; but it should have been, as in different scenes in the film Krennic wears different rank badges with the poncho -- the one-row all-red rank badge at the beginning, and (presumably after promotion) the two-row red over blue rank badge (here used for the tunic) at the middle. I suppose one could make modifications, but this appears to be a detail Hot Toys overlooked. Speaking of rank badges, the film continues the tradition of inconsistency and confusion that has plagued the Star Wars saga since just after A New Hope (apparently). The six red squares in a single row badge gives Krennic a rank equivalent to general (like Tagge in the Death Star conference room in A New Hope), while the six red squares over six blue squares badge gives him a rank equivalent to fleet admiral (like the unfortunate Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back) -- although the number of code cylinders might make a difference. Of course, the confusion of Gareth Edwards' team is not Hot Toys' fault, but once again, both badges should have been removable/swappable. As noted above, everything in the set seems to have a slightly warmer palette than what is seen onscreen in the film. This is a good thing where the outfit is concerned, as the creamy tunic allows one to kitbash imperial security bureau officers (like Yularen from the Death Star conference room in A New Hope) far more effectively than if the tunic was in a lighter, colder white. Note that the great cap will be problematic for kitbashing, because it is inside is adapted for use with a magnet and would require substantial modification before you could place it believably on another head.

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Fun Factor - 4 / 4 stars

Whatever the limitations of the set, there is no denying that Hot Toys has delivered a recognizable Krennic who can be paired with all but one of the more frequent characters he interacted with in the film (the notable omission is Galen Erso). We have a Vader from Rogue One (not to mention two from A New Hope), a Tarkin (from A New Hope), three Jyn Ersos, as well as Death Troopers, Shore Troopers, and Stormtroopers (all from Rogue One). Even without the natural kitbashing potential for imperial security bureau personnel, this gives Hot Toys' Krennic a great potential for posing and/or interaction with other figures and in a variety of real or digital environments. I had fun attempting to recreate various frames from the film, or to pair Krennic with others -- so much so that I took more photos than I'm including in this already more than usually illustrated review. So, yes, this set is fun, and I'm glad I went for it. For additional images, see Post 9 below.

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Value - 2 / 4 stars

Retailing at about $235+ (USD), this is not a low-cost product, and being mid-range (and increasingly low-range) for Hot Toys these days is not particularly comforting, given their notorious inflation of prices. On the other hand, even if it lacks some of the "fancy" electronics or more elaborate bases and backdrops found in some of Hot Toys' deluxe sets, it does come with enough extra clothing and accessories to allow for a whole second look. So this category gets a middling rating.

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Things to watch out for

Really nothing much -- except perhaps to watch that you don't lose those smaller pieces, like the code cylinders and ammo clips. The figure is reasonably sturdy and capable of balancing on its legs, in part due to the good ankle articulation. The hands are easier to swap than usual (softer plastic?), which is a great thing, although Hot Toys included a spare pair of wrist pegs just in case.  

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Overall - 3.25 / 4 stars

This rating may not convey my pretty thorough enjoyment of the set, but it does reflect the several limitations and imperfections, compounded with Hot Toys' increasingly hefty prices. Judging by the fact that most of my usual go-to sellers have already sold out this brand new set, it must be popular enough (and perhaps produced in small enough quantities). There is plenty you can do with it or with its parts, which is not always the case.

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Where to buy

Among my usual go-to stores, Alter Ego Comics, Big Bad Toy Store, and Timewalker Toys have sold out of this set, so you can try your luck on our online retailers list (HERE) or on eBay.

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

One more for the road...

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For additional images, see Post 9 below.

#starwars #hottoys #rogueone #director #krennic #scifi #film #male #fiction #review
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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
Part I
For Part II (updated and modified figure), please see Post 18 below.

I'm very late to the sandtrooper party. For one thing, I prefer my stormtroopers clean and ship shape for the parade ground (who was it that said wars just mess up armies?). For another, I've always had a suspicion that sandtroopers were a combination of accident and post-fact rationalization: they were the first stormtroopers used and filmed for Star Wars (Episode IV/A New Hope), and the minor differences in their armor (not just equipment) may have been the result of changing design rather than pre-thought-out purpose (to wit, spacetroopers in the same film don't differ from regular troopers except when it comes to their equipment to breathe in space).

It didn't help that Marmit, Medicom, and Sideshow messed up the helmet in different ways (Marmit and Sideshow got the facial proportions wrong, Medicom used a regular stormtrooper's helmet of the hero variety). And all this was (mostly) before I was collecting high-end sixth-scale figures anyway. When Hot Toys released their sandtrooper, I was very tempted (apart from the most convincing weathering, they had finally gotten the helmet pretty much right -- improving on their standard ANH stormtrooper design which had perpetuated the same error as Marmit and Sideshow). But I was put off by their choice to depict what was definitely a costuming error, the upward arched brow band of one sandtrooper ("these are not the droids we are looking for"). Since then, I have come across photos of the various sandtroopers in all their glory, and have also come to realize that at least the finished HT product's helmet looked acceptable for my delicate sensibilities after all. Of course, by then these collectibles, which had been pricey (for their time) to begin with, were becoming rarer and grossly overpriced. So I kept putting it off or talking myself out of it.

But one by one I picked up pieces from broken down sets (still eschewing the HT helmet until it was too late) until I was gradually able to put together a makeshift complete sandtrooper with the purchase of the last few rare and overpriced pieces. You can see it below, both by itself and also compared with the Rogue One version of essentially the same thing (though less elaborately equipped), the "heavily weathered Jeddha Patrol."  My ANH sandtrooper kitbash/custom consists mostly of different parts from Hot Toys (sandtrooper lower body armor, stormtrooper long blaster rifle, Jeddha patrol upper body armor and helmet) and Marmit (undersuit, pouches, pauldron); I did some custom fitting, greeblies, and repainting.

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Hope you liked it.

#starwars #anewhope #sandtrooper #stormtrooper #rogueone #jeddha #patrol #custom #kitbash
Search in: General Talk  Topic: STAR WARS Sandtrooper kitbash/custom (updated with Part II)  Replies: 26  Views: 1175
Note: For the ready-made fully-articulated new Hasbro Rogue One figure, see HERE.

Stormtroopers were among the original set of Star Wars action figures, but have encountered a long string of imperfections in any common collectible scale. Of those based on the films set in the time of the Original Trilogy, the Rogue One 1/6-scale version by Hot Toys probably came closest to capturing the precise appearance of what we saw onscreen, but that version of the imperial stormtroopers was itself slightly modified from the basic original design (you can check out my detailed review HERE). I am not talking about these here and today.

I am talking about the "classic" or "vintage" scale of figures (generally about 3.75 inches tall) established by Kenner and continued by Hasbro. First, a brief journey through a few of the more important stages of Stormtrooper action figure evolution at that scale. Kenner's original Stormtrooper (1978) was nicely sculpted for its time, but unfortunately under-articulated even then: the usual five-point articulation (swivel shoulders and hips and head) was brought down to four points, because the helmet was sculpted as part of the torso. A sparse and often sloppy paint application made the figure's appearance even more unfortunate.

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(More photos and brief review HERE.)

Kenner's figures became more and more sophisticated in sculpting and paint, but the Stormtrooper was not revisited and continued to be produced on the basis of the same molds. Until, that is, the Power of the Force collection included with a hideous, misshapen, and standing-challenged figure (1995). The less said about this, the better. The one improvement was that the head could now swivel around on top of the neck, and the waist could swivel around its axis.

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(More photos and brief review HERE.)

After that travesty, things looked up when Hasbro acquired the license. In 1999 it produced its first Stormtrooper (with battle damage), complete with a gun rack and 10 points of articulation (admittedly, of the rather basic, swivel kind, except for the ball-jointed neck and shoulders).

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(More photos and brief review HERE.)

Hasbro's improved model took off, and was reiterated and occasionally slightly modified over the following years. By 2011 (Vintage Collection # 41), the little Stormtrooper featured not only a removable helmet and an underlying battle-scarred human face, but also 14 points of articulation and ball-jointed neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. I had started collecting action figures again.

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(More photos and brief review HERE.)

What more could you ask of a 3.75 inch action figure? These figures were not perfect, but for the most part the issues were the preciseness (or lack thereof) of paint application and the often soft or distorted sculpt of the helmets (and not just those that were designed to be removable and made of softer plastic). Then Hasbro went backwards instead of forwards, abandoned the excellent articulation it had achieved, and reverted to... five points of articulation (except for the 6-inch Black Series Collection). And that was enough to get me stop collecting Star Wars action figures in the Classic scale.

But while the articulation went back to Neolithic, Hasbro's sculpting improved dramatically and so did the resolution of its paint application (I say resolution, because it is not always applied with absolute precision or correctness). The sad under-articulated Stormtroopers produced for Rogue One appeared perfect until you tried to pose them. This made me think: is it possible to combine the excellent head (i.e., helmet) sculpt of these new figures with the nicely articulated Stormtrooper bodies of Hasbro's more felicitous products? In almost all cases, that proved impossible -- not without serious alterations (whittling off parts of the neck pegs) and compromises (like having exceedingly wobbly heads or sacrificing neck articulation completely). But there was one combination that worked perfectly, and that is the point I have been getting at.

You would need a Hasbro Rogue One 3.75-inch Stormtrooper (either the ones carded by themselves HERE or, better yet, the ones in the two-pack with Baze Malbus HERE -- these have a better/more complete paint application) and a Hasbro 3.75-inch Spacetrooper (Legacy Collection # 32, HERE and HERE).

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The Spacetrooper is nothing more than a Zero-Gravity-kitted-out Stormtrooper, let loose on the surface of your friendly neighborhood space station. He has been given a removable rebreather tank system with a hose and an additional blaster rifle.

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The face, which has been described in somewhat unflattering terms, is actually a decent attempt (given the scale and the time when it was made) at capturing set photos of none other than the versatile Star Wars designer and occasional extra Joe Johnston preparing to be filmed as a Spacetrooper.

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At any rate, the crisply sculpted and (usually) precisely painted new Stormtrooper helmets fit perfectly on the "Spacetrooper" neck peg, making for the simplest custom of all time (I am sure it's a draw, but it is one of them). Now you can get a good looking (as in screen-accurate) and well-articulated Stormtrooper all rolled into one.

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Can it get any better? Yes. If you used the helmet from the single-packed Rogue One Stormtrooper, you'd probably want to paint in the two trapezoidal areas on the back of the helmet (if you used the helmet from the two-pack, they are already -- and correctly -- painted). More importantly, while the "Spacetrooper" has 14 points of articulation, unfortunately the hips are swivel rather than ball-jointed. My attempts to swap out the legs with those from even better-articulated versions failed, although they should have worked in theory.

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I helped myself to a bunch of both figures some years ago and did some army building. The under-articulated bodies would act as holders for the unused heads and helmets and could always be used for background characters in formation (which would be more authentic than painting them in as they did for the emperor's arrival scene in Return of the Jedi).

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Now here's the possible rub: these figures are getting rarer to find, but are still available and often inexpensive (even the 2-pack). But Hasbro has re-launched its Vintage Collection and started putting out some excellent and (even more encouraging) excellently-articulated 3.75-inch figures. Not yet available at the time of writing but advertised to appear this year is the Vintage Collection Rogue One Stormtrooper. If it is like the others in the series, and if its sculpting is on a par with the earlier under-articulated versions, it would obviate the "need" to kitbash the perfect Stormtrooper. Of course, you might prefer a real Original Trilogy figure (I think we all would), but the differences -- especially in this scale -- are largely too minute to notice (unlike with the sixth-scale figures). And you can never have too many Stormtroopers. So if you happen to have a bunch of these already in your collection, you could still apply this easy kitbash to make them more compatible with the new ones you might be interested to get. That, at least, is how I see it.

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As always, let me know what you think.

Note: For the ready-made fully-articulated new Hasbro Rogue One figure, see HERE.

#starwars #hasbro #stormtrooper #stormtroopers #spacetrooper #film #fiction #scifi #rogueone
"We stand here amidst my achievement. Not yours!"

As director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Imperial military, Orson Krennic is obsessed with the completion of the long-delayed Death Star project. A cruel but brilliant man, Krennic has staked his reputation on the delivery of the functional battle station to the Emperor.

Longed for by many diehard Star Wars fans, Hot Toys is very excited to officially present today the 1/6th scale collectible figure of Director Orson Krennic from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!

Meticulously crafted based on the appearance of Director Krennic in the film, this new collectible figure features a highly detailed head sculpt with amazing likeness, skillfully tailored Imperial uniform and magnetically attachable cape, an additional rain gear attire, a blaster, and a character themed figure stand.

It will be a beautiful sight to behold when you add this astonishing Director Krennic collectible figure to your Star Wars collection!

The 1/6th scale Director Krennic Collectible Figure specially features:

- Newly developed head sculpt with authentic and detailed likeness of Ben Mendelsohn as Director Krennic in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Movie-accurate facial expression with detailed wrinkles and skin texture
- Silver brown color short hair sculpture (with magnetic feature)
- Body with over 30 points of articulations
- Approximately 30 cm tall
- Seven (7) pieces of black-colored interchangeable gloved hands including:
• One (1) right fists
• Five (5) pieces of gesture hands
• One (1) left hand for holding pistol
- Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted

- One (1) beige colored cloak (with magnetic feature)
- One (1) beige colored Imperial officer tunic
- One (1) pair of black-colored Imperial officer pants
- One (1) black-colored leather-like belt with silver colored buckle
- One (1) pair of black-colored leather-like boots
- One (1) black colored Imperial officer hat (with magnetic feature)
- One (1) beige colored rain poncho

- One (1) blaster pistol

- Three (3) ammo clips
- Two (2) code cylinders
- Specially designed figure stand with character nameplate, Star Wars logo and an interchangeable graphic card

- Head Sculpted by Viva Lai
- Head Painted by JC. Hong
- Head Art Directed by JC. Hong

**Prototype shown, final product may be slightly different
**Product details could be subjected to change without further notice

©️ & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
©️ 2019 Hot Toys Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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#newproduct #HotToys #StarWars #RogueOne #DirectorKrennic #male #movie #sci-fi
Most of us who enjoyed Rogue One found Krennic to be an interesting enough antagonist, especially considering that he was disposable, unlike Tarkin and Vader, who had to survive the film. If that translates to hoping for a sixth-scale figure of him, I suspect I am not alone in being disappointed that neither of the high-end companies (Sideshow and Hot Toys) that produce Star Wars figures in this scale seems to have any intention of making a Krennic figure. That void is partly filled by Disney's elite series Director Orson Krennic premium action figure.

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I am not very familiar with this line, although I have their very diminutive Leia. While there has been concern over the scale of Disney's figures, that does not seem to be an issue in Krennic's case. The Krennic premium action figure stands about 11.75" (almost 30 cm), which is about right for actor Ben Mendelsohn's real-lige 5'11" height translated into sixth scale.

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The figure comes in a clear-plastic and cardboard box. It is secured to the inner cardboard shell with a single twisty tie and is overall fairly collector-friendly.

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The head sculpt and paint are quite good, considering. Yes, the skin tone is consistent, the eyes feature the dreaded doll dot, and the hair is a tad too brown (though greyish brown). Despite some sculpting and texturing, the skin is a bit too smooth for Krennic's characteristic weathered look. In fact, I am reminded of an Are You Being Served episode, where it was pointed out that the mannequin based on Mrs Slocombe looked younger, because the store owner refused to shell out the extra money to sculpt all the wrinkles. That said, this figure retails for 10 times less than it would have, had it been produced by Sideshow or Hot Toys. For that very reasonable price, you get a very recognizable likeness of Ben Mendelsohn as Krennic, and that in itself is quite impressive. The quality of the sculpt and paint of other sculpted elements (badge, belt, gloves, boots, holster, grenades (?), gun) are also not Hot Toys quality, but still pretty good, especially if you want a slightly worn/weathered look.

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The figure comes wearing Krennic's characteristic uniform from the film: white officer's tunic with rank badge and cylinders, black officer's trousers, black gloves, belt, and boots, as well as a billowing white cape. Everything except the tunic, pants, and cape is made of molded plastic.

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This is all quite screen-accurate. That said, one might say the pants flare out just a little too much, and the cut of the cape is not quite right at the shoulders, which is probably my least favorite thing about this product.

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It is sometimes difficult to keep the voluminous cape under control in a reasonably realistic manner. Part of the problem may be the choice of a relatively thick denim-like material for the cape. I suppose if you wanted to customize you could easily remove it and replace it with something of your choice.

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The molded plastic parts of the outfit are quite functional. The belt, for example, can be unbuckled and removed; the holster holds the gun very well; the gloved hands come in two parts (hand and cuff) allowing for improved articulation; the boots are also made of two pieces (shoe and lower leg, with the shoe part given toe articulation to boot -- all puns intended). Although getting the right look requires some futzing, this is all pretty well done and allows good articulation.

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Speaking of articulation, there is plenty of it: double jointed knees and elbows, decent ab crunch , ankles, and thighs. The figure can take reasonably natural poses and stand well on its own (there is no base provided anyway). One minor disappointment is the single-piece head and neck, precluding articulation at the base of the skull; moreover, the head and neck are sculpted in such a way, that Krennic seems to be looking slightly up most of the time; trying to position the head so that he would look down can result in popping it off at the base of the neck.

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The figure comes with the following accessories (counting what is not permanently part of the outfit). A spare pair of gloved hands (relaxed hands, to supplement the trigger hands that come on the figure), a weathered gun, three grenades (?) that can fit onto the right side of the belt (one of them comes installed in place); the belt itself is easily removable (although I do not see why one would want to do that unless placing the outfit on a different body). Both pairs of gloved hands have their own separate molded plastic cuffs; since I don't expect them to be sculpted differently, I thought that to be a bit curious.

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Here are some shots of Disney's Krennic alongside a few Hot Toys characters from Rogue One and A New Hope. Remember that Death Troopers are unusually tall.

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This Krennic figure was a Disney Store exclusive, but is available in plenty of other places. It retails for around $20 USD (and often a little below that), which is what makes it an even more attractive and impressive product. That is, as pointed out above, ten times less than what it would cost if it were produced by a high-end company; it is also as much as (or less than) the all-plastic 6 inch Black Series Krennic by Hasbro, which is far inferior in every way. If you do want to pick one up, there are plenty of options on amazon and eBay.

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Overall, and especially considering the price, this seems like a very nice product. Customizers may improve on it with a repaint, or kitbashing security-bureau officers who wore a very similar outfit (except that their white was a bit more cream-colored).

What do you think?

#productreview #starwars #rogueone #disney #male #film

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