Names: Pipeline, Gusher
Series: Generation 1
Function: Ground Defence & Counterattack
Alternate Mode: Tanker Truck
Thanks to Griffin for loaning me the Tanker Transport component of the set for this review.
Height: 2cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 2.5cm
An orange truck which resembles an armoured car at first glance, but looks more like a truck housing a generator than one carrying cash. The front features a grille and headlights and the cabin has silver windows. The lighter colour shows details here which don't show up so well on Grit (of whom Pipeline is a repaint).
The black wheels roll and this works very well as a self-contained vehicle. My only real complaint here is that Pipeline works on his own making him somewhat boring toy to combine.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Fold out the rear of the vehicle, flip up the grille, stand him up and position the arms.
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm
The orange is retained on his limbs, his torso and head are red and his face light grey while the thighs are black. The light grey face is fairly low detail. Perhaps the aspect of this colour scheme that's most surprising is how different Pipeline looks to Grit, despite the two having the same mould. The colours aren't terribly interesting here, but they work well enough.
Pipeline's arms swing and his hips and knees can bend as one. The legs don't really offer any meaningful poseability, however. The fact that the boots are stuck together bugs me, although the orange plastic makes the seam between the two pieces of plastic easier to pick than on Grit.
Pipeline is unusual amongst combiners in that his vehicle mode works well on it's own, but it only really combines well with Gusher. His robot mode is pretty good and while the boots aren't ideal the colours make him work better than Grit - 6/10
Height: 2cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 2.5cm
An orange trailer digger with a baby blue bucket arm at the end with black fenders that work a lot better than the grey fenders on Knockout (who shares the mould). This a decent little trailer, with a lattice grip underneath the permanently-crooked arm. There's not a lot to this mode - there's no cockpit or any hint of self-propulsion, but it does have four wheels.
The digger arm moves up and down, and while this doesn't rate that highly on it's own it combines well with Pipeline's truck and makes for a good mix-and-match rear half. Gusher works better on his own that Knockout, actually, thanks to a more unified colour scheme.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Fold the front down to form the legs, stand him up, position the arms and straighten his legs. You can fold the bucket out of sight but it looks cool hanging above his head.
Height: 6cm Width: 2.5cm
Gusher's robot mode has surprisingly little orange - it's restricted to his boots, while the torso and head are teal with a gold face and black arms and thighs. While there's a lot of colour here the teal is a tad out of place (without ruining the colour scheme). The gold paint on his face highlights the detailed mouth, eyes and nose. Of course, you've also got baby blue in the mix in the form of the bucket which sort of floats over his head - a strange feature, but a nifty one.
The arms swing and the knees and hips can bend as one, but just as on Pipeline, there's no meaningful leg poseability here. As with his partner, the seam between his boots comes out better in orange than violet.
Both modes have a lot of colour, and the trailer works fairly well as a stand alone vehicle, as well as on it's own as a trailer. The combination possibilities are good, and the robot mode is decent - 7/10
COMBINED VEHICLE MODE
Length: 23.5cm Height: 5cm Width: 9.5cm
A large white tank on a blue base with blue ramps on the side and small orange truck halves on either end. The blue, white and orange don't quite match up but they don't clash either. You can detach the blue ramps if you like, to reveal the black and silver cannons underneath - the toy looks better without the ramps in my opinion.
Gusher's scoop on the back is a little out of place, but Pipeline's truck half works well on the front. You can always sub the pair out for other Micromaster combiners if you like.
The central part of the truck has four bogeys with two wheels each. The outer bogeys have connecting pegs and can turn a little, whereas the centre two are fixed and lack connecting pegs. This gives the Tanker Transport a total of sixteen wheels, eight smaller ones on the front and back and eight slightly larger ones in the middle. The cannons on either side can lift up and down, if you want some swivelling motion.
The tank itself itself is pretty good, although Gusher and the ramps are clearly added on accessories. This is probably the most unified of the Micromaster Combiner Transport vehicle modes, since the tanker is more of a standalone vehicle than the folded up weapons piles of the others. I could do without the ramps on the sides, but there's nowhere better for them to go, other than leaving them aside.
BATTLE STATION MODE
Length: 29cm Height: 8.5cm Width: 17.5cm
Formed by folding down the halves back section of the tanker and swinging out the front halves, attaching the ramps to either end and plugging the cannons into the tops of the front halves.
There's a drive-on drive-off blue road down the middle, which is a common theme amongst this group. The white sides are largely hollow inside, save for the front left piece which has a black gunrack inside, sporting eight barrels. The back halves don't really do anything, which is a little disappointing, while the cannons can swing up and down in their silver mounts. Sadly there's nowhere for Pipeline & Gusher to stand, so they can't man the cannons.
Potentially the best of the combined base modes, since you have the potential for both Micromasters to man weapons - but this chance has been wasted since there's no where for them to stand & no posts to anchor them, and I don't think posts would have been too hard to engineer. Still, this is an attractive little gun emplacement with a total of ten barrels, and the colours work well.
MOBILE MISSILE RACK
Which is what I'm calling it for want of a better name - this is the front half of the base. The gunrack on the side (which I'm now calling a missile rack, for the sake of differentiating two modes). This is the front half of the base with one of the cannons now attached to the blue floor, allowing Pipeline or Gusher to man the cannon, which can swing up or down and side to side, although Griffin's doesn't want to move side to side without a _lot_ of force.
This is simply the back half of the main vehicle with the other cannon in the floor. The overall effect is very similar to the missile rack, but with less happening. Again either of the Micromasters can man the cannon, although the white tank halves on either side serve no purpose other than decoration. The range of motion of the cannon is the same, and this time Griffin's will move from side to side. While it's a little boring, this vehicle is no worse than most it's equivalents.
None that I'm aware of, although as discussed, Pipeline & Gusher are repaints of Grit & Knockout from the Decepticon Constructor Squad.
THE SET OVERALL
Two good Micromasters and the best large vehicle amongst the Combiner Transports make this set worthwhile for me, even of the combined base is a little poor. The smaller vehicle bases are okay, but not really anything special - although unlike the combined base Pipeline and Gusher can man the smaller vehicles. The included Micromasters are improvements on the toys they recoloured and the Tanker Transport itself has enough going for it to make this a worthwhile set for Micromaster fans - 6.5/10