Name: Clone Pilot
Series: Star Wars Transformers
Allegiance: Galactic Republic
Alternate Mode: Republic Gunship
Height: 7cm Length: 18cm Width: 19.5cm
An off white vehicle with some deep brown accents, a small cockpit window at the front and a cavity in the middle of the fuselage. I won't go into too much description of the shape - the picture can do the thousands words thing - but this is the flying vehicles seen in the climactic battle towards the end of Attack of the Clones. The paintjob is understated but far from lazy - there are light grey panels, gunmetal painted elements on vents and such, black panels, some gold and yellow applications as well. There's a single black gun at the rear, facing down, and black missiletips on top. There are subtle but clearly deliberate asymmetrical elements, indicating that quite a lot of attention was paid to the paint mask. The end result is understated, as is common amongst Star Wars Transformers, but still quite rewarding because we end up with the functional colours seen in the film in a well presented form.
There are a few distinctive features of the gunships which are present here. The chainguns on top are missile launchers, the rounds in the rear section are sculpted on top, with those on the fuselage itself painted gunmetal. The wings attach at the top and angle down, with partially transparent gunpods embedded near the tips. There are two more gunpods on either side, protruding from the cavity on black arms. There are two off white guns at the front, pointing out to the sides at a 45° angle - these are composed of a soft plastic, along with the similar black gun at the back. The cockpit is a peanut shell shaped affair with a small transparent canopy at the front.
Unusually for a Star Wars Transformer, this vehicle is noticeably out of scale. The pilot figure takes up the entire cockpit yet towers over the single-manned gunpods. He should be about 1/3 the height he actually is, although this would put the toy itself out of range of the Deluxe pricepoint of most Star Wars Transformers. Still, the vehicle itself looks great on its own. The mini figure is white with some black details and a yellow head signifying rank, I'm happy to just leave it in the cockpit permanently.
The play value here is decent for a vehicle that displays so well. The cockpit opens to the pilot, as mentioned, but I find it clips in so firmly that opening will often cause the hatch to pop off. There are four little notches inside the cavity, designed to clasp the bar between the legs of SWTF minifigures, so that they can stand inside as seen in the film. While it takes a little work (and half a transformation) to get them in, once in place they'll stay in place. While the cockpit might be a waste of time, this feature is really nice. Oh for a SWTF Yoda. The gunpods within the wings rotate, those protruding from the cavity can swing back about 160° and the arms lift up maybe 80°. The black missiles fire well, they'll easily travel halfway across the room.
Aside from the tight cockpit, this is a good vehicle mode. There's a lot of attention to detail, enough play value to keep things interesting and a very well executed paint job. The ability of this vehicle to hold other SWTF minifigures is the clincher for me - this is a great vehicle mode.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Detach the missile launchers and set aside. Lift out the rear side panels, swing back the cavity floor and fold up. Unfold the legs from within the rear section and pull right back, flip out the heelspurs. Split the lower front, fold out to the sides, fold the cockpit down into place as the chest, flip back the section of the fuselage covering the head. Swing the wings back, extend and rotate the forearms, fold down the fists. Place the missile launchers in either hand, position the gunpods on the shoulders as desired.
Height: 17cm Width: 19.5cm
An off white robot with a deep brown chestplate, black fingers and patches on the upper arms, beige legs and a white head. The face is that of a Clone Pilot, with a black T-shape dominating what is essentially a permanently fixed helmet. As on the minifigure, there's some yellow designating rank. The colours aren't quite as nice here as the vehicle mode, since the colour scheme centres itself on that mode, but they still work fairly well.
As is common with SWTFs, this is really the secondary mode. The legs are small and spindly - indeed the torso itself is quite narrow as well. The wings push out to the side quite noticeably, which looks good, but is still essentially kibble. There are a few plates and such on his backpack, although the wings are the only part of the backpack with really come into play here, which is a good thing. The head sits tilted back slightly, an awkward angle really, because for this mech to look dead ahead the torso will be leaning forward slightly. Not much, but enough to be visible. The arms look quite good, with the white soft cannons sticking out on the wrists and the gunpods over the shoulders - not only do these elements look good, they ensure this mech is well armed.
The play value here is okay, but there are some limitations. The head turns, the shoulders lift out to the sides but don't swing. The elbows rotate and lift up while the wrists are essentially static. The waist is fixed, the hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees bend. There are rotators above the knees, but the ratcheting prevents them from being much use - it's either 50° our to the side or straight ahead, and 50° is an awkward angle. The ankles are hinged which is very useful since the vast majority of the toy's mass is above the waist. Standing involves balancing, so the ankles are useful. They're also fairly tight, although you do need to pay attention when you pose the toy. The heelspurs help to some extent, too. The missile launchers can either be held in the hands or just left aside, and again fire the black missiles.
An acceptable robot mode which doesn't really shine but does enough to support the vehicle mode. The skinny legs and awkward knees hold this robot back to some extent, although the arms and wings look very nice. Really, there are better robot modes out there in this line, but it does what it has to, and is far from the the weakest robot mode within the Star Wars Transformers.
None as such that I'm aware of, although there is a repainted and retooled blue 501st Legion version.
A nice toy, mainly on the strength of the vehicle mode, but also assisted by a robot mode that manages to avoid the worst of the problems seen in SWTF robot modes. The cockpit, knees and skinny legs are all limitations, but the vehicle mode looks great and plays well while the robot looks nice enough with the arm weaponry. I wouldn't say this is the best Star Wars Transformer, but for fans of the line it's certainly worth picking up - 7/10