CLONE PILOT ARC-170
Series: Star Wars This skilled pilot is part of the Republic's most elite military force. Using a cutting-edge morphing technology developed during the Clone Wars, he is able to engage his enemies on the ground, then quickly morph into ARC-170 mode and bring the battle into space.Review by Tobias H:
Allegiance: Other Villain
What would a good villain be without henchmen? Nothing, because without a sufficiently large number of notoriously underpaid grunts who'll go willingly and joyously to their deaths for him without shedding much in the way of independent thought, our villain wouldn't come anywhere near his goals without things getting unrealistic.
In the case of Star Wars that part is filled by the storm and clone troopers. There are a number of different posts within the clone armee. Apart from the common ground trooper we have tank drivers and a number of different pilots. In this special case we have a star fighter pilot, simply called the clone pilot.
This clone pilot didn't have a large part in the movies. He only ever appeared at the beginning of Episode III, where he and some fellow clones are flying past the camera during the big battle above Coruscant, before quickly vanishing in an expanding cloud of vapor and debris. However short the clone pilot's appearance may have been, though, it was done well and a feast for the eyes.
Whatever the case, I'm glad that this figure, too, found its way into the Transformers universe, because the clone and storm troopers are a very big part of the picture Star Wars fans have painted for themselves of this epic science fiction story.
Looking at the clone pilot, you realize that he's quite heavily armed for a mere pilot. Each hand can hold a hard-to-miss hand weapon, both of them capable of launching missiles. Interestingly enough the missiles are actually the entire barell of the weapon. Apart from that the pilot has two additional, smaller weapons, which are fastened to his shoulders. These small energy weapons can aim both up and down and sideways as well, which makes them actual turrets, I guess. A very nice detail.
The actual robot is a a very interesting construct, seeing as he sports a very detailed and complex exterior for a mere soldier. There are small and large detailings everywhere. Different colour highlights, mostly red and grey, break up the monotone white. Additionally there are tiny little details like the visor on the helmet. Another thing worth mentioning are the wings, which are bent back somewhat, giving the robot a more compact look. Also there are the strange 'leg paddings', which emerge from the split bow of the alternate mode. Some might say that the robot looks a bit overloaded, but that's a matter of perspective. I think he looks pretty good.
In terms of posability the clone pilot adheres to the high standard of the Star Wars Transformers. He has plenty of articulate joints, enabling the robot to hold qite a few different poses. His backpack isn't that heavy, either, giving him no balance problems. Even the leg pads are posable and not in the way. So all in all a pretty good robot mode. If there is anything to complain about, it could be that he far outshines his movie character. Well done.
If you've read some of my previous Star Wars Transformers reviews, you probably expect me to tell you exactly what kind of vehicle we have here. So of course I will provide these, as far as I know them. The Incom ARC-170 Star Fighter (the ARC is short for Aggressive ReConnainssance) measures 14.5 meters in length, which is pretty big for a star fighter. The heavily armed ship is a three-man-craft. Apart from the pilot you have a seat for the rear gunner and a copilot, which can serve as a gunner as well. That last seat is where you put the little Clone Pilot figure, which is included with the bigger SW-Transformer as usual.
For a long time I kept asking myself why this model, too, features the extendable S-foils, apart from making this craft resemble the far more well-known Star Wars X-Wing fighter. The answer is surprisingly logical in this case. It's not about the wings at all, but rather what's beneath them. The entire thing is a big cooling system. And I can imagine that a star figther equipped with cannons almost as long as the actual ship's hull can really use such a cooling system in battle. Said cannons are the missile launchers from the robot mode and are fastened to the tips of the wings. The cannons can be moved pretty easily, which I guess is intentional, but I'd have wished for a more solid fit. The smaller weapons, which were on the robot's shoulders, are now sitting on the stern of the fighter, just as posable as before.
So all in all this reproduction of the ARC-170 makes for a good-looking alternate mode with lots of nice details. There is one flaw, however, compared to most other vehicle modes among the Star Wars Transformers. The star fighter doesn't have a landing gear. It's just a little thing, but it does grate a little, seeing as just about every other space craft from this line has one. But I guess you can't have everything. The alternate mode is pretty good regardless, the many little details are just plain fun.
The Clone Pilot is a pretty well-made Star Wars Transformer. He's not the best figure of the line, but far from the worst. The heavy armaments of this figure - in both modes - leaves the no doubt intentional impression that the Clone Pilot is built only for war. For a figure of such bulk he does offer a lot of posability, so play value doesn't fall short.
Only a few minor things drag this figure's rating down a bit. First being the missing landing gear, as well as the transformation. Certain aspects of it are pretty strange and gave me the feeling that the shoulders would break off sooner or later.
In the end this figure gets a well-deserved B