Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sideshow Collectibles Imperial Shock Trooper Review I

In 1977, when the first Star Wars film was shown, George Lucas had created a "sci fi" universe that was portrayed as dirty and grimy, unlike the many science-fiction and fantasy films that had come before, which featured sleek and futuristic settings (including Star Trek) and this "used universe" theme was made even more obvious with the armored troops of the Galactic Republic in "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)".

In "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)", Obi-Wan discovered that an army of clone troopers was being secretly produced for the Republic. This clone army was then sent into battle, plunging the Galactic Republic into a war with the Separatists. In Episode II, the clone army is pristine and clean in their all white armor (their first battle occurs on the planet Geonosis where the Republic's new clone army, led by Jedi generals, combats the Separatists' battle droids) but by Episode III which is set three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, they are no longer the white knights they appeared to be at the start of the war.

Their armor gouged, dented and smeared with the mud of a hundred worlds, they are patched, repaired and sent back to the front lines time and again to continue the battle for the Republic way.

Sideshow Collectibles continues their "Militaries of Star Wars" series with their 1/6 scale 12-inch Imperial Shock Trooper

The Imperial Shock Trooper 12 inch Figure features a Fully articulated male body (armored body) with 30+ points of articulation, Bodysuit, Fully detailed armor set with helmet, Clone Trooper Carbine Blaster and Clone Trooper Long Rifle, a pair of extra fist hands plus the Star Wars display stand

DC-15 rifle (top) and DC-15 blaster (bottom). Clone troopers are issued plasma weapons so as to free the soldier from carrying projectile ammunition. The blaster comes with a folding stock for braced firing which I don't remember seeing it being used.

The red-marked soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic were quartered on Coruscant and tasked with the protection of the Senate and other governmental facilities, as well as serving as guards and escorts for diplomatic envoys.

I much prefer the clone troopers of episode III than those seen in episode II as I find the elongated helmet of the episode II clone trooper rather dis-proportioned and deviated too far away from the later episode stormtroopers (which were the original troopers that blew me away when they first appeared on the big screen)

The Clone Trooper Long Rifle or DC-15 rifle seems rather long and unwieldy compared to the more compact and presumably lighter DC-15 blaster, definitely not ideal for close quarter combat.

For episode III, the people at George Lucas ranch must have had a field day coloring all the clone troopers in their various colors and combinations (all the better for merchandising later, with all the various permutations and types for the die-hard collector to keep up - LOL). Yet by episode IV, the stormtroopers had reverted to their all white armor without any color for legion affiliation. So much for consistency.

The paintwork for Sideshow Collectibles 1/6 scale 12-inch Imperial Shock Trooper is rather good IMHO as they manage to achieve the worn effect with the paint scraped off at many places and replaced by scratches and dirt marks.

I would never have known that the clone trooper's bodysuit glove wasn't all black but actually had thin grey lines (stripes) running vertically down throughout the suit. This wasn't so obvious in pictures and definitely wasn't painted on the smaller scale figures but can only be seen on a 1/6 scale fully detailed figure. Excellent job by Sideshow!

In the next post, we'll see this Imperial Shock Trooper with his DC-15 blaster as well as close-up pictures of his helmet and armor.

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