Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sideshow Imperial Sandtrooper Review I

Following up from the previous post on the Imperial Shock Trooper

The Sandtrooper is a desert terrain Stormtrooper of the Galactic Empire. Their armor consists of an 18-piece anti-blaster cocoon shell with heat-reflective coating worn over a temperature-control body glove. The sandtrooper helmet features automatic polarized lenses, a built-in comlink and breathing filters. These stormtroopers are specifically designed for high temperature environments. Instead of depending on machinery that may not function in hostile environments, sandtroopers make use of local creatures for transportation.

The Sideshow Collectibles 1/6 scale Sandtrooper 12-inch Figure comes with Fully articulated male body (armored body) with 30+ points of articulation, Fully detailed Sandtrooper armor set, featuring new helmet faceplate, new left shin armor, new abdomen armor, and pauldron with white rank designation. He also has his Black Bodysuit Glove, Shoulder Pouches, Belt Pouches, Detailed Backpack, MG-15 Rifle and Imperial Blaster (E-11 BlasTech Standard Imperial Sidearm) as well as the customary 12-inch Figure Display Base with Star Wars Logo.

The box is huge, double the size of the Sideshow Imperial Shock Trooper box (pictures HERE)

One tray contains the Sandtrooper's two weapons and his backpack (plus add-on items)

The two weapons include the standard Stormtrooper blaster and the MG-15 Blaster Rifle. The Blaster Rifle was created using a German Luftwaffe WWII MG 15 Machine Gun (including the MG 15 75-rd "Doppeltrommel" or Saddle Drum Magazine) and three scopes. The rear optics of a WWII era night scope was attached between the safety ring and the magazine lock. A SinglePoint Scope was attached to the far side (the side opposite of the charging handle) of the rear bakelite receiver. It has the older cone tip as compared with the newer rounded tip of later versions. Finally, a WWII era Enfield No. 32 MkII sniper scope was attached to the rear sight post.

On Wookieepedia (The Star Wars Wiki), the MG-15 is listed as the RT-97C Heavy Blaster Rifle - It contained three separate scopes to increase accuracy and versatility. Its first scope was a thermal scanner that was capable of detecting and enhancing life forms that generated heat. Its second scope was a sniper scope that automatically calculated range and adjusted the rifle's collimating components. Its third scope was a passive infrared scope that used heat imaging technology.

The Stormtrooper Blaster (left in picture), E-11 BlasTech Standard Imperial Sidearm, is actually a souped up Sterling L2A1 with foldable stock (more pictures HERE)

The Sandtrooper's backpack with loose add-on items. The SD-48 backpack enables specialized Stormtroopers to conduct Imperial operations in extreme and hostile environments. While there are several variations of the pack, common components like radio communication devices, storage containers, armor-cooling elements (portable air-conditioning unit?), mortar tubes and gas intake manifolds are essential.

The white pauldron (designated rank: Sergeant) was packed with the display stand base and not put on the sandtrooper. It's a simple matter of D-I-Y (Do It Yourself)

Visual differences in armor between the Imperial Sandtrooper and Stormtrooper included a distinctive 'diamond' shaped left knee plate, non-ribbed chest and back plate connectors as well as reinforced abdominal plating. It was typical for non-commissioned officers (white and orange pauldrons) to remove the “drop boxes” on the waist; a redundant and unnecessary accessory given the upgraded load-bearing kit requirements for sustained operations with minimal resupply.

IMHO I think Sideshow got carried away with the term "used" here because they certainly let loose on this figure and the end result seems a tad EXCESSIVE, to put it mildly. The lines are too distinct. Instead of brushing it over with some paint, it looked like they took a thick marker and ran it along the lines which I don't think is the correct way to weather the sandtrooper.

"Additionally, the usual thermal detonator worn by normal Stormtroopers on the lower back was not present, as its wear and access would be impeded by the typical SD-48 survival pack." In the case of this Sideshow 1/6 Sandtrooper, you can clearly see the white velcro they used to hold the belt with pouches.

The distinct marker lines are especially obvious on the abdominal plate area SIGH!

The additional Shoulder pouch is basically a World War II German MP40 ammunition pouch

The additional black belt pouches look a lot like the World War II US M3 SMG (Grease Gun) magazine pouch.

Also note the black elastic Sideshow has opted to use to connect the front chest plate to the back plate. They should have done this with their earlier released Imperial Stormtroopers. At least they have improved and rectified their earlier blunder.

And here's the completely decked out Imperial Sandtrooper, armed with his E-11 blaster

More pictures of the Sideshow Imperial Sandtrooper in the next post

To get a full review of the Sideshow 1/6 scale 12-inch Imperial Stormtrooper, check out this link.

If you missed out on this Sideshow Collectibles Star Wars armored military figure, don't miss out again - click on the banner below to order yours NOW


desmond said...

If the weathering effects on the armours are what Sideshow showed in outer box packaging. That would be great. Why can't Sideshow do that in actual production??

Anonymous said...

Ive been planning to get one, this review is a great help! They released 3 versions already right?
Notice the helmet and backpack is not weathered compared to the body armors!?
Maybe a repaint and own weathering can fix this figure...
Hows the joints in this figure by the way? loose? same with all thier star wars military figures?
Is the helmet different compared to the regular stormtrooper? improved?
Thanks in advance, Merry Christmas to ALL! :)

alex teo said...

@desmond: Agreed

@AL: I only got this Sandtrooper so far. I know that the next in line to be released is the Squad leader (Orange Pauldron), to be followed by Corporal (Black Pauldron). Glad you find this review useful. Joints have improved much from their previous releases BUT because the backpack adds weight to the top, it tends to cause the figure to take a dive. As for comparisons of armor and helmet, I'll be posting pictures shortly.
Merry Christmas to you too >_<