Thursday, March 15, 2012

Star Wars Republic Attack Dropship

Presenting the Star Wars Republic Attack Dropship - No. We are not going to call it the Star Wars RAD.

The Republic Attack Dropship is... a "Shock-and-Awe" troop delivery vehicle that gives the Republic Grand Army a vehicle versatile enough to deliver a point of heavily armed crack-troops (Dare I say suicidal troops); and transform to provide that point with the vital air support as well.

You can clearly see the Mandalorian influence in it's design as it is reminiscent of Jango Fett's Slave 1 freighter.

I have to admit that I was hesitant about the practicality of this vehicle at first. I mean what can this do that a more heavily armored and  heavily armed Low Altitude Assault Transport/Carrier (LAAT/C) can't? Answer: It's not a lumbering forty ton rock in the sky.

The Republic Attack Dropship is probably faster and has the sleeker width of a human being so it's definitely harder to hit; What it loses in terms of the number of troops it can deliver, it makes up in providing them with portable firepower; and, if you remember the craggy terrain of Geonosis and Utapau - and even the rain forests of Kashyyyk, then you can see the need for a smaller, lighter vehicle that can maneuver in tight spaces and deliver troops in areas that would be considered too tight for the LAAT/C.


The Star Wars Republic Attack Dropship's blister card seemingly agrees with my assessment as it reads: "Republic Attack Dropships swoop into battle to deploy troopers. These compact fighters are armed with cannons and chin guns to drill deep into battle zones. The pilot briefly lands with the ship's cockpit rotated into deploy position to drop up to two troopers onto the field before flying back into the air and providing close ground support."

The Star Wars Republic Attack Dropship comes with everything that you see here: A hinged Dropship with a fold-able landing mast, elevating chin-guns, opening canopy, and a pair of spring-loaded missiles;  a back-to-back clip-on pair of portable quad-barreled blaster backpacks; and a yellow-trimmed pilot which puts him under Clone Marshall Commander Cody's command in the 7th Corp (Did you know that in the 1950s there was a TV series called Commando Cody: Sky Marshall of the Universe? I've always wondered if Commander Cody was a tribute to him).

The backpacks also have their own clips which attach to the waist of most - not all - Clone Troopers (Particularly those from the Animated Series which are thinner than the regular Star Wars Universe characters). These in turn are held into place at the rear of the dropship by a spring loaded clip at the rear of the vehicle. The trigger mechanism that both holds and releases the backpacks is the pair of blasters on the very top of the Dropship - squeezing them together opens the clip enough for you to slide the backpacks into place and secure them there, squeezing them again releases them.


The pilot is a pretty standard Star Wars Animated Series Clone Pilot - he comes with the standard DC-15S Blaster Carbine, and a Galactic Battle Card that lists his Force Agility as 4; Battle Skills as 9, Intelligence at 10; Mechanical Skill at 12; Leadership at 10, and; Luck at 11.

He easily slots into the cockpit of the Republic Attack Drop Ship and you should have no problem making him hold the controls.  There is no place to mount the DC-15S, but I suppose you can just drop it into the cockpit.


Once the Republic Attack Dropship is ready and armed, you can add two Clone Troopers to it's rear - which is where the coolness starts: 




The Republic Attack Dropship does not give the Clone Troopers any cover or protection. To make things worse, the pilot is at risk as he doesn't have much protection either - just a canopy cover that can easily be breached. The Dropship obviously relies on speed, frontal firepower and dexterity to clear it's path for the two Clone Troopers.

Can you imagine being clipped to the back of this vehicle while it's taking fire while flying over certain death? Scary! Downright suicidal! Which is why I clipped on these two particular Clone Troopers. They're both bold enough to bear the symbol of Mand'alor - the Mythosaur skull on their chestplates, and they've both been granted permission too bear the Jaig Eyes on their helmets which means that these two troopers have been cited for bravery by their peers. 

The backpacks hold them together, back-to-back while they're attached to the Republic Attack Dropship. Once they're deployed, the back-packs can be broken apart and you have two heavily armed Clone Troopers. 

Each Clone Trooper ends up with a back-pack powered and mounted quad-laser weapon that's reminds me a lot of the weapons used in the cartoon Spiral Zone. 


I have to admit that fighting with under-arm mounted weapons like this tends to be quite stiff and you have to turn your waist or entire body to track-fire- which is not exactly practical. 

I remember in the James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies" Michelle Yeoh battled bad-guys in a submarine using two MP5s slung on her shoulders. Every-time she had to fire, she had to aim with her upper torso and more often than not step out of cover to fire. Clone Trooper using the back-packs from the Republic Attack Dropships would have fought the same way. 

What they lose however in dexterity, they should more than make up in firepower
There is one problem though with this chosen tactic: Shock-and Awe tends to be a big drain on resources. What happens to the two Troopers should they run out of energy? They don't have any additional weapons or supplies.

Happily the answer here is that the Star Wars Republic Attack Dropship transforms into one of the sleekest fighters to be fielded into the battlefield. It reminds me of an A-Wing fighter and conceptually it's probably built like a Hoth Rebel Snowspeeder i.e. it's a repulsorlift engine that someone attached rockets and blaster cannons to. 

My only problem with this mode is that the pilot lies completely on his back, so he's flying entirely by instruments as he can't look forward. 

The Star Wars Republic Attack Dropship was purchased at retail price of PhP 1,195.75 (Roughly US$ 27.80) from Toys R' Us in Trinoma. It is the only Republic Attack Dropship that I've seen since the new Star Wars Toy line broke the Philippine Market. It's not available on Amazon at this time.


6 comments:

  1. another friggen republic vehicle I need to get a couple of.

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    1. I know! And you have to have a Clone Army with the same unit designations as well. The bad news is I think it's rare. I only chanced upon this single one and I've never seen another. You might be better off just saving to buy an LAAT/c

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  2. It's not rare. It just hasn't officially been released yet. It's meant to be coming out sometime this Summer/the Fall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So this is something that fell through the cracks? Because I got it on retail. Cool! I should have kept the packaging.

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  3. Can you check underneath the packaging to see what other mini-rigs are shown there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ack. Don't have it anymore. But if I remember correctly it was the Clone army submarine/waverunner. The one I haven't gotten yet is Anakin Skywalker's Scout craft.

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