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1:12 Stormtrooper

James H

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1:12 Stormtrooper

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Available from Hobby Link Japan for ¥1,920






I recently took a look at Bandai’s new C-3PO release, and was pretty impressed with it. That was a subject I’ve always enjoyed since I was a kid, so I really couldn’t resist buying that one. However, Threepio was the only character to make the flight here from Japan. I also ordered the R2-D2 & R5-D4, Darth Vader, and the Stormtrooper kits. The latter is what I’m looking at today.



I imagine that most of you will recognise the Stormtrooper instantly. This character, one of the evil Empire’s foot-soldiers, is famed for being able to shoot absolutely nothing, despite being deployed in great numbers. Irrespective of that, for me, this is just one of the coolest looking Sci-Fi creations of all time. Bandai’s box, as with C-3PO, shows an action shot of the character on the lid, with the posing options printed on the box edges. The box is another high quality, lustrous affair, and certainly an attractive entrée to the main course that we’ll now see.




We have a slightly smaller sprue count that we did with C-3PO, with there being two bags containing FOUR sprues. One main sprue is moulded in white, and the other in black, with a couple of white parts moulded on there too. The remaining sprues are the polythene joint connector one, and also the mandatory display stand. Two decal sheets are included. These are identical, but give you a choice between waterslide decal and regular stickers.






Underneath that shiny white armour, the Stormtrooper wore a black suit, and this is exactly what you find here, in a multitude of pieces; some recognisable, and others, not so much. Easily identifiable are upper and lower torso halves, into which fit the polycaps that the arms, legs and head plug into.


The black suit doesn’t actually exist in its full form, under the white armour. Bandai have tackled this by moulding the various articulated joints in black, hiding those polycap parts again.






Black parts are included which supplement the main white helmet armour. The kit is essentially designed so that painting isn’t necessary. As with C-3PO, options are yet again made available. In the case of the Stormtrooper, you can chose from four sets of hands with different poses, and of course, you will be able to mix and match between them, creating a far higher range of unique posing options. Those hands will also need something to grip, and there are THREE weapon options here, as well as an optional pouch which fits to the soldier’s utility belt. This even comes with a strap to securely fasten the weapon in place.






Parts you will recognise on here are the ribbed, fabric neck protection, and the various parts of the helmet which are black, such as the eyes, mouth and the band which sits below the helmet dome. Notice also the display stand insert which is designed to specifically match the Stormtrooper’s foot.


Two white parts are moulded here which form the left and right hand pouches which are fastened to the soldier’s utility belt.






Seams could always have a potential to ruin your day with a project like this, but Bandai have done a great job in hiding these down the sides of ridges etc. A good example of this are the leg and arm parts. On the real thing, a beading runs down the sides or fronts of these key areas, and the seam runs immediately adjacent to that bead. Quite nifty, and a very good way to make this a pleasurable build.






Whilst the engineering of this kit is generally very clever with regard to hiding seams, it may be a little less so with the helmet. The lower rear portion is moulded as left and right halves, with the seam running down the middle of the area. It’s no big deal to be able to remove this if painting later, but I can’t vouch for that if you want to leave this in bare plastic. Apart from that, the helmet is superbly designed with a total of 6 parts going into its construction.








This model is fully articulated, as the separate upper and lower torso parts clearly indicate. Most of the external armour parts on this kit are used either or both in conjunction with the black sprue parts and the flexible joints sprue. The lower torso, built up from several parts including the detailed forward control panel.


One thing I notice with this kit, as opposed to the C-3PO release is that the sprue connections aren’t on the joint faces but on the part paces themselves. Thankfully, Bandai have made these absolutely minimal, and some of the most thoughtful sprue gate implementation I’ve seen.






As I noted in the C-3PO review, it seemed that this sprue was common to all releases, and it does appear to be that way. Look on ‘PC’ as meaning ‘polycap’. Again, not all parts here are designed for use with this kit, and the plastic itself is flexible, aiding articulation of your finished project. Essentially, this sprue contains all the joint connectors and flexible sockets that fit within both the under-suit and armour of the Stormtrooper. The flexible torso connector is also a common part to the C-3PO release.






The last sprue is again a common item, containing the display stand into which you will add the specific insert from the first sprue, designed to fit the Stormtrooper. The base is plain and black, and I would again look at doing something with this to represent the flooring in the Death Star, or similar.


Plastic Summary
I’m becoming quite a fan of Bandai’s quality of engineering and moulding, with the end result being very mindful of the modeller’s overall enjoyment. No defects can be seen, nor flash, seams and sink marks. Ejection pin marks simply don’t figure here. A triumph!





Yes, even the Stormtrooper has a few of these, represented in both sticker and waterslide decal format. I would of course, always choose the waterslide type, and a little setting solution. Printing in both cases is excellent, with perfect register and nice detail.






I’m not really a fan of Bandai’s format here. I wasn’t too bothered last time I reviewed C-3PO, but I have to say that a booklet would have been easier to handle and follow, instead of a long strip with both sides containing assembly detail spread among completed images etc. Still, you shouldn’t have too much trouble, unless you work on a small table. Just remember not to leave it all unfolded! Illustration is pretty clear, with the character being split into drawings in which the shaded portion is the one currently being constructed. The sheet also illustrates the options available in this release.





It must be the kid in me, but I’ve always wanted to build a model of a Stormtrooper, and this pretty much captures the look and feel of the character. I’m not sure if the waist looks a little thin, but in all, I can’t really complain. I do think a nice touch would have been a Han Solo or Luke Skywalker head, and a hollow helmet, allowing you to pose the figure as one of the good guys in the Stormtrooper armour, as seen in the first film. Hey, we can’t have it all ways. I think in some ways, we’re becoming spoilt. This really is a great little kit, and also very affordable. I just hope you don’t spend all your man-cave time posing him instead of building further projects!


Highly Recommended


Review kit courtesy of my wallet. To purchase directly, click THIS link.


James H

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I bought one of these for my brother, who is not a modeller per se (although has built the occasional M1 Abrams and HMMVW, he's into Lego) and he said it was a blast!


No problems with fit or cleanup, easily went together in an afternoon. He didn't paint it, used the stickers as well.


I think these new Bandai kits cater really well for both amateur and enthusiast.


I'm looking forward to the Scout Trooper with speeder, which I just ordered from HLJ, plus the AT-ST and X-Wing in 1/48 scale.


Great review!

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