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Author Topic: Bandai 1/12 Scale Star Wars Battle Droid & STAP  (Read 884 times)

Wavehawk

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Bandai 1/12 Scale Star Wars Battle Droid & STAP
« on: November 27, 2016, 04:16:14 PM »

Bandai Star Wars 1/12 scale Battle Droid & STAP

Year of release: Aug-Sep 2016
Size & weight: 30cm x 20cm x 8cm, ?g
Approx cost: AU$89 (Price varies depending on source)
Origin: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
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Wavehawk

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Re: Bandai 1/12 Scale Star Wars Battle Droid & STAP
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 04:38:22 PM »

Managed to find this at a local store and snapped it up pretty quickly. It set me back AU$89, which I guess is good for a kit in-store. It should probably cost less than that but given how hard Revell is making life for anyone who does not want to buy Revell Star Wars Kits I should be thankful it didn't come in at three digits.

I collect 1/12 figures as well as Gunpla and sadly the only two 1/12 scale Battle Droids are both by Bandai: The Figuarts version (Incredible work but way too expensive to import much less army build) and this one, the kit -- which no thanks to Revell is a pain to find anywhere int he english-speaking world. And when they do turn up they get sold almost instantly. I've built two previous Bandai Star Wars kits, the Stormtrooper and Clone Trooper and loved how those came together--if you've built Gunpla before the Bandai figure kits are nothing new.

The Battle Droid kit, however...is a different story.

There's two parts to this kit: the Battle Droid figure itself, and the STAP Single Trooper Aerial Platform vehicle it rides on, and I'll review the STAP first as it's the simpler of the two kits to build.

On the STAP:

The STAP consists of the vehicle itself and a clear plastic stand. I wish Bandai could make that clear stand available for Gunpla in the future as it's a little more dignified looking than the existing black stands they pack with some Gunpla. It's designed to hold the STAP by it's lower wings/foot pedals so on the one hand the STAP won't have any obvious plug holes to stick into. Aesthetics-wise that's good but I think it also makes the stand a little wobbly and fragile as it's not holding a solid part of the STAP.

The main STAP itself is built in two parts: the lower body with the engines, foot pedals and 'wings', and the upper body with the gun turret and controls. While this is a snap kit like most Gunpla or Bandai Star Wars kits I recommend using glus as some parts are either very fragile (Wings) or are joined at a very tiny notch (foot pedals, gun muzzles). Detailing on the jet intakes and some of the panel lining on the turret look good but most of the STAP itself is a smooth surface that I think really needs some design or weathering as it's a boring brown surface. It actually has only one moving section, the structure between the main body/engines and the controls/gun turret. Nice, but I feel it's kind of pointless since the only figure that is compatible with the STAP is the Battle Droid that comes with it. And that's not going to be doing any major body flexing while posing with the STAP itself.

Most of the STAP is hollow shells snapped together. Kind of expected given it's Bandai, but it feels way too light for it's size. it's also designed in a way that only the Battle Droid can pilot it. I kind of expected it not to be able to seat my 6-inch Star Wars Black Series toy figures, but even the Bandai Stormtrooper and Clonetrooper kits are too heavy and unable to 'ride' the STAP. So only the Battle Droid can use it. While that makes sense if you're building a Star Wars diorama, it kind of sucks if you want it to either be compatible with other Star Wars figures or even other model kits. You'll need a lot of modding--and given how fragile the STAP is you'll probably need to add some sort of armature or other reinforcing material if you want a different figure to be posed on it.

So no, even Gunpla won't be able to ride the STAP, cool as that might be.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 05:23:01 PM by Wavehawk »
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Wavehawk

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Re: Bandai 1/12 Scale Star Wars Battle Droid & STAP
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 05:22:39 PM »

On the Battle Droid:

Before I start, I'll cut Bandai some slack. The Battle Droid is effectively a Stick Person with Goofy's head. I used to have some of the 3-3/4 inch Hasbro Battle Droid figures from the Phantom Menace and they had all of 3-5 points of articulation, skinny as hell. I don't think there was any way of giving that thing any sort of articulation without making it the most fragile figure in existence. Bandai tried, and while it is reasonably poseable it's fragile as hell.

What Bandai did was take the same approach to the Battle Droid as they did with the RG line of gunpla kits: An entire frame built on one ABS sprue. The arms and legs, as well as the neck section were all on that sprue and were meant to be attached to the main body, which was assembled with ABS and styrene bits. Trouble starts because of the frame being fragile. Unlike RG kits where the moving parts are relatively safe because theyre covered inside styrene armor plates--the Battledroid arms and legs only have minor styrene parts going over them. in fact the arm has only two round bits over the shoulder and a separate 'thumb' for the droid, attached on a tiny ball peg. This became a problem as I drooped one of the legs while building and the ankle popped off. I managed to reattach it but it is very loose after reconnection (LeftAnkle). I would say the elbow, knee, hip and shoulder joints themselves are sturdy and no problem, but the smaller joints like ankles, wrists neck etc will be very fragile.

You can build either the standard B1 Battle Droid trooper (backpack) or the OOM Command Battle Droid (No backpack), or you can even swap heads with the 1/12 See-Threepio kit with some additional parts included in the kit. The Droid has a Blaster and binoculars, and I have difficulty having him hold the blaster. The backpack has a peg to attach the blaster to when not in use but it's not a secure clip. Haven't built the binocs yet but they're a simple 3 piece affair and not terribly exciting to put together, and unlike the blasters there's no place to put them on the figure when they're not being held. Because of the fiasco with the ankle joint I haven't tried to put this figure kit through the full motion range. It has the capability for it--the kit instructions show you can even 'fold' the Battle Droid up into storage mode.

I've put the Droid on the STAP and it holds up well enough even without any detailing or paint so I guess that's a major plus. I can definitely see Star Wars fans getting a few of these guys, build and hold them in a static pose or on the STAPs themselves, and be happy with them. But this guy definitely won't be a practical replacement for a true toy Droid--unlike the Clone Trooper and Stomr Trooper kits the Battle Droid simply hasn't got the durabilty for consistent posing--and as mentioned I don't think this is anything wrong on Bandai's part, the Droid is just too skinny to work--not unless Bandai would produce a much lower-quality version of the Droid kit with far less articulation (EG no ankle/no neck/no wrist articulation) and sell that as a troop pack for 1/3 the cost of this Droid and STAP combo.

VERDICT: The Droid and STAP kit are definitely not going to be replacements for any action figures you might want. The fragility of the Droid and the lightness and design of the STAP mean that you can't have one without the other. It'll be great for static displays or for someone completing the SW kit line, but it definitely won't please everybody.
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c4cloud

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Re: Bandai 1/12 Scale Star Wars Battle Droid & STAP
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 09:57:19 PM »

Well, my doubt about this kit turns out to be true.
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thegunny

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Re: Bandai 1/12 Scale Star Wars Battle Droid & STAP
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 08:39:11 AM »

How big is it?

$89 seems an awful lot when you can pick up the Revel/Monogram original at swap meets and the like for heaps less.
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Vital-Blurs

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Re: Bandai 1/12 Scale Star Wars Battle Droid & STAP
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 04:54:02 PM »

Only $58 delivered on fleabay  ^-^
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