We are now just hours away from the new sets becoming available worldwide and as such we are going to review three of the most anticipated sets of the entire range over the next three days. 75151 Clone Turbo Tank is one of the largest Star Wars sets of the summer, containing 903 pieces and priced at £99.99 or $109.99.
This is the third model of the Turbo Tank to be designed for interaction with minifigures and it has been six years since the last so I think we were due for a new one. Previous versions have been very impressive and I therefore have high expectations for this one, so let's see if they are met...
Only six minifigures are included, two of which are Battle Droids, which is a little disappointing given the price point of the set. However, the standard is impressive, particularly in the case of Luminara Unduli who has undergone a significant update since she last appeared in 7869 Battle for Geonosis. Her headress is now dark brown rather than black which is more accurate to the film and matches the soft fabric cape very well.
The printing on Luminara's torso and legs is also very faithful to her attire in the movie and I like the metallic gold highlights very much. Her head is printed with two expressions, one smiling and the other angry, as well as some Mirialan facial tattoos and bright blue eyes.
Quinlan Vos has appeared once before in 7964 Republic Frigate but this minifigure is a vast improvement. The hair piece was originally designed for some of the Dwarves in the Hobbit range but is ideally suited to Vos' messy style and looks as though it was created with him in mind. The head is also impressive, with some stubble and differing expressions on each side.
The Jedi robes worn by Quinlan Vos are unusual and this is reflected on this figure as a black pauldron is printed over a brown and dark tan tunic. The dark tan cloth is continued onto the hips and legs while Vos' arms are dark flesh in colour to match his head. Both of the Jedi are armed with green lightsabers.
It is only two and a half years since this version of Commander Gree first appeared in 75043 AT-AP but the standard of the figure is such that I do not mind seeing it again. The camouflage printing on the torso and legs looks absolutely brilliant, as does the bright green visor and dark green stripe on the helmet.
Some simulated battle damage is found on the front but this is not continued at the back unfortunately. Instead, the pearl silver of the helmet is fully visible along with the detailed design on the back of the torso. My only issue with this figure is that the printing on the legs cuts off rather abruptly but otherwise it looks splendid.
The 41st Elite Corps Clone Troopers are becoming increasingly common and one is included here to man the Turbo Tank. The helmet design is a near-perfect replica of the source while the printing on the legs and torso is equally impressive, featuring some camouflage patterning and several pouches for storing battlefield equipment.
I like this minifigure very much but giving us only a single standard trooper is not satisfactory as there are plenty of seats on board the Juggernaut as well as the AT-RT so more troops are required. 75035 Kashyyyk Troopers is no longer available from the majority of stores but one of those would make an excellent addition to this set.
Two Battle Droids are included to oppose the Republic which is a rather puny challenge, although I appreciate the inclusion of some Separatist forces as this increases the play value. The droids are the same as ever, with a nicely moulded head and one arm designed to hold a blaster rifle. Two such weapons are included for the Battle Droids and the Clone Troopers are similarly equipped.
The Completed Model
The tiny size of this model is immediately striking as soon as construction is complete. It measures only a little over 30cm in length so its size has been reduced by a third in relation to 8098 Clone Turbo Tank, the previous version of the A6 Juggernaut which was released in 2010. This is rather disappointing given the extent to which a Turbo Tank is reliant on its size when thundering across a battlefield and I do think it looks quite small when considering the price point.
However, the level of detail which covers the exterior accounts for the price to some extent and it looks fantastic, if you can ignore the scale. The front is heavily armed and armoured, with dual laser cannons beneath the cab and some floodlights on either side which are smoothly incorporated into the hull plating. I like the dark red pieces which provide some colour and trans-black tiles are suitable to represent the viewports on the front and sides, although I am sure a combination of brackets and trans-black 1x2 panels could have been used so we would actually be able to see through the windows.
Inside one finds two seats arranged side by side as well as some controls. This is accessed by opening the flaps at the front and on top so there is plenty of space to reach inside and pose a couple of minifigures. I am pleased to see two seats in the cockpit but the colourful Technic pieces which are left exposed towards the back are unsightly and some means of concealing them would have been welcome.
A dark red stripe continues from the cab onto the side of the Juggernaut and this terminates just below a pair of spring-loaded shooters. These are mounted on both sides and are intended to replicate the grenade launchers which can extent from the hull in the film. It would have been wonderful to see some means of retracting these weapons but the tails of the missiles may have prohibited such a feature. Nevertheless, I quite like them and they are easily removed if you would prefer to display the model with the grenade launchers retracted.
The entirety of each side panel can be lowered to access the interior, as shown below, although there is not a great deal of detail to be found inside. A jumble of Technic liftarms dominate this area and these provide plenty of stability but spoil the troop bay completely, leaving very little space for minifigures and severely detracting from its aesthetic appeal. As in the cockpit, some plates could easily have been used to cover the exposed Technic elements and this would have improved the interior quite considerably.
The primary feature which is activated from inside makes use of the prominent yellow gears on each side of the tank. By turning this knob you can raise and lower the observation mast using a gear rack system. I love the idea of this feature and it works quite well but it is a bit tricky to access the gear wheel due to its positioning so close to the roof.
This feature did not appear on 8098 Clone Turbo Tank as that version was based on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but it was included on 7261 Clone Turbo Tank from 2005. The spotter's position has been stripped back quite significantly since then and is now more exposed but it also more in scale with the rest of the vehicle and can be rotated to view the entire battle. There is room to stand a minifigure up here alongside a new printed console piece. The same element appears in both cockpits as well as several of the other new Star Wars sets and it looks great. There are no stickers in this set which is a nice bonus.
Most of the interior is devoted to the storage of an AT-RT. It fits quite comfortably but is not nearly as secure as it was when a similar feature was used on 8098 Clone Turbo Tank and occupies far more space, leaving no room for minifigures. Furthermore, the floor is only partly covered so you cannot place figures inside even when the AT-RT has been deployed. A simple modification will resolve this but I would have liked to see a 4x8 plate included to fill the space and provide a surface with studs.
The AT-RT itself has exceeded my expectations as it is far more appealing in person than it appears on the box. I like the olive green colour scheme very much and the proportions are also about right. The stud shooter on the front is mounted using a ball joint so has extensive articulation and is a lot of fun to play with, although it is not ideal for display.
I like the antennas on the back as well but am less satisfied with the legs as the different elements which have been combined look a little odd to me. However, there is plenty of articulation and these click hinges maintain stability which is vitally important, of course.
Yet more weaponry is fitted to the top of the Turbo Tank and this can be rotated on a small turntable. Handlebars are included for a minifigure to control the turret which is another nice feature but this does not correspond with the movie where this gun emplacement is manned remotely from inside. A handle can be extended from just behind the turret and this is hidden quite well when not in use but is still not necessary in my opinion as the set is sufficiently light and sturdy to be picked up, even by a child.
Another hull panel can be hinged open on either side to reveal a yellow arms crate. This is filled with some more trans-blue studs for the shooters and a couple of printed thermal detonators.
The rear control cabin is a little less detailed than that at the front but looks good nonetheless. I am particularly impressed with the turret on top as this can be rotated all the way around and has two stud shooters which do not detract from the appearance of the vehicle at all. In fact, they compare quite favourably with the movie and are an example of how stud shooters can be used effectively in certain situations.
Just as the exterior is a less interesting at the back than it is at the front, so is the interior. A single seat is found in here along with a couple of clips on the wall which hold a cup and a pair of macrobinoculars. Unfortunately there is nowhere to easily store the minifigures' weapons but you can squeeze them into the ammunition crate if they are properly arranged.
The suspension is an integral feature of the Clone Turbo Tank in the films and it has also been important on each LEGO model. Few changes have been made since 2005 but that is not an issue as it works perfectly and is a fantastic play feature, allowing you to steer the vehicle by adjusting the angle of the hull and traverse obstacles with ease! The central pair of wheels are mounted on shock absorbers which I like while the others are attached using a single pin at the centre of each axle and rock from side to side.
These wheels are smaller than ever but they are faithful to the movie and are properly proportioned in relation to the main body of the Juggernaut. The axles look rather spindly and are very exposed from certain angles but it may not be easy to improve this aspect of the design without losing the ability to steer the tank, so I am satisfied with the axles and wheels in their current state.
This is a good set on the whole, with plenty of detail on the exterior and lots of fun play features, but I cannot ignore the small size of the model and this reduces its appeal quite significantly in my opinion. If you own the previous models then the reduction in size is really quite surprising and it does leave me slightly underwhelmed given the price point and the relatively mediocre minifigure selection.
On the other hand, I think this is the best looking Clone Turbo Tank to date, with a greater level of detail and accuracy to the source material than any of the previous models. It is also the most fun to play with as I really like the new extendable mast but all of the best features of the earlier sets have been maintained.
With a modest reduction in price I would recommend this set but I hope to see a much larger version if LEGO choose to create another model of the A6 Juggernaut in future.
Keep an eye on the homepage tomorrow for a review of a highly anticipated Technic set!
JANGBRiCKS' video review