The Microfighters range is now entering its fifth year and a couple of new twin packs have been introduced for 2018. 75195 Ski Speeder vs. First Order Walker Microfighters is one such product, containing two vital vehicles from the Battle of Crait along with some appealing minifigures.
Releasing models in this manner is ideal for play and the set seems to offer reasonable value too, costing £16.99 in the UK or $19.99 in the US. I am therefore hoping that this set will serve as an excellent alternative to the larger versions of both the AT-M6 and the V-4X-D ski speeder as it is certainly a great deal more affordable!
Please note that this review is spoiler free.
Star Wars minifigures are almost always based upon a particular character when being designed, as in the case of the Resistance Pilot. This figure appears to take inspiration from Nodin Chavdri, a pilot seen flying a ski speeder who is only named in the Visual Dictionary for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. His dark brown hair piece is nicely textured and includes a pearl dark grey headset. Poe Dameron makes use of the same element in 75202 Defence of Crait, although his hair is black to match the movie.
The pilot's bearded head has only appeared once before in 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker while his detailed flight suit is shared with three minifigures from 75188 Resistance Bomber. New designs on the torso and legs would have been great but I love the existing dark orange uniform, particularly with the intricate life support pack and straps printed on the front. A black blaster pistol completes this minifigure.
The First Order Walker Driver has only previously appeared in 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker so it is pleasing to see this figure in a smaller set. His helmet is also worn by First Order Flametroopers but includes wider lenses on this occasion and a grey stripe across the right eye which looks very striking. A standard Clone Trooper head is found underneath, featuring black eyebrows and a determined expression.
First Order uniforms take a great deal of inspiration from the Empire and that is especially apparent on their walker drivers. White chest armour is worn over a light bluish grey jumpsuit, recalling the Imperial AT-AT drivers from the Original Trilogy. However, I appreciate the high level of detail included as some creasing is visible on the jumpsuit and the white straps hanging below the minifigure's waist look great. The driver comes equipped with a blaster pistol, just in case his AT-M6 is incapacitated and he needs to fight on foot.
The Completed Model
The V-4X-D ski speeder is one of my favourite new vehicles from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and its odd shape is instantly recognisable, even at this small scale. The proportions have been altered to suit the Microfighters subtheme but not to the extent that we see on some models from the range. I like the expanded cockpit module and the central engine pod is reasonably detailed too, including two black grilles and an adjustable rudder at the rear.
Minifigures often look somewhat awkward when placed in a Microfighter cockpit, although that could be considered part of the range's charm. Nevertheless, I would prefer the figure to be placed lower within the cockpit and there is certainly the opportunity to make that change if you wish. The stud shooters at the other end of the outrigger look splendid, perfectly matching the position of the laser cannons on the vehicle in the movie.
Light and dark bluish grey dominates the ski speeder but there are a couple of dark tan pieces included to represent rust and a few black parts are used around the engine. This colour combination works well and I quite like the blue highlights too, even though most ski speeders seem to be dark red. I wonder whether a darker shade of blue might therefore have been more appropriate, particularly given the wear these craft show in the film.
The model is constructed around a single 2x12 plate so is very sturdy for play and I like the black droid arm that represents the vital mono-ski beneath the engine. This can be folded up and down very easily, just as in the film. Unfortunately, no stand is included for displaying the speeder with the mono-ski extended but a couple of trans-clear bricks would be sufficient if you choose to add them from your own collection.
The All Terrain MegaCaliber Six, better known as the AT-M6, takes obvious inspiration from the AT-ATs of the Imperial era and this model is accordingly familiar, resembling 75075 AT-AT. That remains one of my favourite Microfighters and many of its best features remain intact, including highly articulated legs and a ball joint for the head. Such functionality is very useful, allowing you to create some interesting displays and giving the vehicle remarkable character.
There is room to place the driver on top of the troop bay, giving him a good view of the surroundings. A printed control panel is fitted in front of the seat and a hinge brick is used to mount a couple of canisters on the back of the walker, closely matching the vehicle in the film. The image below shows how easily the model can be placed in a walking pose as its relatively low weight means that the feet do not all need to be flat on a surface!
I like posing the head too, particularly since it can move up and down to view enemies both in the air and on the ground. The laser cannons on either side are also adjustable and the trans-red viewport for the cockpit looks good from the front in my opinion. Unfortunately, this does not continue on either side of the head as it should so in this regard I think there is room for improvement. The head could also be a little taller to more closely resemble the source material but a pair of light bluish grey teeth recreate the targeting sensor banks well.
Forward-facing stud shooters are placed on either side of the troop bay, ready to crush oncoming enemies. It would have been ideal to see a third shooter representing the MegaCaliber cannon for which the vehicle is named on top of the walker, although the placement of the cockpit means that there is no room available. Perhaps the seat could have been moved further back, leaving out the canisters but making space for the turbolaser.
A tiny section of the Crait landscape is also included. This features a mounted stud shooter which can be rotated all the way around and a couple of extra studs are placed behind the fortification where there is also room to stand a minifigure. More detail would undoubtedly have been welcome but the scale of the turret feels appropriate in relation to the Microfighter vehicles and it offers a little extra play value.
My opinion of the Microfighters range seems to fluctuate depending upon the set but this is certainly one of my favourites. The two figures are excellent and the vehicles are similarly impressive, packing almost every major feature of both the AT-M6 and the Resistance ski speeder into a pair of small models, both of which are remarkably sturdy for play.
However, neither vehicle is perfect. The head of the AT-M6 could be more detailed and I think the pilot should be seated lower in the cockpit of the speeder. It is also disappointing that the MegaCaliber cannon has been omitted as this is a distinctive aspect of the walkers in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Nevertheless, I would recommend this set to fans of these vehicles, particularly if you are not intending to purchase 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker.
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Please remember to keep your comments free of spoilers as a courtesy to those who have not yet seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi.