Following its collapse, equipment belonging to the Galactic Empire was frequently abandoned before being salvaged by criminal groups. This repeated circumstance is exemplified in 75254 AT-ST Raider which features some unorthodox colours and realistic exposed wiring.
However, its design seems reasonably familiar when compared with 75153 AT-ST Walker. The earlier Imperial model has certainly inspired some building techniques which are employed here, although that seems rather sensible. Nevertheless, the exclusive minifigures are likely to prove particularly popular and the most appealing of them is the enigmatic Mandalorian.
Four excellent minifigures are included, the most appealing of which is undoubtedly The Mandalorian himself. This character appears suitably rugged, wearing dark orange armour with some metallic silver battle damage around its edges. Reddish brown straps cross both sides of the torso and the belt looks superb too, featuring pouches beside capsules that presumably represent charge packs.
Additional mismatched armour protects the legs and the character wears an unusual dark bluish grey cape. This fabric component feels relatively stiff and is narrower than standard LEGO capes, faithfully replicating The Mandalorian's onscreen attire. His simple helmet looks similarly accurate but the head underneath is plain so provides no clues about the identity of the mysterious protagonist.
This bounty hunter wields an interesting blaster rifle, taking inspiration from Boba Fett's weapon that appeared during the Star Wars Holiday Special. Its distinctive prongs have been replicated nicely but the stock is missing which is disappointing as I think the rifle appears unbalanced without that feature. Nevertheless, I appreciate this unique accessory.
Cara Dune carries another substantial blaster rifle and wears heavy armour. The metallic silver mail design on her torso looks brilliant and I like the contrasting dark blue panels which continue onto the legs. A bright blue sash is also included and seems incongruous, although that corresponds with the source material and the silver details are lovely.
The double-sided head demonstrates similar attention to detail, featuring a small tattoo. This actually depicts the Rebel Alliance emblem but its shape cannot be distinguished here. Two nice expressions are included and the black hair element seems appropriate when compared with the television series, especially since it hangs down over one shoulder which is absolutely perfect.
Criminal factions dominate the Outer Rim and two Klatooinian Raiders are included here, opposing The Mandalorian and Cara Dune. Their heads are absolutely identical which is unfortunate but these capture the leathery skin of the Klatooinian species, succeeding Kithaba from 9496 Desert Skiff. The pearl dark grey armour also looks marvellous and the neck component, which returns from Ultron, is particularly interesting.
Different torsos are provided but they appear quite similar, including crescent-shaped charms which hang around the neck of each character. The reddish brown straps feature some realistic wear and I like the scuffed designs on the legs. One minifigure carries blaster pistols while the other features an excellent pearl dark grey blaster.
The Completed Model
Imperial equipment and vehicles are almost exclusively grey so the AT-ST Raider seems remarkably striking. Its mismatched reddish brown and red legs distinguish this model from previous renditions of the AT-ST and I think it looks superb, giving the impression of salvaged technology. In fact, this walker appears somewhat reminiscent of equipment deployed by the piratical Warbird Gang during Star Wars Resistance.
75153 AT-ST Walker was produced during 2016 and established an excellent standard. 75254 AT-ST Raider therefore shares some building techniques with its predecessor and certain aesthetic features remain from 75201 First Order AT-ST, including the knee joints. This model measures 25cm in height which is shorter than the earlier vehicle, although its proportions appear more accurate.
Stickers are employed extensively across this model which seems slightly disappointing, although the resulting designs are very detailed. For instance, three stickers are applied on each foot, representing battle wear beside claws that are intended to slice through barricades. These weapons could certainly have been constructed using physical parts instead of stickers, taking inspiration from 7657 AT-ST, but this design is effective.
The neighbouring stripes appear similarly attractive and correspond with the onscreen vehicle. I love how these designs wrap around each leg. However, my favourite details are the exposed cables that appear on the left leg and these are represented by black whips. Similar techniques have been used previously but this example seems notably realistic and is unusual within the Star Wars theme.
While the colour scheme has been altered significantly, the fundamental structure of the legs remains unchanged since 75201 First Order AT-ST was released. Their articulation and options for display are accordingly limited. This design does ensure absolute stability but some ankle articulation would have represented an important improvement when compared with earlier AT-ST models.
Inaccurate hip joints have also been retained, although the additional Technic beams which support each leg certainly improve the structural integrity of this vehicle. Moreover, I appreciate the exposed wiring which is formed using paint roller components and these stickers appear faithful to the source material, including the rear radiators and four circular power cells along either flank.
I am equally impressed with the cockpit module. Its angled armour plating looks marvellous and I like how stickers have been used to create painted stripes, especially across the front. These details look perfect in relation to the television series and the viewports are reasonable as well, even though they cannot actually close which is disappointing.
AT-STs are heavily armed, incorporating twin blaster cannons below the cockpit along with light laser cannons and an impressive concussion grenade launcher which are situated on the sides. These are nicely articulated and closely resemble the onscreen weaponry, particularly because the central laser cannons have been extended. However, the blasters positioned on the left side feel somewhat fragile.
Two spring-loaded shooters are hidden beside the twin blaster cannons and they can be activated by pressing buttons towards the rear. This function has appeared on previous occasions but the missiles are neatly integrated and offer additional play value. Unfortunately, some Technic elements are visible when viewing the vehicle from behind and these could probably have been concealed within.
Dark bluish grey and light bluish grey pieces have been combined to brilliant effect across the AT-ST Raider and that continues on the top, as demonstrated below. The handrails look nice and I love how reddish brown components are distributed between the armour plates, representing rusted metal that matches similar colours across the legs.
Characters board the walker through an opening hatch on the roof and that feature is included here. Some clips are situated inside the hatch and are appropriately positioned for minifigures, hence you can display the Klatooinian Raiders as though they are surveying the environment. Once again, this detail previously appeared on 75153 AT-ST Walker but its return is welcome.
Opening the entire roof panel reveals several unsightly colourful components inside. However, these cannot be seen from the exterior and the targeting monitor sticker looks brilliant. The internal seating could have been improved though as there is sufficient space for two minifigures but only one seat is provided. The rear section is instead offers blaster storage, although that can be modified easily.
75254 AT-ST Raider is undoubtedly my favourite of the numerous AT-ST models which LEGO have produced. Its distinguishing colour scheme stands out within the Star Wars theme and replicates the worn aesthetic of salvaged technology. The unprotected wiring appears particularly authentic, further differentiating this vehicle from its predecessors.
Nevertheless, there was definitely potential to introduce additional improvements, most notably where articulation is concerned. The price of £49.99 or $49.99 also seems rather expensive, considering the scale of this model. Some outstanding minifigures are provided though and I appreciate the design of the AT-ST Raider so would recommend adding this set to your collection, following a discount.
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