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Star Wars Sandtrooper

Bandai 1/12 Star Wars Sandtrooper Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2015 Manufacturer Bandai
Subject Star Wars Sandtrooper Scale 1/12
Kit Number 197348 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy construction, posable figure Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $37.95

First Look

Star Wars Sandtrooper
Star Wars Sandtrooper

Star Wars fans rejoice! Bandai has been expanding its series of 1/12 figure kits leading up to the release of the first installment of the third Star Wars trilogy (episode 7). The current array of figures, including several Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and the droids, are all out of the second trilogy (the first three movies - episodes 4-6).

Here is one of these new figure kits, the Imperial Sandtrooper which is nearly identical to the Stormtrooper kit with the addition of desert survival gear. If you take a look at these sprue trees, you'll see some impressive injection molding here. One tree has parts in black, white, and gray all on the same tree. The kit consists of four parts trees molded in styrene and one tree of vinyl parts which provide the movable joints to pose the figure. Despite the magic of multi-color injection molding, there will be painting required to bring out the finer details and a good opportunity for some weathering using the wide variety of desert military weathering products on the market.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Well-illustrated instructions
  • Posable arms, legs, and head
  • Display base with removable stand to keep the finished model stable while on display
  • Detailed desert backpack
  • Choice of trooper or team leader collar markings (decal and sticker)
  • Choice of two long guns and two pistols

While the notes in the instructions are all Japanese, the assembly illustrations are graphical and very nicely done. If you've not built one of these Bandai kits, take a few minutes to become acquainted with the assembly process and you won't have any problems with your project.

Like some of you, I felt the distubance in the Force in the middle of September when word that these Bandai kits would no longer be available in North America and many accusations flew on who was to blame. If this were part of the Star Trek universe, one might think that the various companies involved had the dreaded Vulcan 'Bandai Syndrome', but if you haven't noticed, the kits are very much available in the US. I purchased this kit from CultTVman Hobby Shop and these can be found on Amazon as well. Whether the licensing problems have been resolved or this was much ado about nothing, these kits are at least available for now, so grab some and be one with the Force again.