Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Galvatron's Army: This, is a lot of cons

So, literally yesterday, at time of writing, Galvatron got a bit of a boost to his army. To fans of Generation 1, they know that his personal subset of the Decepticons was the Sweeps, Scourge, Cyclonus, and himself. They were to Galvatron, what Starscream and the Seekers were to Megatron. So lets take a look at them. Here are all of them... as photographed by me with no proper set up on my bed with a phone camera...

Let's start off with the general mukes in this picture, the three white sweeps, Generations Scourge. Starting with the bomber mode, and it is a tiny stealth bomber. Due to it being the generations Line, there isn't any functions to them. With the exception of semi working landing gear, as on mine only two of them can fold out all three sets of landing wheels, all of them molded in so they won't roll, which is a bumber. Paint details, as per the usual, is sparse, but the only big issue is a blue stripe which goes accross the front of the plane, but looks as if it should continue along the wings, but doesn't. I'd personally also prefer the third booster to be in gun-mettle grey like the other two, but its something I can live with. Unlike a lot of Transformers, there is proper weapon storage other then sticking it on top of the *insert vehicle here*, or on the underside of the nosecone. Here, they're in the wings, but lets save that for robot mode.

To robot mode for who I'm going to refer to as the Sweeps Grunts, and none of them are perfect. One of them has almost a bobble head loose neck joint, the backpacks don't really seem to tab in together securely, all three have really mediocre blue light piping for their eyes, unless you shove a torch into the back of their heads, and I've popped a leg off one of them a few times. But for troop fodder, they pull off the army look well. They will stand once you get them on the right surface and in the right pose, and the three together look like a squad. Their guns are a bit of a let down in terms of size, either two small guns, or combining them together for a slightly bigger gun. But in terms of the look, they do the job well. Onward along the chain of command.

I'm going to break up the Armada of Cyclonus set into two. Starting with who I'm referring to as the Sweep Elites. being yet another Scourge, and one who's actually called a Sweep. And you can tell he's a Sweep, because he actually shaved. These two are weird ones for me. they have more paint on them and the translucent plastic all over the place looks lovely. They both even have working landing gear and better light piping, now in red. For these two, I can't help but think something's jammed in both of them. On the Generations mold, there is a small sliding joint that compresses the head in closer to better hide it. However on these two, that joint isn't there, so the heads are a bit more exposed. Aside from that, everything about the Generations version of the mold holds true, just with far more paint and new heads.

Armada of Cyclonus is a three pack, so of course it comes with a Cyclonus, which is a repaint of Universe Cyclonus. Now I don't have the original, however, this also isn't the only Cyclonus I have. Starting with the jet mode, and it is a gorgeous jet mode to look at, and thankfully, to mess around with two... unlike another one. Lots of shades of Decepticon Purple on show, including many in translucent, and paint decals everywhere I'd like there to be paint. The only thing holding this one back from being the Cyclonus for me is the rubber nosecone tip and, in robot mode, ears. But thankfully due to a last minute change, there is technically multiple Cyclonus' so this one can be a troop too.

It's very rare to see a Transformer with no major kibble to it, in either mode. While I would rather the robot legs compress in more in the jet mode, as it gives it a look of being unfinished. The robot mode is absolutely gorgeous! An amazing mix of translucent and normal plastic combined with the sheer stature makes for a perfect robot mode where, aside from the wings on his shoulders and the cockpit being his back, you wouldn't believe he transformed. Even the light piping on this version, thanks to the translucent head, even with indirect light, his eyes will just glow Decepticon red. My only issues with the robot mode is that his left shoulder doesn't tab in securely, and is easy to come undone, and he was lumped in with another Generations gun, belonging to Sergeant Kup. It just looks weird for him to have a semi accurate rifle, and the ball joint hole on the gun gives it a look of "this wasn't meant for me". So close, and yet so far.

Time to bounce around some more, with another con I got from Facebook, just at another time. Back to Combiner Wars with Combiner Wars Voyager Cyclonus, who, like a lot of CW, is a repaint, this time of Combiner Wars Silverbolt. For the purposes of this, I like to think of him as the brute of this army, the tank if you would. This is one of the biggest jet modes here and unlike everyone else so far, suffers from one big problem. Undercarriage. Yep, Cyclonus is suffering from robot under a jet syndrome. Nothing's hidden in this mode except for the heads. It's not the worst I've seen nor the worst I own, but this is sad. He can't be a sleek and sexy space plane with that much kibble, the robot is thicker then the plane parts. However, this is a Combiner Wars Voyager, so...

Behold, The Decepticon's rogue torso that steals other limbs. Just the shear stupidity of that I find hilarious enough to redeem the jet mode. While it did mean Cyclonus never got a team of his own, it's dumb enough to let it slide, as I can just imagine Galvatronus stealing the limbs of Autobot combiners like Sky Reign. If only teh blank, grey, clearly meant for Superion gun was in Orange, to get the full effect. I do admit I like the idea of the legs becoming the chest, and the arms becoming the thighs of the combined mode, that was a genius design choice. I just wish the hands had a better place to hide, but its something I can live with.

Unarmed, the robot mode is fine. Both it and the combined mode do suffer from robot with a jet on its back syndrome, but at least the wings for the combined mode can unfurl into a cape. Here, the kibble is more obvious and more distracting with little to fix it, and what makes it worse is the gun. While you can break the Superi-gun into something like a shield and a rifle, its still too big! Throw in the design choices clearly meant for combined mode like gigantic shins, stiff joints in the arms and a head that may as well be static, and you'll be wishing for spare limbs to keep him as Galvatronus. Sadly, I don't have spare limbs for him.

So, We've tackled teh goons and grunts of this army. Who do I see as the generals, at least in my collection. Let's start with SPACEBOAT!... I mean Titans Return Deluxe Scourge, or rather, lets start with his Titan Master, Fracas. I'm mostly getting this out of the way early because most of what I say here is going to apply to every Titan Master I cover going forward. A Titan Master is a new name for the old Headmasters, small robots that would transform into heads for bigger robots. All of them have the same articulation, in that they have ball joint shoulders, with range varying from 90-180 degrees in range. Ball joint head, and hinges for leg movement, with the shins fused together. All of them also sport an upside down head on their backs. Fracas is one of the better ones in terms of paint, as he has paint on his head, both of them, and paint on his shins. Everything else, blue, slightly molded plastic.

To Spaceboat then, and it is a G1 esque Scourge, hence referring to it more as Spaceboat. Like with the bombers, its not something to be moved around on the ground, as the only kibble on it makes for a nice little stand to keep him upright. Only major flaw with the design is the cockpit, which while it will fit Titan Masters like Fracas, there is practically no visibility in it and its made worse when you put the double barrel gun right in front of it. Though that one can also sit a Titan Master, so...

Sadly the robot mode has an issue with loose joints. Head doesn't sit in super securely, left foot is loose, but never too loose to be an issue with posing, and the hands don't lock in so they feel flimsy too, and will only get worse as they're just friction joints. But in terms of the look, this is G1 Scourge, complete with shellformer cape. The look is the main reason I use him as the leader of the Sweeps, and its thanks to the bombers that I can live with the lack of paint on his beard, gives him a bit of originality, and separates him a bit more from his grunts. If that's not enough, his head can be swapped for any Titan master. You could give him any head you wanted... that's still a Titan Master.

Two more left, and now we have Battle in Space Cyclonus, from another multi character pack, but I don't have Hot Rod/ Rodimus so... The Jet mode isn't as secure as the Armada of Cyclonus one, but if gentle, it'll stay in one piece. Paint is also more scarce then the Armada of Cyclonus one, but it has a feeling of not being over done, as there's nothing that feels like its missing paint. This also relates to his robot mode. There was remolding done between the two versions, such as all the soft plastic being normal plastic on this version, no translucent plastic other then the red cockpit and light piping, and his left fist permanently molded into a fist, no hole to hold weapons. Now why is that?

Because this one comes with the weapon Cyclonus should have, his Target master Nightstick. What's a Target Master? its a robot that turns into a gun for a bigger robot. Nightstick is a "What you see is what you get", but with the Easter egg of either being held normally, or by flipping the hand back into the wrist, he can plug into the exposed port, replacing the hand. This is why him having some generic rifle sucks. Apart from that, and tighter tolerances, same things apply to the Armada of Cyclonus as here, and this review is going on long enough as is and we have one more con to go.

Last, but certainly not least, Titans Return Voyager Galvatron, to round out this set... until I can get a Unicron, but that one would get a review to himself. Starting with the mode he's known for, the cannon mode, and this is a gorgeous cannon mode. Gigantic and oversized, but gorgeous. It's also a bit of a brick, as all you can do is arrange the angle of the shot, I would have at least liked little wheels on the treads. but it does what it needs to do. Now Voyager sized characters in Titans Return are Triple changers, so they have a land vehicle mode, and an air one, at least more often then not. Galvatron is no different and... they tried. It's pretty clear that the focus was on the cannon mode, because without imagination, this jet mode ain't flying.

Keeping the iconic look carries over to robot mode too, albeit with a few noteworthy exceptions. The two big ones being the spring loaded mask to make the Titan Master Nucleon look bigger, but isn't a full helmet which would look a lot better, and the cannon being in front of the arm and not on the side. The cannon is the bit that actually annoys me more as I don't like things getting in the way of basic movement. I can live with a slight limitation, but while the cannon is on, the elbow is completely useless, and it's such an easy fix too, wouldn't even need another moving part. Those two fixes, and this guy would be a perfect Galvatron for me, at least at this size.

Considering the amount of cons reviewed, I don't think I can write a proper closing paragraph, simply due to the amount of molds, clones and repaints. I swear Sunday will be A-Team, no more delays.

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