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Master Replicas Clone Trooper Helmets

When the initial run of helmets went out, ironically the last of the initial three to be offered, the yellow "327th Star Corps Trooper" helmet was the first to "land". This helmet was restricted to just 600 and was exclusive to www.StarWarsShop.com.

All the MR Clone helmets (and it seems all the helmets MR will be producing) are manufactured out of fiberglass, which although weighty has a really solid feel to it. The helmet itself measures 13.5" high (16.5" including the stand) and when you compare it to OT helmets it certainly looks to be the "right" size (see note later).

So this is essentially a single piece design (no separate face, ears etc.) although the "mic tips" and black chin part have been added. Apart from the detailing on the mic tips, all detailing is painted including the black brow line.

Note that there was some discussions over the colouring of this helmet, since the helmets seen in the film had their Mohawk painted yellow, however MR has confirmed that the CG files sent to them by Lucasfilm had them as white so white they remain.

Above, close up showing the area around the visor and nose, the detailing of the communicators (which appear to be decals but very nice decals) and visibility of the the helmet is superb. below a shot of the grilling between the teeth, which is a nice touch.

As with all MR products it comes very well packaged with helmet stand, plaque and information card, however there is no acrylic display case but given the size this is not surprising. Note to helmet fans that this helmet wont fit in the Ikea Detolf glass display cabinet unless you ditch the stand. This will  probably spark a rush for new storage cabinets!

Below a side profile shot showing the ear detailing (not a separate piece).

There has been some debate over its size but some claiming its "under size", but according to Lucasfilm there was no "one size" for Clone Troopers and they varied in size for the movie. As mentioned previously when compared with an OT Stormtrooper it appears to be the right size as since its derived from the original files its fair to assume that it is. It weighs around 1.7kg (approx 4lbs) which as a matter of interest is around 3 times that of an original OT Stormtrooper helmet from ANH which represents the difference between Fiberglass and vac-pulled ABS/HDPE.

Below, the inside of the helmet is padded in a velvet type material which gives the helmet a really nice finish. Given its a limited edition collectable I don't know whether I'd ever want to Troop in it but all the same its presentation is excellent. There's no base trim although there probably wasn't on the original CG files anyway!

In summary, its very hard to be critical of this helmet at all. Its difficult to compare it to the original helmets since of course there were no "real" Clone helmets made for Revenge of the Sith - everything was CGI. Since Master Replicas has used the CGI information provided by Lucasfilm its hard to argue that these are going to be anything other than "true to life" representations of what's seen on-screen.

The build quality is really excellent, the detailing very nice and from a pricing perspective, $400 seems  good value. My only bug-bears are MR's ridiculous shipping costs to the UK ($190!!!) where its actually cheaper to find a friend in the US to post it on, or where possible buy from an MR dealer (although going forwards MR has said that all LE's will be MR-only so maybe they need to look at their shipping options). On that subject, John C's asked me about the quality of the packing and I can confirm that it is excellent. The helmet comes encased in polystyrene (moulded to the shape of the helmet) in an MR-type Blue cardboard box, which itself is in a heavy duty brown shipping box. I doubt there will be many complaints over goods damaged in transit, even if MR shipped them all the way from Kamino!

Following on from the Star Corps helmet was the Red Shocktrooper and Blue Special Operations helmets (photo below courtesy Vincent from SirStevesguide). Both of these are also limited edition helmets and one wonders how many more different versions MR will produce?. Hopefully they will also consider doing some of the really special helmets like Commanders Gree, Cody and Nye - now that would be exciting!

The all-white standard Clonetroopers are NOT limited in numbers and in addition are $50 cheaper. I'm sure we will start to see prices for the all-white helmets drop on eBay over the coming year so I'm sure many will be tempted to buy one and then customise/weather them themselves, for display or trooping.

All-in-all, MR's Star Corps helmet is a very impressive collectable and signals the arrival of what is going to be a very exciting time for Star Wars helmet fans! Bravo!

Clone Trooper - Special Ops

I've received my Special ops and am overall very pleased with it although the finish isn't quite as good  as the Star Corps helmet - however I think this is hit and miss as all helmets been to be of varying quality.

The main areas of concerns seems to be the clear-coat which varies in coverage, not that the differences in coverage aren't especially noticeable, but I think most people would say that MR could and perhaps should have done better!.

 The image above illustrates the "clear coat" problem, the three identical spot lights shining on the helmet are all the same, although the reflection differs significantly as the clear coats diffused the light. Basically when you look up close, part of the helmet is more shiny than others.

However its important these things are kept in perspective, and the majority of people will not notice this. In addition I'm wondering if it might be something that coupled be buffed out?

 

However, I think the main beef from MR customers though is the lack of plaque! It appears that MR "forgot" to send plaques out for most of these helmets and according to an MR Retailer release Fri 3rd February 2006, they will NOT be sending out replacement individually numbered plaques, instead all customers will get is a plaque showing the maximum number made (i.e. 750). I have to say that this is really disappointing news from MR!

This is especially frustrating as (a) Surely MR has a log of these numbers (and a load of plaques sitting somewhere), and (b) If if they don't have a log WE THE CUSTOMERS know which plaque we should have as its written on the darn box!!!! Given I'm #75 its been suggested to me on the forums that I should just scratch out the 0 in the new plaques "750"!!!

Above, rear show and below a couple of comparisons of the Special Ops and Star Corps.

As you can see, my Special Ops (blue) seems a little less shiny than the Star Corps (yellow).


Imperial Shock Trooper

The Shocktrooper was limited to "just"  750 helmets and was only available direct from MR. As with the Special Ops there was a problem with the finishing on some of these hence there's been the same delay sending these out.

This is the most brightly painted of the three and IMO it looks great. Finish overall is good save slight differentiation with the clear coating. Certainly you'd have to look close to notice.

Right quarter shot - sorry if these same angles are getting a bit boring!

Its quite an intricate paint job and MR has done a really good job on them. The lines look really sharp with very little if any overspray or wobble.

Above, its rear end and below a shot of the prototype from a 2005 trade show (courtesy www.Yakface.com)

Finally some shots of the Three Amigo's together

..and two shots showing a couple of SDS gate-crashers illustrating the evolution of the helmet design from the old to new trilogy's.

Below, a comparison of the new (unfinished) all-white MR Clonetrooper helmet, with the lifesize statue made by Gentle Giant for one of 2004's toy shows.

Clone Trooper - 212nd Attack Battalion

This is the first of the new 2007 Clone helmets from MR. Looking very much like the Star Corps its to say the least a little disappointing. Pic Courtesy Rebelscum

The 212nd Attack Battalion Clone was not the best received, with fans seeing it as little more than an excuse from MR to release a "new" product with as little work possible - maybe this was pressure from new owners Corgi?


Clone Trooper - Commander Gree
 

However, there was better news in October 2007 in the shape of the Commander Gree Helmet.

Yes I KNOW its just YET ANOTHER repaint of the same helmet they produced a couple of years back but at least this one has a cool reflective green visor and a completely different weathered colour scheme!

The Commander Gree was announced earlier in 2007 as a "Collectors Society Exclusive", only 500 were made and all were snapped up within a couple of days of pre-sale.

The weathering has quite a mottled look about it but the scratching/blast damage looks really nice. Physically (paint and visor aside) there are no differences between this and the other clones, but its silver, khaki, white and green colour scheme does give it a unique look about it.

Painting and weathering-wise this is nowhere near as impressive as the Boba Fett helmet which features a multi-layered paint finish using several different painting techniques. This seems to have been painted using much simpler techniques, but has nonetheless a nice looking finish.

Below a shot showing some of the "blast damage" detail and that neat green lens. It looks like they based some of that detailing on a map of Indonesia!

So in summary its a nice collectable, not least because so relatively few were made, but also due to it being based on a specific on-off individual helmet from RotS, as opposed to a generic legion as is the case of the Special Ops, Shocktrooper etc. However it is "just" a paint job and as such it would have been really nice if MR could have produced something like a Cody or Bacarra which would have required a different mould. Sadly, with the license ending this Christmas we're not going to see that from MR so collectors will have to look to the new licensee or alternatively a fan-made item for something as unique as that.

As with all the MR helmets it comes excellently packaged - fully able to withstand the rigours of it being transported half the way round the world. Again as per the other clones it comes with Certificate of Authenticity, stand and numbered plaque.

PIcs of the prototype helmet from 2006 below courtesy Jedidefender.com and Rebelscum.com.

Love the visor. To me its significantly different enough from the other helmets to convince me its worth getting. I think the weathering looks nice and seems to replicate the CG Screen version.

It looks a really great helmet and one that should sell well. Expected run is 650-750 ish

This is expected to retail at $399 and may well be a CS Exclusive (which will be a shame as I don't like the principle of having to buy something in order for the right to buy something else).


501
st Legion Trooper Helmet
 

Well no one can say that MR didn't drain the last drops from the Clone helmet mould so there was one final version out before their license expired at the end of 2007

In essence this is another version of the "Special Ops" helmet seen higher up the page, but had the addition of some decent scratches, scorch marks and overall weathering.

Though not up to the standard MR reached on the Boba Fett, Like the Commander Gree helmet its nice that MR's produced something with a more realistic finish to match those seen on-screen, which usually looked fairly well beaten up.

Announced during the fall of 2007, they've actually started to ship in February '08 - remember MR's license allows them to fulfil on orders until March 31st '08 so long as the order was taken before the December 31st '07 deadline.

It looks quite a blue/grey colour and quite different from the blue used on the pristine version - although neither seem as dark as the one's in the movie - although they were CG so who knows!

MR had planned to do a Shadow Clone to match the Scaled Helmet but I think even they thought EIGHT different colour variations was possibly just a little too much! Hence the 501st was the last produced. I'm not expecting E-FX to continue with the RotS Clones - instead opting for the new sculpt of an AotC Clone Trooper!


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