team has seemingly done away with those for its new style of Clone Trooper, updated and redesigned in 2020, preferring to print accessories below neck level. (Helmet accessories, such as rangefinders and visors, are still physical pieces.)
– while being a pretty good minifigure – takes shortcuts to presumably keep costs down, printing the character’s waist cape. Viewed front-on, the effect just about works. But from any other angle the immersion is broken, given the lack of printing on the sides of the minifigure’s legs.
The good news is that thanks to the years of physical Clone Trooper accessories, the pieces we need to improve the officer technically already exist. But will they suit the new style of trooper design? To find out, we borrowed both physical and fabric elements from older minifigures and applied them to the 501st Officer.
First, we took the fabric waist cape from 75036 Utapau Troopers’ 212th Airborne Trooper, which – while not the right colour – at least simulates the kama better than the minifigure’s minimal printing. Leg movement is obviously restricted while wearing this skirt-like element, which may explain why the
Group has released over the years, though: in its 2008 range of The Clone Wars sets, it debuted hard plastic waist capes and shoulder pauldrons with minifigures like Commander Cody and Captain Rex. We borrowed both of those and popped them on the 501st Officer, and while they’re again not the right colour – black would be better than dark grey – they do provide another option for your 501st minifigures.
We didn’t have them to hand at the time, but black versions of these pieces do exist, too – released in three different The Clone Wars sets – so if you like the look of them here, you can always grab the correct colour on BrickLink.
’s Sandtrooper to get a feel for whether a fabric pauldron would improve the officer. It’s certainly a different proposition, but it’s difficult to say whether the cloth or plastic version works better, largely because neither is perfect. (They’re both a little oversized.)
If you’re planning on picking up one or more copies of
I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.