Improving the new LEGO Star Wars 501st Officer minifigure

The new 501st Officer minifigure in LEGO Star Wars 75345 501st Clone Troopers Battle Pack leaves a lot to be desired – but can it be improved with existing elements?

Included among the three new flavours of 501st Clone Trooper in January’s battle pack is the legion’s first officer, inspired by the soldier class in EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II. The LEGO minifigure isn’t a perfect match for the video game design – the officer doesn’t have a blue belt – but it’s a pretty good approximation… if you’re happy with printed accessories.

In times past, Clone Trooper accessories (such as kamas and pauldrons) were physical elements, cast in either plastic or fabric. The LEGO Star Wars 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.)

It means the 501st Officer in 75345 501st Clone Troopers Battle Pack – 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.

lego

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 LEGO Star Wars team has ditched it, but for adult collectors that’s not necessarily a big deal.

If you like the look of this kama, a black version was released with three different minifigures, and can be had fairly readily on the aftermarket.

The fabric cape isn’t the only style of kama the LEGO 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.

Finally, we turned to 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina’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 75345 501st Clone Troopers Battle Pack come January 1, it’s definitely worth playing around with the existing LEGO Star Wars Clone Trooper accessories to kick things up a notch. Check out our full review of the new LEGO Star Wars 2023 set by clicking here.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO using our affiliate links.

Author Profile

Chris Wharfe
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.

YouTube video

Chris Wharfe

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *