Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Galaxy Force First Gunner

The upgraded form of Deluxe-sized Galaxy Force First Aid, First Gunner is now an armoured mobile missle platform, and part of the Vanguard Team (read: Autobot Elite Guard) to boot. Supposedly this upgrade happens after a particularly ignominious defeat at the hands of Megatron, which might explain why First Aid's original Ambulance alternate mode goes through such a drastic change.

Vehicle Mode:
It's difficult to decide what field of operation a vehicle like this might appear in... it seems to lack any kind of camouflage that you might associate with it. White suggests snow camouflage, but the whopping great blue stripe down the middle tends to work against it. Still, with a missile that size attached, camouflage is probably the last thing on First Gunner's mind.

On the whole, it's a pretty excellent model of an APC... it looks fairly true to life (or would do, minus the missile), and is clearly built for warfare, rather than bringing medical aid to the troops.

Strangely, for this sort of figure, the electronic lights and sounds are all within the missle - a launch sound can be heard when the missile is removed from its mounting, and the Planet Key gimmick opens it up and plays a beepy signal... suggesting it's not a missile at all, but some kind of strange communications array disguised as a missile.

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Robot mode:
Again, sturdy and well-armoured. Reminiscent of First Aid, but this is clearly a heavy-duty version of him - far bulkier all round. Also, while First Aid had one hand and one gun-thing to which one could attach a claw or a hammer (harking back to Armada's First Aid, though he only had interchangeable surgical lasers), First Gunner has two hands, and a large extra unit which can attach to either arm. This unit is activated into something like a shotgun by use of the Planet Key, and attachments can be plugged into the end.

Much like First Aid, these attachments are stored in his legs, but they also seem to be upgraded forms of the originals. The hammer is larger, and features a spring-loaded head. The claw is larger and sharper-looking - as if made for shredding armour rather than repairing it.

Considering the strange arrangement of the feet - the front of the vehicle folds upward to form the 'toes', and 'heel' pieces flip out backward), First Gunner is actually quite stable in a variety of poses. It's not even dramatically affected by the large missile, now mounted over one shoulder... and the model is back-heavy as it is! The shoulders don't offer a great deal of movement, but the rest of the arms are well-enough articulated to compensate for this somewhat - there's even some wrist rotation.

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Transformation is very simple, and yet satisfying. I particularly like the way the head folds out from the chest - the whole thing flips round. This is probably one of my favourite models from the Galaxy Force line, and I'd love to own the partly remolded BotCon exclusive Pre-Beast Wars Megatron made from this mold.
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