Yamato USA Starship Troopers Federation Fleet TAC Fighter
Kill bugs dead with the "Hero of Shadow"...
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The fourth (and hopefully not final) member of Yamato USA's incredible Sci-Fi Figure Gallery lineup is yet another vehicle from the Starship Troopers franchise also seen in the first film. While it may not have had much screen time, the TAC Fighter had an awesome design just begging to be made into physical form. If you were a fan of small spaceship toys in the late '90s you may have picked up the Micro Machines version, but now Yamato USA has done the fighter justice with this one of a kind reproduction.
The TAC Fighter comes packaged in a box that's very similar to the ones for the Rodger Young ships. It's a very nice looking glossy presentation, with great artwork and photography. The front panel has a massive fighter with the rest of the squadron in the background flying over a desolate landscape. The image is very striking, with cloudy skies and a background of the Fleet logo. The Starship Troopers film title appears in the top left corner, while the fighter's name is below it in the bottom left. At the top right is the edition size, only 300!
The back of the box is also patterned off of the other products in the Sci-Fi Figure Gallery series. There are two more photos of the ship and a brief description. At the top right corner is the name of the craft and the mysterious title "Hero of Shadow." I'm not quite sure where that comes from, but it sounds cool! There's the usual safety routine (warnings, age minimum of 15+, etc.) at the bottom, along with another notation of the small edition size. If you're going to keep the box, it'll look great next to those for the Rodger Youngs. Inside the box is a sturdy styrofoam shell around the fighter and base. There is no assembly required here.
Generally classified as a fighter/bomber, the TAC had one big scene in the film. Before the attack on Klendathu, a squadron flies overhead and bombs the landscape to oblivion. In the production of Starship Troopers many TAC Fighter models were created and used in the background, including entire wings mounted on the exterior decks of the carrier versions of the Corvette Transport. Not seen in a fighter role, it's left to the imagination how the TAC would fare against equivalent aerial threats.
The overall design of the TAC Fighter is a delta wing configuration with integrated nosecone and a rear engine section. It has a tandem cockpit (theoretically for pilot/bomber) with gun emplacements on either side, and bomb bay doors on the ventral surface. While various descriptions peg the TAC as transatmospheric or even a starfighter, there are definitely air intakes on the top of the craft signifying atmospheric use.
Yamato USA's TAC Fighter continues their tradition of incredible sculpts and paint jobs previously seen on the Rodger Youngs and Marauder. It's clear that a lot of research went into this craft (especially with the small amount of reference material from the film). It looks completely spot on with the bombers in the movie, as well as the images of the models built by the special effects company. The distinctive triangular shape is recreated in a 6 inch by 6 inch scale with a very weighty feel thanks to the pewter composition.
The sculpt is very good, with clearly defined sections making it look like the fighter could be taken apart and put back together again. The pattern of lines across the main body (top and bottom) is especially well done with deep grooves. There are tons of great details everywhere with technological and mechanical bits, the twin gun pods, deep intakes, vents, flaps, and much more. The canopy is multi-faceted with translucent windows letting you see the detailed cockpit inside. One of the best parts is the engine; the exhausts are finely sculpted with realistic turbines inside. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Once you have this ship in front of you you’ll find all sorts of cool little details.
The TAC Fighter continues the long tradition of military aerospace craft in matte gray, but adds several levels of detail on top of that. There's a pattern of color variation trending into blue across the wings, matched on the central fuselage. A darker gray is used on some of the panels, guns, and air intakes, while the engines are a nice metallic brown. Finally, a handful of red stripes decorate the fighter on the dorsal side, and the canopy frame is gold. All of the paint work is crisp and very clean.
While you can lay out your TAC Fighter flat on its belly, I'd recommend using the included black resin display stand. It has one cradle that holds the fighter in place securely, and the base is decorated with a metal nameplate that shows the film's title and the edition number (mine is 103 of 300). Flip over the stand if you’d like to see the TriStar copyright information.
The TAC Fighter is a great addition to the Sci-Fi Figure Gallery lineup, and to the Starship Troopers collection specifically. It's a great ship that looks cool either as an atmospheric fighter/bomber or spacecraft, and fits in perfectly with the two versions of the Rodger Young. With an edition of only 300 it's certainly limited and worth your attention if you're a sci-fi fan. Hopefully the TAC Fighter will sell out so Yamato USA can move on to the other cool vessels from the film like the Dropship, Retrieval Boat, etc.!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of Yamato USA