Custom Clone Wars Turbo Tank

In the past few years I have been able to pick up, on separate occasions, two massive Clone Wars Turbo Tank vehicles. Both of them are incomplete and I only paid maybe $20 for each of them. I couldn’t resist the price and it is a truly impresive vehicle. But I had never come up with any plan for one of them, let alone two. Apart from using one as a background for taking some action figure photos I basically brought them home and parked them under a “garage” at the bottom of one of my Star Wars room displays. I was actually considering selling at least one of them when a completely different project suddenly occupied my brain.

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A few years ago I had painted a custom Mon Calamari officer using a Power of the Force 2 Admiral Ackbar. Now the Mon Cal was one of Admiral Raddus’ staff as seen in Rogue One. Recently I had an extra Ackbar figure on hand and thought I would paint a second officer for Admiral Raddus. But as I began setting my desk up for some painting I suddenly lost interest in the project. I dont love painting entire figures and I’m not that great at doing it. Wethering, yes. Full repaints, not so much. The thought of starting this new figure was just not interesting to me so I put the figure aside and looked at my “Star Wars room to do list” that I keep on hand. I had a note that just said, “more Endor soldiers.” Hmmmm….I started rummaging through my greeblies and accessories and found a spare cloth Endor soldier trenchcoat. I put it on the Ackbar figure, thought it looked pretty cool and came up with a big idea:

Finally do something with the Turbo Tank AND assemble a team for it.

So that’s what I did.

This turned out to be one of the biggest custom projects I had ever tried as the plan was to paint the tank, customize it’s overall look by removing the rear section from it, add a bunch of greeblies to it and as I said, create a crew for it. I was worried about how the painting would turn out but since I had two vehicles I could afford to ruin one of them.

After removing the tires (They’re designed to be removed and reinstalled, a fun little add on feature for when your Clonetroopers need to change a flat tire) I taped off the chassis and bare wheel axles with painter’s tape. I also covered some of the more interesting sections of plating so that they would contrast with the green paint I would use. I think I ended up using a hunter green mixed with a little black.

I used an orange/brown mix of paint for the bottom portion of the tank to give a similar appearance as seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with the AT-ACT and cargo ship. Next I added various shades of weathering. In fact, except for some silver and red paint pens the entire project was done with regular dollar store acrylic paint.

I wanted the Turbo Tank to be more than just a new paint job so the next plan was to begin adding accessories and greeblies. A friend who used to collect GI Joe and Jurassic Park toys gave me a ton of parts he didn’t need and this is where I went to town, adding all sorts of accessories.

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I added sections of handrails that fit just perfect along the top of the vehicle.I drilled holes into the tank for the handrails to fit into. I added more railings and a few search lights in a few other spots too. It gave it a nice, junky look, much like the AT-TE that “old Captain Rex” and his fellow clones used in Star Wars Rebels.

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It’s all about the greeblies

Continuing on the outside of the vehicle I added extra laser cannons, a Kenner Millennium Falcon radar dish and two different action figure versions of the red tank that Baze Malbus has slung onto his back in Rogue One.

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The rear of the Turbo Tank has a removable module that can act as a sort of shelter. I removed this in order to add some extra firepower. I have had in my collection the quad guns and gunner’s chair from the Kenner Millennium Falcon and really wanted to use it so I glued it in place where the module would have been. I then added some paint and weathering to it. The new green colour of the tank had me thinking of “camoflague” so I added a few pieces of weathered “netting” to cover the gun turret. The material is actually anti-slip padding for carpets.

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Vintage Kenner Quad Cannon & Gunner’s Chair

Inside I added various data pads, laptops and even a clip board and coffee mug to help fill in the fairly empty interiors. These various accessories were usually grey and monotone so I added red, green and yellow paint for buttons and lights.

The last bit of customizing was to add a few Rebel Alliance stickers I bought on eBay.

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It was daunting to take on a job this big but I’m very happy with how things turned out, especially when I took it outside for some photos.

Next step: put together some teammates to go along with my new Endor Mon Cal figure.

Stay tuned!

Hasbro Clarifies Its ‘No-Plastic’ Packaging Stance

Star Wars carded collectors were shocked, stunned and angry when Hasbro first announced months ago that they planned on doing away with all plastic packaging. The assumption was that action figure lines that rely on a plastic window for carded display purposes, like the Star Wars The Vintage Collection line, would be discontinued.

Luckily for Star Wars carded collectors, Hasbro clarified things while at San Diego Comic Con 2022:

Thank you for being a continued fan of Hasbro and its iconic brands. With more exciting reveals to come with this week’s San Diego Comic-Con, we wanted to reach out to share a little more information on Hasbro’s transition to plastic-free packaging.

At Hasbro, we have set a goal to eliminate virtually all plastic from new, single-use product packaging by the end of 2022. The company is currently on track to meet its industry-leading goal, reducing the use of virgin plastic by an estimated 19.5 million pounds annually.  

What does this mean for products from fan-favorite Hasbro brands? You may have already noticed the transition to new plastic-free packaging within some kid-focused figures, and most 6-inch figures will transition to plastic-free packaging by early 2023. Today, we wanted to give you an early look at what to expect.

We’ve included a few examples here of what the new plastic-free packaging will look like across several brands. This includes an example of a Stormtrooper figure from the 2020 Star Wars: The Black Series line, as well as the G.I. JOE Classified Series Kamakura, Marvel Legends Series 6 Inch X-Men 90s Animated Series, and Marvel Legends Series Spider-Man Beyond Amazing: Iron Spider & Amazing Fantasy #15, all available now for order or pre-order. The Power Rangers Lightning Collection lines will reveal new plastic-free packaging in the coming weeks.

As part of the shift away from window boxes, you’ll see highly detailed artwork and exciting new imagery on each package featuring iconic characters and their figures inside. This includes new packaging art that will showcase the articulation and poseability of each figure. 

Our goal does not include packaging for fan collectible products like 3.75″ action figures, where packaging is part of the product experience and typically retained intact for fan display and collections. Those lines include Star Wars Vintage and Retro, as well as other collectible brands such as Marvel Retro and the G.I. JOE Retro. In support of Hasbro’s lower carbon strategy and upcoming science-based targets, our fan collectible blister packaging will continue to be made with either plant-based or recycled PET content. Hasbro, with the support of its collaborators, is committed to doing what’s right for the future of the planet and looks forward to having its fans along for the journey.

Thank you again for the continued support!

Hasbro also announced a new plastic free look for The Black Series line while also mentioning that the upcoming 40th Anniversary Black Series collection for Return of the Jedi would continue to be faithful to the original Kenner cardbacks and windows.