Cliffbee.com: Decepticon Anti-Aircraft Base Toy Review

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Names: Spaceshot, Blackout
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticons
Function: Ground Infantry (as opposed to the other types?!)
Alternate Mode: B-1 Bomber



JET MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 9cm Width: 5cm

   I'm going to depart from my usual format and jump right in here, since unlike most Micromaster combiner pairs these two don't really work as vehicles on their own. They combine to form a blue bomber with Spaceshot at the front and Blackout at the back. There are only four wheels underneath (one pair each), which is why they don't do well on their own. The back of the fuselage is grey with a black tail, while there's some black and grey underside kibble. The cockpit windows are painted grey, rounding out a fairly dull but not unappealing colour scheme.

   The black wheels don't really roll too well, this bomber tends to slide. The mix and match potential is quite good, though, since both halves are quite obviously plane segments - and on its own that's where the appeal in this bomber lies. An interesting addition to the play value - the nose can rotate to reveal Spaceshot's face!

SPACESHOT

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the front half of the bomber as Spaceshot, set Blackout aside. Swing the wheels down and forward to form his arms, swing the centre of the fuselage to form the legs, rotate the head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3.5cm

   A blue robot with black thighs and bulky grey arms, Spaceshot has a silver face on his conehead while the cockpit windows are on his chest. The underside of the fuselage is his boots, giving him hollow shins and rather insignificant feet. This isn't a terribly impressive robot mode - it's been sacrificed for the plane mode really, although the face is fairly well sculpted.

   Spaceshot's head rotates and his arms swing at the shoulders, giving him some poseability. He is the only Micromaster with a head that turns, incidentally. Unlike most Micromasters, Spaceshot lacks the small mounting hole under his feet, since his boots are hollow.

   While he's unorthodox for a Micromaster combiner and makes a good front half combiner, Spaceshot's robot mode is lacking, even with his head movement. He does his job as part of the set and that's really it - 4.5/10

BLACKOUT

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the back half of the bomber as Blackout. Flip out the blue front part (the wing area) to form his boots, rotate the wings and fold them back. Stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   A grey robot with black thighs and blue boots, Blackout has a large grey conehead with a bright green face, The green paint slightly overwhelms a good facial sculpt, which is a shame. The arms are moulded bent, since they act as wheel struts (the wheels sit on the outsides of the wrists). The tail is visible behind his head, while the wings stick up from the sides of his boots. While he lacks feet, Blackout also avoids the hollow legs that Spaceshot copped, and looks better than his partner as a result.

   The arms swing at the shoulders while the knees and hips can bend. Only the shoulders are any real help - the wings get in the way of possible sitting poses.

   Like his partner, Blackout is a pretty good half-vehicle in terms of combining, but has a better robot mode. While it's far from great, it's an improvement. My only major complaint with the robot mode is the awful green paint on his face - 7/10

TANK
Length: 17.5cm Height: 7.5cm Width: 8cm

   A mustard yellow tank with a grey front section, a yellow turret and purple cannons on either side of the turret. There's a grey bazooka-like gun and a radar dish that can attach in various locations. The treads are grey, rounding out a fairly cohesive (if not exactly typical) colour scheme. The green front section and turret are both open, allowing Spaceshot & Blackout to ride the tank. There's a Decepticon logo sticker on the front and various other stickers here and there, which are mainly white or grey.

   Unlike the smaller Micromaster combiner bases, the combined vehicle cannot split and plug into the front & back of this tank. Of course a tank with a B-1 bomber growing out of it would look rather odd, so I'm glad this feature isn't part of the set. You don't need it anyway with the two bots able to ride this mode.

   The turret rotates through 360 while the purple cannons can lift up. The bazooka and radar dish can also rotate right around. There are four small wheels underneath the vehicle allowing it to roll. There are four protrusions on top of the main part of the tank, which incredibly are perfectly suited for mounting MiniCons (which came out around 15 years after this set!). Obvious these psuedo-hardpoints are not linked to gimmicks as in Armada.

   This is a pretty good tank with enough play value here to make it fairly interesting. It's not realistic, but then it's not trying to be. It's clearly a tank though, which is all I expect. The sculpt isn't that good, but the various moving parts are two open cockpits give it enough definition. The main shortcoming here is the number of pieces that can be lost - everything that moves detaches without much effort.

TRANSFORMATION TO ANTI-AIRCRAFT BASE

   Slide the green front section out to form a mini-truck, swing the left side out to the side, forming a right angle. It'll take the turret with it, swing that back to face forward. Fold out the rear section to form a missile rack (there's a purple missilerack piece, which you spin around). Attach the green ramp to either the front or back of the tank floor, move the radar dish to the mount at the back of the turret and attach the bazooka to the mini-truck.

ANTI-AIRCRAFT BASE MODE
Length: 21cm Height: 9cm Width: 26cm

   A rather spread out affair, with the floor and right side of the tank in place while the left side spans out to one side with the turret on top. The floor forms a kind of drive-though, if you have ramps at either end - and it can link up to other Micromaster bases.

   The single piece missile rack on the right side isn't all that interesting, but gives that side something in the way of armaments. The turret is the real centrepiece, with the purple cannons and radar dish turning (along with the turret itself). While either Micromaster can man the turret, I'd recommend placing Blackout in there, since the mini-truck suits Spaceshot better.

   The mini-truck has four grey wheels, a light grey sticker for a windshield and the bazooka plugged into the right side, which can swing out to around 30. It's 7.5cm long, 4.5cm tall and 5cm wide. The Micromasters can both pilot it, but since it's deeper than the turret, you'd better off with the slightly less stable Spaceshot riding here. While it's very simple, the mini-truck is a cute little vehicle that is quite effective and adds something to this set.

   Admittedly, this is the largest Micromaster base I own, but I have to say I'm fairly impressed with the various aspects of the Anti-Aircraft Base. While the play value isn't exceptional, there's enough to make it interesting, and the mini-truck gives it a cool side-kick of sorts.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

THE SET OVERALL

   The Anti-Aircraft Base itself is nice, with both base and tank modes having good play value (granted, most of the moving parts are shared). There are a lot of pieces that can be lost, but that's no different to other Micromaster bases or most other Transformers bases). Neither Micromaster robot is fantastic - Blackout is decent and Spaceshot a little disappointing, they don't really have separate vehicle modes but their combined plane mode is solid and they make for a good mix-and-match pair. The Micromasters themselves are unique to this set (quite a few Micromaster bases come with repainted Micromaster)k, which is good to see. If you like Micromaster bases you should like this set - 7/10

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