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96981 - UNSC Spade vs. Skirmisher: Photoshoot & Review - (Read 6,880 Times)
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Deinonychus
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 22nd, 2011 at 04:31 pm

The first vehicle you get to handle in Halo: Reach is also the first civilian vehicle for the Mega Bloks line, the TurboGen Spade. Every kiva in Visegrád has a Spade or two, so what's to stop you from owning one as well?



This is a 204 piece set that sells for about $20 US and contains the Spade, a Marine, a Skirmisher, and a Grenadier SPARTAN, as well as extra figure pieces as part of Mega's Armory initiative. Construction is swift and takes less than an hour including sticker application. The build is reminiscent of the numerous Warthogs and produces a very sturdy vehicle. Two building notes however; first, the tires are very difficult to get onto the wheels. Make sure you have a hard, flat surface to press them in on. Secondly, there is a slight misprint in Step 4 concerning brown 2x2 plates, but just refer to the next step for corrected placement.



The vehicle is primarily gray, orange, and brown and it has a very earthy (Reachy?) and utilitarian feel. As with the Warthogs, each wheel has it's own suspension for navigating rough terrain.



The front bumpers are really something, and give the impression that they use these thing regularly to mow down unsuspecting Moa for a nice Sunday meal. One point of interest are the new side-mirriors. Usually a brick with a peg is used in instances like this, so it's interesting to see a dedicated new piece for a change.



The metal grating between the cab and the truck bed is a nice touch, even better that it's painted. The large crate on the rear can be used to store your armor pieces according to the box. It can also be used to carry extra weapons, tools, vampires, or dead hookers.



The full name of the vehicle is the TurboGen Independent Wheel Drive Spade, and the brand stickers on the back advertise this well, just like any other civilian vehicle.


Available now at Visegrád TurboGen and other local TurboGen dealers



Again, you can't help but draw parallels between this vehicle and the Warthogs. While the Spade is slightly longer, it's wider, but less compacted. Alongside the martial-looking Warthogs, the Spade almost looks like a GI Joe vehicle from the late 80's; colorful, but subtly dangerous and still a couple years away from looking completely bananas.



The wheel bases line up almost exactly, which tells you that the Spade will work well in any situations you currently find your Warthogs, so finding display space for the Spade or rolling it up into the bay of your Elephant should be no problem.

Overall, a great vehicle build with tons of useful pieces. There are even plenty of spare bricks left over after you're done, including light blue or aqua colored temporary pieces. Not that there was anything wrong with the yellow temporary pieces Mega usually slips in, it is nice to get a little brick color variety for the spare parts bucket.

And now, the figures...


« Last Edited by Deinonychus Dec 22nd, 2011 at 04:32 pm »
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 22nd, 2011 at 04:41 pm

OMG! It is beautiful! How did you get it, did you use Amazon? And can we get some more pics of the figures please? Great Review Smiley
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 22nd, 2011 at 04:51 pm

Ack! Sorry, didn't mean to get in the way of your review of the whole thing! I just got excited when mine came to the door, and started taking pics and opening subject windows. Mea Culpa. Smiley
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Deinonychus
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 22nd, 2011 at 05:12 pm



Skirmishers are simply another race of Kig-Yar (Jackals), but they look quite a bit meaner and the new Skirmisher figure puts it all on display. The sculpting on this guy has to be seen to be believed. The paint applications are also very well done, suggesting that this is a figure that costs a pretty penny to manufacture.



This bad boy is carrying a new Type-31 Needle Rifle which is very very welcome after the piles and piles of Beam Rifles over the years.



The UNSC Marine has a great new paint job that closer matches the forces on Reach during the Covenant invasion. He's of the "open-face" variety and carries the newer model MA37 Assault Rifle.



The detailing on this guy is top-notch, even his backpack has two paint applications! The colors on this figure are fantastic even if they seem a little bright compared to the drab greens and tans of other Marines. His colors are also a little reminiscent of a late 80's GI Joe figure. I guess he's a perfect fit for the Spade then.



Now we get to the star of the set, the SPARTAN in the Grenadier armor. Not as stocky or hunched as the box art would lead you to believe, he's a great looking figure with a very pearlized, almost gloss look to his green-gold armor. He's armed with the M247H Heavy Machine gun, and can hold on to his weapon a lot better than the similar McFarlane figure can!



He wears the UA Grenadier helmet with the UA Collar/Grenadier chest piece, as well as Grenadier and EVA shoulder pads. The large backpack is a great accessory, and it will be interesting to see if it's re-tasked for any future figures.



The Armory pieces come in their own separate baggie, and I was surprised to discover that they include a torso as well. I was under the impression that the Armory was going to be about arms, legs, and heads so this was a nice surprise.



The helmet is the base version of the Grenidier helmet with no attachments. The chest armor is the UA Base Security plate and the right shoulder pauldron is the JFO armor variant.



The left shoulder is the CQC variant, and when put together by themselves, make a nifty half-SPARTAN...or a dinosaur attack victim.

This is a great set, and the price can't be beat for everything you get. I can recommend this set to any Halo or Blok fan, and I'm sure we'll see another color of Spade in another set before too terribly long.

I'd also like to send a special shout-out to our wonderful Mr. Sparkes for making this review possible, and brightening up a day that was headed towards the crapper very fast. It's amazing how new Bloks can turn your day around!


Well shoot! This here truck sure is gonna come in handy when Applebucking Season starts!

The Deino approves. and 3/4 out of 5

« Last Edited by Deinonychus Dec 23rd, 2011 at 05:52 pm »
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 22nd, 2011 at 05:22 pm

The Spade definitely does remind me of one of the GI Joe Vamp vehicles.
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 22nd, 2011 at 05:42 pm

Brilliant review Deino! This set looks great. My favourite line in your review was "It can also be used to carry extra weapons, tools, vampires, or dead hookers", haha.

I have been on the fence about this set but the figures really make it a must-buy. I love the side-mirrors on the Spade (I'll probably paint them silver to look like mirrors), and the stickers are a nice touch. But man, those figures are so awesome! I still wish it came with two Skirmishers rather than just one but it's not going to stop me from buying it.

Seeing the 'armoury' pieces is cool, but it reminds me of that leg-less zombie from the first episode of The Walking Dead... poor fella. Will have to fashion him some make-shift legs.
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 22nd, 2011 at 07:02 pm

Thanks for the pics Deino!
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 22nd, 2011 at 07:04 pm

Wow, this set looks great! Just a hop and a click away from being hooked back onto my Halo Fix. This set and the revenant are nothing but sheer excitement!!!

On a sidenote it's exciting to see Sparkes delivering so much holiday goodnes!!
Hope my sub-par Reach skills didn't leave me on the bad list 😢

« Last Edited by SabreFox Dec 22nd, 2011 at 07:20 pm »
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 23rd, 2011 at 12:49 am

The Skirmisher headsculpt just screams "remorseless primordial death-beast" if these guys get released in cheaper sets I just might have to build an aerie to house an army...
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 23rd, 2011 at 01:20 am

Thanks for the review Deino Smiley
I'm really looking forward to get me 2 of these!
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 23rd, 2011 at 02:45 am

Your photography skills are good. Photos are in focus. Also the armory chest and arms look the same as the hazop except in a different color (not complaining just curious) Does the backpack have three different colors on it? Aqua, brown, Dark brown.
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 23rd, 2011 at 07:30 am

Excellent write up and pics Deino.

I got this as well. Here is my review: http://halofanforlife.com/?p=310

One thing that is hard to see in any of our pics is that there are floor mats made of the new grating tiles. VERY nice touch!
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 23rd, 2011 at 09:16 am

Are there any differences in the 2 Grenadier chest pieces? If so Can you take a pic. I don't want to go through that hassle to change that whole lower part.
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Deinonychus
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 23rd, 2011 at 09:46 am

Dec 23rd, 2011 at 09:16 am, Nilectra wrote:
Are there any differences in the 2 Grenadier chest pieces? If so Can you take a pic. I don't want to go through that hassle to change that whole lower part.


Not sure what you're asking. There are two torsos for the SPARTAN, the UA Collar/Grenadier that the assembled figure is wearing, and the base Mark V chest piece that the spare torso has. Both are clearly pictured above.
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Post Icon Posted: Dec 23rd, 2011 at 09:55 am

I am so looking forward to seeing this in the shops!! Smiley
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