Monday, 31 March 2008

Master Replicas : Studio Scale Snowspeeder

Joe Johnston's early concept sketches of the snowspeeder were based on the Alliance starfighters seen in A New Hope. The X-wing was severely pared down, with its wings removed, and skis mounted on its ventral surface. The Y-wing had most of its body removed, so it appeared just as a flying cockpit. This design direction was scrapped, and the T-47 instead became an original creation.

When stationed on Hoth, the Rebel Alliance modified T-47 airspeeders to become snowspeeders, fast flying conveyances for patrol and defense of their hidden base. It took some doing to keep the crippling cold from permanently grounding their airforce, but Rebel ingenuity overcame the relentless Hoth elements.

The T-47 airspeeder is a small, wedge-shaped craft with two forward-facing laser cannons. In its rear arc is a harpoon gun fitted with a heavy-duty tow cable. The snowspeeder is a two-man vessel, with a pilot and rear-facing tailgunner. The main Alliance snowspeeder unit at
Echo Base was Rogue Group, led by Luke Skywalker. This unit was tasked with delaying the thundering Imperial invasion force long enough for Rebel command to evacuate Echo Base.

The Imperial taskforce consisted of AT-AT walkers. The snowspeeder laser cannons were ineffective against such heavy armor, and Luke Skywalker turned to a tactic of desperation. He ordered his pilots to employ their harpoons and tow cables to ensnare the walkers' legs. Wedge Antilles and his gunner, Janson, were the first to successfully entangle a walker. With its legs roped, the walker's raw strength brought it crashing down, where the Rebel snowspeeders were able to get a clear shot at its weaker neck column.

Size: 5.3 meters long
Type: Assault speeder
Weapon: Laser cannons, harpoon and tow cable
Rebel Alliance
Associations: Antilles, WedgeJanson, Lieutenant WesKlivian, Derek "Hobbie" (Rogue Four)Ralter, DackSenesca, Zev (Rogue Two)Skywalker, Luke

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