75177 First Order Heavy Scout Walker has received some robust criticism since being revealed, due in no small part to its unusual appearance. We have yet to see the vehicle in any trailers or promotional material but I tend to agree with the overwhelming sentiment that an eight-legged walker like this does not really fit with the existing aesthetic of the AT-series.
However, the walking mechanism demonstrated on the packaging is quite intriguing and models of a similar size such as 75153 AT-ST Walker have proven popular in recent years. In addition, the inclusion of a rare General Hux minifigure provides a further incentive to add this set to your collection, particularly if the price of £49.99 or $49.99 proves to be as reasonable as the piece count of 554 would suggest.
General Hux has only previously appeared in 75104 Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle so is perhaps the most appealing of the four minifigures included. His unique officer’s cap has been replaced by a dark orange hair piece on this occasion and the head is decorated with matching sideburns and eyebrows as well as a stern expression.
The minifigure sports a long jacket which is printed across both sides of the torso and onto the front of the legs. It is fairly simple but matches the character’s appearance in the movie and I like the metallic silver buckle visible around Hux’s waist. The officer is armed with a black blaster pistol and I hope we will therefore see him in action during The Last Jedi.
The First Order Flametrooper was one of my favourite minifigures from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens range and its design remains unchanged for the next film in the saga. I love the smooth shaping of the helmet and the narrow visor looks very intimidating while also serving to protect the trooper from the glare of flames. A few black lines highlight tiny ridges which are present in the film and similar detail continues onto the torso, hips and legs.
A pair of large propellant tanks are fitted to the back of the minifigure using a translucent neck bracket. These are constructed using 1×1 round bricks and 3L bars so look pretty good in relation to the source material, as does the flamethrower which consists of a standard rifle with some flame elements fitted to the end of the barrel. It would have been nice to see a hose linking the weapon to the tanks but this may be impossible at such a small scale.
First Order Crew have already appeared in a few sets based on the Sequel Trilogy and an identical minifigure is found here. However, this one is described as a First Order Gunner on the box and seems to serve as the walker’s driver given the absence of a specialist pilot. Presumably these troopers will helm the scout walkers in the movie, in which case I think a second such figure should have been included as the cockpit seats two.
Unfortunately, only one gunner is included and he looks very plain in relation to other Star Wars minifigures, featuring a simple design on both sides of the torso and a generic head beneath the helmet. These characters wear similarly simple attire in the films but a little fabric detailing on the legs would have been welcome, much like that seen on the Imperial Gunner minifigure in 75034 Death Star Troopers and 75159 Death Star.
This Resistance Trooper seems hopelessly outgunned, armed with just a pearl dark grey blaster, but is a useful addition to the set for play. The helmet first appeared in 75131 Resistance Trooper Battle Pack and features a new printed design on this occasion, with a single tan stripe rather than two. I love the trans-yellow visor and the absence of a chin guard bothers me less than I had anticipated, although I still favour the alternative configuration.
The torso is also new and features a row of narrow pouches strapped to the front along with a folded hood on the back. This design looks superb and does not include the curves often associated with female minifigures, thereby allowing you to use it on male figures if you wish. The legs are equally versatile so are worn by a different trooper in the larger 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker.
The Completed Model
The scout walker stands a little over 20cm in height and is far more compact than most models of this kind. Its legs are firmly linked to the central structure and do not stretch out as I was expecting, instead scuttling along in close proximity to the core. This is unusual within the Star Wars universe but seems sensible as the armour plating remains tightly packed at all times, reducing the likelihood of damage to an individual leg by small arms fire.