Thursday, 24 December 2015

Combiner Wars Swindle


Rook redone as Swindle? Would NEVER have guessed that in a million years!

Here's how I suspected Bruticus would go down. Alpha Bravo would be Vortex, Blast Off would be an Aerialbot Jet or a new space shuttle, Rook would be extensively remoulded as Brawn replacing the wheels with tank treads with the HFG becoming the tank turret with a 5mm peg hole in the front that lets you peg his hand gun in to form the tank's gun barrel. Off Road would then be Swindle and that would explain where that peg hole on the original Off Road's flatbed came into play. Combiner Wars Combaticons were found in computer listings in April 2015 but we were somewhat surprised at Botcon 2015 when Swindle was revealed to be an extensive remould of Rook with Brawl getting the new mould but at least I got the hand gun becoming his tank barrel bit right!

As ever with these massively remoulded toys it's interesting to try to spot what's the same. All of Rook's blue parts are still there unaltered: the connecting bars inside the lower legs, the upper legs, the elbows and the plate that forms the neck. These are all now cast in black. Rook's grey parts are all unchanged too: the rear of the feet, combiner connector and shoulder joints. They're now cast in the same sandy colour as the rest of Swindle's body. The waist is the same, which was black and now is grey. The only other grey part on the toy is a panel on the back of the head which makes me think they were thinking of lightpiping him at some point: it'll be interesting to see the Unite Warriors version. Four of Rook's two wheels are inherited. The rest is new.

Articulation is identical to Rook's.

The toy looks very Swindle in his robot mode: Square head like the original, enlarged and modified to take in details from the animated version. The chest retains the purple from the original which actually hides some really nice moulding: the chest is actually the front of a jeep, albeit with a combiner connector through the middle. This will get useful when they get round to repainting Swindle as we'll see. He's got a new triple barrelled hand gun to hold as well as a dual barrelled cannon modified from Rook's HandFootGun. Indeed I think this is the first remould to feature a remoulded HFG. The extra hole underneath is still there but it's overall appearance looks different. You can hold it in his hand, peg it into his shoulders which retain Rook's 5mm peg holes or, similar to the combining feature on the original Swindle's weapons, plug it into the hand gun.

Transformation to vehicle mode is all but identical with the large roof piece on Rook's back being replaced by the roll cage on Swindle's jeep. The only slightly tricky bit is, as per Rook, lining the arms up right on the tabs and getting a pair of tiny pegs on the front of the roll cage into the front of the vehicle. It's a struggle but when they go in they're in.

Where Scramble City/Special team Swindle was an open top jeep Combiner Wars Swindle is more like a bulked up version of GI Joe's VAMP, not too dissimilar to Desert Striker. The only real problem here is that the top rear of the vehicle is made from the arms and the hands are VERY visible through the roll cage. However the jeep's got a 5mm peg on the middle of the top and a pair of 5mm peg holes near the back allowing you, with the assistance of the connections between them, to position the weapons in a number of different ways.

Arm mode: All but identical to Rook in transformation and function. The only difference is the roll cage front has two slots which match tabs on the top of the arms.

Leg mode: Fold the front of the vehicle, the robot's feet, under the jeep and back into their robot mode position. Plug the HFG into the holes on the front of the vehicle and fold out the combiner tab. Solid as a rock, a decent leg.

I liked Rook, I liked Swindle. Really nice toy. Which is good because he's back in the next wave ......


I'd also thought that if you're trying to do the original 18 Diaclone Autobots in Combiner Wars then recolouring the Swindle version of the toy as Hound is a possibility. Well I got it right that Swindle became Hound, even if I'd been thinking Swindle, and thus Hound, would be Off Road.

As expected Hound is Swindle in green with the black of Swindle, which was Rook's blue, swapped for grey. He's got a new Hound head and it's here the jeep front chest helps reinforce that this is Hound, though some silver or grey paint on the upper half of the combiner connector as a radiator might have helped.

Looks nice, looking forward to it.

Generations 2 Swindle

Take Combiner Wars Swindle, repaint him in orange and slap some purple camouflage on him. Job done, G2 Swindle is reborn.

Oddly it's this version is the one I can see the jeep front in the most!

Swindle comes in the G2 Bruticus Combiner Wars giftset.

Unite Warriors Roller

Roller is the latest Rook repaint to be announced but in all likelihood will be released first on April 30, 2016 according to the TakaraTomyMall page for Unite Galvatronus which he's a part of.

Google Translate describes the toy thus:


And separated from one's fellow during the battle, the original Autobot warrior who was wandering Between dimension.

The deformation to Roku-rin armored vehicles. I continued to wait for the relief of alone fellow he was torn absolute lonely soul. He was considered to be abandoned to the trust to have the fellow is dominated by despair and guilt, leading to soon have a strong grudge energy. It has been summoned to this world sensed the energy to Unicron. It had lost some of the stored by long wandering, we are holding a particularly strong hatred against the convoy commander is a symbol of Cybertron.

This sounds very similar to the version of Roller seen in IDW's More Than Meets The Eye.

Roller takes Rooks white and swaps it for silver, his blue for grey and his grey for red. The resulting toy looks very nice and I can't wait to own it.

TFSS 5.0 Impactor

There's been ONE toy version of the Wrecker's leader Impactor %28G1%29 and that was in the Fall of Cybertron line where Impactor %28Prime%29 was a repaint of Fall of Cybertron Onslaught and, in all honesty, had his colours swapped in proportion to what they usually are.

The TFSS version does much better: white is swapped for purple and blue becomes white. He gets a new head and gains some extra weapons: recolours of Generations Arcee.

I've never bought a Transformers Subscription Service toy before. This year I'm having all of them.

Botcon 2016 Tarantulas

As repaints go I've had difficulty seeing the point of using Rook as a new version of Tarantulas. The colours are inspired by the Transmetal version and I've just seen the light! Tarantulas transforms into a motorcycle, like Groove so using Unite Groove would have been sensible. But Groove only exists in Combiner wars as a Legend: his replacement as a limb is Rook!

Tarantulas swaps blue & grey for black and white for a bluey green matching the Transmetal version quite well.

Future Repaints

A fairly easy straight repaint would be as Cybertron Defence Hotshot . Movie toys Wreckage & his repaint Bludgeon are good candidates except that Bludgeon is being done by the TFSS as a repaint of Combiner Wars Onslaught.

Swindle has a good few repaint options: Operation Combination Leland who is cherry red with a grey chest, Car Robots Grejebar/Robots in Disguise Rollbar green with orange chest, Wal*Mart Rollbar, grey with a white & black urban camo and Universe Rollbar, a sandy colour with a desert camo. This last option is very close to Hound's only repaint E-Hobby Detritus. Beyond that most Transformers jeeps are a variation on the green theme.

I had thought that a remould of the front of Rook, together with a plug in drill would make a decent Nosecone but it looks like Nosecone will be a remould of Brawl.

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