Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kal Skirata (Human Mandalorian Mercenary)

The Null-class Advanced Recon Commandos were the first clones of Jango Fett created by the Kaminoan cloners, and the prototypes for the Grand Army of the Republic. The Kaminoans attempted to enhance the Fett genes, but only six of the twelve prototype troopers survived the gestation period. They refused to follow orders, and were thus deemed unacceptable. The Kaminoans originally intended to "recondition" or terminate the "defective units", but they were saved from destruction by Mandalorian Training Sergeant Kal Skirata. Skirata volunteered to train them as "black ops" commandos, named them, and taught them about their Mandalorian heritage. Eventually, Skirata would adopt the Nulls and they would take his clan name. Though peerlessly efficient, the Null ARCs were quite unpredictable by clone standards, and loyal only to Skirata. Despite the fact that their loyalty and their reliability to the Jedi was constantly in question, the Nulls' unique skills compared to the rest of their brethren was undeniable, and thus Skirata and his "sons" were reluctantly tolerated in the Grand Army, if only to ensure their cooperation during the war. Eventually the Null Squad became Clone Intelligence Units (MILINT), working for the Special Operations Brigade under the command of Jedi General Arligan Zey. Though they worked for the Grand Army of the Republic, Kal Skirata had them keep alert for evidence leading to the location of Kaminoan Chief Scientist Ko Sai, so Skirata could find out how to decelerate the Nulls' aging. In 21 BBY, Skirata led the black op to destroy the Separatist terrorist cells operating on Coruscant along with his sons Ordo and Mereel, Mandalorian Sergeant Walon Vau, Republic Commando squads Delta and Omega and the Jedi Generals Etain Tur-Mukan and Bardan Jusik.
Parts: Head (Sneak Preview Jango Fett), Torso (Sneak Preview Jango Fett), Arms (Sneak Preview Jango Fett), Legs (Sneak Preview Jango Fett), Blaster Pistols (Princess Leia), Blaster Rifle (POTF Boba Fett), Rifle Sling (Aurra Sing), Backpack (POTF2 Snowtrooper).

Supplies: Super Sculpey, X-acto knife, paintbrushes, Polly Scale paints and Testors Dull-Cote.
Reference: The Republic Commando series by Karen Traviss.

Step One: The figure was only changed in some small, cosmetic ways. First, the range finder antenna was removed. The resulting hole was filled with Super Sculpey and cured. I had originally planned to remove the holsters, until I found that the character was known to carry dual pistols known as Verpine Shatter Guns. Furthermore, one of the two reference pictures I used showed dual holsters that almost exactly matched those of Jango Fett. So, I kept them...

Step Two: To the best of my knowledge, only a couple of reference picture exist of this character. Both pictures show a light grey jumpsuit, dark brown tunic (which is what the upper body armor is attached to), brown holsters and equipment belts and sandy gold colored armor. The figure was painted according to these pictures and then given a light coating of Testors Dull-Cote.

Step Three: The backpack was taken from a Snowtrooper. It was re-painted to match the armor scheme. I also superglued a couple of small "bits" to the pack in order to simulate attached equipement.

Step Four: The rifle was taken from a Boba Fett figure. The tiny stock was cut off and replaced with a body sling, allowing Skirata to accurately fire the weapon from the shoulder and then "drop" it when empty, enabling him to quickly draw his pistols.

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