Tuesday, October 14, 2008

N-5 Lieutenant Prudii (Null-Class ARC Trooper)

Numbering only twelve, 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. Most Nulls were named after Mandalorian warriors. During training, the Nulls were taught to resist interrogation. Though peerlessly efficient, the Null ARCs were quite unpredictable by clone standards, and loyal only to Skirata. Due to their genetic enhancement, they had near-photographic memory, and slightly more muscular physiques. 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 they
and Kal Skirata 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. Lieutenant Prudii (whose name means "shadow" in Mando'a) specialized in sabotage of droid factories. He spent the first year after Geonosis with sabotaging major droid factories throughout the galaxy, visiting 49 different planets and possibly interrogating and assassinating an important Separatist metallurgist who gave him vital clues on the metallurgic structure of droids. Instead of blowing the factories up, he developed a technique that couldn't be detected by Separatist quality control. Mereel used to call this technique "Prudii's patented droid remover". He wore specialized ARC trooper armor with stealth coating that couldn't be detected by droids and thus enabling him to enter droid factories unnoticed. He then sliced the main computers and slightly changed the recipe for creating droids by adding 5% extra carvanium. On the battlefield, these droids crumbled when hit with any weapon. His sabotage acts were so successful that the kill ratio for clone troopers in the field was raised from 1:20 droids to 1:50 droids during the first year of the Clone Wars.

Parts: Head (Order 66 ARC Trooper), Torso (Order 66 ARC Trooper), Arms (Order 66 ARC Trooper), Legs (Order 66 ARC Trooper), Shoulder Pauldron (Order 66 ARC Trooper), Helmet (Order 66 ARC Trooper), Kama (Order 66 ARC Trooper), WESTAR M-5 Blaster Rifle (Order 66 ARC Trooper).
Supplies: Super glue, Testors paint, brushes and Testors Dull-Cote.
Reference: The Republic Commando series by Karen Traviss.
Step One: This is actually the second time I've done this figure. After the Order 66 2-packs were released, I found that I liked that ARC Trooper much better than the base figure I had used for my first Lieutenant Prudii. As a matter of preference, I used four small dabs of superglue to attach the forearm control panel to Prudii's left arm. Otherwise, the base figure was not changed.
Step Two: The armor was already painted exactly the way I wanted it, just in the wrong color. All of the yellow armor markings were painted over with a light blue. The light blue was also used on Prudii's shoulder pauldron and the trim of his kama. On most figures, I use the edge of my X-acto knife to carefully scrape most of the armor's prominent edges. These are the areas that are most likely to brush against things and become worn or scratched. I chose not to do so with any of my Null ARC Troopers due to the reference in one of the novels indicating that Ordo's armor was always in a pristine state due to the high level of care and maintenance he put into it. I reasoned that because the Null ARCs were all so similar, they would all treat their armor and equipment with the same level of respect.
Step Three: The M-5 blaster rifle was the one that originally came with the Order 66 ARC Trooper figure. It was modified by cutting part of the stock off and then gluing it back together. The shorter stock allows the weapon to fit into the figure's shoulder better, so that he can be posed a bit more realistically.
Step Four: A coat of Testors Dull-Cote was applied to protect the paint and remove the shiny appearance of the armor.

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