Tuesday, October 14, 2008

N-6 Lieutenant Kom'rk (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. One year into the Clone Wars, Lieutenant Kom'rk (whose name means "gauntlet" in Mando'a) was stationed on Utapau. Along with his brother Jaing and Covert Ops Clone Shadow Troopers, he was one of the Clone Intelligence units responsible for locating General Grievous on that planet.

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), Sniper Rifle (Dash Rendar).

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 Kom'rk. As a matter of preference, I used four small dabs of superglue to attach the forearm control panel to Kom'rk'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 background area of the forearm control panel was also painted this color. All of the buttons were left silvery. The light blue was also used on Kom'rk'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 sniper rifle was the one that originally came with the Shadows of the Empire Dash Rendar figure. It was modified and fitted with a scope made from a piece of Cantina Band Member instrument.

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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