Review by EVA_Unit_4A
While the robots converted many of the mining machines they used to use during the peace into Battle Machines, the Sentry is more likely an original mass-produced design to serve as a low-profile scout and general foot soldier. They certainly work well between their larger Fire Vulture and Thunder Fury cousins. But that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. A single Sentry has an effective single-barrel energy cannon on its left arm; which fires at a slower rate than average, but delivers more damage-per-shot. And this is backed up by two short-range missiles launched from the right arm. The only disadvantage lies not in a Sentry’s design, but rather in the single Iron Drone at its controls; who are loyal but somewhat dimwitted and not very good at strategic thinking. They have a communications system to keep in contact with their smarter superior robot commanders, but Sentries are generally not very fast and seem to be built with the idea that most won’t come back in one piece.
The brown, gray, and black Sentry (back) is surprisingly flexible for its small size and part count; though articulation still has to go to the advanced 5-year veteran LEGO “Bionicle” and two-year “Knights’ Kingdom” lines. It has ten points of articulation at the shoulders, elbows, ‘hips’, ‘knees’, and ankles. The legs are backwards-articulated, like a bird’s, though the way they’re positioned limits poseability, particularly when moving them forward. But the use of a single-axis ankle joint is a welcome, if limited, addition. The arms are quite movable at the shoulders, and the missile & cannon arms can point in just about any direction. Over time, both shoulder joints may wear out due to the heavy forward weight they must support.
Lego Set #7711 also comes with a new brown Iron Drone robot minifig, which is exactly the same in appearance as the other robots in the line except in color. What separates the Iron Drone from the light gray Devastator robots is the alternately-colored plastic in their bodies- Iron Drones are a solid brown ABS plastic while Devastator robots use light gray ABS plastic mixed with red, blue, or green mixed in. The Devastators’ alternate colors are semi-transparent, and light can shine through them. For the eyes, a red #2 Technic bar is slid in through the back of the head. The hand claws can also rotate at the wrist, and need to be attached.
Normally, when a Lego set needs specific details on a part, such as a control panel or flag, the image is printed or painted directly onto specific parts. However, the “Exo-Force” line breaks that mold by using stick-on decals; something that was rarely ever used in the past. There is a small sticker sheet which provides allegiance markings, warning symbols & notices, and names- some of them written in Japanese text! Unlike the human Exo-Force Battle Machines, the robot’s Battle Machines to not have human language markings on them. But, this still serves to allow for a wider range of piece marking without Lego having to create a completely different piece each time, and merges the “Exo-Force” and Japanese toy influence closer together. It does, however, have a small downside- because of the design of the decals, some of them cover places where other Lego pieces can go, which limits how a decal-applied piece can be used or taken apart. This covered-hole thing is not an issue with Set#7711.
In addition to building the standard Battle Machine, the official Lego “Exo-Force” website (http://exoforce.lego.com/default.aspx) shows how the same pieces can be rearranged into an alternate two-legged Sentry cannon turret; found in the Online Building section of the site, and pictured on the back of the set’s box. I’ll admit that when I built it, I wasn’t all that impressed with the alternate model since it was so unstable, and tended to fall apart easily.
Overall, the Sentry is a cute little set, and it was the first I bought from the breakout “Exo-Force” line because I wanted to see what it was about, but not spend too much on a big set the first time. My only complaint about design would be how loose the pieces in the shoulder joints are. I’d recommend it for anyone who likes these little compact robots from anime, or the popular “Bionicle” line. There’s something interesting in this series, and I won’t mind seeing more of it if they continue it.
|Posted 15 August, 2006 - 12:06 by EVA_Unit_4A|