STAP and Battle Droid
from "Star Wars - Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" (1999)
About the Design
For his first "Star Wars" prequel, George Lucas and his team of designers created a race of robot warriors, the Battledroids, who would function as automated precursors to the famous Imperial Stormtroopers. Tall, gaunt and gawky, these duck-like 'droids turned out to be about as threatening as Jerry Lewis in aluminum plate.
During "The Phantom Menace"'s climactic battle sequence, the Battledroids received some much-needed firepower from the STAPs (Single Trooper Aerial Platforms), a form of flying upright motorcycle. Armed with twin blasters, the STAPS were powered by twin side-mounted jet engines whose crotch-level position would have no doubt proven somewhat problematic to human operators.
About the Kit
This was a big, impressive kit, with the final Battledroid/STAP combination standing more than a foot high. In terms of construction, the problem was the Battledroid, whose joints were articulated, ostensibly to permit the builder to pose it in multiple positions. However, such flexibility proved to be counter-productive when trying to fix the robot to the STAP. (The Battledroid would simply collapse into a dangled heap.) In the end, the builder was required to glue every moveable joint into a permanent position, resulting in a static model.
Historical note: AMT/Ertl had planned to release the Battledroid has a separate, pre-painted kit. It never happened.
This model was built from an original issue.