Lego kick off their 2009 releases with a series of kits from The Clone Wars which includes this fantastic Republic Assault Shuttle.
The forerunner to the imperial shuttles we see later in the saga, the Republic Assault Shuttle is actually a good representation of its on-screen counterpart.
The ship features a double opening cockpit, the aft upper hull opens back to allow access, weapons rack inside, positionable wings, bomb hatches with 4 bombs and a rapid fire missile launcher in the top.
A lot of thought has gone into the weapons features. There are two bomb bays, one on each side, which hold two long missiles each. With a turn of a lever on the aft hull the hatch opens and the bomb falls out. You then close which rolls the next in and you can drop a second bomb. Reloading can be done through the upper side hull.
The rapid fire missile launcher is excellent. Eight flick missiles are loaded into a magazine which rests in the top. By pushing the trigger on the aft hull quickly the missiles fire out the front and the spent magazine drops out of the bottom of the ship. A nice idea and a great play feature for kids.
The shuttle has a wingspan of 45 cm, 16 cm high (to upper aerial tip), and is 24.5 cm long.
There are three figures with the kit.
The first is the standard Clone Trooper, armed with a black blaster rifle.
Second is the rarer Clone Pilot, previously only available in the V-19, and likewise he is armed with a black blaster rifle.
Lastly, there is an updated version of Mace Windu. The only other release of the Jedi Master was in 2005's hard to get 7261 Clone Turbo Tank. Like other characters in the line, he has had a paint and detailing upgrade and his face is great.
The kit comprises 571 pieces (not including figures, weapons and missiles), takes about 45 minutes to build and it's ready to get those Clones onto the front lines.
A must have for any Republic Army.