Jet mode: Looks great in this mode, possibly the best mini-con jet. The coloring is well done, and there's a lot of good detailing here. It just looks really slick.
Robot mode: Another impressive looking mini-con in this form as well. The top part of the plane should actually be connected, and I think it looks better that way, rather than split apart. But any way you have it, he's a decent looking 'bot. Good detail, good articulation, and a great appearance in general.
Claw mode: An interesting weapon mode. He becomes a three-pronged claw, which can be attached to larger Transformers as a weapon, most appropriately for anyone who has mini-con powerlink pegs on their lower arms. This mode has a couple problems though. First, it's not very obvious that it's a claw at first glance. In fact, it really doesn't look like much of anything on its own. Another more serious issue has to do with its construction though. The side prongs of the claw tend to snap off very easily, and although they snap back on just as easily, it could be an issue considering if you strike any other toy with the claw they'll probably just fall off on impact. The legs underneath also don't hold too well into the body. They hold okay if you're not messing with them, but since the powerlink points are on them, they tend to come detached from the body when touching the claw once it's attached to a larger Transformer. In the end, although innovative, this is probably Terradive's weakest mode overall, and probably the weakest weapon form among the three Air Military 'cons. Luckily, the excellent jet and robot modes make the problems of the claw mode relatively easy to forgive.
Stealth Fighter mode: A small but really nice looking stealth bomber. It's a really solid little plane, with some nice detailing on it. One interesting feature is the rubber nose on the plane, sort of similar to the old G1 seeker jets. Not quite as striking as Terradive's Jet mode, but still a really good job.
Robot mode: Looks a little messy, especially compared to the really solid Stealth Fighter mode. There's a lot of "hollowed" areas on his body in this mode, that may have looked better if filled in. Because of this, there isn't as much detailing, but there's still some there to notice. Looks fairly cool overall, with a tough looking appearance, but again not quite as impressive as Terradive's robot mode.
Spinning Blade mode: Now here's where this guy really shines. Some modification on the Stealth Fighter mode, and this guy becomes a four sided blade, resembling the shape of a shuriken. This is a really neat idea on its own, but in addition, his powerlink point actually spins, allowing him to attach to a larger Transformer and spin around freely, acting as a sawblade of sorts. It's a fantastic idea that works surprisingly well. Just a note, he's mis-transformed in this mode in his picture on the package. It's still a little abstract, but he actually looks like a much better shuriken shaped disc when transformed correctly. I like originality, and this is one of the most innovative mini-con ideas I've seen yet, and gets my vote as the best weapon mode of the bunch.
Transport Plane mode: Really cool old-fashioned military transport/bomber style plane. It actually looks really neat, with a lot of detailing on it. At least on par with the other two Air Military team's vehicle modes, and I give it extra points for being such a unique design.
Robot mode: His robot mode really takes a hit, as it becomes pretty obvious the priority was on the quality of his other modes, especially the Transport Plane. Although it's not a total disaster, he looks kind of dopey in this mode, and suffers from articulation problems. His arms in particular can only swing out to the sides, when transformed "correctly" with his wings sticking out to the sides at least. But I think it looks better if you fold the wings back, which then allows you to swing the arms forward, as they should be able to. He still looks a bit strange even with this improvement though. He has a big blocky chest, and what looks like a hat on his head, that really diminishes his coolness factor. Definitely his weakest mode, but there are other mini-cons out there with even worse robot modes than his.
Gatling Cannon mode: In this mode, Gunbarrel becomes a six barrelled gatling gun of some sort. It looks pretty good overall, and works well mounted on a larger Transformer's shoulder in particular (try it with Unicron, it works great). The tail of the plane sticks out from the back though, looking a little strange. Although it could be assumed this is like a rifle handle, that would fit under someone's arm for leverage and stability. Also, one of the barrels is silver, while the rest are grey, making it look kind of out of place. I don't see any reason why all barrels weren't made the same color. It wouldn't matter if all of them were either grey or silver, either way I think it would look fine. The single silver barrel doesn't completely ruin the look of it, but it is slightly distracting, and makes you wonder why its there. It's a pretty good weapon mode overall though.
: This is a great team to pick up, with each offering its own strengths. Terradive probably has the best vehicle and robot mode on the team, but some obvious compromises were made on the weapon mode, giving it the most problems of the three. Alternatively, Thunderwing has sort of average vehicle and robot modes, but an amazingly cool weapon mode that's the best of the three in my opinion. And Gunbarrel easily has the worst robot mode of the trio, but a pretty decent weapon mode, and an excellent vehicle mode that probably ties with Terradive's. Another thing that deserves mention is the color coordination. Each mini-con looks good on its own, but they really go additionally well together as a team, which isn't always the case for mini-cons. the common colors of black and grey, mixed with one other color individual to each of them (blue, yellow, or red) really looks nice together. All in all, it's a great set of mini-cons, that are both good looking, very functional, and most of all make use of some amazingly innovative and imaginative ideas and designs, that actually worked out pretty well for the most part.
|Date||September 27th 2003 |
|Score|| (9 out of 10) |