During the Clone Wars, the forces of the CIS (Confederacy of Independent Systems) were locked in combat with the Storm Troopers of the Galactic Republic. One of the most devastating weapons systems they had to face was the main Battle Tank deployed by the Republic. This monster, known as the HAVw (Heavy Assault Vehicle/wheeled) A6 Juggernaut, was manufactured by the Kuat Drive Yards for the Republic. LEGO has produced two versions of this vehicle, which they call the Clone Turbo Tank.
In the long battle between the CIS and the Republic, fighting raged over a wide front. During the Battle of Felucia, a new weapons system was deployed by the forces of the Republic. It was the A5 model of the Juggernaut. Initially, it served as the command vehicle of Commander Ahsoka Tano. This version was 22 meters long, and 15 meters high to the top of the Observation Platform. With its five drive axles, its top speed on level ground was 160 km/hr. The A5 could hold around 50 troopers.
The A5 model was followed by the HAVw A6 Juggernaut, which was much larger than the A5. This newer model was more than 49 meters in length, and its height was more than 30 meters with the Spotter Platform in the raised position. With its larger size, it could carry as many as 300 Troopers. Other armaments included a compact, foldable Scout Walker, laser cannons, and a missile launching system.
The first LEGO version of the A6 Juggernaut was released in May 2005, and was given the name “Clone Turbo Tank”; the LEGO set designation was 7261. This set included seven minifigs, including Clone Troopers, Battle Droids, an Aerial Trooper, and Mace Windu. In this first release, the mini-figure of Mace Windu had a light saber that would actually light up when the top of his head was pressed. This also meant, however, that the minifig could not be taken apart. The set had 801 pieces, and like the A6 it was modeled after, featured dual cockpits, one at each end of the machine.
The second version of LEGO 7261 was quite similar to the first, with a few exceptions: the minifig of Mace Windu no longer had the light-up light saber, and an extra Clone Trooper minifig was included. Some of the construction details were also slightly different, the differences being directed at making the finished model stronger. Both versions featured the very agile suspension that characterized the A6; the wheel axles pivot from their centers, giving the tank the ability to manage rough terrain. The wheels also turned with the model, making it steerable.
The second version of this Battle Tank that LEGO released was designated LEGO 8098, but it retained the name “Clone Battle Tank”. This set also has the very agile suspension, and is steerable as well. One of the most noticeable differences between the sets is the wheels – in the first set, the wheels were almost entirely closed. In this newer version, the wheels are presented as a sort of low-profile tire, with an open wheel center which is then covered by a hub disk. The observation tower that rises above the tank is also included.
This model of the Clone Turbo Tank, when finished, is over 17 inches long, and stands more than 8 inches high. The set contains 1141 pieces, and includes a foldable Scout Walker that can be carried inside the Tank. Another useful feature is a pop-up handle that makes it easy to carry the tank around. This version of the Tank has six minifigs, including one of Aayla Secura, which is an exclusive feature of this set. The large doors on either side of the hull can be opened by swinging down, giving full access to the main interior space for loading troops and weapons.
If you have, or someone on your gift list has, a real interest in Star Wars, particularly the Clone Wars series, then this set is a “must have”. It will provide hours of enjoyment during the building process, as well as many hours of fun as it is used to re-stage the battles of the Clone Wars.