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Transformers Combiner Wars
by yo go re

To be a leader, never look back. Also, never look down.

The leader of the Aerialbots forms the core of the team's combined form, Superion, a single-minded force bent only on Decepticon destruction.

That doesn't really tell us anything about Silverbolt, does it? It says more about Superion than Silverbolt, and we're still two limbs shy of needing to worry about that. In Generation 1, Silverbolt was scared of heights. He pretended to be brave, so no one would know about his acrophobia, but it secretly tore him up inside. Optimus Prime made him leader of the Aerialbots so that he'd be more worried about them than himself, and it seemed to work out pretty well.

Silverbolt looked pretty much the same as a toy and in the art: giant and blocky. The toy's head was square, while the art was rectangular, but that's not a huge difference. This new version is more proportional to the body, but still squarer than your dad chaperoning a school dance. If you want to get nitpicky, the eyes sit a little high on the face, but he's a robot: why should he be limited by human anatomy?

He's just as cubist below the neck as he is above. There's not really any sculptural connection between this toy and the one released in 1986, but that's okay. It's mainly the colorscheme that makes this an unmistakable update of Silverbolt. Despite the name, the only silver on him is his face. He's mostly white, but has a big red chestplate, black shoulders, and lots of orange on his arms and legs (taking the place of yellow on the animation model). The sculpt walks a fine line between "detail all over the place" and "too much detail for detail's sake," but comes down on the right side. He may look like a series of stacked rectangles, but all the sculptural flourishes keep him from being dull.

Since Silverbolt is the central part of a combiner, he bears the weight (literally) of holding everything together, so his shoulders and hips have some heavy-duty ratchet joints. He also moves at the head, biceps, elbows, thighs, knees, and ankles. He's armed with a single large blaster patterned after the "Electrostatic Discharger Rifle" the original toy carried, but this one splits into two sections - the back pulls off to become a shield.

Generation 1 Silverbolt's altmode was the Concorde, which would have made him one of the largest Autobots, dwarfed only by the mega-hugeys like Omega Supreme or Metroplex. The Concorde went out of service in 2003, but this is still an STBLDF version of the plane. It's appropriately huge, with a 5¾" wingspan and nearly 9" long.

The old toy was basically the upper shell of a plane with big blatant robot body underneath, and this toy keeps that tradition alive. There's a fold-down landing gear in the front, though none of the wheels really roll. The gun plugs in under the nose, but that blocks the landing gear - good thing there's a faux wheel sculpted on the gun, eh? And mimicking a feature on the real Concorde, the nose can bend down (getting it out of the way so the pilot can see the ground).

By himself, Silverbolt is only a so-so Transformer (which doesn't bode well for the announced Cyclonus repaint), but he's not by himself, is he? He's an Aerialbot, a part of a team, and if you want to build Superion, you're going to need him. He's not bad, he's just really lucky to have four other robots increasing his value.

-- 05/26/15

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