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View Full Version : Do your stormtroopers hold their blasters left- or right-handed?



JediTricks
03-10-2010, 08:10 PM
If you didn't notice before, ever since the VOTC Stormtrooper mold, all Stormtrooper figures are left-handed. Their right hands are sculpted in a relatively neutral pose with a trigger finger, but their left hands are sculpted in a tight gun-holding pose that cannot be used for anything else. This means stormtrooper figures are meant to hold their weapons in their left hands, with their right hands cradling the barrels. If you try to have the left hand hold the barrel instead of the grip, the gun is bent significantly, as if your stormtrooper were Superman.

Left-handed blaster holding is supported in the films, a lot of the stormies hold them that way, and their holsters are on their left hips. Take a look at this shot from ANH: http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/7/71/StormtrooperCorps_anh1080p.jpg
The stormtrooper who bumps his head in the movie? Him and all his squad are lefties: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBQaLuqwtl8
The ones busting into the Tantive IV? Lefties:
http://www.originalprop.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/princess-leia-stormtroopers-high-definition-star-wars.jpg
http://www.originalprop.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/firing-sterling-stormtrooper-blaster-still-hr.jpg
Luke Skywalker using this blaster? Southpaw'd!:
http://www.originalprop.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/luke-skywalker-star-wars-chronicles-promo-stormtrooper-blaster.jpg
http://www.originalprop.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/luke-skywalker-star-wars-chronicles-promo-stormtrooper-blaster-alt.jpg
Even on Cloud City: http://www.starwarshelmets.com/original-ESB-stormtrooper-armor-helmets.htm
and on Endor sometimes: http://www.starwarshelmets.com/original-stormtrooper-helmets-sub-submenu.htm

That's not to say the blaster is exclusively used left-handed by Stormtroopers or in general, just that there are plenty of examples to the point where it seems to be probably the intended norm in the SW universe.

But I'm a righty, and I have my figures mostly posted hold them right-handed; nearly all of them are holding them in a classic 2-handed grip, so the left hand ends up just UNDER the barrel rather than bending it into an S shape. However, it's beginning to look way too obvious that my figures aren't truly holding the barrels that way, and the one figure I do have holding the barrel properly in his left hand that gun is forever a boomerang now.

I would vastly prefer a slightly more neutral pose on both hands and more flexible material used for the hands, but so far Hasbro has not been receptive to the idea.

So I was wondering, what pose do your Stormtrooper figures end up in? Are they left-handed or right-handed? Do you have a preference, or did they end up that way naturally?

The Space Outlaw
03-10-2010, 08:39 PM
I wonder how much of what we see in the movie in this regard is meant to be, and how much is due to the film being "flipped" during editing...

That said, most of my figures are righties, though I have no stormtroopers at this time.

As for bent guns, I would suggest Marauder Gun-Runners; they offer an excellent "modified Sterling SMG" that's made from good, solid plastic and even has a hinged folding stock. I have just one right now (buying more soon) and that sucker will NOT bend. They're relatively inexpensive and MGR offers them by the dozen, so it's great for equipping your army of choice.

El Chuxter
03-10-2010, 08:50 PM
I mix them, same as with any non-clone army builder (and this goes for Joes, too), since, logically, a few would be left-handed.

The hand is still a major improvement from the vintage one, which, like most vintage figures, could only hold a weapon in the right hand.

DarkJedi5
03-10-2010, 08:57 PM
I agree with Space Outlaw, I'm right handed so naturally most of my figs are displayed right handed. However, I have noticed that there are a lot of left handed troopers . I always assumed that there were a lot of scenes that were flipped (I read about certain examples in the recent Making of Star Wars book). Though I also noticed some left handed ones onscreen with right handed ones which does suggest that there are lefties out there. This was hard to reconcile; if they're all clones why aren't they all of the same handedness? I guess the EU says that they're not all Jango clones or even clones at all so that solves that but I would like to see a new hand sculpt to allow a more ambidextrous trooper.

Neuroleptic
03-10-2010, 09:21 PM
All of my Storm Troopers and all of my 501st clones (Only ones I buy) are Right Handed, save one storm trooper and one of the clones who is supposedly left haned (though his name escapes me). The one storm trooper is supposed to be the same clone in the original trilogy.

Old Fossil
03-10-2010, 09:22 PM
All my regular Stormtroopers hold their blasters in their right hands.

All my Sandtroopers but one do the same, with some holding a Dewback prod in their left hand.

Curiously, my Spacetroopers all hold their weapons in their left hands. I do not know why I arranged them like that.:cross-eye

My AT-AT Drivers and Snowtroopers are also right-handed.

My Scout Troopers all have their blasters in their holsters, as they are standing at attention.:whip: I think they're right-handed, though.

And looking at my 6 Emperor's Royal Guards, I see that I have them all left-handed...

Warped
03-10-2010, 09:44 PM
The whole left handed thing is because the trooper gun was based on the Sterling L2A3 sub-machine gun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_submachine_gun). The "clip" was on the left side of the gun, So when troopers would hold it with thier right hands "trigger finger" the "clip" would hit against the troopers chestplate and limit movement.

Snowtrooper
03-10-2010, 11:13 PM
The whole left handed thing is because the trooper gun was based on the Sterling L2A3 sub-machine gun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_submachine_gun). The "clip" was on the left side of the gun, So when troopers would hold it with thier right hands "trigger finger" the "clip" would hit against the troopers chestplate and limit movement.


I'd forgotten how much the clip sticks out on that gun. It was better to use the real gun left handed, but for the movies, the "clip" didn't stick out very far, so I don't think it matters which hand they used.

As far as I can tell, all the troopers I have displayed hold the gun in their right hands. Almost all the rest of the figures also hold their weapon/accessory in their right hand as well, with a few exceptions(TLC Vader & Ben Kenobi)

Mr. JabbaJohnL
03-10-2010, 11:34 PM
I'm a mix of both, depending on how I want to arrange the figures in the scene. Pretty much all of my clones are right-handed, as the hands are sculpted that way, aside from those ones from the deluxe sets where the guns are molded to the left hands. Given the photos, I might go through and switch more of the stormtroopers to lefties. That's interesting.

darthbooger
03-11-2010, 10:29 AM
All my stormies had their guns taken away because they wouldnt clean up their room.

DarkArtist
03-11-2010, 10:53 AM
depends on the display that they are in at time... if it is in a display for the Emperor's arrival in Jed then they are holding the blasters in their right hands with the left holding the barrel

if it's a action pose ie battle on the Tantive or Endor then it varies for the pose, i have both 2 handed and one handed poses so it varies left or right

El Chuxter
03-11-2010, 12:55 PM
Yesterday, mine decided war wasn't the answer, so they all now hold daisies.

Ando
03-11-2010, 01:18 PM
When mine are set up and displayed, they're right handed.

Tycho
03-11-2010, 04:52 PM
Even with my Clones (which could have genetic drift variances) I mix my troops' left and right hands depending upon how I'm posing them for a scene.

I care more about whether you see their front or back, depending upon which side of the field they are playing from and how I want the scene to look.

Then most of my troops are assigned being left or right handed accordingly.

I thought about being consistent with the clones at least, but then I decided to display troops in favor of the overall diorama's results.

For my troop lineup (I did the Clone ranks at the end of E2 and in the lab on Kamino since everyone else seems to do the Emperor's Arrival from ROTJ) I had them all be right handed though. I figure that uniformity is necessary for military parade formation.

Anyone in the real military out there? How does your unit handle left-handers?

TheDarthVader
03-12-2010, 02:00 AM
Left handed all of the way.

JediTricks
03-12-2010, 05:58 PM
I wonder how much of what we see in the movie in this regard is meant to be, and how much is due to the film being "flipped" during editing...None of it is from flopped scenes, you can tell because the holster is on a specific side and the stomach panel on the armor is asymmetrical. For the shots of Luke, his hair part is off to the side, so that's the clue on that.


As for bent guns, I would suggest Marauder Gun-Runners; they offer an excellent "modified Sterling SMG" that's made from good, solid plastic and even has a hinged folding stock. I have just one right now (buying more soon) and that sucker will NOT bend. They're relatively inexpensive and MGR offers them by the dozen, so it's great for equipping your army of choice.The problem I fear is the hands on the Troopers are very strong plastic and without give they would probably snap those gun barrels off.



The hand is still a major improvement from the vintage one, which, like most vintage figures, could only hold a weapon in the right hand.Wow, it's an improvement over a figure designed 33 years ago? I'm shocked. ;)



The whole left handed thing is because the trooper gun was based on the Sterling L2A3 sub-machine gun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_submachine_gun). The "clip" was on the left side of the gun, So when troopers would hold it with thier right hands "trigger finger" the "clip" would hit against the troopers chestplate and limit movement.Good call, that makes a lot of sense.


I'd forgotten how much the clip sticks out on that gun. It was better to use the real gun left handed, but for the movies, the "clip" didn't stick out very far, so I don't think it matters which hand they used.The clip on the E-11 is truncated from the Sterling, but still sticks out a notable amount, as in these photos:
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:E-11_btm.jpg
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:Leia_SWSB.jpg



I'm a mix of both, depending on how I want to arrange the figures in the scene. Pretty much all of my clones are right-handed, as the hands are sculpted that way, aside from those ones from the deluxe sets where the guns are molded to the left hands. Given the photos, I might go through and switch more of the stormtroopers to lefties. That's interesting.The clone hands are more ambidextrous and forgiving in design, but you're right, they seem to pose naturally a right-handed pose, I think I have all of mine that way. And if you look at the DC-15 blaster, the clip is on the opposite side of the Stormtrooper E-11. I just checked, all of my clones are righties.

I have also started switching more of my Stormies to lefties, although I've found that the left-handed design of the Hasbro figure is great for firing poses but not as good for standing or parade poses (the left hand holds the gun slightly outwards from the forearm), so for standing poses I'm mostly keeping righties.



depends on the display that they are in at time... if it is in a display for the Emperor's arrival in Jed then they are holding the blasters in their right hands with the left holding the barrel Do you actually have them hold the barrel, or just have the hand near the barrel? I only have 1 figure now holding the barrel with the left, and that gun is the one I mentioned in the opener, it's S-shaped from being bent by the hand pose. Do you have the same problem if so?

RENDAR LIVES
03-15-2010, 08:46 PM
I have my troopers hold the barrel two handed. I have noticed the bending gun on a few but not all. Figured this was more akin to the battle droid legs.

I am a righty so most of my figures are too but I am consious that not everyone is so I mix it up for realizm.

Mark Hamil stated in a SWI interview not too long ago that he is indeed left handed. So your observations make sense. Gun manufacturers weren't very lefty friendly back in those days so most holsters are built for right handed folks wich would explaine why Luke wears it on his rightt thigh. The fire arm the troopers use has the magazine on the left side so their holsters were put on the left. Probably made just for the movie since nobody holsters a sub machine gun. Thats a sure way to tell wich scenes may have been reversed.

JediTricks
03-15-2010, 10:17 PM
Hamill is a southpaw? That's surprising given the way he holds a lightsaber in the films!

You know what's really weird about the E-11 holster? It's on the left side of the trooper armor, but the gun is in there with the clip facing inwards and the grip facing forwards. I can't imagine what that is about, considering the clip I guess they made these for the stormtrooper armor, the Sterling wouldn't work in a holster otherwise, as you pointed out.

JediTricks
04-30-2010, 02:39 PM
Having taken out more Stormies lately, I've made them all lefties, even the ones holding the blaster slack in 1 hand.

If these were real guns they were firing, they would not want to hold them this way as that's where the ejection port is. Imagine firing your gun and a searing hot shell comes blasting back at your chest. Or even better, apparently the Sterling was known for ejecting wildly, so you think you'll be safe in your white plastic armor, but one of the shells goes flying upwards and gets caught inside your helmet and is melting your face off. I guess that's why they have those body socks.

LTBasker
04-30-2010, 05:01 PM
That's actually because they're holding the gun wrong. In the real world, the British design meant for the gun to be held by the grip in the right hand, and by the magazine well in the left. The Stormtroopers, however, held it by the barrel, which would be a bad idea in the real world since you'd burn your hand by doing that. Of course, the Star Wars version has a housing over the barrel, so we can assume that's the Imperial answer for a heat shield.

I assume they weren't instructed to hold it by the magazine because they would have looked silly, or because the armorers thought the magazine would jam, but I'm going to go with the former reason.

Here's some good vids on the Sterling. :D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCzX6_BniuA (shows how to properly hold it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or0LxVDxB_c (informative)

JediTricks
04-30-2010, 05:39 PM
That's actually because they're holding the gun wrong. In the real world, the British design meant for the gun to be held by the grip in the right hand, and by the magazine well in the left. The Stormtroopers, however, held it by the barrel, which would be a bad idea in the real world since you'd burn your hand by doing that. Of course, the Star Wars version has a housing over the barrel, so we can assume that's the Imperial answer for a heat shield.

I assume they weren't instructed to hold it by the magazine because they would have looked silly, or because the armorers thought the magazine would jam, but I'm going to go with the former reason.

Here's some good vids on the Sterling. :D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCzX6_BniuA (shows how to properly hold it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or0LxVDxB_c (informative)
No, that's a myth, if you hold a Sterling by the mag, it causes the mag to strain into the receiver which increases the chances of a jam. The Sterling was designed to be held by the barrel casing, its many vents are there to keep the barrel cool and safe to touch, and to keep the hand from getting burned by any heat the barrel could generate. The stormtroopers generally hold it by the folded up stock underneath the barrel casing, which seems even safer. The Sterling's manual even says that the point of the casing is to make it safe to the touch when used, and there are FINGER GUARDS at the front and back of the casing on the right side to keep your left hand from slipping in front of the barrel or backward into the range of the ejector port: http://nazarian.no/images/wep/337_Sterling_SMG.pdf

Look at the guy holding the mag in that first vid, the hold is awkward and blocks visibility from the left, and the mag is now loose which makes control worse and lowers the lifespan of the weapon. Stormtroopers actually are holding it correctly (although the weapon was designed with righties in mind, it can be used by lefties too but they have to be mindful of the ejecting shells).

LTBasker
04-30-2010, 06:02 PM
Very interesting, thanks. I know that on guns you're generally not supposed to hold it by the magazine due to jamming, but I thought the Sterling's magazine may have been manufactured with the capability to not be effected by being held. The manual says January 1973, though, so they might have actually been instructed to hold the weapon by the magazine during WWII? I'm just theorizing, of course, but changes might have been made to it since then to properly reduce heating, or the ammunition made around that time may not have been the same as it was during WWII and doesn't cause as much heat.

JediTricks
04-30-2010, 06:25 PM
I have read that the Sterling's mag has always been prone to cause jamming when held that way, and I don't believe anybody was trained during WW2 to use it that way (the Sterling not even invented until the last year of the war and only a hundred or so were used, it wasn't until the early '50s when it entered mass production). Besides jamming, it's just not good for aiming or for controlling the weapon in general, and it makes left-handed shooting impossible. Plus, the Sterling has always had those finger guards on the barrel casing.

I think folks are mistaking it for the Sten. The Sten's mag receiver was the part of the body that stuck way out the side which made for a popular grip, and the Sten's barrel casing was short and had less venting which made the proper barrel grip unpopular.

LTBasker
04-30-2010, 06:37 PM
That would make sense, especially the mark 2 (http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg38-e.htm) which really looks like the magazine would be the only practical place to hold it. I'd imagine that could have continued on with the Sterling from those who were used to using the Sten?

JediTricks
04-30-2010, 07:15 PM
I guess, but Churchill in this shot is holding a mk1 properly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:H_010688.jpg

I think that metal grip-like receiver would make a big difference on whether or not to hold it around the clip.