Archive for the 'Transformers' Category

27
Mar
15

Small Transformers Review

Because, I’m reviewing small Transformers. 😉

 

I’ve gotten a few of the current Legends class TFs, lately. These are rapidly becoming my favorite size class. This will be covering Powerglide, Windcharger, and Bombshell from the Combiner Wars sub-line.

 

3_legends1 3_legends2

Alternate modes are all fairly solid. Powerglide’s is the weakest, but he’s also a triple changer. He has a gun mode, that I’ll touch on later.

Continue reading ‘Small Transformers Review’

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23
Jan
15

Swerve’s Angels

swerve_angels1

 

Been meaning to take this picture, for nearly a month. These TFs are all fairly current, depending on how well your local store stocks. (mine seems to do so, only begrudgingly) Left to right, across the back we have Chromia, Windblade, and Arcee. The guy with the goofy grin is Swerve.

 

WARNING: Somehow, this post turned into mini reviews of the figures in the picture.

I like swerve, a lot more than I should. His transformation isn’t very involved; not only does he not have ankles, he doesn’t even have a swivel joint in his legs; the range of motion in his shoulders is restricted by his sculpt, and his pickup truck mode has a bed full of robot legs. I’m also more of a fan of blue, than red. And yet, I really like this guy. He’s kind of fun, and he’s got gobs of personality. It’s not just his silly smirk. His overall build and proportions just seem to ooze personality. He’s got body language, just standing there. His truck mode looks good, too.

 

Chromia and Arcee are pretty good too. Well articulated, with good proportions, and nicely involved transformations. Arcee is supposed to be based on the one from the current comic books from IDW, but her head is very much modeled on the 80s cartoon character. In fact, she pretty much looks like she walked right out of the animated movie. The only real fault I have with her, is a QC issue on mine. The wrap around part on the driver’s side of her windshield is missing. It looks like the mold didn’t fill all the way. I’ll probably make a new one, out of Lexan. My current radio control project has left me with plenty of it. (RC for Arcee?) OH! Her elbows have a near human range of motion. The bend so far, she can get her wrists very close to her shoulders. This with a single hinge, and no compromise to the sculpt to allow for it. It’s not even necessary for her transformation.

 

Not much to say about Chromia, other than I like her. Her vehicle mode is a bit odd. Looks like it’s based on the motorcycle guy from the Technobots, back in the day, with a little old school Tron light-cycle thrown in for good measure. Robot mode looks good, though there is a bit of back kibble; mostly just a wheel and canopy. Not as bad as Arcee, who wears most of her vehicle mode on her back. Despite having narrower shoulders than Arcee, Chromia is a little more imposing looking, with her bulkier, armored looking forearms and lower legs. And, I really dig her color scheme.

 

Windblade…. Y’know, I want to like her. She looks great in robot mode, and her vehicle mode’s not too bad. It’s the obvious robot shins and feet on the back of a jet that throw me off. I love that she’s a V/STOL. Thrust was always the one Decepti-jet that I really wanted, when I was a kid. Windblade has a similar lifting fan setup going on. It’s too bad that she’s a floppy mess. Sometimes, her vehicle mode will peg together just right, but often things just don’t quite line up. The entire front of her torso is hinged at the waist, and that hinge is pretty loose. It doesn’t peg into anything, and her arms are connected to it. It makes keeping her robot mode together interesting. The same piece is the bottom of her jet mode, but her arms keep it in place. If, you can get them tucked in where they go. She also doesn’t stand up very well. She has tiny feet, and instead of heel spurs like the other gals have, Windblade has stiletto heels. The heels fold into the feet for vehicle mode, and their hinges aren’t very tight. This leads to some balance issues. I just find handling her to be really annoying. The functional scabbard, with it’s multiple locations to peg into her robot mode is pretty boss, though.

07
Jul
14

Just Another Bug Hunt

bug_hunt

 

Optimus Prime on a “bug hunt.”

 

TF4 Evasion Mode Optimus Prime; TF Prime: Beast Hunters Hardshell; and Generations Skrapnel.

 

Maybe, Fall of Cybertron Kickback would give him more of a challenge?

19
Jul
13

Works in Progress

wips1

I have this bad habit of starting one project, before I finish the previous one. It doesn’t help that I often work at a rate that can almost be described in geological terms. This leaves me with a lot of things sitting around in an unfinished state, sometimes for years. The two figures in the back are victims of that. The painted figure is only recently finished. It’s the human form of my werewolf “Greyryder” character. He’s supposed to look like me, but all my attempts to cut scale glasses out of clear plastic failed, and I hate sculpted on glasses. They never look right. I tend to go with the smallest frames I can find, so trying to make something roughly twice the size of  those little reading glasses they sell in stores in 1/18 scale is a challenge. Keep in mind, I’ll need multiples. There’s an unjacketed version not in the picture that I’m still working on, and in fact started before the one in the picture. I’m also working on a swappable head with a baseball cap sculpted on.

Now, a lot of the ships in this picture are “casual” builds. Most of them will just get cleaned up, built mostly out of the box, painted, and decalled. There’s a second one of the TOS Enterprises that will be getting modified, molds made, and parts cast so I can build a better Enterprise, and other ships from that era. I’m also planning an improved movie style Enterprise, and I’ve nearly finished the nacelles. The Enterprise B in the back will be getting some minor improvements, before I’m ready to paint it. Like my Hobb Creek, it’ll have its Aztec patterns painted in clear coat, rather than the screen accurate ILM mottle.

The heads near the front are modified castings. Optimus is cast from a Reveal the Shield G2 style Optimus Prime, and is being modified to be based (if a bit loosely) on the Alternators Prime head. It’ll be an alternate head for the “Joeformer” Prime I made a while back. The head next to it is spliced together from two different Snake Eyes heads. Actually, one was a Snake Eyes disquise Zartan head. I’ll be sculpting over it to make a head based on some concept images I’ve seen from G.I. Joe: Retalliation. Next to them is a narrow pack for a G.I. Joe Duke I’m working on. I started out trying to imitate the one that comes with the Sideshow made Duke, the more I looked at it, the less sense its construction made to me. One of the problems of only have internet sourced reference pictures, I guess. I wound up just making my own design.

The two unfinished figures are spiced together from various source figures, ground down with a moto-tool, and sculpted over. The one on the Left side of the picture is Hellchick V2, an unproduced player model for Quake 4, and very different from the Hellchick model released for Quake 3. Her design comes from Autodestruct.com. (NSFW warning, there’s some gory creatures and topless women among the artwork.) I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep her topless, like the source art shows her. Maybe I’m just a prude, but I’m not sure I’m ready to have an anatomically correct figure in my collection. I started making her mostly as an excercise in detail sculpting. She’s got a lot of straps buckles and hardware on her, that I wanted to try my hand at sculpting, without making them too thick or course. It’s actually her gauntlet and the broken off horns on the right side of her head. The horns I’m just having trouble keeping the shape of what’s still there to match the whole horns on the other side of her head. The two headed thing on the other side is an original design. It’s supposed to be Gigeresque, but I’ve never been good at surface detail in any of my art. That’s been a big stumbling block, for me.

Other things that aren’t in this picture are a “Joeformer” Wheeljack, that was started well before Optimus was. There’s also two figures that are meant to be the siblings of the first G.I. Joe figure I customized, A version of the catgirl from my webcomic. They’re mostly waiting on accessories. There’s the Atomic Robo figure I haven’t even started sculpting on, yet. As far as heavily sculpted figures go, I’ve also got my “Demon King” character, who’s supposed to be sort of an armored mutant cyborg werejackal sort of thing. His base frame has been mostly assembled, I just have to design some armor for him, so I can get started sculpting him. I just want something more detailed/ornate than I usually come up with. Got a lot of ideas in my head for figures I’d like to make, but haven’t started on; two different werewolves, a 1/18 less stylized Xevoz Moon Stalker, a satyr girl, and the woman who rejected the Demon King. Probably some others, that have slipped my mind, too.

And then, there’s the diorama stuff I want to build….

18
Jul
13

Springer and Hot Rod

There is a version of the animated Transformers movie from the 1980s that exists only in my head. In that version of the movie, this scene takes place while Ratchet and Wheeljack are patching up Optimus Prime, and Ultra Magnus is escorting that traitor, Perceptor, to a holding cell. “The wounds are fatal” my anterior skid plate! Those of you who grew up in the 80s know what I’m talking about. Maybe now, the healing can begin.

 

spring-hr1

spring-hr2

spring-hr3

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In other news, I just got the 30th anniversary voyager class Springer, and I really like him. All three of his modes are well executed, and he poses well, despite his lack of ankles. I’m not generally a fan of sci-fi vehicle modes on Transformers, but Springer’s look good enough, to get away with it. Fans of swiveling waists on Transformers will be happy to know that Springer haz one. Its range is a little restricted, but it’s there.

29
Jun
13

That’s Just Prime

joe_prime5

Yes, I made a G.I. Joe version of Optimus Prime. He’s made from parts from two different figures, from the two Joe movies, with hands from Cobra Commander, from the second movie. The hands have been ball jointed on the ends of Lego levers. The head is a casting, made from a War for Cybertron Optimus Prime figure. The neck is made from an elbow off of a Star Wars figure. After taking the pictures, I realized that I need to get more flat clear on his lower legs. They’re not supposed to be shiny. The jacket, however, is supposed to be shiny. The torso section of the jacket is made from red vinyl tape. I remove the adhesive with Goo Gone, then glued it together with a fabric glue called Instant Vinyl. I started with superglue, but the parts would just peel apart. The “vest” and the arms were both painted with Model Master guard’s red.

I’ve made a conscious decision that any Transformer turned Joe figures I make will not obviously be man sized mechs or humans dressed like TF characters. The ambiguity keeps a little bit of a mystery around them.

The gun is an AA12 automatic shotgun, with a removable drum magazine. It’s made by Marauder Gun Runners. Most of my custom figures get armed by Marauder. I love their removable magazines, but the AA12’s tends to pop out, if you look at it funny. I was able to modify it, by adding a very small tab to the top back of the magazine, and carving out a notch for it, in the back of the mag well. Most of their removable magazines stay in very well. The AA12 is one of very few exception in their line up.

A few more pictures, taken before I remembered to reset my camera’s white balance. They’re a little washed out:

joe_prime1 joe_prime2 joe_prime3 joe_prime4

If you look close, you can see one of the Lego levers I used to attach the hands. I hadn’t glued them into the arms yet, when these pictures were taken. That’s since been corrected, and the post is no longer visible.

16
Mar
13

Kickback

Slow going on the little Enterprise project. Every time I think I’m ready to move on to the next phase, and really move the project forward, I find some little detail that’s been overlooked, or still needs to be corrected. It’s always something.

As a distraction, and in hopes that Hasbro can still make good Transformers toys, I picked up the current version of Kickback. It’s based on the way the character looks in the War for Cybertron (WFC) video game. I really don’t care about the game, but the figure looked cool. Now, I already have the WFC versions of Optimus Prime, and Shockwave. I find both to be disappointing. Kickback, however, is a breath of Fresh air. He looks great in both modes, (opinions vary, on his insect mode hind legs) and has great articulation and range of motion in robot mode. I liked him so much, he inspired me to get out my scale environment photo set up, AKA: the infinitely variable diorama, and take some pictures.I got one good one of him, and decided that the dio rig needs some more work. I’m currently building new foreground elements, and looking at expanding and improving the background. Honestly, I think I needed the break from the tiny spaceships. But, I still want to finish up that Constitution class ship.

click for full size

I photochopped in some glow effects. Not sure how well that ground foam worked for churned up soil.




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