[CUSTOM] Clay's open kitbash diary

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Clay
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[CUSTOM] Clay's open kitbash diary

Post by Clay » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:32 pm

I work on custom projects at a glacial rate nowadays. Back in the halcyon days of new Alternator releases, I would crank out a custom over a weekend instead twice a year. I realized, via conversation with Mr. Warcry, that part of my problem is that I plateaued with paintwork with this thing back in 2008. Ever since then, most of the projects I've started have failed to kindle the excitement of seeing something come together, not knowing whether I could pull it off. After Halfshell, I knew darn well I could, so the driving force of seeing something realized had been mitigated. It's really only been twice since then that I actually stuck with a project to completion, first in making a Sidearm Sideswipe for Cliffy, and second in making a Generations Treadshot. Yep, I count two proper custom jobs in something like six years.

It's a waste considering all of the stuff I've learned how to do!

So, going forward, I think the best way to keep on task is to just post in the forum everything that I'm working on, hoping that either: 1) people will see things that they like and will nag me until I finish them; 2) people will get inspired and work on their own versions, probably far outpacing me. Either way, I hope this'll lead to completion in some form or another.

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Clay
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Post by Clay » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:00 pm

First up is a Generations Alternator Shockwave. I actually had this idea immediately upon Jazz's release in 2010, but I am in fact so slow to do anything that a third party group made a conversion kit before I ever even got around to making a head.

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He's being painted in Arctic Blue Metallic, which is a near perfect match for the Binaltech version (the Alternator is ever-so-slightly more purple). It is an extremely thin paint, and the work on the hood and roof have taken something 1731 coats with an airbrush to get that pretty shine they have now. It is... a tedious process.

Next project is one that I haven't actually started yet as I'm still acquiring parts. After getting Generations Rhinox, I had the epiphany that he (and the original Beast Wars toy) work nearly the same as Torca. The animal head, lower jaw, and back need to be replaced, but it's a viable "remold" that has the potential to work well. I need to get another Torca to use for parts, but as I need the whale parts in blue plastic (and not the brittle gold plastic parts), it shouldn't be too hard to find a junker.

I'm thinking the feet can remain unchanged, although I don't know what impact it would have on the beast mode to have the less aggressive stance.

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Here's one that's been on the back burner since 2012, Hiss Tank Shockwave! I bought several Hiss Tanks when they went on clearance knowing that Shockwave turns into one in some crossover comic, but I didn't know what to use as a base for the robot. A few months later, I found a couple of junker Unicrons at a local flea market, and they measured up nicely. Unicron's lower legs, pegged together, are almost exactly the same width as the assemblage that the treads connect to. For a while I couldn't get any farther as I didn't know where the arms would go, but one day I had a stroke of brilliance and just took a hacksaw to the torso. The torso, from the chest up, is separated and rotated 180 degrees allowing the arms to fold back into the rear of the tank.

I've also cut up half the chassis of the tank to lay over the folded up body, but haven't worked on it much past that. The proportions are good and everything has a place to go, so the idea is sound. It's just a matter of finding the motivation.

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A silly idea: use the base treads from an old Hiss Tank and a Nerf gun to make Actionmaster Grimlock's Anti-Tank Cannon for the Masterpiece version.

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After noticing that Tomahawk has numerous things in common with Blackout (the rear rotor on the arm being the most important), I had the idea to make a Generations Blackout. Haven't found a head for him that I like, though.

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Here's Toyworld's Hardbone with Junkion Blacksmith's Headmaster Megatron. Picked up an extra Hardbone when they went on clearance to have one to paint gray. I'd call it... Generation 1.5 Megatron?

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And in this pile of parts we have a DOTM voyager Megatron for the ever-patient numbat. It'll hopefully look like Paul's when it's done.

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Warcry
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Post by Warcry » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:39 am

Glad you decided to do this!

I have enough in-progress jobs that it might behoove me to do the same soon. :o
Clay wrote:He's being painted in Arctic Blue Metallic, which is a near perfect match for the Binaltech version (the Alternator is ever-so-slightly more purple). It is an extremely thin paint, and the work on the hood and roof have taken something 1731 coats with an airbrush to get that pretty shine they have now. It is... a tedious process.
I love that colour! Great choice.
Clay wrote:Next project is one that I haven't actually started yet as I'm still acquiring parts. After getting Generations Rhinox, I had the epiphany that he (and the original Beast Wars toy) work nearly the same as Torca. The animal head, lower jaw, and back need to be replaced, but it's a viable "remold" that has the potential to work well. I need to get another Torca to use for parts, but as I need the whale parts in blue plastic (and not the brittle gold plastic parts), it shouldn't be too hard to find a junker.
:up:

Anyone who makes a Torca is a winner in my books. I do wonder, though, if the parts will be big enough for the Voyager-sized body. I hope it works out!
Clay wrote:I found a couple of junker Unicrons at a local flea market
And you're not using the crotches for a custom combiner? For shame! ;)
Clay wrote:After noticing that Tomahawk has numerous things in common with Blackout (the rear rotor on the arm being the most important), I had the idea to make a Generations Blackout. Haven't found a head for him that I like, though.
That's a tough one, because Tomahawk's head is pretty tiny for a Deluxe and it tucks away pretty tight. And there are very few Generations-ish heads that even vaguely resemble Movie Blackout.

RiD Vehicon maybe?

FoC Kickback with the antennae gone?

Even those are pretty far off, though.

Looking at other-universe counterparts of him doesn't help much, since Prime Blackout has the most generic face ever and Animated Blackout is Wilford Brimley...

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Post by Osku » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:50 am

Torca, Torca, Torca!

I really need to find my junker box. A lot of BW torsos I'd gladly donate for a good cause. :)

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Post by Paul053 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Clay wrote:And in this pile of parts we have a DOTM voyager Megatron for the ever-patient numbat. It'll hopefully look like Paul's when it's done.

Image
:)
Wow! :eek: I never took apart my figures that much as you did since I'm not a good pin remover. Hope you remember how to put them back. :)

Oh, that metallic blue looks great. It will look so good on Tracks as well.

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Post by Denyer » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:05 pm

Hardbone went on clearance? If you get bored and don't repaint, gimme a shout with what you'd be after for it.

Slightly random offer -- I started a Shockwave on a similar basis to what Paul053 did before the FOC one appeared and, later on, I picked up Quakewave. Got as far as transplanting the arms. If you feel like trying to do something with it I can take a pic and/or stick it in a box and whizz it your way. Don't want to just bin it.

(Latter offer's open to others if Clay doesn't want.)

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Clay
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Post by Clay » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:12 am

Thanks guys!
Warcry wrote: Anyone who makes a Torca is a winner in my books. I do wonder, though, if the parts will be big enough for the Voyager-sized body. I hope it works out!
Osku wrote:Torca, Torca, Torca!

I really need to find my junker box. A lot of BW torsos I'd gladly donate for a good cause. :)
I'm thinking I can at least make use of the whale head, jaw, tusks, and tale of the original. The actual back with the fin is probably too small, so I may need to find a toy whale or try sculpting something. I haven't done anything with it yet as the Torca I have is 99% intact - only his tale has been glued back on. I'd much rather use parts from one that's crumbled already, but haven't gotten around to finding one yet.

But, the idea seems sound. It's workable :).
Paul053 wrote::)
Wow! :eek: I never took apart my figures that much as you did since I'm not a good pin remover. Hope you remember how to put them back. :)
If I were quick enough with them, reassembly wouldn't be a problem. As it is... yeah, it's a puzzle :).
Denyer wrote:Hardbone went on clearance? If you get bored and don't repaint, gimme a shout with what you'd be after for it.

Slightly random offer -- I started a Shockwave on a similar basis to what Paul053 did before the FOC one appeared and, later on, I picked up Quakewave. Got as far as transplanting the arms. If you feel like trying to do something with it I can take a pic and/or stick it in a box and whizz it your way. Don't want to just bin it.

(Latter offer's open to others if Clay doesn't want.)
Yeah, Hardbone's down to about half what he started as.

I certainly wouldn't mind having a crack at that style of Shockwave. It's one of those things that people started to do and make look easy after I had sold mine already.

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Post by Denyer » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:29 pm

I'll try to sort out at the weekend.

TBH, I'm much more interested in what FP might do with Hardhead... TW have found a nice aesthetic with Orion/Hegemon but the interest in their Headmasters so far is just curiosity.

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Post by Blackjack » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:51 am

TORCA TORCA TORCA

That Generations-style Blackout also highly piques my interest. Maybe Straxus? He's got a similar mouth-shape with Blackout... maybe have to alter his head a bit to make it less Straxus-y. DOTM Space Case also sort of has the same head design, except it might be too big to fit on Tomahawk.

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Post by Clay » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:15 am

I've ended up completely rearranging all the furniture in my apartment, and my work table has ended up next to my computer desk. We'll see if this results in more painting productivity.

I've mostly finished getting the black base coat on DOTM Megatron. As that's for someone else, it's on the top of the list. Doesn't look like much yet, but it will...

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Also, the cat helped:
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Post by Clay » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:18 pm

A minor update: here's a junior-level articulation project I took on back in 2010 or so. I never thought he was worth a thread of his own, so this seems to be the ideal place to share him.

The lack of rotation in the arms of Legends class Rampage (the second mold that didn't combine) always bugged me. He couldn't do a proper leaping attack stance with claws pointed down! So I hammered out the pins holding his arms on and opened up the inside cavity, filling it with epoxy putty. Then I attached some ball joints from... somewhere (Mudflap's ankles, maybe?), and presto! Rotating arms!

I also cut a space out below his head so he stand up a bit straighter. The arms don't quite sit together flush in the bulldozer mode, but hey, it was my first try! I really should have bought a third Rampage when they widely available, but oh well.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Blackjack
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Post by Blackjack » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:50 pm

Mmm, I didn't even remember they made a separate legends class Rampage! From all the toys he ended up getting this one is probably the best.

Looks so much better with actual articulation!

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Clay
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Post by Clay » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:45 pm

Thanks! :)

A couple of new projects this time: I have the Takara Buster Prime which has a mouth, and that's fine, but I want him to wear the Jetfire suit, so he needs a faceplate. So... enter the first Prime and the Battle Hook Prime.
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More specifically, their heads:
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The idea is to make a mold of Prime's head with the face plate, then place the head with the open mouth into the mold and pour some resin in. The resin should fill in the small open space and should make a perfectly fitting, removable faceplate. Here's a brief mockup with some sticky-putty:
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And here's the mold sitting:
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Won't know for a few days if it works or not because that stuff has a long cure time. Cross your fingers!

The other project is a simple head swap. I took the head from TFP Dead End and put it on Beast Hunters Wheeljack. I call him... WEREJACK :).
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Post by Clay » Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:37 am

Well, the silicone didn't cure properly. Not sure if I had water residue in the measuring cup or if I didn't have enough the catalyst mixed in, but all I got was a bunch of goop. I had to soak Prime's head in rubbing alcohol and scrub it with a toothbrush to get all the little sticky blobs off. Will let it dry completely for a day or so and try again. :)

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Post by Blackjack » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:59 am

A bunch of Movie Optimus heads...

It's so hard not to make the obvious joke...
Why're you making a bunch of Optimus heads? Nevermind, I didn't read the post.

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Post by Clay » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:50 pm

Ha!

It turns out that the silicone has a shelf life of about one year or so after opening. So I bought a new batch and tried mold #3, and it's already hardening up after a few hours. We're back on track now, whoo!

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Post by Clay » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:06 am

Well, file this one with "error" under "trial and error". The silicone expired, so I had to buy more. I made a mold of the face-plated head on the third try, having to scrub off gunky silicone-goo with a toothbrush. Then I plopped the battle hook Prime's mouthed-head into the mold and poured resin into the gap, thinking that it would make a perfect, form fitting faceplate. But while the resin doesn't bond to the silicone, it does bond to the plastic used to make the head! Whoops! So now battle hook Prime's head is basically ruined... I've been scraping off resin, and it does come off, but by the time I get it all off the head is gonna be pretty scratched up. DO NOT WORRY BUSTER PRIME'S HEAD IS OKAY!

But anyway! I cut the mold in half and poured resin into the front, and out this came. Behold the face of Prime!
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So I commenced to sanding and filing, and came out with a pretty good fit:
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As you can tell, it has a gap on the right cheek, so I'll have to make another cast and try again, but now that I have a rough copy, I know how much to remove from the cast.

Oh, and he is Optimus Prime, just so you know. He's been telling me that all afternoon.

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