Heavy/Scratch: Alt. Sidewinder

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by fschuler, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've always thought it would be cool to make an Alternator using the same model of vehicle I drive. Since I have yet to step up to a Viper or SRT-10, or any other available Alternator represented vehicle for that matter, it looked like I would have to do a bit of customizing.

    OK...so I'm lookin' around for a 1:24 scale Dodge Dakota model...nada. I looked high and low, went all over the internet, went to hobby shop after hobby shop, and found nothing but the fact that 1) There doesn't seem to be a high demand for Dakota models, and 2) The only one that any company had any record of was a 1:18 scale diecast version...which wouldn't help me out much, unless I decided to kitbash one of those big Roadbot toys, plus, that 1:18 scale model had been discontinued a couple years ago anyway. So...after a trip to the model section at Johnny's Toys on Winton Rd (northern Cincy area), I found this:

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    Not quite a Dakota, but about as close as I was going to get...plus it just happens to be a great looking...er...truck...IMHO. The next step was to figure out what Alt. I would kitbash. I figured that since the Sidewinder is a V10 based vehicle, maybe it would have similar proportions to Alt. Sideswipe, well, that and I happened upon a loose Sideswipe at a local toy shop for $6. Enter $6 TF soon to be hacked the fuck up:

    [​IMG]

    After studying him and the model kit for a while, I decided to start the disassembly of Sideswipe to see what he would look like, less the body panels and other parts that would have to go. Enter one L.A. Ghetto-stripped Viper:

    [​IMG]

    After much trial fitting and general fiddling around, I discovered that the Viper model had a much much longer hood length than the Sidewinder, which necessitated that I relocate the "knee" joint so that the front end would push in closer to the windshield. After a shitload of scraping, filing, sanding, fitting, cutting, gluing, fitting, more cutting, more grinding, filling of gaps and lines, and borrowing of ball joints from a G1 Astrotrain, I finally reached, what I consider, to be a halfway decent fit of all the parts. I applied two light coats of Testor's primer, wet sanded between coats, and three coats of Testor's Model Master black enamel, wet sanded between coats, to the body panels. I used Testor's gray filler putty to make a face mask on the head, and generally smoothed out the lines and edges on his head as well. The bot body then got two coats of Testor's acrylic flat black paint to clean things up. Here are the results:

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    I still have a few decals to add, I need to paint the tail lights and add the lenses, and I need to put the headlights and grill insert into the front end. I just couldn't wait to post this...its been a long time in the making. I hope you like it. Let me know what you guys think and let me know if there is anything you would like to see changed on him.
     
  2. Pun-3X

    Pun-3X Well-Known Member

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    VERY impressive so far.

    The hood-and-front all ending up behind his legs in bot mode looks a little chunky, but otherwise the whole thing is a good fit. Are you going to do anything else with the headpiece?
     
  3. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks for the compliments, Pun-3X. Yeah, I agree, the hood hanging off his ass is a bit too much, but, there was only so much I could do with it. The kit's hood and front fenders were molded in just one piece and I didn't want to f-up the fit by separating them, hence, that big chunk of plastic on his butt.

    Not sure if I'll do anything else with his head...I wanted to keep it kind of plain and streamlined. If anything, I may remove more of the height from his "ears".
     
  4. CdnShockwave

    CdnShockwave The Prince of Poses TFW2005 Supporter

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    Dude.... that rocks all kinds of socks!
     
  5. AutobotEngineer

    AutobotEngineer Highly Dubious

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    The robot mode itself has a funky aesthetic that I'm nopt really digging, but the craftsmanship is impecable. I'd love to have your painting skill...thats a smooth coat of paint. Really nice work.
     
  6. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, it was a challenge to get all those parts to fit. And to think, I thought it would be easy when I started working on it... :drunk 

    As for the paint, I didn't do anything fancy:

    1) Let the rattle can of Testor's enamel sit in a bath of hot water for 10 minutes before I started to spray.

    2) Apply one thin coat of warmed paint, wait an hour

    3) Apply a second thin coat of warmed paint, wait two days

    4) Wet sand with 2000 grit automotive wet/dry sandpaper and repeat 1-3 until I'm happy.

    It wasn't so much difficult as it was time consuming. Getting paint to look that way is more about patience than skill, I think.

    Thanks for the props!
     
  7. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    You should swivel the but piece on to the back!!
     
  8. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hmmm...might work, as long as it doesn't make him tip over backwards...I'll give it a try. Or, I wonder how the hood would look as a hand held shield, as opposed to using the tonneau cover as the shield...probably too big, but I'll look at it. Thanks!
     
  9. Kristof

    Kristof Well-Known Member

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    That is funny, I bought that exact model a couple of weeks ago to do some Alternator customization as well.
     
  10. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    Really? Cool! Maybe the job I did will give you an idea as to what NOT to do :lolol 

    Anyway, what Alt. do you plan to use? I chose Sideswipe due to his, what I assumed would be, similar proportions to a V10 powered truck...the fact that he has a relatively simple transformation (as Alts go)...and the fact that I found one for $6! maybe Tracks would make a decent starting point, although, I would love to see the Sidewinder made out of one of the "front of the car becomes the chest of the bot" type Alts (Smokescreen, Meister, etc.). Good luck, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!
     
  11. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Lookin good!
     
  12. Optimus Scourge

    Optimus Scourge Arcee's boy toy Veteran

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    nice work! paint really looks great, love the color ;)  and you're right... it's all about the patience and wet sanding to get that look!

    only gripe is that he is somewhat of a fat ass, but I still like it
     
  13. TSFC

    TSFC Banned

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    Legs are a tad thin, but that's not your fault. It's the mold's.

    Otherwise, excellent job. Geez! o_O 
     
  14. Triformis

    Triformis Insecticon Fanatic TFW2005 Supporter

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    The member above me beat me to it, but, yeah, the legs look a bit sndly for whatever reason, but, overall, this thing really rocks! Keep up the excellent work!
     
  15. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think that's the only thing I really don't like about the way it turned out. Sideswipe's legs are filled out a bit more by the fact that the front fenders of the car are attached to the outsides of his legs. Due to the design of the model, I was unable/unwilling to do the same thing. Plus, relocating the spots where the knee joints attach to the lower legs seemed to have a detrimental effect on his bot appearance as well. I've thought about making a sliding knee joint so that I can slide the knee into its stock position for bot mode while still being able to TF him into a truck by sliding it to its modified position. I'll need to use some type of spring loaded joint...I'll see what I can come up with. Or...maybe I'll just hack the front fenders off of the hood... :duel 
     
  16. zailand

    zailand Well-Known Member

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    your beautiful n unique Alt SideWinder. SW looks great like an evil Samurai. U r now on a level where most kitbashers wanted to be. I love dat SW. I want to steal it. Damn!
     
  17. Matrix Soul

    Matrix Soul Skull 4 reporting in!

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    Is there any reason why the front bumper look extremely long? it's not like that on the box of the model
     
  18. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks for the compliments. Funny you called him a samurai...I almost named him Alt. Snake Eyes (GiJoe).
     
  19. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    You're the first person to notice that. And, to answer your question, yes, there is a reason, well, two reasons, in fact. First and foremost, I had to extend the bumper so that it would clear his feet and the bottom front edge of the black plastic pieces that form the bottoms of his legs. Secondly, I kind of thought it would give him a cattle-pusher-get-the-F-outta-my-way type look. In retrospect, I think I extended it too much. Sucks, because that took a lot of hand fitting, filling, sanding, and shaping to get it to flow smoothly with the rest of the front end.
     

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