Beyond Basics: Articulating G1 Powermaster Optimus Prime

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by bellyboy, Jul 6, 2010.

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  1. bellyboy

    bellyboy working working working

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    (A list of all of the modifications can be found at the end of this tutorial, as well as a photo gallery of the finished product! ~Superquad7)


    Well, guys and gals, here is a follow-along for creating your own Powermaster Optimus Prime; let’s start:


    1. Making the big bot arms:

    The big bot's arms don’t have any articulation, so I wanted to make them articulated. In the first picture, I just removed the fist in order to install some hands (I used ones from HLJ made by Kotobukiya). I cut the fist with my Dremel tool (using a disc cutter), installed a female ball joint (the hand has a male ball joint), drill a hole where the fist was, and fit the female ball joint:

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    For the elbows, I used a joint from Energon Inferno. In the second picture, there is a teal colored joint that I think belonged to his arms (eventually this joint went to the lil' bot knees). Posted are pictures of the joints I want to install - when you see the picture on the computer screen, it helps to realize proportions and such:

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    In this case, the joint is too short and won't mimic a normal elbow movement. Let’s fix that! Cut the pseudo elbow segment and try to fit a joint there; the part is hollow so there is plenty of room. Secure the joint with some epoxy glue and then with some epoxy putty:

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    I painted it flat black, [then] dried brushed some silver and chrome on it:

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    2. Big bot legs:

    This brick bot didn't have knees, so I used RiD Megaton’s arms in order to substitute. This is a bit tricky because it involves lots of putty work. Take the arms from RiD Megs (you'll need to save those ratcheting white clips for later).

    Cut the big bot hips and sand them down so you’ll have "two (2) halves” of hips, and glue those on the arm; pay attention to match the upper part of Megatron’s arms to the upper part of the hip:

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    It will be better if you fill the hollow part of the cut hip with some putty (so you’ll use less glue); you can stuff it with putty and press the arm inside:

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    On the trailer part you’ll need to remove some pegs, but leave the front one:

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    Tada! Knees! What’s cool is that the purple part of the arm fits with no problem inside them and you actually still retain the normal length of the bot.

    Now you need to fill the gaps with putty and sand them smoothly.

    Here is the final result:

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    3. Connecting the new hips to the body:

    I’m sorry that I don’t have pictures of how I did mine, but basically you need to remove some of the grey part of waist piece (not the white waist piece). Snug those ratcheting joints inside and glue them with epoxy glue (super glue won’t hold those).

    Here’s a neat trick - glue first with super glue. This is just for checking if all sits right, as super glue can be pulled if excessive force applied. Only when you are satisfied with all of them, glue them in securely with epoxy:

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    Now, you’ll have something like this:

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    Here is the final result:

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    4. Big bot head:

    An LED light was installed inside the plastic in the red eyes, and it’s thin enough to show the light:

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    There is a square compartment in the bots head to fit the micro switch:

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    I cut the head from his base and puttied the cut. A long ball joint was glued in and a female ball joint was placed in the base (the attachment of the head to the cab). I covered the ball joint with a random spring and added two (2) plastic tubing to mimic some electrical wiring. In the critique about this custom, people mentioned that the new neck is too long (and I agreed), so just fit the female ball joint as low as you can to avoid the mistakes I did:

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    I removed the peg that connects the base to the cab and replaced it with a rare earth magnet. This is a place for some paint chips and so and this will ruin the paint on the truck, so I covered that place with a sticker to hide the rare earth magnet and prevent any damage to the paint job:

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    (In this picture, the sticker is shown.)

    Here is the final head shot:

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    5. Add an articulated double blaster to aim at the enemies better!

    It's really simple! In the existing hole of the double blaster insert a ball joint, drill a female ball joint where the blaster used to connect. Now it can move up, down, and rotate without causing any paint damage:

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    Here is the final result:

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    (Minor stuff like the rubber wheels and the decals are really easy to make as well.)



    The Smaller Prime Robot:

    This is the more extensive and more articulated part of the project.

    1. Articulating the arms and hands

    Hands are really easy. We’ll use the same procedure we did in the big bot:

    Cut the fist/drill and fit the female ball joint/plug the new hand. Here I had to use some putty to make it more secure; super glue is never enough:
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    Arms:

    The smaller robot has elbows, so there is no need to add any:

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    Just remove the screw and shorten the pin in the elbow with your Dremel tool using metal disc. I like using a carbon disc. Now fit a ball joint (female) in the shoulder with some putty and glue:

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    The ball joint that sits in the shoulder joint has to be long:

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    We will fit that ball joint after all the painting is done because it’s irreversible. The peg of the ball joint will fit into MP prime short smoke stacks after drilling a hole in the correct position. I secured the stacks with a plastic washer and a screw:

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    (I covered the peg with some springs to make it look more robotic.)


    Giving the arms more rotation:

    Cut the arms with a saw or your Dremel tool. If using a Dremel, don’t cut on high speed and make stops every 2 -3 seconds. The heat will melt the plastic and you’ll cut more than you need. I used a connection from Lego technic to make the turning arm:

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    Secure the female part with putty and only then secure the male one:

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    2. Legs

    The smaller robot has articulation in the pseudo knee, but that wasn’t enough for me so . . . .

    Disconnect the legs from all the screws and remove all the wheels. In the back side of the legs they are connected with a ‘H’ shaped plastic piece. Disconnect the legs by cutting the plastic that connects them with your Dremel tool. The feet hold the connector to the trailer. Don’t lose that part! It’s on a rod, so cut the rods and fit them in their original place without the trailer connector piece.


    Knees:

    the green joint that was supposed to fit the arm will be used to make a double knee joint:

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    (The hollow space of the hip will fit the joint after some sanding.)


    Cut the knee like this:

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    Fit the joint in place and you can apply small amount of super glue, when you are satisfied glue it with epoxy glue and putty it.


    Hips:

    Sorry but there are no pictures here at all.

    I used a Classics Mirage (Dragstrip KO) hip to replace Optimus’. The hips are again with ball joints. I cut the red connector that the hips are originally attached to and welded it together with the new hip. I reduced the outer edge of the hip to make him more movable. The boxy shape didn’t allow much! When I reattached the parts, I used a thick washer to push the red connector a bit further away from the front position they were before and made them more centered. Now your bot will look like this:

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    Head:

    This was a tricky part but I like how it turned out. To make the head (which is hollow) fit inside the tiny space I have to use a double joint - a joint that will allow movement not only on Y axis but also on X axis. I used a ball joint that was connected to a swivel joint from the Real Gear camera guy. It’s the same joint as here in the arms. It can swivel and has a built in ball joint on the top.

    So here is a female ball joint inside Prime’s head:

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    I had to make a rectangular groove in the plastic with a hand held chisel tool with a 90 degree 'V' SHAPE to fit the rectangular end of the new joint:

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    Like a glove!!!

    The final pictures of this used to be “brick bot" are here.


    I still love this brickbot with all its flaws. It’s 7 mods in one bot:

    • High Q x2
    • Small robot/truck
    • Big bot/base
    • Full trailer

    About the head: it has screws, so no Xact-O knife that’s needed. That was the biggest project in those 1.5 years that I’m bashing. It took me around 2-3 weeks to finish this giant block, but they are spread over four (4) months or so.

    THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST ROBOTS EVER – Optimus has a trailer; the trailer transforms into a base; the lower body is a giant robot; it’s a Powermaster, so you get 3 robots and 2 alt mods.

    The first time I got this one, I enjoyed playing with him like a little boy, making vroom vroom sounds and all - what can I do? I’m 30 and I still play with my bots! However, I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t more articulated. This beast weighs a ton, and the plastic is really sturdy.


    What’s been done:

    The Smaller Prime Robot:
    • Articulated hands on a ball joint
    • Elbow- was there
    • Swivel at the arms
    • Shoulders - ball joint
    • Head - ball joint and forwarding neck
    • Light up eyes operated by micro switch - 4.5 volts
    • The eyes are now blue even when the smd doesn’t work
    • Hips - ball joint
    • Knees- taken from inferno Energon junker
    • Separated the legs
    • Lights to the truck-super powerful LED'S micro switch (yes another one) -4.5V
    • Fuel tanks - connected via strong RE magnets
    • Smoke stacks and an aluminum antenna
    • Rubber tires - with chromed rims



      • Larger Prime Robot:
        • Light up eyes - via LED and a micro switch
        • Elbows- again the same inferno junker -swivel
        • Hips +knees- from a RID megaton junker - I thicken them to look like the real deal.


        Roller
        • can you have Prime without Roller?
        • a small spring power semi tank thing

        HIGH-Q
        • Articulated shoulders -ball joint
        • Articulated legs
        • New motor

        I painted this guy with:
        • Ravel enamels - number 34 - glossy Ferrari red;
        • Number 350-semi matte Lufthansa blue;
        • Several shades of silver #91, chrome#90, bronze #9;
        • Some p3 formula paints;
        • Some Tamiya paints;
        • Alclad2 chrome;
        • Everything was covered with 2 coats of Slovak brand of Future;
        • 925 silver gilding to the front of the cab.



          • Some accessories were added:
            • Sword made from one of Predaking’s sword and a Gundam blade
            • Masterpiece Convoy/MP-01 Convoy blaster
            • The smaller robot has 1 set of hands and big bot has 2
            • Roller now has a gun as well (it can be used to fuel as well) from a KO Predaking’s guns

            Decals were printed on a laser printed and they were custom made by my talented friend Lidar thomas AKA InvincibleSoul .
            Here are photos of the final product:


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            Details:


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            Semi-truck with Roller:

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            The Full Trailer:

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            Base:

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            BIG BOT

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            Accessories:
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            High Q:

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