Customs: Modding Cybertron Key Ports?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Satomiblood, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Posts:
    19,337
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +4
    Let's say you still want to keep the key activated features on a Cybertron figure, but you want to access them without a key, replacing it with a button. How would one go about doing this? I think I saw someone remove the key port from a Downshift when they converted him into Slicer. Just want a clearer idea on how to do it.
     
  2. Nemesis Predaking

    Nemesis Predaking Offical Enforcer WTF@TFW Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Posts:
    4,524
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Likes:
    +2
  3. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Posts:
    4,131
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
    That was me.
    With Slicer, it was a trickier prospect, but with a good deal of Cybertron figs it's actually quite simple.

    For the most part, all the key does is reach into the port to press a button. So if you can attach something to that button that extends past the port so you can get at it with your finger, then you've got yourself a pushbutton.

    The easiest way to do this, I've found, is to use the supplied key itself. Trim off the big circular portion of the key, leaving just the little hexagonal raised portion. File down the piece of the key that you insert, on the top and sides, just to loosen the fit in the port - so it doesn't lock in place (in some cases there's a raised tab under the key that helps lock it in place too - trim this down as well). Then simply put a little superglue on the very end of the key nub and push it into the slot, holding it in place.

    Sometimes it's a little more complicated than that, but basically it's just a case of finding out what the key does, and fitting something to do the job in its place.

    As I said, most Cybertron figs can be fixed just by gluing the key nub into the port, but some are a little more complex than that. Soundwave, Downshift, Shortround, CDF Hot Shot and Sideways all come to mind.
    If this specific mod doesn't help on a fig, just let me know what fig you're trying to fix and I'll see if I can come up with something.
     
  4. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Posts:
    19,337
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +4
    Thanks. And yes, there are some figures I'd like to look into. But I don't want to spoil details (special secret custom).
     
  5. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Posts:
    4,131
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
    Well, I've got quite a few Cyb figures modded, including some of those 'special' ones I mentioned (I haven't done Shortround or CDF Hot Shot yet, but I've got a reasonable idea as to how), and several others too. If there's specific ones you want tips on and don't want to reveal to the general populace, you could always PM me.
     
  6. Primus_feather

    Primus_feather Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Posts:
    1,522
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +0
    OOh thanx I been wanting do something similar with Crosswise, most specifically change the key port for a push button license plate.
     
  7. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Posts:
    4,131
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
    Glad it's of help. I know the straight key-cutdown technique will work on:

    Prime (the electronic gun, anyway; I had to make a special button to drop the launchers)
    Standard Hot Shot/Excellion
    Lugnutz
    Ransack
    Evac
    Thundercracker/Skywarp
    Wing Sabre
    Crumplezone
    Hardtop/Swindle
    CDF Red Alert
    Vector Prime
    Snarl
    Starscream

    It nearly works on Brakedown, but you'll need to remove some of the material on the figure to allow clearance. When I modded him, I added extra plastic to raise the button so I could trigger it in vehicle mode.

    It also theoretically works on Override, but it'll obstruct the nose of the car in robot mode if you just cut down the key and use it straight off - check out my Coldfire character to see how I dealt with that.

    It won't work on:
    Soundwave
    Sideways
    Shortround
    CDF Hot Shot
    Prime's twin launchers (like I said)
    Clocker/Swerve
    Downshift


    These are the figs I have and can think of; almost all of them have been fixed one way or another - only Clocker, Shortround have been left so far.
    Presumably there are plenty of others that the basic technique will work on just as well.
     
  8. Metal Chaos

    Metal Chaos The Spark of Chaos

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Posts:
    4,393
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    171
    Likes:
    +2
    Will it work on Crosswise's mold?
     
  9. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Posts:
    4,131
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
    I have no idea personally, I'm afraid, as I don't have any version of that mould to try it on. I have my doubts, though, as the key triggers twin launchers, IIRC. In which case the key likely presses two buttons, one either side of the port (like CDF Hot Shot or Shortround).

    As I explained to Satomi in a PM, the trick is to look inside that port (carefully open it up if you have to), and find out exactly what it is the key does to trigger the gimmick. Then find a way to replicate that with a permanently integrated piece. It may involve a little styrene work or something (as it did with Sideways and Prime's launcher switch), but there's usually a fairly simple solution if you're willing to put a little work in.
     
  10. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Posts:
    4,790
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Likes:
    +0
    In the case of "twin buttons" such as Clocker, wouldn't you just be able to cut two thin strips of plastic to attach to each button, maybe even putting a permanent piece of plastic in the middle to help guide them in? I mean I could see this easily working with clocker at least and even using nothing but the key to do so.

    And iirc, the button on Crosswise is one button that works both launchers, similar to Evac. In that the button is between the launchers and when it's pushed it releases both of them. I can check that when I get home.

    I've been meaning to do this to some of my Cybertron figures too, just never get around to actually doing the work.
     
  11. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Posts:
    4,131
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
    If Crosswise's mechanism is the same as Evac's then brilliant, the cut-down key will do the job a treat.

    I'm not sure about Clocker's mech, to be honest, as all the Clockers I've had have been for bashing, and I had no use for the gun. From what I can see of the mech without opening it, I'd probably make a new pair of locking arms from styrene to replace the ones that the key pushes. Except the new ones would have extensions that protrude out from the key port, so you can simply squeeze them together to release the guns. I'll open one up in a mo to have a look, then knock up a quick sketch to show what I mean.

    I've also got a similar mechanism planned for CDF Hot Shot and Shortround, which I haven't put into effect yet, but I have sketched out. I'll post that up with the Clocker one once I've sketched it.
     
  12. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Posts:
    4,131
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
    Here's my sketch for Clocker, and it's actually a fair bit like what you sounded like you were suggesting.

    [​IMG]

    You could probably just add the extensions to the existing peg bits, but I think I'd rather fabricate new ones just for the sake of structural integrity; I can't help thinking it'd be difficult to attach much to those pegs, partly because they're so small, and partly because they're clear plastic, and therefore a bit hard for delicate modding.


    CDF Hot Shot (and IIRC, Shortround) have a slightly different twin-button layout, with two hemispherical nubs (the green bits below) that are pushed in by the bevelled edges of the key (as in the first half of the pic below). I'd consider making two C-shaped arms, hinged in the centre (shown by the blue circle). As you squeeze the exposed parts together, the other ends would push apart, and press the buttons.

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page