Customs: Movie Leader Brawl - Foot Fix

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Matt Booker, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Matt Booker

    Matt Booker Fantasy Adventure Author

    Sep 3, 2008
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    Lots of collectors really enjoy the bigger transformers, ones with heft enough to bulk out a hand's grip and satisfy some nostalgic echo of a young hand grasping huge deluxes. (Look at how many people are surprised to find G1 Optimus isn't quite so... optimal in person.)

    I'm not one of those fans. Larger robots have to be pretty cool, or made up of five magical robot space lions or something.

    I collect mostly deluxe scale figures, so Brawl's size makes him pretty close to scale, he’s bristling with guns and pointy bits (He’s got sharp combs of doom on his boobs! His shins have swords!), and even though he stands like a fat guy (knees in, ankles out) he’s very nicely articulated.

    His kibble is a bit restrictive, but honestly I can see that as a guy who loaded himself down with too much weapons and armor. He’s also got electronics that fire if you so much as look at them, but I just pretend it’s Brawl being angry because you looked at him.

    However, one thing really bugged me about Brawl. He stands pretty securely, but he does so on the sides of his feet. The way his legs are designed, his feet don’t sit flat on the ground.


    Thankfully, they are fixable and you don't even have to remove the feet to do it.

    Step 1 - Examine Feet

    First, lets examine why the feet have a problem. Not just why they won’t sit flat, but what keeps them from swiveling into a useful position.

    Switching the feet won’t fix it, as each half of the foot is pretty much symmetrical. The pivot point of the internal ankle is just that, a pivot point.

    The problem actually is that the design of the lower leg causes the inner top of the foot to be restricted. Cutting the leg isn’t practical, so we’re left with cutting the feet.


    Look closely and you can see how not only does the joint need a bit more cut away from the middle rounded part, but the two cylinders on the sides of it also cause a problem.

    The feet form a pair of canisters at the back of the tank in alt mode, and this mod cuts the feet so this probably causes a minimum of visible change to the back end of the alt mode. But really, you shouldn't be concerned that somehow the awesome of your badass tank is going to be distracted by a couple of missing chunks of plastic on a pair of plain canisters on the far back of all that kickass.

    But really, this step does alter a part of the alt mode, even if it’s very slight. I try to be careful of that, but it’s hardly a bad thing here and very much worth the bot mode improvement.

    (Now that I think about it, I’m not sure if the cut part is visible in tank mode. Next time I transform him I’ll take a look and probably take a picture.)

    Step 2 - Fix Feet

    Two of Brawl’s toes are held onto his foot with a pin joint, and that would need to come off before each foot can be taken apart.

    It’s good then, that you can leave the foot on for this mod!

    So grab a pair of flush cutters for the initial chunks and a sharp blade to smooth out the rest, because all that stands between you and a Brawl that actually stands is just some easy to cut plastic.

    All you have to do is cut a bit of an angle on these sections of the foot.


    The canister on the right is a sold piece, but the one on the left is actually a hollow bit where a screw goes in. Don’t worry, this does not effect the screw at all, as the part that you’re cutting is before it even gets to the screw.

    Here’s another angle of the cuts to the side canisters. I figure the middle piece should be pretty obvious, so no extra diagrams for that.


    To minimize the cut plastic, I did it at kind of an angle.

    And that circled area is a small part that I cut an angled piece out of just to help give a bit more clearance, but you may not even need to cut it.

    Use flush cutters to get the bigger chunks out of the way and then take a very sharp blade to trim up the rest.

    The red areas in the pictures are where you need to cut.





    And here’s a shot of it from the back, really showing off the curve that now gives the foot more clearance to tilt inward (or, for this picture, to the right.)

    Do that to both the feet and you should have a Brawl that stands properly and is much more stable because of it.


    If you enjoyed the mod guide, let me know.

    ~Matt Booker

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