Inspired by blog posts about G1 and MP figures by @Maz, I finally got around to creating something I’ve been meaning to make for ages: a toy-accurate MP Smokescreen. Usually, I’m happy with MPs taking their primary design cues from the cartoon, but Smokescreen is an exception for me. As a kid, the G1 toy was one of my favourite figures. I mean, just look at it - it’s a thing of beauty: (A bit of a faded beauty now, admittedly, but a beauty nonetheless.) I still love the deep-red, white and blue colour scheme, which looked especially great in his box art, with the red background of the box and the red and blue Transformers logo. His artwork is, I think, among the best of all the G1 figures: So I was really looking forward to this Prowl/Bluestreak variant turning up in the Sunbow cartoon. And then he did. And he looked like he’d been repeatedly hit in the face with a shovel: (And that’s one of the more flattering pictures.) Poor Smokescreen. (I still don’t understand what happened here. Why not just base the look on that great box art? That rat-like pointy face just oozed character.) So, as a kid, I just blocked out the image of him from the cartoon and enjoyed the look of the toy instead. Skip forward 30 years (30 years in which I managed to erase this travesty from my mind), to the silhouette reveal of MP Prowl and the news that Smokescreen was to get an MP figure. I was “excite” as the kids say. Or at least I was until some dream-shatterer posted pictures from the cartoon and reminded me of the horror that was Shovel McShovelface. I held out hope that Takara wouldn’t bother remoulding the head and would use Bluestreak’s (this was the early days of the rebooted MP line when this was entirely possible), but to no avail: Somehow, to me, at least, poor Smokescreen looked even *worse* in toy form than in the cartoon - probably because of those gormless fish lips. It was especially disappointing after the head sculpts of Prowl and Bluestreak, which are still among the best in the line. I know many people love Smokescreen’s MP face, and I tried, I really did: I really wanted to love MP Smokescreen as much as I loved the G1 toy. But I couldn’t; I was more superficial than I realised, and I couldn’t see beyond that flatfish face. So he sat on the shelf and I cast him the occasional forlorn and nostalgic glance from time to time. *Anyway*. The point of this preamble is simply that, although I generally love MP figures and the direction of the line, in Smokescreen’s case I wanted something more like the original toy: so I decided to decapitate Smokey and give him a head transplant. As much as I love the MP Prowl and Bluestreak head sculpts, I didn’t just want to purloin one of their heads and use it for Smokescreen, because they each have their own character and I wanted Smokescreen’s head to have *its* own character too. Also, Prowl’s helmet is toy-accurate, but not his face, whereas Bluestreak’s face is very much like the toy’s but his helmet has several differences. So, the perfect solution for getting a toy-accurate head sculpt *and* making it a little different from either of the others was to use Bluestreak’s face but Prowl’s helmet. Using a KO Silverstreak gave it a little more difference, too, because the KO has a bit of a shorter, pointier nose than the original. To remove the head and take it apart, I had to remove the large pin that goes all the way through the hood (using the old hammer, nail and wooden block trick). I did the same with the pin in the side of the head, as that’s the only way to remove it from the neck to fully disassemble the head. The Bluestreak face doesn’t quite fit the Prowl helmet perfectly (at least the KO one doesn’t, anyway). It’s very close - you can slot it in and it looks okay, but then you can’t fit the back of the head on. So it took a little sanding down, mainly around the tabs at the side of the face and around the back of the eyes, to get the face to fit flush. (The fit is so close, requiring only very minimal filing, that I wonder why Takara didn’t just design the faces to be interchangeable in the first place. If they’d done so, they could have used this combination in their toy-accurate Bluestreak.) I painted the head using Tamiya Sky Blue, which is a very close match to the blue parts on MP Smokescreen, using Tamiya Gold Leaf for the crest. I first removed the existing paint, sanded it lightly, and added a little Tamiya primer. I really ought to learn how to airbrush, though, because I hand-painted this, which never comes out as well as other people’s sprayed customs (I’m not really a customiser). To better match the toy, I also painted the sides of his waist using Tamiya Chrome Silver. (Those parts are white on the toy, but I used silver to match the silver thighs - the toy has white thighs. I wish Takara had used white for the thighs on the MP, too, but hey.) I also painted the triangle on his crotch red to match his G1 artwork. I then added some of the stickers from the Reprolabels MP Smokescreen set, along with one of their clear Autobot logos on his shin. I knocked out the pins from his rocket launcher holders and gave him Prowl’s white launchers instead, to match the white launchers used by the G1 toy. I also equipped him with Silverstreak’s gun and the Amazon rocket launchers (already painted white by @nellie131 as part of a great Bluestreak custom he did for me a while back). I’m really happy with the way he turned out. I’ve got no complaints about Takara’s choices for the original MP Smokescreen, as the line is supposed to be cartoon-accurate and I would have been annoyed if other figures weren’t predominantly based on the ‘toon. It’s just that the ‘toon (and therefore MP) design of Smokescreen did nothing for me personally. But with these changes, I can - and do! - finally love MP Smokescreen. Here’s a comparison of the Prowl+Bluestreak head with that of the original toy: And some more pictures: I love how he looks with the other Datsuns: Thanks for looking!