Minor/Repaint: RTS/United Tracks Mod

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by mx-01 archon, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    RTS/United Tracks is an awesome toy overall, but his wide-shouldered proportions bugged me. I always saw Tracks as being more lean and athletic, but the toy's broad shoulders seemed to befit the upcoming Wheeljack remold more. So, being mildly skilled with my tools, I got to work, correcting the toy's one major aesthetic flaw, in my opinion.

    First, I'll start by saying that this mod is by no means a quick "snip here and you're done" mod. It takes quite a bit of plastic snipping, and I had to splice in some new plastic parts for it to work, as well as break out the putty.

    There's a much simpler way to mod the toy, if you don't feel quite up to the task. It simply involves disabling the Automorph gimmick by removing however much of the sliding track as you see fit, and then glueing the shoulders in place in their vehicle-mode orientation. The end result will be much as pictured here:

    [​IMG]

    A much more slender silhouette, and works well for a quick fix. But IMO, it creates another problem, in that he loses all torso definition. His chest is just a big square now. Better than how he was originally, but not optimal.

    So, let's go for the more in-depth fix.

    This involves reshaping the entire Automorph structure, so that the shoulders can still slide out, the mechanism still retains rigidity (so the shoulders don't collapse loosely back into the torso), but the shoulders don't stick out so far. This pic shows the extent of the mod work done:

    [​IMG]

    Just to break it down further, this picture shows the original track alignment (in yellow), and the new track alignment (in red):

    [​IMG]

    And now again, this hopefully clarifying the work that was done.

    [​IMG]

    First, open up Tracks' torso by removing the four small screws on his lower back. The major work done will be inside his chest. The entire inside edge of the track was chopped out. Then, the green outlines indicate where I've filled the existing track with putty (I used Aves Fixit Sculpt in this case, but a cheap plumber's epoxy putty will do the trick here, since no fine detailing is required). This is to limit how far outwards the shoulders can slide. In blue is the new piece of plastic that I've glued in to replace the missing wall. This is necessary to prevent the shoulder piece from sliding back inwards in robot mode. In my case, that piece of plastic came from a busted Gundam model, trimmed to fit. But you just need a thin piece of plastic with a 90 degree bend in it, to form both the outer wall, and have a large enough surface for the glue to bond to. You can probably cut a chunk from a CD jewel case or something. Once it's glued in place securely, trim it down flush to the existing track so that it doesn't get in the way of transformation.

    Now, you'll probably also need to trim down the guide pegs on his shoulders:

    [​IMG]

    Because the new piece of plastic I installed for the track also occupies space inside the track itself, it would get in the way of this guide peg. So just trim it down to suit. I think I took off about a third of it.

    Another note I should make here is to make sure that the new portion of track you've built is just a bit wider than this peg. You want the mechanism to be able to slide smoothly. Just test fit as you go, and then you can always file down the putty surface afterwards.

    After everything's fitted to your liking, close him back up, and you're done:

    [​IMG]

    Now his Automorph only slides his shoulders out about half-way, giving him a touch of torso definition, without the massively wide shoulders of his original transformation, giving him his own unique silhouette further separating him from Wheeljack.
     

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  2. supervir2

    supervir2 Feels like the kid in Big everyday.

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    I'll have to open him up and see if I'm up to it.
     
  3. Kryptokron

    Kryptokron Bleeper of Blorps

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    Cool, I may try this! Thanks for the 'how to' as well!
     
  4. Megatron31

    Megatron31 I Belong to Nobody! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I cant decide if i like it or not. i agree with you he is wide in the shoulders though

    jury is out for me


    EDIT: opinion changed i didnt realize there was a difference between the first and last pic (wiht the shoulders out more) it looks terrific i may have to give it a try
     
  5. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    I don't have Tracks yet, but that is really clever, and seems to make quite a difference. Nice work! :thumb 
     
  6. hXcpunk23

    hXcpunk23 The Chaos Bringer

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    I'll probably give this a go on mine--already did a mod to the waist to make him a bit taller, so this might help give it an even better overall look. Nice work!
     
  7. Death333

    Death333 Otherwise known as Dx3

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    Nice mod but I'm just not a fan of the look overall here. Big chest/abdomin + skinny arms and super tight placement = not feelin it.

    Very clever though.
     
  8. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity, you looking at the first pic, or the last pic? Because I agree that the super tight arm placement doesn't look super good either, hence all the mod work in the first place.
     
  9. C16

    C16 Space Nomad

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    Doesn't really work. It's not the shoulders that's the problem, it's the chest.
     
  10. bellyboy

    bellyboy working working working

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    mate tnx for taking the time to make this tut

    i'll try this on mine
     
  11. Death333

    Death333 Otherwise known as Dx3

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    Both really, seeing as how the arms placement between the two is really only a few centimeters. My main point of contention here is what C-16 posted. Moving the arms inward doesn't make the chest look thinner. In fact I think it does quite the opposite.

    If you wanted to go one step further with this piece since you've already come up with a great fix: (mind you, this is just an idea I have in my head but based on your disected pics I believe it would work-

    -Split the roof into 3 vertical pieces of equal width (for a wider chest leave more surface area on the outward pieces)

    -The middle piece will need to be modded on the inside area to accompany a sliding mechanism (post inside a post) so that it can collapse in towards the chest.

    -The two outward roof pieces can use a joint system similar to Animated Deluxe Cybertronian Primes Shield (mouthfull lol) so that, once the middle piece is pushed in toward the bulk of the main body, the two outward pieces can slide in toward each other to meet creating a smaller chest for the robot mode.

    Another way to do all that would forgo the post>post/sliding mechanism and replace that with 2-3 link accordion joint system that would allow the outward pieces to simply be pulled forward and then pushed sideways to meet each other but this seems to be a more complicated setup than my previous thought AND I actually foresee an issue - you'd be adding more bulk in front of the head which would just look retarded from a top-down or side view of the figure.

    Or you could just tell me - Nah, I'm happy with what I have. I appreciate the ideas but kindly bugger off :D 
     

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