Customs: TFP Arcee, 1:4 scale

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by wd62mdOT, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    I will be blunt: I'm not here to make friends or participate in the community. My goal is to find quality information and perhaps make a few knowledgeable contacts, in hopes of someday being able to build a 1:4 scale, poseable, transformable TFP Arcee.

    To that end, the most important question to answer is: Has it been done already?

    Assuming not, then I believe the first step is to determine whether TFP Arcee's various parts in robot form (as depicted in the show and games) even match those that compose her motorcycle form. If I had the means to dissect game models, perhaps I would already have the answer; but I do not, and so I must rely on those members here who have knowledge of such things.

    If it turns out that the robot and motorcycle forms do match, then the question becomes whether there is any realistic way of getting the parts from one configuration to the other without any of them having to be detached in the process.

    Should that prove possible as well, I would then negotiate for assistance in getting the job done. Beyond whatever participants I might find here, I know a 3D designer and also where to get 3D printing done -- but none of that will matter if the robot and motorcycle forms prove incompatible.

    If anyone here would be kind enough to point me toward some users who might be able to help, it would be appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Agamus

    Agamus Not an Iguana

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  3. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing anything relevant there. I browsed the descriptions and eventually ended up at the Digital Models section (the contents link didn't work), but nothing jumped out at me about how to rip/extract a model from a game -- a task which seems to be an unavoidable first step for comparing the robot and vehicle geometries.
     
  4. Ranger Silver 6

    Ranger Silver 6 Bang Bang

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    I'd suggest checking the Facepunch forums, they have a fairly active TF thread, and it's dedicated to ripping TF models from games.
     
  5. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    Thanks. I tried to sign up there just now, to ask my question as you suggested, but it seems their Captcha isn't working (probably Google demanding unfettered access to the browser). So, it looks like that's out.

    Just to be clear, though, I don't necessarily need the game models per se. The question of "Do the parts match?" could be answered here, publicly or privately, by anyone who has experience working with them.
     
  6. RobotKnight95

    RobotKnight95 Unamused and Insane

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    I know someone ripped the DS/Wii game model for gmod playermodel. Besides that I havent seen anything. If you want I could find you Arcee's design reference for model/sculpting
     
  7. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    Looking up the terms you used, I now understand the connection with the previously-mentioned Facepunch. According to a Wikipedia article, "Garry's Mod (commonly abbreviated as GMod) is a sandbox physics game created by Garry Newman[1] and developed by his company, Facepunch Studios.[2] Garry's Mod was originally a mod for Valve Corporation's Half-Life 2, but was later made into a standalone release in 2006 for Microsoft Windows, published by Valve Corporation. Later updates saw an OS X port, added in 2010, and a version for Linux in 2013."

    That certainly gives me some more leads to follow up on, now. And yes, if you would be kind enough to locate for me the design reference you mentioned, that would be great.

    Also, being that I'm not a TF collector, my understanding of the toys is limited. I gather, though, that the various incarnations of the TFP Arcee toy match the show's design only vaguely, and therefore cannot be relied upon for figuring out how the show's model transforms. Is that right?
     
  8. JoeScibelli

    JoeScibelli That one Piranacon fanboy

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    I'd seriously recommend looking at some larger Transformers toys anyways, just to get a better idea of jointing and ways to make some connections solid. Even if the specific engineering of the toys is not extremely helpful, you'll need to know how to keep the massive components from shattering under their own weight. A good reference would be some of ThreeA's work, even though that's still smaller and less complicated than what you have in mind (which says a lot, given they're $400 18 inch and fully posable figures).
     
  9. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Wow. There's blunt and then there's just rude. Don't want friends or to participate in the community but you're happy to have us participate in the community by helping you out, huh? Oh well, let's see what we can do for you anyway.

    First, if you can find one, I'd suggest picking up a copy of the tfp Arcee toy to use as reference. If possible, get the first edition version (that's just what they call it: the first edition line was based on an earlier mold but was actually released to mainstream after the other edition) but Arcee's transformation is fairly similar in either release - there's only so many ways to go for her model. You're correct that it doesn't match the cartoon perfectly but it does get pretty close aside from the fact that it leaves the front end of the motorcycle basically hanging off her back and the rear end behind the seat also just kinda hangs off her back. The split rear wheel leg transformation is just perfect, though, and you should probably try to emulate it pretty closely. In fact, the tfp figures are some of the best engineered transforming toys ever made, imo and you could take a ton of inspiration from them.

    Working at 1:4 scale, that's what? 1'9" or so length wise in motorcycle mode? That means she's probably gonna end up standing somewhere around 3' tall give or take. When I was planning an Arcee design (g1 car Arcee, not tfp motorcycle), I drew in Photoshop a quick sketch of her in car mode and another in robot mode and then cut and pasted the various parts to where I thought they'd fit in the other mode. My plan was to eventually move to 3d modeling using my Photoshop work as a general guide. That's where I'd recommend you start. After you've got a rough plan and you've got places for all the parts, you can start trying to figure out what kinds of joints you'll need to move them from one mode to the other. Sadly I never made it that far before abandoning the project and starting on a simpler custom Arcee.

    As for your question of whether her tv show transformation is accurate, I highly doubt it. I expect that they figured it out close enough to look believable and then fudged the details wherever they needed to. That presents an extra challenge and I would've said it was an insurmountable one until we saw what Unique Toys was able to do with their Peru Kill figure (aoe Lockdown). That was a character where it was obvious the movie character designers didn't care if it was even close to transformable and yet the toy designer found a way. If they can pull that off, I believe you can pull off some miracles of your own on tfp Arcee.
     
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  10. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    I disagree with your classification of my introductory statement as "rude". It would have been rude if I had referred to Trans-fandom as, say, a schizophrenic circlejerk, but I merely said that I wasn't interested in making friends or participating in the community -- i.e., I wished not to waste time on pleasantries and get straight to business.

    Moreover, if any reader here cannot anticipate how it would behoove them to share a few pieces of information that could very well prompt the creation of something that the community would immensely enjoy, then I believe they are being short-sighted (and they're certainly free to refrain from participating).

    Now that I've had to divert time to clarifying all that, back to the subject of the thread...

    As for the information that you and the previous poster provided about toys and joints and such, I will certainly take it under advisement. I'm sure it will come in handy if/when I reach the point of designing the innards, but before any of that I must learn for certain whether the various panels and doodads indeed match in both robot and motorcycle forms.

    Again, I don't want to jump ahead to the "how" until I've answered the question of "can". Should it turn out that a picture-perfect transformation is impossible, I might turn to altering the design, but I doubt I'd feel comfortable doing that.

    By the way, I'm happy to give credit where it is due. It's not like I plan to take what I find here and then pass it off as my own. (I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear from the beginning, if that's the source of consternation.)
     
  11. JoeScibelli

    JoeScibelli That one Piranacon fanboy

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    Eh, it doesn't rub anyone the right way when someone joins and the first thing they do is announce that they're only in it for help with their personal project.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  12. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    What's the alternative? I certainly wouldn't wish to butter people up, then drop them like a hot potato once I've gotten what I'm after. Besides, as I indicated already, the mutual back-scratching would pay off for the community.
     
  13. JoeScibelli

    JoeScibelli That one Piranacon fanboy

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    This mostly seems like it's just so you can make a model of Arcee for yourself.
     
  14. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    OK, I can see that. But are you suggesting that I should invest hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars into making the design a reality, and then give it to everyone *but* myself?
     
  15. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    On second thought, let's look at it more closely -- from an economic perspective: You're spending five bucks to rent the game, then investing maybe a few hours of your time installing software and ripping the models. I, on the other hand, will have to spend hours dissecting said models to see if the parts match up, pay a 3D modeler to spend even more hours upgrading the simplified game shapes for aesthetics and functionality, and who knows how much time engineering a workable physical design. And somehow you think that the community is getting the short end of the stick on this one?
     
  16. JoeScibelli

    JoeScibelli That one Piranacon fanboy

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    No...

    Literally all I'm saying is that I don't think it's entirely honest that this is for the benefit of the community, it's a personal project and you intend for it to be made because you want this to exist. Nothing wrong with that, I just don't think the community should really be told it's benefiting by helping you. In the end, how many people can honestly afford this, and how many people is that in proportion to the community as a whole?
     
  17. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    I don't see anybody else lining up to do what I propose. You, personally, don't have to take me up on the offer, but don't go insinuating that there's something dirty or sneaky about asking folks to help get the ball rolling non-financially. Nobody's arm is being twisted, either, so please dispense with the class baiting about "how many people can honestly afford this". Some people are poor, and will never have a quarter-scale TFP Arcee. That's life. Overall, though, fans of the character will still gain some benefit from the pictures and video I would post of the CGI model and physical product. And should I decide to post the finished design openly for public consumption, then everybody will get a chance to enjoy it however they choose. There's really no downside. If you like, think of the project as a non-financial sort of Kickstarter campaign.
     
  18. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    Or better yet, put a price tag on your help. Anybody with the needed models can contact me privately, and arrange for payment in cryptocurrency. But then the chain of attribution/credit ends there.
     
  19. Sammytehkat

    Sammytehkat New Member

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    This, kids, is how you make a bad first impression.

    You wish to ask the community about something, without wishing to participate in the community.

    Yeah, you said that- albeit in the most rude way possible.

    Considering her in-show transformation was a bunch of metal strips sliding around, and makes a bayformer transformation look comprehensible, I'm gonna say no.
    No. It'll be like trying to engineer a perfect change Getter Robot without cheating or any kibble. That much mass shifting and pure bullshit that happens during both makes it rather impossible to do a perfect matchup.

    I have a general question, sir-

    What knowledge of engineering do you happen to have? What would make you qualified to try and pull off something this insane?

    Ooh, some grandiloquent delusions of grandeur I'm picking up from this!

    OK, let's be real: this is some far off dream you've got going that probably isn't going to be remotely practical, and by us not helping you/ seeing that this is not gonna work out well, we're the ones being "shortsighted."

    Totally checks out.

    Well, lemmie say this: a perfect transformation is impossible- you're going to have to fudge the transformation quite a bit, in order to make the figure stable.

    No- what Joe is saying is that this is something that only *you* seem to be after. People might be down for this, but only after they've seen results. Until then, you just come off as a delusional fool.

    1. It's a really niche market that barely anyone could afford
    2. Nobody has been crazy enough to try such an overly complex design in such a large scale, probably due to common sense.

    Yes, because we would be so willing to do business with a man who, as far as I can tell, hasn't posted anywhere else, and has no reputation here. Yes, I would love to do some bitcoin transaction with some rando on the web. Mhm, doesn't sound fishy at *all*.

    In all seriousness though, do the research yourself, and maybe come around when you got something remotely worked out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  20. wd62mdOT

    wd62mdOT Member

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    Sammytehkat,

    My argument stands on its own merit, and your derailing tactics will not change that. Being "offended" is not an argument, nor is using logical fallacy, nor is name-calling. You've shot yourself in the foot by throwing a temper tantrum.

    So, now that I'm finished dealing with that part of the discussion, I invite anyone interested in the actual topic of the thread to post.
     

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