|12-18-2012, 10:43 PM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Collection Count: Many in pieces
News Credits: 4
The Direct Response Espionage & Assault Department (Shapeways)
Update January 27, 2014
Here is something a little different... It's a project I've been wanting to do a long time now ever since I watched DOTM and loved the idea of the Dreads. Unfortunately the deluxe figure was kinda disappointing, and my attempts to fix it through Shapeways add ons was disappointing as well.
This time round I am going to approach the Dreads again but 'updated' to the TF: Prime aesthetic. The advantage is that the accessories can be made universal and adaptable between different figures, even though I'm concentrating on upgrading one. There are going to be a lot of different parts in these sets and they will be tied under a common theme and backstory so you can pick and choose to customize your own D.R.E.A.D member. For now I've just started on a few components, but there's going to be a lot more in the coming weeks!
On a personal note, the designs here will be fully original even though the aesthetic is inspired from the series. I know many of my previous models are sticklers for show accuracy so this time I want to design something for my own. I hope you guys will like it!
For the gallery of my own D.R.E.A.D. team, click here: http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/radicons-customs/788152-direct-response-espionage-assault-department-d-r-e-d.html
"The Direct Response Espionage & Assault Department (D.R.E.A.D) is a sinister branch of Megatron's Vehicon
forces. Consisting of the most skilled and ruthless of his soldiers, each D.R.E.A.D member is an expert in
infiltrating enemy bases and conducting assassination missions on high profile targets.
In an odd twist from the standard Vehicon trooper, D.R.E.A.D troops have much forceful personalities and eschew
faceless masks for individual, unique helmets. They also don't mind the use of melee weapons and slagging it out
at close range, but they won't pass on heavy artillery if given the chance."
"The Spiker blaster is made to be more powerful than the standard Vehicon blaster,
at the cost of being more wily and unstable. It fires nano-doped rounds at a high rate of fire,
and these devious bullets embed themselves in the targets and consume them from inside out,
corrupting circuits and frying synapses. Repairing such wounds is a long, arduous process.
Amputation is a more expedient solution."
This blaster was to emulate the 'spiky guns' that the Decepticon soldiers were using in
Dark of the Moon, but adapted to the aesthetics of the animated series. Hence, the
main chassis was designed with 3 sides and the spikes and talons develop out of the corners.
Other elements such as the multiple barrels were added to harken back to the original inspiration.
The Spiker Blaster on Shapeways
"The D.R.E.A.D Sickles are uncouth, savage pieces of hyper alloy with a vibranium
super-charger mounted on them to allow them to cut through the toughest of materials.
The high energy coursing through these blades often lead to burnouts, but it rarely stops
the D.R.E.A.D agent from mindlessly hacking away at his prey with a non-functional,
smoldering piece of punishment."
The Sickles store conveniently in the D.R.E.A.D's model 553 backpack.
These blades were meant to recall the 'pincers' on DOTM Crankcase, and were shaped accordingly
with the large, forward leaning curve so they look good both in hand and mounted on the back.
Inspiration was taken from machetes and similar thick bladed weapons, and the spiky tips are
a nod to the swords used by the Uruk-hai from the Fellowship of the Ring.
The Sickle blades on Shapeways.
"The D.R.E.A.D Slicers are interesting weapons indeed. These tri-bladed instruments
exhibit both the capability to deflect blows, disarm opponents and inflict heavy stab
wounds on their own, sometimes all in a swift flick of a servo. Many D.R.E.A.D members
loved to use these Slicers for assassination purposes since even the most unassuming
targets can still defend themselves with a well-hidden energo-dagger."
These Slicers are meant to give "Chet" a more beastly, animal-like appearance in the
simplest solution possible, as I didn't want any modding to be done on the Vehicon
figures for this project. The perk of this is that the Slicer design became very open
and adaptable; usable on lots of other figures. There are multiple ways to wield Slicers
as each comes with one static and one adjustable handle. Vehicons can hold it normally
like a katar or have it integrate neatly into their forearm structure.
The posability and expressiveness of the claws was a happy surprise. I mean, I knew it
was going to be posable, but wow, there's so much you can do with those claws!
The Slicer katars on Shapeways.
"Even though the Decepticons often outnumber their enemies due to their near inexhaustible
supply of soldiers, the D.R.E.A.D team often find themselves on the other side of the coin,
having to fight off large groups of autobots with little backup. This is why they always bring
along a fire support member armed with a pair of Suppressor miniguns. Not only can
these Suppressors channel unbelievable amounts of ordnance, they can do so independently
due to appropriated Targetmaster technology, effectively simulating three soldiers in place of one.
Each Suppressor is mounted atop a SWIFT swivel arm that allows it to pivot 360º laterally
and 90º in elevation. They can mount on the D.R.E.A.D's model 553 backpack for
maximum killzone exposure."
I added the Suppressors to this project as I felt "Chet" still needed more visual mass on him
to play along with its 'beastly' personality. Besides, this harkens back to the highway chase scene
in DOTM except in this case, "Chet" is the one with the heavy firepower and 'stealth mode'.
The 360º was a nice solution that I implemented as the Suppressors can be mounted anywhere
and yet be effectively positioned and aimed.
The Suppressor miniguns on Shapeways.
"Apart from Soundwave himself, the D.R.E.A.Ds are the best hackers and infiltrators among Megatron's
troops. These Dreadacles they use are one of the ways they connect themselves to security systems to
deliver their synergized, brute force attacks. Not many systems are able to withstand their corrupting
touch. In the event of a tussle, these whip-like, vicious appendages can be used as effective weapons
in a pinch."
The Dreadacles, or tentacles are the driving force of inspiration for this project, I believe. These are
what made the Dreads 'Dreads'. I have been trying forever to create balljointed tentacles like these
and it is now that I've succeeded in getting the proportion and thicknesses right so that the tentacles
can hold their shape and not collapse under their own weight, at least not immediately. It was a happy
coincidence that they are nicely proportioned to fit with 3mm pegs; creating matching backpacks and
accessories (the cyber-kunai) was just icing.
Arming of all 6 Dreadacles requires the use of the 6X3 Backpack. However, any other 3mm port
can also be used.
The 6 Dreadacle set on Shapeways.
The 2 Dreadacle set on Shapeways.
"Being the versatile operatives they are, the D.R.E.A.D team augment themselves with various
modifications to allow them to switch between their huge arsenal of weapons instantaneously. No
autobot can truly anticipate the feistiness of a D.R.E.A.D agent."
It was a happy day when I discovered that the Vehicon backpiece is easily removable. Oh joy!
This is because having a replaceable backpiece is what makes the D.R.E.A.D project come together;
the Dreadacles, Sickles, Suppressors will not work without it. It was great that I was able to fashion
those ports into rocket thrusters too, in order to give them the 'batmobile' treatment. This tied in with
their 'pursuit, intercept, destroy' backstory as well.
For your benefit, the Backpacks shown in the photos above are printed in different materials. The 553
is in White Strong Flexible, and the 6X3 is in FUD. The difference in quality is apparent even under all
The 6X3 Backpack on Shapeways.
The 553 Backpack on Shapeways.
Flickr is here.
|12-18-2012, 11:03 PM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2012
Collection Count: Not enough, and never will be enough.
Always impressed with your work. Love your cannon you made for Soundwave!
|12-18-2012, 11:09 PM||#3|
Girl Be Selling Sunshine
Join Date: Oct 2010
I like where this is going....
|12-19-2012, 07:19 AM||#4|
Cyber Ninja Web Developer
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Highland Lakes, NJ
Collection Count: too big for my wife's tastes...
News Credits: 2
awesome mate, I look forward to more
|12-19-2012, 01:19 PM||#5|
black repaint fetishist
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Deep South, USA
Collection Count: NEVER ENOUGH
Oh no. I've held out on army-building vehicons for this long, please don't make me want to start doing it now. Dx
|01-05-2013, 02:23 PM||#6|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Collection Count: Many in pieces
News Credits: 4
I'm so sorry to have not been updating this thread for weeks but as you can see I've been working on it behind the scenes...Here's something to show for it!
D.R.E.A.D agents Casúr and Corvus are the first 2 characters I've completed. There will be a ah...third one, coming soon!
The D.R.E.A.D Spiker is the TF: Prime universe version of the Scolex Spiker. They are similar in characteristics, but the Dread version is made to resemble an evolution from the Vehicon blaster as well.
More to come guys! Hope you like what I'm doing!
|01-05-2013, 02:26 PM||#7|
Girl Be Selling Sunshine
Join Date: Oct 2010
I like that smirk. Please continue...
|01-05-2013, 03:32 PM||#8|
Squadron X Consultant
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Onboard the Pale Fire
Collection Count: Most Classics (CHUG) Figures That Have Retail Releases
|01-05-2013, 03:57 PM||#9|
Entitlement? Piss off.
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Collection Count: "Wheels on HEELS!"
News Credits: 1
This is awesome! I'm very interested in where you're taking this Ariel.
|01-05-2013, 05:41 PM||#10|
Regular at Maccadam's
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: The Emerald Isles
Collection Count: Hella
News Credits: 17
Looks good so far.
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