Customs: Animated Swoop - Flaming Flail Tutorial

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Matt Booker, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Matt Booker

    Matt Booker Fantasy Adventure Author

    Sep 3, 2008
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    Close to 11 years ago, I made a tutorial on how to improve Transformers Animated Swoop's flail, to reveal the pop out flame's that it should have had to begin with. It was inspired by the tutorial made by @Peaugh , though a bit more extensive.

    A person asked me about it on twitter, and I realized I hadn't uploaded a version to Radicons.

    Here's what the completed mod looks like, with the flames extended.

    I hope you enjoyed that, because it's potato quality pics from here on out! :D 

    Since I'm reconstructing this from some older pics, it's just going to be how to do the mod, rather than my usual comic style (as seen on my Studio Series Sideswipe Wheel Feet Mod).

    Here we go!

    Step 1: Carving The Flames

    For this step, you need to take apart the striker and carve the excess plastic from the flames.

    The striker is held together by screws, and should split into two halves that are gray, with a translucent orange piece for the flames.

    The goal is to carve this into this.

    And then this into this.

    Now that you've seen the end goal, here's the rest of the owl.

    The diagrams below show where to cut by using red lines, with the red overlay to show what parts are being removed.

    See those blue blocks? SAVE THOSE! They're going to be glued in for stability when the striker is reassembled.


    How you carve them is up to you. You could use an x-acto blade, a fine saw, flush cutters, or a dremel. Just be careful in how you do it.

    The result should be one flame piece and two orange blocks.


    Step 2: Carve The Striker

    Now we need to carve up the striker of Swoop's soon to be flaming flail.

    By now you should know the drill. Here's a before, diagram, and after!


    Why do this? The best way to get around the screw post problem is to get rid of them.

    If you put the flame piece in on either half, you should be able to slide it up and down pretty freely.

    Pay special attention to the two ridges near the tip of each half! Don't carve down all the way-- just enough for the flames to be able to slide out while keeping the two halves flush. This is important for stability. Put the two halves together with the flame in the middle if you need to test it, but the striker is going to be a bit wobbly at the moment.

    Step 3: Glue, Orange Blocks, And You

    Now comes the easy part-- reassembling the flail!

    Remember those orange (blue colored in the diagrams) blocks I told you to carefully cut and save? Get those out and grab some glue. Those two pieces are going to add stability to the striker, which comes in handy since we got rid of the screw posts.

    What we need to do is glue both pieces in one of the striker halves, but we also need to make sure that there's room enough for the handle to slide past them. We do this by setting each piece on the striker, then doing a meticulous guesstimate of how much to cut off. Too much is better than too little, but too much will make your striker look worse around the handle.

    That's right, I had you carefully cut around each orange block, and now I'm going to have you cut into the blocks anyway.

    But hey, you'll get a neater looking flail with neater trimmed orange blocks.

    Use these pictures as a guide while you cut.


    The next two pictures have each of the halves combined, but without the flames in the middle. Notice that there will be three main points of stability for the striker, with one at the tip and the other two near the handle. Additional stability will be provided by the flames as they sit securely in the middle.


    The two orange pieces also keep the flames from sliding out the bottom of the striker.

    Here is an exposed view of the striker with the flames inside.

    And here is an exposed view of the striker with the flames extended.

    Hopefully by now you have a good idea of how the striker works, but just in case, here are the two flame positions that result from this fully assembled mod.


    The flames pop out by pushing the handle up into the ball. As you can see, the flames can fully extend, and the inner curve of the flame lines up with the curve of the top of the striker, so the result looks like it was made to do this.

    Plus, there's a satisfying 'click' when the flames pop in and out, thanks to the friction as they slide around the spike at the top.

    I'd recommend cutting and adjusting each block, gluing one on, testing it again with the flames, then gluing the other one on. After that, put the flame piece inside, put glue on the two blocks and on the spike at the top, put the halves together, press for a bit, and then let the glue set.

    If you are using super glue, be aware of the potential for fogging. Superglue gives off vapors as it sets, and that can spread across the plastic and cause a white discoloration. This can be avoided by making sure you're not in a humid room and that the parts are well ventilated, but because the glue is in an enclosed part with the flail, you might want to look into using something more appropriate. You can ask the other Radicons about that and I'm sure there will be plenty to offer you advice.

    Well, that's the mod. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

    Enjoy Swoop's fully flaming flail!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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