Heavy/Scratch: Custom Kre-O Battle Changer Showcases

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Laserhead4, Aug 11, 2018.

?

Which figure do you want to kick off Wave 5?

Poll closed Apr 2, 2020.
  1. Wreck-Gar

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  2. Lugnut

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    76.9%
  3. Dinobot

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  4. Gnashteeth

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  1. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    This is a series of reviews/showcases of custom Kre-O battle changers that I have made, based on existing Transformers characters. To start off, this is the custom Kre-O Battle Changers Jazz!
    DSC_0005.JPG
    (comes with alternate head and gun)
    This was a really fun project to work on! As you might have already figured out, it first involved a heavy retool and redeco of Hound (redeco for Kreo means replacing colored parts with different colored parts), along with about 3 months of designing and planning for everything to come into place. (NOTE: IN ORDER FOR THE AESTHETIC TO WORK, LEGO BRICKS WERE INCORPORATED.)
    DSC_0009.JPG If you look at the torso, this is the method that I concocted in giving Jazz his iconic car-hood chest, and that hasn't been done much. Of all the battle changers, Hound is the only one where the front of his vehicle mode is supposed to become his chest. Hasbro went cheap on him and just had fake kibble hiding a painted torso. So when I found out that Hound’s kibble and transforming parts could be suitable for a Battle Changer Jazz, I tried to find ways for the one thing that had been done a mere three times. I wanted the hood of the alt-mode, specifically the front of the car that becomes Jazz’s chest plate, to actually remain unaltered in the transformation. As the picture indicates, I figured it out. I applied a 1x1 clip-on axel piece on both sides, with a stud attached upside up. Then I took a white 1x4 plank and, after adjusting the wheels to have the clips in symmetrical position, attached in onto the studs. In vehicle mode, to transform, you would have to detach one of the studs from the plank, leaving it still connected to the other one. Then fold the wheels as you would in Hound's transformation, where the plank will successfully meet and reattach with the stud and clip-on piece.
    DSC_0010.JPG
    The hood can be adjusted in multiple ways, and here I've moved it out of the way to display another cool thing about this figure. I made a custom decal for a white 2015 Ramjet torso that would reveal more detail to the figure, as well as incorporate some recognizable elements from Jazz's G1 design. It really helps complete the look with the hood on.

    There are some issues of the figure that I should address. The legs are stupid thick. Because of a lack of parts, and also a need for Jazz to have the wheels on his legs instead of his arms, I used 3 layers of brick tiles to keep the wheels on the legs. I know that's the same issue with Hound, but it makes sense because he's a military jeep, but this guy's basically a sports car, so his legs should be sleek, not thick. Also, the car-hood does get in the way of arm articulation, but that can be fixed with simple positioning.
    DSC_0029.JPG
    See? All is cool! I mean, Frenzy thinks it's cool, right?
    Lastly, the slope pieces of the legs are partsformed to go the full 180 degrees in vehicle mode. It really sucks, and while there was a way to fix it, it involved damaging the pieces in ways I didn't want to risk.

    Anyway, here are some size comparisons:
    Battle Changer Bumblebee
    DSC_0014.JPG
    Battle Changer Blitzwing
    DSC_0025.JPG
    Battle Changer Ironhide
    DSC_0016.JPG
    and the tallest of them all: Battle Changer Megatron
    DSC_0019.JPG
    To sum that up, Jazz is tied for the smallest Battle Changer with Bumblebee. He, thankfully, is not made to be ripped in two by good ol' Buckethead. Yay.

    Now let's take a look at the alt-mode!
    DSC_0020.JPG
    While it's not perfect, I feel that it's able to capture the image of Jazz's G1 alt-mode pretty well. There were some changes added for the sake of translation to the robot mode, but those changes seem to come off pretty well! I especially like how the hood extension (the area where the 4 is) curves in a way that syncs up well with the chestpiece. The biggest nitpick is the giant gap under the hood, where Jazz's head rests. That's something that I tried filling up, but it got in the way of the transformation. However, if I was to make a figure of Sideswipe using this model, it would work much better for that character than this one.

    Many have complained about the arms of the battle changers, saying that they keep sticking out with no purpose and they end up ruining the illusion; I listened, and I integrated the arms in a way that works in both form and function for this mode:
    DSC_0022.JPG
    Well...I tried.
    The hands may be visible, but the rest of the arm sits flush here. Better yet, it acts as the locking mechanism that keeps everything in one piece. This is done by pushing down on the hand hard enough to have the hand plug in through basic brick connection. To get them out of there, you'd have to push on the ball joint between shoulder and arm.

    Also, I think you oughta know where I got those decals. They're all custom made by me, taken from screenshots of Class of 1984 Jazz, which I didn't have. It required tons of extra detailing for it to be the correct size for their respective plates, and boy did all work out.

    Anyway, that's it for now! More of these guys are on their way, and I hope you like it just as much as I enjoyed making them! Here's a list of what you could expect next:
    • Prowl
    • Blitzwing
    • Reflector
    • Onslaught
    • Brawl
    • Wheeljack
    • Swindle
    • Skywarp
    • Thundercracker
    • Powerglide
    • Sideswipe (maybe)
    • Blackout
    • Omega Supreme (Already completed, but that'll come later)
    • Ultra Magnus (maybe)
    • Jetfire (maybe)
    To end, here's Jazz posed to dance:
    DSC_0013.JPG
    DSC_0031.JPG
    Jazz hands!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  2. Kamen Ranger Bat

    Kamen Ranger Bat SELLING EVERYTHING!!

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    That's amazing. Jazz hands indeed.
     
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  3. Impressionsbot

    Impressionsbot visibly frustrated

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    Looks great! I hope to see a Wheeljack soon!
     
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  4. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Hello all, it has been a while since I posted, but I've been juggling a bunch of pursuits online, as well as completing a few more custom Kre-O Battle Changers. Though, regarding that latter one, I can now assuredly say that Wheeljack is on his way. To inform some people, much like how Jazz was a retool of hound, Wheeljack will be a retool of Bumblebee. I'm going to try to change as much as I can, but for now, this is a mockup (some colored areas to be slightly different in final product) of what you can probably expect from that figure.

    Kre-o Battle Changers Wheeljack.png
    Okay, there might be something iffy about that hood...

    That's why I'm letting you guys vote on what design Jackie's hood should have. Here are your options:
    Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 7.26.27 PM.png
    Have fun voting!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  5. WayGroovy

    WayGroovy Well-Known Member

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    May I recommend breaking up the vote into six replies of your own, so we can use the likes system to vote.
     
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  6. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Great idea! Option 1:
    Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 5.41.19 PM.png
    VOTING IS CLOSED. ANY LIKES AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL BE COUNTED AS NORMAL LIKES RATHER THAN VOTES
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  7. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Option 2:
    Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 5.41.35 PM.png
    VOTING IS CLOSED. ANY LIKES AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL BE COUNTED AS NORMAL LIKES RATHER THAN VOTES
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  8. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Option 3:
    Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 5.42.24 PM.png
    VOTING IS CLOSED. ANY LIKES AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL BE COUNTED AS NORMAL LIKES RATHER THAN VOTES
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  9. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Option 4: (My choice)
    Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 7.59.37 PM.png
    VOTING IS CLOSED. ANY LIKES AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL BE COUNTED AS NORMAL LIKES RATHER THAN VOTES
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  10. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Option 5:
    Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 5.42.11 PM.png
    VOTING IS CLOSED. ANY LIKES AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL BE COUNTED AS NORMAL LIKES RATHER THAN VOTES
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  11. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Option 6: (My least favorite...)
    Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 5.42.19 PM.png
    VOTING IS CLOSED. ANY LIKES AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL BE COUNTED AS NORMAL LIKES RATHER THAN VOTES
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  12. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Hello all, I've decided on some winners to be used in the final design. There are three types of winners in this case. The first type is the one that I'm going to use personally, like for display purposes and my own satisfaction. The second type is the one that you guys voted for, and the one that got the most attraction. The third and final type is one that may not have gotten many votes, but was appointed a winner because it held some value in terms of say, nostalgia.

    The winner for the first type, sitting on 2 votes, is:
    - The Prime Design
    Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 7.59.37 PM.png

    The winner for the second type, also on 2 votes, is:
    - The IDW Design
    Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 5.42.11 PM.png
    (This one was a really close call; there were two votes on the alternate design, and I had to decide on this or that one. Ultimately, I decided on the one that would suit the aesthetic of the figure overall, so congrats voters of IDW)

    The winner for the third and final type, on only 1 vote is:
    - Oh, you people can already guess, can't you. The G1 design
    Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 5.42.24 PM.png

    To all the voters who voted on the designs that ultimately didn't make it, your effort was greatly appreciated in helping me center the right design(s) for Wheeljack. Thank you all, and I have some exciting news for you guys. I have recently finished the figure, and am now just printing his appropriate decals, the chest designs included! The showcase/review will be up within the next 2-3 weeks (I'm a busy guy), and I look forward to your reactions (well, technically you all saw it with that mockup, but there's a whole lot of different elements in the final product). See you soon!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
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  13. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    It's the one that we've all waited for...

    ...and he's come to wreck-it...

    ...but as you know...he can fix it...

    Welcome back to my custom Kre-O Battle Changer showcases, and ohmanohman do we have a good one for you all today. You all got the opportunity to help choose a very important part of the figure, and I obliged accordingly. So without further ado, this is the finished custom Kre-O Battle Changers Wheeljack!
    Wheeljack1.png
    (comes with two alternate chest pieces, a grenade launcher (that's supposed to be set on his back, but I forgot to do that), a katana, a wrench (not pictured), and the Immobilizer)

    This figure has been a long time coming. As you all saw the mockup render I had crafted from the Bumblebee Boxart render, I had visualized the design for this character a while back, and it had been an aim of mine to buy another Bumblebee in order to make him into the bot you see before you today. The thing that you did not know is that Wheeljack was the first bot I ever made a mockup of, so he essentially kickstarted this entire project, and fueled my desire to expand outside of my collection in the most creative ways possible.

    That being said, giving Bumblebee a redeco isn't exactly creative...if not for a few things I was able to engineer into the design.

    So let's begin our showcase/review, shall we? Let's start with the head.
    Wheeljack2.png
    Not a bad head. In fact, it's exactly the head I had wanted. If you look closely at that mockup, you'll see some areas around the eyes that looks like the detailing on most of the battle changer heads. That's because I had cropped that portion from the render of Optimus Prime and adjusted it accordingly so it could be any kind of convincing. For getting that head, I found that the OP head from the $5 brick boxes would suffice greatly for Jackie's head. Then came the issue of getting the head-sculpt. All single releases of the original Wheeljack kreon (the one that came with Knockout) were sold out. So, as a compromise, I bought myself the Micro-Changer Sunstreaker and repainted the helmet for Jackie's needs. There were a few issues I had when I came to assemble Wheeljack's helmet and head. For one, the place where I got the head from was from someone who already used it. This meant that the plastic of the head was a little weak, and I came to see that for myself when the head began to wobble a bit inside Sunstreaker's helmet, and eventually just came clean off.

    I'm not kidding, the head-stud was in the helmet tight, so out came a studless head and enter a very shocked Laserhead.
    I fixed it with a strong resin known for gluing plastics, with the caveat being that the helmet couldn't come off going forward, and I'd have to manage it with care.

    Anyway...

    As you all know, I asked for some votes regarding the design pattern of Wheeljack's chest-plate, as the design has fluctuated constantly in TF History. I decided on three winners overall.
    Screen Shot 2018-09-30 at 1.56.44 PM.png

    The one in the center is from the Prime Cartoon, where Wheeljack was a con-kickin' wrecker.
    Wheeljack3.png
    The one on the right is the original G1 design, where Wheeljack was chief Autobot scientist (and demolitions expert apparently)
    Wheeljack4.png
    And the one on the left is the one he had in the IDW comics (Spoiler: Rest in Piece dude), where he was basically the last two combined, just with no swords and less failure.
    Wheeljack5.png
    Yeah, remember how he reacted to Starscream's rule on Cybertron?

    Anyway, if you've picked up on the fact that he's a redeco of Bumblebee. Then you've probably noticed that the backpack kibble is...upside down.
    Wheeljack6.JPG Wheeljack7.JPG
    Well, there's a reason for the upside down backpack. It's right down here.
    Wheeljack18.JPG
    That's it. I'm not going to spoil anything yet. But if there's one thing about it, it's that it's the highlight of the entire figure.

    Anyway, allow me to address my issues with the figure. Initially, the feet were going to be the same as Bee's, but I didn't want Wheeljack to be the same height as him, so I had to change it to make him somewhat taller. I used the Prime alt-mode as a referential, where I was able to abandon the circular 1x1 flat tile that made Bee look more like his VW beetle alt-mode. I exchanged that part with 2 clear 1x2 flat tiles. As you can see, those clear tiles are what forms his heel-struts.

    The problem is, they're a little loose.

    In order to keep the figure level, the tiles have to rest on the axel clip, meaning it's forced to be at an angle and thus not properly connected to the stud. This results in the struts constantly detaching whenever I want to pose him in a specific way, and considering how small and transparent they are, this gets very annoying. Another issue I have is that the backpack is a little loose, but that's excusable due to its higher function. Finally, the issue with painting a helmet is that it technically wasn't painting, but rather a silver sharpie, so that makes it vulnerable to scratching from his shoulder pieces.

    But I also wanted to just quickly say thanks to all of you who helped me pick the alternate chest-plates. I didn't think I would have so much fun with it, as I could pose him in different ways based on each variation. Like, here's him holding Jetfire's head!
    Wheeljack17.png
    Oh...uh...spoiler alert...whoops...

    Okay, now lets get to some size comparisons.
    Here he is against Battle Changer Starscream
    Wheeljack9.png
    Battle Changer Ratchet
    Wheeljack10.png
    His absolute worst idea ever, Battle Changer Grimlock
    Wheeljack11.png
    Wheeljack12.png
    His ol' buddy, ol' pal Bulkhead
    Wheeljack8.png
    (It's not Hound, I swear).
    And finally against his predecessor, Battle Changer Jazz
    Wheeljack16.5.png
    With that last comparison, and what with Jazz being the shortest one next to Bumblebee, that makes Wheeljack to be the second-shortest Battle Changer in the line's entirety.

    Yeah, I'm not sure if I should keep trying to change up the scale every now and then. Speak in your comments whether I should find a good scale and stick to it.
    I also just wanted to scale him with something that looks like Chip.
    Wheeljack13.png
    Wheeljack14.png
    How heartwarming!

    Okay, lets move on into his vehicle mode!
    Wheeljack16.png
    While the vehicle mode resembles Bee much more than the robot mode, I think I can safely say that this mode fits Jackie like a glove. I love the subtle changes I have made that allow it to better resemble the mode from the Prime Cartoon, rather than the Volkswagen Beetle that he's technically based on.
    Wheeljack19.png
    This side is something I'm focusing on because it's something that I think you all should know about my figures going forward. It each one, I will have a maximum of 2 elements of each figure that involves partsforming. I know that it kinda ruins the point, but in my opinion, these are LEGO figures. If they aren't being rebuilt in some way, then why not just buy a regular transformer instead of this? I think partsforming in Kre-O figures is essential for maintaining the whole point of these brick-building companies, but it shouldn't be taken to the extreme where the entire figure is just completely rebuilt. In the case of Wheeljack, the two shoulder pads are partsformed to rotate 180 degrees, which is the same for Bumblebee. I know that the instructions specify it as the other way around, but I have found myself that it seriously gets in the way of arm-articulation.
    Wheeljack20.png
    As always, these decals are made by me, and through the use of the GNU Image Manipulation Program, which is basically like Photoshop, but it's free and easier to use.
    What you can also see is a spoiler formed by the two hands. Unfortunately unlike Jazz, I had no way to integrate the arms further into the transformation, so the hands kinda stick out.
    Wheeljack21.png
    And now comes the explanation for why the backpack was able to rotate 180 degrees. I engineered a way for the whole thing to rotate while based on a LEGO tile with a stud in its center. That allowed for the 180 degree rotation. In vehicle mode, it goes back just how it was in Bee's design. The reason for the rotation was because I had engineered a way to create Wheeljack's iconic V-Shaped wings that has been a consistent feature since G1. I had to remove the 1x3 black pieces originally used to secure the frame with 1x3 white flat tiles. As to how they're upside down and go from straight to diagonal, well...
    Wheeljack22.png
    Yep.
    If this piece didn't exist in the Kre-O brick library, then I honestly wouldn't have known what to do. The white slabs are meant to attach to the double sided stud, and they rotate out (one at a time, though) to come into V-shape, and when the rest of the kibble rotates 180, the V-wings take form. I've got to say, this is the part of the figure I'm most proud of, as it was able to be the most different aspect of the figure compared to Bumblebee. I hope I can do more things like this with future figures.

    So that's it for Wheeljack's showcase. I'm happy to say that my collection of Battle Changers (including the fully transformable Micro-Changers I also develop) is almost complete. But that won't be the end of the showcases, so until that day, I'll be happy to give you all more content.

    Next time is...going to be very different. I'm going to have a little session where instead of showing off new Battle Changers that I've produced, I'm going to show the Battle Changers that were instead just redecoed and made into new figures. Such figures include:
    - Prowl
    - Skywarp
    - Thundercracker
    - Brawl

    After that, I'll return to the showcases. In order of arrival, here's what's coming next.
    - Reflector
    - Onslaught
    - Powerglide
    - Blackout
    - Jetfire

    Sometime between Onslaught and Powerglide, I will take a look at Blitzwing. Though that won't be a showcase as much as it will be a review. Considering that figure is the figure itself in terms of design, and I built mine from the leaked instructions, there wouldn't be anything to showcase as it isn't really my creation. Why its going to be a little later is because I have yet to print the stickers and I'm also waiting on some specific parts for the figure in order to fully complete it. So until then, Blitzwing will be delayed.

    So, now at our end, I'll see you all next time.
    Wheeljack15.png
    Wheeljack23.png
    "Small brains...huh, Jackie?"
    "Hey c'mon Bulk, I wanted 'em to be authentic!"
    "...Optimus is gonna kill us..."
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  14. Impressionsbot

    Impressionsbot visibly frustrated

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    That is awesome!!! I love it! Great work!
     
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  15. Thatsjustkreo67

    Thatsjustkreo67 Well-Known Member

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    What happened to these?
     
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  16. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Nothing has happened to them. I've simply been working on more BCs at once rather than build each one separately, all so I can streamline their releases.

    There's also the other big problem: the Battle Changers are slowly dying out. The current four were just taken off Amazon, and their numbers are dwindling on eBay. Plus, as this is a hobby and high school students don't have jobs, I have to do this stuff very slowly. I wish I could do this faster, but it is hard work for me. But not to worry, a barrage of stuff is coming. I've recently finished Blackout, am working on Powerglide and Jetfire, and have begun the design process for Sideswipe.
     
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  17. Thatsjustkreo67

    Thatsjustkreo67 Well-Known Member

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    Ah, I see man. (Er, I'm bad with words.)
     
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  18. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Welcome back to my custom Kre-O Battle Changer showcases, and today we're doing something a little different. I know I said that we'd be looking at a bunch of redecos this time, but some of those redecos have yet to be completely finished. They were originally, but there were certain pieces that I knew were out of place or just the wrong color, and I'm making an attempt to fix it. For now, I ask that you get your cameras out, because this is a character worth taking the snapshot for! Allow me to introduce my very first, COMPLETELY ORIGINAL, custom Kre-O Battle Changer Reflector!
    DSC_0120.JPG
    Err...okay...I guess it's not "Kre-O".

    All the heads are kreo, and the legs of Viewfinder's feet are Kre-O, but otherwise...this is a LEGO Battle Changer. But who could blame me? Honestly, who? Reflector's design was basically impossible for Kre-O, so I had to pull out some dark magic to get the job done. Plus, if I used LEGO parts for the previous figures, what's wrong using it here?
    This was also a figure that I had wanted to do for some time. I was first introduced to Transformers through the live action movies (heresy, I know, please don't sue), learned more about the mythos through the animated series, fully understood the meaning and significance of the series through Transformers: Prime, and appreciated its legacy through a run through the G1 cartoon. In my run through the franchise's history, this character stuck out as being a relatively G1 exclusive character. However, his presence has been shafted in recent years due to his...well...remarkable unpopularity.

    So, if you are somehow unfamiliar with this character, indulge me for a quick summary of Reflector.

    Reflector is the codename given to a tripartite Decepticon trio, consisting of Viewfinder, Spectro, and Spyglass. They were originally considered as separate characters, until the G1 cartoon simply stripped them of their names and individual designs, and just named the three collectively as Reflector. I know, it makes little sense. The point being, these guys were among the few Decepticons to transform into normal non-aerial objects, their alt-mode being a camera that they each formed parts of. In the show, they acted as the main surveillance team in charge of spying on humans or autobots. You may be seeing some similarities between them and Soundwave. Well, in many episodes, Soundwave was the one giving them the missions, or even oversaw them himself. You could say that Reflector was basically Soundwave's primary protégé.
    DSC_0121.JPG
    Yep! The PRIMARY protégé! No one else to care about! R-right?

    They were good at their job though, and were very useful in the hands of other Decepticons for spying. They were the best of the best in their game! They were like ninjas to the naked eye! Completely within the shadows!
    DSC_0122.5.JPG
    It's just unfortunate that my figure doesn't have that luxury.

    But regardless I still love him.

    So lets begin, shall we? The colors for these figures were something that I had set from the beginning. The figures themselves are meant to be based off the original toy and by extension the Marvel Comics version, while their deco is a mix of the toy and cartoon colors, though leaning moreso towards the toy, despite giving everyone a green panel to lean on the cartoon. I feel that's a pretty good mix of better and worse, so everyone still gets what they want (I'm lookin' at you, Primus-defiling autonomous robotic organism-hating Derrick J WYATT! I'm just kiddin' man, you're amazing). The design came out of many trials and tests on LEGO Digital Designer, but surprisingly, the design you see before you came out of me just playing around with LEGO ball-joints! And I'm glad it did, otherwise I would've thought way too much about it.

    The sizing might also be an issue for some people. Spectro and Spyglass are barely the size of Micro-Changers, while in the cartoon and the toy, the were the same size as Viewfinder. This is more so due to the way they operate in the transformation. Its a change that I'm not too proud of, but I have to stand by it. Compromises have to be made if these are supposed to even transform at all.
    DSC_0123.JPG
    So let's talk about the bots individually.

    Let's start with Viewfinder:
    DSC_0124.JPG
    This was the figure that came out of my tinkering of random LEGO ball-joints, and it came out beautifully! Mixing the G1 and toy design together, while also inputing my own ideas, were a blast for designing this thing. He's got a great size to him, and we'll see how well that measures later, and while most of his articulation is extremely limited, he's so great to just handle.

    But more about that poseability. The first thing you might notice is that the head is not connected to the rest of the body. This is meant to play into the transformation, and the panels around the lens creating his arms allow for this to not look completely awkward. The arms themselves, though are...really...iffy. The shoulders are all the way on its backside, so that means if you want to rotate the arm, it exposes his insides...EUUGHH! Well, compromises had to me made, and for me, so long as you limit the movement of this area, the arm poseability can seem a bit natural! I don't know about you guys, but whenever I lift up his arm and that corner juts out, it almost looks like an EVA Unit. I dunno, maybe it's just me.

    The figure has insufferably small feet, and I have no excuse for how out of place that looks. The feet end up transforming into the AF-Assist Beam, aka the area surrounding the built-in flash. This makes the figure an absolute chore to pose, and even when you get him to stand, it's so wobbly you can't be sure if its good enough.
    DSC_0127.JPG
    The helmet was also something that I personally was iffy on, before devoting to this one. Originally, I wanted to buy the Age of Extinction Vehicons for their helmets, but as that became more and more impossible, I grew more used to this helmet. Plus, it actually plugs into something for the transformation, securing it in place! So that works to great measures.

    Finally, the arms were something that I thought of last second, and I had no idea they would fit. Those two parts actually don't go together in any LEGO library, and it was a miracle that they were able to connect together at all.

    Anyway, onto Spectro:
    DSC_0126.JPG
    Spectro is more black than red, mainly to stay closer to the Reflector cartoon colors without causing too much deviance from the toy. Plus, it just flows better with the alt-mode in mind.

    The arms were the biggest failure for both Spectro and Spyglass, I feel. I mean, the ones with the gun are fine but the other one is just...not right. But these were never meant to be poseable figures compared to Viewfinders.

    They also lack feet, and I assume they just float around...

    THESE PARTS AREN'T GOOD, OKAY?!

    Finally, lets check out Spyglass:
    DSC_0125.JPG
    He's pretty much the same spiel as Spectro, aka my Jason Todd of my battle changers. This guy stays truer to the colors of his toy, with a large splash of blue for his neck. He's honestly my favorite between him and Spectro. If I had to complain, I wish I had gotten this guy a helmet. Maybe a blue truck helmet from Beachcomber could do the job so his head doesn't have to just...stick out.

    Also, I'm noticing this now, but I gave these guys the wrong guns. Spyglass should have Spectro's weapon and vice versa. The reason why is because that larger gun actually becomes the flash cannon from the toy, albeit much smaller and modern.

    With those guys out of the way, I'd like to discuss the mosquito in the room, or in this case, the hole in a chest. In the toy, the main weapon was formed by the lens, and this was done by removing the lens entirely.
    DSC_0128.JPG
    In honesty, I didn't like this feature, so when I saw the cartoon and noticed how the lens just vanished, I processed it as the lens being pushed into Viewfinder's chest. This also just happened to be my main source of confusion when it came to designing this thing: how could I get this lens to collapse into the chest?
    DSC_0129.JPG
    Well it certainly wouldn't be through just taking the lens clean off. I found a way to instead of collapsing it, I could practically fold the figure to swallow the lens and hide most of it, so as to simulate the effect of collapsing it. This is the feature that I'm honestly most proud of, and I couldn't see it any other way now.

    Finally, with all of that, I think we're ready to do some size comparisons.
    Here he is with Battle Changer Arcee:
    DSC_0130.JPG
    (I know it ain't really a BC, but the motorcycle mode for this transformable Micro-Changer scales perfectly with the rest of the BCs. So to me, it deserves to be a BC)
    Battle Changer Jazz:
    DSC_0131.JPG
    Battle Changer Shockwave
    DSC_0132.JPG
    and his predecessor: Battle Changer Wheeljack (shoulder cannon finally mounted on):
    DSC_0133.JPG
    Reflector managed to be smaller than all of these guys. If we don't count Arcee, that would make this character the smallest Battle Changer of the entire series, my customs included.

    Now we can finally take a look at his impossible alt-mode, and see what I managed to do in exchange for selling my soul to Satan!
    DSC_0141.JPG
    Say, are there any good colleges down in hell?

    What. A. Marvel.

    This is just...the best...

    This spectacular camera mode just feels like all of those workshop/Design & Tech classes at school paid off really well! Everything comes together REALLY nicely, it all fits together and stays in one piece! It's foolproof!
    DSC_0134.JPG
    As you can see from this side, the lens now pops out boldly, completely unchanged from its original position in the robot mode! I really did have to get in contact with the Spellmans, didn't I? The legs fit in perfect sitting to form the Assist Beam, and the transformed forms of Spectro and Spyglass not only provide support for the figure overall, but also serve as other control panels for operation.
    DSC_0135.JPG
    This side is a bit more divisive. My comment about the twins desperately needing helmets is clear here, and the only thing that makes them vaguely resemble buttons is the two round tiles I've placed on their studs.

    However, Viewfinder's head locking into place is shown here, as the grill on the helmet fits into the space between panels, allowing for it to rest in place. It's a great way to make everything level and easy to keep. It's solid, is what I'm saying.

    As you know, I have a rule for two areas of partsforming per figure, and for this figure, it's literally in the separation of the individual segments.
    DSC_0136.JPG
    While the twins don't really resemble anything interesting (I don't know, maybe power cells or batteries for nearby Decepticons to use?) Viewfinder kinda looks like an alien cannon on his own.
    DSC_0137.JPG
    Considering that a recent toy of Reflector was retooled from Combiner Wars Shockwave (who was a cannon), this isn't too far-fetched an idea.

    Coming back to the camera mode as a whole, the only thing that bugs the hell out of me is that it's just so...LARGE!
    DSC_0138.JPG
    I can only imagine the horrors of buying a camera of this size at a store.

    But seriously, this is way too large for a friggin' camera, and it makes me wish that these things could somehow pull off mass shifting. Heck, it's way too big for even the Cybertronians!
    DSC_0139.JPG
    "Conclusion = Alternative surveillance method required"

    But aside that fact, the alt-mode is perfect to me, and just like the robot mode, I wouldn't have it any other way.

    So that about wraps it up for the vehicle mode, and therefore this review. Thank you all for tuning in again, and be sure to keep checking in to see more awesome stuff. I hope that in this review I've not only shown you a pretty lovable figure that I built, but also a new respect for a pretty obscure character. It's always cool if that could happen. And you know what? I started this review talking about his closeness to Soundwave, but considering Soundwave is a major face of the franchise, how has this character not been recognized alongside Soundwave? Well I don't care, because this figure helped me gain a better sense of the potential for this character, a potential that will hopefully be tapped soon.
    DSC_0122.JPG
    Phew! That was a good review. Though I feel like I've been doing too many small Battle Changers. I feel like I should do something a little different. A little more...expansive...

    A little bit...taller...
    DSC_0140.JPG
    I mean, what can I say? With this character, anything he's better at is a "brilliant strategy".
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  19. Thatsjustkreo67

    Thatsjustkreo67 Well-Known Member

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    I love it! I wouldn't even consider anyone making Reflector, but here he/they are. Could we get a pic of Arcee in motorcycle mode please?
     
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  20. Laserhead4

    Laserhead4 Master Builder and Filmmaker

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    Eh, I might as well do a mini-review for her. She's just that good.
    Welcome back to my custom Kre-O Battle Changer showcases, and today we're taking a look at a much smaller figure...even though I promised to do a taller figure. Seriously, why is this so hard for me? Well, this one was a request, and I hate to keep people waiting for something that is kinda worth it. So without further ado, let's one good long and lovely look (before she decides to murder us) at the Kre-O Battle Changer Arcee!
    DSC_0142.JPG
    We'll start with a quick look at the vehicle mode, as that was what people wanted.
    I had initially designed this mode in LDD, but that had so many more complexities to it that I'd really not like to go into. It's a mode that I based loosely on Groove, though with less partsforming. Yeah, the head sticks out, which is a minor annoyance, but honestly as long as the face is properly covered up, I'll live. As you can see, there's a blue tile on the top, meant to evoke the Prime cartoon's color. The 2015 rendition of the original Micro Changer is what I used here, and it works really well. The plastic is much more durable, and the moulding makes the new mode possible, as the flat (round) hands of the original Kreon format wouldn't have been able to set the wheels against each other as you see here.

    Though that's not to say that I had no issues. In order to keep the wheels from being partsformed away, I compromised by having the wheels forming heel-struts, bearing some resemblance to her live-action and Aligned counterparts (the latter of which is the more relevant source of inspiration). However, this meant that both legs had to bear the tires, but there was no way to get two wheels into the vehicle mode without partsforming. And that, my friends, is what lead to...this.
    DSC_0143.JPG
    It's been 1.5 years since I made this, and I'm honestly still wondering what this extra wheel is supposed to be in vehicle mode. Leave a like if you get my dilemma and reply if you have any suggestions.

    Aside from this, it's a great vehicle that scales well with the other Battle Changers. I'd show you photos to prove that, but I'm an idiot.

    TIME 4 BACKSTORY:
    DSC_0144.JPG
    Let's just say that I was first introduced to Arcee through Transformers Animated. I loved her vibrant design, and her gripping backstory and importance to the plot. Luckily, her background information in the show hadn't sunk into my head enough, allowing for my general idea of Arcee to be more malleable. Then came Transformers Prime, which introduced a version of her that was moreso based on her G1 self, but with a much darker tone. I ended up loving that Arcee, her impulsiveness, her character arc, her strength, her sleek design, it all just worked for me. So when I got around to making these custom Battle Changers, I knew Arcee should have been one of them.

    Though, I didn't know or care about that in the early days. I had originally bought a Ratchet v. Soundwave 2-pack, and had deconstructed Soundwave to make a battle changer of my own, meant to resemble Arcee from the Prime Cartoon. It was my first time doing so, and it was...rough, as I had kept on experimenting on it to make a better and more stable transformation. The end result was a weird motor cycle thing that didn't even look that much like a motorcycle, and it looked more like Elita-One's cybertronian vehicle mode than anything. That BC was my first true custom, and she went from being Arcee to Elita-One. And then, I lost her...and I never found her. But I still wanted to make an Arcee BC, and with limited resources due to the loss of Elita-One, I could only make an enhanced Micro-Changer at best. As you can see above you, that was the plan that worked for the best. It had a G1 aesthetic, sure, but the motorcycle mode (that was actually in-scale with the rest of the changers that I had at the time) and the flow of the simple transformation made me call back to the Prime cartoon's Arcee. I love this version for it, and I wouldn't have this figure any other way.

    Okay, all of that backstory done. Let's take a look at the robot mode, which we all saw.
    DSC_0145.JPG
    Not bad at all.

    Sure, the arms are kinda useless due to the wheels being stuck there, but you could always just store the wheels on her legs, y'know. This is a mostly kibble-free character, and I'm glad that it was. Whatever kibble there is, I had based it off of ROTF's Arcee, who had some kind of massive shoulder-guard that sometimes became her helmet. You can see that through the giant pink tile connected to one of the hinge-plates. The only major problem overall is that the legs are a bit loose, and are thus very flimsy and hard to pose. It's spilt milk in the end, because the rest of the figure feels great and worth that sacrifice. Even looking at it now, it's still so hard to 'keep my emotions in check'.

    Anything I'd be saying would be just a review of the original Micro-Changer.

    So let's get to some size comparisons with other smaller sized Micro-Changers.
    Here's Battle Changer Perceptor:
    DSC_0146.JPG
    Battle Changer Hardshell:
    DSC_0147.JPG
    Battle Changer Blackarachnia:
    DSC_0149.JPG
    Kreon Alpha Trion (just for some a normal kreon for some actual scale)
    DSC_0148.JPG
    Battle Changer Thundercracker
    DSC_0150.JPG
    and a BC that I've been building up a reveal for some time...
    Battle Changer Optimus Prime
    DSC_0151.JPG
    He's not my own creation, that right goes to the guys behind Kre-O. I honestly have been building him up just to show off what I did with his chest. I think I may be one of few who dared to give Prime his classic truck windows naturally.

    Oh, and Arcee is the shortest of the Micro-changer Battle Changers, but is taller than the average Kreon.
    DSC_0152.JPG
    But back on Optimus Prime. I included him here of all places because of what he meant to Arcee in the Prime cartoon. Now, I've seen some pretty weird stuff, and among those weird things is Optimus x Arcee art. Not a fan. Honestly, I saw their relationship as more of a father/daughter dynamic. Optimus was a driving force behind Team Prime's individual characters, guiding most of them through hard times and imparting important advice. His role really was that of a father figure, made even more prevalent than in the G1 cartoon. His advice and guidance to Arcee felt impactful in terms of grief and emotional struggles.
    DSC_0153.JPG

    "It is the external wounds which heal the quickest"
    "I thought settling scores would allow me to move on...instead I chased away our hope of winning this war anytime soon..."
    "Wisdom cannot be granted, Arcee. It must be earned...sometimes, at a cost."

    It's his guidance, along with the rest of Team Prime, that allowed the character of Arcee to stand out so much more to me.
    DSC_0155.JPG
    And it was her role in their struggles overall that allowed me to appreciate the character as a whole.
    DSC_0156.JPG
    Anyway, that sums this not-so-mini showcase up. Next time, we'll return to the Decepticons to showcase the BC that was supposed to come next. Seriously, no more small ones. It's time to get taller, and more combat-ready.
    Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 10.33.59 PM.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
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