Heavy/Scratch: Human Alliance Soundwave custom - fully transformable mod

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by tonysandlin, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who owns HA Soundwave knows it is plagued with problems. The proportions are terrible, he is much too short, and his lower half isn't screen accurate. For a few years, I've been contemplating ways to rectify these issues, but never got around to doing it because I was afraid of ruining the figure. Well, since the knockoff version has dropped the price significantly, I decided to take a shot.

    Much of the inspiration for this modification comes from the personal project by Black Apple here:
    联盟声波改造贴!_黑苹果出品吧_百度贴吧

    Although there is no tutorial or transformation sequence, I was able to glean some information on how it worked from the angles provided in the pictures. My version isn't an exact match since I deviated after running into a road block.

    Anyway, here is my current progress. The leg is fully transformable and does not cheat or partsform. Also, half of the figure is unmodded to show the difference.

    15322435_10211312423947108_1323825935_o.jpg 15354286_10211312423307092_2097594495_o.jpg 15397653_10211312596031410_1350200944_o.jpg

    As you can see, the mod gives it the added height it needed to stack up next to Bumblebee. His proportions are more even with the shoulder and forearm kibble being moved to the foot. The foot is not entirely screen accurate, but it's a lot closer than before. The shoulder wheels are currently detached and will be added to the space behind its head eventually. That part of the mod can also be found in the Black Apple thread and is much easier to follow from his pictures. I may keep the headlights attached, however.

    15556139_10211413812361755_363748938_o.jpg 15555427_10211413811801741_294619504_o.jpg 15540157_10211413811841742_811612095_o.jpg 15536961_10211413812321754_1809402929_o.jpg 15491724_10211413812441757_1610500134_o.jpg 15388765_10211312415866906_1757134509_o.jpg 15409829_10211312416226915_1604827188_o.jpg 15369624_10211312415906907_332490709_o.jpg 15368843_10211312415706902_1299582398_o.jpg

    The roof, door, back wheel, and back window are now connected to the leg. I used hinges and joints from legos, one of the Starsaber Minicons, and one of the Sideways head Minicons to connect the pieces. Substantial cutting was involved to give all the parts clearance when moving to their respective positions. I'm going to be removing the "heel" and attaching it to the back of the arm. There seems to be just enough articulation in this foot to allow it to rest flat in a few positions. I wouldn't consider this a great mod to give it cool action poses, though. I'm also looking into ways to make the foot feel more solid and less floppy when I pick up the figure.

    15556139_10211413812361755_363748938_o.jpg

    15354169_10211312422867081_318022959_o.jpg 15409792_10211312422587074_1792486161_o.jpg 15369887_10211312423027085_1373432368_o.jpg 15397747_10211312422547073_438546710_o.jpg 15398942_10211312416346918_983197523_o.jpg

    I was very careful to make sure everything would still line up fairly well in vehicle mode before I made any cutting or glued parts together. There is still one final cut to be made to allow that back window to sit flat. Other than that, Soundwave can safely transform from Mercedes to Robot and back again.

    This was a huge risk for me because I had never done any sort of modding beyond a few tweaks. Certainly never any cutting. To have this be a success was a huge relief and very encouraging. The time it took to get where I am at was around 2 weeks. A lot of patience and planning went into this before any cutting was made, mostly because I was really nervous to ruin it.

    Once I have the one side completed, I will work on the other and possibly use that opportunity to create a tutorial for anyone who may be interested in attempting to recreate this mod.

    Thanks for looking and let me know if you have any suggestions, questions, or criticism!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
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  2. Anti Spark

    Anti Spark It'S DUB Or Nothing!

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    Man I cant believe you worked something out!

    Ive always wanted to try something like that.
     
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  3. phantro

    phantro Well-Known Member

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    This is very cool!
     
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  4. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    Anti Spark, you should give it a shot! The KO's are cheap so if you mess it up you could always get a new one.

    I've also used two lego pieces to help keep the leg together and give it a more solid feel to it.
    15398911_10211314788686225_1068759609_o.jpg
     
  5. Anti Spark

    Anti Spark It'S DUB Or Nothing!

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    Son of a gun!

    I didn't know about the KOs!

    I think I will!! Thanks!!!
     
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  6. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    The whole leg snapped off when I was transforming it, so I had to reinforce it with superglue and strips of styrene. Here's hoping it is less fragile at that part. In other news, I shaved off enough of Soundwave's rear end to allow the back window to sit flat when in vehicle mode. Its not perfect, but I suppose it's as good as it will get. The heel was removed and added to the elbow, so now the foot doesn't extend too far in the back. Lastly, the small lego parts I added to keep the foot stable need to be removed and shifted a little to allow it to fit in transformation. Anyone have any good suggestions for removing parts that were superglued together?
     
  7. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    Just an update on my current progress.

    I've nearly finished the second leg! All that's left is adding the lego parts so I can connect the door to the base of the leg giving it more stability. It should transform properly and fit in vehicle mode without any problems since it's an identical copy of the first leg. I'm quite proud of the outcome.
    EDIT: The transformation sequence is a lot tighter and I need to shave a bit more off the rear end to get the back windows to sit flat, but otherwise it looks pretty good in alt mode. Unfortunately, the original side is a little gappy since it was my first attempt at making the leg. I can live with that as I'll be displaying it in robot mode for the majority of the time.

    The next thing to do is find some good ball and socket pieces to attach the shoulder wheels to the area behind Soundwave's head. After that, I might try and work up something to fill in the waist line.

    I apologize for the picture quality. The lightning never seems to be any good when I want to take pictures. 15556139_10211413812361755_363748938_o.jpg 15556139_10211413812361755_363748938_o.jpg 15555427_10211413811801741_294619504_o.jpg 15540157_10211413811841742_811612095_o.jpg 15536961_10211413812321754_1809402929_o.jpg 15491724_10211413812441757_1610500134_o.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
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  8. TechnoDemon

    TechnoDemon Cuddly Robot

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    If you used regular superglue, stick the parts in the freezer for a few hours. Cyanoacrylate becomes brittle when it's extremely cold.
    Source: Various places on the web, and my own experiments when customizing a resin kit model.
     
  9. Anti Spark

    Anti Spark It'S DUB Or Nothing!

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    Im still trying to understand what you did.

    1. Did you use and parts from the arms?
    2. You need 2 Soundwaves to complete this project?

    3. Can you take a image of fabricated parts you made for project, including the lego parts as stated.
     
  10. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! That will be good to know!

    Only one Soundwave was needed and all the major parts came from the arms. I used the ball joints from the minicons Jetstorm from the Star Saber set and Crosswire from Sideways. There is only minor Lego use, but it was essential in my opinion. Two different thicknesses of styrene were used to connect the new foot to the existing leg There may be better ways to work something up for the mod, but I was only using what I had on hand, which wasn't much.

    I did take many pictures during the process of creating the second leg, so those will be posted later after work and perhaps you could get an idea of how it works that way.

    Also, currently the wheels on the shoulder aren't attached. I'm looking for some good ball joints to use. My plan is to replicate the mod BlackApple used for those wheels. Just need the right parts first.
     
  11. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    @Anti Spark, alright, here are some pictures with a little bit of explanation. Hope this helps give you a better idea of how it works.

    The first thing I did was separate all the parts needed to construct the lower leg and foot from the figure. In these pictures, I made a red line to show where I made the cuts with my Dremel tool. For the original foot, I just cut off the front toe, and removed the pin for the back toe. The last picture shows where I cut to separate the wheel from the hand. The blue "X" denotes a piece that I left attached to the wheel so that it could serve as an attachment point for a later part of the mod.
    SW3.jpg SW5.jpg SW2.jpg SW4.jpg SW1.jpg

    After separating the wheel from the hand, I just glued the forearm back onto the figure. The after picture of the original foot is also shown.
    15398896_10211371784471084_1726468789_o.jpg 15631182_10211491619906895_588595379_o.jpg 15631348_10211491618426858_1841808590_o.jpg 15388597_10211371792951296_1417799473_o.jpg

    The hinge and ball joint comes from the Starsaber Minicon. I cut slots into both ends so that I could attach one end to the wheel and the other end to styrene hinge I made. The styrene hinge was made of 2 pieces connected by a pin. It took a lot of adjustments to make sure this was the right length and would fit in tranformation.
    15631479_10211491617226828_1204448342_o.jpg 15681765_10211491616826818_1713587813_o(1).jpg 15629062_10211492148600112_1720273111_o.jpg

    Here are the parts I used to create the foot. I cut out a section in the wheel to make room for the lego hinge. The hinge was filed down and a pin was glued in. I used a nail for the pin. To create the "toe" out of the window, I hollowed out a section in the roof mid piece and inserted a ball and socket joint created out of the leg from the Sideways minicon. Then, once the window was positioned correctly, I glued it to the ball joint hing piece.
    15631137_10211491617346831_1106227810_o.jpg 15628800_10211491618346856_190735817_o.jpg 15658677_10211491617386832_961265821_o.jpg 15682092_10211491617626838_1102447836_o.jpg 15657976_10211491618066849_519815300_o.jpg 15628870_10211491618386857_1977304781_o.jpg 15631101_10211492148440108_1647863744_o.jpg

    This is what it looks like all put together from the underside. The lego part is any two pieces that connect together filed down so that they can fit in transformation. One part goes in the door and the second gets attached to the side of the front toe where it was cut off.
    15659052_10211491616426808_699930910_o.jpg 15659053_10211492148520110_562295726_o.jpg 15681841_10211492218841868_1713994509_o.jpg

    It's not a very exhaustive guide, but it should give the general idea of how it works. There was also a lot of miscellaneous cutting and filing down to various areas to allow things to fit. If you decide to try this, you'll see what I mean.
     

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  12. Anti Spark

    Anti Spark It'S DUB Or Nothing!

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    What you did for was awsome! I saved images and I will try this.
     
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  13. Anti Spark

    Anti Spark It'S DUB Or Nothing!

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    Do you recommend any sites for ko soundwave?
     
  14. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    Not really. I think I've seen them on eBay before for about 35 USD, but I'm not sure if they are still available. Good luck on your attempt! I'd love to see how it turns out. The hardest part was making that initial cut to separate the wheel from the forearm. I was really nervous that I would ruin it, but it worked out in the end! It also took a lot of adjusting and double checking to make sure everything went together as best as possible in car mode. Unfortunately, the original side I worked on had a few mistakes, so it doesn't fit together quite as nicely as the other side.
     
  15. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick update. I had previously mentioned that I was working on a way to beef up Soundwave's waist and I believe I may have found a solution. I quickly whipped up a few, undetailed parts on 123D Design to test. Here is a picture of the piece as it would look on Soundwave. Looks like I'll need to flip the picture when I'm at a computer... sorry about the orientation.
    20161228_194856.jpg
    My idea is to have the waist store in the interior of the car. I drilled a hole in the tab in the picture and inserted the rod through. This will let it swing around.
    20170103_204025.jpg 20170103_204005.jpg
    The waist is connected by a bar which will store inside the waist piece when it's in vehicle mode.
    20170103_204042.jpg
    On this test model, the bar is a bit too long, so I'm going to try and cut it to size and see if that works. As you can see, when properly attached, it sticks out a bit too far.
    20170103_204005.jpg
    The real challenge is getting it to align correctly in robot mode and fit in vehicle mode. If this works out, I'll add the details to try and make it screen accurate. Unfortunately, I will be sacrificing the open interior gimick of the human alliance figure but will in turn, create a more complete figure. Another problem I forsee is the steering wheel being in the way of the waist storage. I'd like to try and make it fit, but if push comes to shove, I'll remove it entirely. I'd rather have a more filled in waist than a steering wheel for a mode I'll rarely display it in.

    All the while, I've also been playing around with the idea of adding new, articulated hands. This will prove to be more difficult due to the VERY limited space for the current hand storage.

    My new parts should be in the mail this week so I should be able to add the wheels to the neck area soon. I'll keep you guys updated on the progress!
     

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  16. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    Another update. This weekend I finished the modification that followed BlackApple's design. The last step was to connect the wheels using ball joint hinges which I ordered from eBay. This part was quite simple. All I did was drill a hole into the plastic behind the head and inserted the socket. Lining it up with the wheel, I then drilled a small hole where I would insert and glue the ball joint. Then it was as easy as connecting the pieces together. I discovered a cavity underneath the plastic when I was drilling, so I had to take extra care not to make the hole to big. Otherwise the socket might fall in. I don't really care for the headlights on the wheels, so I may remove those and attach them to the hood. Here are a few pictures of the process, including a comparison shot.

    20170115_181812.jpg 20170115_181800.jpg
    20170116_163827.jpg

    This was the final step before I paint the figure, however, I am still trying to work up a solution for new, articulated hands and a more robust waist. In 123D Design, I have a hand model nearly ready to be printed. The challenge is getting the new hand to fit. My solution will be to remove the hand, thumb, and seat in the forearm to make room. The new hand will use the pin for the thumb and will store in a similar way to the seat. I'm unsure if this will work, but I'm eager to try it. My only problem is removing the pin from the thumb. It's a one sided pin, which I've beverage tried to remove before.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to safely remove it without damaging the figure?

    That is all for this update! Thanks for viewing and keep an eye out for my progress on the hand.
     
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  17. tsayuti

    tsayuti Well-Known Member

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    It is great bro!!...nice work...
    I want to make like your if I have the figure...:) 
     
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  18. tonysandlin

    tonysandlin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I think the figure is pretty cheap now if you find the KO version. I'm in the process of painting it now and I hope to have better pictures and a video to show transformation.

    I've also decided against the custom hands for the moment. I'm still working out something to add to the waist though.
     
  19. Lukelbs

    Lukelbs I am responsible for my own disappointment.

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    Wow, this is such a vast improvement to the figure. I have never seen the hype of this figure with how top heavy and weirdly proportioned he was. But under a skilled hand he becomes quite the impressive figure! Great job!
     
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  20. tsayuti

    tsayuti Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the KO is cheap, but now it is rare to find here...

    Oke, wait for the progress...
     
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