Minor/Repaint: Modified G1 Arcee

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Pun-3X, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Pun-3X

    Pun-3X Well-Known Member

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    So, from a while back on this board, I saw the thread of Radicons member Goosefish. He went to task modifying Generations Arcee to have a waist swivel. I decided to tackle this my own way, and after two designs (because the first one failed), I pulled it off. The first try, I bought Mecha Gray ball joints by Premium Parts Collection through HLJ. Let me just say--the sockets suck. I tried four times (two of which I got as far as installing) and they all cracked. I had to go back and find a new way to do everything. Thankfully, I had leftover Gundam tree parts, and one of the soft rubber sockets fit the ball joint from the PPC kit (I think 5mm for both). I had to design my own internal parts out of styrene sheets to hold the thing in place, but in the end it completely worked. I'll likely post a how-to later on.


    But for now, the results!

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    She has a slight amount of ab crunch, though not much. I could have created more space to improve that kind of feature, but it would have created a greater gap between her two halves. Just didn't like the look of that. As a result, my mod may not have as much ab crunch as some might prefer, but I really like how this turned out.

    Here, you can see her lower front half is designed to be a bit higher than her lower back half to fill in a bit more of that gap look from the front.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a teeny bit of "side" crunch:
    [​IMG]

    So, as you may have guessed, her ab section has been cut and permanently attached to her lower half to create a full piece for the socket. As a result, the upper leg can't bend back past the picture below:
    [​IMG]

    Granted, you really weren't supposed to anyway, as doing so would have popped the abs out of its connector port. But it was still a bit of a cheat. Truthfully, it really does nothing to her normal articulation:
    [​IMG]

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    "Gun's sideways! Kill shot!"
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    You can actually turn her the full 360 degrees. I just tend to be careful with her considering this is NOT a factory joint. But so far, I've not had any problems with the ball joint popping out.
    [​IMG]

    So, underneath her upper half, I created a channel to fit the ball joint. It was a ball on a post, so I just drilled out the channel to get it to fit, then placed this styrene square on top (with its own half-channel running down it to cover the ball post). I cut the sides and bottom down a bit to give her chest plate room to fit. There is a natural gap between the hood/upper chest plate and the main body that occurs by design to give the original black piece that was attached to it enough room. Being I cut off the abs from it, I didn't need the piece at all, so I just removed it and glued the white underpart permanently in place. The gap really doesn't bother me much.

    You can see the plate here:
    [​IMG]

    One other thing is that you do have to swing the legs forward for transformation--no more going backwards (though I don't think I ever tried transforming her that way? If it was possible before, no longer...)
    [​IMG]

    And yes, she is still fully transformable--no partsforming.

    [​IMG]

    ANOTHER new thing...you used to connect the hands to the black gun's side pegs, then slot the gun under the body. That's been completely covered by the new arrangement. So there's one less gun for storage (the other gun still fits fine under the back end). The hands, though, can tuck in nicely underneath on each side.
    [​IMG]

    And, plenty of clearance. The feet in the original locked position are even closer to the ground than the arms/hands.
    [​IMG]

    Some group shots:

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    (yes, I'm showing off my MP-10v :D  )
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    I have no idea why she isn't holding a gun in this pic...
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    A shot with the girls:
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    And, some fun shots!

    Inspired by Goosefish's original mod photos:
    [​IMG]

    And one of my own:
    [​IMG]

    I should also mention, I really prefer the idea of Cartoon Arcee--a gunner. The sword concept that sprang from IDW isn't a bad one, but just about every iteration of Arcee, be it official or third party, incorporates those swords. I like having some of the femme characters with swords, but I've always pictured this Arcee as the gun type. If she's going to go CQC, I figure her to be more fist and feet--more like TF Prime Arcee (hey, there's ONE that isn't so swordy! Well, except those blade things...). But yeah, as a result, no sword pics for this one. And it's just how I like this Arcee to be.

    Hope you enjoy!
     

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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  2. Budokhan

    Budokhan Wheeljack's apprentice

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    NICELY done ball joint mod! Was thinking of this myself as pretty much the last mod to her, now I gotta! :thumb 
     
  3. Omegaonline

    Omegaonline Well-Known Member

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    Great mod. Allows for some excellent posing.
     
  4. jbvirus

    jbvirus Autobot

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    Okay, I really want this Arcee now. This looks awesome!
     
  5. Galva12

    Galva12 Galvatron's "YES" Men

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    You really brought her "to life" with this joint. I always felt she had a mannequin quality about her, well done!
    I also agree with you about her guns vs swords, fits her style much better.
     
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  6. shiftypenguin

    shiftypenguin Fancy-Pantsless Dancer

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    Wow! It's amazing how a simple waist swivel can add so much personality to the figure. Excellent work!
     
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  7. Bitstream

    Bitstream Nobody's side

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    I guess we can blame TFA Arcee for the swords thing, ultimately. But I've always liked her as the gunner, and appreciated the fact that when she finally got a G1 style toy she was loaded for bear.

    Nice work!
     
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  8. Nexucon Prime

    Nexucon Prime Herald of Unicron

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    What version of Rodimus is the one you have behind her?
     
  9. God Ginrai

    God Ginrai Energon Enthusiast

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    That's Classics Rodimus with the Fansproject Protector armor.
     
  10. primalxconvoy

    primalxconvoy グーグル 翻訳は素晴らしいです!

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    Yes and yes.
     
  11. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde Αἰών

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    Awesome mod!

    She looks amazing.
     
  12. Pun-3X

    Pun-3X Well-Known Member

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    Well, I said I'd post the working pics, so I put them in order to show what I had done to get this finished--including the first attempt.

    The first step, or course, was to cut her in half. I decided to cut her so that the frame going across was left on the top half, with the bottom half all opened up. I also cut the abs section and removed the remaining hinge piece.

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    The version one cuts included cutting out a half-shaft into her lower body down the white inner frame piece as shown below:

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    I also shaved out a little bit of the inside cavity to make room. This whole design was meant to hold the stem of the socket cup I was originally going to use. I also cut a small piece of styrene with an opposing "half pipe" cut to accommodate the stem and hold it in place once glued together using two-part epoxy.

    You can see the final assembly below

    [​IMG]

    As I'd said before, these sockets kept cracking on me, so I abandoned this approach. But I did keep the ball joint and stem you see sticking out of the socket. For the upper half to fit that piece, I did a similar cut, drilling out a half-circle in the frame. I also cut a bit out of the white hinge piece for the back of the car as that would push at the stem. I cut down the center and along the hinge as you rolled it out for transformation so it would clear no matter what position it was in. Finally, I cut a small notch in the top of the stem, as it ran a bit long for the body frame. But this acted as a great way to hold the thing in place.

    [​IMG]

    Similarly to the lower half, I created a counter-piece out of styrene with a half-pipe cut to contain the stem. The piece was cut to exactly fit the cavity inside the frame, with the sides and top cut down a step so that the chest piece's underside could fit cleanly over the panel.

    [​IMG]

    Now came the hard part. As mentioned in the beginning, I found the new socket I would use from some old Gundam tree parts, but I had to figure out how to mount it. So after drawing out some designs (and quickly finding out most were either not to my liking, wouldn't fit or got in the way of moving parts) I came to the one I circled. You can see the final parts above the circled design.

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    (The drawing in black was a design I thought of later that would have been harder to measure out, but would have theoretically "filled in" the lower body cavity to avoid accidentally being pulled out. Thankfully, the epoxy I used pretty much fills everything in and keeps it all in place)

    Because I didn't have a lot of room, I could only make the inside notches so big. So I decided to cut the tabs of the socket down a bit on each side for a better fit. The one on the right is the normal socket, with the modified one on the left.

    [​IMG]

    So, granted, I now have this drilled out shaft inside the lower half of the body that I no longer need, but I just ended up filling it all in with epoxy anyway. You can see the assembled setup below (backwards to show the step cuts), as well as how it fits inside.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, you can see that the abs plate fits right on top.

    [​IMG]

    After filling with epoxy and letting it set, it was done! I've transformed her back and forth quite a few times as well as posing her for various shots, and everything has held together perfectly! Hope you found this helpful, or at least interesting :) 
     

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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  13. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Looks great! I've seen a few of these balljoint mods for her and I think I'll get the oversized KO when it comes out and take a stab at modding it myself. Thanks for the steps.
     
  14. Dunkle

    Dunkle The Merch Mercenary

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    Thank fuck I discovered this thread, lmao

    All I need to know is where you got the balljoint and the socket from and it will be surgery time for this lass
     
  15. Pun-3X

    Pun-3X Well-Known Member

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    Glad you approve! Descriptions of parts used are in the top paragraph with the pics, but the whole thing is kinda hodge podge. My advice is don't be afraid to get creative. Hopefully this still gives you some ideas.
     
  16. DashCourageous

    DashCourageous Greetings Programs!

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    The Arcee with Kup, Springer and HotRod reminded me of that scene in Spaceballs where they capture the stunt doubles. lol:D  :lol 
     
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  17. Dunkle

    Dunkle The Merch Mercenary

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    Funnily enough after reading the thread a couple of times, now I understand what you mean’t. Although I got a couple more questions before I go ahead and pull her apart, sorry if it seems like an interrogation but I really want to get this right.

    1. Do ya know which product number specifically of the one you used, I’m actually doin a fair amount of research on those PPC ball joint packs and I just wanna make sure I don’t accidentally buy the wrong one lmao. And the gunpla ball joint you ended up using can be from any random gunpla kit or is there a specific one I have to narrow out and buy?

    2. Do ya have the exact measurements or at least a template of those styrene pieces that you cut for her lower half, and how thick of a styrene piece did ya use?

    3. Any specific recommendations for what tools to use?


    I’m so sorry if I’m demanding too much from you lol
     
  18. Pun-3X

    Pun-3X Well-Known Member

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    No problems! I'll try to help best I can.

    I don't remember the exact product number. I know it had multiple sizes in it, and I went with the 5mm sized ball joint. It's also the set that comes with sockets that look like cups, also on stems. Trust me, they're garbage. The ball joints are ball joints, so you shouldn't have an issue there.

    The Gundam socket was from one of way too many random PCC trees I had leftover from quite a few bots. I don't remember which one it was. But it's a half-socket, that soft rubber stuff, with tabs on the sides. I'm sure those part trees get reused between whichever models, but I've had them for so long I didn't even know which one it was from at the time.

    I don't have the measurements. I did before, but once I cut them out, that info got trashed. Most of my measurements were just going off the spacing inside the lower body cavity. The second batch of pics above showing the insides give the best look at those parts. The styrene sheet that I used, I'm pretty sure was .080" thick. The slots I made was about as wide as I was comfortable with making, leaving just enough wall on either side that I felt like nothing would break or crack. Definitely a lot of slow-trying until I got it to the right size. As the pics in the second post set show, I also cut the tabs down on the rubber socket so I wouldn't have to cut out as much of a slot on the two pieces.

    I use a jeweler's saw to cut the pieces off the styrene sheet, just because it's easiest. Scoring with an exacto/hobby knife helps, and is the best thing to use after measuring the parts for cutting out the access bits. Make the parts bigger than you intend, then sand down from there until you get your fit.

    To start the slots, I actually drilled a hole using a dremmel in the center of where I wanted to put the socket tab. Outlined the tab size after cutting that part down to what felt comfortable. From there, I really just 'carved' out the slot until I got the shape I wanted.

    Hope that helps!


    I think it's Arcee feeling like Dot, with Kup and his cygar that really does it. :D 
     
  19. Tabiasprime

    Tabiasprime Well-Known Member

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    Wow I never saw this thread, but have seen others do this.....I bit the bullet and did this about 6 months ago. Everyone do's it differently is my experience but have the same outcome.
     
  20. ChucklesLastLaugh

    ChucklesLastLaugh Undercover so long, they all forgot who I work for

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    Very clever! She sure does look great. Your work paid off. :)