(Special thanks to both REDLINE and Superquad7 for the editing, preserving and resourcing of this tutorial. ~SQ7) In late March 2004 I finally gave in and decided that I needed to scratchbuild a War Within Transformer; it was such a shame to not have any of Don's redesigns in 3D form. Of course, my subject had to be the leader of the Autobots. So I began work on what would be a transformable, fully poseable Optimus Prime. First, the basic building blocks, styrene. Styrene comes in all shapes and sizes, the basic is plain sheets, strips and rods. You can get special stuff too, like grooved sheets, half circle rods, I-bars, etc. I pretty much only use plain sheet (usually 1mm or .75mm thick) and few sizes of strip. I use small tubes for some joints and thin rods for various other details. Styrene is quite easy to work with. You can cut the sheets with scissors and an x-acto knife, and glues easily with plastic glue or cyanoacrylate (Super) glue. It's fairly flexible and sands easily, and takes paint well. I decided I'd use the main tires as a scale reference; and keeping with accuracy I decided I'd have to build the tires from scratch, as I didn't think I could find one that looked enough like they should. Anyway, the tires are about the same diameter as a quarter. In order to get that rugged, deep tread look, I made each section of the tire a separate piece...all those tread lines you see are separate parts...it took about 60 small pieces to make this tire! Next, the chest. This was made as 3 separate parts, the center and each side, with scribed in details. It seems a big too deep/long for how Prime appears in the comic, however its more accurate to the sketch found in the WWI trade which is what I'm more or less going by. The wheel and arm hinge are attached, and then the arm is built. The arm joints are various polycaps from Gundam kits, and the fist slides into the forearms. Next up is the abdomen/lower chest. At this point, it's not connected to the upper chest. Following is the waist, which is built upon a 1/144 Gundam waist bit, including the hip ball joints. I built the upper legs next, encasing a polycap inside. At this point I started on the transformation for the chest/ torso section. Rotating polycaps slide along a set of guide rails. The lower body slides down, then back, and then rotates up/back. At this point it was now late May, progress was kind of slow, but that's how I work I took an almost 2 month hiatus from Prime to work on some other things, but in mid July, I began work on the lower legs. I built the working knee joint, and then a sliding frame for the upper legs to collapse into. The outer leg walls were added over the frame. The foot has a ball joint ankle and the "toes" fold down for transformation. The foot is slightly in-accurate, having to sit a bit out of the leg in order to keep a good range of motion. It's a sacrifice I'm wiling to make. The right arm and leg are built. You can see the beginning of the right fist, which is (like the left) sculpted epoxy putty with styrene parts added. Also, a vehicle mode progress so far. Here, I've started on the head. At the core is a 1/144 Gundam "face" with putty and styrene building the rest. It has a ball joint neck. More details are added, most notably the cockpit and rear wheel assemblies. Also, Prime's back and waist have been built up some more, solidifying his torso section. At this point it was now mid-to-late September, and the most of the final details were added. I built the arm pipes from various styrene rods. I also added securing pegs to the legs, inner forearms, and shoulders These pegs (and their corresponding holes) allowed the parts so snap securely in each mode, and avoid any floppiness. At this point, I started work on the Prime's gun. I used 1/100 MG Zaku Bazooka parts for the barrel and styrene for the rest. And finally, the last unpainted picture of Prime I took, showing off some of his poseability, and his new gun. After this a few more minor details were added, but nothing really worth taking a new picture of.