What makes the movie designs realistic? If you look at modern combat vehicles you don't see a lot of exposed mechanisms. What you do see is a lot of blocky panels of armor to protect the operating systems from combat damage. You'd think if that vehicle was your body, and you knew you'd get shot at, you'd want some armor covering your guts. In my mind the G1 aesthetic is more realistic in terms of designs that would withstand the rigors of the battlefield. I don't like the bay movies because the stories are nonsensical and the robot characters are nothing more than weapons platforms to make pretty 'splosions.