This was something I started back when WfC came out. It was sidelined for about 1 1/2 - 2 yrs just because I got stuck in a rut trying to figure out the best way to make the LED cannon.  I have limited free time to work on things so when I think about where I'm stuck, I just don't feel like trying to figure it out.

Fast forward until FoC comes out, I finally decided it was time to finish this up. So I buckled down and got the LED figured out, got everything Krylon primed and airbrushed. I was sidelined another month or two out of frustration from all the paint scraping. I sanded and trimmed away so much and I still feel that there's just about nothing you can do with this mold to prevent it from happening. 

I went for a matte/flat, cartoon styled theme on the paint job. Though, I kept the orange for the cannon the full gloss (International Orange) in order to make it really pop. The purple was a custom mix of Flat White and Purple Pearl but I may have gone a little too light in my efforts to be cartoony. I tried dry brushing a darker purple over top to give it some depth but also to lessen the lightness of the base color. I tried to strip all of the paint apps from the clear chest panel, as I wanted to keep that and the clear shin pieces as they were. I added some Guards Red highlights to wrap it up.



It's been a while since I've done any customs.  Being busy working 7 days a week at 2 jobs and spending free time with my kids leaves little time to work on stuff.  I've also had no real interest in customizing movie-styled toys, which is all there's really been the past few years aside from a CHUG-type figure here and there in a HftD/RtS/Generations line.  I have some 'pipe-dream' scratchbuilds in progress/hiatus but in regards to plain, old repaints and what-not, I've not felt the need to do any.  Most of the toys don't need to have every mold detail accentuated or be perfect, so those with the majority of the key coloring/details is fine with me.  

With that being said, TF Prime Ratchet was a slick little figure but was totally too white.  Like a pale white guy out at the beach.  He absolutely needed some extra paint.  So after about 2+ months of work, here is my TFP Ratchet.  I was able to practically 100% color match the stock red-orange color with about 50% Testors Guard Red and 50% Chrome Yellow, so I was able to leave the stock paint apps alone and touch up some areas without having to repaint the whole thing.  I tried airbrushing some of him but most of him is hand brushed (you can tell by my crappy brush strokes on it).

I tried going for show accuraccy but made some concessions in regards to the EKG detail, doors on the rear of the cab and the stripe/rails on the top of the cab.  I went more for a bot mode accurate design than alt mode.  He doesn't transform as he does in the show, so it's impossible to mimick the EKG stripe.  Since it needed to be on his arms, I continued the thick red stripe to form it rather than the upper thin one as on the CGI model.  That and the arm stripes were a pain in the ass to do.  I did the EKG stripe by laying down some artist crepe tape for the design and applying liquid mask over it and peeling the tape off.  The shoulders were by hand.  Both I had to go back and use the tip of an exacto blade to scrape away paint to get the right look and (mostly) sharp edges.  I really was tempted to do the doors on the back of his cab but left them just red, more towards a bot mode accurate look.

Other hightlights include:

* Dry-brushed details - Aluminum over Gunmetal base-coat for lights, rear bumper, sun visor, upper arms, thighs, crotch, abs, knees and toes. Aluminum rims.
* Lights are clear red/yellow over drybrushed base.  Extra Aluminum paint was used to try and simulate clear lights on rear/side and top lightbar.
* CGI accurate Gunmetal details in abs & crotch
* CGI accurate white stripe on front side panels
* CGI accurate chest & shoulder detail
* Added mostly CGI accurate red paint app detail to front bumper, head, collar, shoulders, arms, back/backpack, chest/abs, inner thighs, inner calves, knees, toes
* Used package CGI for refernce on paint app detail on the swords
* Key areas coated in a few coats of Future/Pledge to try and prevent paint scraping (though, I don't know what you can really do to prevent it on the backpack areas.  lot of stuff moving/touching around there.)

2+ months seems like a lot of time but with maybe an hour or so every couple of days to do all the above detail takes a while to finish.  I also made a second one to put on eBay, which I suppose doubled the time needed.  I'm still working out how to take good photos (can't seem to get Depth of Field right no matter the F-stop to get everything in focus) but they're not too bad.  

I'm also making a custom box package for the one destined for eBay.  It's styled from the First Edition packaging.  I haven't made the physical box yet but attached is the layout in Photoshop.  It's built around the plastic tray he comes in from the RiD package, so about 6.75" square, 2.75" deep.

Next up will hopefully be Knockout, as he's lacking his signature yellow highlights and needs some lovin' too.  Thanks for looking and for your comments!   (and sorry for the lengthy novel of post)



With the name of "TRAX" showing up in a call sheet for the movie and the centennial corvette being a confirmed car, we all assumed he was going to be "Tracks". Well, since we got Sideswipe instead, it was very obvious a blue repaint needed to happen.

* primed/based coated with Krylon Camo Black
* windows attempted to be cleared. Worked OK on windshield... rear window not so much. I might end up giving him a tinted window instead to cover that up.
* air brushed with acryl Blue Pearl
* touched up the logos and grill with Silver as well as under the headlights. coated those pink looking tail lights with Clear Red
* water slide decal of G1 flame (scanned from Binaltech sticker and traced by hand in Illustrator)
* paint/dry brush bot mode and head (white & red)
* added magnet under trunk area to mount G1 missile rack
* added some highlights on the wings and arms, some gold details on the springs and tint the back window.

I painted the wings flat white, dusted a little flat black for some dirt and details (this is the hood, you know. engine dust/junk - no way it could stay clean.) Added the yellow, green and red stripes to mimic the colors on the G1 sticker and stripe. Added the red on the arms to add a little more color to the bot mode. Felt he needed a little.


I love Reveal the Shield Jazz but his lacking of paint apps (especially compared to the United japanese version) is a real eyesore.  So I had to touch him up.  Just drybrushed gunmetal on the front grill and aluminum on the tailpipes, used Guards Red to give him taillights and mixed some blue to give him some windows.

As for Tracks, the main complaints I have for him is his arms - the joints are crazy loose on mine - and the jock barbwire tattoo looking flames.  So to take care of the flames, I used some alcohol to remove the flames and tweaked my vector G1 flames I made in Illustrator for my Rotf Tracks custom to fit him better.  I also wanted to keep the 'reveal the shield' idea, so I removed the autobot symbol from it.  I'm still trying to get my water slide decal skills up to par, so I still seem to get a wrinkle or bubble here and there.


This is a simple repaint of Classics Bumblebee into Cliffjumper.  I didn't really like the Hasbro version, so I never picked it up.  However, I had 2 Bumblebees - the original with the smaller-than-the-tf-symbol air scoop and the later remolded one.  Since my desk has many other Classics repaints and more coming, Bumblebee's starting to look a little lonely so I took the original one and went to work.

I modded the head with the tutorial on TFW2005.  I didn't like the cheeks from the tutorial, so I tried just bulking them up a little with mighty putty. It's not very smooth (and I kinda damaged his right side one) but I'm fairly happy with it.

It's just a repaint with a layer of grey primer and Guards Red Model Masters acrylic.  I painted some Aluminum behind the front headlights instead of red. I didn't feel like adding stripes or flames or anything, as I don't think he needed any.


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