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TFA Axalon Crew

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TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Gizmo_Tracer » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:06 pm

Acting Magnus Optimus Prime commissions the Axalon, a top secret Elite Guard exploration vessel with orders to track down the technorganics Blackarachnia and Waspinator, with the hope that the pair might be cured. There's just one catch. With most of the Autobot forces busy hunting down the remaining Decepticon cells left after Megatron's defeat, the mission commander, a bot known only as Primal, must choose his crew from a pool of misfits and washouts looking for one last chance to prove themselves...

Not much is known about the bot called Primal. He doesn't seem to hold any official rank, but he's treated with respect even by the Magnus. He's surprisingly well armed and a furious fighter, but his true strength lies in his peerless leadership skills. There are even rumours that he's somehow connected to the experiments at and subsequent destruction of Colony Omicron. Regardless, he seems the perfect choice to lead Axalon's misfit crew. After all, sometimes crazy works.

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Part of the Elite Guard Exploration Corp, with special dispensation to investigate organic planets, Tigatron rarely spends time on Cybertron. That seems to suit him just fine, generating rumours that he's gone 'native', going so far as to rename himself after an organic species he admires. An accomplished Metallikato practitioner with mods that make both of his modes virtually silent, Tigatron was happy to sign on as the Axalon's security officer and field biologist.

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There's something off about that Airazor femme. Maybe it's the organic design elements she's insisted on incorporating into her chassis, or maybe it's that she doesn't seem to understand that Autobots were never meant to fly. With a streamlined design that cuts through wind resistance and modified jump-jets that allow for amazing leaps, Airazor has never stopped reaching for the sky. Her tremendous skill handling the Chromia 10 made her a natural choice to be the Axalon's pilot.

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This young Autobot graduated from basic training near the top of his squad, earning a reputation as a top-notch scout and the nickname Spottor. After eleven consecutive applications, however, he still hasn't been accepted into the Academy. First he accidentally set the test course on fire, then there were the injuries to the adjudicators... Inevitably his enthusiasm and recklessness gets him into one sort of trouble or another. Nevertheless, Primal seems to see potential in the young bot.

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A Decepticon turned mercenary who left his faction over what he perceived as a lack of honour, Dynobot had the misfortune of visiting Cybertron during Sentinel Prime's brief administration, which made little distinction between former and current 'Cons. Thrown into the Stockade, he ended up sharing a cell with Rattletrap, an Autobot lowlife implicated in the Shockwave scandal. Though the pair took an immediate and vocal dislike to one another, they agreed to work together to escape. Evading guards and security systems alike, their plan was succeeding, until they both attempted to double-cross the other at the last moment. The attempt brought them to the attention of Primal, however, who decided Dynobot and Rattletrap might be just what he needed to track down another rogue Decepticon and Stockade escapee.

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Primal's oldest friend, the imposing Knox is a genius with all things mechanical. One of the scientists at Colony Omicron, he severed all ties with the Elite Guard after the colony's destruction, and returned to Cybertron, spending his time doing repair work at free clinics. Initially refusing to be part of the Axalon crew, Knox was convinced when Primal admitted to the mission's secret, secondary objective. The gentle giant reluctantly agreed to serve as the ship's engineer and medic.

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Group photo, everybody!

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A couple of fun posters:

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Temporal anomaly! "Who the spotted heck are you supposed to be?!"

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Finally, Airazor and Tigatron combine to form Tigerhawk! ...sort of.

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Alright, pictures aside, let's get down to brass tacks, eh?

Primal's sword, which is constructed from styrene and metal rings, is a fictional combination of the zhǎn mǎ dāo, a two-handed anti-cavalry weapon, and the appropriately named nine-ring broadsword, a theatrical variant on a one-handed dāo, both of Chinese origin. I wanted to give a nod to his swords from Beast Wars which keeping the mold's awesome two-handed chop pose. Primal's scimitars always struck me as a little ostentatious, though very cool, compared to his other weapons, so it seemed like a good fit. His pseudo-smokestacks become his wrist cannons as well. I took a cue from TFA Waspinator and went with a slightly darker colour palate, which is particularly noticeable with regard to the darker of the two reds.

I was wracking my brain for a non-gun weapon for Cheetor, and a boomerang seemed to hilarious to pass up. It really seems to work with the character, though I'd be hard pressed to explain why. The shape of this particular boomerang is a bit of an homage to the one wielded by Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender. His spots were applied with bits of sponge, and I learned in the process of painting him that yellow paint is pure, undiluted evil. It kept drying with inexplicable dark streaks running through it; I eventually got something I'm pleased with, but I'm curious whether or not anyone else has had a similar problem. Oh, and it's tough to see here, but he does have freckles!

While a lot of people may have been expecting me to use Bumblebee for Rattrap, hear me out. Unlike the rest of the Axalon Crew, he actually appeared in Animated, as Rattletrap. As such I based him primarily off of that character model. Take a look at the shoulders and chest, and I think you'll see why I went with Swindle for his base. Besides, he's short, and hidden, flip-out heavy artillery seems very Rattrap, eh? I'm especially pleased with the way the head turned out.

Dinobot is almost certainly the least surprising of the crew. Let's face it, Nemesis Predaking, Terrorcon King and others have all been there, done that and bought the novelty t-shirt. All appropriate kudos go out to them for blazing the way. Standard hand-fix is in effect. It took a little while to mix a chocolatey brown I was happy with, as well as the colour used for his 'helmet'. I really wanted to give him his helmet fins, but there was no way they would fit in vehicle mode. I'm quite happy with his scarred faction symbol, though, which was inspired by Armada Wheeljack/Shattered Glass Drench/Shattered Glass Sideswipe.

One thing that away set Dinobot apart on Beast Wars was his heavy use of a sword. Obviously in the melee-weapon rich Animated environment that's not such a big deal, so I wanted to give his something a bit more unusual. I also wanted something that he could spin around, like his old tail-propeller-shield-thing, so a polearm seemed like a natural choice. I ultimately decided on a naginata, which is made from styrene and a 1/8' dowel.

Now, before anyone thinks I'm completely insane, I got the Leader-class Bulkhead that served as Rhinox's base at a substantial discount. I actually tried using the Voyager-class version first, but that one's barely as tall as Rattrap! Obviously, that would not stand. The downside to the larger mold is that, due to the electronic and geared gimmicks, I wasn't able to do much in the may of modification to the head. Fortunately, Bulkhead already looks a bit like Rhinox.

I scrapped the mold's ridiculous missile racks, then converted the buzzsaw hand into an approximation of Rhinox's old 'Chaingun of Doom'. I went this way instead of making an actual gun for two reasons. First, none of the bots in Animated have guns which are separate from their bodies; everything is incorporated into their arms or shoulders or whatever. Second, have you seen Bulkhead's hands? No way those were holding anything. As a fun bit of trivia, he's painted primarily in the Formula P3 colour 'Beast Hide'. It seemed rather apropos.

So there you have it! Seven, count 'em, seven bots for the price of one (although you've technically already seen Tigatron and Airazor)! Now they just need somebody to fight, eh?
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby blobatron » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:58 pm

Motto: "Put on a snuggie! (this is said while throwing my hands in the air, as the cheerful white people do on the comercials.)"
Weapon: Wire-Guided Incendiary Missiles
WOW! I love it! Never have been much of a TFA fan, what with there Powerpuff, Saturday morning toddler cartoon style, but they look way better with your mods. I especially love your Dinobot. Even though he doesn't transform from a dinosaur in your mod, it screams Dinobot. Great work and thanks for sharing!
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby trans-fanatic » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:35 pm

Motto: "If I take that... put it here... Aha! The perfect blender!"
Weapon: Arm-Mounted Magnetic-Lock Destabilizer Cannon
I wanted to draw their cybertron modes in TFA style for forever could i use your customs?
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Samsonator » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:45 pm

Motto: ""Death is the only way out.""
Weapon: Sword of Fury
Well played, any plans for the Animated Predacons?
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Heckfire » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:52 am

Motto: "Nothing is impossible, just improbable."
Weapon: "Claw" Flame-Throwers
Like I said when you posted Tigatron and Airazor, these are PERFECT.
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Doubledealer93 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:16 pm

Motto: "A logical mind is a healthy mind."
Weapon: Double-Barreled, Armor-Piercing Particle Beam Cann...
dude! that rules! nice work as always!
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Convotron » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:33 pm

Motto: "When in doubt, transform and roll out!"
Weapon: Saber Blade
First of all, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful work! :APPLAUSE:

I love the combination of fiction along with the photos of the customs. I think this is more than worthy of a convention exclusive. Normally I look at Botcon sets and may want one or two of the redecos/retoolings but I would definitely buy this entire set without hesitation.

I also really appreciate your sharing of the behind-the-scenes of your customizing process for these figures. I love these kinds of "commentary" bits with custom work. It gives aspiring customizers like me some more help!

It's great to see some love for the zhan ma dao. Horse. Chopping. Sword. What more does a weapon's name have to say?

Also good to see some love for Avatar. It's such a good non-anime anime, if you know what I mean, hehe.

Everything about Swindle's mode is great for Rattrap!

The choice for a naginata as Dinobot's weapon is inspired and cool! An alternative that I think would be a cool weapon would be the three section staff. As a concept, it works, but as an accessory for a toy, it's not that great(as much as I love Oil Slick, his chain keg weapon isn't the best for posing).

Thanks again for sharing your great work!
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Geminii » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:23 am

Motto: "Ideas may hide in plain sight."
Weapon: Twin Turretted 8MM Electro-Static Cannons
Very nice work. I wonder if the phrases associated with each character might work better with the "S/He has" part dropped?
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Gizmo_Tracer » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:26 pm

blobatron wrote:WOW! I love it! Never have been much of a TFA fan, what with there Powerpuff, Saturday morning toddler cartoon style, but they look way better with your mods. I especially love your Dinobot. Even though he doesn't transform from a dinosaur in your mod, it screams Dinobot. Great work and thanks for sharing!


Thanks! I personally like Animated's clean, bright style, which is why I had to apply it to these guys. Don't forget, even shows made for little kids are written by adults! There's often a lot more there than you might think!

trans-fanatic wrote:I wanted to draw their cybertron modes in TFA style for forever could i use your customs?


Sure, go for it! Just link back here or to my dA page if you use these designs. Let me know when you've got something, I'd love to see it!

Samsonator wrote:Well played, any plans for the Animated Predacons?


I've already got Terrorsaur and Scorponok squared away, and I'm well into Tarantulas! I should have something to put up before the end of the month. Fair warning, some of my interpretations of those guys are little... radical. Ooh, mysterious!

Convotron wrote:First of all, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful work! :APPLAUSE:

I love the combination of fiction along with the photos of the customs. I think this is more than worthy of a convention exclusive. Normally I look at Botcon sets and may want one or two of the redecos/retoolings but I would definitely buy this entire set without hesitation.

I also really appreciate your sharing of the behind-the-scenes of your customizing process for these figures. I love these kinds of "commentary" bits with custom work. It gives aspiring customizers like me some more help!

It's great to see some love for the zhan ma dao. Horse. Chopping. Sword. What more does a weapon's name have to say?

Also good to see some love for Avatar. It's such a good non-anime anime, if you know what I mean, hehe.

Everything about Swindle's mode is great for Rattrap!

The choice for a naginata as Dinobot's weapon is inspired and cool! An alternative that I think would be a cool weapon would be the three section staff. As a concept, it works, but as an accessory for a toy, it's not that great(as much as I love Oil Slick, his chain keg weapon isn't the best for posing).

Thanks again for sharing your great work!


Well, thank you for such great feedback! It's always nice to hear what people like about my work! I'm a big fan of Avatar myself, and it's hard to go wrong with Chinese weapon naming conventions!

Geminii wrote:Very nice work. I wonder if the phrases associated with each character might work better with the "S/He has" part dropped?


Y'know, I started doing those posters with the 'He has/She has' lines for my Animated Cliffjumper, Glyph and Tap-Out, and never really planed on using them beyond that set. Somehow it sort of evolved into my 'thing'. Go figure!
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Name_Violation » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:44 am

Motto: "It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."
Weapon: Multi-Function Sword
Nice
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Predaprince » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:28 pm

Motto: ""Destruction is the fate of all sentient beings.""
Weapon: Sonic Rifle
Other than Primal and Cheetor's heads, these look awesome! Primal's face seems off and Cheetor's head should be sculpt more round than it is.
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby primezimm » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:20 pm

This is really cool! I like how you brought Beast Wars into this mythos. Can't wait to see more. :grin:
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby shonenfan4 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:45 am

Weapon: Fusion Blaster Cannon
:APPLAUSE: really amazing, even has its own promotional posters. ORZ =P~
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby trans-fanatic » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:05 pm

Motto: "If I take that... put it here... Aha! The perfect blender!"
Weapon: Arm-Mounted Magnetic-Lock Destabilizer Cannon
[quote=

trans-fanatic wrote:I wanted to draw their cybertron modes in TFA style for forever could i use your customs?


Sure, go for it! Just link back here or to my dA page if you use these designs. Let me know when you've got something, I'd love to see it!

[/quote]

I dont have a scanner, so I really couldn't post back! They would be personal drawings. Sorry.
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby The Freezer » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:28 am

Fantastic stuff really top drawer
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Blurrz » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:23 pm

Motto: "The Wreckers. Weird brain bullets. Impossible odds... It doesn't get much better than this."
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This is religious. Purely inspirational. I've got the urge to start customizing. Good stuff mate.
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Editor » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:13 pm

Motto: ""I'm not even supposed to be here today!""
Weapon: Shotgun
When I saw the first image I thought it was interesting but as I moved down thru the post, I can only say..

WOW.

Great idea, well executed. I love the use of the lockdown mold for Dynobot, brilliant casting using the available forms.

I hope to see you do a lot for an Animated Darksyde to balance things out.
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Gizmo_Tracer » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:35 pm

Editor wrote:I hope to see you do a lot for an Animated Darksyde to balance things out.


Well, they certainly need someone to fight, don't they?

Here's a fun pic with both sides together:
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It's a take on the classic cover for (Uncanny) X-Men 100, for anyone unfamiliar with the pose. You can see a larger version here.

While I'm at it:
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Last edited by Gizmo_Tracer on Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Mythos » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:37 pm

Motto: "Knowledge is Power...Cannon!"
Weapon: Static Laser Gun
OMG I have never wanted any of the Animation figs before seeing this post. WELL DONE!
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby metalspark » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:11 pm

Motto: ""Questions then answers ""
Weapon: Twin Photon Blasters
i tried making optimus primal out of 'the battle begins' optimus
hes just brown and grey your is 10/10
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Re: TFA Axalon Crew

Postby Galora » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:56 pm

Weapon: Requiem Blaster
And, suddenly, my fingers itch to write a fanfiction. IIt is a very nice work, the TFA Dinobot is just perfect, and the scratched con simbol is a very acurate detail. Lovable.
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