Good day Transformers fans! How’s everything going? I happen to be Seibertron.com staff member Blurrz, and I'm with my fellow colleague robofreak. Funny story short, we happen to be the Gunpla (Gundam kit) enthusiasts on the staff, and therefore that makes us qualified to help you out with Takara Tomy
's upcoming Dual Model Kit series
. For those who don’t know, Takara is going to release kits for Optimus Prime and Bumblebee
. The buyer will receive a package with a robot skeleton, and will have multiple sprues and instructions to put their robot masterpieces together. The duo of Autobots are set for release in Japan on June 25th.
Since these are expensive products and this is the first time many of you here will be exposed to building kits, we thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the likely questions many of you will ask. Hopefully all of you will know what you’ll be getting into with your purchase, or perhaps our words of wisdom will lean you into the direction of these kits not being for you. So without further ado, shall we? Q: Will I need paint for the Model Kits? Blurrz: Straight up answer, no. These sets are a bit different from your regular kits. Some of the pieces are pre-painted (i.e. Optimus Prime’s flames). Maybe you’ll need paint to highlight some features of Optimus Prime or Bumblebee, but if you don’t paint or customize Transformers, then no need to start now.Robofreak: You don’t need paint, but if you want to add some extra flare, then paint away! From what I’ve seen, the kits do come pre-painted, but where’s the fun in that? If you’re up for the challenge I’d recommend hitting the hobby shop and buying some paints, primer, and masking tape. I’m a Tamiya paint fan myself because of how easy it is to fix mistakes if they occur. I could go on for a while about different paints and mixing, but I think that would be an article in itself. If you need to know more about paint then feel free to stop by Transtopia and some other art sites to learn about paint. You can even PM me. I love these kind of questions.Q: Do I need glue to assemble them?
Blurrz: No. It’s nice to have handy, but it’s not necessary. For example, if Bumblebee’s armor on his arm keeps coming loose, etc.Robofreak: As Blurrz said, you don’t really need it, but I would heavily recommend it. It will help reduce the risk of losing parts.Q: What tools should I have on hand while building the kits?
Blurrz: (Nail)clipper and file. Since the snap-on parts are off sprues, you’re going to need force to pull them off. And since you might be left off with some plastic residue after pulling your parts off sprues, a file is good to even out the figure’s surface. For those wishing to have more of a nicer look on their kits, I suggest a Gundam marker, to help bring out the features.Robofreak: If I catch anyone using their hands to twist these pieces out, I will smack you. Now that that’s over with, a nail clipper and file will work fine for removing the parts and sanding off the sprue nubs. However, I would like to encourage anyone taking these kits on, to go to the hobby shop and buy a set of nippers. They are specially designed with a flat edge to reduce the amount of sprue sticking out of the cut piece. I would also recommend some jewellers files that you can get at any hardware store. They’re thin and you won’t risk sanding more than you want as much with them.Q: How good will the instructions be?Blurrz: Well I’m glad someone wants to use instructions! If you don’t, you’re going to be lost. Gunpla instructions are a lot different from let’s say ‘Lego’. They tell you where each piece goes exactly and sometimes gives you the sequence in which pieces need to be placed. Keep your eyes on those instructions at all times! One silly mistake and you might be spending half an hour trying to pry off a piece that shouldn’t be there.Robotfreak: Robofreak: Instructions are great, but I’m going to doubt that the instructions for these kits will be as refined as the Gunpla instructions. I’m basing this off how vague most of the TF instructions have been as of late. One thing that I will encourage is to lay all the parts out on a desk or something so that you can see exactly where everything goes. Basically make an expanded view of what goes where. Here’s a picture of a Gundam Astray Red Frame I built a couple years ago and the first thing I did was trim all the parts and lay them out exactly where they should go on the mech. It helped me get familiar enough with the parts to where I didn’t need the instructions to identify the many little pieces. As you can see in the picture, everything is layed out and not a jumbled mess of parts.Q: Will there be stickers with these kits? Blurrz: We haven’t seen anything yet, but I’m guessing we’ll get a little sticker pad. Maybe for the eyes, license plates and GMC/Chevy logos. Not good with applying stickers? Trust me, it’s better than trying to paint eyes… Robofreak: You want to talk about painting eyes Blurrz? Take on an anime figure and that will make a robot eye look easy. So far, nothing on the Prime and Bumblebee kits shows stickers, but I’m going to guess that we might see a couple. If there are any, I think the only one that would be worth anything would be the license plate.Q: Any other tips in regards to building these kits? Blurrz: Make sure everything flushes well. If some piece is sticking out, it’s because you didn’t file down the plastic, or didn’t push the piece in far enough. These pieces are engineered to stick together, so it’s all up to the builder!Robofreak: Test fit! Test fit! Test fit! I cannot stress that enough. Always doublecheck the instructions and make sure you know what’s going where. For those feeling slightly brave, the parts do use pegs. If it’s anything like a Gunpla kit, you’ll be able to cut the pegs at a slight angle on the tip which will allow you to fit the parts properly. However, this method will require that you use glue afterwards to ensure everything stays where you want it.Q: How tall are Optimus Prime and Bumblebee?Blurrz: They’re going to be huge! Okay, you’ve got a better answer, right robofreak?Robofreak: I may have an answer, but I could be wrong. From what I’ve seen of the kits and have gathered on pics, they appear to be 1/35 scale. (Shout hooray all you military modelers) That should put Prime at about 10-11 inches and Bumblebee should be about 6-7 inches. We’ll know more once we see the official release.Q: How much time will it take to build these?Blurrz: For a first time kit maker, I wouldn’t even put a time limit in hours, but I’d give a good afternoon or evenings work. Bumblebee should be smooth sailing, while Optimus Prime might be a bit tricky as he has more than a handful of sprues to deal with. Robofreak: Time is relative to how much effort you’re going to put into it. If you want something you can fiddle with think it cool, then probably an afternoon. If you want to take it the extra mile and do all the painting, weathering, and awesome detail work (maybe even do a diorama?) then the project can take a lot longer. I’ve been known to spend weeks on a single kit so your results may vary depending on what you want out of the project.Q: Do these transform? If not, how come?
Blurrz: Does yellow snow taste like lemons?Robofreak: You have 2 options. It can either transform or it can look good. If you want something that transforms, the kit may not be for you. Generally, transforming kits can be a pain to deal with and sometimes don’t look as good as you want. If you want something that looks great, then go for the kit and have an awesome display piece.Q: Why are these so expensive compared to regular Transformers toys?Blurrz: That’s a really good question, and I can’t say because they are imports. These are a little bit more expensive than their Gundam brethren that are the same size. But still, for what we’re getting here, pre-painted plastic, and sprues with multiple colors on them, I just have to admit that we’re getting a steal with these kits.Robofreak: Considering the amount of money, I’ve dropped on model kits over the years, I think these are rather cheap. Especially after dropping $150 on a anime resin figure that requires a whole lot more than just snap assembly.Q: Is Dual Model Kit better than Robot Replicas? Trans-Scanning Series?
Blurrz: These are a 100 times better than Robot Replicas because these figures have articulation. Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are different sizes, and not the same! I could see comparisons with the 2007 Trans-scanning series, but even then, those were pretty awful. Both BB and Optimus Prime were the same size, and their alternate modes were garbage. I have to give credit to these Model Kits, because despite having no alternate mode/transformation, they are going all out in how the robot mode looks and feels.Robofreak: I don’t own any of the Robot Replicas or Trans-Scanning figures if that answers the question. The difference between these kits and the Trans-Scanning is that the focus went into the robot mode instead of worrying about it transforming. For that, I’m much more interested in them and will be buying them.Q: Will the Dual Model Kit series survive? Who do you think will be in the next installment? Blurrz: To see Transformers finally take that extra step into Gunpla territory is very impressive. Perhaps the Kabaya Candy toys were a little test in the water for Takara. I honestly think that if you’re a Transformers fan, and you enjoy building Lego, you’ll have a lot of fun with these. Sure, they’re nothing compared to a Deluxe Class Bumblebee and ROTF Leader Prime, but they are far from being gimmicky and useless compared to their previous non-transformable predecessors. In terms of future kits, I think Takara Tomy will go with the opposite side of the spectrum, perhaps countering with Megatron and Starscream. Or perhaps they’ll follow up with more of the Autobot cast, in Ratchet and Ironhide. All I know is that I’ll have something different to fix, rather than just the odd broken spark of a fembot on Cybertron. Robofreak: It’s going to depend on sales. If the kits don’t sell, then we won’t see the line expand. Sadly, economics plays a huge role in this. All I can say is that if you like the way they look, then buy them. The sales will really help determine what Takara does with the line.Robofreak's Astray Gold Frame
So there you have it toy collecting Bots and Fembots. We hope our insight was informative and helpful, and that you enjoy the Dual Model Kit series! If you have any more questions along your path to build these kits, reply to the topic, or shoot a PM to me
or Robofreak. Blurrz's Exia - Terminate all unnecessary Autobots!
The Dual Model Kits are available for pre-order at sponsors BigBadToyStore
and Hobby Link Japan (Prime
All the best,
Blurrz and Robofreak