Transtopia Newsletter - April
Thursday, April 16th, 2009 11:43AM CDTCategories: Site News, Toy News, Site Articles, People News, Transtopia
Posted by: First Gen Views: 206,273
Hello and welcome to the April edition of the Transtopia Newsletter. Sadly Stormrider who's usually in charge of the Newsletter is not with us for this issue, he is currently moving home from one country to another and has left it in my hands to take over till he comes back.
Remember, to check out the Transtopia forum for the latest action.
How to Showcase Your Work
The newsletter is your opportunity to show off your work and talent. We rely on your articles, artwork, and customs to make it interesting. Entries will be reviewed on a monthly basis. You can submit your work here:
Repaints, Kitbashes, Scratchbuilds
Make a Difference, Join the Newsletter Team!
Want to contribute to help out with the Transtopia newsletter? Join our team. We have a couple roles to fill. Duties require a few hours each month. PM Dead Metal if interested: Dead Metal
Design - Flix
Formatting - Stormrider
Fan Art/ Guide - Mykltron
Interview - Burn
Editing - Stormrider, Dead Metal, hellkitty
They're the curse of every TF collector's life. I often keep things, just in case I can find a use for them one day, and boy am I glad I do this! Here are three uses I've found so far for these troublesome little blighters:
1) DRY LAUNDRY
My washing line was sagging under the weight of bed linen and trailing on the grass so I took a garden rake that has a hole at the end of the handle. Using a twisty-tie I secured the middle of the washing line to the handle so the line could be held high enough to keep the laundry clean without danger of the line slipping off.
2) HOLD TF PARTS WHILE APPLYING PAINT
If the part has a convenient hole it helps keeps fingers clean and paint finish smooth.
And now the one I'm particularly chuffed with:
3) FULLY ARTICULATED HANDS FOR DELUXE FIGURES
Using a 1/100 gundam hand and twisty-ties I have made a new hand for Universe Sunstreaker. This size is also suitable for Prowl, Cliffjumper, Voyager Megatron and Ultra Powerglide, maybe others too! This is my first attempt and I have an idea that will make it look slightly better and easier to pose.
As can be seen, this hand can make a pretty good fist:
It still fits inside his car mode:
Of course, it can still hold a gun but I forgot to take a photo of that.
So, anyone got any other ideas of how to use those horrible twisty-ties?
Do you have modeling or art tips to share with other members? Why not write a guide? Feature tips from - repainting, kitbashing, drawing, sculpting, and even computer graphics: Send an email to Transtopia.Guide@gmx.de for details.
This months repaints section brings us some more great work from resident Transtopian omega666. Here he treats us with his versions of Classics 2.0 Shockwave and Soundwave:
omega666's version of Soundwave holds a very sweet third alt mode G1 enthusiasts will definately get a kick out of:
Our next Transtopian repainter flix brings us a custom Movie Soundwave:
Flix also gives us a good look at his take on Movie Swindle too:
What would custom work be without Kitbashes?! This month features some amazing work by Transtopian L_K, the same kitbasher that brought us the custom Unicron of Lightfigure. Here he gives us his take on Arcee of the Transformer Movie, both of them that is:
Newsletter contributor Mykltron also added to the mix with a more movie accurate version of Barricade:
Even Frenzy got the treatment:
Sitting down with us and breaking his interview virginity is zero-kaiser, who, for the record, volunteered willingly for this and I didn't have to stalk or harass him for it. (In fact he was so enthusiastic he was bordering on harassing me!)
Burn - So tell us a bit about yourself.
zero-kaiser - Well, as of the 15th of February I'm 24 years old. Originally I'm from the south of England but I've lived in the northwest since I was about 4... yet I've somehow managed to keep the 'posh' southern accent--make of that what you will.
When I'm not wandering around Seibertron.com or looking for a job, I can usually be found playing either my Wii or DS lite; reading; painting either Warhammer 40K models or Transformers; shooting TF video reviews for my YouTube channel; or spending time with my wonderful fiancee
...good to keep yourself busy right?
B - I'm finding myself too busy to work on my own kitbashes, unfortunately! Now tell us how you got into Transformers and a little about your own collection.
z-k - Like most fans I had some of the older toys when I was a child and foolishly gave them away.
Back when I was in college I stumbled across BWTF.com and saw photos for some of the Robots In Disguise toys. The designs and detail on the Autobot Brothers alone are probably the main reason I got (back) into Transformers. That summer I picked up the Super (blue) repaint of Prowl and I was hooked. It took some time for my collecting to really take off though, mostly due to only working part time whilst I was at college.
As it stands my collection stands at just over 100 TF's ranging from RiD right through to the current Universe and Animated lines.
(Photos of my collection are here if you're interested)
I can honestly say there isnt really one single character I go for above all others…it depends on the mold and the line. Classics 2.0/Universe/Henkei is really impressing me at the moment; there’s very few characters from that line that I wouldn’t pick up. That said there’s a couple of TF's from past lines that I wouldn’t mind hunting down someday...mostly from the Cybertron range and a handful from RiD.
B - So give me at least five toys and characters you like the most.
z-k - In no particular order what so ever....
1• TF Cybertron Leader Class Optimus Prime
3• Henkei Convoy
4• Movie Leader Class Optimus Prime
5• Masterpiece Optimus Prime
1• If it wasn’t obvious from the above list: Optimus/Convoy. Which continuity? Probably Cybertron, I'd say.
2• Galaxy Force Starscream: his Japanese voice is brilliant and he goes toe-to-toe with Primus—if that isn’t cool I don’t know what is!!
3• Kup: I had a newfound love for that character after reading his IDW Spotlight.
4• Grimlock: him king, got it?
5• IDW Galvatron: it’s as if that’s the way he should have been all along—a brooding badass .
B - What would you consider to be "holy grail" for you to obtain for your collection? Aside from Fortress Maximus, because everybody wants a Fortress Maximus.
z-k - Ha! Besides Fort Max? If I had to pick just one...RiD Omega Prime. That thing is awesome beyond words.
Besides him? RiD Rail Racer and the Classics Devastator Giftset. I'd be pretty chuffed if I could find any of those without killing my wallet
B - Moving onto your creative side, when did you first start churning out your creations and where did you learn to do what you do?
z-k - I suppose it was about 12 years ago now. When I started high school I made friends with someone who got me into the Games Workshop Warhammer 40,000 range. It took me a long time to get any good at painting but one thing I did a lot were conversions—think of them as kitbashes for 40K. Twelve years later and I still have a lot of the miniatures I have made from various bits and pieces I had lying around.
As for where I learnt to do the things I do? Trial, error, practise and patience. Even if I did something 'wrong' or it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to, I learnt from the experience. I like to think that something is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.
Band-Aids/Plasters have proven invaluable over the years, too, but that’s just me occasionally being a bit ham-fisted.
B - You mention band-aids/plasters: tell me more about your injuries you've sustained kitbashing over the years! I have a lovely bump on one of my fingers where I kinda missed the plastic and found finger instead….
z-k - Well…there’s a nice deep scar on the tip of my left index finger. I got that from trying to cut a Space Marine arm in half. The blade snapped and plunged straight into the side of my finger. I didn’t realise how deep it was until I ran it under a tap to wash it and saw the bone…yeah, that needed stitches. Still don’t have all the feeling back in it either.
On another occasion I managed to saw the skin on the knuckle of my thumb off…which was pretty stupid of me.
Most of my other injuries are minor cuts or burns where I've tried to pull freshly dremeled plastic off, forgetting that it’s red hot.
I guess you could say I suffer for my art.
B - With the amount of TF-related artists there are out there, who has influenced/inspired you the most?
z-k - I guess my inspirations come from a lot of places really. E.J Su is amazing. I picked up Infiltration issue 0 a while back and was fascinated by the interview in the back, especially the technical drawings he had done.
I was equally blown away after reading Stormbringer and seeing Don Figueroa's amazing artwork. Same goes for Alex Milne and Nick Roche; I love their styles and can spend hours looking over their work.
Yoji Shinkawa is name that definitely springs to mind, too. He did the concept artwork and designs for the Metal Gear Solid series of games, as well as Zone of the Enders. With the exception of Metal Gear Rex, his blending of organic and mechanical is really quite awesome.
One other thing I will mention when it comes to inspirations, is my fellow Seibertronians who submit their work to the Transtopia section. If I named names I would be here all day, but suffice to say there are some extremely talented people out there and the caliber of their work is something I kind of aspire to.
B - When looking at the creations of others, do you prefer to see their takes on a canon character or a fan-made character?
z-k - I'd honestly say it’s half and half. Seeing people’s takes on a well-established character is always fun and can sometimes take more planning and thought than some might think! On the other hand I have a lot of respect for people who create their own characters. With such a diverse and rich roster of existing characters, it’s hard not to come up with something that’s not similar to an existing TF.
B - You draw, but you seem more inclined to kitbash a figure. If you could do this sort of thing for a job, what genre (kitbashing, drawing, scratch-building) would you prefer?
z-k - Man, that’s a tough one to answer, Burn. To be honest I love creating things in many mediums, but given the choice of the three I would probably say scratch-building. Over the years I've had so many ideas that so far I've only been able to commit to paper. Some day I'll hopefully have the skills, funds, and parts to give them form.
A job where I spent all day in a workshop building things? That would be awesome! (More so if it was building TF's!!)
B - And what would be your dream design if you could pull it off?
z-k - Thats easy: a scratchbuilt combiner. I love combiner teams and I don’t so much as have a problem with Hasbro's efforts, but I have always wanted to try my hand at it. Truth be told I've been wanting to get my hands on the ROTF Constructicons that have individual robot modes so I can see if there’s a way of getting them to combine.
Failing that I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at making a Headmaster from scratch. I drew up some designs a couple of years ago that I might revise and have a go at.
B - So the one question that everyone is dying to have you answer: how did you stumble across Seibertron.com?
z-k - Believe it or not, kitbashes and repaints. Doing a Google image search for them one afternoon kept leading me back here. After that, I came to the site to look at what is now the Transtopia section on a regular basis. Eventually I registered and started posting. Almost two years have fallen off the calender and here we are.
B - So out of all your creations, which one would you consider your favourite?
z-k - I would have to say one of my recent pieces, a Rodimus Major custom...
He's been a headache to work on in places -coughlegscough- but as soon as the whole thing was together and working I felt very very proud of myself
His rifle looks wicked, too. lol..
B - So let's wrap this up with a couple of games, first up: Word Association!
B - Machine Men/GoBots - z-k - That annoying scooter thing.
B - Starscream Fangirls - z-k - caution.
B - Unicron - z-k - "Hunger" - Spectre General
B - Machine Wars - z-k - Tiny Megatron..
B - Action Masters - z-k - 'They're alive ALIVE ALIVE!!'
B - Michael Bay - z-k - Lolsplosions!!!
B - Simon Furman - z-k - ..likes ending things with -tion.
B - Stalker - z-k - Loud.
B - And now for something a little different: VERSUS!
B - Megatron -vs- Optimus Prime - z-k - Optimus.
B - Starscream Fangirls -vs- Jazz Fangirls - z-k - Ack!! Damnit, Burn. Er,…Jazz Fangirls? (Hell my mum’s one after the first movie.)
B - Mini-Cons -vs- Micromasters - z-k - Mini-Cons.
B - Animated -vs- Generation 1 -vs- Beast Wars - z-k - Man, that’s a tough one.. I'd probably have to say Beast Wars..
B - Well, I just have to say a big thank you to zero-kaiser for a great interview. I hope you all enjoyed it. For those of you who haven't seen z-k's work, here's a sampling!
Classics Nightbeat (WIP)
War Within Ironhide (WIP)
Scourge/Nemesis Prime Fan Art
Un-named Female Cyborg (WIP - non-tf)
And if YOU are interested in being interviewed, just drop me a pm, otherwise, I'll just have to start stalking people!
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