Studio Series Leader Blackout- 4 mods

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Studio Series Leader Blackout- 4 mods

Postby Hip-Hoptimus Rime » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:43 pm

Motto: "Nobody has to look for trouble."
Weapon: Reciprocating Laser Cannon
Editing this post to include all my Blackout mods up to now. More pics coming shortly.

I've made 4 mods to Blackout, which I'll go into here: moved tailrotor weapon closer to the hand; made the main landing gear wheels able to fold in together in alt mode; moved alt mode fuel tanks (fuel tanks?) to shoulders in robot mode (more screen accurate); hands now vertical instead of horizontal.

IMG_20180411_130138780[1].jpg


Be warned: as much as it pains me to say it, my mods can occasionally be a bit hackish, lacking a finished polish and neatness. But they work and IMHO make for a better figure, in appearance, function, or both. Some of them also end up partsforming. Please withhold your criticism, unless you can make it funny, then fire away. Also, two of these mods require pulling pins, which as we know is only a little easier than getting energon from a potato. Whatever method you use, please be careful- this is an expensive toy, don't get blood on it. Ha!

First, a way to mount his tailrotor weapon further away from his elbow, closer to his hand. I used a couple of Construct-Bots pieces that plug into 5mm posts/ports, including a black piece that has a 5mm post on one end and a 5mm port on the other. This position, to me, makes more sense for a spinning blade weapon than having it so close to the elbow. The 2 new parts get stuffed into the underside in alt mode. You were warned about the partsforming.

Now the landing gear. Piece of cake. You will notice that each main gear set can fold underneath in alt mode, but you can't fold both at the same time because there's no room. Each main gear has 2 molded wheels, and a spacer in between. First, cut off the outer wheel by itself (don't cut off the outer wheel and the space as a single part, that will make the next step harder). Now cut off the spacer. Lastly, super-glue the outer wheel back on, making sure to align it so both wheels touch the ground. And that's it- easy-peasy, cyber-squeezy.

IMG_20180401_211325424.jpg


Next, the big pontoons (fuel tanks?) on the sides of his alt mode. They stay in one piece in his on-screen bot mode, but the toy puts about half of the pontoon on the arm. I removed that part and stuck it back to the other part of the pontoon, so it's more screen-accurate. They stick out to the rear a bit further than the screen model, which uses a bit of mass-shifting cheating I think, but it looks good. It also lightens up his arms, which are pretty bulky on the original toy but thinner on-screen. The hardest part is pulling the pin. As you might see from the pictures, it can lead to some unwanted marking and damage. Some people heat up the pin with a soldering iron and then push it out; some people knock it out with another pin and a hammer. I pushed and pried it out with needle-nose pliers and diagonal cutters.

Once the fuel tank section is off, it just clips on to the other section on his shoulder. As I said, it sticks out further than the on-screen model does, but I think they cheated. Going back to alt mode, you just pop the pontoon sections off and put them back in place as you transform.

Lastly, I also made a pass at the hands. I modded them so they are now vertical instead of horizontal, i.e. in a more natural position. They still pivot up and down, but the hand is now vertical. It's not easy to get that wrist pin out, and the end result is not as pretty as I would like (the hands are now visible in alt mode, almost exactly like the Voyager mold), but it works. Once the wrist pin gets pulled, you drill a hole perpendicular to the original hole so it intersects it. It should be near the middle of the cylindrical section, just about in line with the base of the thumb.

You'll need a small screw to secure the hand through the inner pin bracket and the new hole, so the hand pivots on the inside of the space where the hand was originally. This leaves some empty space, which you can fill in by gluing on some little bits of kibble from some other robot or whatnot (I haven't done this yet). There is some minor trimming involved to get the hands to fit nicely in alt mode. You end up with the hands visible, much like the Voyager mold, but they look like helicopter equipment to me.

IMG_20180411_130112522[1].jpg


Interestingly, once you have the hand off, there is another way to mount it so it pivots side to side, instead of up and down. Just drill a hole for a screw in the rear edge of the flat body part of the arm, near the Air Force emblem. Then screw into the hole for the original pin, rather than the new hole (if you've already drilled it).
-Yer pal, G
Hip-Hoptimus Rime
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