Transtopia Newsletter - March
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 4:17am CDTCategories: Toy News, Reviews, Site Articles, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Stormrider Views: 216,110
Welcome to the March edition of the Transtopia newsletter. This month features Repaints, Customs, Scratchbuilds, Featured Art, and an Artist Interview. Shattered Glass characters are very popular this edition. 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.
Design - Flix
Formatting - Stormrider
Fan Art - Mykltron
Editing - Stormrider
Click on the links to see more:
TFA G1 Prowl grimlockprime108
Universe Cyclonus Omega666
Shattered Glass Wheeljack Trikeboy
Shattered Glass Trailbreaker Trikeboy
Crystal Widow Grimlockprime108
Universe Starscream Omega666
TFA Kup Brychanus
War Within Ironhide Zero-Kaiser
Movie Megatron – Flix
Classics G1 Waspinator grimlockprime108
Shattered Glass Kup - Trikeboy
Kneximus Prime glitched9700
TFA Optimus Prime Trailer Brychanus
Headmaster Horibull and Kreb bellboy
Supreme Saber Prime Transtopias Rodimus Prime
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 month I would like to draw your attention (pun not intended) to sketch by HOWEE74 of TFA Prowl flying TFA Prowl Transforming through the air as he transforms from bike to bot.
This picture impressed me as soon as I saw it due to the skill involved in drawing it so accurately and the effectiveness of the shading. Originally it was drawn in pencil then overdrawn with a fine pen before being darkened in Photoshop. If you look closely you'll see that some parts (like the windshield) have been edited using Illustrator to create a smooth and shiny effect. You may also notice that the beginning and end pictures are darker than the mid-stages of the transformation.
He seems to have caught these stages beautifully and really conveys a sense of motion. Although each image is so clear and lacking motion, blurring it suggests a slow-motion scene.
It probably took many hours of fiddling and experimenting to find the right poses for each individual picture so please leave him your comments and praise here, I am sure h will appreciate it. Also take some time to look at his other works on his Deviant Art page, there are other great thingsthere.
A round of applause goes out to all of our other art entries from February.
Siren Prime's Femme Fancharacter
TFA Style Alpha Trion
TFA/Movie X-Over Prime
Send us your artwork!
Art entries are reviewed on a monthly basis for the newsletter. Send your entries here.
Do you often think up Transformers stories in your head? It is time you put it to paper and submit it to the Fan Fiction page. Entries will be reviewed monthly.
Remember we have a theme for the month - "Transformers Go To The Movies." What does that mean? Whatever you want. Transformers starring in films, TFs watching films, TFs covered in a pile of DVDs, whatever that topic suggests to you is what I want to see. Funny, serious, romantic, tragic, anything. If that topic immediately makes you think "Oh, that would be a story about..." start writing it down.
A quick recap of the rules (don't worry, there's not many):
1) 10,000 word limit. Rough guideline to start with, I won't be automatically disqualifying anything that comes in over.
2) Decent spelling, grammar and punctuation. Run a spell check over your story, and maybe get a friend to read it before submitting.
3) Be specific as to where/when the story is set. So what continuity is it in (G1 comic, G1 cartoon, Armada comic, etc) and where is it set? Before the events of the show/comic, after, during? If during, where does it fit?
4) Fan characters are fine, but please avoid making them those annoying "I am more powerful than any other Transformer!!!" types. Also, consider if there's an under-used existing TF who'd fit the needs of the story just as well as someone new. Existing characters are almost always more interesting to everyone else.
Send your entries here.
This month's Artist Interview comes from our friends at TF.SG, who recently interviewed the Transformers artist, Altitron. Many of you know Altitron because he is an active member in Transtopia. Altitron has won several Transformers art contests in the past, including some on Seibertron. One of his current projects has been the box art for Hearts of Steel Optimus Prime, which was presented last month, here.
1. Ok dude, tell us more about yourself like which country are you from, your age and occupation, and maybe attached a photo of you too! Give us more info, the more the merrier!
Well, lets start off with a proper introduction. My name is Brett Wolff, I am 25 years of age, married to one beautiful woman, Lisa, and we are expecting our first child in April, Blake.
I am an American, but do not claim any state in particular as I was a Navy brat, and moved around quite a bit. I myself have been in the Navy going on eight years now, and currently serve my country on a military installation in the prefecture of Kanagawa, on the mainland of Japan.
2. We all know about your fan art and how you have the uncanny ability to mesmerize us. Care to share you how did you get started?
I started drawing when I was about three years old, with crayons and any surface I could get my hands on, be it paper, walls, tables, whatever.
The thing is, my parents never punished me for what I was attempting to do, they just wanted me to keep it on the paper. Once they got that message across (with maybe a spanking or two), they never did anything but help to promote my imagination and desire to create something.
They always encouraged my artwork from the very beginning, even when it was only artwork to them. Twenty years later, and here we are today.
3. So which are your favourite works?
My favorite work of all time is The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine, by Jacques-Louis David, seen below:
I have been fortunate enough to have seen this masterpiece in person, at the Louvre in Paris. It is a massive painting, spanning 30 feet high and 50 feet long. It is a truly awe-inspiring work that leaves you breathless.
I am also a fan of anything painted or sculpted by Michaelangelo, and Raphael School of Athens is another of my favorites.
Some of my more modern favorites are the works of the legendary Frank Frazetta. He is best known for Death Dealer, a Black Knight-esque character whose depictions have been used by many bands for their album covers. Frazetta also did many illustrations of Tarzan, from Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. He is the father of modern day pop-sci/fantasy artwork, and I have always drawn inspiration from him.
On the other side of the world, Sesshu Toyo is a favorite Japanese master of mine. His suibokuga, or ink paintings, are beautiful. 6 of his works are regarded as national treasures in Japan.
Growing up with comic books, I always imitated Joe Kubert, Chris Bacchalo, Joe Madureira, and more recently, Adam Hughes.
My first taste of Japanese art came when Chrono Trigger landed on American shores, and I fell in love with Akira Toriyamas character designs. My interest grew in the art I could not find at my local comic shop, and when I was old enough to afford my own comics, I started importing the masters of Japanese manga.
My favorite work from Japan is the 6-tome Akira masterpiece by Katsuhiro Otomo. I am also a huge fan of anything done by Masamune Shirow, like Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed. Kaneda, the Major, and Briareos are some of my favorite characters.
I will also admit that I am a huge fan of the Dinotopia books by James Gurney. The first things that I drew that someone else could identify when I was young were dinosaurs, so when these books came out back when I was 12 or so, they were the greatest things I had ever seen. I still read and flip through them today, and they still bring out that child-like wonder.
4. Any works in progress from your side? If you allow us a little sneak preview that is!
Well, by now I am sure you have all seen the Hearts of Steel Optimus Prime box art that I am working on for Griffiths custom-made resin kit. And if you have not, here it is
I plan to have that finished shortly, so you can expect to see color teasers rolling out very soon.
I have been working on a series of Transformers pinups that I have titled Civil War.
This is a collection of works depicting desperate battles between some of the brands most notorious rivals. The first of these planned pieces was Shockwave VS Grimlock, which I believe I have shared on the forums, and is included in my artwork collection on the sites photo gallery. I am currently working on Soundwave VS Blaster, so expect to see a teaser of that on the boards pretty soon.
5. We all know you as a TF fan-artist, any plans to cross over to say, fan fiction or customs?
I have been doing customs work for quite some time now. My website has a small section dedicated to it. I got into customizing by way of wanting to repair some of my old and busted G1-era figures. The first of these were Shockwave and Sky Lynx. They were bought in a non-functioning status, and I did what I had to do to get all the electronics and sounds working as they were intended. It only got worse from there.
I've done a Dawn of Future Past Terrorsaur, made from a Beast Machines Obsidian, and I am currently working on what I call Predaking 2.0. I believe that monster has his own thread in the customs forums. I do what I can, off and on in between work, the wife, my addiction to Warcrack, and commissioned artwork, so it is much more slow going than anything else that I get to work on.
I do have the rest of the Decepticon combiners planned for my 2.0 series. I just got my hands on the Classics Special Edition Dragstrip, so I can finally begin my Menasor project. Look out for it!
As for fan fiction, I never really wrote any myself, outside of MU roleplaying back in the day, but if I were to read something that really inspired me, I would not hesitate to bring it to visual life (I am looking at you, TwilightStorm).
6. So do you see yourself as a fan or a collector?
How can you not be both? I love Transformers. I collect Transformers. Everyone in my family knows it. They look out for me. I have toys sprawled all over my room, from G1 to movie,
I am into about anything and everything Transformers-related. My in-laws have been buying our baby silly little Transformers items, so they have not only accepted the madness, they are contributing to it.
7. Having interacted with the folks of TF.SG in the forum section, in your opinion, are there any differences between us and other members in the international TF community?
Everyone seems extremely nice and well-intentioned. I have yet to read through a single thread that devolved into a mud-slinging argument, or any post that contained less than complimentary remarks. There are arguments, but they have always been kept civil and respectable. That is something that is extremely rare these days.
Things sometimes get out of hand on the OTFCCs boards, and I have to pay to post there.
The folks at TF.SG are extremely friendly, and it is very refreshing. Everyone seems much more tight-knit and familiar, as well. I suppose that comes from the majority of the members being able to meet one another in Singapore. Maybe one of these days I will drop by.
8. Oh, by the way, do you have a blog or a website? Care to tell us how they come about?
I have no blog, but I do have a website. Well, two - sort of.
My personal, professional website can be found at the following address: [url">http://www.thepimpsled.com/
I also run a gallery through Deviant Art, simply because it is just so easy to update and keep that way. It is often more up to date than my own website, which takes a bit of time and effort to maintain the polished, business look.
You can check it out by following this link: [url">http://altitron.deviantart.com/
9. Have you won any awards or accolades for your masterpieces?
I won a sweet polo shirt from TF.SG for one of the contest!
I won a monthly art contest at Seibertron.com with my Shockwave VS Grimlock piece.
I won Most Outstanding Student¢ in my 7th grade art class. And at BotCon, I won a Participant ribbon!
In high school, I won a design contest for my towns annual founders Day Parade, a weekend celebration they hold every year to celebrate the towns founding. I got my picture in the paper, alongside my art teacher and the sponsor of the event. I think that is when my parents first realized that my artwork may actually be worth a damn.
A few years later in high school, when I was a Junior, I entered a few of my watercolor paintings that I had done as a Freshman into a very large competition in central Texas. There were something like 250+ schools represented, and over 3,000 works were entered from all over the state. The gallery only had room for about 500 works, so just to have your art shown was an accomplishment in itself.
Of the three that I entered, all three were shown. One of my works won Honorable Mention honors in a small field of 25 or so, and another placed in the top 6. So I feel I did fairly well in such a large field of competing artists, and with works that were at that time two years old. It was something to be proud of, to say the least.
10. What do you wish to see most eagerly in ROTF?
Transformer dialogue! After the euphoria and wonder of seeing a new Transformers movie in the theatre wore off, I was very disappointed in the first movies lack of character development and screen time for the guys the movie was named after.
All collected, the Transformers had about 5 lines of meaningful dialogue, and 90% of it came from Prime. I really want to see the movie focused on the Transformers. They have eons of history, and each of them has no doubt lived for centuries. I would like the movie to get down and show you who these guys really are.
11. Yes, we know it a cliched type of question, but we would like to know who is your favourite TF character of all time!
Shockwave! I just love the guy, his personality (or lack thereof).
I am a very rational person myself, as my wife would attest. I do not do anything without there being an explicit reason for it. I do not enjoy being wasteful, and I am very prudent in what I do. I see a lot of myself in Shockwave, although I have to admit that I am not /that/ dedicated.
12. What is your favourite TF series by the way? Do you have any favourite toy?
My favorite series to watch would be Beast Wars. G1, while I adore the toys more than any other, had a very kiddy, campy show. Now that I am 25, I laugh at what I see.
Beast Wars, while degrading to slapstick humor at times, still manages to be very gritty towards the later seasons. It gets SERIUS Beast Wars Megatron is probably the best-written villain of any Transformers series we have had. I mean, the guy conquered Cybertron. Who else has done that? Nuff said.
My favorite toy (thus far) is Masterpiece Megatron. I've broken him in two spots (inner lower leg red hinge clip on the first day I owned him, and about a year or so later I cracked some small black piece attached to the die cast 'spine' trying to remember how to transform him, LOL), but I'm still awe-struck today when I look at him.
The only thing wrong with him is that not everything really sits flush and perfect as it is depicted in images on the box and instructions in gun mode.
But it is still a marvelous piece of engineering. Although I do wish that he was packaged with the extended scope and stock as found in the add-on set from... TFSource? Not sure, but I wish he came with that stuff anyway. Mine's got a bit of cosmic rust on the feet, but I actually like it. Gives him some shit-stompin' character, in my opinion. I just think he's the best looking figure in my entire collection. G1 had a great alternate mode - the pistol fit in your hand perfectly - but the robot mode looked nothing like the cartoon.
The Masterpiece version... especially when stood next to Prime... it's like /finally/, everything you imagined as a kid, and in the flesh - or plastic and die cast, as it were. :> I could have stopped collecting Transformers entirely after purchasing MP-05, and I would still be happy today.
13. Given a choice of a massive project which is rather ambitious, what would you chose to do? Any person or people whom you want to work with in particular?
I have a few graphic novels that I would like to write and illustrate in the future, when I finally get around to putting all of my ideas on paper. I sketch characters and locations from time to time, but nothing more than what I would call R&D work for the moment.
I also want to make a full conversion mod for Warcraft 3, turning it into a Transformers RTS. I do not have any experience with 3D modeling at present, but that will change when I get my collegiate schooling nailed down.
As for my most ambitious goal, I have wanted to do a retelling of Dantes Divine Comedy as a series of graphic novels for quite sometime now. I even went so far as to call Penguin Publishing in New York and ask them about rights licensing. Someday, I will get it done.
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Posted by mattyc1007 on March 18th, 2009 @ 6:04am CDT
by each one everyone is getting that much better at it!
all these are great but my favs are the Knex prime and animated convoy trailer, they are some nice work.
second note that kenex prime is HUGE makes the leader seem like a scout, nice work. if you give any instructions lend em here, im sure a few of us would like to build that.
nice work again from Stormrider and Dead Metal, which i could help this month, but ive been caught up. cant wait for the future issuies from you guys and of course the main people them selves the customisers!
Great Work 10/10
Posted by Stormrider on March 18th, 2009 @ 7:50am CDT
Posted by Solrac333 on March 18th, 2009 @ 1:20pm CDT
Posted by zero-kaiser on March 19th, 2009 @ 6:26pm CDT
I'm really digging TFA Kup, Universe Cyclonus, and Shattered Glass Kup I hope everyone out there keeps up the great work!!
Posted by Stormrider on March 19th, 2009 @ 7:39pm CDT
zero-kaiser wrote:Only one of mine made it in.. but his picture got used as the thumbnail for the homepage link!! Cant say I was expecting that!! lol.
I'm really digging TFA Kup, Universe Cyclonus, and Shattered Glass Kup I hope everyone out there keeps up the great work!!
Did you have others? I only saw one in the submission thread for February. Sorry if I missed the others.
Posted by zero-kaiser on March 19th, 2009 @ 8:24pm CDT
Is there a cut off date for submissions for the newsletter?
Posted by Stormrider on March 20th, 2009 @ 3:33am CDT
To answer your question - we use the last day of each month as the cut off date. It takes two weeks for us to put the newsletter together as all the articles and formatting gets finished up. So the March edition basically contains all the cool stuff from February.
So we will be posting your groovy Rodimus Major in the next newsletter.
Posted by Altitron on March 20th, 2009 @ 4:05am CDT
Posted by Dreadwinglord on March 20th, 2009 @ 11:48pm CDT
Posted by TheBigMachine on March 29th, 2009 @ 2:35pm CDT
Posted by Stormrider on March 30th, 2009 @ 12:45am CDT
TheBigMachine wrote:This one got me really fired up to do some art. I particularly enjoyed the interview. Can any of you give me some good resources for online printers to produce some of my work? I'm going to try and submit some stuff in the future.
Glad the newsletter is inspiring people. I don't the answer, but try posting your question in the Art forum. I am sure one of the folks there will know.