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THE Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing


WraithVerge
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i have a question, do you have to use any special saw piece for your rotary tool for cutting metal?

 

Nope you need to use a cutting disc. Those little cutting discs can cut through almost anything. I used them for cutting appart my diecast Dodge Ram to build my BT Rodimus Prime. Make sure you don`t drop the Dremel on the floor while the disc is attatched. It won`t hurt the Dremel but you`ll have to take the screw out and put another disc on which is kind of annoying. Good luck on your project.

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i have a question, do you have to use any special saw piece for your rotary tool for cutting metal?

 

Nope you need to use a cutting disc. Those little cutting discs can cut through almost anything. I used them for cutting appart my diecast Dodge Ram to build my BT Rodimus Prime. Make sure you don`t drop the Dremel on the floor while the disc is attatched. It won`t hurt the Dremel but you`ll have to take the screw out and put another disc on which is kind of annoying. Good luck on your project.

 

 

Rodimus is right; be VERY careful. Those discs are a bit brittle, and with good reason: instyead of possibly getting stuck and injuring you by burning out the rotary tool or "riding" out of the cutting groove, they are designed to shatter apart. For this reason, eye protectin is CRUCIAL.

 

Also, I've seen rotary tool attachments that look like minature circular-saw blades. NEVER USE THESE. They are NOT made by the tool companies that make the rotary tools, they are an aftermarket item that is VERY dangerous. The saw blades can come loose and literally fly off the mandrel, sending them right into you. Stick with official dremel tool accesories.

 

BTW, when cutting metal,: 1) Use the heavier fiberglass-reinforced cutting discs. They are specially designed for this task, and are less apt to shatter; 2) Take your time cutting the metal. It's a harder substance than plastic, and the chance that the cutting blade can skip out of the groove and cut you is greater. The cardinal rule of using any roary tool is: LET THE TOOL DO THE WORK. Unncessary force will result in either tool burnout and/or possible injury to you. Finally, 3) Use proper ventilation, and wear a dust mask. Fine metal particles can either cause or aggravate breathing problems, not to mention the smell heated metal will give off during the friction of the cutting process. Also, wear a heavy pair of work gloves to protect your hands from the heat and possible injury (tool skipping, sharp metal edges.), and it's not a bad idea to use a small vise to keep the project steady so you can use both hands to guide the cutting wheel.

 

Overall, I hope this helps you out primusq001. Also, thanks to Rodimus VTS for his input! :thumb

 

-WV

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Okay, I know this one has been a long time in coming.

 

The Idiot's Guide To Kitbashing Special:  A word on kitbashing G1 masterpieces.

 

Now, recently, there's been a lot of discussion about MP Megatron from G1. And as everyone knows, I'm still struggling with MP Devastator, who's STILL in the desing phases. Well, this is to address the issue of building Mp kitbashes, so hang on kids!!!

 

First off, a necessary concession in building ANY G1 masterpiece version is that despite our best efforts, it is almost impossible to build a cartoon-accurate replica that transforms without making a few concessions on something. The dreaded "mass-shifting" that is often involved in the G! cartoons has plagued many of us for a while, and is quite possibly the reason why Hastak only issued 2 MP transformers. The logistics involved in not only getting a proportionate replica that transforms is hard enough, but when the factor of adding in cartoon accuracy is introduced, a whole new world of design woes comes into play. Now, I'm not saying that it is utterly impossible to accomplish this, but we need to realize that the original designers of the G1 line never intended their creations to be animated with such liberties taken by the animators.

 

With G1 megatron, FOR EXAMPLE, the toy is radically different from the cartoon version. in fact, i'm willing to bet that the animators never intended a working transform to be designed for it in the real world, rationalizing that at that size, megatron would have enough internal room and technology to do whatever they thought what even remotely feasible.

 

With all this in mind, we need to keep a couple of things in mind in the design of these projects;

 

1) It doesn't have to transform EXACTLY the way it did as the toy or on tv! : Too many folks get all bent out of shape if it doesn't " bend like that"  on the original, and ect.  But honestly, some concepts of transforms are IMPOSSIBLE with all factors involved. Megatron alone is a nightmare of logistics that would cause the design crew at JPL to all commit suicide with the nearest sharp insrument!!! So if we can't get him 100% transform accurate, well, we did our best.

 

2) Take what you can get:  We are all looking for the perfect replica of our favorites. But often, that's not going to happen. Sometimes, minor details are going to have to be ommited in favor of the overall look. And if that means that a certain panel isn't there, or a little doodad or doohickey is missing, I'm VERY sure the universe won't come to a complete stop and the planets all go flinging off itno the cold, merciless void. :P

 

It doesn't mean by any means that we stop trying; we may well find a way that accomplishes all that we looking for. but a realistic view is needed here.  "Mass-shifting (the bane of TFans' everywhere :D ) has doen more in the old G1 cartoon to screw-up any would-be cartoon-accurate G1 kitbash than virtually anything else in the world of moving parts! So, we need to keep in mind that there is only so much twe can do to fix this. on that note, a few suggestions:

 

1) Don't try to replicate the transform exactly: you probably won't get it 100% right. instead try to maintain the "look' in both robot and vehicle/ Alt mode. Keep the GENERAL transform, but be willing to change a few things if they need it.

 

2) Don't be afraid to take a chance: we often try to stick with what is "safe.' this can linit us to only so many combinations that will inevitably result in an impasse that we can't get around. Remember; transformers themselves are a risk; nobody thought in the beginning that they were a "sure thing!"

 

3) Don't try to get evry detail down: as previously mentioned, not everything needs to appear the exact way it does in the cartoon. Some things are going to inevitably need changing.

 

So, in short, I don't want anyone to be afraid to attempt the hard stuff, like Megartron's gun mode in a MP style format. Just keep in mind that we're working on a scale that doesn't allow for as many ammenities as the "real' Megatron would have.

 

So, that's all i have for now. I should have the pics to Hunter soon, so ahng tight everyone. As always, any questions or comments, PM me or post them here. As for MP Devvy, i'm workin' on it, i'm workin' on it....

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WV is right. I based the transformation of my Rodimus on the G1 version as much as possible and at first even planned for the legs to go straight under the bed however I found out very quikly that those legs were going to need to bend and contort in order to fit into the length of the truck. The best thing to do is to plan it out as much as possible before you get started and as you go along make any changes in the design that you may need to make in order for things to fit the way YOU need them to. Not necissarilly the way they did in G1.

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I've got a slight problem; hopefully someone can help me with it. ^_^

 

I've just picked up a Takara MP Prime; very nice too. ^_^ After only a couple of transformations, the ratchet joint in his waist suddenly stops working. No obvious signs of some component or other breaking (no noise, no sudden change in force.) So what on earth is going on?

 

A little closer inspection seems to indicate that the screw that holds the torso and waist section together is loose; but after a couple of attempts at cleaning it up, it doesn't seem to be doing anything. (Perhaps the joint is stuck? In which case, now all the torso does is rotate around the screw instead, gradually stripping it out.)

 

What I'd really like to do is maybe split the wait / leg connector section and have a look inside; but it would appear that the damn thing has been put together with the dreaded irremovable pins (i.e. pins that can only be accessed from the side they were hammered in.) It's those bloody flaps; they look great, but they are all doing their damndest to stop each other from being removed!

 

Note: On closer inspection, I think I can percieve two screws, one on either side, at the top of the rear of the section. (Essentially there is one in the top of each of Op's "cheeks"; but let's not go down this road too far. 0_o) So if only I can work out how to get those rear flaps off...

 

Any thoughts? You guys are totally the experts on this stuff. ^_^ I'm fairly mechanically inclined, so following instructions and working out the internal mechanism shouldn't be a huge problem; however, this is the first time I've ever looked at trying to unpin something, and considering how much I just paid for this I'd rather not make a mistake and leave Optimus broken and buttless. >_<

 

Anyway, thanks for the time. ^_^

 

- JOP

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I've got a slight problem; hopefully someone can help me with it. ^_^

 

I've just picked up a Takara MP Prime; very nice too. ^_^ After only a couple of transformations, the ratchet joint in his waist suddenly stops working. No obvious signs of some component or other breaking (no noise, no sudden change in force.) So what on earth is going on?

 

A little closer inspection seems to indicate that the screw that holds the torso and waist section together is loose; but after a couple of attempts at cleaning it up, it doesn't seem to be doing anything. (Perhaps the joint is stuck? In which case, now all the torso does is rotate around the screw instead, gradually stripping it out.)

 

What I'd really like to do is maybe split the wait / leg connector section and have a look inside; but it would appear that the damn thing has been put together with the dreaded irremovable pins (i.e. pins that can only be accessed from the side they were hammered in.) It's those bloody flaps; they look great, but they are all doing their damndest to stop each other from being removed!

 

Note: On closer inspection, I think I can percieve two screws, one on either side, at the top of the rear of the section. (Essentially there is one in the top of each of Op's "cheeks"; but let's not go down this road too far. 0_o) So if only I can work out how to get those rear flaps off...

 

Any thoughts? You guys are totally the experts on this stuff. ^_^ I'm fairly mechanically inclined, so following instructions and working out the internal mechanism shouldn't be a huge problem; however, this is the first time I've ever looked at trying to unpin something, and considering how much I just paid for this I'd rather not make a mistake and leave Optimus broken and buttless. >_<

 

Anyway, thanks for the time. ^_^

 

- JOP

okay, I got this one gang. :thumb

 

The screws at the top are only for the ratchet sections of prime's ipper thighs. Don't touch those: I learned from experience that doing so is an excrutiating adventure in reassembling the near-impossible. (and a potential cause of suicide! )

 

To diassemble prime's waist is a task indeed. i don't think HasTak intended prime's waist unit to ever be DISassembled. But to do so, all you needto do is remove the pins located on the flaps of the sides of prime's waist. To do so, you need to drill a small hole where the pin is hidden behind on the front and rear flaps. (this is the best I can come up with, but if anyone's got a solution, then please, BY ALL MEANS SPEAK UP!!!) The holes shouldn't be too noticeable, hopefully. Once done, either drive out the pins with a small nail-punch, or use DLP's method of heating the pins carefully with a soldering iron, then extracting them carefully. Then it's a matter of unscrewing the screw at the rear of prime's waist, and exposing the internal mechanism.

 

i strongly suspect that either the spring for the ratchet mechanism slipped off it's retainer, ot one of the "cam arms" for the ratchet either slipped or broke off. Either way, it should be a fiarly easy fix to accomplish, once the waist is taken apart. Then it's a simple matter of reassembling the waist, just keep in mind to not lose any of the pins, and to take your time in reassembling prime's waist.

 

Good Luck JOP! I'm pulling for you on this one! :thumb

 

-WV

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okay, I got this one gang. :thumb

 

The screws at the top are only for the ratchet sections of prime's upper thighs. Don't touch those: I learned from experience that doing so is an excrutiating adventure in reassembling the near-impossible. (and a potential cause of suicide! )

 

To diassemble prime's waist is a task indeed. i don't think HasTak intended prime's waist unit to ever be DISassembled. But to do so, all you needto do is remove the pins located on the flaps of the sides of prime's waist. To do so, you need to drill a small hole where the pin is hidden behind on the front and rear flaps. (this is the best I can come up with, but if anyone's got a solution, then please, BY ALL MEANS SPEAK UP!!!) The holes shouldn't be too noticeable, hopefully. Once done, either drive out the pins with a small nail-punch, or use DLP's method of heating the pins carefully with a soldering iron, then extracting them carefully. Then it's a matter of unscrewing the screw at the rear of prime's waist, and exposing the internal mechanism.

 

i strongly suspect that either the spring for the ratchet mechanism slipped off it's retainer, ot one of the "cam arms" for the ratchet either slipped or broke off. Either way, it should be a fiarly easy fix to accomplish, once the waist is taken apart. Then it's a simple matter of reassembling the waist, just keep in mind to not lose any of the pins, and to take your time in reassembling prime's waist.

 

Good Luck JOP! I'm pulling for you on this one! :thumb

 

-WV

 

First off, thanks already for taking the time to reply and help me out! ^_^ You guys could easily be dismissing the idiotic newbies, but I think it's great that you are pulling for us instead. Kudos. ^_^

 

I have taken note on not removing those two screws; the last thing I need to do is spring-fire the ratchet mechanism half-way across the room, let alone try and put it all back together again (as opposed to into my eye.)

 

I also think you are right about the waist being designed not to come apart again once assembled; the way the waist flaps cover one another is pretty indicative. I'm not going to try drilling it just yet, but I'm holding it as a posibility.

 

(If only Takara had used a single long pin for each set of matching flaps instead of multiple pins; that would've made this a lot easier!)

 

I like the idea of using the pin heating technique; although that brings me to my next question: can anyone suggest a good heat iron to use? Obviously, I'm thinking along the lines of something with a tip sufficiently narrow that I can apply it to the pin without melting the surrounding plastic immediately. ^_^

 

Anyway, thanks for all rooting for me; and although it may be a while before I get this sorted, I'm sure I'll keep you all up-to-date on what's happening. ^___^

 

- JOP

 

P.S. An interesting thought, and well out of my capability to test... but what are the magnetic properties of these pins like? I'm curious as to whether or not one could attach a decent sized electromagnet and use that to pull the pins out. ^_^)

 

Edit: I don't know how this looks to anyone else, but I'm seeing broken BB code... truely, I am a master of my newbie art. ^_^

Edited by JOP
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The pins are a magnetable type of metal but the way they are held in requires that the pin be pushed out at least part way. One end of the pin is "textured" so that it will grip the inside of the hole to keep it in. I hope this helps some what.

 

The only experience I`ve had with the pins is when cutting appart Smokescreen for making my Rodimus Prime. So I cut the pins away from the parts I needed and I REALLY don`t think that`s the answer here. Good luck on this.

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First off, thanks already for taking the time to reply and help me out! ^_^ You guys could easily be dismissing the idiotic newbies, but I think it's great that you are pulling for us instead. Kudos. ^_^

 

That's what we're here for at the Idiot's Guide, JOP. I don't think of anyone as an idiot, and we all had to start out somewhere in this craft. Besides, Has/Tak doesn't exactly make our hobby easy on us, and we need all the help we can get. So if one of us has an idea on what to do, I think it's our duty to everyone else to share it with them.

 

As for the magnet idea, I don't really think that will work. Rodimus is correct; the pins are knurled on the ends, and won't come out sans physical force or heating. I'm going to ask a couple of friends about this, so if i find out anything else, you'll be the first to know.

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The pins are a magnetable type of metal but the way they are held in requires that the pin be pushed out at least part way. One end of the pin is "textured" so that it will grip the inside of the hole to keep it in. I hope this helps some what.

 

The only experience I`ve had with the pins is when cutting appart Smokescreen for making my Rodimus Prime. So I cut the pins away from the parts I needed and I REALLY don`t think that`s the answer here. Good luck on this.

 

I understand; the textured end appears to be covered in a 'spikey' pattern that is slightly larger than the receiving pinhole, thus holding the entire assembly in place. Makes sense to me. ^_^

 

My curious thinking is that if you took a powerful enough electromagnet, you could attach it to the rough end of the pin, and use that force to hold the pin in place whilst one pulled the surrounding plastic off of it. So basically, instead of pushing the pin out, you'd be pulling it out. ^_^

 

Mind you, this is just idle theory and not something I can try out any time soon, not to mention the posibility that (a) no home-version electromagnet strong enough exists or (b) it does but the procedure would fail as the electromagnetic field would attract all other metal components.

 

Like I said, idle theory. I think of whacky stuff like this. ^____^

 

As for the MP, I'm looking to find a heat iron small enough to heat the ends of the pins without touching up against the plastic itself; all suggestions welcome. ^_^ Bloody heck; considering the amount these things cost, one would rather hope that they wouldn't neccesitate such repairs simply because the joint got rotated a couple of times. ^_^

 

Again, kudos to you lot, you are great people. ^___^

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