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Action Formers

Wu Long Ti

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I've started work on a line of non-transforming Action Master-esq minifigures. This line of action figures is based on a highly articulated minifigure endoskeleton to which armor parts snap on in order to complete the character.


This is the Proto Action Former. This highly articulated minifigure stands at just a hair under 2" tall. The parts can be reconfigured into a multitude of different ways to form many different creations and body types. Different themed armor sets will snap onto this Proto Former to create different characters.



This is a generic set of armor for me to use as a starting point when creating character sets. Being a generic I've decided to name him "Nail" ;)

The armor snaps onto the Protoform endoskeleton.


The Protoform as well as the armor parts will be available through my Shapeways site once I've done sufficient testing and quality checks.


After I've built up a library of armor components and parts it will be possible to mix/match parts to create OC characters. I also plan on doing varied protoforms for different body types such as the "hero", "thug" and "fem", but all parts will be interchangeable to allow for full customization.



It's been suggested that I make a transforming version of these guys and it may be possible with some partsforming, but I'm not even thinking about that yet ^__^


This is an interactive 3D view of the protoskeleton on sketchfab to give you a closer look at the minifigure endoskeleton.


Action Former - Proto Skeleton (click to view in 3D)


Be sure to follow me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/WuLongToys) for WIPs on the Character Armor sets I'm working on before they go out to the forums. :)

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How much do they cost at this small size? Is it really cost prohibitive to upscale their size to "Deluxe" size robots? I like the idea of non-transformable figures like this, it would be especially good for those cartoon and comic characters that never had toys of their own and typically only appeared in their robot modes.

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How much do they cost at this small size? Is it really cost prohibitive to upscale their size to "Deluxe" size robots? I like the idea of non-transformable figures like this, it would be especially good for those cartoon and comic characters that never had toys of their own and typically only appeared in their robot modes.


I'm still working out the kinks and making sure the product is solid at this size but at the current scale we're looking at a ball park of about $20 plus shipping from Shapeways. I would expect that a figure upsized to deluxe scale would run over $100 :(

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I've gotten my first Alpha tests prints in hand and I have quite a few changes/tweaks that need to be made before this guy is ready for public release.


I ordered the parts in White Strong Flexible Polished and the eye and light channel parts in Transparent Detail. During this test I tried going without the usual sprues on small parts thinking that just maybe I wouldn't need them. As it turned out, the print job ended up taking way longer than normal and when I did get the parts in hand I was missing several portions of Nail's kit and had doubles of a couple of Disposal's parts. For example I ended up with 3 feet and 3 thigh bones, 2 of Disposal's chest panels and none of Nail's.


I also was planning on ordering a protoskeleton in Alumide Polished but that portion of the order got cancelled stating the parts were too small to polish. (Even though the exact same parts in WSF got polished.. go figure). I sprued the connector joints and reordered and had those cancelled on me too. So I sprued the whole thing up and reordered in WSFP. It's on it's way. Still need a complete set of Nail armor though.


When assembling the parts I do have (enough for a complete Disposal) I found that the polished ball joints were so incredibly loose that they would barely hold together. It was like I had a tiny marionette but without strings. I glued all of the connector joints into their skeletal base sockets and added a glue layer to thicken the ball where it would connect to the limb bones. He stands on his own now but I'm not brave enough yet to try posing him.


That said, I've made some changes to the protoskeleton so that the connector joints are already a part of the base skeletal parts rather than having to plug into them. This will sacrifice a bit of articulation but hopefully should make for a stronger part. I've already ordered this update to use w/ Nail.


The other concern is the size. It's all well and good for me to design these and order them and do what I have to to make it work but it's another thing to expect paying customers to do the same. The tolerances are just too tight at this scale for Shapeways to handle effectively so I'm going to scale up the figure a bit. The resulting figure will end up being about 3.5" instead of the current ~2". I want to keep the end price for this guy as low as possible so I may try a test at this scale but with enlarged balls, anticipating the polishing process.


Here's Disposal partially assembled, next to a Kreon for scale.





The visor was printed in transparent detail material which has a yellow tint to it. I colored it using a dry erase marker.. lol



Next to the Kreon and legends Megatron for scale



with the Kreon and legends Prowl







Here, I'm shining a small flashlight over him to show off how the light piping works. I think this might be the smallest transformer figure to have light piping ever.. but I'm not sure ^__^



with the source material ^__^


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