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Alt. Vette Mold ---> New Beetle Reshell! Help!

Hunter Rose

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I want to reshell an Alternator Tracks with a new Beetle.

I am thinking about putting the Beetle on Backwards so that the front splits apart and becomes the shoulders.


I realize that the Vette is a bit longer than the Beetle, however I think I can solve that by trimming back the trunk area significantly (also by cutting off the blasters on the arms, making them much slimmer, you save yourself some space)

I think i can also clip off the front of the Vette's hood and fold the feet up (like say Skid's feet).


However i am noticing that the distance between wheelwells is still slightly off.


Any suggestions before i go ruining my Tracks and a Good Model kit?

Is this a lost cause?

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hmmm. How far off are we talking about here?


The major problem that comes to my mind is how you're going to get the feet to fold up like Skids'.

I'd say (if you're willing for him to be a bit shorter) that you could take the feet off altogether. The way the vette front attaches to the legs allows it to move up and down and at an angle so once you've replaced it with the trunk end of the beetle you could fold it out and down and the back end of the car could be the actual feet. Yeesh, I really need a picture to explain that, but I think you can get an idea of what I'm saying.


The other big problems are the fatass and the doors... but a beetle dash/windshield might not be as bulky as the vette's and... I'd say for the doors you could attach them to the front half of the car so that they hang off the back of the shoulders (like a cape kinda) in Bot mode. I think kibble there would be much preferable to the current hip kibble.


As far as wheel well distance is concerned... realize that the vette shoulder is pretty much entirely car shell, so you'll be making the new shoulders from the front end of the beetle and can play with the distance a good bit here. Make the shoulder/connection shorter to pull the front end of the car back closer to the trunk?


I think with a bit of engineering you can pull this off. What we need here is an illustration or two to discuss possibilities. If I weren't loaded down with homework ATM I'd ms-paint one up, but I guess I'll leave that to you or someone else.

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Thanks for the comments.

I actually played with this for about 3 hours last night.


Firstly the feet:

I took apart his ankles and they are attached to the legs via a ring. If you cut away the back of the leg then there is space to fold the foot up (and the Beetle trunk is taller than the Vette Trunk)


I am not sure if your idea on moving the shoulders or the legs will work with out major structural reconstruction. Which i am hoping to avoid.


As for the Doors - I am thinking of gluing them shut to the rails where Tracks has his missles.


I am also somewhat considering stealing the roof hinge from Skids... cause its so neat. In fact another member here made a BumbleBee out of a skids and thats partially what inspired me to try this project.


However, I want something a little more interesting than the traditional hood chest.


I will put up pics tonight.

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Yeah... that's why I needed to make pictures. I wasn't actually suggesting moving the shoulders or legs.




The area circled in yellow... there's a little play here between the wheel and the shoulder joint. You could cut it out (moving the entire assembly a little closer to the body) to reduce the size of your gap.

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Lobo posted this over at TFW:

Re-shelling an Alternator


First thing you want to think about is the Alt mode. What kind of car do you want? Is there a model kit available?


This is the resource I use to check on kits.


Tower Hobbies


They have a huge selection of plastic kits from just about every manufacturer. You don’t have to buy it from them but it’ll give you a good idea if a kit even exists. If you can’t find it there, try eBay. Usually older kits can be found there. Whatever kits you find, make sure they’re 1:24 or 1:25 scale.


The next thing you want to think about is how you want the bot mode to look? What Alternator are you going to use for the bash? Typically, the re-shelled bot will look very similar to the original Alternator unless you make some major modifications. Also take into consideration how the models body will line up with the Alternator. Certain things like wheelbase and width can be adjusted as necessary but that’ll take some extra work and ingenuity.


Tools you want to have can bee seen here:


Customizing Tools


It’s also a good idea to have some styrene available. Get different sizes like 0.01†to 0.06†and tube styrene that fits inside each other. This can be used for making new pins and filling in large gaps.



Now, here are the steps I usually take:


1.) Cut extra parts of the model out such as the doors and hood. But leave as much of the body as structurally sound as you can. Don’t worry about cutting it into parts for the bot mode. I find this best as opposed to cutting for the transformation lines right away because it will lead to a much cleaner looking car mode in the end.


To do this I generally use an Exacto knife and run the blade along the panel lines. Keep scraping away at it until it cuts through. This takes a lot of time depending on how thick the plastic is. Just be patient and watch out for your fingers!


2.) Transform the Alternator in car mode and line up the model kit with it. When you line them up, line up the dashboards as opposed to the wheels. Typically on Alternators, the dashboard is where all the action is. The door, windshield, hood and head mounts usually stem from there. It makes for a much better looking bot mode.


When you line them up, get an idea of how you’re going to glue on the model. Most likely you’ll have to cut up the Alternator to the point where it no longer looks like a car but you want to keep as much as possible for a good bond. Also make sure you won’t be completely losing major pins like where the leg connects to the foot on Smokescreen.


3.) After you figure it all out, it’s time to start tearing apart the Alternator. First thing you want to do is use a small screwdriver and take off anything that can be removed and is not neceaasary. Like trunk pieces, doors, roof, anything you can. On a side note, save everything! You never know when you might need it again! Those little black screws that are found on almost every Alternator are like gold!


Also, unless you want to keep the original Alternator rims, this is a good time to remove them. Look here for help on that.


Pin Removal


After all that, it’s time to start cutting up the Alt. Best thing for this that I’ve found is a Dremel with a sanding drum. It’ll cut through an Alt like butter. When doing this, the most important thing to watch out for is not to remove too much. Cut off a little, check the fit with the model body, repeat as necessary. Keep doing that until you have a good fit and the model can easily be glued to the Alt.


4.) Glue the model body to the Alternator (in car mode). For this I use either Super Glue Gel or JB Weld Kwik. Make sure you pick out glue points beforehand that won’t impede on transformation later.


5.) After the glue has set up, it’s time to cut the transformation lines on the body. Use an Exacto Razor Saw or a Jewelers Saw for this to give a nice, clean, straight line. Don’t use the Dremel! Just take your time! Cut out for all major transformation break lines. If the line isn’t exactly straight or you can’t use the saw, use an Exacto knife like before. Transform the Alternator into bot mode just to make sure everything lines up and works ok. Now is also a good time to fill in any gaps between the model body and Alternator with Super Glue gel.


6.) Now comes the hard part! Refitting the doors, hood, etc. This really all comes down to re-engineering everything. Most likely the parts won’t line up exactly and mounts will have to be relocated. Typically I try and keep the original hinge portion intact, attach it to model kit inner door, and relocate it appropriately on the Alternator. To make sliding doors, I usually glue a small 4-40 bolt inside the models outer door and cut a slot in the inner door. Then put a nut on the bolt. This makes a easy sliding door that can be tensioned by hand during transformation.


Some items might need new hinges. This can be done by either using model aircraft hinges or making completely new ones out of styrene.


7.) The next part is all the detail work. Add anything extra on the car body that you want to add as well as a new head for the bot.


Transform the Alternator a few times to make sure all kinks are worked out before you paint. Fix any problems now.


8.) Last part’s paint and decals.





Always remember that there’s a wealth of knowledge on the boards. Ask questions if you get stuck.


A few examples of WIP reshells can be found here:


Jaf’s MP Jazz


Lobo’s Alt Grapple


Lobo’s Alt Kup


My question is - What happens to the wheels once you have done step 2 and lined the car up to the dashboard??

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As a Corvette owner and a fan of Tracks, I must tell you that I find this idea to be blasphemous :tflaugh



But to be absolutely honest, for what you're attempting to endeavor, I would think one of the RX-8 molds would work better. The ideal of course would be reversing it somehow, so the nose of the beetle is the feet of the robot, and the rear the chest, but the work involved to move the dash & interior seats might be too difficult. Of course, that's only if you're attempting a Bumblebee... If you're just making a new alt based on a beetle without it being any specific character, it's basically whatever you want. But out of all the alt molds, for a new beetle, the RX-8 is the most rounded & balanced for the endeavor I would expect.

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Its not bumblebee, and again - the problem i have with the Scion (which i think would be better honestly) or the Subaru is that i dont particularly want the trad. hood chest.


Ideally i would want something like Movie Ironhide -but his back end is completely unaceptable.

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Yes moving the wheels is a major structural change. However if you do it accurately then you can still get a good result. Just remove the wheels and measure mark then drill the new holes for your wheels. Then put your pin back in and put your new wheel on it.

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Well, you're going to be reshelling the shoulders with Beetle parts... and the shoulders are ... pretty much 100% car shell. Wouldn't that be a major structural change in and of itself? I'd think that while you're cutting and gluing on them anyway that removing a strip and resetting them would be the easiest part of the job.


I'm not trying to commandeer your kitbash idea. Hope I don't come off sounding that way. Hope you figure out one way or another to pull this off as I'd like to see how it comes out.

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