Jump to content

Awesome Stingers and You


Matt Booker

Recommended Posts

Animated Bumblebee is an underrated figure, hobbled with the cheap appearance of yellow plastic, different tones of yellow, and a crappy stinger gimmick. In spite of this, I really wanted to like the little guy.

 

But something had to be done about his stinger. He’s a deluxe, not BBBB.

 

bbbbve2.png

 

After mulling it over for a while (and convincing my future Mrs. to let me hack away at her hard-to-find Bumblebee), I figured out a good way to do it. The result is a fairly easy custom to make, but one that’s much more awesomer than the original.

 

View the Custom Here

 

gallery_11183_275_192106.png

 

Some of this may be obvious to the more experienced customizer, but this was my first real mod and I’m being detailed for the sake of those who might be on the fence about trying their first custom.

 

So here’s a handy guide in six easy steps!

 

Step 1: Cut a Hole in the Box

 

 

Step 1: Obtain an Extra Bumblebee

 

This step should be self-explanatory. If he’s scarce in your area, Ebay is full of cheap bees. We just moved about 8 hours away and found Animated shelfwarming the local K-mart. Woohoo!

 

You can keep the extra bee for kitbash scraps, give it to a kid, or failing all that I hear K-Mart is very understanding about refunds for defective merchandise. :D

 

 

Step 2: Dealing with a Pin Hinge

 

A Pin hinge can be tricky at first. If you’ve never kitbashed before, the most you’ve probably fiddled with were screws, and information on how to tackle removal of the pin can be hard to find. The method I use is the most common, though there are those that swear by a fine tipped soldering iron.

 

I never thought I’d say this, but I think using a hammer is the safer way.

 

Find a nail about the diameter of the pin and flatten the tip of it so it isn't so pointy. (Otherwise it might slip and damage the plastic.) Just whack it with a hammer a few times and that should do it. Get out those aggressive urges now, as the nail can take what plastic won’t.

 

flattenheadofnailaa8.png

 

I’m sure you knew what that looked like, but I had the picture so I figured I’d use it...

 

To figure out where to nail, we have to find (or take our best guess at) where the notched end of the pin is located. A pin is mostly smooth, but to keep it from falling out one end of it has rough grooves that grip the plastic. That’s the end you want coming out first, and on Bumblebee it’s on the underside of his forearm.

 

How’d I figure this out? I guessed.

 

Sometimes there’s a little pattern end of the pin to indicate where the grooves are. Some sources say the plastic might look a little rougher. I’ve found it’s the end closest to the top of the hole. If you look at Bumblebee’s forearm, one side has the pin further down than the other. That comes in handy when aligning your nail...

 

nailherety4.png

Nail here.

 

comesoutherewr8.png

Comes out here.

 

Next brace the part with the pin hinge. You can do this with a vice, but I wouldn’t recommend alcohol. Gambling should be fine, though.

 

Personally, I didn’t feel like fiddling around with any vices, so I just held the part and the nail in my left hand while I hammered with the right. I have a pretty strong grip, so don’t try this unless you work out a comfortable position with your hand.

 

Here’s how I held it:

 

lefthandpositionview1za3.pnglefthandpositionview2mg4.png

 

You can see that the forearm rests on my middle finger while my thumb applies pressure and helps the index finger hold the nail in position. My ring finger provides extra stability while my pinky pretends to help.

 

A few forceful taps should force the pin out far enough to use some pliers on it. I don’t have a picture of this, so you’ll have to use your imagination. Just grip the end of the pin (made easier by its rough surface) and pull.

 

Once you’re past the rough part, it should slide out smoothly.

 

To reinsert the pin, just use a hammer to tap the pin back into the hole. Remember, the rough part should be the first part out and the last part to go back in.

 

 

Step 3: How to hold a Razorblade.

 

Please skip this step. Just go buy an X-acto knife, a box cutter, or something with a handle. I’m not responsible for any digital dissections caused by my example.

 

Still there?

 

Okay, so here’s the AWESOME way to cut plastic.

 

Get a pack of razor blades meant for a box cutter. Don’t bother buying the actual box cutter, as it usually just comes with one blade and it’s several times the price of just a pack of blades.

 

howtoholdarazorbladevieeh6.pnghowtoholdarazorbladeviefj2.png

howtoholdarazorbladeviegs0.png

 

Hold the blade tightly between your middle finger and thumb while the bottom edge rests against your ring finger. The ring finger is mostly there to balance out the pressure you’ll be applying on the top of the blade with your index finger.

 

So that’s how to hold it, and you cut with pressure provided by the index finger.

 

Be careful and keep all fleshy bits away from the business end of the blade!

 

-CONTINUED IN NEXT POST-

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 22
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Step 4: Where to cut on the main stinger piece

 

You may have noticed by now that the stinger wasn’t molded to fit the way we want it to.

 

:argh HASBRO!!! :argh

 

Here’s how it looks at first, and a second picture showing what we’re going to remove.

 

originalstingerdm3.pngwheretocutonstingerkg9.png

 

If you skipped step 3, have a dremel, or are feeling adventurous, you can just cut out that junk in a single step. I tried that with the razor blade on a spare stinger and it took longer than the three part method I’m about to describe.

 

First, cut off two triangles from the sides. That requires two cuts on each side, both perpendicular to each other. That essentially will chop off the triangle. Easier to see than read, so here’s a couple of pictures:

 

carvedel0.pngcuttingstingerps6.png

 

You’ll notice from the second picture that you can use the bit with the hinge-hole as a guide to keep your cut straight. The other cut is even with the edge of the painted gray.

 

At first I thought that would be all the cutting required for this piece, as the stinger just needs to lay flat against his forearm when folded over. However, there’s an excess of plastic on the bit with the hinge-hole (Why do I feel dirty typing that?) that needs to be trimmed off.

 

It’s basically connecting the dots between the two triangles. Hence the possibility of just cutting off a single piece for all of it.

 

I don’t have a photo of this step, so, uh, here’s a quick photoshop of the completed stinger piece...

 

finishedcutonstingergm8.png

 

Why hey, that looks just like the one with the red triangle, but with the background filled in over the red. Behold, my laziness ingenuity.

 

After that, you’re done with this part of the stinger and can attach it to your Bumblebee.

 

Repeat this step for the other stinger and move on to step 5.

 

 

Step 5: Where to cut on the new stinger piece

 

Remove the two stinger halves from your extra Bumblebee using the method in step 2. Next, you need to cut the plastic so each singer looks like the following pictures.

 

halfstingershouldlooklimu0.pngforblackarachniaie6.png

 

You can use any method you like, but I took a pair of very sharp meat shears (I love to cook, so I had them around.) and chopped off most of what needed cut. After that I cleaned up with the razor blade, shaving off bits until I was satisfied.

 

Here’s where it’s handy to already have the other stingers attached to your Bumblebee. Combine the half you’re working on to the one on your bee and see how much you need to cut before it sits the way you want.

 

You can use these pictures for reference.

 

singlestingerjc9.pngcompletestingergq7.png

 

-CONTINUED IN NEXT POST-

Link to post
Share on other sites

Step 6: Where to Carve on Forearm

 

Emo readers take note, I’m talking about Bumblebee’s forearm.

 

emobeepn8.png

Man, that joke almost makes me want the repaint...

 

Okay, so since the stinger is positioned differently on his forearm, for it to fold away more we have to carve a chunk out of his arm. This isn’t anything major, and the yellow plastic seemed to cut easier than the clear blue stingers.

 

cutnotchwg4.png

 

Just shave away with the razorblade until the notch is deep enough for the stinger to fold most of the way in. Don’t make it too deep or you’ll reduce the structural stability, though that’s probably not that much of an issue.

 

Keep in mind that when in alt mode his hand will be folded in there too, so I carved deep enough that the stinger just barely touches his finger.

 

fingerum1.png

 

 

Here are a couple more pictures to use as reference, showing the folded stinger in full and half modes.

 

fullstingerfoldedga9.pnghalfstingerfoldedoo5.png

 

The full stinger doesn’t look much worse than his pre-Jin-fix stingers, but if it really bothers you then detach the extra half.

 

No, there’s nowhere to store it. Guess Hasbro and I have that in common.

 

:argh MATT BOOKER!!! :argh

 

 

There’s a few other things I’m going to note about this custom.

 

When in alt-mode, you can store the stingers in his ‘trunk.’ Credit goes to my fiancée for suggesting that and pointing out to me that he even had a trunk.

 

bumbleracerpz9.png

 

There should be ample room for any fuzzy cube thingies, miniature human female replicas, or, well I don’t know what that thing is.

 

I also position his head differently in alt mode. I think it fits better this way. His chin seems like it was meant to go between his knees. ... Hinge-hole....

 

Here’s a couple of pictures to show you what I mean.

 

bumblebeeheadpositionei1.pngbumblebeebottompv0.png

 

Something else... You can combine the two extra halves to form a single stinger. I don’t have a Blackarachnia to try this on, but it looks like she could hold it.

 

And thanks to Evil Exe for the great filler so I could actually post all of this. :thumb

 

 

Well, there you have it. I hope this guide encourages others to make their Bumblebee more awesome, especially those who’ve never tried to customize before.

 

Comments welcome.

 

~Matt Booker

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh. Appreciate the tutorial, Matt. That's all I can say, since I don't have a Bumblebee to mod, but the Emobee thing really made my day, too!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh. Appreciate the tutorial, Matt. That's all I can say, since I don't have a Bumblebee to mod, but the Emobee thing really made my day, too!

 

Thanks. :)

 

Bumblebee was hard to find till I moved to a different state. I've seen 3 or 4 since then.

 

Of course, the local Wal-mart just restocked (they were completely out of figs a week ago) and guess what they put out? Four Blackarachnias and five Ratchets. :wtf

 

Target, however, had three or four Voyager Primes and just about everything but wave three stuff. Too bad I don't like voyager Prime...

 

Glad you liked the emo bee. Personally I'm happy I got to make a Speed Racer joke. :tflaugh

 

~Matt Booker

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice mod, man! If I can eventually find another BB on sale, I'll snatch one up for this mod.

 

Now, if you really want your fig to look as toon akurate as possible, add the missing black paint apps that Hasbro was too lazy to do. You won't believe how much better he looks afterwards (I'd post a pic, but my camera is on the fritz and my phone takes embarrisingly blurry pics at macro range.) Besides the stingers, the Animated BB fig always gave me that "something's not quite right" feeling. When I pulled up a pic of BB from the toon I discovered why.

 

The missing apps are as follows:

1.) The lining around the crest on top of his head

2.) The three lines on each side of his head

3.) The indentation that wraps around the upper (or is that lower?) forearm.

4.) The main or whole lower section of the hands excluding the fingers and thumb

5.) The racing stripe on his lower right shin.

6.) The lining around and connecting the two headlights. (I haven't done this one yet. Still on the fence about it.)

 

It's amazing how much those simple changes transform a pretty bland figure (pun intended :) .) and give some much needed seperation to specific body parts. Make sure you take before and after pics so you can marvel at what a huge difference these little details make.

 

Thanks for the stinger idea. Kudos to the fiance on the storage idea. Looks great.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Very nice mod, man! If I can eventually find another BB on sale, I'll snatch one up for this mod.

 

Now, if you really want your fig to look as toon akurate as possible, add the missing black paint apps that Hasbro was too lazy to do. You won't believe how much better he looks afterwards (I'd post a pic, but my camera is on the fritz and my phone takes embarrisingly blurry pics at macro range.) Besides the stingers, the Animated BB fig always gave me that "something's not quite right" feeling. When I pulled up a pic of BB from the toon I discovered why.

 

The missing apps are as follows:

1.) The lining around the crest on top of his head

2.) The three lines on each side of his head

3.) The indentation that wraps around the upper (or is that lower?) forearm.

4.) The main or whole lower section of the hands excluding the fingers and thumb

5.) The racing stripe on his lower right shin.

6.) The lining around and connecting the two headlights. (I haven't done this one yet. Still on the fence about it.)

 

It's amazing how much those simple changes transform a pretty bland figure (pun intended :) .) and give some much needed seperation to specific body parts. Make sure you take before and after pics so you can marvel at what a huge difference these little details make.

 

Thanks for the stinger idea. Kudos to the fiance on the storage idea. Looks great.

 

:clap

 

Thank you! I've seen a few pics of other peoples that they've touched up, and that was the next thing I was going to do for Bumblebee.

 

After painting I was gonna snap a pic or two and make a list, but you beat me too it. I knew about 1, 2, 4, and 5, but didn't know the others.

 

I'm with you about being on the fence for 6. I might digibash a little first and see how it looks.

 

Your list will make detailing him much easier. :win

 

Speaking of paint apps, take some of that leftover paint to Cybertron Mode Optimus's treads. Looks much better than the unpainted blue, and is show akkurite.

 

~Matt Booker

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a fan of Animated, but I will agree, This BumbleBee is underrated. Yeah he looks cheap, but he does have heart.

 

Nice job on the mods, wish he came like that. I'd try it myself, but I fail in terms of KitBashing.

 

Oh and Mat, wanna sell of any of your experimental parts BBs? I'm always looking for fodder.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Find Transformers on Ebay


×
  • Create New...
Sign Up For The TNI Newsletter And Have The News Delivered To You!


Entertainment News International (ENI) is the #1 popular culture network for adult fans all around the world.
Get the scoop on all the popular comics, games, movies, toys, and more every day!

Contact and Support

Advertising | Submit News | Contact ENI | Privacy Policy

©Entertainment News International - All images, trademarks, logos, video, brands and images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies and owners. All Rights Reserved. Data has been shared for news reporting purposes only. All content sourced by fans, online websites, and or other fan community sources. Entertainment News International is not responsible for reporting errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and or other liablities related to news shared here. We do our best to keep tabs on infringements. If some of your content was shared by accident. Contact us about any infringements right away - CLICK HERE