Optimus Prime -Beast Hunters- CUSTOM
Review by Rob
“On this episode of “DIY Quality Control” or as I like to call it, “Pimp My Prime!”
Comparing the CGI models of Optimus Prime (from the TV show and artwork from the side of the packaging) to the toy itself, one can see where Hasbro was tasked with creating a figure according to an aesthetic theme long before the show was ready for broadcast.
The Beast Hunters Optimus Prime is a solid action figure designed for a younger audience, but it suffers from a poorly rushed production quality that makes it look unappealing to the older fans.
The pressing concern with the figure is… Where is all of the missing color!?
Right out the box, the Optimus figure is painted only slightly along the front sides of the body and it feels like a half painted prototype with all of the details that are lost against the stark red and blue plastic.
Taking the extra time to repaint this figure is an easy solution to really make it look a lot better.
Prime’s vehicle mode wheels are stored on the backs of his legs in robot mode, and the toy shows this with a molded set of wheels hidden behind the real ones. These were a simple fix using Testors Model Master ‘Flat Black’ acrylic paint for the tires followed by a touch of Testors (traditional) ‘Silver’ enamel for the wheel hubs.
… Yes, I painted all of the rims.
While I primarily brushed in the silver paint for the broader sections, I used a fine-tip paint pen for filling in the frames around the side windows, windshield and headlights.
On Optimus Prime’s waist, knee guards, neck, and joints, I used Testors ‘Steel’ enamel to recreate the design’s third metallic tone.
The designers at Hasbro take the creative liberty of making this one of the few Optimus Primes modeled without a faceplate, but there were some serious quality issues that I had to contend with.
Some of the early reviews for the figure have shown there is a recurring production flaw of an unsightly scar to run across Optimus Prime’s face. This seems to have only happened in the first wave of the figure, as some of the units seen on store shelves have this corrected.
In order to fix this, I sanded down the figure’s face with a fine (200-300 grit) sanding pick and painted back over it with silver enamel along with the vents and sprockets on the sides of the helmet.
There was some misconception in Prime’s face design with what appeared to be a nose; a facial feature missing from the series’ robot designs in general. Watching the animation model from the show, it is clear we have been deceived by mass production airbrushing.
The nose is actually the point of Optimus’ helmet.
To fix this, one can either strip the paint off of Prime’s face with some solvent, OR do as I did and just touch it up with the right mix of blue paint. Testors brand ‘Model Master Acryl’ Druid Blue paint is what I used here and also applied to Optimus’ chin strap as well as for coloring over the clear green (light piping) plastic piece of Optimus’ Mohawk.
My paint work was not just exclusive to Optimus’ robot mode as I also made some corrections to the vehicle mode.
Like the robot mode’s chest, the front bumper and grill needed to be filled in and touched up along the airbrushed edges. The front headlights were unpainted and needed to be filled in with some yellow paint and later framed in with silver enamel.
While I’m sure Hasbro had an interesting idea in mind with the clear green plastic for the Star Saber, using it for Optimus’ windshield was very uneven against the bright yellow painted side view windows. This was an obvious change using ‘Semi-Gloss Black’ acrylic paint and a touch of the Steel enamel to cover the clear green plastic coming over the shoulder.
…. And there you have it, after a few hours with a paint brush Optimus looks a lot more “Prime!”
“We Now Return to the Transformer Toy Review.”
The Voyager Class Optimus Prime is based on his upgraded form following his Forge of Solus Prime rebirth at the beginning of the third and final season of “Transformers Prime,” in the episode titled ‘Rebellion.’
In terms of design, it steps away from the “Animated” inspired proportions of his original body and endows Optimus with the physique more akin to the character of the same name from the “War for Cybertron” video game (which Hasbro uses as the ‘official’ canon of the Aligned Universe).
Prime’s robot mode is a solid action figure geared for the younger ‘Prime’ audiences to enjoy and is just as much fun for older fans too. Optimus is well articulated using swivel joints and basic hinges in the limbs.
Since the torso is built around storing the folded parts of his vehicle mode, the figure lacks a swiveling waist.
As part of Optimus’ upgrade, the figure features a built in flight pack with fold out wings loosely inspired by his “Dark of the Moon” counterpart.
The figure comes with two Ionic Pulse launchers (with spring loaded missiles) as its weapon accessories that also serve a design function as rocket boosters for the jetpack thanks to the ports on the back pack.
As the spring loaded weapons are better suited to improve his new robot mode gimmick, Optimus Prime also comes with the Star Saber molded in translucent green plastic.
Although the sword’s design dulls in comparison to its source material, the sword’s 5mm peg handle is long enough to allow both hands to grasp it at once.
As Optimus’ vehicle mode has to compensate for the built in features of the robot mode, he now transforms into an armored “all-terrain expeditionary fighting vehicle.”
…and here I thought he looked like a cargo truck with a cowcatcher on the front.
Despite his class size, transforming Optimus is very simple.
The robot is folded into a very compact vehicle mode, using the backpack to hide his robot parts which tab together to lock it all in place. There are 5mm ports on the sides of the wings to hold the accessories.
From the front and the sides, Optimus’ truck mode is very sharp looking and the figure holds itself together pretty well with very few loose hanging parts.
The two downsides to the vehicle mode is just how much of the robot mode is obviously exposed.
Optimus’ robot mode head is visible just behind the truck cab. Unlike the “Prime” series Megatron whose head is clearly visible in his vehicle mode, Optimus’ head sticking out is the result of the toy design and not his character model.
The Voyager Class Optimus Prime is a solid figure for its series, but it is far from the best thing we’ve seen out of the franchise. Not to say I did not like it, but after few hours with a paintbrush, I can say that I like it a lot more than I did.
|Posted 28 May, 2013 - 08:19 by Rob|