Saturday, March 9, 2013

Custom - "Classics" Downshift

One of my favorite TFs was G1 Downshift. You could get him via mailorder, saving up Robot Points and sending them and five bucks to Hasbro and they'd mail you a figure they figured they couldn't sell in a package.

The Omnibots (those mailaway figures) are a little smaller than the regular G1 cars save for Skids (misconception about Skids: he's a minivan. Us Americans had seen compact cars, but not the City Turbo.). Yet Downshift, Overdrive, and Camshaft all had "battlemodes," where a part of the car flipped out and a weapon could be displayed. The appeal of Overdrive, already a red sports car, he had WINGS that flipped out, so that made him one of the first Triple Changers (well, along with Tracks) even though neither is designated as such. I had Overdrive and Downshift; I wouldn't get Camshaft until literally a year ago when I was full on collecting and realized "Hey, I don't have the 3rd mail away Omnibot."

I thought Overdrive was pretty cool but, looking at him now, he's kind of a flimsy bot. Or Flimsybot (tm). Somehow he stayed together over the years, but I lost two of his three weapons. When I got Camshaft out of the need for completion, well, I was disappointed. He was a little hard to transform, and honestly didn't look that cool as a robot. Plus his head pops up and doesn't stay up; I had to rest it against the missile in the launcher directly behind his head.

Downshift was always a solid figure compared to the other two, and I don't think he gets the love he deserves. His transformation is not unlike that of G1 Wheeljack, and his hands can actually hold things!

This gave me an idea for a custom, of course. And a theoretically easy one...

Now, if you've seen my customs, they're a little on the wrong side of how to do things. I just slap some paint on a figure and maybe the paint holds after a few coats before I put a gloss 'enamel' to keep that paint on. I did the Paul Stanley Prime as a joke. I made my own versions of "Clamp Down" and "Deep Cover" and there is debate if I should have ruined two perfectly good Generations Red Alerts.

I procured a Generations Wheeljack and set to painting. I had to apply a LOT of white. I used acrylic. I used a lot of white paint. FOR THE HEAD, I got an Armada Deluxe Optimus Prime. NOW, here's the thing: most Generations and Animated figures seem to have neck/head joints that are comparatively the same size. I'm making a guess here. Generation Wheeljack's neck ball joint is larger than most other figures from the Generations line. The Armada Prime head could fit on a Classics Sunstreaker or, well, most other, but I had to drill the head opening and open it up before it would fit on the ball joint and stay on, and still turn. Then I cut or shaved off the points on the side of his head. The biggest disparity I think is that G1 Downshift's head is a square, and practically that of a Scramble City combiner figure. Even though the cartoon and later models are a little more rectangular, Prime's head was definitely rounder. Hopefully y'all give me a break on that. ALSO, I was trying to be delicate while painting his head, and didn't want to ruin the eyes, so there's a bit of blue I didn't paint over. :S

I think I did okay. This was the first custom (I think) where I purposely mangled one of two figures to make it a go. I think this is a good approximation of Downshift until Hasbro makes a Classics, which with what I perceive to be zero popularity, probably won't happen. And if they can Generations Wheeljack to make a TFCC Runabout, then I can use it for Downshift.

Opine, please!

No comments:

Post a Comment