Transformers Universe is a recently-dead MOTA game that was created to be an MMO, underwent a number of changes of direction, and eventually fell apart, closing of January 31st this year.
As I said in a previous post, there was a lot wrong with TFU, there were, however, some positive things to come out of it during its brief lifespan. There were some really nice character designs like this robot-eating monster-bot, Mismatch.
Mismatch was one of my favourite characters in the game; I absolutely loved blasting bits off of my enemies’ bodies to devour, and shredding those foolish enough to get in close with my buzzsaw hands.
I couldn’t help but notice that the placement of his vehicle bits was very much in line with the toy Bumblebee from Transformers Prime, and a lot of the spikes lined up neatly with TFP Beast Hunters Bumblebee. I’ve never done a big project of this kind before, I’ve made a few toy accessories and used a few other people’s kits from Shapeways, but nothing so radical, but I really liked Mismatch as a character, and looking at a Beast Hunters Bumblebee going for a fiver in a discount shop I couldn’t resist giving it a go; and so my first serious toy customisation project began.
There were 4 things I needed to add to this Bumblebee before painting him up as Mismatch: more armour plates on the headlights, a roll-cage, a new head, and his distinctive buzzsaw weapons. As soon as measurements were taken, I got working in Blender to design replacement components. None of the parts I needed to build for this were difficult to model, and I sprued them together to save on my Shapeways bill.
I decided to model the rollcage in 3mm plastic rods bought from a craft shop, and to tidy the joins with sculpting putty. That was easy enough. The hard parts were the saw weapons and the new head.
Both the head, and the saws would require me to carve or 3d-print new parts. I went for the 3d-printing option, making the saws as a multipart model on a sprue and digitally-sculpting the head.
The saws are made in several parts for a few reasons: firstly so that they can be mostly hollow, to save on plastic; secondly so that the saw blades can rotate relative to their housing. These were the most difficult pieces of work I’ve submitted to Shapeways, with large numbers of pieces and the fine edges, and I learned an awful lot about Blender making them. I also re-learned an embarrassingly large amount about basic geometry.
The head was a much easier job; although it had plenty to teach me about the difference between what seems easiest and what actually is easiest regarding 3d-printing. My first version of the head was built up from primitive shapes that had been sculpted and stuck together, but a few of the internal edges confused the 3d-printers algorithms for determining what’s inside and outside the solid shape it’s printing. Version 2 was 1 solid piece with almost no internal edges. This was technically printable, but some of the fine details were lost in the printing process, and the horns in particular had problems with fragility. Version 3 had simplified horns, and much less fiddly detail – since you really don’t need much to evoke the character on a 16mm tall sculpted head.
As it stands, all of the parts are either printed or at the printers, and I’m waiting on that before I can do anything else. So Mismatch is on hold right now. Once I’ve got all the parts ready I’ll post again about this project, as I get closer to having a unique Mismatch figure to stand on the Decepticon shelf.