The G1ening: Customisations for TFP Prowl

This is Prowl, from the Transformers (1985-):

Getting shot hurts.

A montage of images of Prowl from Generation 1. First, we’ve his box art, then there’s two frames of his unnecessarily violent death, just to remind how dark The Transformers was in the 80s. Character © Hasbro.

This is Prowl From Transformers Prime (2010-2014):

Stock photo of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Prowl, a Deluxe-class figure released by Hasbro in 2013. Photo and toy © Hasbro.

Stock photo of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Prowl, a Deluxe-class figure released by Hasbro in 2013. Photo and toy © Hasbro.

I decided to make a project of altering the latter to look more like the former. Part of my reasoning for doing this is that I love G1, and part of my reasoning is that this gorgeous sculpt deserves, IMHO, some less-plain decorations.

Prowl explains the "Arclight Incident" that lead to the TFU Autobots being stranded on Earth.

Prowl explains the incident that lead to the TFU Autobots being stranded on Earth.

Prowl was a fixture of the ill-fated Transformers Universe. He wasn’t a playable character, but would “supervise” Autobot players in PvP, sending messages of encouragement when the game wasn’t going well for the ‘bots, and congratulating them on victories. He also explains the plot during the tutorial.

To achieve the look I wanted, I had to address the following issues: the missile-launchers (absent in Prowl’s Prime toy incarnation, despite appearing in his concept art and in TFU), the gun (a pointy rifle in G1, and a snub-nosed missile-pistol in Prime), and the decoration (more extensive in G1).

To create the missile launchers, I built a simple rack in Blender thus:

A Netfabb screenshot of Prowl's missile rack

This is a screenshot of the missile rack in netfabb, a handy little tool I use to find errors in my CAD models before submitting them to Shapeways.

This rack fits onto the struts which support Prowl’s door-wings, sliding tightly on from behind, and remains in place by simple pressure-fit. The two cross-shaped holes in the cylindrical structures at the back are to hold two spare missiles from Beast Hunters Bumblebee. I have a few of the “arrows” from his bow-like weapon spare, since I bought a couple of copies this figure to pull apart for another toy customization project. Mounted on his shoulders, the rack pretty much disappears from (frontal) view – only missiles are clearly visible.

The next issue was the gun: I didn’t need to design this piece, since it’s been done dozens of times. My favourites are this one, by Moffman180, this one by Kurisama this one by sunlink,. I went for the Moffman180 design in polished White Strong Flexible, and painted it silver with acrylic paint, which came out looking like this:

Pew Pew!

According to the wiki, this is an Acid Pellet Rifle. Nasty!

Finally, the decorations were a simple job to alter: Reprolabels do a TFP Prowl set P14, which is clearly based on their earlier Smokescreen set. The Prowl set includes a fantastic array of stickers. There are several options: a set of “Highway Patrol” decals, a white-black-gold set that calls TFA Prowl‘s colour scheme to mind and the obligatory “To Serve & Protect” labels. Despite setting out to G1-ify the figure (which would entail using the Highway Patrol theme labels), I went with that last set of labels; they just look so good. This set costs a few dollars more than most of their other sets, but the variety of options makes it potentially much more interesting. Of course, there’s a choice of vanity license plates. I chose “I AM TH LW“, because Judge Dredd rules.

Having labelled Prowl up, and added the custom parts, I got this result:

I Am The Law!

Prowl with his upgrades.

Prowl's Alt-mode with decals, which vastly improve his appearance.

Prowl’s Alt-mode with decals, which vastly improve his appearance.

Upgraded and redecorated, Prowl now looks pretty boss. For a start, he’s a lot less “flat” a lot more of the sculpted detail can be seen, rather than vanishing in a white-on-white blur. Also, the seam at his waist created by the needs of his transformation is a lot less visible. A more than satisfactory result.

Seriously, there's no way these axes aren't blackcurrant flavoured.

Prowl faces off against the Insecticon Kickback, whose melee weapons resemble giant lollipops.

Bzzz! This izzz Polic brutality-BRUTALITY!

Prowl lays down the Law to Kickback. He’s arresting him for stealing Shrapnels’ speech gimmick.

All in all, I’m chuffed with the results. Prowl has gone from a slightly blah figure to one of the favourite pieces in my collection.

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2 thoughts on “The G1ening: Customisations for TFP Prowl

    • As much as I like the old Generation 1 designs, I’m a big fan of the noseless facial designs in TF:Prime. They’re just that little bit less human, which makes sense for alien robots, without being a mess of silver piping and spikes like in Michael Bay’s movies.

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