Inspiration from art: Get to Da Choppa!

*pushes glasses up nose* Actually, it was the year 2005.

Those grid lines behind him help you to tell that it was the ’80s when this happened.

Sometimes, inspiration just seizes you, and you have to go where it follows. Now Galvatron, was an interesting enough character in the old G1 comics and ‘toon, a construct of Unicron created from the defeated Megatron’s carcass.

Galvatron's fierce grin, from IDW's Transformers #37.

Galvatron’s fierce grin, from IDW’s Transformers #37.

In the modern IDW comics, they’ve taken him in an entirely different direction with a new origin story that places him as a time-traveller from Cybertron’s distant past. Galvatron of the Darklands was a barbarian who fought in the time of the ancient Primes; initially a follower of Megatronus Prime, he ragequit and went on a murder-spree against combiners, headmasters and various other transformers he considered impure. He has no patience with anyone he doesn’t consider to be a “true warrior”, nor anyone who relies on “magick” science too complex for him to understand (he doesn’t trust any technology more advanced than his fusion cannon). He’s basically Conan The Cybertronian.

What is best in life, Galvatron?

To crush your enemies, to see their alt-modes driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their Minicons.

There’s a fantastic illustration of him on Retailer Incentive cover of IDW’s Transformers #45, drawn by the vastly skilled Kei Zama, known to the interwebs as Golby II.

This guy is for the chop. then.

Bigger, better version of this image here at the artist’s website.

Anyway, I took rather a shine to this barbaric ‘bot; in particular I adore this image which really channels the character’s oldschool “barbarian” fantasy feel. Furthermore, I think that axe is rather cool.

Here's the axe, pulled out from the rest of the image.

Here’s the axe (and Galvatron’s shoulder), pulled out from the rest of the image.

So simple, but such an effective outline. I couldn’t resist sculpting it and 3d-printing one for my Transformer’s figures. The model just seemed to flow from my mouse and keyboard. It’s probably the easiest sculpt I’ve ever done. (I put it on Shapeways, of course, it’s at

If only I could get the orange ink to glow...

Brainstorm isn’t the most natural stand-in for Galvatron, but he’s the most natural stand-in for a Cybertronian weapon-smith…. so there.

I don’t actually have a Galvatron figure, so I’ve no idea what I’ll do with the axe. Making it just felt right. If the upcoming Titans Return Galvatron doesn’t have a decent axe, then this blade will find a suitable wielder. After all, sometimes the blade chooses you.


“Quick and Dirty” Pandemic: a Custom Transformers Toy

This is Pandemic, from the defunct MMO Transformers Universe:



For those who never played, or don’t remember the game, he was an ambitious Decepticon with a sibilant voice, a fondness for viral weapons and two vicious drills. He transformed into a very sleek, vaguely snake-looking car.

This is Knock Out, a Deluxe-size Transformers Toys from the Beast Hunters subline of Transformers Prime:



 What happens when you blend those two things? Well just look here after the jump…

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Taikongzhans: Knock-off Transformers

So, recently, I made an eBay purchase that seemed a little bit too good to be true; Transformers Age of Extinction Dinobot Scorn. Now, regular readers will know that the “Bayformers” franchise-within-a-franchise is far from in-favour with us here at AddAltMode – aside from a few interesting figures, we don’t feel it has a lot to offer us. Seriously, it would be fair to say we like almost everything else Transformers-related except the Michael Bay movies (and Kiss Players… Kiss Players is an abomination.).

"トランスフォーム" is a phonetic rendering or "transform" in katakana, the actual Japanese word that makes the closest analogue to "transform" is 変換, "henkan".

トランスフォーム です!
“Transfooorm, desu!”. We even like the only-released-in-Japan Headmasters cartoons.

Note that in the last paragraph, I did mention that there were a few interesting figures: The character Scorn is one of them. Firstly, his Spinosaurus alt-mode is surprisingly in-line with the (then)current understanding of the real animal’s appearance (since then, better fossils have been found). What’s that? Real Science in a Transformers franchise *mild heart attack*. Also, though both modes display bilateral symmetry, they have different axes of symmetry; that’s quite a rare feature, yeeessss. It reminds my of another dinosaur-transformer for whom I have some fondness, yeessss.

Anyway, the eBay deal that looked too good to be true was, of course, too good to be true. The product that was mailed to me was a knock-off…. Continue reading

Toy Review: Combiner Wars Legends class Shockwave

Remember back in January when we ran our Bruticus Week feature? Well, here’s Bruticus Week Redux, because, yes, it’s taken this long for us to acquire the final piece of that particular Combaticon puzzle: Bruticus’s gun, who comes in the form of a Legends class Shockwave. This dinky Decepticon has proven frustratingly tricky to source and, much as we wanted him, we weren’t prepared to pay the ridiculous scalper prices for which we’d seen him going. So we had a bit of wait to find him for a reasonable rate. Still, here we go at last: Bruticus Week Day 8: the Day Everyone Got Shot.

Looking down the barrel of a gun / Son of a gun, son of a bitch / Getting paid, getting rich

Pew! Pew!

Was he worth the wait? The only logical choice is to read on and see…

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Toy Meets World Magazine: Brand New Old School Cool!

Today we’re taking a peek at a brand new magazine on the geeky block, Toy Meets World!  This shiny print publication is clearly an immense labour of love (and probably blood, sweat and tears too, because a project like this is one hell of an undertaking) from the good folks behind the Toy Meets World Blog. I’ll admit it’s been a while since I picked up any kind of glossy-print magazine so the leafing through this bumper debut issue managed to be at once a satisfyingly novel experience and a blast from the past in more ways than one…

Rodimus is a big fan!

Rodimus is a big fan!

Check out our further thoughts on why you should check out this magazine!

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Bruticus Week: Combiner Wars Bruticus Himself

Bruticus Week!

Bruticus Week: 7th and final day

And on the seventh day, we rested. Wait a minute no we didn’t, let’s try that again… now, are you guys ready?

Combaticons assemble!

Combaticons assemble!

And Lo on the seventh day, WE CREATED BRUTICUS!

Yes, thanks for sticking with us all week, now it’s finally time to take a look at the big guy himself….

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Bruticus Week: Introduction

Bruticus Week!

Bruticus Week starts here!

The Combaticons

The giant Transformer Bruticus is a Combiner: he is made up of five independently sentient components known as the Combaticons. In the original G1 cartoon, the Combaticons first appeared in episode 62, “Starscream’s Brigade”.

The Combaticons were renegade Decepticons, whose brains were placed in cold storage by Megatron as punishment for unspecified crimes. Rescued from prison by Starscream, they assist him in one of his many failed coup-attempts against the Decepticon leader, combing into the gigantic Bruticus to defeat the equally gigantic Devastator.

Starscream rides Bruticus

In The Transformers, ep. 62, Bruticus helps Starscream in his latest attempt to overthrow Megatron. It doesn’t go well, of course. (Don’t think too much about scale here.)

The Combaticons returned in many subsequent iterations of the Transformers franchise, bringing their particular brand of violence and mayhem wherever they went.

For Bruticus Week, we’ll be looking at the five newly-released Combiner Wars Combaticons, and their combined form Bruticus. These Combaticons form part of the Generations toyline, and are strongly inspired by the original Combaticons. Combiner Wars isn’t entirely a repeat of Generations 1, however, more a tribute or homage, and it’s not without its own innovations and modernisations. (G1 purists leave in disgust here. Good riddance, you stick-in-the-muds!)

Ma'am,. can you say which of these 'bots blew up your house?

From The Left: Blast-Off, Swindle, Onslaught, Brawl & Vortex.

This week we’ll have one post for each of the five Combaticons, building up to a look at the mighty Bruticus himself. We’re starting tomorrow with the wheeler-dealer extraordinaire, the Del Boy of the Decepticons: Swindle.

Looking back: 2015 and our First Year of Blogging

Greetings! We’ve had a little break for the festive season, but now we’re back and in reflective mode. The end of the year is customarily a time to sum up and reconsider the events and happenings if the past 12 months and that’s doubly the case here on Addaltmode, since not only is it almost 2016, it’s also our one year blog anniversary. We set up the site just before Christmas last year and made our first proper post on New Year’s Day 2015, so we’ve just turned one!

Spot the Transformer!

In this post we’ll be reflecting on some on the highs and lows of the year gone by, both in on this blog, and in pop-culture more generally. We’d love to hear your highlights too, so do let us know in the comments or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Toy Review: Combiner Wars Blackjack



Tiny figure, but not a tiny review: The newest addition to our collection of toy robots is Combiner Wars Blackjack. Not a recent figure, but it appears that the UK has missed out on this little chap, and only had his retool as Rodimus. Thanks to internet shopping, I was able to pick him up despite never having seen him at retail.

Now, I love the name Blackjack for a Decepticon thug: I suspect he’s not named after the card-game: the Oxford English Dictionary defines a blackjack as a flexible lead-filled truncheon, and gives the following delightful example sentences:

Firehoses were turned on and soon three thousand picketers, thugs, and police rumbled in the streets with clubs, blackjacks, wrenches, chains, and tear gas.
Bats, clubs, sticks, blackjacks, Brazilian fighting rods, rocks, and Japanese club sticks are just a few of the more favored tools used in beating people to a pulp.

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