Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Transformers ROTF N.E.S.T. Decepticon Bludgeon Part 3

Tank armor meets body armor

A look at Takara Tomy's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" N.E.S.T. Decepticon Bludgeon's robot mode transformation after focusing on its tank mode in the previous posting.

As a self-contained figure, nothing needs to be detached before the transformation. ^^

The process begins with the tracks on the underside of the tank. All four black, rubbery pieces are untabbed from the mid-blocks.

The side armor panels behind the tank are untabbed from the body, and then hinged to the back.

A minor linked movement gimmick observed in the step shown above: when the right panel is being hinged backward, a protruding hook on the joint (right image) will poke a movable piece outward from beneath the armor plate.
As you might guess from the shape of said movable piece, it will form the mount rack for Bludgeon's katana.

The left panel is unhinged and swung to its back as well, albeit with the absence of the linked movement gimmick mentioned above.

Moving back to the underside of the tank: the rear portion of the tracks (that's 2/3 of the entire track on either side of the tank) are detached from the main body ...

... and hinged to the back of the tank for 90 degrees.

The turret is rotated downward and to the right side of the tank, just to get it out of the way for the lower body's transformation. ^^

The rear armor panel is hinged upward for the same reason.

Back to the tank tracks, which will form Bludgeon's legs when this step is done: the semi-rectangular block that connects the two track components is swung around for 180 degrees.

The previously concealed side of the tracks is now facing the front.

At their hips, the legs are hinged downward for 90 degrees.

The side skirt armors, previously the rear side panels of the tank are adjusted so that their hinge arms sit properly inside the dedicated slots on top the hips.

Both sides of the hips are then hinged frontward for 90 degrees, until the rounded end of the skirt armors' joint bases are snapped into place on the light gray spine column.

The shin section of the legs, previously the mid-track blocks, are around at knee level until the orange fixed tracks are facing the forward.

The top calf armor is hinged downward, and the entire armor panel is opened up to unfold the foot stored inside of it.

The foot is hinged downward.

(Left) The tiny heel claw is tilted to the back.
(Right) Using the light gray ankle joint, the foot is adjusted to give it the proper look. ^^ Then again, the ankle joint is very tough, and is definitely sturdy enough to support the weight of the figure.

Repeat the same steps for the other track to complete both legs' transformation.

With the legs all done, the temporarily transformed figure can now be posed standing on the ground. ^^

The front section of the tank will form the shoulder armors and arm. The entire block is split right in the middle first, with each half then hinged downward and to the side for 90 degrees.

(Left) On each side, the shoulder-arm block is swivelled downward at shoulder level first, ...
(Right) ... before the arm is swung downward for the same range, but just at bicep level instead.

(Left) The arm is bent at bicep and elbow levels to straighten it out, ...
(Right) ... before it's swivelled around at bicep level until the elbow hinge is facing forward.

The tank track's hinge joint actually allows the track to be slid further inward into the shoulder armor. This is a good, and very important design point in my opinion in order to have the track hanging on either side of the arm as straight as possible, instead of curving inward and obstructing the arm's movement.
Due to the soft plastic nature of the track, pushing it into the shoulder armor is easier said than done. ^^; A pair of tweezers are most helpful to get the job done. ^^

This is the proper look of the top track piece as the side shoulder armor I think. ^^

The lower body is pushed upward until the hips meet the waist.
If you want to do it the other way round: the upper body is pressed downward via the straight spinal column to achieve the same effect.
The front skirt armor is flipped downward as well.

The action above will cause the head to pop up on top of the chest. ^^

The backpack (tank turret) is rotated 45 degrees upward. Bludgeon's katana, hidden inside the tank's main gun is pulled out via its handle, the front section of the barrel.
If not for revealing the tanto, the backpack can be positioned in any way one pleases. ^^

The right panel of turret can be cracked open. The amazing linked movement gimmick inside the turret will cause the tanto with its sheath to pop up automatically. ^^

Bludgeon's katana.
Long, powerful-looking, but not very intimidating as a weapon. ^^; The lack of color, blunt tip, and its soft plastic material are the main factors behind my impression on the sword. ^^;

Closeups on the details.

The katana is 16cm in length.

The sword can be sheathed on the left skirt armor using the mount rack revealed through the transformation.

Unfortunately, as the mount rack has no swivel joint for it to be repositioned, the sheathed katana would be poking straight to the back of Bludgeon all the time. ^^;

A couple of optional steps to complete Bludgeon's transformation: (1) the track pieces can be folded for them to be stored beneath their respective side skirt armors, if you don't want them to be exposed and hanging out of those armors.
I generally tend to just leave them hanging about, mainly because there's no tab or peg to keep those folded tracks firmly beneath the armors - they don't look any less obvious when folded, or not folded. ^^;

(2) The armor panel on the calf is flipped outward and to the back as much as possible, just to make the skinny legs seem somewhat more powerful. ^^

As mentioned earlier on, the claw feet are capable of supporting the entire figure with no trouble at all. ^^

Handling Bludgeon's size and weight makes the transformation a really enjoyable experience, which is further enhanced by the amazing linked action of the tank turret to reveal the tanto. It's definitely a dramatic gimmick that deserves more mentioned in a separate posting. ^^

More images of Bludgeon in robot mode coming up in the next posting. ^^

No comments: