A look at "Transformers: Prime" "First Edition" Deluxe Class Arcee's transformation design after focusing on the motorcycle mode of her Robots in Disguise counterpart in the previous posting. ^^
The pair of blade weapons mounted on Arcee's side fairings need to be detached first.
The side stand is retracted as well.
Either side fairing is untabbed from the body.
The next step in the transformation is to swing the collapsed robot mode legs to the back of the motorcycle. The direct, one-step stretch as shown in the instruction sheet may cause a great deal of stress to the hip joints in my opinion, especially for the first transformation when the joints are still tight.
To somewhat relieve the hip joints, the lower legs are rotated downward slightly at their knees before they are swung to the back and straightened via their hip joints.
You have successfully transformed Arcee into the Batpod. XD
The rear fender and wheel are split apart to separate the legs.
As you can see, the rear wheel is split into top and bottom halves.
To be able to tell between the sides is a challenge, as the two halves' position switches depending on the wheel's rotation. Plying the wheel apart slowly is pretty much the only way I can think of to get it to split. ^^
The wheel half is temporarily flipped upward to get it out of the way before the next step.
The foot is bent downward.
Interestingly, it's just a one-click bend, but the ankle joint is really tough. ^^
By bending the double-hinge joint downward until it sits flat against the ankle, the wheel half is collapsed into the opening behind the leg armor.
A designated tab behind the leg armor not only prevents the wheel half from rotating, it helps to secure the part in a fixed semi-arc position that compliments the outer appearance of the leg armor.
The same set of transformation steps are repeated for the other leg.
With the legs done, the "half-bike" mode of Arcee can be displayed in a standing position. XD
The legs are bent downward using their hip joints to straighten the lower body.
The tail is bent downward as well.
The top half of the bike is swung around for 180 degrees at the waist.
The arms are expanded and stretched outward.
The arm is rotated around at its bicep level to face the correct side. The hand is straightened via its wrist hinge.
While the main body of Arcee is already clearly visible at this stage, the front section of the bike still packs an array of movable components to complete the entire transformation. ^^
The front cowl is split apart.
The windscreen section of the cowl is bent forward using its double-hinge joint.
The arm is slid downward via the shoulder joint.
This is part of the instructions to complete arm's transformation that I forgot about a few steps back. ^^;
The main body is split apart between the fuel tank and engine to unveil Arcee's head.
Using its hinge joint, the head on its neck base is bent outward from the main body first, and positioned on top the fuel tank after the main body is closed.
There's no tab or peg to secure the neck base to the chest area, but its hinge joint is strong enough to keep the whole component in place. ^^
(Left) Each half of the front cowl is rotated downward until it sits on top the chest area.
(Right) Using the same hinge that allows it to be separated from the windscreen earlier on, each front cowl half is adjusted inward to solidify the look of the chest.
On the back, the windscreen with the handlebars are rotated around for 180 degrees. The front wheel is rotated using its fork tube for 90 degrees as well.
The front wheel is pushed downward until it's touching the the robot mode's back.
The handlebars are rotated downward (left), which helps to create more room for the entire windscreen component to be flipped downward (right) for it to sit on top of the rotated front wheel.
Each shoulder armor is swiveled upward.
Unfortunately, there's a limit set on that upward tilt, so it's not possible to show off the wings at a higher position. ^^;
All done for Arcee's transformation. ^^
The large slot on either forearm can be used to mount the blade weapon in two different styles.
In robot mode, the pair of slots closest to the cutter are to be used to mount the weapon to the side of the legs.
With the blade weapons mounted to Arcee's legs.
And this is why the other set of slots cannot be used in robot mode at all. XD
The transformation design for Arcee is intricate and very involved in my opinion. Components like the rear wheel which forms the back of the legs, and the front cowl which becomes the chest are not only well engineered, they support the cohesive look of the figure nicely too. On top of that, I'm also impressed with the front cowl's transformation design that minimizes its bulk on the backpack. The windshield and front wheel still stand out quite obviously, but the effort put in to at least address the appearance matter is commendable.
Then again, it does bother me a bit that the handlebars were not designed to be articulated for the two grips to be retracted. As a result, they become appendages that stick out behind the head, unnecessarily so in my opinion. ^^; For that matter, I think the backpack configuration is not as impressive as the design of Starscream from the same "First Edition" line in dealing with its back thruster and tail fin, but it's definitely better than the treatment given to the same component on her Robots in Disguise successor (or lack thereof ^^;).
A look at the transformation design of her Robots in Disguise counterpart in the next posting. ^^