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No matter what new shapes the Transformer toys end up with each year,
there is almost always a leader of the heroic side that goes by the name
of Optimus Prime. He's had dozens of designs, toys and storylines over the
last 20 years, but there's still one figure that started it all. The
"Generation One" Optimus Prime. The very first leader of the Autobots, who
crash landed on Earth along with his troops in the Ark.
After creating the Powermaster Optimus Prime
figure I didn't want to make another Optimus Prime right away. However, in
trying to keep the factions balanced I realized that I needed a second Prime
to offset the two Megatrons I had on the Decepticon side. So, I sketched out
a G1 design for a Cuboyd and set the paper aside for the last four months.
The sculpting process was pretty easy for most of Prime. The chest just needed a rectangle of styrene added to the front and a block of extra sprue added to the back before paint was applied. The lower legs and upper arms both have bits of rounded plastic (from the Monk staff) added to create the smokestacks and fuel tanks. The most work was done on the head, as tends to be the case with most of these figures. I added the faceplate, "brow ridge" and top crest in epoxy putty. Once that dried and was shaped I added some thick pieces of styrene to the sides of the head, then glued on two rounded "ear" pieces and finally cut and glued yet more rounded plastic pieces to make the antenna on each side. So, about five steps needed just to get the basic shape I was after.
The next to last part of the process was painting. The red went on with just two coats for most of the parts, so I didn't have to worry about visible brush strokes for most of it. The blue was an easy color to add since it covers just about any other shade under it. The silver was added in two stages, as with all the silver sections on my Cuboyd customs. First a layer of base grey was applied, and a second layer of "glimmer" silver paint was added over that.
The very last step was the detailing, which I added with a black pigment pen. There wasn't a great deal that needed detailing, but most of the line-work was just to help outline borders between different colors. A clear coating later and my G1 Optimus Prime was completed!
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"Simpler is better."
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