Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beast Wars and Stargate

The '90's brought us many great things - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hyper-color, and grunge. Lost to many folks however was the fantastic CGI TV series Beast Wars. This was the follow-up so many Transformers fans had been looking for since the end of the Generation 1 cartoon. The Beast Wars took place centuries after the Generation One series ended. The Autobots and Decepticons have evolved into the Maximals and Predacons. The two races have been living in relative peace on Cybertron until a young Predacon took up the mantle and mission of the original Megatron. The new Megatron gathers a band of like-minded Predacons and the embark to create havoc in the Universe. Optimus Primal and a group of Maximals take off in pursuit. They get lost in time and end up on prehistoric Earth. Forced to take on the form of indigenous lifeforms to protect themselves from electric discharges, they began the Beast Wars!

Oh man did I love the Beast Wars series. It's actually what got me into collecting toys as an adult. the first one I picked up was a Transmetal Megatron. Over the years I completed my set of figures - at least all the characters that appeared on the series. Here's my group shot of the original group of characters:

I threw in an updated version of Black Arachnia from the TF: Animated series. There are new versions of Dinobot and Cheetor that I'd like to get, but I haven't had the extra cash when I've spotted them in the stores yet.

My first full custom Beast Wars figure is Slimius Maximus here:

I created him in the image of one of my cats, named Slim. He's made from a Cheetor base with a vintage G1 Opimus head and a modified blaster rifle from a Voltron figure.

I got a couple of junked Optimus Primes from a lot of TF parts on eBay. I snapped the head off of one of the ones in worst condition. I then popped the head off the Cheetor figure and super-glued Optimus's in place of it. After ensuring that he could still transform, I began the long process of applying paint. I began with some primer coats for the sliver and red portions. I got deep into all the grooves and joints that would be visible in robot mode. I transformed him into beast mode and liberally applied a black base coat. I figured that I would want the beast mode to be the more realistic appearing of the two modes. The robot mode could show potions of the beast in keeping with the other figures in the line. Back in robot mode, I applied a couple of coats both red and silver in order to get the kind of coverage I wanted.

After I was satisfied with the interior I transformed him back into Beast mode and began dry-brushing him with various colors to achieve a pattern that resembled my cat's fur pattern. He won't hold up to many transformations so before displaying him I put him back in robot mode and touched him up. Done.

Eventually, I'd like to touch up the paint on all my Beast Wars figures to be more accurate to their TV appearance. Man, I've got a lot of projects planned.

My local comic shop had a special on some Stargate SG-1 figures a while back so I picked up three of the Serpent Guard figures. They come with alternate heads so I made one into an Apophis figure. It was a very easy custom - painted it gold.

That's all for now - more later.

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