A proof-of-concept transformer that changes from a spaceship to a robot and back, built in just 4 hours.
About this creation
So, I have been wanting to try my hand at building transformers, and over a month ago, the OhioLUG April 2018 Space challenge provided the perfect excuse to do so. I had waited until last minute yet again, and managed to rush this thing together in just 4 hours right before the club meeting on April 15th.
My first somewhat-functional transformer MOC in years, and the first that I will post on MOCpages, this guy hopefully proves that I can maybe do it...
So, here I will show you my proof-of-concept, the Space-Changer. Yeah, I couldn't think of any other name for what will be such a temporary MOC, and I thought it sounded at least a little better than just referring to it as a Spaceship Transformer. That is all it is, really.
Anyway, the nice angle from the front.
Then the back.
Video game control view. I always like these.
Despite being a bit flimsy and delicate, it can actually stand on it's thruster engines. Who needs landing gear?
Sideways like this.
You can see the underside here. Nothing special.
Yes, it can still fit a minifig pilot.
As usual, the OhioLUG challenge required that your MOC be able to fit within the boundaries of a 16x16 stud plate, with no height restrictions.
As you can see, in spaceship mode, it definitely doesn't fit within the plate dimensions. However...
Now for the transformation.
First, unfold the legs. They are my favorite part of the MOC.
Now straighten them out.
Rotate the lower legs forward.
Then fold up the knee joints for better looking proportions.
Now flip up the feet.
The benefit of the nose of the spaceship becoming the feet is that this thing could crash and still land on its feet. Likely on purpose.
Now that it is standing, we can work on the arms. Start by folding the collarbone joints down to bring the shoulders into the correct position.
Then, straighten the arms themselves.
Now, rotate the elbows towards the back.
Unfold the hands and bring them out.
And then rotate the hands inward.
Now it is time to work on the backpack.
First, fold down the longer panel at the hinge. The robot will need to lean forward a bit to balance itself.
Next, fold down the lower tail-wings.
And in turn, also fold down the thruster engines themselves.
Then, and I realize that this is two steps in one, rotate the upper tail-wings back, then fold them forward so that they rest up against each thruster engine.
With all of that done, now fold the whole backpack assembly down via the shorter panel connecting it to the rest of the robot. The lower tail-wings should wrap around the chest in the front.
Now all that is left is the rather obvious head.
Simply unfold it out.
Then flip out the radio antennae.
And aside from remembering to make sure that those lower tail-wings are folded up against the chest, the transformation is complete!
So, now that it is in robot mode, the Space-Changer can actually manage to fit cleanly within the challenge's required 16x16 stud dimensions rule, without looking too ridiculous.
This was enough to get ooohhs and aahhhs from the entire group at the club meeting. Unfortunately, out of a dozen or two people, I somehow didn't get a single vote. I guess the rushed nature of the build must have shown.
It certainly got their attention though, which is the most important, and I am happy and thankful for that.
Anyway, this quickly built robot still has style. Just chilling, from the front.
Then again from the back.
As far as weapons go, the Space-Changer doesn't have much. Just the pair of medium Ion Rayguns it uses in Spaceship mode. It could still do the job, though.
Although a bit more limited, it still has enough articulation to kneel to the ground. However, those same Ion Rayguns prevent the hands from fully touching the ground. I think that it still gets the point across, though.
A comparison with the recent Leprechaun (left) and Hoplite III Peacekeeper (right). The Space-Changer robot mode's aesthetic is inspired quite a bit by the Robotech Valkyrie, one of my favorite retro robot designs that influences my style.
Then, a comparison with the old Crusader MK II starfighter. The Space-Changer certainly looks big here.
I had originally intended to convert and upgrade the old Crusader design to become a transformer for this challenge, or at least have the Space-Changer emulate it. However, I ran out of time, especially for the wings and engines, so what I threw together at the last minute looks more like an A-wing from Star Wars. Oh well. Not too bad though. It works for now. Maybe in the future...
Anyway, it was fun to see what I could throw together in just 4 hours' time. I'll definitely have time for improvement when I get around to another one. A PC game called Airmech is definitely an inspiration to do so.