With the third installment of the Transformers franchise out, and all its accompanying hype, I have decided to set myself a challenge. I have decided to try to build Optimus Prime in Mechaton scale. Now before all of you start screaming “Hypocrite” at me, let me say this. I know I have said many times in the past that there is no “one true Mechaton scale” and I have gone out of my way to illustrate that point and list as many different scales as I could. That point does not change the fact that every game of Mechaton I have ever played, and every Mechaton model I ever built was in the classic micro-fig scale of five plates equals six feet. So my personal Mechaton scale is without a doubt Micro-fig scale.
Another reason for this scale choice is that it is a challenge, and I think in Vincent’s favorite scale micro-fig plus, or seven plates equals six feet, building Optimus Prime would be too easy. One of the oldest Mechaton props I have is a semi tanker I built in 2003, it is in some of the oldest Mechaton pics I have. This semi cab is three studs wide so my Optimus will have to be to scale with this model. In Vincent’s chosen scale the cab would be about four and a half studs wide, making the model much larger and easier to build.
The next reason for my scale choice is that I want the challenge to be possible. I can see no way of building Optimus Prime to my requirements in two-plate scale where a car is one stud wide and two studs long, it just won’t work.
So what are my requirements? The first is that it looks like Optimus Prime. Second the parts of his body must be the appropriate colors. Third, and this is the big one, it must transform. Forth, the transformed version must look like a truck. Oh, and one quick addition to the third requirement, the transformation is not achieved by disassembling and reassembling the parts.
I am using this character model template from the first TV show as my guide. The only problem with the template is that it has no wheels on its legs. The wheels on the legs are part of what makes the truck form look like a truck, so I am using some other art for additional reference, but the template is still my color guide.
I have used TV show templates as a guide to building a mecha model one other time, but that model ended up being eight inches tall. While I did build two micro-fig scale versions of that same mech, and they came out very well, they did not transform.
By the way, there is that pesky truck I was talking about in that last pic.
This is a personal challenge to myself, but if anyone else feels the need to build Optimus or any of the transformers, (in any Mechaton scale) I will post them.
Well I’m off to make a couple of bricklink orders.
Keep it stompy!