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Friday, January 2, 2015

LEGO Triple Changer Stormracer Part 1 of 2: Vehicle Modes



Stormracer is a custom triple changer robot/mech NOT from Transformers(tm) universe, However, legends has it that he is somewhat related to Seaspray in an alternate universe. This MOC transforms between the following modes: Helicopter, speedboat and a robot.



Proloque

When I started this project, I plan to recreate an obscure diaclone triple changer that was abandoned last minute by Hasbro as a official character in their G1 Transformers cartoon series back in the 80s. I  used yellow parts to prototype it because it's been a while since I build something using this color. 

After a while, I came to a realisation that difficult compromises must be made to ensure both vehicle modes (jet plane and helicopter) looks good. But the good thing is, my prototyping yielded something else....  instead of a jet, it looks potentially viable as a decent speedboat. So , there!


Trivia
  • I actually contemplating  changing the color scheme to blue or white when this project almost reaches 90% completion, but changed my mind coz I had been building alot of blue MOCs lately (Ultra Magnus and Towmecha )
  • One of the most trivial thing I spent many,many hours on was making a weapon for this MOC that can be integrated in both the vehicle modes.
  • The retractable tyres on the back of the helicopter are quite weak. If I don't position them at the right angle (85 - 95 degrees), they fall down flat ,unable to hold the weight of the helicopter.
  • 5 mini balljoints were used in this built... including one applied to the robot neck making it more articulated that ever.
  • I initially used a pair of dark gray rudders for the speedboat mode, but I snapped broken the c-clip of one of the part and I don't have a replacement part. Ended up using  black rudders instead. :|

Helicopter Mode


Due to the slightly sagging tailfins... I have to make the front tyres lower than the back tyres or the helicopter might fall backwards.











Rifle Integration



This is  the rifle to be used in robot mode. Since the helicopter mode is packed with cannons on both sides, this rifle can be connected / integrated on the tailfins as a non-weapon.




The dark gray stud on each side of the tailfin served a connecting peg later on to form the speedboat.


It's Minifig-friendly only for friendly minifigs!

The cockpit can accomodate a minifig pilot snugly. Initially due to the design limitations, I am unable to implement seats and studs on the floor of the cockpit, so the pilot kinda wobbled and not secured inside. After a few hours, I found a simple solution. (will be revealed in part 2: Robot mode)






The underside , showing how the tyres retract.


The light gray protrusions on top of the windshield is a necessary "flaw" as they will form the robot heels long enough to balance the top heavy robot mode kibbles. 




Transformation to Speedboat

I am quite suprised transformation doesn't require the pilot to leave the vehicle at all! 


Fold the rotors in half,and raise it up.


Split the tailfins in half, and rotate them.


Aforementioned dark gray studs on the tailfin halves allowed them to be connected to the side cannons. (as pointed by the white arrow above)


Pilot gotta lower himself  as the cockpit/windshield needs to be readjusted to the back.


Pushing the windshield to the back allowed the helicopter rotor engines be lowered to the back as well, and this engine now revealed the boat propeller! This is one of my most satisfying design.



Remaining kibbles now folded to the side to form a chunky-looking spoiler for the boat. Can you spot the robot head in the photos above?


And now we complete the transformation by sliding down the black rudders.

Speedboat Mode



Let's hit the waves, boys!














Rifle Integration

Since the speedboat mode is unarmed and prone to attack from the surface and air, the rifle now can be connected to the front of the boat.





The hinged rifle can be rotated to shoot upwards.






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