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View Full Version : Modifying Animated Bumblebee's Stingers


iceburn
23rd July 2008, 10:26 AM
Taken from TFormers (http://forums.tformers.com/talk/index.php?showtopic=96486&pid=1394298&st=0) website. Credit to Matt Booker

Some of this may be obvious to the more experienced customizer, but this was my first real mod and Iím being detailed for the sake of those who might be on the fence about trying their first custom.

So hereís a handy guide in six easy steps!

Step 1: Obtain an Extra Bumblebee

This step should be self-explanatory. If heís scarce in your area, Ebay is full of cheap bees. We just moved about 8 hours away and found Animated shelfwarming the local K-mart. Woohoo!

You can keep the extra bee for kitbash scraps, give it to a kid, or failing all that I hear K-Mart is very understanding about refunds for defective merchandise. http://forums.tformers.com/talk/style_emoticons/default/biggrintf.gif


Step 2: Dealing with a Pin Hinge

A Pin hinge can be tricky at first. If youíve never kitbashed before, the most youíve probably fiddled with were screws, and information on how to tackle removal of the pin can be hard to find. The method I use is the most common, though there are those that swear by a fine tipped soldering iron.

I never thought Iíd say this, but I think using a hammer is the safer way.

Find a nail about the diameter of the pin and flatten the tip of it so it isn't so pointy. (Otherwise it might slip and damage the plastic.) Just whack it with a hammer a few times and that should do it. Get out those aggressive urges now, as the nail can take what plastic wonít.
http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/3020/flattenheadofnailjt9.png


ím sure you knew what that looked like, but I had the picture so I figured Iíd use it...

To figure out where to nail, we have to find (or take our best guess at) where the notched end of the pin is located. A pin is mostly smooth, but to keep it from falling out one end of it has rough grooves that grip the plastic. Thatís the end you want coming out first, and on Bumblebee itís on the underside of his forearm.

Howíd I figure this out? I guessed.

Sometimes thereís a little pattern end of the pin to indicate where the grooves are. Some sources say the plastic might look a little rougher. Iíve found itís the end closest to the top of the hole. If you look at Bumblebeeís forearm, one side has the pin further down than the other. That comes in handy when aligning your nail...

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/8583/nailhereof3.png

Nail here.

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/2779/comesoutheregi9.png

Comes out here.

Next brace the part with the pin hinge. You can do this with a vice, but I wouldnít recommend alcohol. Gambling should be fine, though.

Personally, I didnít feel like fiddling around with any vices, so I just held the part and the nail in my left hand while I hammered with the right. I have a pretty strong grip, so donít try this unless you work out a comfortable position with your hand.

Hereís how I held it:

http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/4131/lefthandpositionview1za3.png http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/9200/lefthandpositionview2mg4.png


ou can see that the forearm rests on my middle finger while my thumb applies pressure and helps the index finger hold the nail in position. My ring finger provides extra stability while my pinky pretends to help.

A few forceful taps should force the pin out far enough to use some pliers on it. I donít have a picture of this, so youíll have to use your imagination. Just grip the end of the pin (made easier by its rough surface) and pull.

Once youíre past the rough part, it should slide out smoothly.

To reinsert the pin, just use a hammer to tap the pin back into the hole. Remember, the rough part should be the first part out and the last part to go back in.


Step 3: How to hold a Razorblade.

Please skip this step. Just go buy an X-acto knife, a box cutter, or something with a handle. Iím not responsible for any digital dissections caused by my example.

Still there?

Okay, so hereís the AWESOME way to cut plastic.

Get a pack of razor blades meant for a box cutter. Donít bother buying the actual box cutter, as it usually just comes with one blade and itís several times the price of just a pack of blades.

http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/4781/howtoholdarazorbladevieeh6.png http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/3136/howtoholdarazorbladeviefj2.png http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/1453/howtoholdarazorbladeviegs0.png

Hold the blade tightly between your middle finger and thumb while the bottom edge rests against your ring finger. The ring finger is mostly there to balance out the pressure youíll be applying on the top of the blade with your index finger.

So thatís how to hold it, and you cut with pressure provided by the index finger.

Be careful and keep all fleshy bits away from the business end of the blade!

Step 4: Where to cut on the main stinger piece

You may have noticed by now that the stinger wasnít molded to fit the way we want it to.

http://forums.tformers.com/talk/style_emoticons/default/skeletor.png HASBRO!!! http://forums.tformers.com/talk/style_emoticons/default/skeletor.png


Hereís how it looks at first, and a second picture showing what weíre going to remove.

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/6581/originalstingerdm3.png http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/3663/wheretocutonstingerkg9.png




f you skipped step 3, have a dremel, or are feeling adventurous, you can just cut out that junk in a single step. I tried that with the razor blade on a spare stinger and it took longer than the three part method Iím about to describe.

First, cut off two triangles from the sides. That requires two cuts on each side, both perpendicular to each other. That essentially will chop off the triangle. Easier to see than read, so hereís a couple of pictures:

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/3602/carvedel0.png http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/3097/cuttingstingerps6.png

Youíll notice from the second picture that you can use the bit with the hinge-hole as a guide to keep your cut straight. The other cut is even with the edge of the painted gray.

At first I thought that would be all the cutting required for this piece, as the stinger just needs to lay flat against his forearm when folded over. However, thereís an excess of plastic on the bit with the hinge-hole (Why do I feel dirty typing that?) that needs to be trimmed off.

Itís basically connecting the dots between the two triangles. Hence the possibility of just cutting off a single piece for all of it.

I donít have a photo of this step, so, uh, hereís a quick photoshop of the completed stinger piece...

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/3940/finishedcutonstingergm8.png


Why hey, that looks just like the one with the red triangle, but with the background filled in over the red. Behold, my laziness ingenuity.

After that, youíre done with this part of the stinger and can attach it to your Bumblebee.

Repeat this step for the other stinger and move on to step 5.


Step 5: Where to cut on the new stinger piece

Remove the two stinger halves from your extra Bumblebee using the method in step 2. Next, you need to cut the plastic so each singer looks like the following pictures.

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/2936/halfstingershouldlooklimu0.png http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/772/forblackarachniaie6.png


You can use any method you like, but I took a pair of very sharp meat shears (I love to cook, so I had them around.) and chopped off most of what needed cut. After that I cleaned up with the razor blade, shaving off bits until I was satisfied.

Hereís where itís handy to already have the other stingers attached to your Bumblebee. Combine the half youíre working on to the one on your bee and see how much you need to cut before it sits the way you want.

You can use these pictures for reference.

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/3107/singlestingerjc9.png http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/5466/completestingergq7.png



Step 6: Where to Carve on Forearm

Okay, so since the stinger is positioned differently on his forearm, for it to fold away more we have to carve a chunk out of his arm. This isnít anything major, and the yellow plastic seemed to cut easier than the clear blue stingers.

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/527/cutnotchwg4.png


Just shave away with the razorblade until the notch is deep enough for the stinger to fold most of the way in. Donít make it too deep or youíll reduce the structural stability, though thatís probably not that much of an issue.

Keep in mind that when in alt mode his hand will be folded in there too, so I carved deep enough that the stinger just barely touches his finger.

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/4739/fingerum1.png


Here are a couple more pictures to use as reference, showing the folded stinger in full and half modes

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/5075/fullstingerfoldedga9.png http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/5713/halfstingerfoldedoo5.png


The full stinger doesnít look much worse than his pre-Jin-fix stingers, but if it really bothers you then detach the extra half.

No, thereís nowhere to store it. Guess Hasbro and I have that in common.

Thereís a few other things Iím going to note about this custom.

When in alt-mode, you can store the stingers in his Ďtrunk.í Credit goes to my fiancťe for suggesting that and pointing out to me that he even had a trunk.

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/79/bumbleracerpz9.png


There should be ample room for any fuzzy cube thingies, miniature human female replicas, or, well I donít know what that thing is.

I also position his head differently in alt mode. I think it fits better this way. His chin seems like it was meant to go between his knees. ... Hinge-hole....

Hereís a couple of pictures to show you what I mean.

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/1742/bumblebeeheadpositionei1.png http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/9863/bumblebeebottompv0.png


Something else... You can combine the two extra halves to form a single stinger. I donít have a Blackarachnia to try this on, but it looks like she could hold it.

And thanks to Evil Exe for the great filler so I could actually post all of this. http://forums.tformers.com/talk/style_emoticons/default/thumbsup1.gif


Well, there you have it. I hope this guide encourages others to make their Bumblebee more awesome, especially those whoíve never tried to customize before.

Comments welcome.

~Matt Booker



I might wanna try this out...looks cool with the stingers "complete"

http://forums.tformers.com/uploads/gallery/1216255044/gallery_11183_275_474990.png

Kyle
23rd July 2008, 10:51 AM
Does look much better. But I think someone should make an altogether new stinger... :p

STL
23rd July 2008, 11:09 AM
If I cared for the toy more, I'd be interested in getting this mod done. Of course, lcz128 would have to provide a teeny weeny bit of help. :p

iceburn
23rd July 2008, 11:18 AM
If I cared for the toy more,

literally...if you don't care, you can pass me your toy and i'll happily remove those stingers and mod mine...*haha*

sifun
23rd July 2008, 11:37 AM
borrow lcz128's dremel for this. lol I really don't like bumblebee mold afterall..
Maybe the activators one would be better ;)

Robzy
23rd July 2008, 12:22 PM
It's sad when customers have to "fix" products that Hasbro sell! :(

Pulse
23rd July 2008, 03:58 PM
That's a lot of work for not a whole lot of difference... :rolleyes:

GoktimusPrime
23rd July 2008, 06:13 PM
I agree w/ Pulse. ;)

Tiby
23rd July 2008, 08:30 PM
I must say the stingers really bugged me. The combined mode is such a waste of time. I think a replacement would be better - I hate cutting TFs. I prefer non-destructive mods.

GoktimusPrime
23rd July 2008, 09:27 PM
...or toys that are done right in the first place! :p

i_amtrunks
24th July 2008, 10:01 AM
I agree w/ Pulse. ;)

Me three.

However the removal of the stingers does appeal to me.

komikskolektor
24th July 2008, 06:32 PM
to avoid damaging parts when doing this.. try a using a hair blower, blow the part with the pin for 2 minutes ( it will soften the plastic for a while). It will be a whole lot easier for you to push the pin.:)
just my 2 cents :).