Saturday, December 10, 2016

BadCube Speedbump - Trailbreaker

I'm back to the light tent with desk lamps. Using flash was tricky. I couldn't figure out how to control the glare off of the figures and still get the amount of light I wanted.

He looks great as a truck with a camper shell. The chrome on the wheels, front grill, and front bumper are an appreciated detail, as are the translucent headlights and painted tail lights. Although the windshields are see-through, the robot bits almost resemble seats. The sideview mirrors are soft plastic and seem safe from snapping off. The underside is pretty clean. He rolls very well on rubber tires. Unfortunately, there was a small scratch on the side panel in front of the rear wheel well; easily fixed in Photoshop but annoying all the same. I couldn't find a way to store any of his accessories.

This is BadCube so the transformation is not simple, but it's not that hard. It's certainly easier than Wardog. The trickiest part was the backpack. All the various hinges have to be angled just right. You're basically storing the side panels of the truck inside the backpack and the wheel wells of his flanks. Unusually, going back to vehicle mode is not that bad either. There are some steps where I worry about scratching the silver finish so I won't be doing this very often.

In general, BadCube hits all the visual cues of the character - windshield chest, shoulder mounted weapons, arm cannon, black and silver arms, red kneecaps, and silver strips down his shins. The silver paint that was hidden in vehicle mode really gives him a great finish. Although his face sculpt looks really nice, he appears to be bit younger than in the cartoons. There are a few missteps though. I really don't like his lower leg sculpt. It feels incomplete because of what looks like missing panels. Also, his finger mittens stick out the back of his elbows. The forearm covers won't close otherwise. There's no smooth spot on the hood/chest for an Autobot sticker.

His head is on a balljoint. His shoulders are on hinged balljoints. They can sort of butterfly on the balljoint and can raise out and up to 90 degrees. He swivels just above the elbows, and at the wrists, waist, and thighs. His thumbs are fixed. Rather than fingers on each hand, he has mittens that articulate at two pinned knuckles each. He has single-jointed elbows that can go past 90 degrees. His double-jointed knees are a bit wonky. They are prone to bending in both directions, but can get to 90 degrees in the correct direction. His hips are on universal joints. His toes can swivel and tilt, but not his feet. He could have used more substantial heel spurs for a little more stability. My biggest complaint about his posability comes from those knees. They are really loose. I don't think I missed a transformation step. Wedging the kneecap covers into place helps a bit. This is not a figure I would feel comfortable keeping near the edge of a shelf.

His accessories include an assortment of hand attachments, an alternate face, and a mounted cannon for Sunsurge. There are three identical cannons, finished in silver paint - one for his shoulder and one for each hand. There is also a three-pronged hand attachment done in silver paint; I think this is his fire extinguisher he used at the oil rig in the pilot. The extra face has a screaming expression. Sunsurge's mounted cannon is for his vehicle mode and articulates on a hinge. I would caution to manipulate it at the hinge rather than at the tip.

I'm content to use Speedbump on my main Masterpiece display for now. Unlike Sunsurge, he fits in quite well. Once the figures from Ocular Max and FansToys arrive, I will have to reevaluate. I anticipate keeping him on one of my secondary Masterpiece shelves. Bring on Hoist and more minibots.

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