More Transformers

Yes, this is a thing now. That’s also why the blog is called my Hobby Den now, as opposed to my old name “Starship Factory.”

So, this is how my War for Cybertron collection is shaping up. First, the Autobots:

Now, the Decepticons:


(yes, there are two Megatrons)

So far, collecting Transformers again after years upon years of not doing so has been fun. What really drew me to this line is the really G1 looking robot modes. And, mostly, the vehicle modes are pretty close too. The Decepticon jets are based on the original Cybertron configurations seen in “More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1,” which is greatly appreciated. Red Alert looks like a Cybertronian Lamborghini, as he should. Ratchet also has a nice minivan vibe to him, and Mirage looks a Cybertronian Formula 1 car. Hound looks like a military vehicle, as he always has, and Prowl, Barricade and Bluestreak resemble Cybertronian Datsuns. Laserbeak and Ravage look more or less like cassettes. Megatron’s alt mode looks like a tank, but that’s been a thing since GI Joe VS Transformers, which came out just before the launch of G2. Cobra modified him to resemble a tank. The green and gray Megatron is an unreleased G2 color scheme. Refraktor (formerly Reflector) looks like a spaceship, which is just OK. But, when I get two more, I can make the camera that is accurate for his G1 alt mode. Soundwave is a space ship, rather than a tape recorder. He’s just OK in his alt mode, to be honest. There’s an official alt mode where he’s a lamp post from one scene in “More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1” and a fan mod that will make him into a more or less tape deck shape. But, I don’t bother with either of those and usually just leave him in robot mode.

As far as buying them, I’ve gotten some good deals on some, less so on others. Bluestreak I paid too much for. He’s a Walmart exclusive, but we never had him in stock. So, I paid an eBay scalper for him. Then we got a huge display in for the holidays, complete with lots off Bluestreak figures. 🙄 I also had an issue with mine, his crotch piece kept coming off. I didn’t have that issue with Prowl or Barricade, which are the same design. So, I carefully super glued his crotch back together. Ratchet was a similar story as far as price. He’s a Walgreens exclusive. I paid eBay prices only to find out I could have just ordered him from the Walgreens website. But, most of the rest I paid retail or less for. Some I got at Walmart, where I get my employee discount. Others I got at Walmart’s website because they were cheaper than in store prices, plus I got my discount. Some were from Amazon as they were cheaper there. And, that G2 colored Megatron was a steal on eBay, so I bought him there.

So, that’s it for now. I’m having lots of fun with the Transformers. I have more on the way. 😀

I Was Bored….

I don’t really care if anyone else who visits here likes Transformers, I love them. 😀 I’ve been collecting them lately, having a blast doing it too. Here’s some fun I was having with just a couple of my bots from the War for Cybertron: Siege line.

Also, I’ve determined that my iPhone 6S takes way better pictures than my Moto G6. The comparison is shocking. That same photo taken with the G6 was too bright and washed out, plus just generally worse quality. So, even though I have the sim card in the Moto G6 and use it as my daily phone, it’s nice to know that the old iPhone can still serve a purpose.

Eaglemoss Starships

So, when I start a collection, I don’t do things in half measures. I got hooked on these little Eaglemoss Star Trek ships a few months ago, and I haven’t been able to stop buying them. I have a dozen of them now:

Most of these are direct from Eaglemoss, though a few are from Ebay and Amazon.
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Transformers Studio Series 38 Optimus Prime

So, I’m a fairly big Transformers fan. Not quite as big a fan as a buddy at work, but I do like them a lot. I was born in 1979, so I grew up on the ’80s Transformers cartoon and I had numerous toys from the series. I still have some, but they’re not in the best shape. They got played with a lot. Well, working at Walmart, I find that the toy department is alluring. We have a lot of cool stuff back there. While some of it is toys aimed at kids, some is obviously geared more towards us adult kids. Some of the cool stuff we’ve been carrying the last few years is recreation Generation 1 Transformers stuff. It started with Hot Rod back in 2017, which I got when it was on clearance. I was amazed to find out that the toy was just like the ones back in the day, and Hot Rod was one I never had, though I did have (and still have) Rodimus Prime. After Hot Rod, we were carrying Optimus Prime, but only his cab, and various of the tiny Autobots. There’s also a Starscream that I didn’t get, but we have it on the website and I’m going to order it from there. Most recently, we had Soundwave, who comes with the Buzzsaw cassette, the other original cassettes are supposed to be sold in two packs, but we never have those in stock. I ordered those off of Amazon earlier. Anyway, we’ve got some other stuff too, including some of the cool modern style Transformers. Now, I don’t think the Michael Bay films are all that good. I like the first one, but the second one had too much dumb dialog for me, as did the third, so I tapped out after those. But, I like the movie Bumblebee, which I hope is turning the series back around. I love that they went back to the 1980s setting, and I love that the Transformers got a great retro look to them. So, I’ve been staring at this Optimus Prime figure for a while now. Funnily enough, I scanned it with the Walmart app on my phone, and it said we didn’t even have it in the store. 😛 So, I bought it. This is what it looked like in the package:


(not my image, I got it off the web)

And, here are some photos of my Prime in truck mode:

As you can see, I threw my G1 Optimus reissue in there for size. The Bumblebee one is slightly larger. Here it is in robot mode:

And, all of my newer Transformers together:

This Bumblebee Optimus Prime is pretty badass. The figure is not only more poseable, but has a much more accurate tranformation than the ’80s toys. Though, to be fair, the old toys were toys first and comics/cartoons second, so it’s more fair to say the animation didn’t match the toy. Though, this new one is also very complex. It took me a while of struggling over the less than clear instructions to realize that I needed a more comprehensive guide, so I turned to YouTube. I generally despise YouTube (and all things Google) but that was the best place to find a tranform video for this toy, so that’s what I used.

Anyway, I think this is cool, so I figured I’d share. We have some more Transformers at work that I plan to get and I’ll share them here if there’s any interest.

TOS Star Trek Part 06

I bashed together a Hermes class scout. For those of you doing the math, yes, it’s the same design as the Saladin class destroyer. The main difference is that the destroyer variant has more weapons. However, in canon, there are two scout ships that have been name whose class was never revealed, but their names and registries come from the Starfleet Technical manual. Those ships are the USS Columbia NCC-621 and the USS Revere, NCC-595. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Columbia is being ordered to rendezvous with the Revere during the establishing shot of the Epsilon IX station. So, I chose to make mine one of those scouts, the Revere.

The build was, obviously, mostly just rearranging parts from my Constitution class, with only a few parts to make. Then I made some new texture maps for the changed name and registry. I also moved one of the lines on the neck forward, to between the vents and the windows. So, it’s pretty simple, but it adds another ship to the fleet.

Star Trek Blueprints, Part 1

So, look what I found in really nice shape on Ebay:

These are awesome blueprints. Sheets 1-5 pertain to the Enterprise, external views and the bridge blueprints. Sheets 6-9 are the Klingon Battlecruiser, external and bridge. (no bottom view, unfortunately) Then there’s the shuttle that brought Spock to the Enterprise, the work bee and the travel pod. All told, a lot of great designs from one of the most visually stunning Sci-Fi films of all time. I was really happy to find these on Ebay, especially in such remarkable shape. They’re 39 year old blueprints and the pages are almost all in pristine shape. They sat on a shelf for years, so the blue cover sheet has a mark from the snap on the plastic case, but that was clearly described and shown in the listing. Also, there’s some slight browning on the paper on all the sheets, particularly at the crease lines and a few of the sheets have some small brown spots on them. Sheet 14 also has a folded corner and some slight fold lines. But, given their age and how a lot of this sort of stuff wasn’t preserved so well, these have fared remarkably well. I’m a year older than them and I’m not exactly in perfect shape myself. 😉 The best part is, they were only $21.99 plus tax, free shipping.

So, I’m pretty happy with this purchase. I also have the TOS blueprint set on the way, they look to be in about the same condition. (that’s why this post is part 1) That set was 4 cents less than this one. 🙂

Elaan of Troyius – The Chase

A little piece of artwork I did based on the classic TOS episode Elaan of Troyius. Elaan wasn’t necessarily the best episode, nor was it the worst, but it did give one of the best ships ever for Star Trek, the Klingon Battlecruiser. The ship was seen briefly as it chased the Enterprise, firing its disruptors. Thanks to a screwy airing order, the D7 wound up being first seen in The Enterprise Incident, representing a handful of Romulan ships, but in production order it first appeared in this episode. So, this is my take on the chase.

This is my first composition image in a long time, so be gentle. 😛

Enterprise Beauty Shots

I decided not to do any paneling on the ship. It’s not hard to do or anything, I just really like how the ship looks. Besides, I went through so much to try and match the colors of the ship in the Smithsonian, why make it look totally different with some hull panels? So, I’m calling this done (for now.) I decided to render some beauty shots. I did a few renders with a single light, and a pass from each camera with the light turned off to use as illumination passes. I had the ship shots saved to .png files, so I dropped those against a starfield I made in GIMP a couple years ago, comped in my illumination passes, and we have some beauty shots:

For those who like specs:

Length: 288.6 meters
Width: 127.8 meters
Height: 69.3 meters

For those who are wondering, I took the blueprints and selected the ship only, then took the dimensions of the sheets, converted the pixels to meters, then created a cube with those dimensions. I then scaled the ship up to the canon length of 288.6 meters. That means the generally accepted canon width of 127.1 meters is slightly off, and the height of 72.6 meters is significantly off. And, it’s not a symptom of the blueprints I’m using, I’ve done the same thing with other blueprints, all of which were created by taking measurements of the model, and I always get a height of over 69 meters, but less than 70. So, I don’t know where the 72.6 meters came from. (and I don’t really care)

371,802 polygons
9 texture maps (least amount I’ve done on a model in ages)

All told, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Aside from not thinking the panels were going to look right, I also concluded that there’s no reason you can’t paint a ship in solid colors. If you look at real world examples, Navy ships are typically solid gray. I decided to keep the shine levels low, but not quite flat like the paint on the original ship. It’s got a kind of satin finish to it. The only really shiny bits are the glass domes and metallic parts.

Anyway, that’s what I have. I’ll be kitbashing this thing to create more models.

TOS Star Trek Part 05

I got the color maps done. For the most part, this is all easy stuff to do. Though, some things are more of a pain, like getting the stupid little numbers on the engineering hull close to where they needed to be. But, stuff like that happens when you put stuff onto a tube and you’re working from flat images.

All that’s left to do on this one is the spec maps, which shouldn’t take too long. I can usually knock out some paneling rather quickly. Also, I need to add a material to my window boxes to make it look like the ship has an interior. I’ll probably do a procedural texture for that.