Springer, Transformers Generations (Triple Changer) - Created August 1, 2011
I've seen Springer made before using the Generations Tomahawk figure as a base, but this one was still an incredibly hard challenge, because my client insisted on him being a triple changer and having a car mode just like the original figure (and just like in the animated movie). I knew it would be tough, but I took it on! And here is the result. Springer was made entirely from a Tomahawk, with the wheels and feet taken from a Generations Blurr.
The first step before any painting was to be done was to figure out how I would make him a triple changer. I fiddled around with the figure for several hours trying to figure out how to give him a car mode while still making him look mostly like a helicopter (a request from the client). I figured out the best way to do this but I needed to do some sanding first. I dremeled out a large portion out of the back of Springer's legs so I could make them fold up into themselves for the car mode. I also had to do a bit more sanding to get his shoulders to spin around the way I needed them to for the car mode. I took the wheels from Blurr and modified them to fit Springer. The front wheels are attached inside his cannons on the underside of his wings (the missile firing action had to be sacrificed) and the back wheels are attached to the inside of his feet. I also decided to give Springer feet! As cool as the Tomahawk figure is, he did look weird with those almost bird-like feet of his. I wanted him to have actual robot feet. So I took the feet from Blurr, modified them, and attached them to Springer. They're actually attached on a hinge at the toes, so they can flip out and he can still be transformed. Another small feat of engineering I had to tackle.
I altered his helicopter blades as well, this time giving him just two blades that can be detached and held in his hands like swords. The entire propellor comes off as well and can easily be reattached. I padded the base of the blades so they could fit easier in Springer's hands.
After that I worked on the head. The head is actually from Tomahawk with the visor popped off. I wanted to use this head as a base so it could still fold up inside the body and wouldn't be too big. I sculpted on top of it, giving it the same shape and look as that of Springer and used styrene for the fin on top of his head. After all the grunt work was done with building and redesigning Springer, I started painting.
All paints used were Testors Model Masters. I masked off the glass on his cockpit and went to work painting him with various shades of green, black, and gray with some areas highlighted with yellow, all the time trying to best match Springer's original color scheme. After that I gave him some silver dry brushing on the black and gray parts to give it a realistic look, and gave him realistic scuffing on the edges of his body. I finished Springer off with a reprolabels Autobot symbol and declared him finished! This was one incredibly challenging custom with all the redesigning and engineering I had to do to him, but I'm very happy with how he turned out, and very glad to finally see another Triple Changing Springer!