Posts tagged with "smokescreen" - 1
Posted October 19, 2020 at 10:39 pm

Remember how I told you I broke my Earthrise Bluestreak?  Well, his fellow Datsun bro Smokescreen came and his rifle popped in half right out of the plastic tray!  WHY CAN I NOT HAVE AN UNBROKEN EARTHRISE DATSUN BRO. 

Anyway, it's a few weeks later, and I have a replacement.  I used scissors to remove the plastic tray from around the rifle this time instead of just squeezing it out -- I mean, I'm 99% sure it was just a problem with my individual rifle specimen that first time and not an actual persistent problem, but I WAS BEIN' FRIGGIN' SURE THIS TIME.  It is NOT fun to have something break before you even have the guy out of the goddamned box!

Earthrise Smokescreen is unsurprisingly like Bluestreak!  Who knew?  He's got two important retoolings -- one, he's got his Face In A Box, as seen in the cartoon/comic.  Secondly, and more unusually, he's got his front fender retooled to be taller.  Because the original Smokescreen toy was a rally deco race car, and so it doesn't have to worry about being street legal.  Usually when Smokescreen gets toys they leave the car itself alone, and just let him be a regular ol' Datsun build like Bluestreak and Prowl.  No, this time Smokescreen also gets his dadbod.  

More niche but important to me is Earthrise Smokescreen gets white thighs!  It's been............. forever since he's gotten white thighs.  Like, since the original toy (and the Masterpiece).  Siege gave him black thighs, Combiner Wars gave him blue thighs, Universe '08 gave him silver...  And, like, I dunno, for some reason those white thighs are important to me.  Back when Universe '08 Smokescreen and Prowl came out, PROWL had the white thighs, and so I swapped them.  Back then stuff was easier to swap.  More screws, fewer pins.  (Doublechecking photos, their hips were balljointed, and the knees were pinned, but there was a second joint just below the knee that was screwed, so I musta swapped both the thigh and that sub-knee section.)  

Meanwhile, Prowl should have silver thighs.  But they were white on the cartoon and Hasbro's never gonna waist paint or a separate plastic sprue on silver thighs anyway, so fuck me forever, I guess.  I'll probably be taking a Sharpie to the Earthrise one when it comes out in a few weeks.

Dunno why I'm so hung up on the thighs.  Maybe it just helps achieve a certain important color balance.  Smokescreen with darker-colored thighs just makes him too dark all-over.  There's a value contrast equilibrium that must be maintained.  

Despite Smokescreen coming with his cartoon head and his cartoon chest, he comes with Bluestreak's cartoon shoulder launchers!  This is no super big deal if you have Stege Smokescreen, 'cuz Stege Smokescreen came with Smokescreen's cartoon shoulder launchers, and they're compatible.  Just toss those Earthrise launchers in the garbage and plug in last year's Stege launchers.  The pegs are a little too tall for the hole, but that was an existing problem with the Stege mold.  They're just very long pegs.  I chopped off the edges a little with some toenail clippers, taking a full 6 seconds to do this, and now they're flush with the hood.

Now all I need is some reprolabels from Toyhax to finish his look.  You know they're coming.  I'm a-gonna need his bumper to read SUN and MOON and his crotch to have a splash of green.  

still need to find a bluestreak replacement, but they're starting to hit walgreens now, so hopefully it won't be too long

Posted February 7, 2016 at 3:00 am

 *finally climbs out of a pile of babies*

Look, I have new toys!  New Combiner Wars toys!  I don't have these guys' torso yet, but let's talk about the limbs.  They're wave six of the Deluxe Class guys, aka The Final Wave.  I mean, there's still a buttload of more box sets coming out through the rest of the year, but these are the last single-packed guys before Combiner Wars gets transitioned into Titans Return (aka Everyone Is A Headmaster).

Wheeljack is the most changed of these four.  Though he used to be Breakdown, he's had his entire car mode replaced and most of his robot mode as well.  He's 90% new toy, though he transforms exactly the same and has all the same functionality.  I'm happy for the vehicle mode reshelling the most, because I just kinda feel like Wheeljack needs to look like a Lancia Stratos, moreso than most other Autobot cars need to be their original car model.  I mean, it's cool that he has new robot parts, too, but that feels like extra on top of a necessity.

In between promo renders and the final product, some of Wheeljack's black plastic is now white, like his crotch and elbows.  This is not helpful, since he was kinda too-white already!  And so now he's really white.  Don't get me wrong, he has a lot of paint -- Wheeljack kind of has to have a lot of paint, since he's got a distinctive rally deco, but all his budget went into creating that, so you don't get a lot of the small stuff like having painted forearms and whatnot.  S'okay, I'll paint a lot of that stuff myself later.

Second, let's just get Smokescreen out of the way.  He's a straight redeco of Prowl.  Like Wheeljack, he uses up all his paint budget in his vehicle mode's rally deco, and so his robot mode's a little plain.  Smokescreen's a little frustrating, because we know there are other unused heads on these guys that might not make it to retail (coughcoughRatchetcoughcough) but I guess Hasbro proooobably wanted a race car instead of a second white-and-red ambulance.  S'okay, Ratchet's likely this year's BotCon customization class guy anyway.

Hound is Swindle with a new Hound head!  Swindle himself was a heavy retool of Rook in the same way that Wheeljack is a retool of Breakdown -- aka, it's all new except for a crotch and a peg and some tiny joints here and there.  In addition to Hound's new head, his smaller weapon now has nubs on the back so that it can be shoved into the rollbar cage on his robot mode back, giving him an over-the-shoulder weapon.  (Some later versions of Swindle reportedly have this as well.)   Over-the-shoulder weapon pleases me!  

Where Hound is frustrating is how they deco him.  He's got, like, two separate vehicle fronts sculpted on his torso.  Up top on his chest is one set of fake vehicle front, and then there's a separate set of fake vehicle front on his stomach.  This is so he can do double duty as both Hound and Swindle provided you illuminate the right parts with paint.  However, the right parts were not illimunated with paint!  Hound has his Swindle parts painted, ignoring completely the Hound bumper across his ribcage, while those Swindle parts were ignored on Swindle.  Grrrr!   Maybe I'll do some painting on Hound as well.

And finally there's Trailbreaker, who even-more-finally has his own original name back.  Hasbro tried to make so many Trailbreakers over the years, realized they didn't have the trademark but weren't willing to find a new one, and so we got a lot of black Ironhides.  And so finally, a year or two ago they were all FINE, dubbed him "Trailcutter," put out a few Trailcutter toys, and even got Trailbreaker to change his name to Trailcutter in the IDW comics.  And then Trailcutter died.  And now they got "Trailbreaker"-the-Trademark back for real and so I guess they can give his proper name to his corpse.  

Poor Trailbreaker.

Trailbreaker has a few retoolings, but not nearly as many as Wheeljack.  He's got a new head, obvs, but he's also got new forearms and new fingers on his combiner mode fist.  One of his new forearms ends in a hand and the other ends in a gun, as Trailbreakers do, but they made the end a 5mm peghole so you can shove his combiner mode fist in there.  Sweet.  His combiner mode fist now has kind of a claw thing going on instead of fingers, which is super neat.  Well, it'd be super neater if this tooling got used a second use (as Hoist?) so you could give a combiner robot double claw hands, but whatcha gonna do.  (Other than buy a second Trailbreaker.)  

Trailbreaker's new claw things give me pause, though.  The fronts of the claw are painted, which is... weird.  Other than dipping the whole damn thing in silver, like with the Optimus Maximus guys, these hand/foot weapons don't really get paint, and they certainly don't get spot paint.  I have this feeling that the silver finger fronts are meaningful in some way, but I can't find any new way for the weapon to interact with the robot mode.  I mean, obviously, the first thing you think of is Trailbreaker's silver forcefield generator which usually goes over his head, but you can't shove this weapon behind Trailbreaker's head any better than any other version of the mold.  (ie, terribly)  I dunno.  It's gonna bug me.  

Posted February 23, 2013 at 12:21 am
Sometimes my faith is rewarded!  Takara's Smokescreen toy was a Knock Out redeco with a new head, and Hasbro's Smokescreen toy was nonexistent.  But I decided, naw, there's no way Hasbro's not going to release a car Autobot guy.  They didn't do a large Breakdown either, but Breakdown is a Voyager Decepticon.  Deluxe Car Autobot guys are Hasbro's bread and butter.  And so I passed on the Known Smokescreen for in the hopes I would be rewarded with a real one that's his own mold.

And, yea, God helps those who sit on their ass, I guess!

Sure 'nuff, the second wave of Beast Hunters gives us a new mold Smokescreen toy.  Unlike the Autobots from the first wave, Smokescreen isn't an older toy with spikes retooled all over him.  Instead,  he's a "plain" Smokescreen with add-on spikey accessories.  You can throw those bonus parts in the trash and have a normal ol' Smokescreen toy, or you can go all Mad Max.  I kind of expect that this Smokescreen was already in the planning stages before he got Beast Hunterized.  Maybe it's the way the rubber trap net stuff just slides over his otherwise unremarkable missile launcher weapon.  It all seems like an afterthought.

Anyway, Smokescreen toy -- how is he? Well, as you can probably tell from looking at him, he's got a fake kibble chest.  Those headlights and hood don't become the real headlights and hood at all.  The real hood (and roof) hang off the back of his forearms.  I can sort of see their line of thinking here -- Smokescreen's chest on his cartoon model kind of has a lot of stuff going on.  It splits up into a bunch of angles.  Plus, well, the real car hood is kind of a lot bigger than the fake one, nearly twice as wide.  I guess the designers preferred leaving all that stuff hanging off his arm to a robot mode  that was 50% chest.

Despite all that, the kibble junk is kept largely out of the way during posing, so he's a good robot mode overall.  I also like his big sturdy feet.  The only annoying part of his robot mode are the many, many hinges built into his shoulders which are part of his transformation.  They can come undone if you're rough with him.

Unfortunately, those many, many hinges are part of his super-frustrating transformation.  He's another of those guys who went to the Side Burn School of Transformation.  He comes along fairly okay-ish until you get to the arms and all that junk hanging off of there.  Trying to fit the arms in (and their 50 billion hinges) and close in all the gaps in the vehicle mode is an ordeal I haven't really smoothed out yet.  Once you get one side all pegged together, that forces out the pegs on the other symmetrical side.  You wanna punch somebody.  Unless you're a wizard, you're gonna end up with gaps.

The Beast Hunters stuff fits over him in either mode.  In car mode, it fits snugly over the hood and under the side mirrors.  In robot mode, it sort of wraps up over his torso and behind his head.  There's tabs just below his ribcage and two more tabs at the tops of his shoulders; you'll have to use the stuff's rubbery quality to your advantage on this last bit.  You literally wrap it around him and peg it in.  There also seem to be some extra missile storage places on the sides of it.

Smokescreen's colors aren't quite accurate to his screen portrayal.  I can understand why they'd want to include more red and blue accents instead of leaving Smokescreen almost entirely white and silver, but I do find it weird that they painted stuff on his head blue instead of red.  I'll probably have to do some paint adjustments of my own.
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